CONVERSATIONS AT THE SANCTUARY: How Reframing Your Perspective Can Dramatically Impact Your Future
The key to happiness lies in the ability to turn the mind’s auto “fight or flight” response, into one that searches for beauty and opportunity instead, says Personal Coach, Tyrone Williams
The practice of the fourth Yama, brahmacharya, is widely translated as the “right use of energy”. Applied to the context of daily life, brahmacharya reminds us to reflect upon how we use and direct our energy – are we channelling it towards external desires that are all too fleeting, or are we putting it towards a more enduring purpose, like spiritual pursuit or the cultivation of inner peace and happiness? Are we chasing after material possessions or trying to present ourselves differently from who we are inside in order to impress others?
When we’re in a state of fear or unhappiness, our bodies respond by switching on our stress-responses, which heighten our blood pressure, lower our energy levels, and weaken our immune system. But when we feel happy and calm, our para-sympathetic nervous system switches on our healing mechanisms, keeping our bodies strong and robust.
So consider for a moment where your energy is directed. By being aware of your energy and focusing it on something positive every day (rather than dwelling on the negatives), you can harness its power to become the best version of yourself.
“THE GLASS IS HALF FULL, WHY DON’T I FILL IT UP?”
In life, there’re always going to be good times and bad times, but learning to see the hidden lessons within the challenges is key.
Overcoming his rough start in life, Tyrone Williams, a personal coach and business mentor, turned his hurdles into stepping stones by directing his energy towards finding that silver lining, no matter how tough his circumstances got. “My turning point was realising that everything in life is happening for us, not to us,” he shares. “Every painful moment, memory, or challenge, is preparing us to serve a higher purpose in future.”
Tyrone adds, “We have a choice in how we view things. When you think about the challenges that you’ve endured, think too, about the many blessings that have arisen from them.” Here, he shares how he turned his life around by shifting his perspectives (and you can too)!
QN: YOUR “AHA” MOMENT CAME WHEN YOU REALISED THAT YOU WERE STILL DEPRESSED DESPITE ACHIEVING YOUR CAREER GOALS. YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY SINCE, WHAT TURNED THINGS AROUND FOR YOU?
Tyrone: Meditation, breathwork, movement, and good nutrition, were key to my mental shift – when I burned out, I found myself becoming a lot more spiritual, picking up meditation, yoga, and journaling. I’m hugely passionate about personal development and self-education, and I started asking myself questions designed to understand my inner workings, and why I was the way I was.
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.
Having been homeless before, I believed that the reason for my depression and anxiety was my empty bank account. But when I was winning at life and rapidly climbing up the corporate ladder, I still felt depressed. I realised that there’s so much more to life than just the numbers in my bank account.
Your food affects your hormones, your emotions are created by your motions, and any question you ask, your brain will answer. Asking yourself, “Why does this always happen to me?” (and answering it with “because I deserve it”) vs “What can I do right now to make this situation better?” – this little mental shift is the first step to turning things around. The moment that you see life for what it can be, you’ll become the kind of person that you should be.
QN: NO MATTER HOW SUCCESSFUL WE ARE, MOST OF US EXPERIENCE SELF-DOUBT AT SOME POINT. WHAT HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE BEEN, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THESE MOMENTS?
Tyrone: Most of my career choices have been ones that’ve taken me off the beaten path. I was working in a commission-only role which saw me making my biggest pay checks on some days but also going home with $0 on other days. I had friends telling me to “get a real job” almost every week. While working in finance later on, I was self-employed with an investor. During those challenging moments, I thought about the amount of money I’d lose my investor if I failed. And then in choosing to become a coach, I often experienced imposter syndrome. I questioned myself, “Who am I to be someone else’s coach? I am still so young!”
The ability to overcome self-doubt is a skill that I’ve developed over many years. I’ve learnt to trust my ability to make decisions, knowing that as long as I am in the right headspace, centred, and present, I will make the right decision 80 to 90 percent of the time.
If it makes you scared, go for it. You only grow outside of your comfort zone.
When I’m in doubt, I use this as a mantra. The way I see it, if you are not growing, you are dying.
QN: LET’S TALK ABOUT “CONFIRMATION BIAS”, HOW DID UNDERSTANDING IT HELP YOU?
Tyrone: Our beliefs shape our view of the world. Our minds prefer to be right, rather than admit that we’re wrong, so if there’re nine pieces of evidence that challenge our world view and just one piece of evidence that supports it, we’ll tend to pick that one supporting piece of evidence and ignore the rest.
In understanding this, I started to challenge every belief that, growing up, I had picked up from people around me. My father taught me one that was ruining my relationships for most of my life. He used to say, “All women are crazy, it’s just who you want to do it with”. Having this belief disabled me from noticing that the person causing the issues in my relationships, was me. When I started to question that belief and replaced it with “my relationships are a direct reflection of myself and what I put into it”, my relationships were able to blossom and become a whole lot more beautiful.
QN: WHEN WE’RE ANGRY, WE OFTEN POINT THE FINGER OF BLAME TOWARDS THE OTHER PARTY. TELL US ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF BREAKING OUT FROM THIS VICIOUS CYCLE.
Tyrone: Firstly, start by understanding that anger and blame are completely pointless. In the past, I was an expert at blaming the world, my parents, society, and everyone in my life, for everything that happened to me. This behaviour took the responsibility off my shoulders, but it also didn’t allow me to grow. Once I decided to take ownership of everything in my life, I was able to make the changes and decisions needed, to affect the trajectory of my life forever. Anger is just a burden – it’s like holding on to a piece of hot coal and waiting to throw it at someone else!
QN: THERE’S A SAYING THAT OUR PERCEPTION OF OTHERS IS A MIRROR OF HOW WE PERCEIVE OURSELVES. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?
Tyrone: The things we dislike most in other people, are often the things we dislike most about ourselves. So for instance, if we find that we do not respect people who often lose their temper, we can use this knowledge as a cue to self-reflect – in what ways do we also embody these qualities in our own lives? Ask yourself: what is this trying to teach me? Then use this awareness to continue to work on personal growth.