Becoming Unstuck

With Cascading Change
“The Secret Pathway to Reaching YOUR True Potential and Helping Others Break Through THEIR Personal Barriers”

”As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

Henry David Thoreau


Table of Contents
An Introduction To Cascading Change and Why This Report Is So Important to YOU.................................. Face It - You Are Stuck.. ......................................... These Are The Invisible Barriers Blocking Your Road To Success, Fulfillment, Happiness and Everything Else You Wish For................................................................. Why The Art of Optimism Exists….............................. Problems, Pain and Frustration Are Everywhere........... The Solution........................................................... Our Goal................................................................ So How Do You Know If You’re Stuck? ...................... A Theory of Constraints Story................................... You Will Only Progress In Life At The Speed Your Invisible Barrier Lets You Move.................................. Blast Through The Barriers – Achieve Your Dreams!..... You Will Feel And Act Like You Are Invincible............... Everyday Examples of Invisible Barriers...................... So Are You Ready to Blast Away YOUR Invisible Barrier? Goals Exercise........................................................ Barrier 1: A Lack of Clear Thinking............................. Barrier 2: Not Taking Action...................................... A Simple Example Of Just ‘Getting Started’................. Barrier 3: Low Self-Esteem....................................... Move Up The Confidence Scale.................................. Barrier 4: A Warped Sense of Value........................... Understand Return On Investment............................. Start To Objectively Understand Your Value and Demand Value From Others Too............................................. Barrier 5: Loneliness or Isolation............................... Find a ‘Distance Mentor’ To Help You Succeed and Grow..................................................................... Be Inspired............................................................ Barrier 6: Feeling Overwhelmed and Exhausted…………… 5 6

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Overcome The Guilt Of ‘Looking After Yourself Properly’ Barrier 7: Belief and Self-Belief................................. Barrier 8: Worrying About What Other People Think Of You........................................................................ Externalize Your Focus and Take The Pressure Off Yourself................................................................... Barrier 9: Perfectionism............................................. Barrier 10: Problems With Business and Business Identity................................................................... Build YOUR Business YOUR Way................................. These Are Just a Handful of the Possible “Root Problems” That Could Be Blocking Your Progress Right Now.......................................................................... So How Do You Know What's Keeping YOU Stuck?.......... How to Identify Your Invisible Barrier............................ The Floodlights Of Change........................................... In Summary.............................................................. Who Is Ed Lester?......................................................

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An Introduction To Cascading Change and Why This Report Is So Important to YOU...
When people ask me what Cascading Change is, I try to keep the answer as simple as possible: It's an extremely effective life coaching model. Admittedly it's not as well known or as 'sexy' as NLP or some of those models. However I can tell you categorically that, understood and used properly, it can be 50 times as effective and 50 times as powerful.

A Pretty Audacious Claim...
OK, I'll justify why I make that claim. The Cascading Change Pathway (CCP) is a personal development and success coaching model which I primarily designed to help ‘the helpers’ to get better results for themselves and for their clients too. A method for becoming 'unstuck' and releasing the floodgates of personal and professional success. It's partly based on the teachings of business and self-growth experts like Rich Schefren and Jay Abraham, and on systems models such as Cybernetics and The Theory of Constraints. It also has its foundations and principles based on the many great writers, therapists, coaches, personal mentors and influential friends who are just too numerous to mention individually.


beliefs. Barriers are just a fact . stretching out into your future. habits. We are out of contact with our own genius. If it helps. So Picture This: Imagine the pathway of your life. We talk about our lives in terms of 'getting somewhere'. A pathway is a universal concept and we all think of our lives as a journey along a pathway. 'going on a journey' 'moving forwards' etc. There is an invisible barrier standing in the way of your future progress. 6 .You Are Stuck. sometimes we don't.welcome to the human race! The concept of a pathway existed in the human mind a long time before we ever got round to building any actual pathways. Sometimes we know we are stuck. Imagine all of your goals and dreams in the distance.. “Being stuck is a position few of us like. most successful person in the world.” Inga Teekens We are all stuck. glowing with personal and professional satisfaction and joy. even thoughts. We want something new but cannot let go of the old . In both cases we have to do something. imagine yourself looking happy and smiling.. I don't care if you are the richest.old ideas.Face It .

. Maybe you imagine them as fences.. You are focusing on the ones you can see and feel the most easily. However you imagine them is fine. just as certainly as there are stars in the sky and you have dreams at night. 7 . Think about it – none of the other obstacles are important. Happiness and Everything Else You Wish For And here's your first big 'Aha!' moment for the day. You're almost certainly focusing on the wrong barriers. or sheets of glass. You can get rid of 10 future obstacles but it won't make a jot of difference if you don't remove the one in front of you right now. These Are The Invisible Barriers Blocking Your Road To Success. there are all kinds of barriers. You only need to focus on the first barrier along the pathway the most immediate block or obstacle in your road. brick walls. Fulfillment.Everything In Your Future Is Amazing But in the way. But they are there.

unlimited potential and possibilities. support. the changes you experience will be like an unbelievable cascade of positive effects and changed results. fundamental barrier in your life (one that is almost certainly invisible to you but the effects of which are impacting everything you try to do and the outcomes you are striving for)? When you achieve this. The unlimited potential and possibilities for you and all the other people you go on to help. nurture or heal.. Why The Art of Optimism Exists… Most people in the world are ‘stuck’ in some way. This is the essence of Cascading Change. train. Maybe they’re ‘a little stuck’ or maybe they’re ‘a lot stuck’ but they are definitely stuck. Everything is about to change for you! Bear with me whilst I explain. don't worry . Although I’ve begun this report talking about barriers and being stuck. People generally are either: 8 . the truth is this report is purely about transformation. coach. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to deal with the most immediate. they will be. and if the possibilities that this model offers for you and your clients aren't immediately the time you finish this report.Learn how to identify and remove the one obstacle in your immediate path and you have the keys to the kingdom.. Like the single domino that is the catalyst for starting the thousands of others tumbling.

• Suffering and hurting • Chasing goals and dreams but facing significant hurdles along the way.and place them in a large room together. positive changes] that I need?” Problems. training. or • Confused and frustrated The truth is that we all have things we need help with but ultimately everyone is asking the same question: “Where do I get the help I need? Where do I get the [support. 9 . mentoring. nurturing. advice.000 people .000 individuals need help? (Whether they’re aware of it or not). Imagine your hometown or city. Pretend you could isolate a random sector of the population let’s say 1. Pain and Frustration Are Everywhere Many millions of people are frustrated and don’t know where to turn… Take a few moments to understand the massive significance of this. A Question How many of those 1. motivation. healing.

perhaps desperately wishing someone else would love and cherish them? • Are searching for more meaning or purpose or fulfilment in their lives? And I could go on forever. basically to feel more alive? • Are fed up with and tired of fears or bad habits that are holding them back from the success and happiness they crave? • Are wondering if it’s possible to have more confidence or self-esteem? • Are Wishing they loved or valued themselves more highly.000 people need help: 1000 10 .000 people: • Are stuck in a destructive personal relationship or a depressing work environment? • Are suffering from stress or anxiety. pain or even feel depressed about their lives? • Are struggling to sleep at night because of problems or worries? • Have problems with energy and motivation? • Would love to change a bad habit such as smoking or heavy drinking etc – they know they can do it but are frustrated that they don’t know how to do it? • Have incredible goals such as running a business.Think about it: How many of those 1. but so as not to keep you in suspense. getting promotion or changing careers or earning more money? • Wish they could escape and let go of the pain of the past – still reeling from events or grief from long ago? • Would love to become healthier and fitter – to weigh less or to exercise more. here’s the answer to the question of how many of those 1.

mentor. heal. of course. there are people in that room whose lives you could help to improve unrecognizably. all of them. So. happier. Working in a profession where you help people achieve goals. or overcome any of those other challenges? In which case you are the solution! You are priceless and offer unbelievable value to those individuals. if I’m right. overcome problems. the chances are that they haven’t heard of you. Almost certainly. But. then I will assume that you are either: 1. or 2. here’s another question for you: If literally everybody is suffering or stuck in some way. You are the most important person in their lives if they ever become lucky enough to meet you or to hear about what you do. more confident. help. 11 . coach or support. Thinking of entering such a profession Have a look at the question list above. healthier.In other words. Is there anyone in that list that you would be able to help? Do you know how to teach or inspire someone to be fitter. train. with a goal they can’t quite achieve or a problem they can’t overcome. then what is the solution? The Solution The solution. is YOU. If you’re reading this report right now.

rest assured this report is not only free.So what is the deeper problem? Why aren’t these 1000 people finding the help. support and expertise they so desperately need? Why are so many people stuck and struggling in one way or another? The Deeper Problem is that the solution (i. we help to bridge the gap between the massive and unlimited demand for help from the public and the difficulty they have in finding that help. We want you to succeed! We want to provide you with all the business and professional skills and personal confidence you need. maybe thousands of people to live happier. YOU) is stuck too! Albeit in a different way… Our Goal So our goal at The Art of Optimism is very simple. And if 12 . Use this information so that it works for you and allows you to go on and be hugely successful. it is designed to help you become unstuck in a very practical way. more fulfilling lives.e. By doing so. Help hundreds. And in case you think that I’m just trying to sell you something here. To get you unstuck! Anybody who knows me personally knows that I’m dedicated to helping wellness experts from all different professions to become successful.

you get a spare moment. then I think things are going to change dramatically for you too .in your business and also in many other areas of your life. Oh. My particular favorite is a business theory called ‘The Theory of Constraints’ explained and taught to me by the famous business coach Rich Schefren. the point in the system that is the weakest will always constrain the rest of the system. In short. consider the work of Maxwell Maltz (the author of Psycho-Cybernetics). and something else for you to consider: the weakest point in the system is not generally where the problems occur. Just like one of your clients – the problem or pain that they describe to you is generally a symptom of a deeper problem. 13 . In other words. An Example of Overcoming The Wrong Barriers As a really powerful example of how this theory and way of seeing the world translates into human systems. the theory of constraints says that a system is like a chain – it’s only as strong as its weakest link. This ‘systems’ thinking has affected everything I do and if you really commit to absorbing the information I’m going to share with you in the rest of this report. come back and tell us about your success story – that’s all the thanks we want… So How Do You Know If You’re Stuck? I am a very big fan of systems thinking.

So the key is for you to understand what it is that is really making you stuck and to deal with it once and for all. his whole life seems to fall apart at the same 14 . but a low sense of self-value and worth. So How Does This Affect YOU? Simple. The Goal is a great read. even after extensive surgery involving the removal of scars and other disfigurements. it will only be ONE thing stopping you.Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon who famously noticed that some of his patients. At this moment there are just one or two things stopping you from being all that you want to be. showed no signs of being any happier. who is the manager of a manufacturing plant. In this example. but it was written in the form of a novel. It tells the story of a man named Alex. In truth. He first put his ideas down in the form of a book called 'The Goal'. as I think it would be very helpful for you. He realised that although their faces and bodies looked dramatically different. A Theory of Constraints Story Eli Goldratt was the originator of the Theory of Constraints. the thing that was keeping them ‘stuck’ was not the scars and disfigurement. probably one of the most enjoyable business books you'll ever pick up. their thinking had not changed. Just when everything goes wrong with the business. I would recommend that you read ‘The Goal’. at any one time.

Alex. and tries to work out what's going on and why they are taking so long.” Christina Baldwin You Will Only Progress In Life At The Speed Your Invisible Barrier Lets You Move Invisible Barriers Are Like Walking Through Quicksand A very interesting story is told in ‘The Goal’. “When you're stuck in a spiral. on his weekend away from work. but he comes to realize that there is only ever one problem at the heart of everything. not 15 . And this is pervasive for all of us – we all have one thing that stops us from getting to our next goal. and he's going to be stuck in the forest with a bunch of kids in the dark – a serious problem! So he takes a step backwards and looks at the situation.time. he develops an unhealthy lifestyle. takes his young son on a scouting trip with some other boys. His wife leaves him. and all kinds of other things start to go wrong.who is overweight. hiking through the forest. which demonstrates how this works in real life. At one point during the walk. Alex becomes worried that they are not going to make it to their destination by the time it gets dark. Some of the boys are a long way ahead. while right at the back is one boy – Herbie . to change all aspects of the spin you need only to change one thing. He notices that the group of boys has become very spread out. At first it feels as if he has about a million unrelated problems.

In other words. the group is constrained and 'stuck' because they are relying on Herbie. who feels he has contributed to the success of the group. they can only get to their destination as quickly as Herbie is able to walk. by shouting at him or motivating him in another way. Now a traditional way to try to remedy the situation is to get Herbie to walk more quickly. and especially his business. fitter boys take some of Herbie's bags to carry. looking for the 'Herbie' effect.very fit and overburdened with heavier bags than the rest of them. and they all start singing and clapping in time to create a marching rhythm. Alex realizes that. I am going to ask you to take a look at the following elements in your life: 16 . But that's not usually the thing that works well. By taking these steps the group reaches their destination before dark. they move Herbie to the front of the line. And he asks himself this question: What is the root cause. What Alex decides they'll do is to play to the strengths of the whole group. So some of the stronger. especially Herbie. it's an example of a system being constrained by its weakest link. Everyone is happy. What Is Your “Herbie”? After that event Alex starts looking at all the different problems in his life. During the course of this report. whatever they do as individuals. the underlying sticking point that is causing all these other problems for me? And that's what I want for you guys to do in your life.

problems or limitations that you are currently experiencing. In other words you can make it irrelevant. YOUR ‘invisible barrier’. You will be looking to uncover the root cause or causes of all of those ‘symptoms’. You will be looking for YOUR Herbie. where your strengths. And once you’ve identified what and where it is. Believe me. will suddenly be put into perspective as symptoms of deeper problems. I’ve Tested This To The Nth Degree I've worked with many hundreds of wellness professionals just 17 . and instincts lie. Things that you used to think of as problems. You can use your personal ingenuity so that you no longer need to rely on that thing that is keeping you stuck. talents.• Your • Your • Your • Your • Your professional work business success marketing personal life goals and seriously examine all the different challenges. and use those to blast through the barrier. You can also enlist other people and external resources to help you. your life is going to change in dramatic and surprising ways. then there are many different ways that you can do something about it. passions. The most effective way in my experience is to work out what you're great at.

which I'm going to share with you now. Which one do you personally need to focus on? Sometimes it's obvious. So as you go through them. there is always a barrier somewhere in the system limiting their progress. The great news is that once you've gone through this process. of course. The list. So you may need to go with your instincts and intuition here. I will give you ideas of what you can do to blast through it. For each barrier blocking your path. and at the end of the report I'll share with you a step-by-step process of how you can work it out for yourself. is not exhaustive. this stuff should never be a problem for you again. try to work out which one might be constraining your efforts at the you. You need a simple methodology to follow. Blast Through The Barriers – Achieve Your Dreams! In the course of working with wellness professionals. logic based shortcut to identifying exactly where you are currently stuck. Sometimes it's very difficult for the individuals concerned to establish what the barrier is. in order to get to the success you truly deserve and wish for. and I've found that in every single case. There is a simple. when you look at the personal and professional goals that they are striving towards. but more often than not it's hidden. 18 . I have discovered that there are a handful of commonly occurring barriers.

You Will Feel And Act Like You Are Invincible Always remember that the profession you are in. The stark reality is that most small businesses fail. that once you get this whole barrier thing sorted out you will be unstoppable.You'll always have a system for blasting through barriers in the future. the work that you do. Imagine working with your clients and being able to quickly identify the ONE thing currently holding them back then proceed to help them get past it. And. your life and business will become much more straightforward and your success virtually guaranteed. there's such an unlimited and passionate demand for the things that you can provide. How incredible will that be? 19 . makes for very viable business potential. you will also be in a position to do the same thing for your clients and their barriers. By making this process into a habit and repeating it again and again. and this will have profound effects in all areas of your life and business. As I demonstrated earlier. but this should never be the case with what YOU do because your business offers so much value to people's lives.

So until you produce a much better product or find a new marketplace. Think about a company that makes products. 20 . the products are useless . marketing. In fact. In Professional Sports The goal of any professional sports team is to win as many games or events as possible.a completely inappropriate mismatch to the needs of the marketplace. but there's always going to be a barrier in the system.Everyday Examples of Invisible Barriers Before I carry on I want to give you two more examples of how barriers restrict the success that a 'system' can enjoy. wonderful advertising. that business is always going to be limited in its success. Imagine if those products are not what the general public actually wants. brilliant management – but. 1. 2. The business can carry out all of its other processes to a really high standard . You can double the budget for your customer service. In Business The goal for a business (as opposed to a non-profit organization) is to sell products and generate revenues.fantastic customer service system. marketing and advertising and employ the best managers and salesforce in the world. that business is always going to struggle and have its success restricted because it's got the wrong product. and PR department.

But first. then that is always going to be a barrier to the team’s success. you might score a few extra points but you won't achieve your goal of winning games because you've got a weak link in the structure .you either need to find a better goalkeeper or strengthen your defense to the extent that it shores up the overall team performance. So Are You Ready to Blast Away YOUR Invisible Barrier? I hope these two examples make sense to you.your goalkeeper. therefore making the weakness of the goalkeeper irrelevant. and imagine what happens when just one player in that team is of a low performance standard. At the end of the day. some defense and some attacking players. one more thing that really needs to be covered: THE GOAL “Your problems are you don’t know what your goal is” Eli Goldratt Every system must have a goal. A system without a goal is a weak and ineffective structure like a building without 21 . and is so good that the other team doesn't get an opportunity to score points. Now as promised we move on to some of the most common barriers that are probably affecting YOU right now. You could have the best attacking players in the world and spend millions of dollars buying.Think about any team sport. Let's imagine it's a game where you have a goalkeeper. So you have to do one of two things . If your goalkeeper is absolutely useless. coaching and developing the best talent.

you just need to believe that it's possible. Ask yourself some of the following questions: • In the future.foundations. Your life and your business are both complex systems and so each must have a goal. and that you could get there. They should be very ambitious. when trying to understand the principles of Cascading Change. for both your professional life and your personal life. Or. to grab a pen and paper and think about your overall life goals. or a treasure map that's been torn in half and is incomplete. it’s like a pathway to nowhere. but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be ambitious. Goals Exercise So take some time before you carry on with the report. You must have a goal for your perfect life and a goal for your perfect business. Both goals must be achievable. how do you want to be spending your time every day? • What do you want to be doing? • How many people do you want to be working with professionally? • What kind of revenues do you want to be making for your business? • What kind of holidays and vacations do you want to be taking? • What do you want to be doing with your leisure time? • What would you like to do more of that you aren't doing at the moment? • What do you want to be doing less of? • What would you like to get rid of from your life? • What did you used to do more of that you haven't done for a long time and you'd like to get back into? 22 .

All systems (including human systems) work this way. Knowing what you ultimately want is a great way of getting some context on where you are stuck right now. and now you really will be holding the complete treasure map in your hands.• Are there people that you haven't been keeping in touch with that you'd like to? • Who would you like to reconnect with? • What kinds of people would you like to spend more time with? And so on. 23 . things will become clearer. Because now we know what they are holding you back from. The answers are like a collection of building blocks that combine to produce your ‘perfect life’ goal. Just paint out the picture of how you'd like your personal and professional life to be. This is where we move onto the barriers that are keeping you stuck.

then you're never going to have that clarity. you are not going to get the clear thinking that you need. If you didn't sit down and look at your goals and how you want your life to be. then this could be a definite symptom of unclear thinking. for their curiosity. or did it in a half-hearted way. The exercise that you have just carried out will move you forwards instantly just by lighting up your personal pathway.” Aldous Huxley If you skipped the exercise. the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision. their intolerance of shams. but I do need to be honest.INVISIBLE BARRIERS Barrier 1 A Lack of Clear Thinking Symptoms include: • Wasting time • Repeating mistakes • Getting frustrated • Not being able to explain yourself clearly to people Clarity is absolutely everything. 24 . “Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor. When I work with my professional clients. I don't mean to be harsh here or to pick on you in any way. If you don't take action. the hardest part of the process for them is the exercise in gaining clarity.

then take the time to work out why and what you can do about it. But ultimately. Strive for clarity in everything because it will set you free and put you on a path to success. It's scary. 25 . get clarity and formulate a plan according to your strengths. our minds experience what's known as 'cognitive dissonance'. but to also look at weaknesses. then I strongly suggest you go back and give it more effort. But it's easy to get yourself unstuck . commitment and energy than you've ever given anything else. Anytime in your life when you feel you're not seeing things clearly and you're not explaining or understanding things in a crystal clear. skills and talent. organized manner.It can be a terrifying process to look not just at where you are strong.just push yourself and if you didn't complete the earlier ‘goals exercise’. frightening or difficult. this will always be an area in which you feel stuck. and have potential." Richard Bach You've got to push forwards. life becomes easier and success becomes almost assured. It's difficult to look at yourself in the mirror in that way. "Every problem has a gift for you in its hands. When we're faced with something that's confusing. This means that the mind is confused and you don't know what to do next. the bad and the uncomfortable. All the time you're not looking in the mirror. because once you've got that clarity and that plan. to be really honest with yourself and take stock of the good. for each of those clients I've worked with it's the point in their life when everything starts to change. failures and disappointments. it's like a new belief that just doesn't fit yet and doesn’t make sense.

26 . Barrier 2 Not Taking Action Symptoms include: • Not getting started • Not finishing This is a hugely common. complete numerous training courses. but they can't see it themselves. or get one more qualification. and prioritize it as your number 1 personal development breakthrough. I am amazed at how many people. procrastination and fear.commit to doing something about it. they don't go chasing after clients and opportunities they sit around telling themselves that they just need to do one more course. But to me it’s obvious that what is constraining them is the lack of clear thinking that we're talking about here. Often they're lucky if they are seeing a couple of clients a week and their business is in trouble. whatever profession they are in. I can see clearly what's holding them back from the potential they have for six figure incomes. So if this is you . wonderful lifestyles and opportunities to help masses of people have better lives. exams and certificates and then they don't DO anything. coaches and all kinds of other ‘helping professionals’. and they're living a life of frustrations and difficulties. but more commonly of success. Fear both of success and of failure. I am amazed at how clearly I can see what's going on with them. It's closely linked to perfectionism.When I’m talking to professional therapists. They don't get started.

clearly at 3 years old.And while there is an element of confidence related to this. she's just read 'Pride and Prejudice' even though she has never heard of Jane Austen! Now. even Jimi Hendrix once had 27 . but it doesn't matter. When they first went into that profession. brought a couple of her books. Now. I find Joni sitting in the living room. as she's got no idea what they mean. She is going through the process of 'reading' . Recently. I’m hoping the lesson for you here is very clear. As far as she's concerned. and they probably stumbled a few times along the way. my wife invited our 3-year-old daughter Joni to join in with the book club. talking out loud. As a guitar teacher once told me. My wife Ruth is an avid book reader. Joni came along. thoroughly enjoyed herself and felt delighted to be included. turning the pages. reading out loud. Sometimes you just need to get started on something before you are completely ready or have all the information because that's the only way you're going to get good at it. The next morning. with a pile of Ruth’s novels.opening the book. she is not reading the actual words on the page. at the end of the day it's all about taking action. they did not have all the answers or all the information. and holds a monthly book club with a few of her friends.” Peter Marshall Let me illustrate the point for you with something that happened in my own home. A Simple Example Of Just ‘Getting Started’ “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. Take an expert in any specialism or profession.

. It seems to me that most people in the world could do with being more confident. and a boundless energy. things that don't go as planned." Richard Bandler Barrier 3 Low Self-Esteem If this is you and you're finding it hard to admit this is you. We are all born with heaps of confidence. I don't like the words in that statement because I don't like the idea of anyone thinking they have to be fake. Low self-esteem is an international epidemic. The competence will soon follow.we have disappointments. Over time. and before 28 .to pick up a musical instrument for the first time and learn how to play a chord. "You know what? Certain people think they will feel good if certain things happen. you can learn it really quickly. A better way to look at it is this: sometimes you've just got to get out there and do it confidently a few times. The trick is: you have to feel good for no reason. however. underlying it there's a lot of truth. A large majority of people could do with being MUCH more confident. Well. I expect you know the famous saying 'You've got to fake it before you can make it'. If you're good at something. or ‘meant’ to do something. please don't worry. confidence. Look at young children exploring and discovering the world around them. but it doesn't mean you know it all to start with.. they are filled with enthusiasm. life sometimes knocks that out of us .

Move Up The Confidence Scale Everybody can be confident in some situations. I often work with people who although they are very successful and extremely confident in business. are sometimes not very confident in other areas of their life such as their relationships. this can have a negative effect too. Wherever you are on that scale right now. Focus on telling yourself that you're going to become more confident each day. Build a positive. You can move up the scale and increase your level of confidence. reinforcing cycle and before you know it you actually will 29 . but in social situations where there's lots of new people. The truth is you can build your confidence up.’ Find evidence of your skills and success. It's very easy for us to label ourselves or be labeled by others. constantly find ways to tweak it and bring it up. Think about the Confidence Scale as going from 0 to 10. my confidence is not at its highest level . In my coaching and training work. I consider myself to be a reasonably confident person. Build gentle yet powerful affirmations such as 'Every day I'm getting a little bit more confident.I take a while to get into the swing of things. school peers or work colleagues. And if you are unfortunate enough to grow up around negative influences such as teachers. and unconfident in other situations.we know it we can start to doubt ourselves. If you're stuck because of low self-esteem I would suggest moving away from labels such as 'unconfident person' or 'person with low self-esteem' and think in terms of a scale of confidence.

Barrier 4 A Warped Sense Of Value Symptoms include: • Feeling uncomfortable taking money • Not investing in your own personal development • Feeling that someone else has got all the answers • Feeling that you're not capable of standing on your own two feet Now this one is very common. especially in businesses where people help others. and that voice will be silenced.become and remain more confident. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. In my experience there is a direct correlation. the more they tend to underestimate the impact of that value.” Oscar Wilde 30 . “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’. then by all means paint. The more value a person adds to others’ lives.” Vincent Van Gogh Sometimes building more confidence and a higher level of self-esteem starts as a role-playing exercise and you gather more and more evidence to support your new role until it becomes second nature. These kinds of professionals often completely undervalue their own contribution and feel very insecure about what they have to offer and how much they are worth.

you absolutely do whatever business you're in.and if you are in business you need to know your ROI as well as you know your birthday or how to spell your name. You need to understand it on that level . then your time is also an investment. ROI measures the return on investment of your time. you've got to look at the highest and best use of your time. An Example To Help You Understand Let’s say you bought a book for $50. What do you charge when you see clients. because ultimately that's what your time is worth. that's $200 of your time.Understand Return On Investment If you remotely feel that you have a problem with valuing yourself or understanding value in business. If you charge $100 per hour to see a client. I’m not going to get too technical here but just want to give you a basic idea of what it means . 31 . then there's a very simple concept I want you to understand. your financial resources and any other tangible or intangible inputs into your business. and it was going to help you in some way to build your business. plus the $50 you purchased it for. So you buy the book for $50. plus there's the time it takes you to read it. Unless it’s the kind of book you would also read for leisure. and it's called Return on Investment or ROI. It might be about management. and it takes you two hours to read the book you've just purchased. When valuing your time. or dressing for professional success – the subject doesn’t matter.

The warped sense of value mentioned in this chapter heading. I think you can tell by the tone of my reports that I'm not interested in training people just for fun or enjoyment. you are investing $250 in that book. “Price is what you pay. Let me use myself as an example. Value is what you get. I think you've got to look at return on investment.So basically. I want them to be successful and to be all that they can be! So in terms of return on investment. This is when you start: • Worrying about what you're charging • Pricing yourself lower than your competitors • Offering discounts • Offering free first consultations just to feel ‘comfortable’ And I don't think you should be thinking that way at all. shows itself most obviously when you don't understand your value to clients. And you've got to be damn sure that you are going to get more than $250 of success from that. New and interesting be damned.” Warren Buffett 32 . or so that they learn something new and interesting. when I work with a client I am always thinking ‘How can I can make sure that this person gets their investment back as soon as possible?’ ‘What do I need to provide them with so that if they're prepared to run with it they will quickly make a positive ROI?’ Start To Objectively Understand Your Value and Demand Value From Others Too And that's how I want you to think about yourselves.

at work and at home. positive force in their live. And your warped sense of value that's stopping you from doing what you need to do to become a part of their lives. This person is stressed all the time . then you are an incredible. It’s costing them and their family emotionally and psychologically. 33 .Take that list that we did earlier on. their whole existence is just one great big stress it's impacting their life at every level.which invariably happens – it’s costing them physically and financially. it's thousands of percent. So if you offer a service that can reduce their stress. and say they’re suffering from chronic stress. and it's costing them. Because if you do offer that value. Let’s take one of those people. and if they end up being ill and off work as a result of stress . bring down their blood pressure and improve their quality of life. And I want you to really think about that and start seeing what you do not in terms of price or cost. the room with 1. the return on investment for them – assuming they spent somewhere between $500 and $1000 is astronomical.000 people. but in terms of the VALUE that you offer to your clients. every day of their life is being lived in a disappointing way. For this person. help them become more relaxed. is doing a disservice to your potential clients.

I certainly never did an MBA or anything like that. who you can share experiences with and ask questions of. from the school of hard knocks. Get The Right Help I did a business training course between the ages of 16 and 18. Feeling isolated can happen so easily in any small business. It can be a lonely place. from some amazing mentors.Barrier 5 Loneliness or Isolation Symptoms include: • Not knowing what to do next • Getting stuck on a business or technical challenge • Feeling that you don't have anyone to bounce an idea off • Feeling like you don't have anyone who's been through a similar experience that you can ask. you can tap into social networks. but I never continued to study business at an advanced level . Business mentors can be an invaluable source of knowledge. My learning in business has been Number 1. support and inspiration. When helping others. It’s never been simpler to find people online. and the professional dynamic can create distance. you often take a lot on yourself. in similar situations. You've got to find the 34 . Now of all the barriers to your success. this one is inexcusable today and one of the easiest by far to get over. but especially one where you're helping other people. With the internet. you work and plan in isolation. and Number 2. peer support networks and mentors so easily. and indeed offline.

CDs or DVDs. Most people who have reached a point in their business where they are successful and can afford to kick back a bit are happy to take someone under their wing and help bring them along. quickest answer. Is it just someone to talk to. and haven't known the struggle. look for a different solution. really learn where that person's coming from and get all the information you need in some format or other. finding a mentor is the easiest. Look for someone who's ideal for where you are now someone who’s done what you’re trying to do. Find a ‘Distance Mentor’ To Help You Succeed and Grow What if you can't find someone to work with on a one-to-one level? That's no problem. And make sure that you like their personality and get on with them.” Martha Beck Identify what it is you need in terms of answers. such as someone who's offering training or coaching programs. Something where you can get involved. And yes. but they haven't been in business for themselves. Many so called 'business mentors' may have business qualifications or have worked for big companies.right one for you. “If you want to end your isolation. help and support. and has got through to the other side. or books. you must be honest about what you want at a core level and decide to go after it. there may be some financial outlay involved here. or do you have specific technical questions? Whatever. the difficulties or the unique challenges that you face. and 35 .

reports and interviews. But here’s the thing – although I would consider Jay Abraham to be one of my mentors. All of my learnings from Jay have been through CDs. Who has achieved success and is an inspirational character for you? Go to the library and fill your bookshelves with biographies and autobiographies. One of the most inspirational characters in my training and need to decide about the value of what you are getting using the principles outlined in the previous chapter. But I have still managed to get all of the information I need and wring every last drop of advice. 36 . knowledge and expertise. DVDs. is Jay Abraham. They don’t have to be in exactly the same business or situation as you. They can create metaphors of connection between someone's unique struggles and successes and how that applies to your journey. the fact that they've come through a struggle and gone on a journey and succeeded will inspire you and educate you. Think about who really inspires you. in business or in life. Be Inspired I'll give you another example . I’ve never met him or worked with him one-on-one.autobiographies and biographies. whom I would consider to be a mentor. online trainings. books. in that way. stories of people who have been there and come out the other side. Powerful life stories like these can set off ideas in your mind like fireworks. So I guess what I’m saying is that the medium is not important – what matters is that it's the right person for you. who is something of a legend in marketing.

and relaxing where you can focus on creativity or healing . 37 . Any expert in the field of personal and fitness training will tell their clients that the time spent resting is just as important a part of the process as the time spent in physical training. stressful or challenging environment all the time.then you will have a week or two of optimum energy afterwards. new. you need a break whether it's a day or a week.Barrier 6 Feeling Overwhelmed and Exhausted Symptoms include: • Having no time • Feeling low on energy • Not having the resources to the things done that you need to do Basically when you're feeling like this. The point is that your brain and body work better when rested. You will ultimately get very little done and will be constantly performing at a low level. “I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. Pushing yourself too hard and keeping yourself in a difficult.” Ernest Hemingway There's evidence to suggest that if you spend just one day completely away from work and the hassles of life . will run down your energy.time spent somewhere interesting. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently. it doesn't matter.

It can feel like you’re being lazy and make you feel guilty. and pretty much every successful person I have ever known has followed this plan. but the truth is you're doing yourself no favors by operating in this way. By taking that day off or having a weekend away to really rest. You will have a highly most productive and energetic week as a result. Others will benefit from your energy. recover and recharge. Also on a day-to-day basis think about all the things that you're doing and list what you really enjoy about what you do and what you really don't enjoy.Overcome The Guilt Of ‘Looking After Yourself Properly’ It often feels difficult to people to take a day completely away from work and all its situational stresses. This is a much easier thing to do than it probably sounds. Start making a plan about how you can get rid of all the items on the ‘don’t enjoy’ list while doing more of the things on the ‘enjoy’ list. Barrier 7 Belief and Self-Belief Symptoms include: • Not being able to develop powerful goals for the future • Spending more time on training courses and learning information than time spent on doing what it actually is that you should be doing 38 . then you'll find that you can perform at a much higher level.

belief in yourself becomes much more simple and straightforward. that's not the point. the truth is he has confidence in what he does and gets on and does it. It is not too late to become that person again. He sets out to entertain as many people as possible and to give his fans very special performances and listening experiences. Just get quiet enough to hear it. “You have the Answer. and that person was you. “Looking back.” Pat Obuchowski 39 . you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life. Does Elton John need piano certificates on the wall behind him. or to continually tell people how good he is at what he does? Does he spend hours every day having lessons from concert pianists so that he can become better and better at what he does? No. When you truly believe and understand the value of what you do and the profound effect you can have on people's lives.” Robert Brault And although I suspect he wouldn't be considered the best pianist in the world.• Looking for other people's advice and trying to find answers externally rather than internally • Overthinking at the expense of doing Consider Elton John when he is playing his piano to an adoring audience of fans.

and thinking that you have to be seen to operate in a certain way – it’s just not the case. The secret. This barrier is ubiquitous.” Dr Seuss I've saved this one until last but don't let that trick you. I have been known to say to my clients in certain situations. but if you spend all your time thinking about what the other person thinks of you. 'Look. as I discovered.Barrier 8 Worrying About What Other People Think Of You “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. It occurred to me many years ago that worrying about what other people think of you is a distraction that can result in a huge disservice to your clients. What Jay articulated was the biggest mistake made by nearly all 40 . who has incredible insight and skill in understanding human beings and human systems. I don't care what you think of me'. I know that I have certainly been guilty of this in the past but not for a long time. I'm going to introduce you to a philosophy which was crystallized by Jay Abraham .the business coach and trainer I mentioned earlier. putting pressure on yourself. is to stop worrying about what you do. and I mean it too! I don't care what my clients think about me – it’s a distraction from our mutual goals. I want to be liked and respected as much as the next person. you will find yourself unable to focus on their goal and getting them there.

the people they serve. tools and techniques and purely focus on the other person and getting them from A to B. Let me repeat that.9% of your competitors. Some people will hate what I say. what the Art of Optimism stands for. Lots of people reading this report will disagree with much of what I say. Look. then you'll stop worrying about what other people think about you and start succeeding. (But bear in mind that I think this problem is more widespread in our professions than nearly any other). This is the wrong thing. and I know that it will help people absorb and internalize the 41 . What they should be falling in love with is their clients . the people whose lives they owners small and large. They fall in love with what they DO (their particular techniques. I'm used to that. If you forget about what YOU do and what's going on inside YOU. Jay said as follows (and I paraphrase): The vast majority of small business owners fall in love with the wrong thing. the people they help. I could not care less. and your beliefs. Externalize Your Focus and Take The Pressure Off Yourself I am writing this report from the perspective that I want you to win. to succeed and to be happy. It happens all the time and I couldn't care less. And that's a fact. Some people will take it personally and throw a load of abuse my way. Your future clients will love you for it and you will stand out from 99. I have 100% belief in what I do. And it's absolutely true. tools and modalities and philosophies). THIS is what they SHOULD be falling in love with.

to take action and then to improve it in a 'live' sense rather than 42 .. is a very powerful thing to do. So learning to create something. to embrace it and move forwards anyway. to do something. it will never happen and you will be continually frustrated. “No one is perfect. Even the strongest scientific theories can never be 100%. striving for perfection is demoralizing. all the resources in place. improving things all the time. No one ever went from A to B without a few slips or detours. There is always an element of doubt.information and advice. So many people believe they need to have the perfect plan.. That’s ultimately what counts. If you wait until something is perfect. Barrier 9 Perfectionism “Striving for excellence motivates you. and learning to live with that doubt.” Anonymous Every great success in history involves starting out believing that something is possible and then falling over a few times on the way to achieving it. and flawless execution – but life just doesn’t happen that way Just because you don't have something 100% perfected.” Harriet Braiker Nothing is ever perfect by definition. that's why pencils have erasers. it doesn't mean you shouldn't get started on it.

one-person operations. some of them are much larger. It is how YOU create the goals and rules for the business that dictates what kind of a business it is. Barrier 10 Problems With Business and Business Identity Some people hate the idea of being in business and feel that business is somehow by definition evil or negative. there are a lot of businesses out there that do make incredibly positive and wonderful contributions to the world. is a much more certain route to success. These individuals do not define themselves as profit-making machines whose only reason for existing is to satisfy escalating expectation for immediate gain. These negative views of business are often based on notorious examples of big businesses gone bad – think of the ‘Enrons’ of this world. you are in business. it is neither evil or good. And if you want a good business that does great things for people. Business is not inherently evil. all you need to do 43 . This is a conflict that has to be resolved or it will eat away at you and stifle your progress in all areas.waiting until it's ready. Some of them are small. “Many business leaders today view their jobs as entailing responsibility for the welfare of the wider community. But look. if you work for yourself or you run a company (however small).” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi You need to resolve in your own mind that a business in itself is a neutral concept.

For to design in that way. then you can build a business that you can be absolutely proud of that impacts. this does not mean that their way of doing business is the ‘one right way to do things’ or that you have to follow their set of rules. We also believe in and value ‘personal strength and potential’. values and beliefs that are nonnegotiable to you and build them into the heart and soul of your business. 44 . changes and even saves lives. vision and values) is simply an extension of you. This is what I recommend you do. Then you will be proud of it and clearly see the value a great business (no matter how small) can offer the public. Think about the ethics. we don’t just pay lip service to them. Build YOUR Business YOUR Way The truth is if you set your business up with strong values and ethics. Make your business something which at its heart (purpose. and a rock solid certainty of what you are and aren’t prepared to do to get there. Big businesses like Enron have high profiles but while they attract a lot of attention. ‘being client centered and goal directed at all times’. our Number 1 business value is ‘honesty and integrity’. at The Art of Optimism. a crystal clear vision for you and your clients' futures. and we live by these values. Your business can be a shining beacon of value to your clients and will inspire people and create incredible stories for years to come.

and you may be right. the sooner all aspects of your life will improve. some of the most common barriers to success in my professional experience. including (but by no means limited to): • • • • • • • • • • Never finishing things The influence of another person Lack of assertiveness Technical blocks The habit of procrastination The past Negativity and pessimism Jealousy or insecurity Financial Self-criticism So How Do You Know What's Keeping YOU Stuck? It's a very good question. you may have an intuitive feeling that it's one of the barriers above. 45 . And I recommend that when you do know what's keeping you stuck. As I said earlier. There are many others.These Are Just a Handful of the Possible “Root Problems” That Could Be Blocking Your Progress Right Now So there you are. you spend at least 80% or more of your time working uniquely on that. as the sooner you’re through that barrier.

ambitions and wishes for the future. Just make an exhaustive list of current problems and challenges. It might not be a specific goal. For each one. it could be a million things. spiritual or emotional blocks. it could be relationship issues. Pick some of those problems and challenges Take the things that you used to think of as problems in and of themselves. Now reframe them as symptoms of a deeper problem. 3.How to Identify Your Invisible Barrier So here's the quick and simple step-by-step process that you can follow to identify what's really going on and the root of your problems today. It could be financial. (You did this in the earlier exercise in this report) 2. Make a list of some of your dreams. Then make THAT a symptom and continue to ask: “What's causing this symptom?” And keep digging down until you can’t go any further back and you get to something that feels like it might be the real heart of the problem. it could be insecurities and worries. goals. it could be a lack of information. Think about what’s currently hurting. 1. really dig down into what is the underlying root cause of that symptom. frustrating or blocking your progress. it could be some technical setbacks. just imagine a future place where you're happy and your life has come together personally and professionally. confusing. Do that for all of your negative symptoms so that you have 46 . Think about where you're trying to get to personally.

then it should be becoming abundantly clear that the only way to overcome the problem and create positive ‘Cascading Change’ is to spend time working on your business identity and create a compelling. see the simplified example on the next page: Symptoms Weak Advertising Lack of business skills Not committed to learning ‘business’ Procrastination Feel confused daily Lack of goals and clarity No formal business plan Causes Not fully committed to success Not comfortable with ‘selling’ Causes Root problem (Your invisible barrier) Not comfortable with business identity As you can see in this example. unbelievably personal and positive vision for • Why you are doing it • What your plan is. the root problem is not being comfortable with business identity. and • How you are going to make it work 47 . If this is you. For an idea of how this might look.lists of root causes and what you mind find is that some of those root causes are the same or are related in some way by a connecting factor.

I know you’ll find it will be an invaluable tool for life.However most people in this example scenario. And if you hadn’t already worked it out understand this: You can follow exactly the same process to get your clients. instead of the deeper causes of the pain. Lots of people think that procrastination or lack of money is the primary barrier but it generally isn’t. This concept and process will take practice and persistence but once you get it. unstuck and thriving. but end up getting nowhere. Once again. The step-by-step process I've highlighted above will help you to get to those underlying barriers that are currently blocking you and from there your pathway forward should start to become very clear. be sure that the barrier you’re working on definitely is the lowest common denominator and that you can’t go any deeper. would spend time working on the ‘pain points’. In other words they would do the following three things: • Waste a heap of money on expensive but ineffective advertising materials • Read a book about procrastination and do nothing about it • Write a lengthy. daily ‘to do’ list in an attempt to feel less confused. or those that you work with. 48 . I can tell you from experience. If you can answer the questions: • What is preventing me from increasing my revenues? or • What is causing me to procrastinate? Then you will be much closer to finding the real barrier.

that's a problem because it's very fragile. nothing .it may feel instant. what happens when one or even ten of those lightbulbs explode? That's right. gradually. Just identifying where the real sticking point is in your life at any given time 49 .The Floodlights Of Change I hope this report has helped you and started to turn on many lights for you. every day. Here’s the really wonderful news for you and all of the other people you are going to work with and support. this is how dramatic it can be. And that's what I want for you and that's how I want you to think about this process. Every time you make a change you are turning on another light until the energy eventually becomes unstoppable. but that really is just the tipping don't notice any difference at all because the critical mass is so powerful and illuminating that it can sustain itself in the face of a small setback. The way I explain the process to my clients who are looking for personal change and growth is as follows: When you change something in your life profoundly and dramatically it's not like one light going on or off. what's been happening is that the lights have been going on one by one. If you’re in a sports stadium lit by one thousand different lightbulbs. This is great news if you think about it. Personal change is like one thousand lights going on. But also it doesn't happen instantly . If having a happy successful life is like one light going on. it's more like one thousand lights in a sports stadium going on. Think about it. If that one lightbulb explodes then you're back in the darkness.

and committing to focus maximum energy on overcoming it. Number 1 That you understand that you are currently being blocked by something and you commit to doing something about it. 50 . will in itself create energy and change and often it is the single biggest turning point. Number 2 My second goal is that the information here allows you to apply the same process for your clients and for others and to thereby help as many people as possible to ‘get unstuck’. In Summary My aims in this report were twofold.

No matter what specific wellness service it is that you and I offer. bad or ugly it doesn't matter.As I said earlier. Don't forget to make a post in the blog giving me some feedback .good. I believe that the work we are doing at The Art of Optimism is very valuable and has the potential to make a real difference in this world in which we all live and operate so please do me one favor. we all stand together in adding value to people's lives. then please tell other people about what we do. I'd love to know what you think of what we're doing and what we can do to improve our services and our message. Have a fantastic day Ed 51 . because there's a lot of people out there who need our help. If this report has impacted on you and helped you as much as I know that it can.

He is based in New Zealand and runs a successful full time practice and training school.” Iain Anderson Clinical Hypnotherapist “I have been utilising Ed Lester's Accelerated Business Coaching Course . I am enjoying the subject and application of internet 52 . Ed has helped me to recognise. clarify and quantify all that this entails both on a personal level and a business level. And. in his experience. optimistic and inspiring methods instill a sense of self-belief..Who Is Ed Lester? Ed Lester is a seasoned and respected life coach. hypnosis practitioner and trainer. Ed has put together an amazing business mentoring and coaching program that takes all the guess work out of taking the next step in your business.. that everyone is capable of significant and profound change. He believes with a passion. and based on an abundance of personal experience and research. with years of experience of helping clients to reach their goals and lead happier lives. which propel you to taking action. the one thing that accelerates that change more than anything else is optimism. Ed's unique. It has been a great support in the maze of areas one finds themself having to face when starting a business.. Ed is himself a confirmed optimist.. A truly inspirational man. As well as being a true innovator in the coaching and personal development field. “Ed Lester and The Art Of Optimism were the missing link in a chain that seems to have held me back for years.

The coaching has helped me structure my sessions and I feel this gives me professional confidence which is definitely coming across to my clients. He works hard to provide us with the very highest quality and results. and I have been able to continually stay on track whilst multi tasking with concise guidelines from Ed and his team… I have no doubt that I will be running a successful practice without a hitch once I have completed the course.. Before I took Ed’s course I was stumbling with marketing and my low rate of new clients reflected that. Western Australia “Doing Ed’s course has been one of the best decisions for my business that I have made…Ed puts everything in a way that I can understand at my pace. They are also very happy and this is reflected in their glowing feedback and referrals. more that that Ed has helped me polish my own standards. I now have many new clients regularly and my business is growing at a rate that I’m delighted with… I am feeling very happy with the results I am getting with clients.” Susan.” Brenda Cheyne. Ed is honest and professional. Wellington NZ 53 .

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