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Can a woman unlock her brilliance by following a 31 step programme?


Writer Elizabeth Gilbert spent on an 'inward journey' while travelling the world in Eat, Pray, Love The movie version starred Julia Roberts

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert spent on an 'inward journey' while travelling the world in Eat, Pray, Love The movie version starred Julia Roberts

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert spent on an 'inward journey' while travelling the world in Eat, Pray, Love The movie version starred Julia Roberts

Could employing a one-month mental blitz strategy help you shed your self-limiting beliefs and gain the confidence to succeed personally and professionally? So how women can get what they really want

Unhappy with your career? Want to become successful, or simply want to enhance a flagging relationship? Well according to two British life coaches, all it takes to achieve "a new brilliant you" is to follow their advice, given in 31 simple steps.

Creators of the 31 Steps guide, Bec Howard and Dannie-Lu Carr of life coaching company The Good Witches of the North, say their strategies can help women gain the confidence to succeed in both their private and professional lives by trying a new step each day, in no particular order.

"The aim is to help women get what they really want out of life," Howard said.

But is it really that simple. We asked two Irish experts for their opinion on the advice given by the good witches.

'Get a big sheet of paper ...'

Dublin-based Psychologist Sharron Grainger (inset above) says the advice given by the two life coaches is not ground-breaking and simply encourages a positive approach to life.

"The power of positive psychology in which goals such as easing emotional pain and confusion, developing better ways of coping with the usual ups and downs of life, working to reduce unhealthy thoughts and behaviours and fostering happiness is not a new concept.

They were first devised by Abraham Maslow in his Hierarchy of Needs in the early 1940's and later adopted by positive psychologists.

One such psychologist (Seligman) found that happiness has three dimensions that can be cultivated.

The first, the Pleasant Life, entails learning to savour and appreciate basic pleasures like companionship, our environment and bodily needs.

The Good Life is realised through discovering and valuing our unique qualities and strengths and employing them creatively to enhance our lives.

And finally the Meaningful Life, in which we can find a deep sense of achievement by using our unique strengths for a purpose greater than ourselves.

While the 31 steps in the guide are positive, each one will take time to cultivate - so try taking baby steps.

For example in an effort to create ourselves anew we need to shift our understanding of the choices we make in life.

While we are all capable of creating a brilliant new version of ourselves, we need to gain insights into the ways we think, behave and live, and then learn how to nurture our strongest attributes.

We need to look at events in our lives, positive or negative, as invaluable lessons and a time of learning.

Looking outside of ourselves and finding meaning in our work and appreciating the people who care for us, is a step to making a difference in our lives and creating a new self.


"At first sight, the 31 Steps seem simple and indeed obvious, but it would be difficult for some individuals to work on these changes alone without some form of professional help.

Deep-rooted thought and behaviour patterns are difficult to alter and can be so entrenched that for some recognising these negative patterns may be their biggest issue.

Talking to a professional could help them to uncover the reasons behind these patterns, thus enabling them to move forward.

In order to acquire the skills to be able to deal with the ups and downs of life, we need to start with considering the beliefs and aspirations we have in ourselves in the areas we wish to change.

Get a big sheet of paper, split it down the middle and make a note of all the things you want to achieve and all of those things you will no longer accept.

Remember that habits begin with attitudes and beliefs which create a strategy.

When repeated regularly, the strategy becomes a habit - but these changes will only come with real effort. It is an act of discipline, but it can be done, so make creating a brilliant new you, your new habit."

'Have an attitude of gratitude'

Life, business and mindfulness coach, Jackie Fitzgerald (www.freedomunlimited.ie, inset right) says while it is possible to change our lives in a positive way, it is not likely to be achieved by simply following a few basic steps - change needs to come from within.

"Change can absolutely happen and it doesn't have to take years. But in my professional experience with more than 2,500 client-facing hours, the greatest and most profound shift happens when the client gets clarity on what their most limiting belief or resistance is.

And since this is residing safely in the subconscious, it is unlikely that this awareness will be raised alone, with or without a book. So when a guide claims that by following 31 steps you can change your life, my sensationalism radar starts flashing.

With the help of a professional, some clarity can be brought about fairly quickly, and I have found while working with clients this can happen within a two-hour consultation.

The next stage of the process is up to the person themselves. Change happens through raised awareness and building new habits to keep the momentum going.


Scientists have noted that the power of the subconscious is a million times greater than the conscious mind.

In life we normally try to make what we want happen through our conscious determination, ego, hard work and stress.

However if it is going against our subconscious, this becomes a task of Sisyphean proportions.

Therefore no matter how determined we may be to make changes, if our conscious and subconscious are not aligned it is unlikely to happen.

It is unusual for our conscious mind to willingly let us go somewhere which is uncomfortable.

It will make excuses and trick us into making immediate short-lived gains to ultimately return to the patterns that caused the discomfort in the first instance.

Similar to taking a tablet when you have a toothache; It will give instant relief but unless you get to the source of the ache and deal with that, invariably the ache will return.

The 31 tips are a little like a pain relief tablet. So yes they have benefit, but to get to the source of the discomfort one needs to identify what is going on in the subconscious or feeling body. Once awareness is raised then the real work can be done.

But there are many valuable tips in this guide, some of them encourage changing our thought patterns which have an impact on limiting beliefs.

The most positive one for me is to have an attitude of gratitude. This is a wonderful habit to cultivate.

No matter how bad life may seem in this moment, there is always something to be grateful for. When we are in gratitude we get a break from the voice of judgement in our head.


I would advise someone who wanted to change their life for the better to cultivate a few practices and maybe follow in the wisdom of Pat Parelli when he says 'take the time to take the time it takes."

• Get to know yourself more intimately; stop looking outside yourself for validation.

• Make friends with fear, and try to understand why it is here. Smile at it every time it raises its head. Fear is what usually stops us in our tracks, and what we resist persists, so smile at fear - this takes its power away.

• Relinquish comparisons as they are odious, and remember, NOTHING is ever as it seems.

• Cultivate a habit of compassion, acceptance, and kindness towards self. And know that to do this is not a sign of weakness, nor is it selfish or lazy. In fact it is what connects us to our true worth, inspiration and power.

All of the most powerful thesis and teachers in most of the fields of western psychology, eastern philosophy, spirituality, motivation, inspiration, have one core message, which may be delivered in many different ways, but the bottom line is that happiness, success, inspiration and love are inside jobs.

If we don't believe it - and more importantly truly feel it - on the inside, no matter how great things are on the outside, we will still feel like we are not enough."

1. Feel empowered

2. Lower anxiety

3. Shift your mood

4. Get what you want

5. Get out of the right side of the bed

6. Increase your strength

7. Feel grateful

8. Realise your dreams

9. Be authentic

10. Make yourself heard

11. Find freedom

12. Let go of the past

13. Improve relationships

14. Feel happy

15. Inject energy

16. Create clarity

17. Wage war against worry

18. Boost confidence

19. Regain sanity

20. Solve your problem

21. Find power in numbers

22. Make a difference

23. Be assertive

24. Find your voice

25. Feel successful

26. Up your charisma

27. Boost mental energy

28. Find courage

29. Release stress

30. Get centered

31. Encourage creativity

'Get a big sheet of paper...'

'Have an attitude of gratitude'