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
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
If you are feeling overwhelmed, pressured, lost, drained or just full of negative thoughts....this is for you. It's the month of love so I'm going to give you 3 reasons why you should fall in love with your unconscious mind.
This part of your mind is the most amazing tool, lets have some fun and teach you how to use it.
What your unconscious mind is not......
Before we start I want to dispel a few myths. So many people are afraid of their unconscious and what it might 'do'. They don't want to go there in case it opens pandora's box or does something they 'can't reverse'. So lets just get a few things straight.
1) Your unconscious is yours and it's number one role is to keep you safe. It will always continue to do that.
2) Your unconscious is where your beliefs and values are held so anything which goes against those isn't going to be entertained.
3) You control your mind, it's up to you what you do, where you go etc. If something is too big, you can break it down or just not even go there, it's always your choice.
4) Your unconscious is like a small child, it can be mischievous at times, it likes lots of praise and support, it's not malicious or unkind.
5) You do it already!! You already access this type of thinking every day, when you're day-dreaming, driving the car, reading a book, watching TV, sitting on the toilet etc etc.......
Ok with that put to bed lets move onto the wonderful things your unconscious mind can do.
3 reasons why you should love your unconscious
Lets dive straight in.....
1) It holds all the answers: Your unconscious mind is like a massive library of everything you've ever experienced, learnt, believed etc....it has so much information and you can access it. When you sit and slow your brainwaves down, ease and slow.....you throw open the doors and if you listen it will give you the answer to your questions......eg. Where are my keys, why am I feeling annoyed, what's the right thing for me to do etc. You have the wealth of power at your fingertips, if you'd just sit down, be quiet and listen.
2) It's creative and fun: Your unconscious mind is where your creativity and imagination are, if you allow it, you can have some real fun. So often this gift is trained out of us, as a child we had the ability to laterally think, to invent and imagine. What would you give to unleash that fun spirit again?? How many great ideas could you create, if you let yourself? Sometimes it's not about being in the box, it's about showing yourself you can enjoy jumping out of it.
3) It calms the fight or flight response: With our busy lives and hectic schedules we are constantly living in our fight or flight response (I shared a video explaining this here.) During this we aren't healing, we aren't digesting and our hormones are all over the place. The outcome of too much of this can be anxiety and stress. Unconscious thinking calms and switches off our fight or flight response.
The benefits of slowing down have been well documented in research studies and with mindfulness and meditation on the rise it's great to hear that the message is being heard. Your unconscious mind is estimated to be 30,000 time more powerful than conscious thinking. Just imagine what amazing things you could have access to.
Don't know how to access your unconscious?
If you would like to have a go at unconscious thinking but don't know where to start I've created a little 10 minute audio which you can download. Just find somewhere peaceful, sit back and listen. Once you've got the hang of what it feels like, you'll start to fall in love with how amazing your unconscious mind can be.
I hope that has given you a new found excitement and interest into the power of your unconscious mind and it's potential. If you would like help with your mindset and overcoming nerves, overwhelm or other issues I'm always happy to help.
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
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
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
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
Do you experience Public Speaking Nerves? If so you’re certainly not alone. It’s been documented that 75% of us get nervous and uncomfortable when having to stand up and talk in front of others.
I talk to you about WHY it’s very common to experience public speaking nerves and if you watch until the end I will share my 3 proven techniques that you can implement TODAY!
Does that sound good? Awesome!
Why do we shake, sweat and feel sick?
I created this 5 minute video to explain your 'FFF instinct' and why you shake, sweat and feel sick. I feel that knowledge is the first step to taking back control as once you understand it:
a) It doesn't seem so scary
b) It gives you a different perspective
c) It allows you to choose techniques which will work.
My 3 Techniques for minimising your nerves:
Here are my 3 tried and tested techniques you can implement today to minimise your nerves. These techniques can be used before, during and even after the speaking event.
Want to learn more?
My passion is helping people to understand themselves better so they can get the best from themselves and others so I've created a FREE 3 part video series which explains more about why you do what you do.
If you'd like to delve deeper into Confidence and Fear you can register for the FREE Video Series here.
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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.
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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
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
What people who suffer from issues such as anxiety and low self esteem can do to build their confidence.
Today I'm going to share with you a simple step to help build your confidence if you're struggling with issues such as anxiety and low self-esteem. It's the exact same technique I use with my clients and many have reported what a massive difference it's made and it's probably something you currently don't give a second thought.
Your brain is a very clever and powerful tool.....you know that right..........well language plays a massive part in driving that tool. Your language is the first step in directing what your subconscious mind does. Let me give you an example.
Don't think about a blue monkey with big ears.......
What did your brain do the minute you read that? It thought about a blue monkey with big ears, you couldn't help it, it just did. This is because your brain has to reference the content of a sentence in order for you to understand it. The same works for every sentence you say or hear, whether that's something you heard externally or something you say to yourself.
If you're saying to yourself, I'm not confident, I can't do this, I'm going to embarrass myself, what if it goes horribly wrong, then your brain has to reference what you mean. That sentence just provided the foundations of what your brain has to work with. And your brain is clever......It won't just find a measly weak example, it will find all the examples to support that language eg what others have said, what you've read, what your experiences has been but it will always be within the context of the language you first used eg it will find all the reasons why you can't do something, all the times it's not gone right, every time someone has said you're no good etc etc etc etc..........
You are the hamster which drives that wheel...you threw the first punch by using that language, your brain just collected the evidence matching what you asked for.
So a really simple way to begin to build your confidence is to look at the language you use, expecially around whatever makes you feel anxious or have low confidence. Ask yourself is that language helpful and does it drive your brain in the right or the wrong direction?
If it's the wrong direction (and the majority of the time it is) then change it.....not once, not twice but over and over again. It's you that's giving your brain that foundation, if you truely want to change then stop throwing the first punch.
A cautionary note about overly crazy positivity
A little note here, I don't prescribe changing your language to over crazy positivity eg 'the world is great and everything is fine'. In my opinion your brain is way too clever to fall for that kind of statement. I don't know about you but my brain's response is usually.....'Yeah right who are you trying to kid!!' But sentences like 'I can do this' or 'every day I can feel better' feel much more possible. Choose language which is positive but authentic.
Your brain will use this language as the foundation and then finds you examples which match so why not choose the language which supports you.......rather than what tears you down.
I appreciate this takes practise, when you've done something one way your whole life it won't just flip to doing something else. I've been practising this for over 5 years and still catch myself sometimes. But it does gets easier and easier. So you have to make the effort.....notice your language and practise changing it to something realistically positive.
If you struggle to come up with positive things to say I have created some Pick Me Up audio downloads on a number of topics to make it easier. Just click the link above, download one which suits you, listen often and they'll give you a kick start in the right direction. If you don't find one which matches what you want? Let me know, I'm always adding to the collection and happy to take people's requests into consideration.
So that's it......language.....hugely powerful stuff which you probably just let come and go through your head without ever questioning it. It's your language which forms the foundations of your thoughts so choose it wisely. Make sure it builds your confidence and you'll be surprised just how much impact it can have.
Until next time
Do you, like so many people, really want to make a change in your life but don't know where to start? Perhaps you feel too afraid to change and in that instant you make the decision to say no rather than say yes and then you wish you'd done the latter?
Well you are not alone, so many of my clients experience the same thoughts so I thought I'd share with you my 1 amazing technique that can change a habit and finally give you the kick you need to make that change. What's even more fantastic is you can start practicing this immediately.
My very simple and easy piece of advice would be to route out the truth.
Let me explain what I mean.....so I met one of my friends the other day and she was telling me that she doesn't like meeting new people. She distinctly remembered her father hating it too and even a particular time in her childhood which made her really scared. Nothing too bad, just that she saw her father's reaction and really felt scared in that moment.
Now, when an opportunity comes to meet someone new she feels an immediate reaction which often makes her decide to turn around and not put herself in that situation.
So I said 'how many times have you met new people in your life?', she said 'oh hundreds'.....' so I asked 'how many of those were enjoyable?', she answered 'most of them'......you see how when you route for the truth the two don't match.
So I said, 'ok so next time you're in a situation where you're going to meet someone remember that you've met new people hundreds of times and it's often enjoyable and interesting'. She sat for a moment taking that in and Immediately understood what a big a difference that would make. That one automatic reaction wasn't actually representative of the truth. It's an automatic thought she'd never questioned.
Questioning and finding the truth will make a huge difference to the decisions you make.
So instead of being driven by an automatic response it can be really powerful to route out the truth. Here's some example questions you can ask to get you started in finding that truth:
Then once you've decided your truth create a sentence which can remind you of that truth in that moment. Make it true and powerful for you. Then say it in that millisecond moment when you're making your decision. And as you say it, give yourself time to hear it........
This simple technique has the power to completely change your decision.
Have a go and give it some practise,
.......and if you'd like some help creating a powerful sentence comment below and let us help.
I hope that gives you something practical you can try out.
People are often soooooo busy rushing around with a head full of stuff they haven't got the brain space to even begin to embrace who they are. So what would you do if I said I could free up 60-80% of your brain space.....would you be interested? For me this is the first step people need to take if they want to finally have the mental capacity to begin in embrace themselves for who they are.
I run this activity with my clients and it's the most inspiring, thought provoking and effective tool which really does make a huge difference to their lives. Often clients report that this was one of the most powerful of their sessions. Today I'm going to share with you exactly what you need to do so you can do this activity for yourself.
This activity looks at your daily thoughts and every time I've done it with a client it turns out that between 60-80% of all their daily thoughts are not within their control. Just think about how much energy and time is taken up by all those things.....
60-80% of your mental time and energy!!!!!!!
Whats even more interesting is because they are outside of your control you could think about them for an hour, 3 hours, a week or even longer and it will have made no difference. Nothing will have changed no matter how long you spend thinking about them.
And what's really important is........
When your head isn't full of all this other stuff, it can finally have the space to focus on your stuff.
By refusing to focus on anything which was beyond their control, these athletic champions were able to bring all their resources to bear on what was within their control - everything from their physiology, mental maps and story to the actions that they took preparing for and competing in the actual event."
If your head is full of everything else it has no space to focus on what's yours to control. When you focus only on your stuff you're able to achieve much more.
Imagine taking that wasted energy and time and putting it into only things you can control, how would that make you feel?
All of these feelings add to a sense of freedom, which then allows you to embrace who you actually are.
So, what do you do?
So this is the first step to being able to embrace who you are. It's a simple and highly effective tool and I urge you to go and do it, right now!!! You might be surprised by how much of your mental time you're wasting on what's not in your boat.
Let me know how you get on and if you'd like some guidance and support you can always book a session with me and we'll do it together. Sometimes it's easier when someone else is there to take you through it and challenge you with the right questions. As always I'm happy to help.
Making this a habit does take practise. I've been doing this for 5 years and still find myself slipping sometimes. Catch yourself every time and ask yourself, 'Is this within my boat'. The more you do it the more easier it will become.
Until next time
You may have seen many quotes about getting out there and chasing your dreams, it seems to be on-trend right now. But are people in general settling for a life of ordinary instead of chasing their dreams? This week I share my beliefs around this and how the pressure and indecision can impact your confidence.
Firstly, I believe people do the best they know how and that people are all different. There are people who enjoy routine and the simplicity in life and there are others who like chasing dreams and adventure, neither is right or wrong - it's just different.
Confidence then comes when you're being your authentic self.
If you are a person who likes routine but feels like you should be out chasing dreams this causes a conflict. The same goes for the opposite, if you are a person who likes chasing dreams but you're made to follow a strict routine, it's also going to cause you an inner conflict which often leads to confidence wobbles.
People lose confidence for two reasons, your outer comparisons and your inner world I wrote all about this in this blog, it's worth taking a look if you want to know more about why so many people struggle with confidence issues.
You see the answer to this settle/chase dreams debate is more about who you are as a person and being honest with that rather than whether it's right or wrong to settle or chase dreams.
I believe the challenge is that people don't know themselves well enough to know if they're being their authentic self. Instead they try and live up to culture and other people's expectations. They look outward for the answers reviewing what others do, trying to understand what's normal and what is expected of them by others. They then base their decision on that which often leads to an inner conflict when this doesn't feel right for them.
Ask yourself honestly, do you like routine and a simple life or do you crave a life of adventure. Then ask yourself what are you doing right now? If the two don't line up chances are you'll be feeling a confidence wobble.
The simple answer:
If you are a person who likes routine and simple life - it's absolutely ok to do that and enjoy it.
If you are a person who likes adventure - it's absolutely ok to do that and enjoy it too.
Know yourself well enough to live authentically and be strong enough to tell others you're happy just as you are.
I hope this helps.
Why do so many people suffer from confidence issues and as a result, hold themselves back from living to their full potential?
The 2 reasons people hold themselves back
1) The outward reason.
2) The inward one.
I'll start with the latter, the Internal Reason:
We have an internal world which is made up of our experiences, learnings, beliefs etc. By design we are survival beings so we'll tend to tell ourselves all the reasons why we can't, shouldn't and aren't able to do things which either contradict or threaten that internal world of experiences, learning and beliefs because that keeps us 'safe'. Examples may be........
Whatever has gone before shapes our perceptions of anything which happens now. We look to our internal understandings to gain reason which helps us decide how to interpret the world. Everything is learnt and that shapes who we are and what we do.
Then we have the Outward Reason:
Lets talk about the outward reason...as a human being we naturally compare ourselves to our outside world, this gives us a measure to work out how we rate against that comparison e.g. if you wanted to get fit and were interested in body building. You may start by watching the body building competitions.
Or if you want to do well in meetings you'll start paying attention to how others conduct themselves in similar meeting situations.
This gives you an understanding of the comparison, what it looks/feels like so you can assess how you measure up.
How do these two reasons create a lack of confidence?
Depending on how you internally assess how you measure up to that outward comparison creates the feeling of how confident or not confident you feel. Let me give you an example:
Imagine you've just been asked to take the lead in a project at work........go on....just take a minute to imagine that right now........Ok how do you feel? Whats your head telling you??...At lightening speed you'll have already evaluated that outward world expectation 'to lead a project' and internalised yourself against that comparison based on your experiences, learnings and beliefs.
As an additional side note now-a-days there's so much information at our fingertips sometimes when people research the outward comparison that task alone can feel overwhelming and make our confidence wobble because we get so much input information it becomes confusing.
So what holds us back from living life to our full potential?
What holds us back is a combination of the outward comparison and the internal interpretation of that comparison.
- If we compare ourselves favourably and/or find that comparison motivating we will no doubt describe ourselves as having and feeling confident. In the example above if we deem ourselves ready to lead a project or capable of doing a good job we'll more than likely feel confident to say yes.
- Equally if we compare ourselves and we feel we fall short or will never be able to reach that goal or even that our experiences, learnings and beliefs are different we will ultimately describe ourselves as being not confident. Using the example above if we deem we're too shy, have no experience of leading or see someone else who you feel does it better, we'll feel a confidence wobble and probably struggle.
In my experience people tend to do more of the latter.
The first step to improving your confidence is to notice your thoughts. Currently your mind performs this outward/inward evaluation unconsciously. Whenever you notice your confidence struggle, stop and ask yourself, what did I just do? How did I evaluated the outward and inward elements of this particular situation?
Once you notice what you did, you then have the opportunity to decide if it was helpful or not. It's so much easier to change something once you're consciously aware of what you're doing.
A final note: Remember you are a learning being and you can improve, move and shape your mind (its called Neuroplasticity), just because you experience things one way now doesn't mean you can't learn another.
Have a great week.
P.S. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping people understand themselves better, there's nothing quite like the atmosphere at my confidence workshops where we're all learning together. If you would like more support the details of the next workshop can be found here.
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
Last night I was at a workshop discussing this very topic, it was so thought provoking I thought it would be nice to share it with you.
To set the scene we watched this inspiring TED talk. Its well worth a watch as it can give you a better introduction to the topic than I can write. This is David Steindl-Rast a monk and interfaith scholar talking about how we all want to be happy.
Lets set the scene
The main points taken from the TED talk
There were 7 people in the room to discuss this topic and all of us took slightly different approaches to gratitude, some found it something easy to do everyday, others found gratitude within their lives in fleeting moments here and there.
Here are the main points I took from the inspiring discussions which unfolded last night. I share these to spark thoughts within yourself, non of us professed to have all the answers, just sharing our own perspectives to help deepen understanding:
There really was so much which came out of the discussions, this is just a snippet of the things my brain is still pondering over this morning. So.......what do you think about Gratitude?
I hope this has sparked your curiosity and in my opinion if I can bring more happiness into my life and the lives of others that can only be a good thing.......right??
If you're feel inspired to give it a go or you'd like to do it more, is there a hard fast rule of how to do it successfully?? Well strangely enough we discussed that too.......Here's our thoughts......
How can you bring more gratitude into your life?
Others explained that they found it hard to write and instead took time to be grateful whilst out walking their dog. Others found it was just something they did throughout the day as it just popped into their head.
We concluded as a group that it doesn't really matter how gratefulness enters your life but it was about having that moment, creating that opportunity to realise it and so whatever way you find works for you is great. There's no right or wrong way, it's whatever creates that moment for you.
Do you feel the pressure of having to be grateful?
We also talked about the pressure to be grateful and live a grateful life and how many of us 'still had a long way to go'. We didn't like the feeling this gave us. It felt this went against the benefits of gratefulness. If gratitude leads us to happiness then if it's a chore, something we feel pressured to do it brings about feelings of shame and guilt which lead us away from feeling happy.
We concluded that it was far better to just accept that gratitude was an important part of our lives and any opportunity to feel it moment by moment is good for us. Whatever way we find to bring that into our lives is perfectly fine and we should all stop giving ourselves a hard time about it and instead crack on and enjoy it.
What a refreshing revelation!!!
So......whats your thoughts about gratitude?? Please do feel free to share. What a thought provoking and interesting topic, I just had to share it with you all.
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
Do you battle with the ifs, should and aughts in your life? How does what you believe shape your life?Do you believe you will be less fit as you grow older, or you're no good at being creative for example...........my question today is what is normal and is it possible to change what you think is normal??
If you're anything like many of my clients you'll think that somehow you're broken or wrong or not as good as them. I'm wondering today whether the battle you're facing right now is with that same challenge? Are you asking yourself if what you're doing (or want to do) is right? Are you wondering whether how you think/feel and behave is normal?
Well today I want to share with you the understanding I've gained from my experience. This is the same explanation I share with my clients........ and it always seems to help. Here's my first question to you........
Is normal the same for everyone?
Ok so you'll probably read that and say of course not!!! Because everyone is different, right? Next question.......
Where does your understanding of what is 'normal' come from?
What you perceive as normal comes from your evidence. The experiences, knowledge and understanding you've gained throughout your life. All this evidence is stored in your unconscious and underpins the very fabric of your being. It's this evidence which drives what each person perceives as 'normal' and since each of us experience different things in our lives, each person's perception will be different.
Why do I feel I'm not normal?
Often we start questioning ourselves when something is outside of our comfort zone, when we're trying to do something which isn't currently within our evidence. Here's some examples to highlight what I mean, maybe you can relate:
- You want to do something different from what your parents taught you, it feels hard to do.
- You compare yourself to someone else and begin to wonder if we're right or wrong.
- You see something which someone else does and want to do it too but doubt if you can.
- You feel different in comparison to your environment (somehow you feel you don't fit.)
There are many more, these just give you an idea. Ultimately we start to have a wobble when there's a mismatch between what we perceive as our 'normal' (in our head) and the thing we are wanting to do/achieve.
The truth is......exactly what you answered to the 'is normal the same for everyone' question above. Everyone has different evidence so whats normal to one person is not normal to someone else.
Who is right?
I think one of the best solutions to letting go of the pressure and stress you feel is to try to let go of the idea of 'normal'. The concept is not real and nobody's normal is any more right than anyone elses.
The question isn't whether you are normal or not, the question you're asking yourself is either one of the following:
1) Do other people feel/see/act the same as me? - The answer to that is always yes. Nobody suffers alone. There are plenty of people out there going through the same as you, thinking the same as you, feeling the same as you. You are not alone!!!
2) Is it possible for me to do what someone else does? - The answer is always yes, it's possible...but don't expect to do it naturally, you'll have to learn how to do it, especially if it's not currently something which is part of your evidence. That doesn't mean you can't, it just means you'll have to learn how.
- The concept of 'normal' is a false one which creates unnecessary pressure and anguish.
- You are normal - your normal is created from your evidence, experience and life, everyone's will be different.
- Nobody's normal is more right or wrong when compared to yours, its just different.
Want more evidence to challenge your normal?
Have a look at the Refreshed Minds Facebook page where I often share posts which highlight what happens when you stop believing in the concept 'normal'.....people running triathlons in their 80s, people who were once told they weren't any good having amazing success, people taking on challenges for charity. It's amazing what you can achieve when you stop asking the question 'am I normal' and start being free to be your best self.
Until next time
My thoughts on this are...it depends how long you've been feeling not good. There is a massive difference between having a bad day (or few) and being trapped in negative thoughts and distortions which have gone on for a long period of time. Today I'm going to talk about both.
Person 1: Do you need a Bad Day??
In my observations people run away from feeling bad. They feel they have to be chirpy all the time. Have to always be having a good life and feel they have to be continuously smiling and happy. This is rubbish!!! We all have bad days, days when we just want to hide under the duvet, eat rubbish and watch trashy TV and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!! Research shows that bottling things up is really bad for our health. So you can either have one bad day or lots of 'I generally feel grumpy days??? I know which I prefer. So have a bad day once in a while and go for it!!!!
Stop running away from having 1 bad day.
If you're due what I call a Trash Day.......clear your diary, notify your significant others (tell them you don't want consoling just need to fall apart for a day, you're fine and will check back in with them tomorrow). It's ok to be a crying, dribbling mess, feel the whole world is wrong and have a bad day. It clears the air, gets those emotions out and makes you feel a whole lot better. Then go to bed and awake up tomorrow ready to face the world.
You don't even have to do it at home. Go for a long walk, sit somewhere and fall apart, book yourself a little room away somewhere.......just stop running away from feeling bad and accept that it's perfectly ok.
We all have them........so go on.........have a guilt free bad day!!
Person 2: Every day is a very Bad Day?
Depression is a growing challenge in the world these days and I never underestimate it's power. They say depression can start with repetitive negative thoughts and lead to distortions in your thinking which leave you in a downward spiral of despair.
Many people with depression feel like every day is a bad day.
But help is out there. I've helped many people with mild-moderate depression and within a few sessions they've started feeling better so I thought it would be nice today to tackle one of the more common challenges often felt by people with depression, which is overgeneralisation in their thoughts and language, examples would be, I can't stand this, why is it always me, I'm such a loser etc.
If you look at these statements they are really generalised, and often the sufferer never questions them but instead just accepts them to be 100% true. The trick is to catch yourself saying the overgeneralised statements and question them e.g:
- is it 'always' you?
- can you really not stand it?
- are you really a loser?
I often ask where's the evidence or what tells you that?..........then really question the answers. This approach is also used in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and can be very effective. The trick is to start really questioning those distorted thoughts rather than just letting them roam free.
If you'd like to know more techniques for overcoming negative thoughts there's lots more help in my free video series feel free to give it a watch.
How to make yourself feel good
So how do you make yourself feel good when you just don't want too?.....Here's my advice:
I hope that's helped. Let me know your thoughts and how you're getting on in the comments box below, I always love to talk about these sort of things.
Until next time.
One of the girls said it was the first time she hadn't felt worried, when she literally had something to wear and something to sleep on. The simplicity of life seemed to provide a sense of calm for her.
I can relate to that, de-cluttering always gives me a better sense of order and calm and in my experience with clients, our heads are often overflowing with stuff which really isn't ours to worry about. Getting rid it all can be very freeing.
What could you not live without?
Later in the week a friend of mine posted on social media asking if you were being taken away for the weekend which one of the following items would you have to take (this was a girlie group so apologies men I'm sure your list would be very different!) Would you take:
A - Dry Shampoo
B - Your jewellery
C - Make up bag
D - Your phone.
My answer was simple.....none of them. Ok so they would all probably be nice to have but none of them would be 'oh my I simply must take my........or I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself.' My thoughts are......I am me, I'm comfortable being me so take me as I am or not at all.
I can't help but feel saddened that people don't have enough confidence in their own self to exist without these kinds of cultural norms, fearing that people would feel less of them or somehow they wouldn't be good enough. In the TV programme not a single person was ostracised when they didn't have their best clothes, make up etc.....in fact on the whole people seemed to warm to them more!!!
Does Social Media make us worry more?
I couldn't help but feel I was a little 'weird' as the only one who answered 'none' to the question social media question posed above. Despite my admission of confidence being a positive it was dented a little because I was the odd one out. Funny how your brain works isn't it!!!
I think it's hard to feel good about yourself when you're constantly comparing your life with other people's.
Equally the people on the TV programme I mentioned above had mixed experiences when it came to social media, some got their phone back pretty early , while others waited. One girl came off social media completely after the experiment.
I love the fact social media allows me to keep in touch with people but I think it's so easy to get swamped by it and worry you're not fitting in. I'm as guilty of this as anyone but I'm improving.
So what do you think? Does having stuff just make us worry more e.g. 'I have to have this, that and the other to feel good? Or do you feel having lots of stuff eases your worry and makes you happier? I'd love to know your experiences and thoughts.
I've certainly found more peace when I've de-cluttered both my life and my head. I purposely try not to get involved with things which aren't mine and to live a simpler life but I have to admit sometimes it doesn't come naturally and takes practise!!!
Until next time.
The truth is most people who suffer from low self-confidence and a lack of self-esteem don't have much trust in themselves. They find it hard to trust in their abilities, trust that they'll do something well, trust that they can work it out...........and without that trust there will always be fear.
That fear often manifests itself in a lack of confidence and a mindset focused on an inability to cope.
How do you build trust in yourself?
From my experience trust comes from learning about yourself and finally having the answers to why you do what you do or why you were hurt by something which was said. With this understanding suddenly it's no longer a guessing game, you understand yourself well enough to know why you made that choice and acted the way you did.
Once you have this you can begin to trust yourself again.
I approach every situation with this philosophy: People always do what they think is best given the information, resources and experience they had at that time. With this in mind you never make a wrong decision just a mis-informed one.
Learning your values and how you think is the key to unlocking your understanding. I've included these exercises/explanations in my free video series. Click the link here for those who want to have a watch.
Mistakes aren't always bad
OK so this may be easy to say and it doesn't change that horrible feeling you get when you've made one but it is absolutely true. Often our biggest learnings come from our biggest mistakes.
By making mistakes we help our brains refine how to do something well. Although mistakes feel tough, without them you wouldn't learn. No baby went from being carried to walking without falling down many times.
So stop trying so hard to not make mistakes, you're getting rid of your biggest learning tool. The secret is learning how to roll with them and I'll go into that next.
How do you manage your mindset whilst making mistakes?
So if mistakes aren't bad and we need them to grow, how do we continue to make them without the confidence demolishing side effects?
It's not what happens to you that matters, it's how you handle it that makes the biggest impact.
By using a technique called Reframing you can change the way you perceive any situation. A reframe is a language pattern designed which is an effective way of experiencing situations in a different way. Have a go..........Instead of saying, 'oh I'm rubbish' or 'I always get it wrong' or something along those lines.......reframe it to 'It's ok I'm learning' or 'I know enough about yourself I know why I did that'
By using reframing to change your language you take away the guilt, the disappointment and it's those that eat away at your confidence and trust in yourself.
Hope that helps. Let me know how you get on.