Tag Archives: SMART goals

How to increase self belief

 

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How to increase self belief

If you want to know how to increase self belief – listen up. This may be the most important information you’ll ever read. I have accomplished so much more in my life by working on my self belief. It’s a constant effort and I have to work on it daily but the results are worth it. Here are my top tips on how to become your own number one fan:

Understand that if you don’t believe in yourself, very few other people will. When you give off confidence and self acceptance, others don’t tend to question this. In fact, they will be more drawn to you. Confident people make others feel safe and they act as magnets socially. People like confidence. They won’t question your right to be so confident – they will just see someone who really seems to like themselves and that’s immensely attractive.

There are many things in life that can decrease our self belief and that is why it is a repetitive effort to keep the self belief alive. Social media, like Facebook and Instagram don’t help self belief at all. The more we think we are missing out and don’t have much as others, the more unhappy we become and the less self belief we have. Beware the perils of spending too much time on social media. If you do – remember that a lot of what you see is exaggerated and isn’t reality. Others put on a ‘show’ but real life is seldom as glamorous as they’d like you to believe.

Practise gratitude

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, make sure you look at what is good in your life. There are always things to be grateful for but the way the world is structured leads us to constantly compare. Making comparisons inevitably leads to a sense of deprivation and feelings of inadequacy. Stop doing it! Be appreciative of what you do have and what works well for you. Focus on this regularly and if necessary – make a list that you can read regularly of all the things you love and appreciate in yourself and your life.

Validate yourself

We all like external validation. When others tell us we look great or that we have done a good job, it’s very satisfying. The trick is to NEVER rely on this external validation as a way to increase self belief. Make sure that you give yourself validation. Regularly talk to yourself in a positive and empowering manner. Tell yourself that you are wonderful and amazing. Focus often on all your fantastic characteristics – are you funny, kind, patient? Remind yourself of all your good qualities. Clients often (mistakenly) tell me that they think this is arrogance. Arrogance is thinking you are better than others. Confidence is liking and accepting yourself and making the best of you.

Maximise strengths, minimise weaknesses

No one is perfect and we can’t be good at everything. Get to know yourself well and know what you are good at. Work to increase your strengths and use them in your life. There is not point in doing something that exposes all your weaknesses and none of your strengths. Play to your strengths and remind yourself of all the good things you have achieved in your life. What have your successes been?

Positive attitude to failure

Never see yourself as a failure. Perhaps something you have done didn’t work out but always separate actions from yourself as a person – they are two different things. Define failure – to me, failure is completely giving up. Someone who tries and fails one hundred times is not a failure – they are a learner of life.

Keep the faith

There have been seriously dark times for me when I have felt rejected and feel I have failed at life. Times of extreme loneliness when I felt that I was worthless. This is normal and you can’t possibly feel 100% confident all of the time. What you need to do though during the dark times of self doubt is sit tight and keep the faith. Remind yourself that you are still the same amazing person and although you don’t quite feel connected to that confident part of you – it’s still there.

Life will move on and your light will shine again. Never stop believing in yourself even when you feel the world has. Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Choose your thoughts carefully and be kind to yourself.

Practise self compassion

Always always be kind to yourself. That means – no critical self talk. Be caring towards yourself as you would someone you loved dearly. Imagine yourself as that cute little 5 year old child – how would you talk to your 5 year old self? You would cuddle them and tell them things will improve. You would encourage them and tell them they are brilliant.

Create goals

Make sure you have some goals, something to work towards. When we have goals in place it creates structure and purpose in our lives and helps boost us psychologically. Put together a list of goals for yourself that are:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Measurable and time bound (SMART goals)

When you have self belief you are far more likely to be successful. Your thinking will spur you on. Research has proven time and time again that when we are positive and focus on our strengths and nurture our self belief, we get more done. Believing is half the battle!

Mandy X

 

 

 

Change is inevitable

 

 

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Change is inevitable

An indisputable fact of life is that change is a continuous process that we all have to adapt to. Life moves on and we get older. The seasons come and go and people come and go from our lives too. Sometimes change is positive  such as the arrival of a new baby or moving into a bigger house but it can also be negative like a relationship that ends or someone passing away.

Change is inevitable and our attitude to change is what makes the situation easier when the change is negative.

Tips for dealing with change

Focus on what you can control

When we focus on what we can’t control we create unnecessary anxiety and stress in our lives. We cannot control the thoughts and actions of others, all we can control is our own thoughts and actions. This is where your power lies, bring your focus back to yourself. Always ask yourself whether what you are worrying about is within your control. If it isn’t, learn to let it go.

Practice ‘non-attachment’

Everything in life is temporary – your possessions and even the people in your life. This idea provokes anxiety for a lot of people but use this to your advantage. Learn to really appreciate what you have now as it won’t be there forever. Practicing a certain amount of non-attachment is a good thing as it is a worldly reminder that life is transient and that we should never take for granted the people in our lives. The less attachment we have to physical possessions, the happier we are. Being too attached to material possessions brings with it anxiety and a desire to exert control. This control is something many people chase but it is a waste of energy in the long run.

Live in the moment as much as possible

We all scare ourselves unnecessarily with fearful thoughts about the future. “What if this happens or what if that becomes a reality?”. More often than not the fearful thoughts are far worse than the reality would be and it is our inability to cope with uncertainty that leads many of us to feel anxious. Practising mindfulness is a great way to allay fears and to enjoy the moment more. When we are living inside our heads and worrying about the future, we are losing precious moments to feel happy and content. Try to focus your attention on what is going on around you. Practise focusing your attention in the present moment. If you catch your mind wandering to the future, refocus on your environment – what can you see, hear, touch…? This does take practise but keep at it!

Goals and purpose

Committing to a purpose that is greater than ourselves is a wonderful way to bring meaning into life. What are your long term and short term goals? Create a visualisation board with images of where you would like to be in a year or two years…what do you see?

Having something to work towards can help you to feel stronger when you are experiencing moments of self doubt. A bigger picture can help you to stay on track.

Change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be something we fear. Instead of resisting it, learn to work with it as if you have chosen that change on purpose. There is a lesson in every life experience and change we go through.

Mandy X

 

 

Tips for creating goals

 

goals

Tips for creating goals

 

  • Small decisions can have a great impact that help you work towards your goal. Remember that your goals are your road maps and your direction to success in life. Without them, you can lose your way. Although you can always retrace your steps, you might not have the time, opportunity, energy or resources you once had when you could have made your goals happen one by one.
  • Listen to people who you respect and ask for their advice. Remember, you don’t have to like the person to respect them.
  • Being active in life is most effective. Try visualizing the outcome at a time in the future. It will become apparent that to set definite time in the future is obtainable. That would be the “when”. The “How” comes with gathering information about resources and education. We often have to correct our course but at the same time keep a focus on our vision or dream. To began a journey starts with a step but it is just as important to know where you want to go as well as to have a specific plan about how you will get there. The more specific the steps, the better. Keep in mind that when you start the journey you will most likely  encounter objections and self doubt. That is why developing the habit of the daily motivational pep talk can help you to stay focused.
  • Make your goals SMART. S = specific, M = measurable, A = achievable, R = realistic, T = time bound
  • Examples:  Specific: lose weight

Measurable: 5 kilograms

Achievable = expecting to lose 10 kilos in one week is not achievable

R = realistic – lose 5 kilos over next month instead of losing 5 kilos in one week

T = time bound..lose 5 kilos over one month

As specific and with an easy way to see whether you have achieved the goal.

Goals, short term and long term help to give us purpose in life. Always have something to work towards, it can stave off depression and help you to feel more focused in life. Make sure the goals are personal to you and not goals that others wish you to achieve.

Mandy X

How to identify your goals

 

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How to identify your goals

Here are 7 goal setting questions to ask yourself that can help you hone your ideals and goals that you might want to work towards:

  1. What are your five most important values in life?

Identify your five most important values and prioritise them from one to five.

2. What are your three most important goals in life, right now?

This is called the ‘quick list’ method. When you only have 30 seconds to write down your three most important goals, your unconscious mind sorts out your many goals quickly.

3. What would you do,how would you spend your time, if you learned today that you only had 6 months to live?

When your time is limited you automatically prioritise the most important things. Imagining a time limit helps us to stop denying the fact the  life doesn’t go on forever. As a doctor once said, ” I have never met a businessman on his deathbed who said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office’.”

4. What would you do if you won a million pounds/dollars cash, tax free, in the lottery tomorrow?

How would you change your life? What would you buy? What would you start doing/stop doing?

5. What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?

This question helps you to see where your fears might be blocking you.

6. What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self esteem and personal satisfaction?

You will always be the most happy doing what you enjoy.

7. What on great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

Imagine that a genie appears and grants you one wish. The genie guarantees that you will be absolutely, completely successful in any one thing you attempt to do, big or small, short or long term. What one exciting goal would you set for yourself?

By the simple act of knowing and acknowledging what you want, and writing it down, you will have moved yourself into the top 3 percent. You will have done something that few people ever do. You can do it…

Mandy X

It’s your life

 

confident photo

It’s your life

We all care far too much about what other people think of us. I would like to think that after all my years of training and working as a mental health professional that I would be a lot better at following my own inner wisdom. I do however still catch myself worrying about what other people think. It seems that it is an inevitable part of life but it is not something that we cannot challenge and learn to minimise in our lives. When I catch myself altering my behaviour and not doing what I want to do because of what others might think, it leads to self-doubt and indecisiveness. I also see it in my clients-many of whom experience incredible stress and anxiety due to the forceful opinions of family and friends.

What tends to happen is that we feel judged, and family members especially, who know us well, tend to be especially effective at belittling us and making us feel “less than”. Family members can be adept at knowing our insecurities and playing upon these fears.

The trick to counteracting the judgements of others is to learn how to care less and to build a strong inner core for yourself. This entails possessing a strong identity, having clear goals and purpose and above all accepting yourself for who you are. The more we believe in ourselves and like ourselves the less likely we are to be persuaded by others. Humans are social creatures and it is normal and natural to seek advice and support from other people. It is when the influence of other people diminishes us that it is unhealthy. Learn to identify when this is happening-figure out who the toxic people are in your life. Often when we have been in the company of toxic people, we come away feeling exhausted, confused and drained.

Here are some tips on feeling stronger within yourself. This can help you to live a life more in line with your own values and priorities-remember that it’s your life. You are the one that has to live it every day, you know yourself better than anybody else does (even if they pretend to know you better than you know yourself) and you owe it to yourself to live the life that you want, not the life that others want for you.

1) Look at the source

Whenever you’re criticised or judged by someone else, make sure that you study the person making the comments. Are they perfect? Do they have their lives completely together? Are they happy? In all likelihood you will find that they are just as flawed as the rest of us. One thing that they will probably be very good at is judging others as well as foisting their opinions on others. Critical people often use deflection or projection as a way to focus attention away from themselves. Some people believe that attack is the best form of defence.

One of my favourite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Remember this quote it will come in handy.

2) Trust your instincts

we all have in the wisdom and sadly as we become adults this powerful in a resource becomes diluted. This is due to social conditioning, the pressure to conform, the pressure to please and needs to feel loved and accepted by others. We are taught as children to change our behaviour in order to be socially acceptable. Part of this process involves knocking down our inner desires and replacing them with ones that others deem more acceptable. This process knocks our confidence and promotes low self-esteem, lack of self belief and a load of self-doubt. Part of developing yourself as a strong and connected human involves reconnecting with your essential self. Your essential self is the person that you were naturally meant to become. Your social self is the adult that you grow to become that fits in and plays by the rules. Naturally we all have to abide by certain rules of the world would be chaos at this process can damage the delicate ones amongst us who begin to lose their own sense of identity. Make a list of the things that you enjoyed doing as child, the things that you are good at and are still good at. Notice your natural inclinations-do you enjoy company would you prefer being alone? Do you value money, people, peace and quiet…? Reconnecting with your true self is an integral part of building your confidence. This will lead you to feeling stronger about where you are going and what you want to do with your life even in the face of critical family members and friends.

3) Nurture your self belief

Remember that no one has all the answers. Your ideas and opinions about the board are just as valid as anyone else’s. Focus on all the times in your life that you have surprised yourself in a positive way. I was not very good at maths at school and came to believe that I was just useless when it came to numbers. Then in my early years of working I had to attend an airline fares course with the mathematical equations were incredibly complex. I had no one to help me as I was staying in a hotel away from home and decided that it was completely up to me to pass this course I spent every night in the hotel reading and going back over the day’s work. At the end of the course, I ended up with one of the highest scores in class. I was absolutely amazed. All that time I had spent with the self-limiting belief that I was useless at maths was not entirely correct. Self belief is a dynamic concept as it cannot always be at 100%. But we can constantly work at challenging our negative thoughts about ourselves. Who says that your way isn’t the right way? Where is it written that you are doing things wrong? Then to live your life with conviction and even if you make mistakes along the way, at least you are trying and hopefully learning from your mistakes.

4) Stop being a people pleaser

We all have it in us to want to please others. When that need to please others comes before our own self-worth it is unhealthy. It is the facts that you will never be able to please everybody so you may as well start learning to please yourself. There will always be two groups out there, no matter what you do. There will be those that support you and those that disagree with you. Accept it and get on with your life. The more you try to please others the more you send yourself a message that you are not worthy on some levels. That message can be different for each of us. Learn to identify why you want to please someone else. Are you doing it for the sheer joy of it are you doing its two-game validation or approval? Doing it for the sheer joy healthy, doing it for approval can lead you into problems.

5) Create goals and have purpose in life

When we have an idea of where we’re going and what we want in life, especially when those goals are as specific as possible (SMART goals) it can help us stay on course in the face of criticism and disapproval. When we have set goals for ourselves on meaningful and in line with our values, we have a sense of purpose to carry us through even when the going gets tough.

No one has the right to tell you how to live your life and you need to regularly remind yourself that you often know what is best for you. Have faith in your ideas and beliefs. Be assertive in the face of criticism. Being passive (your needs are more important than mine), as in not responding at all to toxic people will eat away at your self-esteem. Being aggressive (my needs are more important than yours) will cause unnecessary stress and conflict in your life. Get the balance right by adopting a “win-win” attitude. This approach looks at how both parties can get their needs met. Sometimes however, when toxicity levels are high, the best way forward is to limit your time with these people or possibly avoid them altogether.

No one wants to look back on their life and feel it was wasted. Use your time well by being true to yourself. Know where you want to be and who you are. It is good to get advice and to connect with others-we all need this must be wary of the toxic ones around you have their own agenda. Take your power back and own your life.

Mandy X