It’s Up To You! [the R words]

Jim Rohn

“Nina, you share so much about changing and growth and flourishing. What would you say is top of the list?”

Such a great question! The answer is both simple (taking responsibility for your life and its outcomes) and complex (understanding how self awareness and self management combine with responsibility.) But it’s worth the time and energy if you’re serious about moving forward with your life – and it’s always beneficial to learn more about how we tick.

RSASR

Self Awareness

Self awareness is essentially understanding the positives and negatives of:

  • your drives
  • your values
  • your strengths and weaknesses
  • your attitudes
  • your habits
  • your needs and desires
  • your emotional responses – to your own actions and others’ actions

By being totally honest with with yourself, recognising what works and what needs to be improved, you can act from a position of strength. This builds personal power, boosts self esteem and elevates your effectiveness personally and professionally. You can make good decisions, respond positively to circumstances and set meaningful and achievable goals.

Self regulation

Being able to deal with your emotions, no matter how difficult the situation, by:

  • not acting impulsively
  • not immediately looking for someone else to blame
  • acknowledging your feelings (and those of others) but not allowing feelings to get the upper hand
  • thinking before you respond
  • communicating clearly and calmly
  • staying focused on what’s important
  • looking for the best next step

Self regulation is basically self control to bring about the best result. With this self control we are well-fortified. Without it self-control we are vulnerable. tweet this

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” [Proverbs 25:28 ESV]

Hiding from the truth

Andy Stanley says that, “Irresponsibility is very difficult to see in the mirror.” He’s right!

Psychologists talk about the self-serving bias which is a tactic or process used to protect or enhance self-esteem, in every area of life. Basically, it means that we take credit for good outcomes and blame others for bad outcomes – regardless of how we ourselves contributed to the outcome.

“For example, a student who attributes earning a good grade on an exam to their own intelligence and preparation but attributes earning a poor grade to the teacher’s poor teaching ability or unfair test questions is exhibiting the self-serving bias.” [Wikipedia]

And it’s not helpful in the long term because it deludes us into being less than we can be, when we refuse or fail to take responsibility for our actions. It can also make us unpopular with friends, family and colleagues.

And yes – it is tough to face up to – I’ve had many moments of crying into my pillow when I accepted that I’d played a part in many of the things that had gone wrong in my life. But it’s also incredibly liberating and empowering.

Help yourself help yourself 🙂

It was totally worth the effort I made to overcome the bit of me that wanted to play the victim or the martyr. Like forgiveness, taking responsibility is a huge gift that you give yourself –  the benefits are incredible!

Thank God that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past – every day offers you  a fresh start and an opportunity to plonk yourself firmly in the driving seat of your life and where it’s headed.

When you fully accept that you are in charge of the outcomes of your life and how you react to circumstances, then you can truly move forward. tweet this

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Areas of responsibility:

  • Your words
  • Your decisions
  • Your actions
  • Your health
  • Your finances
  • Your career
  • Your talents, skills and gifts
  • Your life
  • Your spiritual life

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” [Robert Schiller]

Once we get a grip on self regulation and responsibility, we open the door to amazing changes.

You will feel more motivated and more excited about the present and the future. You will feel more able to deal with life. You can plan and set goals. You can stop blaming others (even if it is their fault, deal with the situation) and you’ll know that if problems come against you, you’ll find a way through.

I love the following verse – its sums up everything in this post.

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 5 MSG)

Any questions or comments?  Share them both or email me at ninafcoach@gmail.com. You can also follow me on twitter 🙂

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

We’ve All BeenThat Dog That Walked 30 Miles! (dealing with rejection)

Graphic via Daily Mail

Graphic via Daily Mail

Thousands  fell head over paws in love with  Lady, the gorgeous, greying Lab who walked almost 30 miles, despite being arthritic, to be re-united with her second family, who were unable to take her back. [Read the full story]

I’m guessing zillions of tears were brushed away.

It was  just so achingly sad and poignant.

Lady’s story got me thinking because we’ve all been there, haven’t we? I know I have!

And when it happens,  it’s painful. Oh boy, does it hurt to be shunned!

 

Graphic source - Copy Blogger, google images

Graphic source – Copy Blogger, Google images

We feel unlovable, unwanted, lacking, embarrassed  And as rejection can occur in  romantic, social, family or work relationships it’s going to affect all of us.

Of course, some professions invite rejection. My daughter is in the midst of editing her first novel, which will, hopefully, soon be published. Along the way, she has faced many rejections from literary agents.

Why Rejection Hurts

Much like Lady and her doggy pals, we are social animals and need to feel that we belong to ‘the pack.’  We want to feel loved and accepted.

This desire  is stronger when you are invested in a relationship. Somebody you don’t know well  gives you the cold shoulder and you shrug it off. If you’re turned down for a job, you can recover reasonably quickly and start the search again.

However, if it’s someone you really care for, then it’s much, much harder to deal with.

It’s to do with value and self worth. When someone important rebuffs you, it’s inevitable that you feel judged and found wanting in some way, Even worse, you may have no idea why the other person feels like that. So you’re left floundering, wondering what you did.

We tend to personalise rejection, and our brain runs an endless loop – ‘what should I have done differently? what’s wrong with me?’

And that feeling that you’ve done a few rounds with Mike Tyson is real – Recent research indicates that social rejection triggers the part of the brain  that causes the physical pain we feel when we trap our hand in a drawer or spill a hot drink on our hand.

Dealing With Rejection

“Rejection is merely a redirection; a course correction to your destiny.”  Bryant McGill

I love the sheer bravery of that quote!

It flies in the face of our natural tendency to shut ourselves away, to guard our hearts against future rejection.

And we can’t live like that. In fact, the fear of rejection can become greater than the hurt of the actual experience.

There are ways of dealing with rejection:

  • Don’t take it to heart. Ok, I know that’s easier said than done, but remember that you don’t always know all the factors in a situation. There may be a reason that you didn’t get that job that had nothing at all to do with you and your skills and experience.
  • Accept that you don’t always know what drives others, what inner hurts or pain that cause them to behave in certain ways.
  • Don’t anticipate rejection. It’s natural to want to protect yourself against further hurt – but stay open to new relationships, new opportunities. It’s Ok to be cautious but don’t lock yourself out of life.  If you do that, then you’ve given away your personal power.

 

  • Hang out with people who love you and encourage you. Believe what they say about you!
  • Write a list of all your skills, talents and positive characteristics. Ask others for suggestions. Keep reading it!
  • Forgive.  You may have to work on this over of time – and pray a lot – but it’s totally worth it. Forgiving the people who have hurt you frees you and enables you to move forward.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom. Jesus knows how rejection feels. He understands what you’re going through. His love never falters and He is your rock and your safe place when you are journeying through the pain of rejection. Ask Him to show you what you need to see.

And finally – Lady’s story had a  happy-ever-after ending – she was rehomed by a millionairess!!

You never know how your story will end – so keep on trusting in God’s plan for your life.

By the way, if you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy this one:  Overcoming Hurtful Words

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

Simplify for Success [lifehack]

Are you always busy?

Dashing from here to there and back again, with your never-ending to-do list clutched in one hand, your phone clutched in the other as you frantically send out another FB update or  tweet or  text?

Does  housework feel like the labours of Hercules?

Are the important people in your life are getting less of your full-on attention than they deserve?

Do you fall into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, knowing that tomorrow the whole wretched merry-go-round starts again?

Do you always/often feel less than 100% physically?

Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re failing?

Do you want it to stop?

If you’ve said ‘yes’ then here are some suggestions to help you simplify your life.  You might find it challenging at first – that’s OK – do what you can.

You’ll feel better, have more time, feel fresher and more productive. Success and simplicity go hand-in-hand.  And remember it’s an ongoing process – you may wish to revisit some of the items on the list again in the future

hih

Do as much as possible this week and chances are you’ll feel so energised you’ll keep finding more and more ways to simplify for success!!

How can you declutter your home? 

Keep all the items that have sentimental value but generally I think that most of us have way too much stuff – from furniture to ornaments and gadgets – that we hardly ever use. Grab some bin bags and go round your house and decide what you genuinely need and give the rest to a charity shop or a friend and let someone else appreciate it.

What about all those things that are going to be mended some day? It’s time to either mend them or dispose of them in some way – do you have a friend who might love the chance to fix it?

Lots of toys that the kids no longer play with? Send them to a charity if they’re still in good condition.

How many clothes do you have lurking in the back of wardrobes that aren’t going to be worn again? [Be honest 🙂 ] Pack them off to a charity shop or give them to friends.

What about paperwork – shred or bin all those old, useless documents and receipts for something that’s been broken for years etc

How can you declutter your time?

Is there any social activity that you can drop and not really miss doing?

What can you delegate? Are there tasks at work that can be handed over to someone else – at least some of the time? What about chores at home? Can you delegate any of those? Are you able to pay for a cleaner to come in once or twice a week and take some of the load off you?

Maybe you could have a gardener come now and again to do some of the heavy work in the garden?

What about food shopping online? Once you’ve set it up it’s fairly easy to redo it each week and still take advantage of any special offers.  And don’t forget you can book tickets on line as well.

Cook simple meals in the evening and, if you can, make enough so that you can freeze some for another day.

Start saying ‘no’

It’s easy to fill up our time with things that we don’t really want to do or don’t really have the time for. Say ‘ no’ to events and invitations unless you’re excited about going or it’s really important to the other person.  But if  you don’t really fancy that  BBQ on Saturday, then simply say apologise and politely turn down the invitation.

Spend less time on the internet

Isn’t it amazing how 5 minutes checking emails or face book mysteriously turns into an hour or more? 🙂 Limit your sessions on social media and see who/what you can delete from your lists.

Stop trying to multi-task

Multitasking is counterproductive as it burdens the brain and slows us down. Read more here.

Instead of multitasking, group similar activities together and tackle them one after another. For example, set aside time to send all your tweets and emails. Or lump all your errands together and do them in one fell swoop,  so that you don’t need to keep driving to various places.

Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll discover new ways and ideas. Make a start and see how much more productive, happy and successful you are!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

Defeat Resistance; Be A Winner!

depressed

“Many of us have two lives. The one we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”  [Steven Pressfield]

Ouch!!

When I read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art,  those 2 sentences hit home.

Hard!

And  it’s not just me.

I’ve listened to people in an agony of despair and self-criticism as days drift by without any decisive action.

Maybe you’ve been there too……..

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You can defeat resistance and be a winner!

Resistance affects many areas

  • Creative projects
  • Business building
  • New exercise and healthy eating plans
  • Our walk with God
  • Relationships
  • Studying/writing essays
  • Making a stand for what we know is right
  • Getting involved in community/charitable projects
  • Projects around the house
  • Anything that you might be able to add to this list

Know the enemy

Truth is,  Resistance is far from futile – it’s a strong, overwhelming force that can knock us off our path, overcome our hopes and dreams and leave us reeling in despair and  futility with our self-esteem in tatters.  Over time, it can become a vicious cycle – we procrastinate or give into our fears or self-doubts and we feel a failure which makes taking the right action at the right time harder so we feel more of a failure…… and on it goes.

Slowly over time, not taking the right actions at the right time becomes a habit.

You know how Resistance operates – every time you go to start, something stops you, You don’t feel like it, the weather’s wrong, you should hoover and do another load of washing first, the car needs something doing to it, blah blah blah.

It might look a little different each time, but basically it’s all Resistance.  The result is the same – stuff doesn’t get done – whether it’s running, eating well, writing another chapter, making business contacts.

Resistance is the enemy!  It is the enemy of your life, your success, your purpose and your destiny!

You know when it’s got you in thrall.

Your plans aren’t happening, your work isn’t happening, your progress isn’t happening.

I am reminded of St Paul’s heartfelt lament in Romans 7:15

“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” [HCSB]

Don’t be fooled – You can defeat Resistance

beat r

Resistance might shout loudly and fill our heads with ‘you can’t’, ‘not now, do it later,’  ‘this isn’t gonna work, it’s not worth doing’ and other variations on the same theme, but the truth is, Resistance is all talk.  It has little substance.  A toothless lion, if you will.

It’s important for you to grasp this, because it is incredibly important, so important that Resistance doesn’t want you to know it and will fight to stop you implementing it.

It can be defeated!

How?

[drum roll]

Action!

“Action Always Defeats Resistance!”  [N.M.Franklyn]

What to do to defeat Resistance

  • Decide that this is a battle you are going to win.
  • Accept that it will take a while – there’s no magic bullet.
  • Commit to creating new habits.
  • Start small – decide that you will work on a task for a short period of time (even if it’s only 5 minutes)  and do it. Then give yourself a small reward 🙂  Then go back and do another 5 minutes or 15 minutes – whatever you’ve decided.  Then have another reward/break. Keep this pattern going.
  • Alternatively – decide that you are going to devote 90 minutes first thing every morning to work and do it. Set a timer so that you can see the time counting down 🙂 Then when you’ve finished, give yourself a little treat.
  • Work on your tasks/projects every day – build new habits
  • Know the benefits of what you are working to achieve – this will inspire and motivate you
  • Forget perfectionism – do the very best you can right now.
  • Find an accountability partner. Choose someone you can trust, who will support and encourage you to stay on track.
  • Seek out someone who is attempting to do the same as you – either in real life or through the internet – and join forces to share the journey together.

Get into the Word

“Be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12: 2b The Voice

“Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!”

Psalm 107:12 TM

I will leave you with a great talk by Nancy Missler

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Overcoming Hurtful Words

Source@ Google images

Joyce Meyer says that “Words are containers of power.”

 And we’ve  experienced that power. The kind word that lifts your spirits at the end of a tough day,  the compliment that makes you feel good, the encouragement you are given during a difficult task.

Words also damage.  Words can HURT. A LOT!  I suffered a lot of verbal abuse as a child and young woman. By the time I was a teenager I had developed anxiety and other emotional problems – anorexia, agoraphobia. The negative beliefs  that had grown deep inside me encouraged me to pick relationships with men who would continue the abuse.

“Words have more power than atom bombs.” (Pearl Strachan Hurd)


Humans are social creatures – we need to love and feel loved and share pleasant, meaningful interaction.

So the pain from ‘word bombs’ lobbed at you for whatever reason –    anger, blame,  criticism,  or venting over a situation that has nothing to do with you –  is excruciating.

And it’s worse if they are uttered by someone important to you, such as a valued colleague, friend, partner.  All kinds of emotions are triggered – shame, embarrassment, anger. And it can leave a permanent scar unless you deal with it.

deal with words

You can’t control what others say  but you can evaluate what was said:

  • Was it sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? A backhanded compliment.  Can you put it in a more positive context?
  • Was there some truth in it? Is it highlighting an area you need to work on?
  • Was the speaker having an off day? If so, take a deep breath and let it go. As Christians we shouldn’t take offence.  Proverbs 19:11 states, “A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offence.” [GW] We’ve all said things we regret when we’re dealing with ‘stuff’ and we hope that others will overlook.
  • Is the speaker generally negative?  Some people just are like that. The best way to handle this,  is to accept that’s who they are and pray for them.

joyce meyer words

Action steps for overcoming hurtful words:

It’s OK to cherry pick the steps that are most useful to you – personally I’ve found steps 1, 2, 5 & 7 helpful.

  1. The most important and effective action step you is to choose to let it go, bless the person and move on. Yes, it’s difficult, but it is possible. It’s like they say – all you can control is your reaction to situations. Think of it as a gift to yourself, setting you free from someone else’s negativity.
  2. Write down how you feel in your journal. Putting words on paper clarifies your thoughts and brings insights. Plus, you can plan what to say if you decide to speak to the person about what was said.  Read more here.
  3. Discuss the situation with someone you trust. Another person’s input often reframes events, giving you objectivity, reassurance and affirmation.
  4. Write a letter to the person who spoke the hurtful words – pour out how you felt when they said them and how you feel now. Let it all out. When you’ve finished, don’t read it, either tear it up and flush it down the lavatory or burn it. Don’t send it!! 🙂
  5. Forgive. I’ve had to do this. It needed a lot of prayer and determination and sometimes it seemed like it was a case of two steps forward and one step backwards.  But it made a MASSIVE difference – forgiving others is one of the best gifts you give yourself.
  6. Remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to go back to the same situation – you can set boundaries or make adjustments. Sometimes, you need to ask God to bless someone and then let them go out of your life.
  7. Ask God to help you overcome the pain, anger, feelings of rejection etc then believe that He will.
  8. If you have been a long term victim of verbal abuse, you may benefit from seeing a counsellor or other expert.

It is possible to overcome hurtful words – I know this from personal experience of years of negative input.  Make a decision to move beyond the pain of hurtful words, pray, trust and believe.

If you found this post helpful, you’ll enjoy: Forgiveness and  We’ve All Been That Dog That Walked 30 Miles: dealing with rejection

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Say Goodbye to Procrastination Forever!

“Someday is not a day of the week.”    Janet Dailey

“Someday is not a day of the week.” Janet Dailey

The truth is, we all procrastinate sometimes and it doesn’t matter much (playing Bubble Shooter is one of my distractors) but in some cases procrastination becomes a major problem with serious consequences.

But it is possible to say goodbye to procrastination forever and it’s not that difficult.

When procrastination damages lives

  • Thomas lost his business because he kept putting off sending invoices to clients.
  • Caroline could have got a first at university but only scraped a pass because she never handed her work in on time and didn’t revise for her finals.
  • Edward‘s friends and co-workers are fed-up because he’s always late, and he never keeps his commitments because he’s ‘always too busy.’

If you are going to beat procrastination, it’s helpful to understand something about it.

Two types of procrastination:

20% of adults are trait procrastinators who habitually postpone or stall, like Thomas and Caroline. In other words, they routinely procrastinate, putting off even essential tasks ‘until tomorrow’.

Edward falls into the Type B Procrastination classification – mentioning a long list of irrelevant tasks he ‘had to do’ rather than the tasks he was meant to be doing.

In fact, Edward is always scurrying from one place, one task to another. However, he fails to deliver, personally and professionally. “I’m so sorry,” he says, “I’ve been so busy lately…..” and he reels off a list of activities that ‘prevented’ him doing what had been expected of him. None of which impress or placate his friends or work mates.

The reasons for procrastination include:

fear of failure or fear of success

anxiety/low self-esteem – procrastination has a strong link to self-esteem. In fact, they feed off each other – if you have low self-esteem then you often procrastinate. This increases low self-esteem and it becomes a vicious circle.

perfectionism

inability to plan or start

inability to delay gratification e.g. it’s more fun to play computer games or chat to colleagues than start the report your boss asked for

The penalties of procrastination:

Disappointment – you don’t get a table at for an anniversary dinner because you didn’t book in time or you can’t wear your best suit for an important interview because you didn’t take it to the dry cleaners in time.

Self-sabotage – you don’t get the job because you didn’t apply in time. Researchers believe that trait procrastinators tend to have lower levels of wealth, health and happiness.

Increased stress – because things don’t get done which causes problems and also because putting things off causes people to feel guilty, irritable and defensive.

Lower self-esteem – which makes it more likely you will procrastinate in the future. It also encourages people to drink too much alcohol, overeat or smoke.

Increased stress in other people because we haven’t met our obligations to them professionally, personally or at church. This in turn causes us to feel stressed or guilty.

How to beat procrastination:

By changing your mind-set you can significantly change your habits and behaviours.

1) The vital first step is to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to procrastinate. You are going to be known as the ‘always does’ person and not the ‘never does’ person.

2) When the ‘I’ll do it later’ or ‘I can’t face it now’ thoughts start to take over, tell yourself “I ALWAYS perform tasks in a timely fashion. I am competent and capable. I can do it!” Say it over and over again until you genuinely start to believe it.

3) Find an ‘accountability buddy.’ Sharing your plans and goals with someone you trust who will keep you accountable is motivating and energising.

4) Writing things down is essential as it focuses attention. Write out a list of everything you have to do – either at work or at home. Then review it and assign each task a value:

Vital – for tasks that are urgent and important. If you have more than one Vital Task then the most pressing is 1, followed by 2 and so on. Write down why you need to get the task done and what will happen if you don’t

Important – for tasks that need to be done soon but are not urgent. Again, number them in order of importance.

Later – for tasks that can safely be left for a while.

Delegate – for tasks that you can hand over to someone else.

Start with the top 3 Vital Tasks – write them down and remind yourself of the benefits of getting them done. Work through all your Vital and Important tasks 3 or 4 at time.

5) Turn off all possible distractions e.g. close down facebook, emails etc. Remind yourself of the benefits of finishing the work in a timely manner.

6) Check you have everything you need before you start. Nothing is more discouraging than realising half way through a job that you haven’t got an item or a resource and that you are going to have to down tools and find it.

If you’re worried that you can’t do a task, ask for help or research how to do it before you start it.

7) Make sure that your work area – either at work or home – is well-organised and free from clutter. Clutter drains you emotionally. Keep tidying as you go.

8) Forget perfectionism! Instead focus on excellence – do the absolute best you can at that moment.

9) Learn as you go – so that next time you face the same task you know that you can do it successfully and to an excellent standard. This is highly motivating.

10) Reward yourself each time you accomplish a task! You deserve it and it will motivate you. Check your facebook, go for a walk, read the newspaper. It doesn’t have to be anything big – just something that will make you feel good. Plus you will be able to bask in the praise from others who have noticed the change in you 🙂

So, give these ideas a go and say goodbye to procrastination forever! Remember, that it takes 3 – 4 weeks to establish a new habit – so don’t give up if you slip back into old patterns – just start again. Let me know how you get on!

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Straighten out your self image.

“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” ~ Zig Ziglar

imirror

I bet you know someone just like my friend Laura – beautiful, kind, capable, intelligent and yet totally plagued with self-doubt. Laura has little self-confidence and low esteem and nothing that we say to her seems to change her opinion of herself. Laura’s self doubts cost her dearly – for example she was too reluctant to try for a job she would do brilliantly.

And Laura is not alone in her feelings of self doubt and insecurity, despite huge evidence to the contrary – most of us rate ourselves less favourably than our friends and family do. According to Professor Leary of Wake Forest University “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept.”

To put this another way, you filter or assess what others say about you and match it to what you already believe about yourself. So if someone praises you, it’s possible that you might just think they’re being kind rather than 100% truthful.
However, if you have done the best you can (an Attitude of Excellence) you are making a big mistake to totally dismiss their comments.

The Vicious Cycle

Equally, some of us tend to blame ourselves when anything goes wrong, whether we are responsible or not. This reaction can reinforce our toxic thinking about ourselves, setting up a belief system in which we expect to fail or get something wrong, making it more likely that we will fail. It become a vicious cycle.

The better way is to analyse what happened and learn from it. Truth is that we are always going to make mistakes sometimes, that’s life.

How do you see yourself?

How do you think this year is going to go for you? Are you going to be successful, fulfilled, happy?

The answers to these questions matter. How you see yourself and what you expect to happen influence both your decisions and your behaviour.

If you see yourself as inadequate or a failure, it will show in your body language and people will ‘read it.’ It will show in how you approach tasks. It will show in how you talk to yourself. There is a lot of research that suggests that we believe what we say about ouselves more than what others say. I am going to post on this soon.

And of course the opposite is true. If you believe you are going to succeed, you will convey that to others and to yourself. This positive feeling of expectation will motivate you to keep going and it will help you to notice opportunities.

Who are you listening to?

It took me a long time to accept that my self worth is dependant on how God sees me and not how I see myself or how others see me. I know that I am far from perfect (! as anyone who knows me will tell you) and yet I also know that God loves me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has good plans for our lives and Jesus told us that He came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10) However, He also tells us that the thief will come to steal, kill and destroy.

Don’t listen to the thief, dont let him steal your self worth or your future.

Some tips and suggestions

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.(the bully might be you) There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life —body and soul— in his hands. What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Matthew 10:28ff italics mine.

Ask God to show you areas where He would like you to change. Confess and repent and then let go. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Make a list of all the negative thoughts/expectations you have then, for each one, write a faith-filled statement or affirmation from the Bible and say them out loud every day. Keep telling yourself that you can do it.

Hang out with people who support you, encourage you and will give you great advice. Read/listen to people who have succeeded in areas that you want to make progress in.

See yourself as someone who is loved, and capable. Always do the best you can at that moment and take a Godly pride in your successes.

As always I welcome your comments and ideas- thank you for reading this post.

Dealing with negative self-talk

Saying negative things about ourselves or giving in to toxic thinking is so destructive – and so easy! 😦

From my own experience I know how easy it is – for example being fairly new to social media I am often perplexed. I have to stop myself saying that I am never going to sort it out so that people enjoy what I do.

Research suggests that you believe the statements you say about yourself more than  the statements from others. So, it is obviously important to say positive and realistic things about you!

We cannot always control  the negative things others say to us or how they treat us – although I would suggest that you make every effort to surround yourself with people who support you, encourage you and give you positive, constructive feedback.

You can also train yourself to evaluate what people say to you:

  • Was there some truth in it? Is so, what can you learn from it to help you in the future?
  • Was it just someone having an off day? Then try just to let it go – we all have bad days so you can at the very least empathise with that.
  • Did it come from someone who is generally negative? There is nothing you can do about people like that except learn to let what they say go and pray for them.
  • Was the comment sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? In a way it’s a backhanded compliment 🙂 Again, all you can do is try to let it go and pray for them.

Then there is the problem of negative self-talk.

For some of us this stems from our childhood or from others who have been excessively critical, judgemental or unkind. Often, even if we don’t see the people anymore, the power of their words remains with us for years, until we decide to deal with it.  The tape keeps playing in our head, at either the conscious or unconscious level.

Negative self-talk can be overcome with determination and discipline. You have to practise listening to what you are saying or are about to say, and then cut it off.  It will take some practice but eventually, you will be able to stop the thoughts before they are fully-formed and they will stop coming at all.

At the same time, start saying positive things about yourself. Start keeping a journal – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sit down with a cup of tea and write out a list of all the things you can do and all your skills and talents.. Write  out each statement in the first person :

  • I am……..
  • I can……..
  • I have……

Then, read the list out loud, preferably while looking in a mirror. Do this ‘mirror talking’ at least once a day for a couple of weeks and you will notice a difference! After the two weeks, keep repeating the statements several times a week – and add to them if something new occurs to you.

It may seem strange or ridiculous at first, or like bragging.  Just persevere. If you find yourself laughing, that’s only a good thing.

Also, at the  end of each day, note down what you have accomplished that day in your journal – no matter how large or small. Get into the habit of celebrating your successes and achievements – they don’t have to be huge, just little things that you are pleased about. You could treat yourself to a long soak in the bath with lots of bubbles, or buy a bottle of wine or a pair of shoes or go the cinema. Whatever most appeals to you.

Find passages in the Bible that resonate with you, personalise them and speak them out loud. Think about them during the day.

Additionally, start a Gratitude section in your journal and on a daily basis note down all the things you are grateful for. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is beneficial in many ways, which I will cover in a later blog.

You can also control what you say about yourself and others.  How many times a day do you mutter “I’m so stupid” or “That’s just typical of me” or something similar? Stop it right now! 🙂

Saying negative things about others has a negative impact on you as well. Avoid gossip or bitching about others.

If you have any queries about this, please email me at mountain_movers@ymail.com. You are also welcome to join the new facebook page Successful Living with Mountain Movers 🙂

Is your body language saying the right things?

One of the best things that I’ve come across for ages is Kris Valloton’s Prince and Pauper Test – here

It’s a really fascinating test – lots of great questions and he goes through some of the reasons behind possible answers at the end.

The test isn’t just about money – it’s also about how we see ourselves and obviously that has an impact on how we think, the decisions we make and what happens to us a result of our behaviours and actions.

In a popular section of one of my coaching workshops people discuss how others perceive us or, to put it another way, how we come across to others. Albert Mehrabian stated that communication is:

  •  38% is tone of voice
  •  55% is non-verbal cues (eye contact, posture etc).   So, how quick are you at maths? 🙂 Yes, these figures mean that only
  •  7% of how you come across depends on the words you say!

These figures are fascinating – and scary. The fact that only 7%  of how others perceive the genuineness of your communicated message depends on your words is thought-provoking indeed.  

So if there is a disconnect or difference between what you are saying and your non-verbal cues (body language) and/or tone of voice,  listeners are more likely to believe the body language and tone of voice,  rather than the words.

This disconnect can cause the listener to feel uneasy and possibly view you negatively. On the other hand, when your words and body match this will generate trust and confidence.

It is true that your body language will alter depending on who you are with – you probably stand and sit differently with family than you do with your boss or the bank manager.

So what can be done to ensure that you always comes across as congruent and trustworthy?

Your body language reflects both your emotions and how you see yourself.  If you have a negative self-image it will show.

First of all, check that your thoughts and feeling about yourself are in line with what the Bible says about you.

Remember that God loves you. One of the verses that helps me with this is John 10 v10  A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.” (New Century Version) Don’t let the thief  ( negativity, toxic thinking etc)  steal and destroy what is yours, but step out knowing that you can have a full and fulfilling life. 

Repeat Bible verses out loud to yourself until the words sink in and become a part of you and your thought patterns. You will find some of your own that have meaning for you but here are a few suggestions.

“I am determined and confident. I am not afraid or discouraged, for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go”

(Joshua 1 v 9)

“I am secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes I look around me and take my rest in safety. I lie down and none make me afraid.”

Job 11 v 18/19

“I am strong and of good courage, I do not fear nor am I afraid, for the Lord my God, He is the one Who goes with me. He will not leave me nor forsake me.”

Deuteronomy 31 v 6

Secondly, take notice of your body language when you are with people – if you feel that the way your body language isn’t conveying the message you want it to, then change it and notice if people respond to you differently.

If you would like to discover how to improve your body language there is a great article by Tomesia Ingram on the facebook page (scroll down for the link on the right)

Your feedback is always welcome and do join the new facebook page, Successful Living With Mountain Movers – just scroll down and click the ad on the right of this blog 🙂 All the twitter info is there too 🙂