How much of your time do you spend judging others? I’m ashamed to say, that as much as I think of myself as a kind and thoughtful person, I do judge and sometimes quite harshly.
When I really thought about this behaviour, I realised it was ingrained in me and had become a habit.
If I saw someone wearing something inappropriate or outdated, I’d think “Wow she need’s some fashion advice!” or if the customer service in a restaurant is slow or offhand “What’s his problem? No tip for the grumpy man”
Even with friends if they cancel at the last minute or aren’t supportive, I automatically assume they don’t care enough and aren’t good friends.
Does this behaviour make me feel better? Absolutely not, now I have guilt for my thoughts as well as anger at the person or situation.
Then I think, if I’m judging others they’re judging me too, how scary! Because, I’ve let friends down, worn odd outfits and been so up in my head to come across as grumpy. It would be awful to think of others talking about me for that.
Worst of all, when we judge others it reinforces our judgement of ourselves and when we judge internally it’s usually far harsher.
This behaviour is often how we bond with others, especially other women. Moaning about someone else can create a shared warmth and a temporary connection. But there are better ways of creating a more permanent connection.
The main reasons we judge others are because:
We maybe insecure and unhappy and think putting others down will make us feel better
We may feel lonely or isolated and want to bond with others,
We can feel scared of or intimidated by others and judge them to feel better ourselves
As you can imagine none of this is beneficial to us, instead it can damage relationships, affect our self-esteem and hurt other people.
Which, means it’s time for us to break the habit of judging and then we can be kinder not only to others but also to ourselves.
I’ll be using these tips to change my judging habit:
Be aware of your thoughts. When a behaviour is a habit we can be unaware that we’re doing it. So start by noticing when you judge and who you judge (including yourself!)
Look for the positives. If your mindset naturally looks for the negative in people, challenge yourself to start with looking for the positive
Be curious about stereotypes. Stereotyping can be a negative thing, so when you recognise yourself doing it, be curious about what is really true about the person. What is unique about them?
Can you put yourself in their shoes? What might this person be going through?
Focus on the present and your life. If you get distracted by your own problems and drift into judging someone, pull the focus back to your own life, what you want and the good things in your life. But don’t turn the judgement on you either!
Do let me know how you get on and if you’d like to read more there are some great blogs and quotes on the internet about judging others, such as:
When we see other people’s successes, it can be tempting to believe that it came easily to them. Or that it was our bad luck that meant we weren’t successful too.
But the truth is that at the heart of almost every successful business, career or relationship there has been some form of failure.
You’ve probably heard the stories of famous people who talk about all the failures that they had before their fabulous successes. For example, the author J.K Rowling says:
“Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I suspected.”
As uncomfortable as it feels, failure is essential to our self-development and to build our confidence.
I have had my own experience of failures. Such as; when I’ve developed new coaching programmes or tried new marketing methods, which came to nothing.
However, from these setbacks, I have become confident about what I do and resilient if things don’t go well.
If you feel like a fear of failure is holding you back then here’re 5 reasons not to:
You learn more from failure than success. A study at the University Of Colorado has shown that knowledge picked up from successes is easily forgotten. Whereas knowledge from failures tends to stick with us for years
It teaches you how to get up again and be resilient. The more you fail the more your resilience builds and although you may not want to fail, you’ll lose that fear of failure
You get better at taking risks. Those people who are the most confident and successful have a history of taking risks. Learning to step out of your comfort zone and taking even a small risk is essential to building confidence
It reminds you that every phase of life is temporary. What was a big issue at the time when you failed, often becomes less significant as time passes
You can use it to review what is important to you. If you fail to get a promotion or to achieve your goals it can remind you of what is more important in your life
If there’s a goal you want to achieve or an opportunity you’d like to take, but you’re scared you might fail. Then remember that whatever the outcome is, it doesn’t affect who you are or your value to the world.
If you’d like to talk about your goals, your fear of failure or the confidence challenges you have then you can book a call with me at www.speakwithjo.com
Do you have great expectations of Christmas? Do you see the warm and snuggly adverts of happy families and believe your Christmas will be just like that?
It’s very unlikely that many of us will achieve our idea of a perfect Christmas, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a fabulous time.
If you want to avoid that feeling of stress and disappointment, which can lead to frustration and the festive blues, then have a think about what is actually realistic to hope for at Christmas and what are just great expectations.
You can then put your personal boundaries in place to ensure it happens.
For example, if you don’t want to be trapped in the kitchen all morning, ensure you delegate jobs and be okay with not being able to control everything!
Or, if you know that long periods of time close up with your family stresses you, then plan in some private time; take a short walk or lock yourself away for a quick snooze.
If like me you love the food and alcohol at Christmas, remember that although they both reduce stress at the time, feeling bloated, hungover or guilty leaves you in a worse place.
Why not have a device free Christmas day? Flicking through photos of other people’s supposedly ‘perfect’ days will only make you feel bad and like you’re missing out. Instead stay present in your day and acknowledge the things about the day that you enjoy.
Are you a people pleaser?
Then you’ll probably be putting everyone’s needs above your own. “We better watch the Queen as Granny loves her”, “I’ll clear up so the others can play games”, “I haven’t got time to sit down, there’s too much to do”.
If that sounds like you then remember you’re equally entitled to enjoy the day and that means having some of your great expectations met.
And if none of that works, it’s just one day!
Wishing all my readers a very happy and confident Christmas and New Year
P.S. If you’d like help to start off 2018 as your best year yet, and to talk about your goals and challenges and how to move forward. Then book yourself a FREE call with me at www.speakwithjo.com
We’re running up to the final few days of 2017 now, where did it go! However your 2017 went I’m sure you’re looking forward to a confident new year.
For some people, it’s been a really tough year, but for most of us, there will have been some wonderful and positive moments, along with possible setbacks and sadness.
Year’s end is neither an end or a beginning, but a going on with all the wisdom that experience can install in us.
Before you launch into your New Year resolutions it’s worth thinking about what this year had to teach you.
To help you with this I have 3 powerful questions:
What one thing did you do this year that you are most proud of?
It doesn’t matter how big or small this achievement is. Just remember to acknowledge your efforts and success, as that will boost your confidence for next year
Think about a mistake you made this year and what was the lesson you learnt from it?
Again the size of the mistake isn’t important, it’s about the changes you can take into 2018 as a result
Which belief about yourself are you going to let go of before 2018?
This means the story or belief you have about yourself. For example; “I can’t do presentations” or “There’s no point in me trying to make new friends, I never meet anyone new”
Challenge these stories and let the beliefs go. Then step out of your comfort zone and enjoy the results
See this as an opportunity for self-compassion (being kind to yourself) rather than using it to replay uncomfortable situations or to set high expectations for yourself.
I believe that setting yourself goals can be a great way to motivate and focus your energy as long as you don’t attach your self-esteem and approval to the outcome.
If you decide that your new belief for 2018 is to spend more time on self-care and self-compassion. Then why not start off by spending a day focusing on your goals for the year and learning new techniques to manage your worries and negative thoughts?
I’m holding a 1-day retreat on Saturday 20th Jan 2018, where you can join a maximum of 8 other women for a day of personal development and fun all in the gorgeous surrounding of Down Hall Hotel, Essex
Are you familiar with that sickly feeling of anxiety when you’ve got a long list of urgent things to do and you don’t know where to start, so overwhelm and stress kick in?
It hit me like a wave yesterday afternoon as I was sat at my computer with a list of actions to complete. All of which seemed urgent and important and none of which could be done quickly.
The panicky feeling set in and I froze unable to decide what to turn my attention to first. Eventually, I gave up and got rid of my uncomfortable feelings temporarily with some chocolate (not a coping method I’d recommend!)
It did at least give me a break to think about how I could manage my overwhelm and stress more effectively.
If I was coaching you I’d recommend trying these 6 ways.
Don’t fight your anxiety – Has fighting your feelings of overwhelm and stress ever helped you? It’s unlikely, you’d probably just boost your feelings instead. Try taking a moment to stop and be still. It may feel counterintuitive but it allows you to ride out the wave of anxiety instead.
Take a physical break – Just as I did, remove yourself briefly from the physical situation your in. This will break your pattern of stressful thoughts and allow fresh thinking to come in
Don’t multitask – You might think you’re doing well at writing an email while talking on the phone or catching up on your favourite tv show whilst writing a report. But it just means you’re brain is flitting from one task to another, draining your energy and doing both things badly.
One bite at a time – I find it easier to break an overwhelming task down to just the first step (or bite). It then feels manageable and having achieved it I feel calmer and positive
Focus on the bigger picture – This is a specific busy period but it will pass and will it really be that awful if you don’t complete your to-do list?
If you’re finding yourself regularly in this feeling of overwhelm and stress particularly at work. Then I’d love to tell you about some of my other free resources. Just book a free chat with me at www.speakwithjo.com
When you imagine yourself as a really confident person, what does that look like? Does it mean your loud, gregarious, independent and self-contained? Or could it be quiet, calm, authentic and comfortable with asking for help?
For some reason asking for help in our society has become a sign of weakness. Why is it that we would rather struggle on with a feeling of overwhelm or stress, rather than turn to a friend or colleague to help us out?
One of the reasons, I believe, is that we like to give the impression to others that we have everything under control and don’t like to show our vulnerabilities.
One of my favourite guru’s is Brene Brown, a research psychologist in America who has studied shame and vulnerability. If you haven’t seen her Ted talk then I really recommend it The Power Of Vulnerability
I know in the past I have wanted to multitask and ‘do it all’. I’d rather play the martyr, working really hard to juggle everything and building resentment against others for not realising I needed help. When all I had to do was ask.
Now I realise that people love to help, it gives them a warm feeling and I acknowledge that I am worthy of receiving support.
It did feel scary at first as I found it uncomfortable to relinquish control. But by letting go and allowing others in to help you, gives some surprising benefits. I found that it strengthened my relationships and that colleagues found me less intimidating.
I highly recommend you dare to implement asking for help into your life. You can start by changing your mindset around what a confident person looks like. I believe that knowing when to ask for help and why you need it is a strong sign of confidence.
What you’ll also notice is then your priorities start to change, with less focus on being in control and more on you and what you need or want.
With that in mind, I’d really appreciate your help in sharing these thoughts with others. If you could share this article on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin I’d appreciate it.
What help are you going to ask for today?
P.S. If you’d like my help with your confidence, I’d love to have a quick 2omins chat with you. I’ll share at least one technique that you can use to boost your confidence immediately. Just email me here
Do you ever wonder why it is that some people love parties and others get anxious at the idea of them? Or why your partner loves an organised and tidy house, but you are okay with a bit of mess? Well, you can find out ‘why you behave like you do’ using a simple test.
The Meyers-Briggs test is a well-known personality test that’s used by a lot of corporate companies. It’s based on Carl Jung’s Four Colour Energies and was developed by the mother and daughter partnership of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Meyer
I use the test with a lot of my clients
It not only helps you understand more about ‘why you behave like you do’ and your personality the way you behave but is helpful in understanding others too.
On the test, I came out as an ‘Entertainer’ ESFP and after reading the description I could definitely see some of my character traits. Things like; being people and feelings focused and not planning past the now and short-term pleasures.
Then there were other bits I couldn’t totally see in myself though, such as; being utterly social and all the world is my stage??!!
So it’s worth acknowledging that we all have the different elements in our personality and that some are stronger than others.
The use of 4 letters can be confusing, so here’s a simple explanation of the 4 types of preferences
People and things (Extraversion or “E”), or ideas and information (Introversion or “I”).
Facts and reality (Sensing or “S”), or possibilities and potential (Intuition or “N”).
Logic and truth (Thinking or “T”), or values and relationships (Feeling or “F”).
A lifestyle that is well-structured (Judgment or “J”), or one that goes with the flow (Perception or “P”).
the natural result of low confidence is inaction. When women don’t act, when we hesitate because we aren’t sure, we hold ourselves back. But when we do act, even if it’s because we’re forced to, we perform just as well as men do’.
My question for you is what are you going to do today to narrow the confidence gap?
Does the word conflict make you feel immediately uncomfortable?
Would you do anything to shut down or change a conversation if there was a disagreement?
That’s a normal reaction because fighting isn’t fun. It’s stressful and it can affect your important relationships.
However, in many situations at work or with friends it can be a healthy way to express your feelings and to have your thoughts and opinions heard.
What stops us speaking up when we disagree?
There’s a lot of different reasons and I’ve picked out here some of the common ones my clients mention:
A deep fear of upsetting the other person, being disapproved of or causing other negative emotions
An experience of bad arguments in your childhood or adulthood
A childhood where there was never conflict and disagreements weren’t discussed
Conditioning by society, school or parents to behave like a ‘nice’ girl
How do I build my conflict resolution skills?
Step 1 – is this issue important enough to me to speak up? You don’t have to confront every situation but if it’s happened before, you are having conversations in your head about it or it breaches your personal boundaries, then go for it
Step 2 – speak assertively. This means talking about the facts of the situation and using ‘I’ statement. Then you won’t be blaming the other person and they’re less likely to be defensive
Step 3 – Listen and question. I like to think about Stephen Covey’s famous quote “Seek first to understand, then to be understood“
Step 4 – what is the real issue behind the conflict? The issue for the other person might not be actually what you’re disagreeing about. For example, a heated family discussion about who has the parents for Xmas might actually be about feelings of jealousy or being left out. When you know the real meaning it’s easier to be compassionate
Step 5 – winning isn’t always the right outcome. Having a set outcome in mind is important, such as an apology or change of opinion. But sometimes just speaking up for yourself is enough. It gives a great boost to your self-respect and also might build the other person’s respect for you.