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Hi, you are so very welcome to this latest podcast episode. I'm so looking forward to getting stuck into this short little episode with you. It's all about my five favorite affirmations and how you can use them to help keep you going professionally and personally. I absolutely have loved affirmations since the beginning of COVID, and I've been saying them every morning, week morning, since COVID hit. So that's about three years now. But these five really, really stuck with me, and I'm going to go through each of them with you and tell you why. Goals are amazing to work towards and achieve, but when you're going through a tough time, let's say, for example, you've been hit with self-doubt, and all of a sudden you're like, "Oh my God, where's my confidence gone? Two weeks ago, I was doing this without even questioning myself, now I'm questioning everything."

Affirmations can be really good through periods like this. And think of affirmations almost like your guides, like you've written down your beliefs and that in tough times, you call on those beliefs to remind you to keep going and that all is good. And we all go through periods of this, we all go through periods of anxiety, stress, we're riddled with self-doubt, we're totally uncertain. But however, the problem is, is that sometimes if we let those emotions derail us, we can completely backtrack and end up at square one. So rather than accept those emotions for what they are and keep going anyway, we can find ourselves dropping some of the action steps we were doing, maybe you drop your self-care, maybe you stop exercising or walking in the fresh air because maybe you feel frozen, fearful. And sometimes, for some people, when you feel frozen and feel fearful, you want to do less. And that's where a lot of people can feel that they have an all-or-nothing approach.

They're going great for a while, and then something will throw them and they feel back at square one. So really it's figuring out how to not backtrack, how to stay on track, through the good, through the bad, how to stay on track when you're feeling really uncertain. How do you do that? For me, these mantras, these affirmations do that for me. I went through a period only recently where my anxiety crept. And these affirmations, I looked at them every day and they kept me going. They kept me going so I was able to stick to everything that I wanted to stick to, and just to say so now that I'm really learning to have a healthy detachment to my goals, you have to be detached from your goals, you have to be able to find happiness with or without that goal. And a healthy detachment means that you're open to opportunities, you're open to failure, you're open to learning along the way, and you're not holding on too tight, you haven't set this one goal and nothing else matters until you have that goal set.

That's really, really unhealthy. And that can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress and uncertainty and doubt. I remember when I owned a physical gym on the Tuam Road, and we had just opened up a second facility and it was a really stressful time, I just had Emily at the time, and we were trying to grow the business, two locations, newborn, we just moved into our new house, and I had this goal, I wanted to fill up the gym. Part of it was due to the goal that I had always set of having two really successful locations, and the other part was down to pure stress of worrying about the financial implications of owning two locations. And I was so obsessed with this goal that I completely got burnt out, completely got burnt out, and it stuck with me for a long time. It took me a long time to feel better and to get through that.

So I, at the time, didn't realize that I needed to have a healthy detachment from that goal, that live your life, enjoy yourself, focus on finding inner peace and happiness without these goals being achieved, but then really enjoy achieving those goals in a healthy way. So what do you do when the going gets tough? What do you do when stress takes over and you can't think straight and you don't know what to do? Well, here are my five affirmations or mantras that are going to help keep you going personally and professionally. So the first one, peace begins in me. Peace begins in me, a powerful reminder to me that peace is not found at the bottom of a wine bottle or at the bottom of a biscuit tin. Because to me, this affirmation, peace begins in me, is a powerful reminder that comfort eating gets me nowhere. That all I want is to be fit and healthy and to feel good.

And when I comfort eat and when I used to drink alcohol, that is me turning away from myself, that is me hiding and running away from my emotions, being really busy, jumping in at the cleaning, eating on the couch, having a massive portion at dinner, drinking too much wine. That's searching for peace outside of myself, that's searching for a high or a feeling outside of myself that isn't going to give me peace shopping on online or going out to the shops, eating too much food, all of that stuff, when you're feeling stressed out, when you're feeling anxious, when you're doing it because you don't feel good, is you running away from understanding the peace begins in you. So a powerful reminder to me when I go through feelings of stress and anxiety and fear and self-doubt, that the only way for me to have real peace is to take a step back, journal, do a little bit of meditation maybe, sit in silence for five minutes, sit down on a chair and close my eyes and just be. Go for a walk in nature, go for a sea swim.

So a real powerful reminder when the going gets tough, the peace begins in you. Because the last thing I want for myself now is to go through a tough time and end up three stone overweight again, or to go through a tough time and to realize you're drinking too much alcohol. You're just compounding your problems, you're making everything 10 times worse. That's what I did, I made everything 10 times worse. Not only did I feel stressed out and anxious, I was puffy, my clothes were tight, I felt really unhealthy, I was hungover, I didn't feel good. Peace begins in me, a powerful, powerful affirmation that I just absolutely love. And if you say it enough times, it just comes into your head sometimes. You're like, "Oh, peace begins in me. It begins in me, not externally. I can't buy peace, I can't drink peace or eat peace." That was one of the biggest things that helped me heal. It helped me stop comfort eating, it helped me stop turning to food to feel a bit relaxed. Yeah.

Okay, the next affirmation, all is well, right here, right now. All is well, right here, right now. Now, that affirmation is really special to me because it's a powerful reminder to me to live in the present. I get really anxious and worried when I get really caught up in the future. I love setting goals and I love achieving things, and I love striving forward and progressing and growing as we all do. But sometimes I can go a little bit too much in that direction, which means that almost all of my thoughts are in the future. But I am living the goals that I set two, three years ago now. And if I don't give myself the space and the time, and if I don't live in the present, I'm never never going to get to enjoy what I achieved. So all is well, right here, right now, serves as a really powerful daily reminder to me, and let's do it here with me.

So think of something that you're feeling really stressed out and anxious about, and think of something that always is occupying your mind. And close your eyes and put your feet on the ground, and start by taking nice, slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, and focus on your breathing and let go of thoughts. Isn't that crazy that most of the time we're thinking of the future or we're dwelling on the past, but actually, in this moment right now, right now, this second, all is well. So what if we were, a lot of the time, able to get to a point where we could stay much more right in the present moment than we ever have before? Would that bring more peace, more joy? Would that help us let go of the expectation of the way things should be, the expectations of goal setting, how things should look, how things shouldn't look, where we should be in life?

If we were to focus on living in the present a bit more, that one simple little thing to do, that one mindset shift, would eradicate and get rid of a lot of our worry and stress. Easy to say, difficult to do, but a really powerful affirmation.If you have that on a post-it note somewhere, if you have that on your wall somewhere, and this is what happens to me all the time, I'm running around thinking of my goals, I'm thinking of who can I get on my next podcast episode, how can I improve this? How can I do that? I have to call that person today. And then I walk into my office and I'm like, "Whoa, all is well, right here, right now. Oh God, it is actually." I am sitting in my office, the sun is shining, I have a cup of tea in my hand, well, I live in Galway, so maybe the sun wouldn't be shining. And it just reminds me, "Oh my God, all is well, right here, right now." And it's remarkable how much I do well with reminders, daily reminders. They help so much.

Okay, so number three is I peacefully let go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve me. I peacefully let go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve me. Now, this helps a lot with letting go, letting go and allowing the good stuff to come in. So are there things in your life that you need to let go or things in the past that you need to let go of? Sometimes I find myself dwelling on things or being upset by something, and this affirmation reminds me that I have the power to let go. And I love that so much, I have the power to let go if somebody has bothered me or if somebody's trying to bother me, or if I'm thinking of something that's upsetting to me, or why would they have treated me that way? Why would they have done that? You know what? I can actually let go of this and carve out my own life and live my life the way I want to live, with my beliefs.

And I peacefully let go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve me, it's a real good powerful reminder that you can let go of stuff and you have the power to let go of stuff, and it really, really helps, and I hope it helps you too. Okay, so moving on, the fourth affirmation, I have the courage to begin and I have the courage to succeed. So one of the reasons that this was my favorite affirmation is because it has the word courage in there. And I have come to realize, for a lot of reasons, that fear is a big thing for me, that I'm a very, very fearful person. I get really worried and I get really fearful, and I used to especially, that things are going to go wrong or bad things that are going to happen. And ever since I've realized that, my word of the year actually is courage, first off, I started to notice when I'm being fearful. So I just spent a long time just noticing my behavior and noticing how fearful I am.

For example, in the morning time, for a very long time, I was really cranky and irritable, and I wouldn't feel right until the afternoon. And I thought that was just me being cranky until I came to realize that I was just really fearful of the day. Or I used to check my emails and be really fearful of a bad email coming in, or I would be just really fearful of looking under the stone and checking to see what's under there, if you know what I mean. I was just scared. I was scared of some facts. And I'm a work in progress, and I'm really working on being courageous with everything, confronting things head on, shoulders back, look straight ahead, look the person in the eye. I'm focused so much on that. And sometimes it can be exhausting being courageous, but I'm aware of it and it's helping me. It's really helping me grow. And one of the ways, and this might sound a little crazy, that I'm being courageous, is by being really gentle with myself.

So I say to myself, "It's okay, Jessica, you can do this. Just one step at a time." And that helps me so much. Even doing a podcast episode, being afraid of not being good enough, it helps. "It's okay, Jessica, you can do it. Do your best." And it helps. So this affirmation, I have the courage to begin and I have the courage to succeed, reminds me that I have the courage to begin, to start any little action step, to just start. Whether that's a walk, a workout, getting on camera, doing a podcast episode, opening my emails, whatever, I have the courage to begin it. And not only do I have the courage to begin that I do have the courage to succeed and go all the way and commit to results, not activity. So that affirmation helps me start and it helps keep me going, and I love it. Okay, we're coming up to the last one, but I do have a bonus one for you.

So consistently good is better than sporadically great. Love this. From somebody who used to be all about doing something really fast one time and then never showing up again, I love this. Because I do feel that used to be me, I would put effort in, loads of effort in really fast, but, let's say, I would go to a class, and I'd go to an art class or something and I'd be sitting in that art class for the first time thinking, "That's it. I've decided I'm going to be the best person in this class. I am going to throw myself into this and I'm going to become really good at art." And I just get all excited and I overdose on the art class and then I never go back. I have done that with so many things. However, I've come to realize that actually the best thing is to take your time, think of it a little bit less, do it a little bit less, this works for me anyway, and just show up for a while.

No expectation. Let's say, for example, you're trying to get into workouts and you start to do that thing that I do. "Oh my God, I am going to be the best at this. I am going to love this and I'm going to exercise every single day for the rest of my life." Say to yourself, "You know what? I'm not going to go down that road. I am just going to focus on doing a pretty good workout today, and then I'm going to get on with the rest of my day, and that's all I'm going to do. I'm just going to spend the 30 minutes in that workout, and when that workout's over, I'm going to go about my day and not think of that workout for the rest of the day." And it helps so much. So the affirmation is consistently good is better than sporadically great. Consistently good is better than sporadically great. I absolutely love that affirmation. But I have a bonus affirmation for you today, and I love this and I only heard it recently.

So I have it on my board, my board with all my action steps, not my goals anymore, although I did check in on my goals recently. So the bonus one is to start simple and get fancy later. So let me give you an example of that and how that works for me. I can spend, no exaggeration, an hour before a podcast episode setting up the lighting, the background, my notes, of course, really important, but I just overdose. I just do too much. Everything has to be just so detailed, I have to get it all right, and it just puts me off. It's such a mountain to climb, to go and do the thing. And I do that with a lot of stuff. But what I've recently done is I've come to realize that if I say start simple, get fancy later that I just press record or I just go and do that walk, I just go and meditate, and I just do it for what it is with no expectation, and then over time I can get fancy.

So an example for that is really recently, and any of my dear clients listening in will know that the other day I sent an email out in the evening time. And I've always wanted to do an evening Thrive Time with my clients. I just love connecting with you guys and it's also so nice for me to see you live doing this stuff. And I can see some of my clients that do the workouts in their own time, live on the Thrive Time. And then I started thinking, "Oh my God, I can't do this." So I'm going to have to make sure that the room is all set up, this, this, this. And I made it into a list of about 10 things, and I have really exciting ideas for that Thrive Time. So just to give you, the Thrive Time is like 10 minutes of meditation, silence, gratitude, and all my programs are online. And I had really exciting ideas for this new evening time Thrive Time.

And then I was sitting there yesterday and I was like, "I just need to start. I actually just need to start and let it develop into what it develops into." So I sent an email around to everybody. Lo and behold, an hour later there we were doing our Thrive Time and it was a really relaxing, really lovely wind down before bed Thrive Time. And I'll expand on that, I'll improve as I go. Start simple, get fancy later. If I hadn't made it into this huge thing, really detailed, really complicated so that I would try to make it the best it could possibly be on the first go, then I wouldn't have started it. So start whatever you want to do, whatever dream, whatever goal you have, maybe you're stuck not getting workouts in because you just keep thinking before a workout, "Well, I don't have the correct trainers, or I don't have heavy enough weights, or I can't do the 30 minutes, I have to do the 20."

Or maybe you're in your career or your business and you're holding yourself back because you are thinking too far ahead down the line, that's holding you back. However, if you were to think of start simple, you're going to go and crush it. You're going to go and just crush it because you'll have started. And starting it is crushing it, taking action is crushing it. I cringe so much when I look back on some of the stuff I put out there 10 years ago on video, on YouTube, cringe, absolutely cringe. But it's those videos that got me to where I am now. God, I even had a green screen at one point. I mean, we're all online now, but back when I had a gym, we were doing a promotion for the gym and I had a green screen of the background was of Blackrock in Salthill. It's just absolutely comical. It looked like a green screen, and it was just so bad, it was so bad. I'm like, "How did I ever show my face around?"

But it was those videos that made me realize that I needed to improve, and thankfully I did. So yeah, that's the bonus. Just in case you missed them and you didn't get to write them down, here we go one more time. So peace begins in me, number one. All is well, right here, right now, number two. I peacefully let go of thoughts and emotions that do not serve me, number three. I have the courage to begin and I have the courage to succeed, number four. Consistently good is better than sporadically great, number five. And the bonus one today is start simple, get fancy later. I really hope you enjoyed this podcast episode. Thank you so, so much for listening. And to check out all my free resources, you can go to jessicacooke.ie. And if you had the time, I would absolutely love for you to leave a review on my podcast wherever you get your podcasts. It all makes the world a difference, it just helps people uncover and discover my podcast. So thank you so much for listening, and all my love.

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