Growing up in the countryside I've always been an avid lover of nature but recently I've discovered studies which demonstrate it's health benefits far outweigh just that nice fuzzy feeling you get from the fresh air on your face.
This study from Japan’s Chiba University on 280 subjects in their 20s showed that just 30 minutes in the forest environment promoted lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity. In effect time spent amongst the trees made the subjects less amped, calming their fight or flight and boosting their rest and digest systems.
Trees can soothe the spirit too, in this study 498 healthy volunteers were studied for the psychological effects of forest bathing. The study found that being amongst the trees resulted in less hostility and depression.
Still not convinced? In 2009 Qing Li, a professor at Nippon Medical School found increased NK (natural killer) cell activity in the week after time spend in the forest, a benefit which lasted a month after each weekend in the woods. These NK cells are in the immune system and provide rapid-response to viral infected cells and tumor formation. Spending time in the trees can promote a healthy immune system and cancer prevention.
All of this research, and a personal love of nature is why when I decided to create a workshop to support entrepreneurs to reconnect with their true selves I chose to deliver the workshop in a woodland setting.
The Reconnect With You Workshop
It is also the reason why I chose to build my office last year in the garden, amongst the trees. In the past I've rented office space in the city and also in a wellbeing centre but you just can't match the health benefits and calming feeling of being amongst nature.
The Refresh Shed
Need a healing, self-development day in the woods?
Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is to take a step back to think, to reconnect to what's important to you and to understand the way you think so you can be better equipped to deal with life's challenges. All the details for my next Reconnect With You workshops are below.
Make sure you get out amongst those trees and enjoy all the health benefits it brings for us busy entrepreneurs.
Until next time
Recently I read a wonderful book by Geoff Thompson called 'The Elephant and the Twig' which shares 14 golden rules of success and happiness. Rule 4 particularly caught my eye so I'm going to focus on that one today.
Rule 4 is all about how to have the energy for the journey.
Running a small business takes lots and lots of effort and determination so how do you keep your energy topped up along the way?
In this video I share with you some of the realities of running a small business and a technique you can use to boost your energy which you can implement today. You can either watch the video above or read the three lessons I learnt from Rule 4 below.
The three lessons I learnt from Rule 4
1) I loved the analogy of starting a long journey and topping the car up with fuel. This really resonated with me. If you're in it for the long haul you better be topping up the fuel. How many of us push and push ourselves without really topping up our energy. I know I'm certainly a victim of that!!
2) The power of nature - In the book the author kept going and going until his wife said they were taking a few days holiday. He said he couldn't afford too, she said he couldn't afford not too.
Nature is a wonderful way of topping up your fuel so don't wait till someone else has to drag you out kicking and screaming. Book in time for relaxation whether it be a walk, a holiday or just sitting in a field, it can be wonderfully refreshing.
So often we go full pelt and keep going, going, going. Have you ever wondered why we get our best light bulb moments when we're not thinking?? It's because of how our brains work so if you want the best ideas and quickest solutions get out there and rest.
3) Making mistakes is a normal part of the process - you can lose so much of your energy after you've made a mistake. Thinking that you're not good enough or will never be successful. Actually making mistakes is part of success and often gives you your biggest learning.
Don't let your energy get sapped away whenever you make a mistake. Take a breath, take a break and get straight back in there.
If you want to feel like you're firing on all cylinders....
1) Top up your fuel
2) Take breaks and get out in nature
3) Be ok about making mistakes
Get your hands on a copy of the book
If you would like to buy a copy of the book, click the book image below and it will take you straight to Amazon (affiliate link).
Would you like more support?
If you would like to dive even deeper, learn more and get support to get the best from yourself, join me for my Break Free and Find Clarity event. All the details are below.
I hope you found these tips helpful.
Until next time
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the amazing Dorne McLoughlin, founder of Ribbit Media Solutions. In the interview Dorne shares how she came to me for guidance, as she wanted to “feel comfortable and confident” standing on stage and delivering a presentation of over 1,000 business women.
Dorne had all the knowledge to prepare an amazing presentation but what she didn’t take into consideration was how to prepare herself. In the interview Dorne shares how the programme not only helped her deliver this presentation, but gave her the tools for every presentation to come.
Dorne was a previous client of mine and I invited her along to the interview today so she could share the importance of preparing yourself to speak.
The first step to confident public speaking
Don't let nerves or fear hold you back, you can absolutely learn how to manage them. I love Dorne's attitude which means she's constantly stretching outside her comfort zone and reaching for the right people to support her to get there.
Dorne's Biggest Takeaway
The biggest takeaway for Dorne was trusting in the process and believing that it would happen
Here's Dorne, on stage delivering to over 1000 women......
The feedback from the audience was incredible and I'm sure Dorne is now equipped to do this again with even more confidence in her abilities.
Sometimes when we want to step outside our comfort zone the fear can be overwhelming but instead of saying no and holding yourself back, take Dorne's approach. Ask for a little help, learn some practical tools so you know you can do it comfortably, confidently and then you're much more likely to make that come true.
Until next time
Today I'm talking about Fear. You know that thing which holds you back, that shaking, sweating, nervous, I can’t talk, get me out of here…...fear!! That moment when you wish you could shine but instead you’re a gibbering wreck. You’ve probably been told millions of time to take deep breaths and today I’m going to tell you why that’s not the best strategy and what to do instead.
Why do people tell you to take deep breaths?
OK so you’ve probably been told time and time again to take a few deep breaths. This is because it calms your central nervous system and send signals to your brain to calm down so it can be effective.
So why am I telling you it doesn’t work?
Well because it’s not the easiest strategy. Yes it can work but it’s not always big enough, it often just falls short.
Think about it. We all know that nerves and fear are our body revving us up for action. Imagine the difference between being revved up for action and feeling calm and at peace. That’s a pretty big difference and you’re asking your body to change that state quickly, and in a situation you’re apprehensive about……..the likelihood that this is going to be easy????
So I prescribe something which is easier, it’s a far better and more effective strategy and I’m going to teach it to you today.
So if you’ve ever been asked to do a presentation and suddenly lost your words, or if you’ve ever wanted to stand up in networking meetings but just blush and go to pieces, this is for you.
When does the fear first happen?
Think about when does the first nerves/fear kick in? That first thought that you’re not comfortable with it?.......
Probably days, weeks, maybe months before.
How many times since then have you had a thought or thoughts about how you don’t like it...don’t feel like you’re ready…...think you can’t do it…...might embarrass yourself…...etc. etc...etc……
Every time that’s happened you’ve instructed your brain that there’s something ‘dangerous’ going to happen and it better be prepared.
Each time you get a little more anxious, a little more revved up…...at bit more on edge and ‘ready’.
It’s not just that one moment as you stand or enter the room, that’s just the outcome of all the little things which have gone before. You’ve got yourself into that hyped up state of alert way before you actually arrived at the situation.
Trying to stop that reaction, at the end, in the moment is actually quite hard and although it can work it’s certainly not the most effective solution.
What do I try instead?
Ok so here’s what you do instead…..You create a reframe statement, something which is true but positive which you can say each time one of those thoughts creeps in. Here’s some examples you can use…..
The most important thing is that you don’t let that verbal diarrhea continue without question. Don’t let it creep in and ruminate. Stop it, replace it, time and time again.
Then when you get to the event, you’ll be in a much better position and then deep breathing has more of a potential to work because going from there to calm isn’t such a big step.
My passion is helping you understand yourself more, to understand how your mind works so you can then go out getting the best from yourself.
If you’d like more confidence and courage to go for what you want, to say yes to that situation, to step into that room, to stand and speak…...
If you would like some simple techniques to being a more Confident, self-assured YOU, techniques that will take you from lost and wobbly to feeling like you’re in control……..then join me at the monthly Break Free, Find Clarity meeting. Each meeting has a different topic, including:
I’ve loved sharing my simple techniques for helping you overcome your fear, I’m sure with your new found knowledge you’ll start understanding yourself and feeling more comfortable.
Until next time
Today I will be talking to you about Confidence and we’ll be exploring your unconscious programs which filter your experience of the world ‘they’re called Meta Programs’. More specifically I’ll be talking about how you can use these to improve your confidence in business.
As well as introducing you to Meta Programs, I will be giving you real life examples that may be relatable to you in your Business, and I will be giving you an Actionable Step that you can implement TODAY.
Grab your FREEBIE!!
Enter your details into the form below and I'll email you a free 'Introducing Meta Programs' PDF. This includes a graph to plot the Meta Programs we cover in this blog and the steps you can take to use this new understanding to improve your confidence.
What are your Meta Programs?
Your Meta Programs are your unconscious programs which determine which of your perceptions are offered for your attention. In effect your Meta Programs determine how you interpret your world and we all know that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% about how you react to it. Right.
When you understand your own Meta Programs and also take time to understand other people’s you get a better understanding of why something makes you feel not confident and even more, specifically how to change it to make it better.
Let me give you an example, this is how a wonderful NLP friend of mine Kevin explains Meta Programs and it made so much sense I thought I’d use it today.
Discovering 1 of your Meta Programs
This one is called Same-Difference. It may be easier to understand this by watching the video.
Draw a horizontal line on a piece of paper. Write Same at one end and Difference at the other.
These work like sliders, you can be anywhere along the line.
Have a think about yourself in general terms, do you like things to stay the same? If so you'd plot yourself further to that side. Or do you like new things, adventure etc, if so plot yourself closer to difference? Where would you plot yourself along the slider from Same to Difference?
Remember you can be anywhere along that line.
How do Meta Programs relate to your Confidence?
Ok so let’s say you’re on the Same end and there’s lots of change going on at work. Your boss has just had a meeting with everyone and told you all the exciting new things which are going to be happening, everything is changing and it's going to be amazing - what impact does this have?
- If you’re someone who uses a Same programme and everything is changing you’re going to find it makes your confidence wobble.
Now imagine you’re the boss, you'd plot yourself over at the Difference end of the slider and you’ve just delivered a great presentation to your staff about all the exciting things which are to come and now you can’t understand why your member of staff is in the corridor crying their eyes out.
- If you’re someone who uses a Difference programme you're going to find routine frustrating.
Using Meta Programs to Boost your Confidence.
Now you know about Meta Programs, you’ve discovered where you are on 2 of them,
- Optimism-pessimism - how you saw the glass.
Here’s how you can use this knowledge to improve your confidence:
The first step to improving your confidence is becoming consciously awareness. Prior to reading this these programs ran automatically. Now you know where you are on the slider, how does this impact your life?
- Are there ways you can make life easier eg look for similarities if you’re a same person. Or could sliding yourself along the line and using a little more difference be more helpful for you?
- You can also spot the Meta Programs in others as understanding each other’s can calm the situation and explain why a person reacted the way they did.
I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to Meta Programs, if this has sparked your interest and you’d like to discover more join me at my Reconnect With You workshop. Where we’ll delve deeper into discovering even more of your Meta Programs…..along with how this impacts your life and how you really can use them to start living life to it’s full potential.
I’ve loved sharing Meta Programs with you today, I’m sure with your new found knowledge you’ll start understanding yourself and others even more.
Until next time
Does everyone have voices in their heads?
YES......and it's completely normal!!!! Even more than that it's an important part of how we function.
Everybody has these internal battles with themselves and sometimes it's not just two 'parts' of you involved in the debate but 3 or 4. And yes these parts can be nasty, very nasty in fact........often they say things which you would never say out loud. (I think we've all had one or two of those kinds of thoughts.......)
Even the nasty ones?
These nasty thoughts are also normal!!! Your subconscious does not work with the same logic or reason that your conscious mind does. Your subconscious is often much more creative and imaginative. Equally that doesn't mean that the thoughts are like cartoons, sometimes they can feel very real.
I often find that people who are gifted with an amazing creative and/or visual ability have the power to conjure up some amazing things but thats not to say we don't all have the capability....we do, but some people just have talents which mean they can be amazingly good at it.
Why do we do it?
In my experience there's three reasons.
1) Gathering of evidence - Whenever we do something our subconscious gathers the evidence about that thing to help us make our decisions. It doesn't just gather some of the evidence, it gathers all of it. If you're weighing something up it will pull evidence not only from your life experience, but also what you've seen, heard and been told. It doesn't sieve out the good and bad, it just starts debating all of it.
2) Creative play - So much of our time is spent towing the line, being logical and doing as we're told our minds like to break free, be creative and be allowed to use it's amazing powers. This doesn't mean those thoughts are true, far from it....It's actually an amazing way of dealing with the pressure of life by breaking free for a while. Is also a great way of learning, sometimes throwing random things together helps us create a new answer. We do this naturally as kids. This creative play is us doing the same as an adult.
3) The feeling of safety - Our subconscious mind's number 1 purpose is to keep us 'safe'. That safety is derived from whatever your life evidence has built up. Our evidence tells us what we deem as 'safe' and our subconscious will help us adhere to that using it's very best of abilities. If you are a creative thinker chances are it will come up with lots of creative images which will absolutely make you never want to do 'whatever it is' again. Congratulations, it has effectively kept you 'safe'. Hoorah!!
But what happens when you want these thoughts to go away?.........
My top tips for stopping unwanted inner battles.
There are a few different things you can do but first you must understand this....
These thoughts are not real, they're just conjured up from our wealth of experience and wonderful imagination.
Once you truly accept the premise in bold above these top tips become a whole lot easier. Here's two of the ways you can stop these inner battles:
- Thought stopping - Next time a thought pops into your head, catch yourself doing it, say STOP and redirect your thinking to something else, then fully immerse yourself in the new thing. You may be surprised at how quickly your mind moves on.
- Accept and laugh - Sometimes it's good to let your head free and be intrigued about the wonderful, amazing, creative rubbish it creates. Once you become detached from it you can actually laugh at how unbelievably detailed and extreme it can be. I wrote a whole blog on this called Mr Niggles and the Daily Insults.
There are other ways you can handle these inner battles too but these are a great way to get you started. If these don't work for you and you'd like more help get in touch.
I hope that's helped and remember, you are an amazingly, gifted and talented being. Stop being scared about how amazing your mind can be, step back and you may even start to enjoy it.
Until next time
These tips have been tried and tested by many of my clients over 5 years and also by me personally (cause sometimes we all have a wobble). Sometimes the simplest things can make all the difference.
Here's my 10 Proven ways to conquer those nerves:
1) Choose your networking group - With so many different ones available you don't have to throw yourself in the deep end. Go to a small or informal group to get started. Some you don't even do a 60 seconds, just grab a drink and say hi to someone.....which leads me to my next point...........
2) Everyone is on your side - Every single person in that room was once a newbie so they know exactly how you feel. Everyone is there for the same reason and actually people are expecting you to randomly say hi to someone, its Networking thats what everyone does.
3) Start the conversation by talking about them - Take the pressure off you, start the conversation by asking about them but the trick here is to really listen to the answer and start a real conversation.
4) The run up - It's important to get the run up right, if you focus on how awful an experience it will be that's exactly what you'll experience. Turn your thoughts to the good things, the opportunity to chat to interesting people, a delicious lunch ;) Maybe visit the venue so you know where you're going. Do everything you can to make the run up calm, exciting and you're more likely to feel calmer and more excited.
5) Breath - If you feel your pulse start to race take some deep relaxing breaths and focus on just breathing. That's it, just your breathing, in and out. This sends a message to your brain to say you're calm and will bring your pulse under control.
6) Prepare - If you do need to say something to introduce your business, prepare what you're going to say. Think about what you'd like to know about someone else's business and that's the info you need to say about yours (or maybe take a friend and introduce each other, its far easier to introduce someone else!!)
7) Find out the details - Ask the organiser for details, how many people usually come, how does the format work, what are you expected to wear, what do people usually talk about etc. There's nothing worse than walking in and being the odd one out. Finding out the details can help you prepare and feel comfortable that you know what to expect.
8) It takes time - My first networking meeting was far from perfect, I didn't say everything I wanted to say, it takes time. I've been perfecting my patter at networking meetings for years now, it sounds awesome and natural but it didn't start that way!!!!! Very few people in that room did. It takes practise you have to do it over and over and over.
9) Mistakes are ok - I haven't been to a networking meeting yet where someone new has been laughed at, or called out because they messed up, NEVER......not even once. Everyone is so supportive and right behind you every step of the way so if you mess up it's absolutely ok, take a breath, smile and carry on!!!!
10) Go for it - Often the idea is much worse than the reality. Our brains can create monsters where there aren't any. Sometimes we're better off not thinking, not wondering, just book one and go for it.
I hope you find these useful, give them a go and see how you do. If you'd like some more support download my free video series, it will give you an even better understanding of how your brain works and how to help it do what you want. Access it by clicking on the green box on the right.
If you have some tips which I haven't included here, feel free to share them in the comments box below I'd love to hear them.
Until next time
Resilience for me is a feeling of strength, knowing that no matter what happens we will be able to cope.
Even though I am young at heart I remember a time when we had to rely on knowing routes to places and get ourselves out of our own mess because you couldn’t phone home to be rescued unless you could get to a phone box. I think this built strong roots of resilience for me. (The picture is me at Lake Coniston in the rain after the dingy sprung a leak haha.)
Sometimes I feel theres less of a need now to rely on ourselves and our own abilities, therefore lessening our confidence in ourselves.
However I’ve also seen it work the other way around. I was watching Restoration Man the other month and a man took on a huge renovation project and did it all by the power of You Tube. He taught himself all the crafts he needed and did a really good job. I was thinking……..would he even have considered that project if he hadn’t been able to learn those skills through the internet??
Imagine the feeling of achievement that gave him…….a great sense of ‘I can achieve anything’ would does wonders for your resilience. (I talk more about how new experiences build resilience in this blog.)
I don’t have an answer for you here, I would just love to hear your thoughts. I certainly think self confidence is a big problem these days and I do think technology plays a part.
What do you think? Does modern technology positively or negatively impact on our resilience…..
They say the roots of a tree can be as long as the tree is tall, and I can tell you from experience digging up my garden last year that they are ridiculously strong. Many of my clients start off a little like my wheelie bin. They’ve stood in the same place happily for a while feeling strong. Then the weather changed and blew them off balance. They lost their strength and have ended up just going with the weather, hoping it wouldn’t blow them around too much. Some have even come to rest in a new place but it feels strange and they need help to be stood back up.
So what is your resilience like? Do you have those strong roots which keep you grounded even if your branches are blowing in the wind, if so feel free to share your secrets in the comments below so others can learn and grow from you.
Or do you resonate more with my wheelie bin, strong to a point but the weather can really blow you off course.
Maybe you’re questioning if it's even possible to change?
Yes of course we can change - we are learning beings, our brains are designed to constantly get better at doing things. You never knew how to drive a car till you had lessons and you never knew how to use a computer until you were shown. Then every time you did it, you got better and better......you see we are all learning beings.
Lets start with where our roots come from:
You have strong roots already!!!
You aren’t starting from scratch. Often we focus so much on what we don’t have we forget to remember all the good stuff.
I see this will the majority of my clients, they focus all their energy on telling themselves over and over about all the things they aren't good at....don't have.....could do better etc. But just like them you are not starting from 0. Lets start by realising that you have resilience already, think of all the elements of the 4 areas above which you do have experiences for. I bet there's more than you first thought........you have resiliance, you just want more of it.
How do you grow more resilience?
There are lots of different ways to grow your resilience depending on what area of your life needs work. I'd like to share my top 3 tips to get you started:
Do you have any more suggestions? This isn’t a one-way conversation, I'd love to hear what you think. Does this resonate with you? Am I talking rubbish? Let me know in the comments box below.
I hope these ideas have got you thinking and help you grow strong roots.
Until next time
60-80% of most people's time is spent on worries, concerns and thoughts that aren't in their control and aren't their fault. Are your wasted energy conversations stealing your peace?
Today I had a run planned to stir up those endorphins and bolster my affirmations however the wind was howling and it was throwing it down that fine rain that soaks you through so I opted for a swim instead. I’d got into a nice rhythm of affirmation with each arm stroke (not as easy to do as I thought) when I was distracted by a 'he said, she said' conversation of two woman swimming next to me, who I think were there more to chat under the excuse of exercise if I’m being honest.
Anyway this got me thinking about how much time we occupy ourselves with wasted energy conversations, you know…all the stuff that isn’t ours?
Their conversation went from the disgrace of our high schools expecting a friend of their daughters husband to break up a fight on her own to the terrible government in America who don’t support an aunty’s cousin with a sick child………you could see in their tone and body language they were getting more and more disappointed with the world, you could practically see their stress levels rising…….and for what???
None of this stuff impacted their day to day life in any way, shape or form. There was not a single thing they could do to change any of it……it was just wasted conversation that made them both get more annoyed.
I wonder how much you do the same?? What is it you’re worrying, concerned or thinking about?
Ask yourself, how much of that is yours to do something about? And how much is other people’s stuff or globallised problems you have no intention of making a stand against?
Here’s some examples from my experiences:
I often hear that people feel their heads are full, about to burst and they feel overwhelmed…..imagine how much space you could free up if you eradicated these wasted energy conversations from your life?
In my experience over 4 years with clients, whenever I’ve gone through this exercise they are often spending 60-80% of their time on things which aren’t in their control!!
If you flipped that around how much more productive could you be? What could you replace that space with??? Time to read? Time to use your affirmations? Time to breathe and relax? Time to enjoy laughing with friends????
Sounds much nicer and time better spent to me.
So I channeled out these two ladies and went back to appreciating the freedom I have to go swimming on a Friday morning, the gratitude for having a good healthy body and saying my affirmations, ‘I can achieve if I put my mind to it’. The outcome? I’ve completed half of my 'Do list' in record time and have a smile on my face.
It’s completely your choice but I know which one I would prefer.
Does this resonate with you? Do you find yourself getting dragged into wasted energy conversations or are you pretty good at channeling your focus? Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below, I always like to hear from you.
Happy Friday everyone.
Out of 10 how busy is your life right now? (10 being super busy and 1 being the least) Do you find yourself flying from one task to another? Constantly thinking you need to do this, that or the other? Do you feel overworked, like you’re a busy fool or just never on top of things?
This isn’t uncommon, many of my clients feel just like this so you’re definitely not on your own. I feel it’s getting worse in this modern age and I myself have fallen into the trap. After a short while I feel exhausted, emotional and like I’m just not getting anywhere, it’s never a good feeling. At a certain point in my life I was so good at it I made myself seriously ill. This was then I started to understand.
What do your car and your head have in common?
Our bodies are a machine and only ever as good as the upkeep and maintenance. Imagine your car, if you pushed it to it’s limits driving long distances every day, yet never washed it, serviced it or topped up the screen wash what would happen? At first it would do really well then over time it would start to wear, break and become less and less useful. Well our bodies and minds are just the same.
Here’s what I see, tell me if this resonates with you? You push and push yourself and top up just to get you through. This is usually in the form of caffeine, energy drinks, paracetamol, alcohol and shear will power. Anything which helps you continue to push just as hard if not harder. Then after a while you start to break, feel exhausted, emotional, get colds and lose your fighting spirit. Do you recognise any of this? If so it’s really no surprise, you are a machine, you can’t rely on good performance if you never do the maintenance.
It's more than a nice to have
Our subconscious minds need time to process our thoughts and as many of you know this happens when we are relaxing, when our brain waves slow down. While we sleep, while we drive, in those quiet times when your head pops up with solutions you’d never thought of.
Even more than this……..during these quiet times your body completes the long term healing tasks, like renewing cells and boosting the lining of your stomach. Things which are needed to keep you healthy and strong.
So how often do you have these quiet times?
In amongst the to-do lists, pinging notifications, social media, the house chores, work demands etc………..
Maybe, like me once upon a time, you think these quiet times are nice to haves, you never get round to it, you feel you’re too busy and just can’t find the time or think it’s ok because you can do it on holiday.
Stop……..if you’re feeling wobbly, like you’re constantly standing on a cliff edge waiting for a bungee jump or you’re feeling exhausted…..your mind is telling its not often enough.
What's the answer?
There’s good news!!!!
It doesn’t have to be a long time. You could listen to a quick guided meditation each night before you go to sleep. Go for a quiet walk or run. Take time to breath deep relaxing breaths in the car. Get the children to lay down, notice what breathing deeply feels like and create a story. There are so many opportunities if you just choose to do it.
So go on turn off those notifications, put the technology down and have some quiet, uninterrupted time. It’s not a nice to have it’s an important part of health, productivity and boosting your confidence.
It’s not just me mumbling on, this is backed up by science. Tests have proven that relaxed minds get more done, have less time off sick, feel more in control and are able to think much clearer too.
So what’s stopping you…….please don’t wait till you’re falling apart to realise these things are important in life, start now!!! Get your calendar and block out time slots and make sure relaxing times are part of your life.
Need somewhere to start? You can download my free 15 minute relaxation from the homepage, find a quiet place (not driving or operating machinery), listen and enjoy recharging your batteries.
Making this part of my life has had so many positive impacts on my health, my confidence and my productivity, let me know what changes it makes you yours.
Until next time.
What are Brain Demons?
Have you ever set yourself a challenge (or had one set for you) and you've started off with such determination and a feeling that you can and will achieve it. Then somewhere along the way a little doubt creeps in with a niggling 'brain demon' which delivers a blow so cutting it saps all that motivation away, mine started with 'oh my there's no way I can run 5K'.......Then bam before you know it this one thought evolves into huge self doubt and you hit motivation rock bottom perhaps even dreading turning up? These are what I call the brain demons.
Top 5 tips to overcome Brain Demons
Each year I take on at least one challenge for charity and every time I encounter these demons. Over the years I've been trying out various ways to overcome them so I thought I'd share the most effective ones with you. So, whether its a charity challenge like me or a challenge relating to work or your personal life, you can apply these Top 5 Tips and finally feel like you're winning the battle and go on to achieve your goal.
1. Every time a niggle has entered my head I've sang my favourite song, which happens to be Sunshine on a Rainy Day, in my head as loud as I can. That song can't help but make me smile and I find the demons subside.
What's your favourite song that makes you smile? Sing it and drown out the demons.
2. I've then replaced my internal negative words with something I do want instead of what I don't e.g. I can do this, everything is fine.
Think about what you do want, rather than repeating in your head what you don't.
3. I've purposefully big'd myself up as much as I can, saying I've done well, I'll feel really proud when I've achieved this and all the work I've put in is really paying off. I find this gives my motivation a little lift to fend off the demons a little quicker.
What have you done well, now tell yourself these things often.
4. Keep your eye on the prize: I keep reminding myself why I signed up to this in the first place. I find the brain demons take that away and I focus on all the drawbacks instead of the reason I took on the challenge. I'm doing it for a really good cause which is close to my heart and that's important to remember.
Ask yourself why are you doing this and keep the reasons clear in your mind.
5. I've purposefully focused only on the next step, the challenge feels like a mountain and seeing it that way makes me feel small and that I'll never get there. Looking only at the next step doesn't feel so hard and takes away the overwhelming pressure.
Forget about the size of the mountain, all you need to know is what's the next step.
So far the demons are being kept at bay, it's not that they're not there, its just I'm shaking off each one as it comes. Roll on the Spartan Sprint!!
No matter what challenge you're facing I hope practising these top tips will help you achieve the outcome you want. I'd love to hear how you're getting along so feel free to post your comments and updates.
Until next time.
PS If you'd like to help me reach my charity fundraising target for the Spartan Sprint you can donate by clicking here. All donations are very happily received and each one helps a very good cause. Thank you.
There's something I've noticed from talking to people this week and it's something which causes a lot of anxiety and feelings of personal rubbishness. Which is one of my pet hates. Making yourself feel inadequate or not good enough is one human nature I'm sure we could do without.
So what is it I'm talking about?......It's the frequency we compare our inner world with someone elses outer world. We seem to do it way too often from what I've seen. This excessive comparing creates all the shoulds and shouldn't that we add to our mental ammo to crush our self worth eg "well this person does this, that and the other so why can't I, I should be able to do that" or "I must be a failure because they can balance 3 jobs, 3 kids and a stack of plates on their head and still be smiling". Ok so that last one is a slight exaduration but I'm sure you get my point.
How many times have you done this? How many times have you looked at someone elses's situation or demeanor and made assumptions about what you should or shouldn't be able to do? And what influence has this had over how you feel about yourself?
So lets flip this around, do you go around and melt into a jibbering wreck in the middle of the street or do you but your best face on when others are around? I think I know what your answer will be.
We all but on our brave face when in the company of others, telling everyone we're fine when actually we're not. With the exception of true friends I guess which is when the chocolate and tissues come out or if you're a man you go somewhere for a man chat.
Comparing your inner feelings, thoughts and emotions to someone elses outward facade is like comparing apples and oranges. You don't know the truth about their situation, what's going on in their head, they might just be feeling the same as you (or felt the same way once). Similarly others will be looking at your situation and thinking gosh I wish I was more like that.
My advice would be to look at others realistically, we all benefit from seeing and learning from what other people do but we don't have to put our rose tinted glasses on when we see it. Neither do we need to be nasty and assume everything is terrible in their life, we just need to strike a balance and live in the reality. Maybe even share and communicate to understand how others really feel rather than making your own assumptions.
So banish the unrealistic shoulds and shouldn't you've presumed to be true from watching others and notice when this natural human behaviour rears it's ugly head. I'm sure doing this would do wonders for your self esteem.
Hope this helps.
I was inspired to write this today by a Horizon programme my friend posted on Facebook. It asked the question, "can you change your personality". Interesting concept and some interesting findings which would be really beneficial if you are prone to anxiety, insomnia and general pessimism.
If you're interested in watching the programme the link is here:
I loved the mix of psychology and scientific proof in the programme as it's not easy to have quantitative proof of the effects on someone's personality.
If you don't have time to watch the programme here's a roundup of the things I found interesting and how these can help.
So if you are suffering from anxiety, insomnia and general pessimism you don't have to put up with it, you can literally change your mind.
Want to get started? Give me a call on 0113 2536137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can learn the techniques to becoming optimistic.
Have a great day.
Last night I met a group of amazing ladies and I got into a conversation which I'd like to share. It has humour and advice which I think will make you smile on this snowy spring day.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed? The underdog, the opposite of confident and far from strong or proud. An occasion when you should logically be fine but crumble into something totally different. And you know that happens then, your brain takes over with all the negative wit it can muster, telling you you're not qualified, gonna mess up, not as good as everyone else, don't deserve to be there, can't do the task in hand. If you weren't so busy kicking yourself you'd probably marvel as how creative and cunningly hurtful your mind can be. I'm sure very few people could muster something more devastating than the contents of your own mind.
I've experienced countless examples myself, sitting in a meeting quiet as a mouse when I could have spoken quite eloquently on the given topic. Furthermore kicked myself profusely after the event at how unbelievably rubbish I'd been. This generated endless laughs as we recalled the devastation and shear skillful wonder of these situations last night. Great we can all have a laugh about it after the fact.
But far from a comical part of life these situations actually matter and do effect our lives. Maybe it's a job interview or a meeting which could change your life, maybe even the simple things which devastate our confidence and limits our abilities. So here's the practical yet enjoyable way of getting a grip before you crumble.
1) Before you step into the situation think about how you'd like to feel.
2) Ask yourself what would make you feel that way. Examples from last night were putting on a pair of leopard print shoes or imagining you're walking like Angelina Jolie.
3) Now you need a trigger, something which you see/hear/feel just before the situation eg pressing on the door handle, the carpet changes, the walls change from brick to glass windows. You could also use the noise levels increase or the air is cooler. Pick something which you'd notice.
4) Next imagine that every time to come into that situation the minute you hit the trigger you do your thing eg put on that pair of shoes, become Angelina etc. And mentally do this every time you come across the situation.
You'll be amazed how it changes how you feel and act. If nothing else it will put a smile on your face which always feels better. I think I may keep a pair of those shoes for myself :)
Let me know how it works for you.