“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” – Phil Conners, Groundhog Day
A few weeks ago I re-watched one of my favorite movies of all time, Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays an arrogant weather reporter who wakes up and suffers through the same exact day over and over again until he makes enough personal changes to break through to tomorrow. Powerful message! It’s not just my favorite movie—it’s on my must-watch list for all my friends and clients. As co-founder of the Handel Group and a life coach for over 20 years, the truth behind Groundhog Day resonates with me to my core: that people stay stuck in their day to day lives until they make the conscious decision to evolve into something better. That Time and Circumstance aren’t the great game-changers in our lives—WE are.
We have all gone through a time of “personal Groundhog Days” where we felt stuck—months or years spent in a bad relationship, at a dead end job, or in an unhealthy body. Or, stuck in the middle of a long, dreary winter! Luckily, I have a quick roadmap to use when determining what is keeping you “stuck” at any time of year, and it has nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with YOU. In my line of work, I refer to the concept of Personal Integrity®.
Personal Integrity® is what you experience when what you say and do aligns with your highest values.
You can break it down into three components: physical, emotional, and spiritual—and they are all connected! In any given moment, you can understand WHY you are where you are in reference to how you think and see your life, from the lens of these integrities. I’ll elaborate:
Physical: Exercise, diet, sleep schedule, personal space, and any actions you are taking in this arena.
Emotional: How those physical actions are making you feel, and how you react to the actions of others.
Spiritual: In a macro sense, how you feel about your life, how you see your path and how you relate to the bigger picture. How connected you feel to what’s going on around you.
Here’s a fact: these 3 factors are already at work in your own life, whether you know it or not. So often, we can’t see their patterns because we invented the patterns ourselves, through our beliefs, habits, and character traits. Many of my clients come to me fully aware of their space in those three arenas, but totally oblivious to the connection between them. Like a little black box in our head, that information reveals the how and why of what’s really going on in our lives.
Changing the message
Breaking into that black box is the key to becoming unstuck, but it requires a thorough investigation of your inner dialogue. Most people are hesitant to admit that their inner dialogue is controlled by fear and negativity, or they don’t even realize it’s happening. They continue to self-sabotage and then feel all the worse for dropping the ball, breaking their promises and selling out on their dreams. You can gain insight into your own Personal Integrity® by asking yourself the following questions, and being honest:
– How would you rate your physical, emotional, and spiritual integrity?
-What are you saying to yourself about your life, your actions, and your dreams?
-Can you spot the pattern linking your actions to the way you feel on a daily basis?
-How do you think changes in one area would affect another area?
This exercise does more than just revisit the New Year’s resolutions you half-committed to back in January. It’s the “why” of your promises, and connects you back to your dream for the big picture of your life. It lets you see how any one thing you’re doing (or not doing) has a ripple effect on other areas of your life, and shows you where your attention is most needed. More than anything, it addresses the voices in your head that are calling the shots, and gives you the opportunity to change the message you are sending yourself.
The scary part is that no one comes to rescue you from the day-to-day. It’s on you to believe in the dream and put the work in; breakthroughs do not happen any other way. The good news is that every single day is a chance to experiment—with a new plan, a different practice, or a modified perspective. “How will I feel if I meditate four days in a row?” “What will happen if I alter this one thing…” Experiment, and then watch the changes as they happen before your eyes.
Whatever you do, don’t wait for spring cleaning to take an inventory of your current situation and do a thorough integrity check. Just as an action plan for “bathing suit season” starts months in advance of summer, an action plan for your life starts today, and it starts with changing your mind.
If you’re ready to take a big step in the direction of your dreams, come to our flagship workshop, the Design Your Life Weekend on September 19-20 and discover the philosophy and tools behind the Handel Method®. Whether you want to build a fulfilling career or business, cultivate passionate love, achieve optimal health, create financial abundance, enjoy rewarding relationships, or take on any other goal in your life, the Design Your Life Weekend will show you a new way of thinking and what to do to reach your dream.
Love, Lauren Zander
Contributor, SERENE Social
About Lauren Zander
Lauren Zander is the co-Founder and Chairman of The Handel Group®, an international corporate consulting and private coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught around the world, including at MIT and Stanford Business School, among other top universities. With nearly two decades of experience and a client list which includes hundreds of individuals, groups, entrepreneurs, couples, families, and executives at Vogue, BASF, Sony BMG, NYU Medical Center, and The New York Times Company, The Handel Group® guides people to the fulfillment of any kind of dream. Lauren has been a featured expert in the New York Times, the BBC, the Joan Hamburg Show-WOR, Forbes Magazine, Women’s Health, the Dr. Oz Show and Marie Claire. She wrote the weekly Businessweek column “Coaches Corner,” presented at TedX Women’s Conference in Amsterdam and contributes regularly to The Huffington Post. Learn more about the Handel Group® at www.handelgroup.com