Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you'll be right.

"The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step". Or so they say. But that's no comfort unless you know where you're going. So today, at the launch of Kirsten Goodwin Coaching, it makes sense to stop and consider: what is my eventual destination?

The answer: a thriving coaching practice, where I use the gentle but amazingly effective skills I have learned to help people live a life free of fears and phobias, bad habits such as smoking, and life-limiting beliefs. To help people be themselves.

That's the easy bit.

But defining a goal like this is still pretty meaningless without preparation about how I am going to carry it out. I have the practical planning in spades: a Business Plan, a Marketing Plan, a Financial Plan... But I also need the more esoteric, emotional stuff: I also need to prepare my mindset.

So how do I want to feel about launching my coaching practice? What will be most helpful to me? To feel excited, and confident in my abilities to make it a success.

Luckily, my training offers an approach to help instil this mindset (which can be applied any time you want to approach a particular task or situation in a specific, positive way).

First, after closing my eyes, getting comfortable and taking a few deep breaths, I let myself remember a time when I felt strong confidence that I would achieve a goal I've set for myself. The one that comes up: taking on a 10k muddy obstacle race last autumn. I knew it would be pretty painful, but I also knew, just knew, I could do it. So I take myself back to the start line, feel all those feelings of excitement, anticipation, and - above all - that deep unshakeable confidence that I will complete the race. I see the sights around me (the other runners, the course stretching ahead in the sunshine); I hear the sounds (the warm-up music, the race compère over the tannoy); I smell the smells (that wonderful crisp freshness of a sunny autumn day). And I feel that feeling of confidence in every cell of my body, I breathe it deep inside me until I am flooded with it.

Then I visualise myself waking up tomorrow morning, still filled with that excitement and confidence. I see myself going through my day, every action and thought based on that foundation of confidence. And the next day. And a month later, I am still waking up and going through my day with that same feeling of excitement, anticipation and confidence, no matter what twists and turns are thrown at me. And beyond into the future, as far as I want to imagine.

Your brain cannot tell the difference between a memory (ie a real experience) and a visualisation (an imagined experience) - it stores them in the same way. So through these visualisations you are actually teaching your brain that you have already been acting on the basis of this confident mindset - you are creating that neural pathway for this behaviour through your imagination alone. This makes it so much easier to do it in real life.

What do you think - better to approach the launch of my business with excitement, anticipation and confidence? Or with fear, trepidation, and thoughts of failure?

I studied 19th and 20th Century Indian history for my Masters, so I am going to enjoy quoting Mahatma Gandhi here: "(Wo)man often becomes what (s)he believes himself to be. If I can keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." Or in other words, fake it till you make it.

I look forward to my remaining 999 steps.