For over 10 years I worked in learning and development, creating courses and online training for multinational companies. Whilst doing that I learnt a lot about how people learn and how we hold and retain information.
There are many ways to give information but to give information which sticks and is remembered, now there's an art form.
As humans we all absorb information through our senses and we don't all absorb information in the same way, but why should you as an entrepreneur care?
Why should learning styles matter for a professional?
Because we're all in the business of giving and sharing information. Whether you think it or not every time you speak you're sharing information and if you don't know about learning styles you're probably getting incredibly frustrated because you have to repeat yourself over and over or because someone just doesn't get what you're trying to tell them.
It also works for yourself, if you've ever been told something and its not sunk in or you have a list of 10 things to buy and you never remember them all.
The information we receive can be communicated in different ways. Understanding your style can enable you to request information in a way which you find easy to understand and remember.
I love improving efficiency and also making life easy so learning styles is top of my list when it comes to helping people ease their frustrations.
The most common learning styles
There are many profiling tools out there from Belbin's team types to Myers Briggs but I like to use the following two. I chose these for you because we're not profiling teams in large companies, we want simple tools to help us understand ourselves better. These two are simple, quick tools and give you enough for your needs.
Before we get into these a quick few words of warning, I've seen these tools used many times to put people in boxes. This doesn't account for the complexities of being human. We are all neuroplastic, ie we're constantly learning, so I encourage an approach based on awareness and flexibility rather than labelling people. We all have the ability to access all of these styles, my question is always what would be helpful to you, rather than a rigid 'I'm an x'.
1) Honey and Mumford's Learning Styles. Based on the work of Kolb this approach breaks down learning styles into 4 areas. Pragmatist, Activist, Theorist and Reflector. Below highlights the characteristics for each of the areas. You can be more than one.
Pragmatist - These people like to see the real world application of something. Games and abstract scenarios don't work for them. They like to experiments, try it out and see if it works.
Activists - These people learn by doing. They need to get their hands dirty and have a non-biased approach to new things. They jump in with both feet and give themselves fully to the learning experience.
Theorist - These people like the models, concepts and facts. They need to see the theory behind the learning. They like to analyse, theorise and bring new learning into a new model or formula.
Reflector - These people like to step back and observe, they like to take in all the information before giving their thoughts and opinions. They like to look at all the perspectives and then contribute to the learning.
As you can see all of these have their benefits and all can be useful to aiding the ability to absorb and retain information. Perhaps think about which styles you are more comfortable with, ask yourself is this helpful for you. Also asking what other people prefer and aiming to give information in a style which they find easy. Understanding this can really improve your success.
2) VAK. This is an NLP technique I learnt many years ago and it's still one of my favourites. I use this with all my clients to understand how they think so I can deliver information in a way which matches them. This model breaks down into our 5 senses Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory and Gusfactory. I've excluded the O and G as we don't tend to lick and sniff things as our most used option in a business context.
Visual - what we absorb through our eyes. If this is your preferred sense when recalling a memory you'll see it like a picture. You'll use your hands when talking and also visualise images easily.
Auditory - what we absorb through our ears. If this is your preferred sense how something sounds will be important to you, you'll love words and how they sound. You'll have an attuned ear which picks up on the smallest sounds.
Kineasthetic - what we absorb through feeling. If this is your preferred sense you'll feel the atmosphere of the room, you'll wear your heart on your sleeve and how someone is feeling will really matter to you.
As with the previous model you can be more than one. Knowing your ability means you can use your strengths to receive information in your preferred style eg visual people need it written down, auditory need it spoken and kinaesthetic people need to feel it's right.
I explore learning styles when I work with clients so if you'd like to know more about your preferred balance and how this impacts your actions and communications, book a free Mindset Review today.
I hope this post has helped you to realise the importance of learning styles and given you two simple ones which you can get started with.
It's always nice to hear your findings, so feel free to share your style in the comments and lets continue the conversation.
Until next time
Your values are what makes you, you. They're your inner moral compass and let you know what's right and what's wrong. They can be very powerful and when you go against them it can negatively affect both your mental and physical health.
What I find is that most people don't know what they're values are.
So if you're finding yourself conflicted in your work, life or struggling with stress related illness maybe it's time you make sure you're not fighting your inner moral compass on a daily basis.
A previous client of mine put it so elequently:
"I reached the top level of my industry by never compromising my values. Regardless of if that meant losing out on additional income or financial growth. For me success without integrity isn’t success at all, it’s sacrifice." Lisa Holroyd
Any business problem, especially for solopreneurs or small teams reflects a personal challenge. When you're not right, the business isn't right and how can you feel right when you don't know what's important to you?
Many of my previous clients have pinned their values up on their notice board at work or on their fridge at home as a constant reminder to follow what's important to them, they find it makes decision making a lot easier.
It's also helpful to know you values in priority order as this can help you make those really tough decisions. For example if making one decision answered one value but making the opposite choice matched another, eg tell the person the truth or hold on to the respect for a colleague. Tough choice but if you knew that truth was higher on your values list, you'd feel more confident to make that choice. So a priority values list can really help you in many areas of your life.
I have a really nifty way of finding out the priority order of your values using unconscious strength testing. Here's a picture of a group doing it at a workshop last year. It's great because your unconscious knows the truth and you don't have to force yourself to decide.
Your values are fundamental to your happiness and it's always really interesting when you suddenly realise how people with different values affect your interactions and relationships. I also teach you how to increase your confidence whilst also respecting other people's values. If you suffer with self-doubt or imposter syndrome, this can be a life changing revelation.
In summary your values are in integral part of who you are, if you feel hurt by someone else's comments, find it hard to let go of particular conversations or feel at loggerheads with yourself, your values will be to blame.
If you'd like to find out what your values are, in a prioritised top ten list and learn how to respect others whilst keeping your values intact apply for the Refreshed Minds Mindset programme.
Mindset Programme - Apply Here
For now, notice when something hurts, notice what you get on your soapbox about or what you can't stand in others. All of these are clues as to what really matter to you and therefore to the values which you hold dear.
Until next time
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
I've just got back from a refreshing Easter weekend away. Just like you before the long weekend I'd been working my butt off and I was counting down the sleeps till my weekend away. I couldn't wait to kick back, forget about the world and just knew I'd return energised, refreshed and raring to go.
Psychologists have shown that holidays are mentally beneficial. They allow you to distance yourself from the people, pressures and demands of life and instead immerse yourself in new places, new cultures and cuisine. Holidays give you the opportunity for a good night's sleep and to drift from experience to experience rather than focusing on one thing for long hours. They can refresh you physically and mentally but how long does that feeling actually last?
How long does the holiday feeling last?
A comprehensive meta-analysis study by Jessica de Bloom, now at the University of Tampere in Finland, demonstrated that these benefits generally fade within two to four weeks. In fact in one study of 96 Dutch workers that energetic, less tense feeling dissipated after just one week!
A holiday is like eating a piece of chocolate fudge cake, an immense pleasure that doesn't last very long. It's unrealistic to live permanently on holiday for most of us so if we want to excel ourselves towards more happiness, energy and productivity what's the alternative?
How to stay mentally healthy
Leslie Perlow of the Harvard Business School and her colleagues tracked the habits of employees at the Boston Consulting Group, after five months of regular time off and restful evenings employees reported they were more satisfied with their jobs, more content with their work-life balance, more likely to see a future for themselves with the company and prouder of their achievements.
So what time do you clock off work to enjoy your evenings? How often do you allow yourself time off, without thinking about work?
It looks like prioritising your rest/downtime actually has a significant impact on your happiness, energy and productivity. Perhaps you need to relook at your life and make some adjustments. Want to start with rest right now? Download my 10 minute Rest and Refresh audio and I'll deliver it straight to your Facebook Messenger. Don't wait till your holiday, boost that refreshed feeling every day.
So, do you wait for your holiday to rest or do you make it part of everyday life? What stops you from resting? What tips do you have for others? Please do join the conversation by commenting below.
Until next time
Nearly all the entrepreneurs I chat to experience some kind of imposter syndrome (that feeling you're going to be found out/aren't good enough), many also say they are experiencing symptoms of feeling overwhelmed. And yet when I chat to them and ask, 'how much time do you give yourself to rest' they laugh and say, 'I don't have time to rest'. I then find out what they do when they're not working and usually find they either have very little time when they're not and/or they fill their time with activities like facebook, instagram and watching TV.
It is averaged that in any given day we are bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers of information and in this blog (Why Resting Isn't Idle) I talked about how resting is far from being idle but a fundamental process in helping us to understand the information we receive.
If you are experiencing symptoms of imposter syndrome or feeling overwhelmed then you may be guilty of taking in so much information every day but not giving yourself the mental time you need to process it? You are suffering from information overload.
How to stop the negative impacts of information overload
At first making changes to the way in which you live can be hard and take practise but we are learning beings and so long as your reasons are big enough any new behaviour will form a habit pretty quickly. Take a look at your life at the moment and assess the following:
1) How much information do you take in each day? What can you reduce? - Since information comes into your life at all times these days and the high from social media is addictive you need your own self-discipline. Focus on the things you can change, turn off your notifications and set some boundaries which you feel are reasonable eg I'll look at social media twice a day for 10 minutes and that's it or I can plan one evening per week when I don't watch TV.
2) Make time and give yourself permission to rest - this is time to daydream and process information, not watch TV, read a book etc. Go for a walk and actually enjoy the walk, sit looking out of the window or ponder the world whilst you drink your coffee. It may take practise and feel a little weird at first but it is worth it.
Get used to your own thoughts, don't assess them, action them or get worried by them, they are just a thought and they can come as fast as they can go. This time is about giving your unconscious mind time to process, make connections and strengthen your mental pathways of learning.
If you're struggling, download my 10 minute audio and give it a listen. When you start this practise of resting it may feel strange so listening to someone talking you through it can make it easier.
Some people also rest by doing, if that's you thats absolutely fine but pick an action which is mundane and repetitive, something which requires no new learning or much cognitive application examples may be doing a jigsaw, washing dishes, walking, running, climbing etc. For people who rest by doing these repetitive actions distract your conscious mind and allow you to focus on processing your day. If you're not daydreaming the action is too involved!!!!
Most important of all, change your belief that resting is a nice to have, or that by resting you're being lazy, resting is a fundamental human function and without it you struggle to process life!!
Want a whole day of resting, recouping and reconnecting with who you are? Details for my next Reconnect With You workshop can be found by clicking below and join me in the woods for a whole day of mental processing which can help you refocus, re-energise and overcome your symptoms of imposter syndrome and overwhelm.
Until next time
Click here: Reconnect With You 1 day Workshop
How come whenever we face something new we immediately jump to assessing the negatives eg what might go wrong, how hard its going to be or how many obstacles we will need to face? Today I'll be talking about why this happens and teaching you the art behind managing your mind so you can take back control and say yes to new challenges with confidence.
Why? because as busy entrepreneurs we have to step out of our comfort zones constantly, so these are pretty essential skills if you hope to do that without shaking, sweating, mumbling or potentially dreading something so much that you say 'no' when you really want to say 'yes'.
So there are two parts to the fear puzzle.
1) Our natural human instinct to watch out for danger
2) Our unconscious evidence (or lack of it)
Lets look at the each in turn:
1) Did you know that our brains have 5 times more negative receptors than positive? This is because we're a survival being so we naturally tend to air on the side of caution and watch out for danger. Which is pretty important, otherwise we would be stepping out in front of cars and jumping into hot water without first testing the temperature. This is why you're more likely to jump to what could go wrong and the obstacles you face.
2) The other part of the 'fear of the unknown puzzle' is your lack of mental evidence. Its reported that 80% of what we do is led by unconscious habit. If you’ve never done something before you have no evidence to tell you what it’s like, what to expect or if you are going to be any good at it. Add this to our survival instinct and you can see why it leads to feeling nerves, fear and trepidation.
But there are people who do new things all the time. They like to test themselves, they love the thrill of having a go. So what's different in their approach and how can we harness some of that to help us get out there more?
How to overcome your fear of the unknown
The wonderful Wayne Dyer once said, 'when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'
People who say 'bring it on' when trying new things call it curiosity and adventure.
This is a very clever technique called reframing.
As I mentioned as business owners we’re constantly having to face the unknown so this is a really useful skill for you to adopt, practise and make part of your mental toolkit. For this reason I'm going to challenge you to start now and make some changes......STARTING NOW!!
Reframing the fear of the unknown
Pick something which you are going to have to face in the next month. One thing you would like to do but haven't done before. It can be big or small it doesn’t matter.
Grab a piece of paper and write how you currently feel about it. What do you say to yourself about it, what do you say when others ask you about it? Write it all down.
Next walk away and do something else.
When you come back, come back metaphorically wearing the hat of curiosity and adventure and rewrite how you'd feel about these two things from this new perspective.
Pick a few powerful statements relating to this new way of thinking as reminders that will also give you motivation every time you think about your 2 things going forwards.
If just knowing these statement in your mind isn't enough for you I’ve created a sheet of 4 'Reframing Cards' you can download for free. You can write out your statements boldly, one statement per card, and then display them or keep them close as a constant reminder of your reframe statements. Just click below and I'll send them straight to your Facebook Messenger.
Click 'get started' and then follow the prompts, if you joined my messenger before the download link will come straight up.
The more you can repeat your new statements the more the repetition creates a new habit and boosts the unconscious evidence of how you feel about it. This reinforces the positive receptors in our brains and helps us change the fear of the unknown into a curiosity for the new.
Let me know how you get on, I always love to hear how this technique is working for you.
Until next time.
I may surprise some of you today, the fear of failure can actually be a good thing? ? There I said it.
Being human is a strange conundrum, whilst sometimes fear of failure can hold you back (I wrote about that in this blog) it can also provide the kick you need to spur you into action.
Think about it.......if it was perfectly possible and something you can easily do.......do you think....
Often people say if there’s no challenge it’s not worth doing. As humans we like to take it on, beat it, and show to ourselves (and others) that it’s possible.
We all know people who when they hear, 'you can't do that', say, 'I bloody well can, you just watch me.'
The possibility that it can't be done, the idea that you might just fail can actually improve your motivation. So, what's the difference between those who allow fear of failure to fuel them and those who don't?
Personality traits and perceptions
I believe it's a mixture of personality and perception.
If you have a competitive nature, or a rebel streak, you're more likely to find a fear of failure motivating. Like wise if you are stubborn or like to feel like an individual. These traits mean you're more likely to say, 'I'm doing it anyway'. Some people are naturally motivated by adventure and challenges too.
But that doesn't mean we can't all harness our inner badass when we need too.
What perception do you choose?....if you see something as fearful, if you think it's going to be arduous and not worth while you'll fuel your fear of failure. If you have a perception that new experiences are fun, that you give things your all and that failure is part of success you're much more likely to be able to harness the mindset of motivation for any task.
It's not the fear of failure which holds you back, it's your perception of the task you're trying to achieve. Fear can actually fuel your motivation to achieve something amazing, if you allow yourself to experience it that way.
Want more tips, mind tricks and motivation?
I go live every week, sharing mindset tricks and tips, covering topics such as new business confidence, motivation and public speaking nerves to anxiety, fear and self-esteem. If you want more mindset support delivered to your inbox, enter your details below and I'll get them over to you. I don't spam or sell your details, I just send you my best advice and news via email to those who are interested.
Until next time
PS. My business works on referrals, if you know someone who is struggling and could benefit from some support, please pass on my details.
We all know that dreaded feeling of fear, the niggling and creeping feelings of what may happen and how it's all going to go wrong or how you're not capable of doing something. Fear can hold us back from stepping up, stepping out and making our businesses what we truly feel we're capable of.
Today we're talking about how fear holds us back because self-awareness is the first step to making a change happen. I've created a 'Fear Analysis Exercise' which you can download. This will provide you with questions to help you to uncover your individual behaviours and beliefs about fear, because once you understand it, you have a better opportunity to change it.
Why we fear
Imagine for a moment a herd of zebras. They're on the move, looking for somewhere with plenty of food and water. Where is the most dangerous place in the herd to be?
Answer: On the outer edges or anywhere away from the pack.
This is the same for humans, we are naturally a pack mammal so stepping up and out makes us naturally feel we're in the most vulnerable and dangerous place. In modern life this manifests in our feelings of fear of public speaking, fear of success, fear of marketing to our fullest, fear of going to networking meetings, fear we're not good enough, fear of asking for finances etc.......
In business this is pretty much where we put ourselves constantly, out on the edge, standing out. We're pretty much always saying 'cooee, look at me!!' We're constantly creating new ideas, putting ourselves out there and thinking about how we can stand out.
Our mind's natural reaction is to say, 'what the hell are you doing'.......'sit down, shut up and get back within your pack i.e. your comfort zone.'
How fear manifests for business owners
If you're experiencing any of the following, you're experiencing feelings of fear:
- Deep down you feel you're capable of achieving more but you don't take action to make it happen.
- You're a magpie, constantly distracted by the lovely stuff rather than your to-do list.
- You don't put yourself out there because you feel you'll be judged.
- You procrastinate and those things on your priority list, never get to be an actual priority.
Fear plays a part in all of these behaviours.
I'd like to give you an opportunity to assess your individual behaviours and question whether these are done because of fear........once we understand ourselves we can then take steps to change it.
Fear Analysis Exercise
Today I challenge you, for the next week, to notice what you're doing, when you're procrastinating, avoiding, getting distracted etc and take a few moments to notice what your thinking/fearing at the time.
This can be so enlightening because so often our behaviours are habitual, unconscious and we don't actually take time to be self-aware.
To make this easier I've created a 'Fear Analysis Exercise' sheet which you can download and print. Use this to note down your findings and it gives you the really good questions to help you uncover the impact this fear is having on your decisions, actions and behaviours.
Enter your details below and I'll send it to your inbox so you can get started.
Need more help?
Sometimes we struggle to see our own thoughts and beliefs so if you need help with this exercise, get in touch. Often someone else guiding you and asking the right questions just makes everything flow more easily. I can also help you take the next step and work through the changes you'd like to make too.
Remember: Fear is our natural defence when we feel unsafe, anything you can do to make yourself feel more capable, strong and resourceful will minimise fear and even make it disappear.
Until next time
I believe there is immense value in connecting with like-minded peers and facilitating informative and explorative discussions. Discussing more about the real journey of owning a business and being in a supportive environment where you can ask questions to learn and grow.
It started with a personal quest
For a while now I've been toying with the idea of such a group. I've looked around for something to join but all I find are networking opportunities, business development events and learning sessions designed for businesses with much bigger budgets. For me these are either about showcasing/building your business or out of my league.
I want a learning opportunity which is accessible and designed to create a supportive community so I can learn and grow both professionally and personally. And equally as a business my aim is to help the human behind the business.......a plan was starting to form in my mind.
Then a 'aha' moment
Then, last month I went for a coffee with a lovely business associate of mine and I got talking about this idea. She pointed out that I already had the mindset toolkit, a wealth of business experience and a facilitation background so why don't I just go for it and set up such a group myself.
Talk about being slapped in the face by something obvious. I went home and Break Free, Find Clarity was born.
What is Break Free, Find Clarity?
This is a monthly event designed to bring business owners together to create interesting discussions, to share expertise and to learn simple mindset tools which you can implement. Because when you are strong, capable and motivated your business will flourish and business isn't just about 'the business' it's also about you.
Each session/meeting is just £15 and you'll walk away from every one feeling better than when you walked in.
So if you want to join a supportive community and learn practical tools to add to your mindset toolkit so you can flourish and grow, this group is for you.
How to join us
We meet on the second Tuesday of every month 1-3pm at The Room in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. More details and booking information can be found by clicking the picture below.
Your mind is a powerful tool, come and join some like-minded business owners and learn some amazing tools which can help you succeed in business.
Until next time.
PS. This meeting is not a confessional, you can share as little or as much as you like about your personal experiences.
PPS. Please let your friends and colleagues know about this event, you never know it may be the support they've been looking for.
Over 6 years ago I stumbled across a set of techniques which have ensured my sanity whilst running my own small business. It's called Hypnosis. Here I explain how Hypnosis works, how it can help and why I passionately teach it to all my clients.
They say running a successful business is 20% knowledge and 80% mindset, I happen to agree.
If you're fascinated by hypnosis and want to understand how it works, read on.......
What is hypnosis
When I say I'm a fully qualified hypnotherapist most people start backing away or say something like, 'Oh, don't look in her eyes'. Hypnosis has a reputation for mind control but actually the reality is something completely different and I'm pleased to say over the last few years people's perceptions are starting to change.
Hypnosis is actually something you do naturally every day. Have you ever.........
All of these are hypnosis.
So you probably enter the state of hypnosis 2-3 time every day, maybe even more!!
What's going on?
During your awake state your brain waves operate at a level which your conscious mind loves, it's firing on all cylinders but as you settle down and those brain waves slow down your conscious mind doesn't work so well. Instead your unconscious comes alive and starts processing and thinking. So during these times which I mentioned above you are thinking more with your unconscious mind and that type of thinking is very different.
In the 1950s they did some research and found out that your conscious brain can only handle 7 +/- 2 pieces of information so its capacity is very limited. In contrast your unconscious brain is like a library, storing all the things you've experienced, heard, seen etc. It's capacity is amazingly large and it's here where habits and unconscious actions are created and held. I read a quote somewhere saying your unconscious is 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious and I can well believe it.
Just a quick note on the difference between hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is the state which you're in. In the 4 situations mentioned above you are in a state of hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is then the action which is taken during the state of hypnosis. Effectively the therapy or changes or work which takes place. I hope that makes it easy to understand.
2 Benefits of Hypnosis for Solopreneurs
So what are the benefits of hypnosis to the Solopreneur? Well I've already alluded to one of them but I'd like to focus on two, which are:
1) Problem solving - sometimes you're looking at something so hard that the answers just become further away. You're ultimately using your limited conscious mind to find the solution and not tapping into the incredible resources held in your unconscious. By using hypnosis you can have more light bulb moments by having access to the unconscious library which has so much more resource at it's disposal.
2) Giving your head a break - we all know as Solopreneurs that we are constantly thinking about our businesses. Every waking moment is ticking over some element of your to do list, aims or issues. Hypnosis gives you time to take your head off for a little while. This is great for resetting the fight, flight and freeze instinct (more about your FFF Instinct here.) This calms your whole system and has huge long term benefits too. Great if you're feeling any anxiety, stress, pressure etc.
Hypnosis vs Meditation
So what's the difference between Hypnosis and Meditation?
None, they both reach the same state i.e. the state of hypnosis. Which is that daydreamy kind of state when you feel you're there but not really all there.
The difference is in hypnotherapy where something is worked on during the state of hypnosis. Where in meditation/hypnosis you're getting the value of being in that state rather than purposefully amending or assessing any files in the library while you're there.
Want to have a go?
If you would like to experience hypnosis I've created a 10 minute Rest and Refresh audio which you can download. It's designed to be listened to every day and includes affirmations to top up your good stuff, give you strength and refocus your mind and thoughts in the right direction.
If you would like my 10 minute audio you can download it here.
Hypnosis is an amazing set of tools which can really help you stay sane whilst also running a small business. We all need mental time away because it's not just a nice thing to have it's actually a powerful part of how your brain works. Hypnosis gives you access to the library and all it's resources, tapping into that can have amazing results for you and your business.
Until next time
Do you think you're going to get 'found out' or that you're only pretending to be the expert? Do feelings of not being good enough plague your day. Perhaps making you feel like you can't or shouldn't be doing whatever it is you do?
This is called 'Imposter Syndrome' and is extremely common. In this live video and blog post I discuss the causes of Imposter Syndrome so you can gain a better insight and understanding into what drives you to think and feel this way.
I believe that understanding why you do something is the first step to realising what options you have to change it. So keep reading or click the video and find out why Imposter Syndrome happens and some simple techniques you can start using today to overcome it.
Where does Imposter Syndrome come from?
This feeling of not being good enough or being 'found out' for not being as expert as you think comes from our primeval need to be safe and protected. By nature we are a pack mammal and deep within all of us is the idea that being on the edge or outside our pack means we're going to get eaten, starve and most likely die.
The very nature of having a business requires you to stand out, it requires you to stick your head above the pack and say look at me, look at what I can do and this makes us feel unsafe. This feeling of uncertainly is the route cause of your imposter syndrome.
Deep within our brain standing out sends alarm signals to say 'what are you doing', 'this isn't safe', 'you'd be better within the comfort zone', 'get back in the pack and shut up'. It does this by saying things which hurt. Whatever is going to get you to sit down and shut up the quickest, after all your mind's number 1 priority is to keep you safe.
So if you suffer with Imposter Syndrome, congratulations you qualify as a human!!
Why can I feel great doing my thing one day and then cower in a corner a dribbling mess another?
I know how you feel, on some days it's easy to stand up, feel confident and take on the world and others you question the very core of the simplest of actions and think you might as well just stay in bed. So why the difference?
It all comes down to thoughts.....ask yourself the following:
We work on balance and whatever gets the most attention wins. There's all sorts of things which impact on how we feel, from the weather and relationships to our experiences and daily routines.......some days are great, others are not but you do have a choice.
This is a great video by Todd Herman who coaches top atheletes to overcome their Imposter Syndrome. It's about making a choice over your thoughts and not just letting them have free reign. It's also about making yourself see that being on the outside of the pack isn't a danger but an opportunity and that you're strong enough, capable enough and will do perfectly well. The technique shared in this video puts you back in control.
I hope that you're starting to see that what you say and feel makes a difference and is completely within your choice. As I said before it's about balance and whatever gets the most attention wins.
I've found that achieving this balance requires a daily top up of your good stuff, so you can constantly readdress and choose to feel strong and capable. For me the ultimate solution lies in having a long term solution and a quick fix too.
With this in mind I created my 10 minute Rest and Refresh Audio, designed to be listened too every day and top up your good stuff, give you strength and refocus your mind and thoughts in the right direction.
If you would like my 10 minute audio you can download it here.
What are your experiences of Imposter Syndrome?
I love lightening up the pressures of life and bringing humour into the realities of being human, so what's the most ridiculous thing your brain has said to try and make you sit down and shut up? Please share them, share your experiences of Imposter Syndrome so we can all learn that it's a normal part of being human.
Mine........I'm just as bad as you, my 'Mr Niggles' sometimes goes on a right rampage and I think the most hurtful thing he can throw at me is 'nobody cares about what you do', or 'you don't make a difference so what's the point.' I'm getting better at nipping these thoughts it in the bud but I also appreciate it's part of being human.
I hope this helps
Until next time
5 years ago I started my new business with no money, no support but plenty of determination. Over the years I've learnt a lot!!! So in this post I'm going to share with you 5 things I know now which I wish I'd known back then.
This post is for you if you're thinking about starting a new venture or if you're a business owner who feels a little lost. Perhaps you're frustrated or losing confidence in yourself or just apprehensive and want to make sure you do it right, in this post I share with you my biggest learnings so you can make the rollercoaster a little less bumpy.
My 5 learnings from starting a new business
Lets dive in and get straight to it. I'm going to start with something simple.
1) Have the ability to edit your own website - Over the last 5 years Refreshed Minds has been through 4 fundamental changes, not to mention countless tweaks to packages, prices, freebies, layout etc. If I'd had to pay every time I wanted amends it would have been so frustrating and very costly. It definitely benefits you to be able to edit your own.
That's not to say you have to design your own website from scratch, although there's lots of simple options now available like Weebly (I use this one) and Wix. But if you're going to pay a web designer to create your website make sure the training so you can edit it is also part of the package.
2) Start with the customer, not the products - At the beginning I spent all the little money I had on building some brilliant packages, a website, a leaflet and paying for stalls to promote my amazing new business. Only to found I'd created packages the customers didn't want.
When I say start with the customer, I don't just mean thinking who your customer might be, I mean really get to know them. You need to be able to talk in their language, solve all their challenges and in a way which they will love. You need to know where they are, what they're doing and what would be the perfect solution for them. Build that product.....not the one you think will be amazing.
3) Prepare Yourself for the Long Game - I can't count the amount of people who think they'll open the doors and people will come. Who go to a couple of networking meetings and get frustrated because they've not been offered any work. You have to work your ass off for 4-6 months consistently in order for your hard work to start paying off. If you're a brand new business make that 6-12 months!!
At the beginning I found this part of business soul destroying, I worked super hard and got nothing back, zip, diddly squat and I started thinking what's the point, I lost my confidence and thought about giving it up.
This 4-6 months window is normal so prepare yourself for the long game, every time you do something new it will take at least that long before you start seeing results.
Which leads me nicely onto learning 4........
4) Have strategies to top up your determination and motivation - Your motivation and determination will need constant nurture and care. You do not have endless amounts of either and the work a new business requires drains them quickly.
At the start you're out of the gate like a racing horse but it only lasts so long (see point 3!) you absolutely need to take care of yourself and top up your good stuff regularly. Even more regularly than when you're in employment because there's just you, only you and without you and your drive, there is no business. Don't expect yourself to have endless energy, motivation and positiveness, these need care and attention to keep them topped up.
With this in mind I've created a little freebie you can download below if you're in need of a motivation and determination top up.
5) Get help, ask, hire, network and talk - I missed the gate on this one. When I started my business I was a one woman, taking over the world, I can do this, watch me kind of business owner. I went to networking and heard from people like the Chamber of Commerce and the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) but thought no I can do this on my own........I was stupid....utterly stupid!! I missed out on loads of support, grants and help.
Support is out there, get yourself in there and don't be too proud to take it.
Equally, you can't do this all on your own. Trust me I tried!!! As a solopreneur you don't have a team to bounce ideas off, you don't have colleague to nip to the canteen so you can download to them. As a business owner those people aren't around you all day so you have to go out there and find them, go networking, find your tribe and support each other, counsel each other. Nobody is an island, you need a support team.
You'll also need expertise from others, you can't be great at everything. This also took me way too long to realise. 4 years in and I finally got myself a coach, priceless!! Absolutely priceless. You can't see your own stuff until someone else points it out. Equally there's lots of things you need in order to run a business and people out there who are experts at them, hire them and if you can't do that talk to them, ask their advice, go to their free webinars. It's worth thinking, how can I best get the expertise I need.
I got exhausted from trying to be everything.........you need a team, go find one!!
Feeling overwhelmed, I have just the thing.
Since topping up your motivation is so important, and something which business owners don't do enough of, I've created a free Rest and Refresh Audio which you can download and listen to. It lasts just 10 minutes so can fit into even the most busy of days.
This audio is a guided meditation with affirmations to unconsciously top up your good stuff and lift your mood. When you're feeling overwhelmed, tired, anxious, stressed.....and all the feelings that a 'busy-life and business' brings, then please take 10-minutes to gain some clarity on the situation and Rest & Refresh with this 10-minute mindset audio.
Click 'grab your freebie' below to access the audio.
Prefer face to face support?
If you're feeling pressured, frustrated and would benefit from a break to find your clarity, my Break Free, Find Clarity monthly mindset event for entrepreneurs would be perfect for you. They bring together like-minded entrepreneurs to work on all things mindset, have honest conversations about running a business and we always starts with a relaxing 10 minutes too. Their just £15 and all the details can be found by clicking below.
That's it for this time, I hope you found those learnings useful and whatever you do don't suffer in silence. If you would like support get in touch.
Until next time
Surprise!!! I'm human too. For years I've battled with a whole bunch of thoughts which make me feel I'm never good enough. What I've come to appreciate is that this is actually a very normal part of being a human being.
As humans, we have to look around us and take in information about our surroundings and understand expectations in order to know what and how to do things. We then naturally, inwardly compare ourselves against that to see how we measure up. How would you know what to do or what to learn so you can grow if you didn't do this?
But that natural human condition doesn't mean we have to be plagued by the outcome of 'I'm never good enough'.
I also think that culture has a lot to do with it. A stiff upper lip in England can make us feel like we're the only ones who feel this way and we must buckle up, stuff it down and crack on with it. In reality I don't know a single person who doesn't feel this way at some point, even really successful ones.
We also keep pushing, pushing and pushing to get better, quicker and the goalposts feel like they're constantly moving. Whether that's from ourselves or from our bosses or family. This cultural norm makes us lose sight of who we are and strips our ability to feel comfortable for what we already do.
You see, when you outwardly look, you're comparing yourself again someone else's highlight's reel. You've probably heard many times about the impact of social media and everyone putting out there, their best selves (sometimes it's even not true.) It's been proven time and time again that someone's inner world is a vastly different story. Don't compare someone else's highlights reel to your inner world, it's like comparing apples with oranges.
What do you do to stop it?
Over the years I've tried many tips and tricks but these simple steps have been the most effective for me.
I've found that in 99-100% of cases the verbal diarrhoea my mind comes up with is actually false when I've looked at it properly.
You see, most people let these thoughts just go without checking them or questioning their validity in any way.
So here's the steps I take whenever I feel I'm not good enough (and I still do sometimes!!)
Step 1: Notice it - the first step is becoming consciously aware of that thought or thoughts. At the moment you're unconsciously doing it, it just happens but when you start to notice these thoughts you give yourself an opportunity to think about it and perhaps even choose something different.
Step 2: Question it - where did it come from, what are you doing, is it true, where's the evidence.......asking yourself to question it has made me realise I'm being unfair, unrealistic or just down right unnecessarily mean to myself.
Step 3: Move on - once you have the new evidence, move on, distract yourself, or do something different. Let it go and move on.
In a real life example, this happened to me a good few months ago.
I wanted to create some new audios for people to download so I was searching the internet for inspiration. I came across this amazing website and the more I looked at it the more fearful and self-loathing I got. Within a few minutes I was ready to pack in my business because I'll never be as good as them, my brain went into overdrive and lashing after lashing I began to lose myself, my confidence and my clarity.
So what did I do?
I caught myself and asked what I was doing, where did that come from and was it true.
I re-looked at their website, looking at the 'about me' page and found out they'd been in business for 20 years!! 3 times as long as me at the time. I hope you agree, it's hardly fair to compare the work of 20 years to that of a business not even half that length of time.
I then shut my laptop, made myself a brew and came back to continue my task of creating amazing audios. Telling my mental 'Mr Niggles' to shut up.
Guess what.......It worked!!!
But I still have to do it over and over again. I can't get away from being human, sometimes these thoughts creep up on me, but I just do the same thing I did here.
Instead of thinking I have to be a shining super human who is always positive (PS that's not a real human) I give myself permission to realise these things happen, I've got the tools to handle it.
Want more help?
I love sharing these tips and tricks with you, I hope you find them beneficial and they help you put mind over matter and start to realise the power of what you're capable of when you put your mind to it.
That's it for now. Let me know how you get on with the techniques I shared. I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time
Owain and Rory have taken lessons of the wider psychological literature and of the Behavioural Insights team which was set up by the government in 2010 and turned them into a simple structure which can help you understand the small steps which in turn help you achieve your goals.
For those that don't know the Behavioural Insights team's soft motto was, 'shunning the bureaucratic levers of the past and finding intelligent ways to encourage, support and enable people to make better choices for themselves.' It's findings have been applied in job centres, schools and many other places, many referenced in the book.
I'm going to skip chapters 1 and 2 which are to Set and Plan, both gave me insights but it was chapter 3, Commit which I chose to share with you today.
One finding which jumped out at me was from the research by behavioural scientists Read, Loewenstein and Kalyanaraman which showed that we tend to prefer immediate 'vices' rather than immediate 'virtues' e.g. after a long day we'll choose to watch a mindless programme rather than a documentary, or buy a takeaway rather than eat a healthy meal.
This research also showed that if we commit to a plan further in advance we're more likely to stick to it.
Taking that one step further, research by Soloman Asch in the 1950s demonstrated that if we then made our commitment public, we were even more likely to stick to it. The final piece of advice from this chapter was to have a commitment referee, someone to keep you on track and again this increases your chances of success.
I haven't yet finished reading this insightful book but the next chapter talks about Reward and I love the idea of choosing a positive outcome which will reward your commitment to boost your motivation towards achieving your goal.
If you would like a copy of the book, click the link to the below......
Lets put these commitment ideas into practice.......
I'd like to help you reach your goals, I'd also like to help you make it more likely that you'll get there so as a result of reading this book, I've introduced my Monday Pledge and Reward. This will take place on my Refreshed Minds Facebook page, if you've not already liked the page you can do so here.
Here's how it works
Every Monday I'll give you the opportunity to publicly pledge your commitment for that week along with what your reward will be for achieving it. Then each Friday I'll check in with you and give you a chance to celebrate your achievement. Together we can make those big goals happen and help motivate each other along the way.
Like the Refreshed Minds Facebook page and come and join in.
Need more support to achieve your goals?
If your big dreams feel over-facing and you would love to Break Free and Find Clarity, join me in September for my 2.5 hour workshop sharing with you:
I hope you've enjoyed learning about Think Small with me and have found the topic of commitment thought provoking. If nothing else, think about how you could focus on the little steps which will enable you to reach your goals, rather than the big mountain.
Until next time.
PS. I am an Amazon Affiliate which means whenever I suggest a book, if you buy through my link I get a few pence as a thank you, which I usually put towards buying my next coffee.
Whether it's a new venture, a presentation, a job or a new hobby - our lives are full of new things, but nothing strikes fear into our minds like facing the unknown.
Today I wanted to explain why the unknown makes us nervous and share with you a few of my tips so you can have a Confidence Toolkit for those times when you're facing something new.
Why does my confidence wobble when faced with an unknown?
The reason why your confidence wobbles is because our unconscious mind needs the evidence to reference in order to determine our level of competence. It's only when you've practised something over and over do you have lots of evidence which supports how to do it. When it comes to facing something new there is no evidence to call upon and therefore your mind has to look elsewhere to determine our approach.
Your mind either searches internally for something similar or something it thinks is related which in some cases can make the situation feel even more confusing, or it looks outwardly for something to reference too. Effectively your antenna goes up and you start to notice other people doing it, or you're drawn to looking at books, videos etc looking for whats expected and how to do it......
Next it then depends on what your interpretation is of that reference. For most of us the outcome is 'I can't do this,' or 'I'll never be as good as them,' or 'I might as well not bother.' Which aren't very confidence boosting outcomes.
What do I do instead to boost my confidence?
I have a Confidence Toolkit which outlines the steps to take to stop the internal battles and readdress the confidence balance. I've put them into a little video which you can watch below.
The steps are:
1) A Powerful Stop
2) A few deep breaths
3) Change your language
4) Use distraction
5) Refocus the mind
And here's an example of how I would use these.
A few weekend's ago I was booked to go on a Segway Rally, I've never been on a Segway before. As I was walking to the start I started to feel my confidence wobble.....
What if I make a fool of myself......
Oh go what if I fall off.....
What if I break it and it costs me a fortune.
So I said a Powerful STOP. I took a few deep breaths. I changed my language to 'I'm looking forward to spending some time with my husband', 'I'm pretty sure we're going to have a fun.' I then distracted myself by admiring the beautiful grounds of the park as I walked. Finally I refocused my mind on the task once I arrived at the event start as there was a safety briefing to listen to.
Want more support to maximise your Confidence Toolkit?
I hope that's helped. Let me know how you get on with your new Confidence Toolkit.
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
This time I'm sharing my own experiences of Corporate Pressure/Stress and how it led me down a path to discover how my mind and body worked and what I could do to alleviate the daily stress, anxiousness, exhaustion and everything else that was happening to me.
I knew that our Minds were powerful, but I had to find something that not only worked for a day or two, but something that would make long lasting changes to my life.
Finding my own solution is what led me to create Refreshed Minds. I knew that I could help others that were going through what I’d experienced over 5 years ago.
Since starting Refreshed Minds I have now helped hundreds of people by sharing my proven, simple and practical techniques and I would love to help you too.
If you can relate to what I have shared in this blog, I would love to help you.
In the video I talk about typing 25 in the comments but this is because it went out live on Facebook, it only works on the Facebook video. Now, I don't want you to have the hassle of going over to Facebook and trying to find the video so I've put the details below for you:
The Confidence and Courage Workshop
For just £25 you will be given simple practical techniques that you can implement in your life straight away, and also have the opportunity to meet others that “get you” too.
It will be an evening where you will leave with a feeling of "I Can REALLY Do This"!!!!
So if you would like to learn 3 powerful techniques to breakdown your Confidence blocks and have the courage to reach your full potential, click the button below.
"Life is 5% what happens to you and 95% how you react to it."
However most of us have never been taught how to understand ourselves well enough to make that reaction a healthy and productive one. I'm absolutely passionate about showing people how to do that.
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
I hear so many people saying they have no will power or that their will power isn't strong enough. They're usually trying to change their habits and they're finding it hard work. This is one of the most common examples of using yourself badly and expecting good results.......today I'll explain why and what you can do to make those new choices easier.
Whatever 'new' behaviours or habits you're trying to implement this free article will help make those choices easier. Perhaps you're trying to introduce a new morning routine or make better food choices, maybe you're starting planning your time better or want to improve your exercise.....if you're using your will power to get you through, there's an easier way.
An introduction to Will Power
Your will power is designed as a short term system, a boost to make you do something you don't necessarily want to do. It's a quick burst or drive to get you through. It was never meant to be a long term strategy or have strength in the long term.
With this in mind it seems pretty crazy that we rely on this system to continue a new behaviour for weeks, sometimes months...and then we get frustrated with ourselves when our will power runs out.
Why do so many people think the solution is to find a way to drive a short term system harder? This isn't easy and is always going to leave you feeling drained, not good enough and like you've failed.
So if you're looking for more will power or a way to make your will power stronger......
There's a much easier way......
An introduction to Motivation
Motivation is our want or desire to do something. It's much deeper than our will power and a good motivation driver can keep people fuelled for years. Think about people who have decided to achieve something and have a genuine motivation to do it.....
These people have climbed mountains, build multimillion pound companies, taken themselves off around the world, set up successful charities, lost stones of weight etc etc.........
Motivation is a long term system which gives you fire in your belly and won't let you give up no matter how tough things appear to be.
Sounds good doesn't it
Where do I get myself some motivation?
If you're finding something hard you haven't yet tapped into your motivation. You still want that comfortable behaviour more than you want the new one. Your focus is on what you'll lose out on, what you can't have and what makes it difficult.
Here's the steps to find your motivation:
1) Why does it matter to you?
Your motivation lies in your why, your reason for wanting the new behaviour............
not the reason everyone else says has to why you should have it......but your reason.
Why does it matter to you?
People usually start with something like 'health' or 'to have more time' but find this doesn't motivate them enough to make the changes....this is because this isn't deep enough, it has no meaning to you and it doesn't have any power within you.
2) Dig deep to find the meaning
The best way to dig deeper is to ask yourself the question, 'and why is that important?'
Lets take health as an example, (it works the same no matter what you pick)......
Ask yourself, "and why is that important?"..........e.g. because I'll be able to run around after the kids.
And why is that important?........e.g. because I'll be a good parent, create memories
And why is that important..........
Keep going until things start to really mean something to you, it creates emotions, connects to you, makes you excited etc. The answers in there if you dig deep and be honest with yourself.
3) Associate the new behaviour with achieving your motivating outcome.
Now associate doing the new activity with the meaning you discovered in step 2. Continuing with our health example.....
Getting up each morning and going for a run (new behaviour) means......feeling like I'm a good parent.
4) Use your senses to really give it some oomph!!
What would you see, hear, feel, smell, taste etc.......in our example, if you were feeling like a good parent what would that be like, see yourself playing endlessly with the kids, smiling etc.
Now every time you want to do the new behaviour connect to those thoughts, images, sounds etc to remind yourself why it matters.
If this isn't drawing you to want to do the behaviour it isn't the right motivator, keep going until you find something which really gets you going.
When you find your motivation you no longer rely soley on will power, you do the behaviour/activity because you want to, not because you have to and this is so much stronger, easier and longer lasting.
Give it a try and If you can relate to what I have shared, I would love to help you more. My monthly Break Free, Find Clarity sessions are all about sharing practical tools your can implement. Each month has a different topic. If you'd like more information click the picture below.
Until next time.
This week I attended a really thought-provoking and intriguing development session all about beliefs, amongst the discussions we talked about what they were and how we can change them.
Our beliefs have such a massive impact on our lives, they determine our actions but even more than that....they form the foundations of our experiences in the world.
Our beliefs can either build us up or hold us back and whilst many people think they are steadfast and unchangeable science actually shows us that we're more malleable than we might think. We only believe something until something proves us otherwise.
As I've said many times we're not stupid beings we don't believe something because it's stupid, we only believe something which we deem to be true and useful to us (that 'usefulness' is sometimes not consciously known but that doesn't mean it's not there).
Our beliefs form the fabric of what we believe to be right, they cover everything from our expectations about an object such as scissors are sharp to our beliefs about things like relationships, money and success.
How do we harness the power of our empowering beliefs and reshape the ones which hold us back?
This TED talk by Eduardo Briceno caught my eye too. It's incredible how some small changes can have such a massive impact on our lives and what we're able to achieve. I myself have fallen into the 'fixed mindset' rut but I'm learning the drawbacks of my ways and I'm constantly seeking to understand myself better.
The Growth mindset and beliefs
Some of our biggest self-limiting beliefs come from having a fixed mindset, believing that we don't have talent, aren't clever enough or we have to be the best.
A growth mindset allows us to realise we are always doing our best and we are always learning. Once you adopt that belief the pressure we place on ourselves is lifted. We know nothing until we are taught, we grow as we learn and no belief can be held once you decide it's not true any more.
So what beliefs do you hold which no longer serve you well?
Perhaps it would help to ask yourself, what belief would serve you better? Just mull over that question and see what your unconscious brings for you. You may even find that just a small change in wording would feel better for you.
Then it's how you help yourself to truly believe the belief which serves you better. Here's a few things you can try:
1) Question the source - where did that original belief come from? Ask yourself is it true? Once that belief is understood sometimes it takes a different meaning or you find out that belief is actually out of date and you can allow yourself to move on.
2) Repetition - sometimes if we hear something often enough we start to believe it, so repeat your new belief often and your belief in it will grow.
3) Look for the evidence - Purposefully look for evidence which supports your new belief, for example start to notice when you do have confidence, or times you do well. Don't let those moments slip by, notice them and they'll help build strength in your belief.
If you'd like more help with beliefs or something is holding you back which you just can't shift, get in touch and book a 1-2-1, I have many more tools in my toolbox and always happy to help.
I hope you've enjoyed this look into beliefs, how they impact your day to day life and you now have a few ideas you can play with to help you change them. If you'd like to share your thoughts or progress please comment below and join the conversation.
Until next time
We all have them, that moment when something triggers a wobble in our confidence and in milliseconds our brain goes from 'Life is great' to 'Oh my I can't cope.' I had one today and it inspired me to share a Tool Kit with you. This Tool Kit has been tried and tested many times, not just by me but by the people I work with too......it works and I hope it gives you a proven strategy which you can use!!!
Let me set the scene........today I sat down to create a blog post, laptop ready and my brain was pondered over some ideas. After a short while, I was still staring at a blank screen and.....bam from nowhere I said to myself, 'I don't know why you're bothering'.......closely followed by, 'you might as well just give it up as a bad job.'
I have an incline you know where this story is going..........
So I took a breath and decided I needed distraction and some more inspiration so I started to look through some articles I'd saved for ideas......Then, bam my internal dialogue said, 'these are so much better than yours', 'you'll never be able to write like that anyway'.......it went on and on.....
within a few short minutes I was completely distracted, fighting an internal battle with myself and about to give it up.
That's when I decided to use my Tool Kit, here's what I did........
My tool kit for when Confidence Wobbles Strike
1) STOP: It's a great word and when said powerfully enough can halt internal processes just like that. I said it to myself strongly and firmly.
2) Breathing: I took a few deep breaths. This really allows me to calm down and then the rest of the tools become easier.
3) Language: I knew my internal dialogue was only leading me to one outcome and I didn't want to go there so I stopped those too. Any which crept in, I chose not to listen.
4) Distraction: I shut the laptop, walked away (I actually went to get my hair cut, it has been on my Do List all week).
5) Refocus: I put some BIG tunes on the car stereo and allowed myself to sing.
The result: The idea for this blog popped into my mind as I was driving and I really loved it. By the time I parked the car I even had the flow of it worked out in my head. My internal dialogue was also being realistic about the earlier statements thinking things like, 'so what if others are better, just focus on being you' and 'they probably feel exactly the same sometimes too.' By the time I sat in the chair at the hairdressers I was feeling much better. When I came back this blog just flowed.
Sometimes we work too hard on something and the outcomes seems to drift further and further away. Worse than that our internal dialogue knows how to hurt us most and starts having a party in your head.
You are not at the mercy of your brain, you just don't know how to use it effectively so unwittingly let it get on with it. Try the Tool Kit out and make it work for you. Take back control and you may be amazed at how quickly you can feel better.
If you'd like more practical mindset tools you can use, join me at my monthly Break Free, Find Clarity sessions. These are for all business owners and are an opportunity to break free from the day-to-day demands of running your business and join a community of like-minded people to learn and grow together.
Hope this helps and let me know how you get on.
Yes we all know that being happy is better for your health but it's not so easy when you're faced with the challenges of daily life. Does being overly optimistic mask a deep down frustration with the world and are 'negative' people just all being realistic? The 'lets all be happy' debate rages on in the media and I have to say, just like many of my clients, I can get frustrated with the demands of being positive.
Humans are a survival mammal, our brains are wired to keep us safe above all else, so naturally we'll tend to look for challenges/issues so we can avoid them....
My question is........does our natural human nature help or hinder us with our modern day challenges?
Personally I feel planning and looking at what might happen is an important part of feeling prepared but I do think it becomes a problem when this strength is overplayed and becomes a way of life, leading to overwhelming pressures, stress and anxiety. I think for most people optimism is something which requires practise.......
Research and science have showed us time and time again that optimism and a sunny disposition can actually help us avoid diseses, just like this american study in women, personally I've been practising optimism and gratitude since 2011 and yet whilst I'm finding it easier and easier it's still something I have to keep practising. Sometimes life is rubbish and science has proven that ignoring our negative emotions cause ill health and chronic pain too.
So in summary
If you're overly positive, you might not be addressing the underlying negative emotions...which can lead to ill health
If you're overly negative, you're not feeling the benefits from optimism.......which can also lead to ill health.
Haha, I love it when you can't do right for doing wrong........So what are you supposed to do?
Balance, for me the answer is balance. Find/learn appropriate ways to express those negative emotions then move on quickly and ensure your general outlook is one of positivity and optimism. For me that's the answer and I, in no way, underestimate how hard that can be to do.
My top tip to make it easier.....
The people/teams who I support suffer with the effects of change and trying new things, experiencing symptoms of stress, overwhelm and anxiety for example. I mostly find their general outlook is one of negativity, frustration and upset which then feeds their symptoms. The first step is to seek to understand.
Look at the whole situation and find out what's going on.
Nobody, including you, ever does something because its stupid, we are very clever human beings so there's a reason why you/they feel fearful, threatened or uncertain. By understanding that we often discover some ideas and realisations which will help move you forwards.
Mostly people are talked at and told what they'll do because people assume a hell of a lot. It's refreshing when somebody actually listens and seeks to understand, then takes your world into consideration before delivering their perspective.
And if you're working on something personal for you....
Take some time to sit quietly, after a little while ask yourself, what's going on with 'whatever issue' and wait for some inspiration. This may sound a little woohoo but it works. Your unconscious is 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious. It has so much information you're not even aware of....you just need to give it an opportunity and listen.
My final point for today is about pressure..........
It never feel's good when you feel you should do something. I absolutely hate how the media makes you feel you're not good enough or how you're doing something wrong by portraying one side of a debate. Yes optimism is good for your health but so is expressing your emotions. If you feel the negative side effects of either it means you're overplaying that side, stop it and find a balance, take time to deal with your emotions and top up your sunny disposition, you'll feel a whole lot better.
Until next time
When is it most beneficial for someone to seek help rather than having to deal with their issues by themselves?
So many people stuggle along in silence, reaching out for every self-help solution they can find. Some people find their answers in self-help solutions whilst others still struggle along afraid to ask for help. So how do you know when to tackle an issue yourself and when to seek help? I have a little analogy for you today which will make that decision a little easier.......
When do you know you need to call a plumber?
It's usually when you have a leak and you can't or don't have the expertise to fix it. You could go for a DIY solution, get the parts you need and read up about what you need to do. For some this fixes the issue and if you do all the steps right it works out fine. Or you might just decide it's beyond your capability and you're better to just let the expert do it. I guess it depends on the size of the leak and what your experience of dealing with leaks is......
In my opinion the same principle applies to your mind. There are loads of self-help books out there, and many people overcome, 'fix' and deal with things perfectly well themselves. Others decide for many reasons to get an expert in.
Expert vs Self-Help solutions
I often describe myself as having a massive treasure trove of tried and tested tools and techniques. I've learnt over the years what works and what doesn't so I can probably support you, or your team to achieve your outcomes quicker but I also appreciate the benefits of self-help solutions because these can give you bite sized information as and when you need it. For me, the most important part of this debate is always getting you to your outcome. The solution may even include a bit of both......with self help and expert support.
Personally, I really don't understand why people feel embarrassed or somehow broken when it comes to their mind, just like the plumbing you just don't have the expertise to use it. If you had an issue with anything else you'd say, 'I don't know how to do that, lets get the expert in' in my opinion your mind is no different.
Often when working with clients I see so many light bulb moments, there's lots of benefits to working things through out load. Often thoughts sound different and give you insights which you hadn't achieved on your own. I find talking and guided quiet reflection are such powerful parts of learning.
When I set up Refreshed Minds I created 4 pillers which represent how every person I support will be treated I think the first pillar - Positive Regard really highlights this point. (if you want to know all 4 you can do so here) I believe that everyone is doing the best they know how to do, you're not stupid or useless..........just doing your best with a tool you were probably never taught how to use. I always start with that perspective. I just know lots of stuff which can help and I'm happy to share it with you.
Does it matter which you choose?
Whether you choose a DIY approach or you decide to call in the expert it really doesn't matter so long as that solution gets you, or your team, to the outcome you want. If you ever feel it's beyond your expertise get in touch, I have loads of tools and techniques which can help and I'm always happy to share them.
If you would like some more free self-help support I share lots of free articles on the website packed with tips and hints you can try.
Lets stop debating how you do it, deep down you know if your self-help approach is enough or if you'd get further and quicker with the support of an expert. For me the decision really is as simple as deciding to call in the plumber.
Until next time
So today I wanted to share with you 3 things which you can do for yourself., straight away. So whether you just need a boost to feel ready for an interview or presentation or you have an inner critic which you wish would shut up you'll have something in your tool kit which can help.
3 top tips on how to boost your self-esteem and confidence
1) What you say to yourself matters! - Most people let their internal dialogue just happen without any review or governance, its just this inner chatter which goes on and on. But what you say to yourself is absolutely within your control and has a massive impact on how to feel and act. Don't let that voice have free-reign over your mind, take back control and say something nice.
Stuggling with this one? Sometimes old habits die hard so to make it easier and speed things up I've created a selection of Pick Me Ups for a number of different challenges. Listen as often as you need and they'll help kick start your inner voice in the right direction.
2) The information overload - We live in a connected world and it's been proven that the little high you get from your social media likes and comments is just as addictive as alcohol or gambling. And just like these two addictions small amounts are fun but too much can rob you of time, connections with life and even money. How much time do you spend on social media and the internet? How does this affect your confidence and self-esteem? Perhaps you'd benefit from reviewing it and adjusting it acordingly.
3) Don't take on a mountain - It's so easy to take on a million small tasks and before you know it all those small things add up and suddenly you feel overwhelmed but no one thing was big enough to cause such a reaction so you feel useless and stupid. We've all been there. You don't have to tackle a whole mountain at once. Make a list of everything then decide on a few tasks, complete them and then some more and so on. Tackle just the next thing you need to do and it will help. Feeling able to cope is a large part of feeling confident.
With just these three tips alone many of my clients have begun to feel better. Give them a go and let me know how you get on.
If you have a longer term confidence and/or self-esteem crisis I'm always happy to help, get in touch and we can chat about it.
So that's it: Be careful what you say to yourself, it really does matter...monitor the amount of time you spend on social sites and if you're feeling like you can't cope get everything written down and manage the small pieces rather than the mountain.
Until next time
Did you know we have 5 times more negative receptors in our brains than positive ones? This is by design and there's nothing you can do about that. We are a survival animal.......and for that we need those 'negative' receptors to guide us and keep us safe.
But you may be thinking 'what the hell has that got to do with me feeling not good enough?'
Good question, stick with me this will all make sense.......
Lets take the world of social media where most people display our greatest moments of happiness and demonstrate to the outside world how exciting our lives are.
This gives your brain something to compare your life to.......so after seeing that you'll immediately assess your world against the comparison. Our negative receptors aren't going to naturally pick up on the good stuff now are they. No.........we notice all the gaps e.g. where our lives don't measure up, or how our world differs........we compare our lives to theirs and because of those receptors the outcome is usually 'negative'. Even if it's positive there's usually an underlining uncertainty or uncomfortableness which comes back and haunts you later.
This is exactly the same in a team meeting where you compare your world to what everyone else is doing, or when you're in a friendship group or social gathering......it even happens when we're out shopping or even watching TV.
As humans we naturally strive to be our best, we strive to be happy. So these comparisons make us constantly assess ourselves which can make our confidence and self-esteem wobble.
(There are lots of other factors which can come into play but this gives you a basic introduction which can help you to make progress and overcome that negative bias.)
So what do I do about it?
First you need to understand that this is human nature. You're not mean, unsympathetic or broken....it's just you being human by design.
Next.....now you know that you can keep yourself in check. Just because this is the way you are by design doesn't mean you are at liberty to it. You have those positive receptors too, you just need to give them more punch to make them win. The positives have to be times'd by 5 in order to have the same effect. So......
How often do you top up your good stuff?
If your head is swimming with the negatives and you're constantly feeding that with more negatives, topping up your good stuff allows you to change your focus and finally let that positive balance win. You have to have 5 times more positive things to have even the same impact as 1 negative.
3 ways to top up your good stuff
Here's my 3 ways which you can use today to top up your good stuff:
1) I'm taking part in the #100happydays challenge, the idea is to force you to notice each day things which make you happy and take a photo of them. Those things are there, you just don't naturally look for them. Why don't you join in?
2) Say nice things to yourself. It doesn't have to be massive, self-indulgent stuff, just little things which you've done well, trust me it will make a massive difference. Give it a go!!
3) Have a treat and allow yourself to actually enjoy it. No guilt, no shame....just do something you enjoy and really take time to soak up that good feeling.
If all else fails, or you just want someone to do it for you download one of my Pick Me Ups. These are packed full of the good stuff all you have to do is listen.
Remember: Feeling and thinking these things is normal, but that doesn't mean you're at their liberty. Top up your good stuff often and you'll soon feel a change.
Want more Am I Normal articles?
This article is the last in my 'Am I Normal' series. I've covered 4 more topics in this series so if you'd like more tips, support and advice here's the links:
What Is Normal
The Little Known Side Effect of Chasing your Dreams and How to Avoid it
Does Everyone Have These Different 'Parts' Battling Inside their Heads?
Gratitude, am I doing it right and should I even care
I hope this series has allowed you to breath a sign of relief and realise you're more normal than you think you are.
Until next time