Tue, Jan 31, 2023 11:25 AM
Blenheim-based mindset and behaviour change expert Rebecca Bell, or Bex as she is mostly known, shares with Catherine van der Meulen, director of Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose, her journey to realising self-acceptance and the importance of adopting a holistic approach to ‘remixing’ life’s components.
Words by: Megan Smith
If someone had to ask: “Who are you?” Many of us would probably reply with a job title or standing within a family, such as being a mother or father. Often, we are not pressed to answer the question from the standpoint of what defines us and what is unique to our own life experience. Modern society has dictated that we can't show our imperfections. Isn’t this process of always putting our best foot forward making us tired and out of touch with ourselves?
Dr Rebecca Bell (Bex), from Remix Coaching and Consulting, is keen to share that we’d probably be trying to seek the answer of who our authentic self is until our last days. “The journey of self and defining who you are is anchored by self-acceptance! I’m constantly learning about myself. Whenever I think I have things sorted life has a way of throwing a twist into the tale allowing me to engage with another part of who I am. I spent so much time and energy feeling like I was never good enough and was working hard to strive for perfection. Belief in myself means life is far more engaging. I’m no longer afraid of failing. I’ve learnt to be less judgmental of what I feel and think and rather revel in my curiosity. When I’m kinder with myself I get the success I was after and show up in the world in a genuine manner. I understand that people can worry that self-acceptance encourages laziness but for me, and according to research, it’s the latter. It actually boosted success!”
From age 10 to 14 Rebecca attended school in Marlborough, then completed her college years at Nelson College for Girls. Thereafter she headed back to her hometown of Wellington to complete her PhD in Criminal Psychology at Victoria University. “My twenties revolved around obtaining my PhD and I was immersed in the academic world. From an athletic standpoint, I was also working as a group fitness instructor for Les Mills, where I developed into training other instructors. During this time I remember always seeking validation from others. My thirties and becoming a mother to my son, Hunter, have changed the metrics of success. I have always vowed to stay kind. I am learning and living my values every day”.
A recent read of Bronnie Ware's book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing struck a chord with Rebecca. “Points that stuck with me were not working so hard and living a life that was true to me. It was these factors that promoted me to ask myself how I can embody these things. How do I live by these standards and do work that is both meaningful and that contributes, but not at the expense of my wellbeing, and time spent with family and friends”.
This thoughtful, holistic approach and adaption to the words within the pages of the book is what transpired in Rebecca launching Remix Coaching and Consulting in 2017. “I worked in health promotion within the government, and while I loved the role, I figured I was involved with more contract management than getting involved on the front lines and connecting with people. At the time I was also completing my doctoral research and chatting with offenders in prison, soon realizing that I could make a difference via my research. So one day when I felt particularly deflated at work, I asked myself: “If money were no object, what would my dream job be?” All the pieces began to fall into place. My love for personal development and people meant I needed to be a coach. With no available jobs on the market, I decided to strike out and open my own business”.
As a mindset and behaviour coach and speaker Rebecca specialises in aiding people to get to know themselves and where they're stuck, enabling them to live their best life. “I support people to close the gap between where they are now, and where they want to be, personally and professionally. We examine habitual thinking patterns that aren't serving people anymore and rewrite (or "remix") these patterns in a more empowering way. I also help teams and organisations apply the geeky science of behaviour change to their lives by giving them accessible, everyday strategies that help them translate intention to action so they're not just thinking about positive change, they're making desired changes a reality”.
Rebecca is most fond of American civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s quote in which she said: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” She reflects that there is no mention of IQ or money. Success is solely defined by you. “Let those externally defined, societal ideas about success fall away. If we do not define our lives by what rings true to who we are then there will always be an overwhelming sense of frustration and dissatisfaction. Look inward, celebrate your strengths, capture your wins, and permit yourself to not be ok on some days!”
Note: Rebecca is in the process of penning her book about the inner critic, set for launch in February 2024.
Learn more about Rebecca Bell and other entrepreneurial women via Catherine van der Meulen’s ‘Entrepreneurial Women with Purpose Podcast.’ entrepreneurialwomenwithpurpose.com