Taking stock of our lives: conclusion

Medion DIGITAL CAMERAWe take a step back and consider what we have learnt throughout the ‘Taking Stock’ series

So, at the end of our ‘Taking Stock’ journey it is good to spend some time visualising how you want life to be for you now. We, each of us, have the ability to create the life we want; to develop ourselves so that we make the most of our unique talents and abilities; to feel physically the best we can feel; to have a home we feel totally ourselves in and have relationships with our loved ones that make us truly happy.

At any one time there can be areas of our lives that may not be running as we’d like them to. Valuing ourselves enough to stop and work out what needs to change and putting those changes in place is both empowering and life-changing.

Change can seem daunting, but it is only when we step outside our comfort zone that we can positively work towards becoming all that we are capable of becoming and have the relationships we truly desire.

When I am coaching a client around fear of change, I always ask them to imagine for a moment that the issue they are dealing with, the very thing that has brought them to seek help, is never going to change – that they will live for the rest of their life with this very same issue and all of the emotions attached to it. We all need to recognise that, if we resist change, in all probability the issue will remain.

Why do we hold back from making those changes?

Not valuing ourselves enough

As we have discussed throughout this Taking Stock series, many of us, as women, become conditioned to putting others needs before our own and, in doing so, forget that if we do not care for ourselves we are not in the best position to make anyone else happy. Really do question yourself around what roles you want to have within your family, as a partner and with your friends.

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Remember, we can get ‘stuck’ in our roles through trying to be all things to all people when, in reality, anyone who truly loves us simply wants us to be happy, healthy and fulfilled. We therefore have a responsibility to ourselves, and to those around us, to care for and value ourselves.

Fear of standing on our own two feet

stand-on-own-two-feet-taking-stock-flickr-300x202Many of have us have had phases of our lives when we have had to rely on our partner (emotionally, physically or financially) due to pregnancy and childbirth, bringing up children, work commitments, family illness or life events.

It is no wonder then that, when we are planning change in our lives, standing on our own two feet can seem scary.

Whether we are thinking of starting a new course, a new job or a whole new life, we need to key into our inner knowledge of who we are; not just who we are as a mother, a wife or a daughter but who we are as an individual.

We all have more strength, more resilience and more capacity to survive than we are aware of. We also have a wonderful ability to experience great joy and fulfilment if we take control of our own destiny.

Fear of failure

fear-taking-stock-flickr-300x225This is one of the biggest (and most powerful) fears we can face; concerns that whatever changes we make might not work out. We may start a course that we then find too hard, in terms of commitment, energy or academic ability. We may apply for, or begin, a job that we can’t do well enough, or the job may not be what we believed it was when we applied. We may fail at losing weight, getting fit or running a marathon. We may put things in motion to change our relationship only to find the relationship is not worth saving.

The truth is, we need to embrace the understanding that, if these things happen, we will simply have to find a different way to achieve our goals. Each and every failure we experience in life teaches us how not to do something; it allows us to narrow down our options and find a way forward that works.

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Thomas Edison, arguably one of the most prolific inventors ever to have lived, was once asked how he managed to cope with the 10,000 failed attempts at inventing the light bulb before finding the solution. He answered: “I didn’t fail, I just found 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.”

If we never try, we will simply never achieve.

Fear of being judged

All of us, to varying degrees, care about how we are perceived by the people around us. This is a necessary part of being human – the need to fit into our social world. A problem arises if our ‘external frame of reference’ (when we check our behaviours or choices are acceptable to others) becomes more important than our ‘internal frame of reference’ (when we check our behaviours or choices are acceptable to ourselves).

If the balance is wrong, fear of others judging us can stop us from moving forward. In reality the people who love us will be there to support us and stand by us. Other people may, indeed, judge us, but we must not give them the power to hold us back. As Dr Suess once said: “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

It is your life – make it everything you truly want it to be


Throughout this series, we have explored the specifics of your life; what is working and what isn’t, what makes you happy and what causes you pain, what flows smoothly and what causes you frustration.

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We owe it to ourselves (and those we love) to ensure we are creating the life we dream of.

Remember: the happier you are the happier you make the people around you.

Recognising our part in creating the life we are currently living empowers us to make choices:

  • We can choose to make our intimate relationships the best they can be
  • We can chose to look after ourselves and ensure we are in the best possible physical shape
  • We can choose to change the role we take on within our families
  • We can choose to develop our ourselves in ways that is fulfilling and meaningful to us
  • We can choose to have a home that feels like our own personal sanctuary
  • We can choose to be surrounded by friends who inspire us and nurture our soul

In short, we really are the masters of our own destiny; we simply need to value ourselves enough to step forward and take the necessary action to move towards the life we truly want.

Hester Bancroft

About Hester Bancroft

I am a BSc(hons) Psych and member of the British Psychological Society, a master practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and an experienced Life Coach and Therapist. I provide high quality one-to-one coaching for individuals wishing to establish more positive ways of living their lives. I help my clients in dealing with the underlying causes of existing unhelpful behaviours, establishing empowering new behaviours and setting attainable and sustainable goals for the future.