Silly season is almost upon us. High streets are gearing up, plans are being made with family and friends, Christmas cakes and puds are soaking in brandy in kitchen cupboards - the holidays are coming.
Is it quality time with loved ones, the break from routine, or simply the milestone turn of the year that causes us to reflect on the year gone by and set new hopes and dreams for what's to come? Why is it that time out of the rat race or big life-shocks are the only time that we tend to draw breath and be reflective of our status quo? Why do we allow ourselves to drift along with our choices without giving them the once-over every now and then?
Too often I work with women who've let years go by without lifting their eyes up from their busy day-to-day. They've drifted along with choices they made that they've outgrown or that they never consciously chose in the first place. They make the best of it. They smile and carry on.
Sound familiar? Have you been sleep-walking your way through 2013?
Here are 8 tips to awaken your brilliance:
1. Make yourself a priority
If you change nothing, nothing will change. No one will do it for you. You need to choose now to make time just for you, to invest time, as much as you can muster at first, to unfold the most brilliant version of yourself.
2. Take stock
What areas of your life bring you the most happiness? Which need a little TLC? Get clear on how satisfied you are with the different areas of your current lifestyle. You need to know your starting point. If you need a little help, try this free exercise.
3. See your genius
Know your strengths. What comes easily to you? What do other people seek your help with? What are you known for amongst your nearest and dearest? Be clear on your genius and start to see ways in which you can use your natural aptitude more in your day-to-day.
What is it that you really want? If you could have your hearts desires, your biggest, boldest dreams-come-true imaginable, what would they be? Be the child in the sweet shop. Every dream realised starts with a picture imagined. What's yours?
5. Be still and listen
Why do you want each of the goals you've day-dreamed of? If you dream of turning your passionate hobby into a thriving business, why do you want that? Is it so that your talents and skills will be recognised among your peers? Is it so you can have the freedom of entrepreneurship? Get clear on the intention behind your goals, their fuel. Take each of your goals in turn and sit quietly with them. Ask yourself why you want that specific goal. Let your intuition guide you.
6. You'll never be ready
If you're waiting for the perfect time, or if you're waiting until you have perfected your art, or if you're waiting the economy to pick up, you could be waiting a long time. You'll never have the perfect conditions to make a change, you have to work with what you have. Build your confidence by starting small, taking baby steps out of your comfort zone. Little by little push yourself beyond the familiar into the territory where dreams are made.
7. Enlist a support squad
You will hit bumps in the road. You will get knocked down. But the trick is being prepared for the inevitable obstacles and, with the help of your support squad, getting back up again. Who do you have around you that you can rely on for support and encouragement? What help do you need now or might you anticipate needing in the future? Recognise where your strengths are and where you need a little helping hand, and rally your troops. Share with them the changes you want to make and how they can help you get there.
8. Celebrate the victories
Pat yourself on the back with every small step you make outside of your safe but unfulfilling comfort zone. Celebrate each little success that gets you closer to awakening and living your true brilliance.