The most important lessons from the last year

ana disney world

I believe that we are one and the same person both at work and at home, and that, although it may not seem like it, the principles that guide us outside of work also guide us in business. When I started writing the lessons from the last year – because I want to have a retrospective in one place, and maybe it will be useful for you who are reading this, I realized that all the lessons are related to personal development – personal and business.

Our business can grow as much as we grow as people. When we talk about goal setting, you will find in many sources that proper goal setting involves answering the question – What kind of person do I need to become to achieve this goal? This was explained very nicely by Željko Popović in this episode of my podcast Biz Balans.

Personal development is an area I have been dealing with for years, because I want to live consciously and fulfilled, according to my standards and rules.

I began to understand myself much better and to change my behavior and my life after I left the corporation and started psychotherapy. It’s a journey that continues for the fifth year already.

In addition to regular psychotherapy, since then I have read an average of about 30 books a year (I often recommend books that delight me in my newsletter Analogične priče, so if you are not there – sign up), completed an NLP master’s degree, completed RAR (early development) education at the IDP center of Tomislav Kuljiš, completed coaching education accredited by the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and learned from various world-renowned experts through the Mindvalley platform.

What important (for me) did I do in 2023?

  • Počela da redovno meditiram i “upoznala” se sa Džoom (za sada samo „online“ a uskoro i uživo) 🙂
  • Arranged, finished and published my (this) website
  • Traveled every month and visited a few places I had not been to before (Valencia, Rome, Antibes, Orlando)
  • I went to the USA again after 10 years (and I’m going again soon)
  • Went to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida (this has been a huge wish of mine for a long time)
  • Počela da radim sa klijentima iz inostranstva (ok, Crna Gora možda i nije neko inostranstvo ali Holandija jeste) 🙂
  • With Dixi, I gathered female entrepreneurs almost every month and we organized more than 10 gatherings during the last year, and the plan for this year is to structure it all and raise it to an even higher level (if you are interested in joining us, write to me)
  • Bought myself Remarkable – why it is useful to me and what is Remarkable read here
  • Went to psychotherapy regularly – this is the most valuable investment that is very affordable and should be a regular activity and mental hygiene for everyone
  • I finished coaching education and started coaching – now I have regular coaching clients and I really enjoy this role. Find out more about coaching here.
  • I started giving trainings to companies (on topics related to communications – how misunderstandings occur, mental filters, feedback, delegation)
  • Počela da jasnije komuniciram i više koristim humor (život ipak treba da bude zabava i možemo da se zabavljamo i kad odgovorno radimo) 🙂

Ana Biz Balans

What did I learn?

1. Embrace your fear

Dealing with the fear of failure and negative feedback for a long time unknowingly caused me confusion and kept me in some “safe space” (actually in a very dangerous one) where I only do what I know and pray that no one comments that it is not good or someone doesn’t like it.

Since childhood, I have had a tendency to accept and assume my guilt (even when it is not real or complete) and not to “defend” myself or oppose the opinions of authority figures. That made my fear of negative feedback even worse because (in my head), especially if it came from an authority figure, he was always right and I was always wrong.

New fears only developed from there, because if, for example, I don’t check how satisfied the clients are (because of the fear that the answer may be negative), then that creates a new fear – what will I do if I lose one, two, three clients? If someone changes their mind?

This then further turns into existential fear (which, like most fears, is not based on reality at all). How and what will I live on? Everything is on me, I have no one to “support” me…

This then turns into a question of identity – I will be completely unsuccessful and worthless… Because many of us associate our value with our business success.

What did I do with all these unconscious fears?

First, I made them aware and talked about it a lot and in detail during psychotherapy. I learned that when we sit with our fear and let it exist, to fully feel it, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, it starts to diminish. Let’s understand that it cannot “eat” us.

The therapist tells me – let the fear take over you completely, let it go completely, let it. What will happen? Did you die? Survived? What happens in the body?

Whatever happens. We can survive.

And so, now when fear grips me, because of course it sometimes comes back, I let it go, sit with it for a while, allow myself to feel it nicely and then it goes away… And every time it’s less intense.

What have I changed in my behavior?

First, I introduced mandatory monthly meetings with clients, where, in addition to planning for the next month, I ask for feedback for the previous month, and I also give them feedback on our cooperation and what we are doing.

I was very uncomfortable and at first I was afraid every time I scheduled them, but over time I started to look forward to those appointments because I realized that I love and want clarity. Only if we communicate clearly and continuously can we cooperate well, improve what is needed and achieve the desired and better results.

I decided to look at my work and the tasks we perform as an experiment, and therefore I look at every mistake or result that I don’t like as feedback that we need to change something, so that we can try again. Work – Follow – Change and so on in a circle. Classic marketing formula. And then success is guaranteed, because it’s just a matter of the moment when you “stab” what works best and brings the most results.

2. Less thought, more feeling

I dedicated the whole year to learning how to think less and feel more. Most of us are not even aware of how much we move away from ourselves and our bodies as we age. Well, we do what we “must”, what we should, what customs, traditions, mom, dad, society say, as our work dictates, our duty…

That’s how we “push” through life and we don’t stop because we “don’t have time”. And even when we stop, we don’t know how to hear each other, because we’ve forgotten what it looks and sounds like.

My sentence for this year was It doesn’t have to be logical, let it be magical. Make it totally illogical, but follow your gut feeling. It will not deceive you and it knows where you should be and where you are going.

Many people who deal with goals also say – the path to the goal is as important as the goal itself. If you have a goal to reach, you need to feel bad and “endure” something for a long time… Is that really the goal you want? Is it your goal or someone else’s? Can it be different?

There is a sense of security and determination in the feeling. The feeling knows. From a good feeling, from a place of love, happiness, security, gratitude, the best things are done and the best decisions are made – business and private.

With the feeling, it is always easy and simple. When it is not there or is unclear, then we are insecure and everything is complicated. When the head and the body (feelings, emotions) are synchronized, then decisions are easy. The problem arises when the head says one thing and the body (heart) another… Discipline can hold us for a while and we do what the head says, but the body suffers all the time and it’s just a question of when it will manifest itself in some way…

Listen to yourself – your feeling and your body. The right time is when your feeling tells you that it is the right time – to start or finish something, do it or let it go.

What exactly did I do?

I analyzed everything for a long time and was too much in my head. I changed therapists and have been attending physical psychotherapy regularly for two years. Whenever I start my analysis from my head, it just reminds me – come back to your body.

I started meditating regularly. Meditation is an excellent way to calm down and become aware of your body, thoughts and sensations in the body.

When we silence the world, we can hear ourselves better.

3. Meditation has many positive benefits for health and life

I was waiting for the New Year (2023) with my friends on Goč. One of the friends who was with us returned a few days before from Dispenza’s seven-day retreat in Mexico. She told us what it looks like and suggested that we do one of his meditations. That’s how I “met” Dispenza for the first time and started meditating regularly.

We meditated together in the accommodation and did walking meditations around Lake Selište. That’s where I started a habit that I continued throughout the year.

Morning and evening meditation are almost mandatory for me.

I didn’t stop at just meditations. I am much more a woman of science than of belief. Belief implies that someone tells you something and you unquestioningly believe it and do not question it. And I prefer science, because science says something, but if the research changes or something new is discovered, the attitude changes, and then the behavior that follows it.

Dispenza’s attitude is very similar – he wants you to understand how meditation works, why you do it, why the process looks like that, what’s happening in your head, what’s happening in your body, how it’s all connected. Then you will try to enter the whole process more consciously and better and you will have a better result.

You don’t need and you don’t have to believe it. You need to find out and learn, then when everything makes more sense and logic, you will have more motivation to meditate regularly because you know what you can get from it.

It especially inspires me when several different authors – who are world-renowned experts – write and have the same attitude on the topic of meditation and the connection between the body and the head.

I have read and recommend:

You will see how much everything that each of them says matches and how complementary it is. It also says that meditation improves health and raises the quality of life.

What did I get?

A new level of calmness, the ability to return to good energy on my own, awareness of my negative beliefs and building positive beliefs.

During meditation, I often came up with ideas for clients or for my blog and podcast, I realized what exactly bothers me, what I should look for, change, what thought or fear is actually behind some of my behavior.

I learned how to calm down faster when I’m stressed, how to breathe, how to help the immune system to strengthen, how to raise myself to a higher vibration – better energy and emotion.

Kad smo u dobroj energiji privlačimo dobre stvari, ljude, lakše rešavamo sve probleme. Lakše nađemo parking, mesto u punom lokalu, puste nas „preko reda“ u Lidlu… 🙂

Energy and emotions have their own frequency (you can google and find this very easily).

All feelings are there for us to feel and to see what they communicate to us. You should not run away from any feeling – the only way out is through.

But it is very important to know that we can raise ourselves to a higher vibration and live from there. It does not depend on other people or anything outside.

4. Gratitude is one of the most valuable habits you can practice

Practice gratitude. When we are grateful, we focus on all that we have, on all that is good, that works. We selectively see only good things – and what we focus on grows.

We often forget to be grateful for the simple things, because we take them for granted. We think about the problems we need to solve and everything that bothers us. We are not aware that by doing so we are only increasing our problems, while decreasing our energy, and therefore the ease with which we can solve these problems.

Every time I light a scented candle (Woodwick – I love them and recommend them even though I know candles are not very healthy), I think how beautiful I feel and how grateful I am. When I turn on the Christmas lights and the whole apartment lights up, I feel wonderful. When I go to wash myself in the morning and run the hot water, I am grateful that I am comfortable and have hot water from the tap. That everyone dear to us is healthy, that we are well, that we can see, hear, walk, work – these are huge blessings.

Simple, small things that we take for granted are a luxury somewhere. You don’t have to wait until you buy a house, a yacht, a plane, or achieve some extraordinary success to practice gratitude. It’s a way of life. The one who constantly sees and enumerates what he is grateful for is a truly rich and happy man.

What are your most valuable lessons from the last year? What are the biggest successes and most important events of the last year for you?

I believe that we often quickly and unconsciously go over that. We don’t stop to say to ourselves – well done, to learn lessons and see how far we’ve come and what path we’ve traveled. And that is very important – that we first be our most faithful support, because then we can support others and gather around us people with whom it is worth sharing life.

Sign up below to read Analogične priče if you want me to send you useful and interesting stories and life lessons, as well as recommendations for books, videos, conferences, by email from time to time throughout the year.

If you want to collaborate or are interested in coaching, write to me.

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