Discovering The Three Principles: How It Helped Me Get Out Of My Own Way

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We, humans, love to get in our own way, don’t we?

I know I did, for many, many years.

Throughout much of my 20s and 30s, I felt stressed out, often anxious, and would wake up feeling tired and exhausted. I naturally assumed that the cause of my stress was coming from my job, the sales targets I was trying to reach, and at times, other people too!

Because of this, I became very good at changing my circumstances. Job making me feel stressed? Right, I’ll go and get another one. Feeling exhausted from living in London? OK, I’ll move to Australia, that will make me feel better.

Not only did I believe that my busy life was the cause of my stress and anxiety, but I also believed that the answer was in creating a 'new life' in the form of new jobs, new places to live, new people to meet... and so it went on.

I became very good at taking action, but not always for the right reasons!

The cycle went something like this:

  • Feel stressed out and anxious;
  • Look around for the cause ‘outside’ of me;
  • Move away from the cause (to something I believed would make me feel better);
  • Realise it wasn't *that* because I’m still feeling stressed out and anxious!

And so the pattern continued.

I finally set myself up with the dream life: living on the south coast of England, retrained as a hypnotherapist and found out I was pretty good at it so became self-employed. Yet two years into it, I was feeling burnt out and ready for a break.

Why? What was going on?

When I get to 'there', then I'll be happy

On paper, I had worked hard to create my ideal lifestyle, I loved helping people and seeing them do well, I loved living in Brighton and the community of people I’d made friends with, yet on the inside I was still feeling dissatisfied and needed to do a lot to manage my feelings of stress, anxiety and exhaustion.

We moved to Cambridge, and I had my daughter Amélie which meant I could take a long break from my work. Then two years ago, I decided to return to my business, and quite serendipitously, something happened which (and I don’t say this lightly) literally changed-my-life.

It was February 2017, and I'd decided to head to the Best You exhibition in London. I went along to a seminar (led by Marina Pearson) and as I was listening to her speak, I could feel a deep sense of calm within me, and all around me.

In the days that followed, I noticed that my mind was naturally quieter and calmer, and found myself ‘operating’ from a place of clarity and wellbeing, quite effortlessly - without the need for tools and techniques to get me there, which as a hypnotherapist had often been my go-to strategy.

I became more productive, more connected to my work and the people around me. Others commented on how content I seemed. It was true, I was feeling much more content inside - yet nothing had changed on the outside?

What Marina had pointed to during her talk, was what I now know to be The Three Principles.

The Three Principles, first uncovered by Sydney Banks, provides a logical and reliable explanation of how the human operating system works. Simply put, the Three Principles points to the following spiritual facts:

  1. That it’s actually Thought that drives our state of mind in any given moment, not our external circumstances.  

We only ever experience people, situations, events and circumstances through the ‘goggles’ of our own thinking in any given moment. This explains why two people can experience the same situation, very differently. How we experience anything including ourselves, is changeable and variable, and that’s because thought is transient, and constantly moving (which is good news!).

  1. 2. Who we *really* are, is before all our beliefs, concepts, and ideas about who we *think* we are. We are not our thoughts and feelings, we are the ones experiencing that.
This may be news to you, as it was to me, but as humans, our default state of mind is actually one of clarity, resilience, wellbeing, and confidence. This is our ‘factory setting’. I’d always assumed that it was the other way around, and we had to ‘do something’ or ‘achieve something’ in order to experience clarity, peace of mind, happiness, fulfilment, success, self-belief and confidence.

Ironically, our ‘default setting’ is what we often spend years (perhaps a lifetime even) searching for.

We are only ever up against our thinking, not our circumstances

It became very clear to me that I’d been living under a misunderstanding. But so are most people. We’re taught to believe that stress comes about because of circumstances, and in many ways, we see this being reinforced in conversations with others, and throughout our society.

For so long, I had been (innocently) believing that anything ‘outside’ of me had the power to make me feel a certain way and the reason I didn’t *see* that is because it’s a very clever trick of the mind.

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.” (Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

I realised that external circumstances do not need fixing in order to feel OK, and nor do states of mind. We are always OK, no matter what. We just think we’re not, and it’s in the thinking we are not, there lies the problem and that’s how we get in our own way.

I know first hand what it's like to operate from a place of stress, worry, overwhelm and even burnout. But since coming across this inside-out understanding of how the mind works, I now have an entirely different way of experiencing my work and my life.

Of course, I’m human and I can still have my 'moments' but I now find myself naturally operating from a place of clarity, resilience, and a quiet mind, more of the time - no matter what's happening on the outside!

Three Principles based coaching

My work now as a Three Principles based coach is focused on helping my clients uncover who they really are and what’s truly possible when they get out of their own way - and the results are really quite incredible. From realising their source of clarity and confidence - to understanding where their feelings of resistance and procrastination are coming from, and perhaps the word I hear most from my clients is “freedom” - they feel a sense of freedom to ‘get going’ on their ideas, knowing that there is nothing or no one outside of them that has the power to make them feel a certain way.

Thanks for reading!  If anything in this post resonates for you, and you’d like to have a chat about how Three Principles based coaching can help you in life or business, then let’s talk. I offer a free one-hour consultation, and you can book yourself into my online calendar for a time that suits you.

Sarah Swanton 


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