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8 Jun

How often in life do we dwell on the negative?  We can give ourselves such a hard time, focussing on what we’re doing wrong and the mistakes we think we’ve made.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could switch our mindsets and focus on the positive instead – the achievements we’ve made and how far we have come.

I was working with a client recently who helped me to realise the importance of celebrating our successes.    She felt that she had taken a step back and was bitterly disappointed with herself.  She felt that all of her hard work had been for nothing.     She started the session feeling downbeat and being incredibly hard on herself.  As we talked though it became apparent that she had received positive feedback about how she had changed over the past few weeks – people around her were noticing the difference.  She was moving forward.

So, how would it be to congratulate ourselves when we move towards our goals?  However large or small the step is, if we’re making progress then that’s to be celebrated.  Often we don’t even realise our successes; we get bogged down with all the tiny setbacks – they seem so much bigger than our steps forward.

From now on, listen out for that little critical voice inside and when it begins to give you a hard time, start to think about something positive you have achieved recently – maybe a compliment you have received, how you’ve made a change in your life or done something to help someone else.  If we consciously start to switch our thought patterns, then very soon it will start to happen naturally and we’ll find that we have a much more positive outlook.

So, give yourself an internal pat on the back and celebrate your successes!

A different approach

8 Mar

Many of us now use Lent as a time to give something up – chocolate, alcohol, last year I even gave up watching TV for Lent.  Regardless of the religious significance of the run-up to Easter, Lent can be seen as a second-chance to restart those New Year’s resolutions.

Giving something up and depriving ourselves can seem rather negative and we can end up focusing more on the thing we’re trying to avoid!  So, why not try a different approach to Lent this year and bring something new and positive into your life?  Here are some simple daily habits which could change the way you feel for the better:

  • take a walk outside every day (regardless of the weather!)
  • strike up a conversation with a new person each day
  • bring more natural, non-processed foods into your diet
  • listen to a favourite piece of music at the start of each day
  • take some time to meditate each day

Having a time like Lent is great for focusing the mind and as the buds are bursting on the trees, we all feel more energetic.   By choosing one simple, positive habit and doing it each day, by the time Easter comes it will be a completely natural part of our lives.

So, why not think of something you want to do now and let me know how you get on?

Visualise to Succeed

18 Oct

Visualisation is an amazingly simple way to help us achieve our goals and get our desired outcome.  I have used this to great effect recently with one of my personal goals – running my first 10k race.

In the past I have had a real psychological barrier with running; I used to get out of breath very quickly and would often just give up and stop running after a very short time.  The furthest I had ever run was 5k and that was a struggle.

When I started studying hypnotherapy and NLP, I looked at my thought processes in more detail and realised that whenever I started running, I would be calculating in my head when I would stop for a break.  I would actually visualise myself stopping at a certain point and that is what always happened.  The consequence is that I got disheartened and convinced myself that I just couldn’t run.

So, time for a change!  I decided to enter my first 10k race and to achieve that I knew I had to alter my way of thinking.  Whenever I went for a run I would first visualise myself running the whole route, looking comfortable and still going strong at the end.  This had amazing results and the first time I used the technique I ran over 8km, much further than I had ever done before.

Yesterday I completed my 10k, much faster than I expected and I loved every minute of it!  Of course, I did plenty of training to get myself physically in condition, however, the mental element was crucial.  Before the race, I visualised myself completing the course and running over the finishing line in good time.

This may sound deceptively simple, but it works!  Think of something that you want to achieve and give it a go – just spend a few moments seeing yourself getting the outcome you want.  Whatever you focus on, you’ll get; so if you see yourself failing, you probably will.  See yourself succeeding and you really can achieve anything.

I’d love to hear your personal experiences of this, so get in touch and let me know how you get on…

Enjoying the Journey

7 Oct

It’s generally accepted that it’s important to have goals in life. Most self-help books agree on this point and encourage us to set well-defined goals that we can work towards in order to move forwards.  Goal-setting is certainly something I use with clients and it’s an integral part of life-coaching.

However, achieving our goals is not the be-all and end-all; we shouldn’t put off being happy until we get a new job, lose two stone or find our perfect partner. 

Achieving one goal consists of many small steps along the way – some may take us forwards and some may take us backwards, so why not take time to enjoy each one?

Relish each step forward; congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievement – allow yourself to enjoy it.

If you feel that you’ve taken a step backwards, don’t beat yourself up.  You can use this as an opportunity to see how you can do things differently next time.

Have a think now about a particular goal that you’re working towards at the moment.  Take some time to appreciate how far you’ve come; and if you haven’t started yet, why not take your first step now,  it only has to be small. Most importantly of all, enjoy it!

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