Are you feeling stuck in life? Perhaps things haven’t turned out the way you wanted. Do you think about changing direction, but a little voice says you’ll fail?
How about if I told you there’s a book which could turn this around and get you unstuck in five simple steps? It’s called Change Your Life In 5 by Sue Belton, and I received a free copy in exchange for this review.
I was so excited to receive the book. I’ve experienced feeling stuck in life and I’m sure many people have felt the same at some point in their lives. So, I wanted to find out more about the book and share with you what I found.
About the author
In a previous life Sue Belton was a journalist and a producer for the BBC.
In the book Sue explains how she reached her own life ‘crossroads’. After the birth of her daughter, she returned to work part-time. She realised that her high-powered job wasn’t compatible with her desire to raise her daughter.
Sue explains that she wanted to work in a role that was meaningful, which also allowed her to spend precious time with her child.
While off work with anxiety and depression, the BBC announced a round of redundancies. Sue decided to take redundancy. Even though she had no other job to go to, she saw it as her chance to make a change after feeling stuck in life and trapped for so long.
Sue subsequently had a chance meeting with an old friend who was a life coach, a profession that really appealed to Sue. Sue then booked her own session with a coach. This session proved to be a real turning point. It enabled Sue to recognise that she actually had options and that she held the power to change her situation.
Why Change Your Life in 5?
Sue retrained as a Professional Certified Coach with the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI) and has supported clients for the past 12 years. She noticed how many of her clients felt stuck and thought they had no choice to change their situation.
Sue explains that she wrote Change Your Life in 5 to spread the message that you don’t have to be stuck. That you can live a life of conscious choice and not be held back by limiting beliefs. In the book, Sue shares the tools and techniques to help you challenge your limiting beliefs and to start making these changes.
Change Your Life In 5 covers a five-step method using these core principles:
This is about getting clear on what’s really important to you and why you’re here.
This principle looks at those self-sabotaging voices a lot of us are familiar with. And the fears and doubts that stop you moving forward.
Here is where you’ll explore new ways of looking at life and how you can change the things you’re not happy with.
This principle encourages you to be kinder to yourself. It helps you to explore your imposter syndrome. I can definitely vouch for experiencing imposter syndrome. How about you?!
This principle focuses on you putting yourself first. Sue takes you through the steps for how to reduce stress and take better care of yourself.
As well as these principles, the book uses visualisation and journaling techniques. It covers topics such as: fulfilment, fear, self-sabotaging voices, embodiment, perfectionism, self-compassion, mindfulness, morning routines, and learning to say “no”.
Personally, a lot of these ring true for me which is one of the reasons I was so drawn to this book. Also, I really like the fact that you can start with any of these core principles, depending on where you feel you need the most guidance. You don’t need to go through them in order.
Putting the principles into practice
In the foreward to the book, Karen Kimsey-House (co-founder of CTI), talks about the importance of having tools that ground us and empower us. Once we have these tools we can use them to bring a more positive mindset to our world and the problems we face.
The part of the foreword I love most is where Kimsey-House says “read [Change Your Life In 5] and more importantly use it”.
I whole-heartedly agree with this sentiment. I often see people who don’t use the tools that are given to them. All the information in the world isn’t going to help unless you apply it.
So, with this in mind, I thought what better way to review the book than to work my way through one of the principles and try out the exercises.
Working through ‘Clarify’
I decided to choose this principle because I want to review what’s important to me at this point in time. I felt this would give me a clearer idea about the direction I want to take in certain areas of my life.
The first exercise comes under the section Is this all there is? It’s called the ‘Wheel of Life’ and you’re asked to rate eight different life areas from 0-10 in terms of how dissatisfied/satisfied you are with them.
For all exercises you can write your notes in the book, but I felt I’d ruin the book doing that so I used a notepad instead!
Sue then takes you through a series of questions to help you focus on the areas you most want to work on. She asks you to consider what life will be like if you don’t make changes, and what changes can you make now to improve the scores of the lower-ranking areas.
She also talks about common regrets of patients in palliative care settings, asks what regrets you wouldn’t want to have and what you can do now to avoid having those regrets.
Other sections under Clarify are:
Fulfillment. Sue explains that this is one of the principles of CTI. They believe that deep down we all want a life full of meaning, purpose and satisfaction. This section encourages you to look at what Fulfillment means for you and what this would look like in your life;
Your Values, meaning the things that are important to you and the discomfort you might feel when you’re not living your life in accordance with your Values. This section helps you to get clear on your Values and whether or not your current life reflects them;
Your Purpose. Like your Values, knowing your life Purpose can act as a guide when it comes to the things you’re doing or thinking about doing. It enables you to ask yourself whether what you’re doing is supporting your life purpose.
I have to say, My favourite section from the Clarity chapter was Fulfillment. It includes a written exercise called ‘Dare to Dream’ where you’re asked to answer questions relating to what you think your life will be like in two years’ time. As part of the exercise Sue asks you to stand up and move around the room. She says that neuroscientists have found that moving our bodies enables our brain to open up and think more broadly.
I felt really energised from moving around the room. And, I felt I was able to open my mind to think of greater possibilities for my future!
I definitely suffer with a little voice that holds me back from my hopes and dreams. So, I think the next chapter for me to work through will be Conquer!
Sue writes in an engaging and easy to understand style. I find her totally relatable because she has effectively lived what the book addresses. Plus, she has years of experience of working with clients who have been in a similar position. This adds to the authority of the information, tools and techniques that she provides.
As weird as this may sound, I love that each of the principles are colour-coded. In fact the whole book is colourful.
I feel it gives off a really positive energy and I get the sense that the book is going to take me on a wonderful journey. I feel it’ll really help me learn more about myself and empower me to move my life forward in the way I want.
I’m not sure if that was the intention from the colour scheme used in the book, but those are the emotions I get from it!
In terms of working through the exercises if, like me, you don’t want to write in the book, Sue has free downloadable PDFs of the resources linked to the book on her website. There are also audio recordings of the visualisations so you have all you need to get started!
Sue is also planning to open a monthly membership community with additional tools and live webinars. I’m really excited for this to go live and am following her on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with what’s happening.
If you’re feeling stuck in life and want to make changes, but aren’t sure which direction to take, then I highly recommend this book. Equally, if you’re clear about what you want from your future, but there are barriers in the way, this book will help you push through those barriers.
If you think Coaching might be helpful for you, then take a look at my Work with Me page to see what package will best suit your needs.