I have come to realise that I am my own worst critic. I set unrealistic goals for myself and then I set myself up to fail and then I tell myself ‘you never finish anything you start’, or ‘you’ve failed again.’ I know this is the voice of my Inner Gremlin, my Mind Monkey or whatever you want to call that inner critic. I talk about this stuff all the time, I know about it and yet I need reminding too. I need reminding often – everyday, in fact! Perhaps I should have it tattooed on my forehead then every-time I looked in the mirror it would remind me!
have these ideas that the ‘perfect me’ of sometime in the future would bounce
energetically out of bed at 6 am, greeting the day enthusiastically. I would imbibe a cup of green tea with lemon
(organic of course), do an hour’s yoga, some meditation, then start my day
serenely. The perfect me is going to go
to the gym at least 5 times a week, walk daily, and smile and eat
healthily. Not only that, but this
perfect future me is going to create a video for YouTube every week and write
and record regular blogs and podcasts.
know that there are people who manage all this, I’ve met some of them and I
have no reason to doubt that they are these goddesses who achieve all of this
and more, and I really admire them. However, I’ve had enough – I’m really fed up
of beating myself up for not being that person.
So, I’ve made a decision. Rather
than berating myself for falling short of my perceived ‘perfect’, I’m just
going to love and accept myself as I am right now. It seems to me that if I have an internal
dialogue which is criticising my ‘failure’ for not being or doing or achieving
the things I want to be/do then how can I also be growing and developing?
wouldn’t speak to my friends the way I sometimes speak to myself, and if I did
then they probably wouldn’t want to stick around for very long.
Maybe it’s time to cut myself some slack. Maybe it’s time to cut yourself some slack too?
It’s great to have goals and things, small and large, that we want to achieve. It depends where we are at the moment in life. If you are feeling unwell and low, then sometimes just getting up, showered and dressed is your goal. Goals don’t have to be massive.
self-realisation is that I have over many years become an expert at
self-criticism. When this is repeated
over and over it becomes so detrimental and damaging. For me, when I fail to reach my own
expectations or goals then the self-criticism becomes the loudest, and although
I have worked on this, and I continue to work on this, what I realised is that
it is so easy to forget what we have learned.
We need continual reminders of the things we need to do to keep our
balance by doing the inner work in order to keep that Inner Critic in
know that personally my self-confidence as a child was very low, and I have
worked hard over the years to combat this.
Actually stepping out and making videos and sharing my own experiences
has been a massive step for me to take.
The reason I do this is because I have learned so many tools and
techniques over the years that have helped me to change, and I know that I am not
the only one. If I have struggled then I
know that there will be other women out there who also struggle with their
inner critical voice, with a lack of self worth and self confidence.
is perfect, everybody makes mistakes. We
need to learn from our mistakes and experiences and move on. Easier said that done, but if you do the
inner work and keep it up consistently then this can change. You can become more confident, you can
develop self worth, and you can learn to love and accept yourself just as you
are. Even if you need reminders
sometimes, like I do.
do I mean about the inner work? The key
thing is we can change our brains because of neuroplasticity. This means that we can make new neural
connections no matter how old we are!
The more we practice, the stronger the neural pathways become. Therefore if we regularly, consistently work
on positive reinforcement such as: writing
a gratitude journal, meditation or mindfulness, visualisation, Emotional
Freedom Technique (Tapping), listening to positive and uplifting videos or
music, taking some time to walk in nature, making sure you are looking after
yourself nutritionally, all these things will help to rewire our brains. The
key is keep doing it and keep that inner critic in check.
became a therapist and a life coach because I love to do is share the things I know,
the tools and techniques that have helped me, so that you too can become
happier and more fulfilled in your life.
I know because I am on the same journey.
We all are, we are just at different stages on the road.
In this week’s blog I’m looking at why it’s a good idea to surround yourself with positive people as much as possible.
I’ve been sharing techniques over the last month or so about how to upgrade your Mindset, and we can’t upgrade our mindset unless we get ourselves in a place of good energy, of positivity. If you have been following my techniques over the last few months, then you will have been learning about making changes within yourself and hopefully you are on your way to feeling the difference.
One of the ways to keep
ourselves in the place of good energy, is to surround ourselves with positive
people with a similar mindset to ourselves, or to what we aspire to be, and to
avoid negative people. The ones that
bring us down.
The benefits of surrounding
ourselves with positive people are numerous:
A support system
to uplift you
They look out for
you to be the best you
leaves you feeling more positive
There is no drama
– positive people have no time or energy for drama
You will feel
motivated to make the best decisions for you
You will move
forward faster towards your goals
cultivate a CAN DO attitude
We absorb the
energy of those we spend a lot of time with.
Your outlook will
Positive people encourage,
inspire, motivate and make every day a good day. They want you to succeed, they are your
cheer-leaders. Their energy will rub off
on you and will motivate you to step up and be your best self. Like attracts like so the more you work on
your self-development, upgrade your mindset, and become more positive, the more
you will attract like-minded people to you.
Feeling more positive is a
choice we can all make. When walking,
looking up, putting your shoulders back, and walking tall will immediately make
you feel better. If you are more
selective of the people you spend time with then you increase your happiness
and chance of success. Nobody near
you? Then join a Facebook group or work
with a professional life coach or a mentor.
Look at what positive people
do – they will have habits that you can emulate such as keeping a Gratitude
Journal, and working on their mindset regularly. Think about the negative influences around
Negative people usually don’t smile or laugh easily. It can be really difficult to deal with negative people. To be fair, we can all be negative at times, can’t we? But there are some people who always seem to be negative. They are pessimistic, and bring your mood crashing down. You can be feeling upbeat and happy but after a few minutes with one of these people we feel as despondent as they presumably do. If you, like me, are an empath, then this is something you will be more than aware of. If you share your dreams with a negative person, they will be the ones that tell you pessimistically that you are going to fail, they will discourage you from even trying. They won’t want you to learn anything new, or try anything different. It will be ‘too dangerous’, ‘too stupid’, ‘pointless’. Constant negativity can end up either making you become negative yourself, or make you want to avoid or become indifferent or even uncaring towards that person. This can be very difficult when this is someone you are in a relationship with.
Why they are negative:
There’s always a reason why they became so negative. It is rooted in fear. It is usually a fear of not being loved or accepted or liked, or a fear that something bad is going to happen. Usually because they have experienced, at some point in life, that very thing and so now their minds are like heat seeking missiles looking for evidence to confirm their deep-seated beliefs. When you realise this, and understand that they are operating from a place of fear, it makes sense that they discourage anyone pursuing their dreams or doing anything out of the ordinary. It makes sense that they distrust others and are negative. Unfortunately, as you know, that which you focus on grows, so as they seek out negativity, they are negative themselves, and attract more negativity. Often, they blame things outside of themselves for everything that goes wrong, and don’t take responsibility.
How to deal with it:
The thing is, you can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself. Demanding that they change their behaviour won’t work. Lecturing them about why they are negative won’t work. You can learn to understand why they are the way they are with understanding and then take responsibility for your own happiness in spite of their negativity, and you can choose the way in which you respond to that person. You can also choose the way you feel about the way they speak to you. You always have a choice. THEY have to be with themselves ALL the time, you only have to be with them SOME of the time!
Nurture Positivity in Yourself:
You can’t change them, but you can concentrate on your own personal self-development and promoting your own positivity. At first, you might have to fake it til you make it, but you will need to act like you are feeling totally positive, totally confident, totally focussed and in charge of your own life. That you don’t allow others negativity to influence you in any way. You are going to do your thing, live your dreams, and be trusting. Let them know that you feel differently from them, tell them calmly that whatever they might think, that is their opinion, and whilst you respect it, you are going to do your thing. You would rather try and fail, than never try at all.
Keep working on your own
positivity. When you feel totally secure
then you won’t be affected so much. It
really works but it takes consistency and practice.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and found it helpful. If you have enjoyed this then you will like the free resources I offer.
Until next time,
Sue Jaycock Mindset & Wellbeing Coach
If you are interested in having online coaching sessions with me, please do get in touch. h
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
In my recent blogs, I have been writing about how to upgrade your Mindset, and this week I am continuing this theme and it’s all about Self-Care –we are looking at how important it is to schedule yourself some ME time to improve your wellbeing.
Let’s talk about ME time. What I am talking about here is non-negotiable time for yourself where you can do the things that make you happy.
What does this have to do with positive mindset? Well, here’s the thing: – if you don’t look after YOU then you can’t help anyone else. You have to put your own oxygen mask on first. It’s no good wearing yourself into the ground because then, frankly, you are no use to anyone, least of all yourself.
We spend so much time doing what we feel we SHOULD do, that mostly we don’t make time for what we would LOVE to do. This makes us feel trapped in a cycle of doing and we can become resentful, stressed and unhappy. Does that resonate?
We need time to rest and recuperate. The more stressed we are, the more we need that downtime.
If you want to increase your level of satisfaction in life and generally happiness, then one of the most important steps you can take is scheduling in some time to do what you love.
If you are still reading at this point I’m guessing it’s because you aren’t currently taking any or enough time for yourself, and you might be feeling tired, burnt out, exhausted, resentful, thinking ‘what about me?’ It’s not selfish to take time for yourself, it’s vital. You know this to be true, but there is a reason you aren’t doing it. You might be saying that you simply don’t have enough time. We have a lot of demands on us from life, work, and our family. Finding time for yourself can make finding time for ourselves a huge challenge. It might feel like just a dream to have some time for yourself. If that is you then I want you to consider this: Women, especially, equate having time for ourselves with feelings of guilt. Because there is so much to do, taking time for yourself feels like it isn’t worth the feelings of guilt when you ‘should’ be doing something else. However, the evidence shows that the personal benefits you will gain from taking this time will be worth it.
The benefits of taking time for yourself are numerous: it improves concentration, increases productivity, increases satisfaction, gives you chance to reset your mind, helps you to problem solve more efficiently, gives you more self-awareness, leads to more happiness, helps you to understand yourself, and all these in turn leads to having a more positive relationship with others.
I used the analogy earlier of putting on your own oxygen mask first – it’s what they say in the safety talk when on a flight. How many of us deplete ourselves for the sake of others, when by taking care of our own needs first, we would be able to help other people better? We would be more balanced, calmer and a happier person to be around. Carrying on without taking care of ourselves means that we start to compromise not only our physical health but our emotional health. As a result, we can end up suffering from ill-health and stress and then we can’t help anybody.
I know this only too well, as this was my pattern for many years.
What might this self-care look like? This isn’t about taking huge amounts of time out. This is doing simple things like:
• Making sure you are eating healthy nutritious foods – have health snacks around so that you don’t dive in for sugar filled treats which spike your blood sugar and end up leaving you depleted.
• Drinking plenty of water.
• Doing some exercise.
• Take time away from the digital world.
• Taking time to do something you enjoy.
Finding the Time: Here are some suggestions as to how you might shoe-horn some time in to your busy diary. If you can just fit in an hour a week to start off with, that will be something to really look forward to: • Do you work long hours and stay at your desk later than you need to? Could you leave work earlier? • Could you cut your TV watching time and give yourself an hour? • Is there something in your schedule you could drop without everything falling apart? • Are you aware that you spend a lot of time browsing on social media when you could reallocate that time to some ME time? It is easy to fall down the rabbit hole. • Can you delegate something to someone at home? Maybe get teenage children washing up? • What about delegating something at work? Is that possible? • Could you get up earlier one morning? • Are you attending events or meetings when you really don’t want to because you are afraid of saying ‘no’? Learning to say ‘no’ is very empowering and it becomes easier with practice.
Remember – the things we focus on expand: • If we keep repeating to ourselves that we are too busy then we are going to attract more of the same. • Try changing that mantra to something like, ‘I have all the time I need’. • You are no good to anybody if you are depleted, lacking energy, resentful and exhausted. • Put your own mask on so that you can help the others around you better.
What will you do with your YOU time?
This is going to look different because we are all different and like different things. Let me give you some suggestions just to get the ideas flowing:
• Mindfulness or meditation
• 30 minutes of Yoga
• Watch or listen to uplifting content
• Doing nothing!
• Knitting or crochet
• Sewing or craftwork
• Playing a musical instrument
• Aromatherapy bath
• A foot massage
• Write a journal
• 30 minute walk
• Go to the gym
• Running or jogging
• Listening to music
Maybe it’s been so long since you allowed yourself some time that you have forgotten what you enjoy? Imagine rediscovering what you used to love or something new. It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive. Work out what makes you happy. Start now by writing a list of the things you enjoy and keeping it close to hand.
If after reading this you still find it hard to justify taking some time for yourself, maybe you need to look at any deeper issues which might be going on for you. A qualified life-coach, such as myself, would be able to help you to do this.
Resistance from Others It sometimes happens that once we start to take time for ourselves, those around us might be a bit surprised as they are used to having us available. This might be because they are feeling a bit rejected, they might have come to rely on you too much, they might be feeling insecure. Remember, these are their emotions not yours. They have become accustomed to you behaving on one way, and now you are behaving in a different way, and people don’t like change. Don’t let this stop you, reassure them that you are still there but in order for you to be happier and healthier you need to take time for yourself too. They will get used to this new way of being in no time.
Non-Negotiable Make this space for you a routine – this is non-negotiable ME time, remember. Write it in the diary.
Be kind to yourself, and treat yourself as you would a good friend. YOU are worth it.
If you have been following me, you will know that over the last month I have been talking and blogging about Mindset. In my blog post called How To Shift Your Mindset, I gave an overview of 6 techniques to shift your mindset, and each week since then I have been looking at each of those 6 techniques in more depth.
The first of these was about Taming Negative Inner Self Talk, and I created a free downloadable workbook to go alongside the blog which you can obtain on the same link.
Let’s dive right into this week’s topic of What’s Bugging You Most. We are all familiar with the experience of being really tired, getting into bed and then your brain starts up – going over and over and whatever it is that it wants to have a worry about. Unless we are very blessed, we have worries, don’t we – it is all part of the territory. When we are busy during the day we can often manage to keep the worries under the surface by being busy, but as soon as we relax then our mind gremlins think it is their time to come out and cause havoc.
Now, I’ve previously shared with you some tips and techniques to manage this inner voice, (see my freebie Taming Negative Inner Self Talk ) but there are times when we need to listen up and take some action. How will you know the difference? The time to listen up and take action is when you know that the Thing That Is Bugging You Most is a genuine concern, not a trivial mind monkey muttering. Let me give you examples of both.
Inner Critical Voice
on a negative rampage:
You’re not good enough
You’re rubbish with money
You’re so clumsy
You’re so fat
You’re so lazy
Examples of genuine
worries and concerns:
I’m worrying about employment
I’m worrying about a relationship problem
I’m worrying because of health issues
I’m worrying about finances
What is the worry? First of all I want you to ask yourself, what is the worry, and write it down in a sentence.
What is the impact of this? Secondly I want you to write down what the impact is of this worry on you or your family.
Is there anything I can do about this? Make a list of everything and anything you can think of that you can do about this – don’t worry if the ideas sound ridiculous, write them all down.
Which of these would you like to take action on? Out of the list you have created in No 3, choose the action or actions that are most realistic, the ones that you feel confident that you can take action on. It might be one action that you choose, or it might be several – just make sure they are realistic and doable.
What might get in the way of taking action on this? For each of the items that you have chosen in No 4, write down what might get in the way. It is good to be aware of this – being aware and honest helps you to avoid tripping up or making excuses!
Who or what could help me with this action? Is there a friend you could enlist? Someone you need advice from? Who could help you with this?
Set a Goal Once you have decided on your action, and looked at what might get in the way, and who might help you with the action, it is time to set a goal around this action. This looks like: By (date) I will have (describe the action)
How Will I Feel? Once you have achieved your goal, how will it feel?
This is something you can do on your own, but if you find this difficult, and have a lot of things going on for you in your life at the moment, you might want to consider working with a life coach like myself. Working with a life coach not only speeds the process up but it really helps you to set meaningful and constructive goals enabling you to move on in your life in a much more positive way.
In this series of blogs I have been looking at Mindset and how it affects us, and how we can upgrade our Mindset to a much more positive one by following the techniques which I share with you. First of all, in my blog ‘How To Shift Your Mindset’ I talked about 6 things that we need to change. The first of these was Inner Self Talk, and I addressed that in last week’s blog, ‘Taming The Negative Self Talk’, and I also shared a free downloadable workbook for you to use alongside the blog.
After looking at the inner narrative last week, this week we
are looking at the outer narrative – the
stories that we share with others.
Rather than being the centre of attention, I prefer to sit
on the side-lines and I confess I am an avid people watcher. What I have noticed is that when people meet
and talk, is that we have a compulsive habit of repeating negative stories
about ourselves. Until I noticed this, I
was unaware of how much I did this myself, and now I am aware of it I try to
catch myself and turn it around.
We naturally build a narrative of our life, we hold in our
minds a story of how our life is, and we tell this story to ourselves and when
we meet our friends and family we share pieces of the story with them. That’s natural, of course, and it is what we
humans do. The problem arises when our narrative becomes
a habitually negative one.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
‘I’m always so (late/busy/stressed/fill in the blank).’
‘I’ve never been any good at (maths/cooking/dieting/exercise/……fill in the blank).’
‘I have a terrible (memory/temper/boss/……fill in the blank).’
‘I hate my (body/weight/boss/……fill in the blank).
‘I am no good at….(fill in the blank)’
We often don’t even realise we are repeating negative
stories. We have been on auto-pilot for
a long time and it feels natural and normal. Sometimes it is even like a competition,
who has the worse negative narrative!
Why is this even a problem?
Well, here’s the crux of the matter: what we think, what we feel becomes
our reality. Therefore, if we keep
repeating the negative stories – that is what we are perpetuating in our
In last week’s blog, I explained how to change your inner
negative self talk, your inner narrative, to remove the negative impact. We can use the same technique with negative
Here are a few tips to combat the negative narrative.
I would like to invite you to listen to your own
narrative. If you catch yourself saying
to someone ‘I always…’ or ‘I never…’ just be aware of what you are saying. Make a note of it.
Ask yourself, is that true? For example if you said: ‘I’m always late.’ Are you always late or are you occasionally
If you are sometimes on time, then you aren’t
always late and the statement is not true.
If you believe you ARE always late, can you
think of an example when you were on time?
If so, then you aren’t always late and the statement is not true.
If you really, truly, have always been late all
your life then be aware that memory is not accurate – you might only be
remembering the times you were late, but probably there were many times when
you were on time.
If you keep repeating that you are always late
your mind will believe you and it will make sure that you are always late.
It might be true that you ARE late, but not that you are ALWAYS
late. ‘I’m running late today.’ Is more
Now that you are aware of what you are saying,
make changes to disprove it. For
example, make sure you leave on time and arrive early. Change your habits.
Dwelling on the negative leads to mental health problems. Research shows
that the more you think about your mistakes and problems the more likely you
are to experience depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
It is also interesting to listen to the narrative of your
friends and family as they are talking to you – listen out for their ‘I always’
or ‘I never’ – it is very insightful.
I do hope you have found this helpful.
Don’t forget I have a free downloadable workbook called Taming the Negative Inner Self Talk where you will find tips, techniques and exercises to help you turn around your negative thoughts.