How To Encourage Yourself: The Hidden Power of “What If”

by Belinda on October 11, 2014

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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher


As a transformation coach, I’ve witnessed thousands of dramatic and inspiring life-changing stories. Women just like you, who one day decided to turn their lives around.

I often think to myself: is there some kind of hidden force from within that inspires the process of transformation? What causes one woman to fail where another succeeds? What is the trigger for change that causes this profound and long-lasting metamorphosis?

People also ask me these questions. How despite chronic illness, a horrible diet and a lifetime of no exercise, I transformed mid-life to become a fitness model (and now mentor and coach).


Thinking back, there was a hidden force that gave me the power to transform, not just once but many times throughout my life. I see this same pattern with the women that join my program. It’s quite simple really and this is what I want to share with you today.

The hidden force


It’s natural to focus on what we don’t like about our body. Our cellulite, the places that jiggle and the clothes that don’t fit anymore. This is a mistake. Rarely do clients tell me this unease is the trigger for dramatic change. Despite being unhappy with how we look, we still seem stuck. An invisible roadblock stops us from making the changes we desire.

Here’s what I’ve observed with my clients and myself:

It’s usually just one thought, one event or one “aha” moment that begins the process of dramatic transformation.  

Suddenly, after years of struggling…change starts to happen, almost effortlessly – but why?

Motivation versus self-encouragement


Every day millions of women visit countless fitness pages, blogs and websites. Searching for the motivation to change. They share social media photos, inspirational messages and before and after photos. Yet they still struggle.

Take a look at the difference between the words encourage and motivate:

  • Encourage – 1: to inspire with courage, confidence, or hope, 2: to stimulate, spur on, 3: to give help or support. Synonyms are: inspirit, hearten, or embolden – the idea being to fill with courage or strength of purpose, or to raise one’s confidence.
  • Motivate – 1: to provide with a motive, 2: to give incentive to; move to action; impel. Motivation = a motivating force, stimulus, or influence.

Encouragement comes from our spirit and emotions. Motivation is a result of thoughts and reasoning. Why is this so significant?

Positive feelings are more powerful than positive thoughts.

This is why dramatic transformation begins with self-encouragement. It leads to self-belief and the self-confidence that you CAN do it.




But if self-encouragement is so powerful why does it feel so hard?


The tide of negative energy in our world


Self-encouragement is hard because we’re fighting against a tidal wave of negative influence. The stories, opinions, prejudices, judgments and projections of personal insecurities and fear coming from:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Work
  • Social Media
  • TV

We feel pressure to conform; to fit in and play the social role expected of us. We’re not able to express our authentic self and our true desires. This saps our energy, wears us down, exhausts and discourages us.

  • Do you believe that you have no control over most of your results?
  • Do you feel like the victim of unfortunate events?
  • Do you feel like things are happening to you? Or do you feel that they are happening through you?

The power of the rip zone


At 37 years of age I made a decision that would change everything in my life: I took up surfing. For the first six months no matter how hard and long I paddled, I could never get “out the back”. Never beyond the breaking waves where the sea was calm and the real surfers sat waiting for their next wave.

No matter how hard I tried, I was always in the “washing machine” of the white water struggling like a drowned rat and exhausted from the non-stop paddling.

This is what swimming against the negative tide of the world feels like.

One day, instead of paddling out straight away, my sister and I sat on the beach and watched. We saw a young surfer (grommet) paddle out within seconds. It was as if a hidden force pulled him beyond the breaking waves to the clear water.

Then we noticed something. The grommet had used a channel between the waves, a rip – that had pulled him out the back, almost effortlessly.



This one “aha” moment transformed my surfing; within a year I went on to represent my State at the Australian Masters.



Just like the rip, self-encouragement will pull you out beyond the negative tide of the world around you. It will take you to the calmer waters where you can see the big picture of what’s really going on in your life, you’ll be able to “read” the currents and see the waves to catch. Change will feel exciting, fun and rewarding. You will be in the rip zone.

4 keys to self-encouragement


Self-encouragement is a hidden force that flows from our spirit and emotions. Unlike motivation, it isn’t the result of logical thinking or an external motive or reason to change. It’s deeper than that.

Here are the four ways I tap into this zone for myself and when encouraging my clients.

  1. Define your own success

You are unique. Don’t let other people define what success means for you. Resist the pressure to conform. You will feel most in the zone when you can express your true self. You will grow, transform and realize your true potential. Being different doesn’t have to be embarrassing or painful. It’s a source of strength. Tune into your true self. It will give you a greater sense of purpose and direction. Stop fighting against the tide of who you think you’re “meant to be” and start being true to your own unique self. Change will become easy.

  1. Tell yourself: “I can do it”

During the darkest times of my life I’ve gone to sleep every night and woken up every morning, with this one thought: I can do it. I will make it. I will overcome. I will succeed, no matter what. If you do this, your subconscious will find the answers you need. The hidden force from within will rise up and you’ll no longer be fighting, but flowing in the rip zone.

  1. Keep your eye on the goal

When aiming for a goal, elite athletes don’t look at where they don’t want the ball to go. No. They focus all their energy on their objective – the goal posts.


In the same way, success is not achieved by paying attention to your fears, past mistakes and failures. Keep your eyes front and center on your goal. Focus on your future success, not on past failures.

  1. Avoid time wasting thoughts and activities

Your life energy is precious. It is finite. Guard it zealously; watch where your attention, time and energy are going. Don’t let energy vampires steal from you. Ask yourself:

  • Are my choices a good investment of my time and energy?
  • Do my choices make me feel encouraged and uplifted – or depressed and discouraged?

Be ruthless. Choose wisely. Instead of being caught up in the white water you’ll stay in the rip zone and continue forward.


It might seem that self-encouragement should come naturally – but it doesn’t. It takes a conscious choice, changing our thought-habits and practice. This is why it’s often the missing link in the transformation process; what causes one woman to fail where another succeeds.

When we find our rip zone we can move beyond the negative tide of life. Instead of constantly struggling, we easily observe where we’re at, where we need to go and we have the energy to get there.

I’d love to be the one to help you along this transformation journey. To give you the guidance, support and motivation you need. You’ll receive my personalized coaching plus become part of a supportive community of like-minded women who will also help you discover the hidden power of “what if”….

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Get Lean 90 Day Transformation Program <<


If you feel like you’re constantly paddling against the white water of life take a step back now and think about it….where is your rip zone?



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal October 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

This is excellent. Great analogy with the rip zone! Thank you for talking about this Belinda, I love learning the mental piece from you.


Belinda October 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Hello sweet Crystal, thank you :)

I loved writing this blog, I was definitely in the zone with it lol….

So happy to hear it has inspired you!

Bel xo


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