‘10 Things You Like About Yourself’ is an exercise I use with some clients to develop a positive self-perception and build their self-esteem.
It sounds very simple however it’s more about the process they go through to make the list, than the exact words they use.
One client of mine, Jane (she gave her permission for this) found the exercise incredibly difficult. She struggled to find any positive words about herself, despite easily being able to list her negatives.
I suggested she asked her family, friends and colleagues at work for 3 positive words about her character. She bravely took that step out of her comfort zone. Using me as her reason, she was empowered to get answers from all the people she requested.
Initially she was quite dismissive of the words they gave her. “They’re just being kind” or “they don’t know me very well“.
However when she began to see a pattern in the words used ‘kind, caring, loyal, organised…..’ she started to believe and accept them. This has led to a real change in how she sees herself and her value.
It’s amazing that such a simple exercise can have such powerful outcomes. However it’s also sad that many women don’t actually recognise or celebrate their positive qualities.
How easy would you find this exercise?
How often do you say something positive about yourself to another person?
I’m not suggesting you have to continually blow your own trumpet, just a passing remark is enough to boost your own confidence. Such as “that was a really difficult meeting, but I think I handled it well” to a colleague. Or “I’m really pleased with how my daughters party went, all the organisation I did was worth it” to a friend.
It will probably feel uncomfortable initially, but keep practising as it’s such a powerful message to your self-esteem and confidence that you value yourself.
I’m passionate about supporting women to feel good about themselves, so PLEASE share this on social media using the buttons below.
Most of us have a bad habit we’d like to break, such as; the evening glass of wine, comfort food or a bit of retail therapy.
Perhaps you’ve tried unsuccessfully to cut down the behaviour or maybe you’ve just accepted it’s unbeatable. What you might be surprised to know is that all of these addictive type behaviours are linked to your dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter released by the brain, which acts on the reward and pleasure centres. When your dopamine levels are low you crave a hit, and as you’ve learnt that you can get that boost from buying a new outfit or eating a cake it becomes difficult to break the habit.
Why would your dopamine levels be low?
One reason can be that you aren’t getting fulfilment from your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy, a relationship that’s gone cold or you are struggling to feel good about your body image?
This means that you aren’t living a life with enough reward in it and so you aren’t triggering the release of dopamine.
How do you break the cycle of craving an instant hit of dopamine, which reinforces your bad habits?
It’s less about battling the ‘addiction’ and more about ensuring you include more inspiring and rewarding actions and activities in your life. These are the activities which you feel in flow with and time flies by without you noticing. Such as; being creative, exercise, listening to music, reading, meditation or other hobbies.
If you don’t have much room for ‘me time’ in your life, then ensure you include some tasks in your work day you enjoy, alongside those that are more dull. Take just a few minutes out to focus on you, and plan things that will inspire and reward you.
As a first step, when you have a craving for your bad habit, just notice if that day you have done or had anything that felt rewarding to you.
If you see a link between your need for instant gratification and a lack of reward or motivation in your day, then go and boost your dopamine levels!
Good luck, and please share this article using the buttons below.
Do you ever feel like other women seem to have the secret for getting ahead?
They juggle everything beautifully, never a hair out of place, impressing the right people, grabbing the right opportunities and leaving you wondering, “How do they DO it!?”
I used to wonder the same thing. What was the magic formula for success??
What I found out was that it wasn’t just ONE thing.
Success is a recipe; one that requires a balance of skills, strategies and a go getting mindset!
My friend and colleague Paula Clay (a leadership & Career expert), has put together something that will allow you to peek inside the minds of industry leaders who have coached thousands of women to unprecedented career success!
This is a totally F*R*E*E virtual training called “Unlock Your Super Powers: How to Leverage Your Strengths to Get the Promotion You Want, the money you deserve and the career you love!”
I recently read an article about Karen Brady (Baroness, Business woman and Sir Alan Sugars right hand woman) in which she talked about career advice and how to be a successful woman.
The key career tip that stood out to me was Be confident in who you are and what you can do.
This got me thinking about what are the qualities we need to be a successful woman?
I came up with the following is there any you would add?
Know what success means – For me this is the most important quality. Success to some women may mean a career or money or fame and to others means a happy, balanced life or a combination of the two. So be clear on what success means to you and don’t be influenced by other peoples definition
Passion – Successful women, what ever they are successful at, have a deep passion for their goals. Achieving success requires commitment and motivation, and loving what you do is necessary to maintain that
Self-Acceptance – A successful woman knows that she can’t be perfect and accepts her weaknesses as well as celebrating her strengths
Self-Confidence – As Karen Brady said this is about believing in your abilities to achieve your goals, as well as believing in your value in the world. As a result a successful woman is prepared to speak up for herself and have her voice heard
Resilience – Behind every success there are stories of setbacks and tough times. A successful woman will refocus on her goals and get up again and again, believing in herself and her abilities
Compassion – This doesn’t just refer to compassion for those around you, but more importantly showing yourself compassion. Treating yourself with kindness, understanding and forgiveness are essential to be being happy and succesful
What do you think? Have you got all the qualities to be successful at your personal goals?
I’d love to have a chat and discuss your goals further and you can contact me here.
I am a Facebook user, although not it’s greatest fan. I do however often flick through my newsfeed when I’m relaxing in front of the telly at night. It’s through this experience and what my clients tell me, that I’ve realised how damaging it can be to your confidence.
The problem is that social media activates your subconscious to compare and judge. A certain amount of this is natural, but when you are constantly seeing pictures of others having fun and looking good, it triggers your insecurities.
Seeing photos and posts about friends on nights out when you had a quiet weekend can send you into FOMO (fear of missing out).
Or updates about peoples latest gadget or holiday can cause you to want ‘more bigger, better’. These thoughts don’t always go away immediately and can lead to you questioning if you are ‘good enough’.
Recent research from Albright College in Pennsylvania has shown that people with less confidence are more likely to boast on Facebook, especially about their relationships. By showing others that their relationship is okay, they get the external validation that they are okay too.
My advice to clients is to always remember that you aren’t making a fair comparison. What you see on Facebook is generally the window dressing of someones life, whereas you have the full, behind the scenes picture of your own.
I’d love to know whether Facebook is affecting your confidence or what tips you have to ensure it’s just a fun hobby? Do leave me a comment please.
How do I stop comparing myself to others? This is a question I’m often asked by clients.
As women we often find ourselves falling into the habit of comparing our homes, bodies, careers, children and behaviours to others.
Even though I know the dangers involved in being caught in the comparison trap, I still find myself being drawn in.
Picture the scene, I’ve just come back from a fabulous 2 weeks in Turkey with my family. On the day of arrival, I’m by the pool in my bikini feeling white but relaxed and pretty good. My focus then drifts to other women around the pool and before I know it, I’m in full on ‘comparititis’ mode!
Thoughts like “That’s a lovely bikini, but how would it look on me?” or “Wow she has a fabulous figure“
These thoughts as observations are harmless, but if I then use them to judge myself against, it will knock my confidence and body image.
So how do you stop this ‘comparititis’?
It’s all about changing your mindset around how you define yourself. Have a read of these quotes
A flower Does Not Think Of Competing With the flower Next To It, It Just Blooms – Zen Shin
The Only Person You Should Try to be Better Than is Who You Were Yesterday – Unknown
Back to the pool in Turkey. To avoid falling into comparititis I reminded myself that how other people look has no affect on how I am perceived, how my family love me and my value as a person. Whether a supermodel sits down beside me or not, I am still okay and good enough.
I chose not to let any passing negative thoughts affect my self-esteem and instead to look at others with curiosity not judgement.
Does this resonate with you? Do you struggle with comparititis?
A friend of mine, who is married with children, recently went to visit her sister. She lives alone in a tidy, minimalist house and has lots of freedom. My friend mentioned how lovely it must be to be her sister with no responsibilities, then she reflected that actually it must feel quite lonely?
But does being alone mean you must be lonely?
Being alone means literally you are by yourself, and in that situation you may or may not feel lonely.
Being lonely means you crave social contact and connection with others, so there is a difference. You can be in a group of people or with the one you love and still feel lonely.
Loneliness also has a scale or spectrum, with each end having extremes from constant loneliness to occasional loneliness.
If you are occasionally lonely, it’s usually due to the circumstances, such as having no plans and being bored or being away from home. At the other end of the scale is when you are constantly lonely, and it’s generated from you rather than from your environment. This can quite often be a result of you not feeling cared for or understood.
A recent survey found that 43% of older adults felt alone, although only 18% of them actually lived alone.
As with most scales, the majority of people are located somewhere in between the two extremes. So if you feel lonely at some point think about what is making you feel lonely:
Are you feeling isolated and need to see or connect with people more often?
Do you feel that those around you don’t understand or care about you?
Here are some other things for you to consider:
Loneliness can be a sign that your mind needs more social contact or that the contact you’re having isn’t fulfilling
Having lots of connections that are at acquaintance level and whom you don’t feel close to, can feel more lonely than being alone
Open up to family and close friends about how you’re feeling
Start to share with those acquaintances to build a deeper rapport. Nothing bonds people like sharing your vulnerabilities, be brave and open up
What hobbies or interests do you have, can you use these to meet like minded people?
Take things slowly, the best connections take time to build trust and connection
Focus on other people, their experiences and feelings. Be curious about them. Getting out of your head and thinking about others will relieve the lonely feelings
If you are single and lonely for that special person and emotional connection in your life, accept that this is understandable and okay. Then look for other connections in your life that can fill this gap, including self-love.
When you have found some good connections, nourish them, and don’t be worried about being too forward or giving more than you get. When you make more friends you can choose which are most positive in your life.