Tag Archive | encouraging

Happiness Weekly’s best tips for helping others

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You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. John Bunyan

The efficiencies of the internet are moving us towards a more insular world and it is becoming more difficult to be mindful of helping others. According to the Dalai Lama that is our sole purpose in being here on earth – to share our compassion and help others.

The Pay It Forward movement has been particularly active on Facebook this year. You may have noticed several posts that read:

“To start this year off in a caring way I’m participating in this Pay-It-Forward initiative:

I don’t usually buy into these things, but due to a recent act of generosity I have decided to get involved, this is for real.

The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in”, will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year – anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise!

There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.

These five people must make the same offer in their Facebook status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile (don’t share) so we can form a web of connection and kindness.

Let’s do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and to show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, more friendly and love-filled year.”

So while our modern world seems to be encouraging selfishness, greed and isolation – Happiness Weekly looks at some ways that you can help others this week without having an agenda of your own. Truly helping others means there’s nothing in it for you – in fact, the person you may help may never be able to repay you and that’s the ultimate aspiration in truly helping others.

 

The benefits of helping others includes:
-          Connecting you to someone in an otherwise very lonely world
-          Enhancing someone else’s life
-          Making the world a better place to live

Things you can do to help others
-          Teach them something new
-          Smile and be friendly
-          Volunteer for a charity
-          Start your own charity
-          Make a donation
-          Share your knowledge
-          Help someone do something – e.g. cross the street, change a flat tyre, get from A to B
-          Donate something you don’t use
-          Comfort someone
-          Buy food for a homeless person
-          Listen to someone
-          Do a chore for someone
-          Send a nice email
-          Share your favourite things (movie, song etc) – if you enjoyed it, someone else may too
-          Give a loved-one a massage
-          Praise someone publicly
-          Be patient with someone
-          Tutor a child
-          Make a care package for someone
-          Speak up for someone – sign a petition, write a letter etc.
-          Offer to babysit
-          Share what you have
-          Find out what’s valuable to someone and get it for them
-          Present an opportunity to someone or make them aware of it
-          Give transparent feedback to better performance (without being too critical)
-          Introduce people to each other, help people network
-          Give someone a gift
-          Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return
-          Welcome a new neighbour by baking for them
-          Use your power to help people around you have a good day
-          Only see good in people and treat everyone accordingly

We’re all here together and the only certainty is we have one life and we’re living it now. Help others to be the best they can be where ever you can, because if everyone surrounding you is doing the same, imagine the powerful world we would live in.

Pages that helped inspire this blog:
http://www.zenhabits.net/25-ways-to-help-a-fellow-human-being-today
http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2013/05/26/10-ways-to-help-others-that-will-lead-you-to-success
http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-help-someone-who-wont-help-themselves
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/outside-the-classroom/volunteering-how-helping-others-helps-you

Top five unapologetic ways to change yourself

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You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Neil Gaiman

Changing yourself is difficult, not only for you – who has to do it – but it can be a scary time for others around you who also feel uncertainty about the future, particularly partners. Change can mean moving forward and leaving some precious people in the past. This week Happiness Weekly discovers five shameless and unapologetic ways to change yourself … without hurting those around you or leaving them behind!

1. Make the decision final
If you have decided to change, then make the choice and stick to it. It’s when you’re airing between being able to change and not changing that it leads to confusion, and people around you will get impatient and possibly hurt. Generally what happens there is you’ll be on the breaks and all of a sudden you’ll accelerate and take everyone around you by surprise … or give them whiplash!

2. Be open about your change
Be positive and open about the changes you want to make. Resist the temptation to blame your partner, it will only hurt them or cause them to become more anxious about what’s ahead. For example you could say “I want to become more assertive because I think it will make me a happier and more fulfilled person, and I could see it impacting our future in a positive way because I’ll be able to step up a little more”, rather than saying something that could come across as more attacking such as: “I want to be more assertive because I feel like you’ve been controlling me because I’m going along with what you want, when I don’t really want it.” Can you see the subtle distinction?

3. Act with good intentions
Be the change you seek, don’t make your changes out of revenge for someone else. Empower yourself and focus your energies on being positive and encouraging other around you to grow. Don’t push people down to make yourself feel stronger, that kind of power is short lived. If you’re always acting with good intentions, your aura will shine to those around you and they will want to be around you through your changes and support you. However, if you choose to change selfishly and you decide not to take others on the journey with you and don’t communicate it, your aura will do the opposite and cause your loved ones to distance themselves and protect themselves from whatever you have in mind. Generally you become secretive and withdrawn when you choose a selfish change, and it’s this kind of change that will leave you very lonely for a while. It doesn’t mean it’s not fruitful in the end, but it’s certainly the harder path to take and while many psychologists support people making changes on their own (at least for six months), it’s not entirely necessary in all cases.

4. Listen to those around you
Everyone is entitled to an opinion – you can’t control everything. But when you’re amongst a lot of change in your life, and you’re soaring and feeling invincible, it’s hard to remember that. You still need to listen to the people who love you because they’re the ones looking out for you. Listening to each other is a very important part of communication. It’s ok to agree to disagree, or call a time out – but neither should leave the room without explaining they’ll be back or saying the conversation is on hold until you have both calmed down. Generally this kind of tension erupts because change is occurring and the person changing feels great and empowered, but the loved one is feeling very vulnerable and anxious because the communication has altered or isn’t flowing as it usually does – this is another reason to act with good intentions – because then they will feel unconditionally looked after. Also try to keep the communication going between you and don’t assume things or act based on assumptions.

5. Continue to act with integrity
If you always act with integrity and continue being true to yourself, then the core you should remain the same while the changes occur. This will also keep your friends and loved ones around because they feel as though they still know you – you will still be your predictable self, with a few additional features that make you mind-blowingly awesome! If you do decide to push someone away, do it openly and honestly – communicate what is happening and why it is happening, and again, stick to that decision to avoid any hurt or confusion later. There is nothing wrong with road-mapping a change together with your loved ones and going on the journey in partnership, in fact it could be healthy! Some people prefer making changes alone, some people need to make their changes alone, but if you can do it shadowboxing with a partner, it’s not such a lonely or daunting ride.

Communication is 90% of your relationship. Don’t forget to work on it every day!

Colour psychology and what your wardrobe reveals about you

Before you choose your outfit for the day, think about how you want other people to see you and interpret your personality … your clothes say far more than you think. Bridget Allen, senior fashion expert.

Socially everyone selects something of choice to wear from their wardrobe, but generally no further thought is taken other than if it looks good and feels comfortable. A picture is worth a thousand words, but 99% of that description is about the colour of that picture. Colour psychology is concerned with how certain colours effect emotions, perceptions and reactions.

According to Adam D Galinksy, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, “clothing affects how other people perceive us as well as how we think about ourselves”. Leave your inner fashionista behind, this week Happiness Weekly takes a practical look at what the colours in your wardrobe are really saying about you!

Colours at work

Black symbolises power and sophistication, but is also the colour of the secretive unknown creating an air of mystery. Some use it to hide their weight, others use it to hide their fears and insecurities. Black provides comfort while protecting emotional feelings and vulnerabilities. It symbolises control, hanging on to information and things rather than giving out to others. It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process. People that wear black are self-controlled and disciplined, independent and strong-willed but give an impression of authority and power. Affluent and success-orientated women often choose to wear black as it gives an impression of elegance, sophistication and confidence. It’s a great colour for trousers, jackets or shirts – it is recommended that you break it up with other colours.

Yellow can be seen as cheery and warm, it is the colour of mind, intellect and acquired knowledge. Uplifting and illuminating, it offers hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. Yellow inspires inquisitiveness and original thought. People that like yellow are generally great communicators and love to talk – particularly suitable to networkers, journalists and people that work in Public Relations. It is linked to clarity of thought and ideas which aids with decision making, focus and study, and recalling information. Yellow should be limited to accessories such as ties or necklaces because it can be impulsive and cause anxiety. More information about yellow and its variations is available here.

Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. It is associated with abundance, prosperity, luxury, quality, prestige and sophistication. Valuable and elegant, gold implies affluence, material wealth and extravagance. Linked to masculine energy and the power of the sun – it is confident, passionate and eye-catching.

White is associated with purity, innocence, wholeness, completion and serenity. Cleanliness personified, the colour white is the colour for new beginnings and the ultimate purity which is why western brides and doctors wear it. The colour of protection and encouragement, white offers a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, and helps alleviate emotional upsets. It creates a sense of order and efficiency – great for inspiration if you wish to unclutter your life. Too much white can be cold, isolating, empty and bland. It implies a feeling of sterility, detachment and disinterest, providing little stimulation for the senses. Wear it sparingly, white is the classic colour for an office shirt because it provides a good background for the statement colour of a tie.

Silver has a feminine energy and is associated with the moon – it is fluid, emotional, sensitive and mysterious. Reflective and sensitive, silver inspires intuition, clairvoyance and mental telepathy. It is also associated with prestige and wealth as it is seen as glamorous, sophisticated, prosperous and modern. People that wear silver are respectable, courteous, dignified, self-controlled, responsible, patient, determined and organised. It resonates well in the corporate world to those in positions of responsibility (males and females).

Grey is the colour of compromise – it is neutral and detached. The closer it gets to black, the more dramatic and mysterious it becomes, but the closer it gets to white or silver, the more illuminating and lively it becomes. People that wear grey are generally subdued, quiet and reserved. Conformists, they are conventional, dependable and practical. Too much grey creates sadness and depression and a tendency to loneliness and isolation. More information about grey and its variations is available here.

Purple is a colour of imagination and spirituality, historically associated with luxury, wealth and royalty. It represents the future. Purple inspires unconditional and selfless love, and enhances psychic ability and spiritual enlightenment. It promotes harmony of the mind and emotions, contributing to mental balance and stability, and peace of mind. Violet is the colour of humanitarian, using its better judgement to do good for others, combining wisdom and power with sensitivity and humility. People that wear purple have an element of power as it demands respect. They are ambitious and self-assured leaders. Purple is difficult colour to pull off because it requires confidence to wear successfully. More information about purple, and its variations, is available here.

Indigo, the colour of intuition, perception and the higher mind. It promotes deep concentration during meditation. Powerful and dignified, it conveys integrity and deep serenity. People that love the colour indigo conform to things that have worked in the past, while planning for the future. It stimulates the right brain and helps with spatial skills.

Red is the colour of energy, passion and action. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy, it excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. Red is a powerful colour: it is a symbol for leadership, assertiveness, confidence, ambition and determination. Too much red can cause irritation, agitation, aggression and anger. In China it is the colour for good luck, in India it is the colour for purity and is often used in their wedding gowns. Red is a great colour to wear to negotiations, meetings and sales pitches. More information about the colour red, and its variations, is available here.

Brown symbolises age and maturity. It is serious, down-to earth and relates to security, protection and material wealth. People that wear brown take their obligations seriously and encourage a strong need for security and a sense of belonging. They feel that family and friends are of utmost importance, are honest, genuine and sincere – though can be stingy with money. They are trustworthy, reliable, loyal, dependable, practical and realistic. The colour of structure, it encourages orderliness, uniformity and organisation. It is reassuring and quietly confident. Wearing this colour can make you appear wise. It is a popular colour with teachers and academics because it inspires feelings of respect in a subtle manner as opposed to aggressively asserting respect like red or purple. Wearing too much brown can make you look stuffy or old fashioned. More information about brown and its variations is available here.

Blue is a calming colour that inspires serenity, trust and responsibility. Honest and loyal, this colour is reliable, sincere, reserved and quiet. It promotes mental and physical relaxation, reducing stress. In fact, the paler the shade of blue, the more freedom we feel. People that love blue define success as quality and quantity of relationships, they give more than receive and build strong, trusting relationships. They become deeply hurt if betrayed. Conservative and predictable, blue is safe, non-threatening, but persistent and determined to succeed. Wear blue when you need to give important news in a meeting but break it up with other colours if you are delivering bad news. More information about blue and its variations is available here.

Turquoise represents open communication and clarity of thought. It controls and heals the emotions creating emotional balance and stability. The colour turquoise recharges our spirits during times of mental stress and tiredness, alleviating feelings of loneliness. It increases creativity and sensitivity. People that wear turquoise are generally good at multi-tasking and are very caring. Turquoise also encourages us to build self-esteem and be self-sufficient. More information about turquoise and its variations is available here.

Orange radiates warmth and happiness. It is the colour of adventure, risk-taking and social communication. Orange offers emotional strength, it is optimistic and uplifting, and promotes spontaneity and a positive outlook. It inspires physical confidence, competition, independence, and aids in putting new ideas into action, banishing limitations. It encourages self-respect and respect of others. A great colour for accessories, orange prevents other colours from becoming overbearing. More information about orange and its variations is available here.

Green is the colour of harmony, growth and balance (creating equilibrium between the head and the heart). It is a natural peacemaker and an emotionally positive colour, encouraging us to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally. People that wear green enjoy observing and listening and have good judgement. They are generally inviting, generous, friendly and can keep confidences but also tend to look for recognition. A great colour for women’s dresses, it is also the ideal colour for accessories. More information about green and its variations is available here.

Pink is associated with femininity, unconditional love and romance. It represents compassion and nurturing. People that wear pink are intuitive and insightful and demonstrate tenderness, kindness, empathy and sensitivity. It is the colour of hope and good health. Pink calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. A non-threatening colour, people that love pink seek appreciation, respect and admiration. It is a great colour for items you will wear briefly but you can remove for the bulk of the day e.g. jackets and bags. More information about pink and its variations is available here.

Magenta is the universal colour for harmony and emotional balance. People that wear magenta are generally spiritual (yet practical), encouraging, have good common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta strengthens our intuition and psychic ability while assisting to rise above daily obstacles and gain awareness and knowledge. An instrument of change and transformation, magenta aids us in moving forward, helping to release old emotional patterns that prevent personal and spiritual development. It is uplifting to our spirits during times of unhappiness, anger and frustration. Magenta is the colour of cheerfulness, happiness, contentment and appreciation for what you have acquired and achieved. Magenta is spontaneous and impulsive, yet resourceful and organised.

Speedy wardrobe colour tips
* Blue establishes trust and credibility. It is a safe colour and universally liked by most men and women.
* To appear friendly and approachable, wear lighter colours such as mid-tone blues, greens, blue-greens, teal, tan and peachy-orange.
* To get noticed or appear assertive, wear red (but note, it can be threatening).
* To appear confident, blue-green is a good business colour for women, it suggests high self-esteem, confidence but is still friendly and approachable.
* To show dependability, wear green.
* To appear neutral wear grey or beige. You may look like a fence-sitter, but it enables you to say what a client wants to hear rather than the truth.
* To look professional with authority, wear dark blue or dark grey. It’s great for credibility when promoting your business.
* To shock or inspire your audience, wear a magenta suit … with a matching top hat and cane!
* Earth tones (dark orange, mid-brown, light yellow, beige, tan or caramel) are seen as reliable.

Fast facts on colour psychology
- Teenagers often have a psychological need to wear black during the stage of transition from the innocence of childhood to the sophistication of adulthood. It enables them to hide from the world while they discover their own unique identity.
- According to Dr Jennifer Baumgartner, who wrote “You are what you wear: what your clothes reveal about you”, what you wear can inform people passing you in the street of your type of employment, ambitions, emotions and spending habits. “Shopping and spending behaviours often come from internal motivations such as emotions, experiences and culture,” she said.
- A study from Northwestern University examined the concept “enclothed cognition”. Researchers define it in their report as “the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes,” meaning what clothes say to you, rather than about you. How they make you feel, not just how they make you act and react.
- Women react more positively to blue-based colours, such as deep blue-reds, most blues, most pinks and blue-greens. Men find yellow-based colours more attractive. They appreciate true reds and oranges, peachy-apricots and most blues.
- Colours also enhance our culinary experience. Red is the most prominent colour in fast food logos because it stimulates appetite and expresses the speed at which you will be served your meal. Blue decreases appetite – however, people are more likely to drink from a blue glass than a red glass. Orange also assists with stimulating appetite.
- Trying to lose weight? Dieticians recommend eating off a blue plate as it suppresses appetite.

14 tricks to self-empowerment

Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to,  when all they need is one reason why they can. Martha Graham

Empowering yourself can sometimes seem particularly difficult, especially if we have suffered a battering to our confidence in recent times. Self-empowerment is interrelated with the way you conduct yourself, the image you project to others and the way you improve yourself. This list of tips and tricks will help you empower yourself and those around you in no time – because often the hardest part of self-empowerment is knowing where to start!

Know what you want
You need to know what you want in order to receive it. Sometimes it may feel like a process of elimination – we all know what we don’t want – but that isn’t getting you much closer to what you do want. It is worth sitting down and finding out what you want (brainstorm a list) to give you a clear understanding of your direction.

Discover your barriers
Find out what is blocking you from getting what you want. Listen carefully to your self-talk – you could be blocking yourself. Does it fit into the following catagories: mixed doubts, limiting beliefs, attachments (giving up something to receive it), resources? If so, what can you do about it?

Eliminate your doubts
One thing you have complete control over is your doubts – which is part of your self-talk. Visualisation may help with this. Tap into your senses and hear, see, feel, smell, touch and taste what it is like to achieve what you are after. Focus particularly on the sounds and colours. If achieving your goal isn’t satisfying you fully, make adjustments and use this visualisation technique again to test it and help eliminate all doubts.

Banish limiting beliefs
Another thing you can control is your limiting beliefs – however it can be difficult because these beliefs may have been with you since childhood and are now considered “core beliefs”. Limiting beliefs are often there as a protective mechanism from something that caused hurt in the past. If you can identify a limiting belief, figure out whether or not it is useful and what you would rather change the belief to, and work to change it or replace its intention (e.g. to keep you safe) with something healthy, and continue to work to achieve your goal. If you struggle with limiting beliefs, Schema Therapy may particularly helpful for you – see if you can join a local workshop to learn more!

Focus on your agenda
There’s a universal agenda among humans (and animals) and that is to maximise happiness and minimise suffering but everyone has their own strategies and not all are successful.  Even those than appear unhappy are getting something positive from their misery, or they would have moved on. Unhealthy habits are usually initiated because a challenge appears too great. To move towards your goal, you must be clear on what you would like to keep from the present situation. Before making a change, ensure you keep the best aspects of your current situation and discard all aspects you don’t enjoy. If your problems relate to resources only, make an effort to access existing resources and create new ones.

Getting started
Move at a pace comfortable for you, but not so comfortable that you get slack. Invest your time and energy into your goal and things will quickly change. You may need to re-evaluate your goal as you start moving towards it, your goal may even change completely, that is normal. It’s hard to know specifically what we want before starting out.

Strive for the best
When you are reaching to a big goal, you should feel some degree of discomfort, and perhaps a little unsure of yourself, as you are challenged. You are on a journey into the unknown. Be confident but not comfortable as you move towards achieving your goal. Dare to dream, and dream big, then concentrate your time on filling in the details.

Prepare to learn
Make every experience a learning experience. Be curious, particularly about the things that matter most to you. Expect to find valuable, useful knowledge in everyone and everything.

Be persistent
Don’t be discouraged over setbacks, be self-motivated and don’t give up. When you make progress, keep going! Take responsibility and avoid draining your energy by making excuses or assigning blame. Seek advice, assistance and cooperation of others and offer your own in relationships of mutual benefit. The achievements you seek to create are your responsibility, so be prepared to compete with yourself and work constantly to improve.

Be grateful
Gratitude will open your eyes, mind and spirit to the value that exists in everyone and everything. When you’re genuinely thankful, you make use of whatever it is in a meaningful, effective and positive way. A grateful attitude is also a positive attitude and being optimistic about your conditions and situation is essential as it enables you to see the best side in all the challenges you face. A positive disposition will trigger you to do better, find resolutions to problems and look for other support systems until your goals are achieved.

Focus on your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses
List all the qualities that you currently have which will lead you to your goal. Be honest. You could even brainstorm a word and write a short explanation as to how it will help you. It is equally important to realise your weaknesses and accept that you need to practice some measures to turn these into strengths.

Be a leader
Leadership means you have a lot of abilities and a high tendency to empower yourself personally, that the excess can be radiated onto other people. As you find others succeeding or following under your guidance, you will discover that your support for other people also equates to more self empowerment. You will start to appreciate your talents and potential.

Associate with successful people
Just as your talents will radiate onto others, so will theirs. Successful individuals have a knack of empowering themselves, especially when trying times are present. Socialise and be around people who believe in their own talents and capabilities.

Talk to yourself
Positive self-talk is imperative when empowering yourself. Know how to build yourself up. Make a conscious choice to build yourself up as often as possible. Make it a habit to speak encouragingly to yourself and expressing positive thoughts about your abilities. Speak to yourself as you would a good friend in need of support and encouragement. Regularly commend yourself for a job well done and love yourself unconditionally. The more you allow yourself to feel your own love and approval, the better you will feel about your life.

Quick tips to be self-empowered
- Be confident in yourself. Your confidence will naturally project a more powerful image than if you appear uncertain or anxious. Identify what is affecting your confidence and take steps to improve it
- Look after yourself – maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly and manage your stress. If you feel good, you will be more self-confident and project a glowing energy to others
- Make a positive impression on people. People are more receptive to those who take good care of themselves, dress well, are neat and tidy and hold their posture. Focus on what you say and think before you speak
- Be constructive. Don’t be critical, gossip or complain too much. Avoid the temptation to whinge. Be positive and optimistic, provide constructive feedback and participate in finding solutions to problems rather than finding the problems
- Change yourself – not others. If you are unhappy with someone or something, change it to suit yourself. You can try to compromise but don’t expect anything to change for you
- Thrive on feedback. Empowering yourself means taking criticism constructively. Develop yourself technically, behaviourally and emotionally. Seek feedback and identify ways you can empower yourself. Criticism is always an opportunity to improve
- Focus on your goals, ambitions and desires. Don’t get tied up with your emotions, stay focussed on what’s ahead.

How to have a “Can Do” attitude

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. Martha Washington

When applying for a job, we must all magically inherit a “can do” attitude. What on earth is that? Is that just enthusiasm? But what if you actually CAN’T do it? Are you just not meant to say anything and fake it and hope you don’t blow something up? Whatever it is, a positive attitude is vital for any successful journey.

So how do you get this positive “can do” attitude that gets you charged up and ready to tackle anything? Here are some simple tips that will help you build the attitude everyone wants, make you feel like there’s more hours in the day and give you the energy that everyone wants to be around:

Be confident
Success depends heavily in believe in your ability to succeed and having a strong sense of self-worth. You can develop your self-confidence by learning and growing at every opportunity and being aware of yourself and those around you.

Show enthusiasm
Be enthusiastic about life and all that it brings – including challenges! Think of it as an adventure and stay focussed on your goals to keep the motivation flowing.

Don’t compare
Don’t put yourself down – sometimes doing it your way will be just as good as doing it any other way! Try to learn from people around you to bring yourself up to a higher level, than be jealous. What is it they do that you could copy in order to attract the same success that they have?

Revisit your achievements
List your achievements and consider how you felt when you made that achievement, find a way to achieve something again and get that feeling back. Be aware of your values, strengths and skills and also how others view you. Seek feedback as often as you can, listen to it and focus on improving where you can.

Project your image
Select positive role models and learn from what they do. Project a confident image. Remember, negativity is like a boomerang, it always comes back to you.

Watch your appearance
Take care of yourself with a flattering haircut, manicure or maintain a healthy skin care regime. Take time with your clothes and shoes. Dress professionally.

Think positive
Focus on the things that are working well in your life and your strengths, rather than what is not working. Research has shown that 75-80% of daily communication is negative. Concentrate your energies on positive aspects of your life and move away from problems and fears.

Avoid self-criticism
Let go of the inner voice that criticises you when things don’t go well. Analyse the situation and learn from it, this will help you learn, grow and move ahead. Look at setbacks as opportunities to grow.

Challenge yourself
Step outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself to boost your confidence. Think creatively.

Chill out
Learn to relax and unwind after a potentially stressful day, with challenges that have you wound up. Meditation helps get into a relaxed state quickly.

Watch what you say
Language colours experience – speak positively because it reflects on you. Take responsibility and ownership where you can. When you start saying or even thinking you can’t do something, stop and ask yourself: what would it take to change that to can do? Focus on your answer and making it happen.

Develop your mindset
Develop a problem-solving mind-set. Challenge yourself when you think you can’t and prove why you actually can.

Motivate yourself
Look for positive past experiences when you successfully solved the same or a similar sort of problem and remember what worked for you. Solve problems by playing to your strengths.

Do something different
‘If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got.’ There’s always more than one way to solve a problem.

Smile
A smile not only brightens your day, but it will brighten the day of those around you. It also changes your brain chemistry and makes for a brighter day.

Be professional
Use tact and diplomacy in the workplace and put any feelings of frustration, anger and disappointment aside. State facts before feelings and find ways to get jobs done even when it’s uncomfortable. The show must go on.

Set goals
Set goals that drive you towards results. Focus on what you want to happen ahead, not what you’re worried will happen. Set S-M-A-R-T-E-R (specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, timely, encouraging and rewarding) goals. Concentrate on getting win-win situations.

Reframe communication
If a conversation is going negatively, reframe it with a positive spin. Help the person seek solutions to their problems, avoid negative media and try to stay optimistic.

Fake it til you make it
Act like you are already achieving your goals, and you will rise to a higher level. Others will see you as achieving and interact with you accordingly.

Learn to let go
“Let it go and let go. Most of our problems and fears and worries and doubts come from clinging to people and objects and ideals and expectations and the need to control situations. Just let them be. You will clearly see things change just as quickly by being patient. Trust life’s flow sometimes. Don’t keep fighting it. Oh and let others shine and be right sometimes,” said news.com.au editor, Andrew Banks 2012.

Things you must QUIT to succeed

You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.
Jim Whittaker

An arrow can only be sent forward by pulling it back. So when life is pulling you backwards, it means it is going to launch you to a victory. Unknown

Quit your need to be right
Whenever you feel the need to start an argument over who is right or wrong, ask yourself: at the end of the day, what difference will it make? Don’t live for your ego, live for you, your happiness and the happiness of those around you.

Quit always being in control
Learn to accept things the way they are. Allow everything and everyone around you to just be as they are and you will see how much better you will feel by not trying to control it.

Quit blaming
Stop blaming others, situations or things for what you have or don’t have or what you feel or don’t feel. Take responsibility for yourself and change to get what you want – use your energy for working towards positive change rather than sinking into negative thoughts.

Quit your negative self-talk
Negative self-talk pollutes the rest of your life and can even physically disfigure you. Quit believing everything your mind tells you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. Change those thoughts into the positives – what you do well, and look at areas of weakness as opportunities to do better next time.

Quit self-limitations
You can do anything you set your mind to! Nothing is impossible. Avoid limiting yourself where ever you can – when it looks impossible, push yourself: find a way!

Quit complaining
Be grateful for the good things in your life – your friends, your family, your career, the fact that you have food on the table. Nobody can make you unhappy, and no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. You have more control over most situations than what you think – generally it boils down to a simple “yes” or “no” decision. Don’t complain – change it! Or change your perspective on it.

Quit bitching
Avoid criticising people, things, or events because they are different to you or what you would do. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved, we all want to be understood – why not work as one big team? If you can see someone is trying something, be supportive and encouraging. Putting people down will only make you feel weak.

Quit trying to impress others
The moment you stop trying to be something you’re not, and you start accepting yourself and embracing yourself as you are – strengths and weaknesses – is the moment people will start to be drawn to you, effortlessly. Quit being something that you’re not – you’re great as you are.

Quit resisting change
Change helps you move from A to B and become happier. It can go either way, you just need to ensure your decisions to change lead you forward. Change helps you improve your life and the lives of those around you. Embracing change is embracing life – change is inevitable.

Quit generalising
Stop tarring people, things or situations with the same brush. Keep an open mind, see situations as they are and take experiences as they come. Avoid shutting yourself off to new experiences because the last time you tried was a bad one. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about,” Wayne Dyer.

Quit being scared
Fear is an illusion – you created it, it doesn’t actually exist. It’s just another emotion. Sometimes you just need to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Quit your excuses
We often limit ourselves because of our excuses. Instead of growing, trying new things and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck – lying to ourselves – using excuses that, most of the time, aren’t even real.

Quit looking in the review mirror
Leave the past behind you – it wasn’t perfect, and that’s what pushed you forward to where you are now. The present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. Be present in everything you do and enjoy your life exactly as it is – life is a journey, not a destination.

Quit being dependent
Find your independence by detaching yourself from all things, people and situations. Do what you want to do – be in charge of your life, what happens to you and quit all addictions. Relying on things opens you to disappointment – be your own manager and make sure you’re focussing on being the best you that you can be, without any props.

Quit living to other’s expectations
You have one life – if you keep living to others expectations, you will regret it later. Don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path. Quit trying to please people in your life, stop living to the expectations of others, get a grip – take control, and be proud of who you are for being exactly as you are.

Habits of happy people

Image

Source: Edit Kolesza Photographer
http://www.koleszafoto.hu

Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast. Norman Vincent Peale

Happiness is not for the lazy – it’s something that needs to be practiced and worked towards every day. When admiring someone that always appears happy and confident in your life, it’s suggested you examine their habits and consider adopting some of these for yourself in order to expand on your own happiness. By adopting the habits of happy people around us, we leave ourselves flexible to change and open to growing.

Looking online for a list of happy people habits returns countless lists that each numbers the principals. This is where quality not quantity is important. You may also find webinars and courses just teaching people the habits of happy people. Once reading the list, I encourage people to do their own research and adopt the best principles for them, individually.

* Make the most of each day and appreciate life – avoid taking things for granted. Be thankful for the small things and focus on the beauty in everything.

* Select your friends wisely – surround yourself with happy, positive and encouraging people who share your values and goals.

* Try to brighten the day of everyone you come into contact with. Accept easily. Respect people for who they are, touch them with kindness, help where you are able, avoid wanting to change anyone – just because you do something differently, doesn’t mean your way is correct.

* Be inquisitive and open to learning new things. Try new and daring adventures or activities.

* View problems or obstacles as challenges that provide opportunities to create positive change. Trust your instincts.

* Do what you love. Choose a career you’re passionate about. Always make time to enjoy your hobbies and pursue special interests.

* Live in the present. Be mindful of the things in your life, your actions and your words. You can’t change the past or control the future. By living in the now you can make conscious decisions that will help you in the future and make your present much happier. The past can’t hurt you anymore unless you allow it. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure,” Oprah Winfrey.

* Be helpful. Brian Tracy said: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking: What’s in it for me?” When you help others, you feel a purpose, being intentionally unhelpful is negative and breeds negativity.

* Laugh readily. Learn to laugh at yourself. Don’t put people down or laugh at the expense of others.

* Forgive easily. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, take ownership and learn from it and forgive others when they wrong you or they will take energy that could otherwise be used in a positive way.

* Develop an attitude of gratitude. Say “thank you” for even small things people do for you. Take time to let people know how grateful you are to have them in your life.

* Love unconditionally. Let the people that matter in your life know you love them – even in times of conflict. Make time to spend with your family and friends. Avoid breaking commitments or promises. Be supportive where you can. Always act with love.

* Be honest. Every action and decision you make should be based on honesty. Most importantly, always be true to yourself. Deception will burn positive energy unnecessarily.

* Meditate. Meditation will increase energy and you will function at a higher level. There are several types of meditation – e.g. visualisation, hypnosis, yoga, Pilates, affirmations etc. – pick the one that best suits you and meditate regularly.

* Live your life your way. Mind your own business and avoid gossiping about others. Try not to get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t judge. Have the freedom to always be yourself.

* Be optimistic. Everything happens for a reason – look for all the positives. Don’t give up. If you can’t find a positive in something – create it! Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. Failure is an opportunity to grow and learn a new life lesson. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.

* Be persistent. Focus on what you want, learn the required skills, make a plan to succeed and take action. Have confidence in yourself – you will always be happiest while pursuing something of value.

* Dare to dream and dream BIG! Be creative and always push yourself forward. “Aim for the stars because when you aim for the stars, you will reach the moon. When you aim for the moon, you fall; rest in the clouds. When you aim for the clouds, you clench the tree tops. When you aim for the tree tops, you fall on your butt. Maintain high hopes and you will succeed,” Unknown. It’s better to aim high and miss, than to aim low and reach target!

* Be proactive. Determine how you can take control by creating the outcome you desire. Don’t worry about the future and forget about the past. Accept your limitations. George Bernard Shaw said: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”.

* Look after yourself. Your health includes mind and body. Get regular check ups, eat healthily, drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. Constantly challenge your mind and body. Albert Einstein said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”.

* Be yourself. It’s exactly as Dolly Parton said: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose”. Determine who you are, your likes and dislikes, and always be yourself. Have confidence in who you are – always expect the best and always do the best you can. Avoid self-doubt completely.

* Love yourself. Be your own best friend. Learn to enjoy your own company. Accept your flaws. Dr Seuss said it best: “Today you are You – that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You!” If you don’t like something about yourself, work hard towards changing it.

*Take responsibility. Lead by example. Be responsible for your life: your moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. Admit when you have made a mistake.

* Set goals. Make a plan to succeed and take action.

* Make a positive future for yourself. Focus on creating a future around your dreams.

* Clear out the clutter. Don’t live in a mess and don’t hold onto things of the past … unless they’re photographs, reminding you of happier times. The only things you need are: food, shelter, clothing, loved ones and a few personal items. Do you have too many people cluttering your Facebook? It may be time for a good clean up.

* Find your passion. What gets you excited? How often do you associate with that? Perhaps it’s time to spend more time with your passion. Be creative about how you’re going to work your passions into your day.

* Have fun! Go and see a comedy, have a picnic, read some jokes… Incorporate fun into your everyday life. Learn to control your stress, rather than letting it control you.

*Nurture your relationships. Studies show that superficial interaction like chatting to the postman can make you feel like you belong to a community, but intimate relationships are what keeps us going when times get tough. Don’t be afraid of reaching out when you need someone.

* Enjoy the simple pleasures. The best things in life are often free. Make it a point to bring pleasure into your life and really savour the delights that are abundant around you already. Watch a sunrise or a sunset. Sit in the sunshine for a while. Be grateful for nature.

* Be mindful of your perspective. Practise looking at situations from all perspectives before you act or react. Sometimes a new perspective is all we need to change a situation.

* Speak kindly to people. Don’t put people down – build them up. Concentrate on the good in everyone around you. Practice acts of kindness and selflessly help people around you – this releases serotonin, not only in yourself but also for anyone watching you.

* Live with purpose. Always dedicate some time to a cause – it may be directly helping others through volunteering – know your purpose. Join something you believe in.

* Let go of what other people think. Really happy people rarely let negative people and their attitudes affect them.

* Make friends. Happy people are always looking to make friends. They just wants someone new to laugh and be happy with. By default, happy people are friendly people.

* Reflect on the good things. Make time to positively reflect on your successes. It’s important to mindfully reflect on the good, while striving diligently to correct the bad. A continuous general awareness of your daily successes can have a noticeably positive affect on your overall emotional happiness.

* Exploit the resources you DO have.  Use your resources well and consider this: Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has twenty-five Grammy Awards to show for it.

* Create your own happy ending. The end of any experience can have a profound impact on the person’s overall perception of the experience as a whole. If the ending is happy, the experience creates happiness. Always tie loose ends, leave things on a good note and create happy endings in your life whenever possible.

* Focus on your strengths. Emotional happiness comes naturally to those who use their strengths to get things done. The state f completion always creates a sense of achievement.

* Avoid comparing yourself. Material blessings, good looks, social position or seemingly happy families do not make a happy person. A happy person typically compares himself to mentors and role models to improve their character. The majority of the time social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place, so if you feel called to compare yourself to something: compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

* Practice habits of happy people. Concentrate on the present, compare yourself only to saints, be grateful and remember that present hardships are temporary.

* Develop coping strategies. It helps to have healthy coping strategies that are pre-rehearsed, on-call and ready for you at any time. Positive coping mechanisms are the best, so brainstorming them for a rainy day will certainly come in handy.

There is no right or wrong principle to adopt – if the habits of a happy person were as easy as a one-size-fits-all solution, these pages on the Internet wouldn’t exist. If you enjoyed this blog, I recommend trying some of the fantastic activities outlined on the Be Happy 4 Life website: http://www.behappy4life.com/behappyprogram.html.

Suggestions for overcoming self doubt

When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt. Unknown

Self-doubt is a natural protective mechanism that appears when we create something beyond the “norm” – it does not mean that we’re incapable of manifesting our dreams. Every dream, every challenge, every goal, every climb … starts somewhere.

Experts have differing beliefs on how to overcome self-doubt but here are my suggestions for how you can overcome the thoughts that are holding you back from your dreams:

Let your intuition guide you
Focus on what you CAN do and start actioning that! Forget about “HOW” you will make your dream happen – and start taking the first steps to get where you want to go. Getting started is usually the hardest part.

Trust yourself and your judgement
Learn to trust yourself. Write a list of things that you do to make you feel supported and confident. Do not list people – you need to be able to do it all on your own. List all your achievements. List the things that motivate you and why you want to achieve this goal. Keep these in your own personal motivational book for when self-doubt starts creeping back in. Don’t change things for one or two doubters – maintain your confidence and direction.

SWOT your goal
Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to identify possible challenges along the way and your key strengths to keep you motivated. If you see an area that is a weakness, as for help or seek support there – sometimes a little bit of support early on is all you need.

Analyse your doubt
Figure out what triggered your doubt and why. “When you analyse feelings, you make them vulnerable to logic and reason. Questioning the validity of feelings brings them within the reach of reason,” one expert said.

Make a plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – so start planning a strategy for how you’re going to succeed. Make an educated decision about what to do next. Choose a path that you think will lead to conquering your doubts and put it in writing.

Prepare for the worst scenario
Imagine the worst possible scenario that could result from your decision. Often it will be embarrassment, humiliation or rejection if our plan fails in some way. Imagining the worst case scenario is a great way to put things into perspective.

Surround yourself with positivity
Consider all the positive things about yourself and all the attributes and skills you have to realise your dream. Socialise with positive, encouraging and supportive people. Your friends should always recognise your abilities and encourage your efforts. Get feedback on your ideas from these people – most likely it will be objective and beneficial.

Focus on your achievements
Stop looking at what you haven’t done or how far you have to go: start looking at how far you’ve come, how hard you’ve worked and your key achievements to get where you are.

Break it down and research
Whatever you wish to accomplish should be broken down into smaller goals to keep you on track. Research it! Knowledge is power – so the more you know, the more empowered you will feel and the less doubts you will have.

Take the next small step
Set realistic goals and when in doubt – take the next small step. The next step will take you a step further from the doubts.

Learn to handle the setbacks
There will always be rejections and setbacks in life. If you can handle the disappointments, you will move ahead faster. Setbacks are an opportunity to improve as is criticism.

Make your own enquiries
Ask other people how they became successful and don’t hesitate to use their success model. What worked for them, may work for you too!

Fake it til you make it!
Why not act like a successful person until you achieve what you currently perceive to be success? This is what successful people do:
* Manage and control their fears
* Challenge self-doubt and expose it to be false
* Have a game plan
* Know every success if preceded by failure
* Know failure is momentary, then prepare for success
* See unlimited possibilities and opportunities
* Stand up, brush off and move on.

People who struggle with self-doubt tend to:
- Believe their emotional security depends on someone or something
- Feel inferior
- Suffer from low self-esteem
- Feel a lack of control over their life
- Believe that they are not good/smart enough to even attempt the smallest of tasks
- Anticipate failure even before they begin
- Have unresolved psychological trauma
- Suffer from depression
- Live in an environment that breeds doubt and negativity
- Be surrounded by rejection.

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