Today’s blog is about how to shift your mindset. This one is an important one for me, because it is something I have had to learn, and sometimes it has been a struggle. I know that I can’t be the only one, and therefore I wanted to make this blog all about how to shift your mindset and give you my best tips and techniques which you can try for yourself. Now this is a massive topic, so today is all about the overview, and we will deep dive into the different aspects of it over the next few weeks
First of all, what do
I mean by mindset? What I am talking
about is your frame of mind. The way you
are feeling right now. The mood that you
are in. That is your mindset. Just
check in – how is your mindset right now?
Your mindset affects how you feel about life.
Now, there are 2 ways of looking at mindset:
In a fixed mindset,
people believe that their basic qualities such as intelligence or talent are
fixed traits. They don’t believe they
can be changed.
In a growth mindset,
people believe that their basic abilities can be developed through dedication
and hard work. Things can change.
Now I’m assuming that you are coming from a growth mindset seeing as you are reading this blog, and that you believe that things can change, or more to the point, you believe that YOU can change your thoughts. Therefore, it follows that you also understand that the mindset that you are in at this moment in time can also be changed. If you wake up feeling that you had a rubbish night’s sleep, that you are dreading going to work, that you hate your job, that you look fat, and you generally berate yourself about your short-comings then you are in a very negative mindset. Maybe you are worried and anxious about something. The truth is that whilst you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, your mind is cloudy and you are not in the position to make positive changes. What you need to do is change your mindset. Easier said than done – I hear you!
I’ve been there, I know how it feels, I know that when you are in that mindset it can be hard to understand that things can change. But they can and it starts with you.
Success and happiness are all about mindset, so if you find
that you are unhappy in any aspect of your life then mindset will be at the
bottom of it. It affects everything in
your life from what you think and feel to how you act and react. A negative mindset will hold you back from
getting to where you want to be in life.
Here are 6 tips to upgrading your mindset, and I am going to
go into more detail about each of these over the coming weeks:
Inner Self-talk – be an observer of the things that you say to yourself. What is the self-talk running through your head? Your thoughts create your reality, and your negative self-talk affects your mindset. You need to turn this self-talk around. I’ve written a blog on this called Choosing Your Thoughts which you might like to read.
How you speak to others – be an observer when you are talking to your friends and family. What are you saying about yourself? Do you say things like ‘I’m always rubbish at that…’ or put yourself down in your conversation? (Even in a jokey way?) Do you rerun negative stories over and over? Instead of talking about your problems how about talking about all that is going well? There really is always something positive you can find. This will encourage a positive mindset and abundance.
What’s bugging you most? Is your weight bugging you? Is it that you aren’t exercising enough? Maybe you have a list? Pick a goal you would like to achieve and think to yourself what mindset do people who have succeeded at this goal have? Your mind doesn’t know the difference so if you keep telling yourself something your mind will believe it and will be open to accepting a new mindset about health and fitness.
Schedule ME time: make non-negotiable time for yourself where you can read and listen to uplifting content; practice mindfulness or meditation; do some emotional freedom technique or similar. Practice yoga; take time for you. Thing is – if you don’t look after YOU then you can’t help anyone else. You have to put your own oxygen mask on first.
Surround yourself with like-minded people – avoid the negative nellies. It can be difficult when your partner or spouse is of a negative mindset – remember you can’t change them you can only change yourself. You can choose your friends though, so if you have friends who drain your energy with their negativity you might want to limit the time you spend with them.
I hope that you have found this
useful – I know that I’ve included a lot of content, but this is the overview
and I will go into more details in the coming weeks to really help you to embed
the tools to change your mindset.
The fact is, sometimes we don’t feel okay. If there is one thing I have learned over the
last few years, it is that it is okay to acknowledge this. My old pattern would be to pretend that I was
fine and cover up all signs of being less than okay. I wouldn’t tell anyone how I felt because I
was afraid to admit I was less than in control.
I didn’t want to look like I was failing, I didn’t want to show my
vulnerability. I would isolate myself. These days though I recognise the signs and
see it for what it is. Admitting that
you are struggling isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always fit with the image
of us that we want people to see. Social
media probably has a lot to do with this – it is full of people who seem to
have perfect lives, perfect relationships, perfect homes and perfect jobs, not
to mention the perfect children and the perfect pets. I am a life-coach and so my passion is about
helping other people to live their best lives and to make the mindset shifts
and the changes they need. However, to
get there I’ve had to make those mindset shifts and those changes myself, and
the truth is that it is not something that you fix and then you’re done – it needs
consistent work and I am only human and sometimes I forget to look after myself
properly and then I don’t feel okay.
In me this manifests in waking up in the night with anxiety
and not knowing why, or waking up in the morning feeling panicked. When that happens I know that I am not okay,
and now, instead of hiding it and rushing on with the day, I sit with the
feeling, acknowledge it, and then rather than being frustrated at my weakness I
will reach out to a trusted friend. This
often helps you see it from a different perspective and grounds you, and helps
you to reframe the issue. My next step
is to start working on myself to get my mindset back in balance. For me that means doing some mindset work,
some Emotional Freedom Technique, talking things over with a friend, some
meditation, affirmations, go for a walk, some gratitude work. Embracing the ‘not okay’ times instead of
rushing past them is the key, reframing the situation and acknowledging the
situation. This is about accepting and
moving through, not ignoring.
Being authentic and honest is the key. Dwelling on your perceived failure freezes
you and stops you from reaching out for help and clouds your judgement to make
My take-away from this is that is is okay to give myself
permission to not be okay sometimes. I
accept that I might not have a solution to a problem right now, and that’s okay
too. This will pass too,
We are conditioned to think that we have to always be in
control and always have it together, but we are human, we are flawed, and it is
okay not to be okay.
Thanks for reading, if you would like to find out about working with me please get in touch.
Today I’m talking about
possibilities. We are just coming into a
brand new year, and it’s a natural opportunity to start thinking about New
Year’s Resolutions, setting goals, and what we would like to achieve in the
coming year. That might be joining a
gym, losing weight, improving your health, keeping in touch with family and
friends more often, personal growth, start a new business, improving your
finances or changing your job, etc.
At the same time we might
have a brief look over our shoulder and see what we failed to achieve in the
past year and we might want to close the door on that quickly. However, we don’t want to drag the memories or
energy of last year’s perceived failures into the new year, and so I’d like to
invite you to take a brief look back at the previous year from a different
perspective. Rather than beat ourselves
up about what we didn’t achieve, let’s celebrate what we did achieve, and what
we learned. Even if we failed, that
failure in itself was a lesson that we needed to learn. Maybe things didn’t unfold in quite the way
you expected, but they unfolded in the way they were meant to for you to
experience the lesson in it.
Before we jump into the new
year, I’d like to suggest taking time to
reflect on the past year, to accept what happened, to forgive anyone that needs
to be forgiven, (and that includes yourself if necessary). Forgiveness can be hard, but honestly, from
my personal experience, nothing will keep you more stuck that resentment and
non-forgiveness. Erase that negative energy;
don’t drag it with you into the New Year.
Make a mental list of what
the last year gave you that you are grateful for, this releases stuck energy
which allows you to be free to new possibilities in the coming year. There is always something to be grateful for.
And the New Year? The only limits we have are the ones we put
on ourselves. Open your mind to new
possibilities. Be willing to try new
things. Be willing to get out of your
comfort zone. Take time to sit quietly
with paper and pen and write down what you really would like your life to look
like. Take a good long look deep within
yourself and allow yourself to freely write what you really want from
Maybe you feel stuck in your
life, frustrated and wanting more. Maybe
you feel that you are missing out but you can’t put your finger on it. Every day there are countless opportunities,
countless choices, but what we normally do is stick in our comfort zone; you’ve
heard the saying – “if we always do what we have always done, then we will
always get what we always got.” It’s
If you aren’t opening your
eyes and setting some meaningful goals then you won’t even notice when new
possibilities come your way. Be careful
of not setting goals that are not realistic, goals need to be out of your
comfort zone but not so unrealistic that you know that they are not
achievable. Writing them down
I’m inviting you to embrace
change, set some goals, take time to plan, use your creativity. Remember when you were a child and your
imagination knew no bounds. Put yourself
in the mind of that child. What have you got to lose? Open your mind to possibilities.
Be aware of habits which have
not served you in the past year. I don’t
mean beat yourself up for them, but just be conscious of them, and realise that
they no longer serve you. Once you
identify the bad habits it is easier to create new habits. I talk about this in more detail in my other
Keep your dreams and your
possibilities alive the whole year through by taking quiet time for yourself
daily to get in touch with your inner self, whether that’s through meditation,
mindfulness or just quiet time.
I’d love to know how you get
on with this reflection and planning. Do
leave me a message.
We all struggle with stress at some point in our lives. We can’t avoid it, we all have some stress it is part and parcel of life. We also go through exceptionally stressful periods of life sometimes – such as moving house, a relationship breakdown, death of a loved one. Not only that we have times when things like exams, having to give a talk, having to do something outside of our comfort zone – we all feel stressed from time to time.
Fortunately, we are designed to deal with stress and react to it.
Here’s what happens to our bodies when we are stressed – our nervous system releases stress hormones which include adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones help us to cope with the threat or danger, and is also called the fight or flight response. It makes up hyper alert and able to deal with the immediate threat. If we were a cave man or woman we would be able to run away very fast, climb a tree super speedily, or we would be ready to fight. So stress can be positive as it makes us alert and super focussed.
Once the event subsides we relax and start to calm down, the hormones dissipate in our blood stream. However, when we continually experience stress in our lives, then the nervous system stays hyper-vigilant, and the stress response carries on continually. This is when problems arise with our health. Continued stress causes problems with our immune system. This is because cortisol which is being continually released supresses the immune system and we then become more susceptible to infections and inflammatory conditions. We can’t fight off illness so easily.
When we are stressed we breathe harder to get the oxygenated blood around the body faster. When we are continually stressed then it can make us feel short of breath and can even cause hyperventilation, especially if someone is prone to anxiety or panic attacks.
Also, continual stress keeps our muscles tensed up which is the body’s way of protecting us from injury. If our muscles are tense for a long time then we end up with aches and pains, tension headaches and migraine. Holding the muscles tight becomes a habit and we become set in a position, with our shoulders held high, our necks hurting.
Blood pressure and heart rate increases during stress and return to normal once the stressful event has passed. However, if stress carries on over a long period of time then it can cause damage to the blood vessels and arteries which increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke.
As if this isn’t enough, continued stress also plays havoc with our metabolism, our digestive system, and even our reproductive system. Women can experience changes to their menstrual cycles.
When we are stressed over a long period of time we experience tiredness, mood swings, irritability, difficulty sleeping, or staying awake. We have poor concentration, difficulty learning and remembering things. It can cause depression and even weight gain.
The way we try to cope with stress can also cause more health issues. For instance, we might drink alcohol to help us relax, we might smoke, eat too much or take drugs.
I have experienced first-hand the damage that long term stress can cause, and I see it every day in my clients.
This all sounds pretty depressing, right?
My take-away message is – learn to manage your stress, before it causes ill-health. Remember, some stress in life is normal – and a little stress helps us to feel focussed, alert, motivated and ready to act.
Here’s what to look out for:
Be in tune with how you are feeling and recognise when you are chronically stressed
When you recognise that you are chronically stressed accept that you need to take action
When you start to feel very anxious or panicky about the things that used to be easy, such as driving somewhere, or going to the shops, then it’s time to manage your stress levels.
The good news is that there are ways of dealing with stress, which are inexpensive and easy to do. It needs to become part of your life – a habit. Some of my favourite methods of dealing with stress are:
Meditation or mindfulness for just a short period each day helps to calm the mind
Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping).
Listening to visualisations.
Listening to music.
Using essential oils.
Take time for yourself.
Maybe you need to be open to the fact that you might have to make a change in your life.
If you don’t deal with the chronic stress, then remember that there will be health consequences so it is better to act. Pretending it isn’t there or hiding it won’t work – you can’t fool yourself. Look at it squarely in the face and take action – you have everything to gain.
Thanks for reading and if you want to know more about any of the methods I have mentioned, or if you would like to find out about how to work with me, do get in touch.
Today’s blog is all about affirmations. You may or may not be familiar with them. I first learned about affirmations over 20 years ago from reading one of Louise Hay’s books, and throughout the years I have used them, forgotten about them, and rediscovered them. I have affirmations scattered around the house on post it notes in places where I can see them regularly. I want to share with you what affirmations are, how they work and how to use them to best effect. Also, why is it that they work for some people and not for others? Do they work for you?
First of all, what are affirmations? Affirmations are positive statements or thoughts which we wish to be true, even if that thought or statement is not yet true for us. They are thoughts or statements which reinforce a belief.
Example of an affirmation: “I love myself just the way I am”.
How do they work? Our minds, as clever as they are, do not know the difference between fantasy and reality. This is why, if I ask you to really imagine biting into a lemon, your salivary glands will start to work – your physical body reacts due to the message your mind gives it. Affirmations, when repeated over and over are accepted into our mind as fact.
Why do they work for some people and not others? As we have discussed in previous videos, often when we leave our mind to run on auto-pilot, it reverts to a stream of negative self-talk. When you think about it, everything we say and think to ourselves is an affirmation – so we are using affirmations every moment whether we know it or not. Not only that but we may be holding limiting self-beliefs. If a teacher, for instance, told us we were rubbish at maths, then we may carry that for our whole life, and our mind dutifully validates this by finding experiences and creating experiences to back up the limiting belief! Unless we change the manner in which we habitually think, and deal with limiting beliefs, we will find ourselves stuck in some aspect of our lives.
When we use affirmations then our inner-gremlin might say ‘well that’s stupid, that isn’t going to work is it!’ and this is because our brain likes patterns, and since our mind normally runs on a negative sound track, our inner gremlin sees the positive affirmation as ‘different’ so immediately dismisses it. After all, it isn’t what it is used to!
We might have some amazing affirmations and repeat them once or twice in a day, and the rest of the day leave our minds in auto-pilot to go through its usual negative stream of consciousness. That’s like scattering a seed in barren soil. In other words, affirmations are great but not the full answer. They are a technique but used alone can’t fix everything. We need to look at how we are thinking the majority of the time AND use affirmations.
The best way to use affirmations. Being aware of all that I have said, here is an effective technique to use affirmations:
Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes x 3 times a day — first thing in the morning, lunch time, and before bed. Look at yourself in the mirror as you repeat your affirmation.
Write the affirmation out several times a day. If speaking the affirmation at lunchtime is not possible for you, for instance, because you are at work, then you can write it instead.
Finally: Affirmations are a great technique to create positive change in your life but they are most effective IF you first deal with unlimiting beliefs AND become aware of your thoughts during the rest of the day. To do this you many need to work with a professional life coach to uncover your unconscious thought patterns and shift those limiting beliefs.
Today’s blog is about Choosing Your Thoughts. Sometimes we can be in our heads too much. Whilst it is good to have some healthy self-reflection, this can often turn to a spiral of negative thinking which is not healthy. We need to be able to tune in and check where we are at. Are we self-reflecting or self-criticising? If we are self-reflecting then this is goal directed, realistic, positive and creative. We are looking at our ‘real-self’. If we are self-criticising, our thoughts are negative, we focus on us as ‘bad’. We become trapped in a repetitive cycle of negative thinking that ultimately leads to anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Mindful meditation is one method that can help us to choose our thoughts and steer us away from our inner gremlin/inner critic.
One tip is to just check in with your thoughts as an observer and discover whether you are engaging in healthy self-reflection or negative self-criticising.
Whenever I share something with you it is because it is an issue I have worked with and discovered what works for me, and I share it because I know it will help you too if you have similar experiences.
Thanks for reading, and if anything I have said resonates with you, please get in touch.