Tag Archives: confidence

Think the Snow Is A Nuisance? How to Change Your Mind

It’s still here. The snow, I mean. 

I heard this today: ‘It was fun at first. Now it’s just a nuisance.’

OK, I understand it’s difficult getting to the shops, you have to go without milk for a while and the schools are still closed, but this snowy time teaches us a lot about how we can look at life if we feel confident.

Here’s my Positive Spin on a snowy day. 

Snow is like Confidence. It transforms your life.

  • Snow smooths everything out.

Harsh shapes are rounded, spiky bushes are like balls, you can’t see the join between the path and the road.

When you’re confident you feel that your path is smoother. You see the way to diffuse spiky arguments, the differences between people are blurred. You become more tolerant.

  • Snow covers up imperfections.

Street litter is lost under the blanket, muddy patches become clean, every surface is garnished with a sparkle.

When you start to feel confident you find you don’t notice the imperfections in people so much. You focus on their good qualities, you try to see their point of view. You’re more agreeable.

  • Snow turns problems into opportunities.

So… you can’t get the car out of the drive! You have the opportunity to stay in, gaze at the beauty outside and reminisce about winters long ago. You are ‘allowed’ to watch DVD’s by the fire, make soup from those left over veg in the fridge, send friendly emails, and even write Christmas cards.

Confidence brings opportunities too. Instead of fearing changes in your ‘landscape’, you can see  new ways forward, possible new occupations,  new directions for your life.

  • Snow covers up tracks but lets you see fresh ones.

Muddy tracks disappear. The road is smoothed out. But we can see where the birds and animals have been wandering in our garden, under bushes and around trees.

When you learn to be confident (yes, you learn it), you learn to believe that very day is a fresh start. Yesterday has gone. You can’t change what you did/didn’t/do, wish you’d said/not said, the chances you missed. Today is like a fresh fall of snow on your ‘landscape.’ The new tracks you make are up to you.

  • Snow lets you use other people’s tracks.

Trudging up the lane is much easier if others have already made some tracks. It’s firmer, less slippery and you feel bolder as you stride along.

Confidence grows with encouragement, praise and positive feedback as you take steps towards your goals and make changes. Seeking and taking advice and help from others, walking in their tracks,  helps you make decisions.

  • Snowy weather lets you have fun!

It certainly brought out the ‘Inner Child’ in me. The lane was filled with neighbours and their children, all dragging sledges and throwing snowballs. A carrot was fetched for the snowman’s nose and mugs of coffee were passed around.

Confidence does that too. You can let yourself be child-like, try new things, travel to new places, have as much fun as you like.

Like the snow, Confidence transforms the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

What would you be able to do if you woke up  to find your world covered in the soft blanket of confidence?

Header by cursedthing, post pic byAlice Popkorn

    
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Who Wants to Time Travel With Me?

‘Oh please, dad! Please!’

Dad slowly opens our back door. It’s dark but I can see the flakes in the beam of the outside light.

‘Oh, wow! It is! It is!’

My brother and I squeak and squeak and my face is one enormous grin.

Next morning the snow is really deep. The cat refuses to set paw outside but we can’t wait. Dad gets the wooden sledge he made us, out of the shed and we pull on hats and gloves and scarves. 

Magical. But not just when I was a child.

It was magical today.  

We pulled on our hats, gloves and scarves but this time I had my OH with me, not my brother. We trudged up the lane, stopping every few minutes to exclaim at the beauty around us. Everything seemed to be wearing a ‘hat’, every twig and every fence post. Birds danced and darted, searching for a drink, dogs were up to their tummies in snow and parked cars were shrouded in white fur puffer jackets.

Then came the best bit!

We joined our neighbours and their children who were sledging on an open slope on the edge of the village. Brightly coloured sledges contrasted with the white-out, flasks of coffee steamed and wet gloves were abandoned.

‘Want to have a go, Linda?’

One of our friends was laughing as he offered me his child’s sledge. To his, and my, surprise I heard myself say, ‘Love to!’ and I sat down and grabbed the rope, with the confidence and fearlessness of a child. He gave me a push and I was off, shrieking and squealing down the slope. I was Time Travelling, ten years old again, loving the chill on my cheeks, not a care in the world.

Watch out! There's a child about!

I will remember today because…

  • I re-discovered my inner child
  • I delighted in my sense of fun
  • I took pleasure in the small things
  • I smiled at everyone and they smiled back
  • I noticed every twig, branch, roof top, fence, gate, paw-print
  • I spoke to every one and they spoke back
  • I ignored the slushy stuff in the road
  • I lived every second of this amazing day
  • I marvelled at my world

Hold on a minute!

Why can’t I do all those things every day?

I think I can.

And, I’m sure, so can you.

When did you last Time Travel and re-discover your inner child?

What do you wish you could still enjoy that you enjoyed back then?

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And The Award For Most Boring Person Goes To..

Me, Me, Me!

One of my Face book friends commented after reading this recent  post

‘So many people are wrapped up in themselves, I often wonder what people know about me.  I’m a good listener but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like people to show an  interest in me. People are often all about – Me Me Me !’

I decided to give this some thought and look for the Positive Spin:

Are you listening to me? 

Why do so many people think it’s always about them?

I’m sure you can relate to this….

I’m at a social gathering. I don’t know many people but I start to engage the guy next to me in conversation. He tells me his name, what he does (see this post), and off he goes…. He talks about his amazing job, his amazing family, his amazing holiday and after 15 minutes or so he’s asked absolutely nothing about me. I try to edge away to find someone to have an actual conversation with. 

A conversation!

That’s where more than one person talks and where people listen to one another.

So what’s the issue here?

  • What’s the point of a conversation?

We have conversations because we want to get to know one another. To do that we must share information, ask questions, listen to one another. We must pass the ball around.

  • Conversation is a skill.

It’s not an easy skill to learn. It’s a bit like a game of tennis: the two people take it in turns to ‘serve’. While the other person is ‘serving’ we must focus on them completely. Sit still, don’t fidget, and listen carefully to what they’re saying. Try to pick up some mutual subjects or threads that you can serve back to them later, when it’s your turn. But try not to interrupt.

  • What if it’s never ‘my turn’?

Sometimes the conversation never gets off the ground: it’s a monologue. Not easy. What I try to do is listen for a pause, however small, and perhaps ask a question, or pick up one of the topics they mentioned and add a remark or two. Perhaps change your sitting position or even fidget a bit to alert them that you’re still there! I’ve even resorted to saying, ‘Your holiday toSouth Africa/Barbados/Bournemouth sounds fun. I went to Edinburgh for a trip last month. Let me tell you about the highlights.’ If they still don’t let you ‘have the ball’ you have to make an excuse and find someone else to talk to.

  • It’s natural, even though it’s bad manners and rude.

It’s natural for some people to believe that they are the most important person in the room.

It’s just the way they are used to behaving. They assume that everyone wants to hear what they have to say. They have been allowed to get away with it. They seem oblivious of the problem because no-one has made it clear enough that it’s annoying.

They won’t change their behaviour because we’ve let them carry on ‘carrying on’ and they remain unaware of how selfish and boring they are.

We have to show them that we don’t like it. If they don’t listen to us at all, if they don’t have a conversation with us, we need to move on to someone who does. And there will be lots of people who are interested in listening as well as talking.

Next time you are introduced to someone new make sure that you:

  • Listen with real interest
  • Make eye contact, for a few seconds
  • Ask a question
  • Use their name, to help you remember it!
  • Don’t interrupt
  • When it’s your turn, don’t deliver a monologue!
  • Remember how it feels when the other person isn’t interested in you and do as much as you can to show that you’re interested in them. (Even when they’re not Angelina Jolie  or George Clooney…)

How do you deal with the ‘Me,me,me’ types?

What’s your Top Tip for my Facebook commenter?

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Want to Find Your Confidence? Start Here!

Like my new penguin suit?

‘I want to re-gain my confidence.’

‘I want to believe in myself again.’

‘I want to feel the same as everyone else.’
 
If I had £1 for every time someone has said that to me, I’d be rich…
 
Carsma asked me to write about how to re-gain her confidence, in the comments on my request post,  so this is for her and any one else who would like to start to feel more confident.
 
Who’s your best friend?
  • Known them long? (It’s alright, you don’t have to say…)
  • What do you do when you meet? (Apart from giggle/talk about sport…)
  • What do you talk about? (Apart from the children, the husband/partner…)

Let’s take a closer look at those points…

because the way to start to find your confidence is to be your own best friend.

One of the keys to being a confident person is receiving positive feedback.

When you’re told you did a good job, you grow a little.

Let’s take a look at how you are with your best friend and how this applies to how you treat yourself.

1.   You’ve known them for ages.

You know what makes them ‘tick’, their habits, their skills, their ‘faults’, their taste and style of living.

Same with you! You know yourself very well. 

Would you tell them they were hopeless at, say, cooking? Bringing up their children? Dealing with their grumpy/bad-tempered OH?

No, of course not.

Because you wouldn’t hurt their feelings. You’d give them as much positive feedback as you could.

It’s what best friends do.

 

2.   What do you do when you meet?

Do you hug? Smile? Sit down and have a glass of wine? Go out for lunch at their favourite place? Admire their new outfit/haircut/holiday plans?

Would you tell them the new outfit was too young for them? Do you make them feel uncomfortable?

No. Of course not. You do all you can to make your visit fun.

 It’s what best friends do.

 
3.   What do you talk about?
 
I chat all the time to my best friend.  We share our problems,  try to solve our  problems, give compliments and praise for fantastic meals, pool our ideas.
We support one another. We try to lift the load when sadness happens. We listen to one another, we pay attention to one another’s needs.
Do we put one another down? Not mention the fantastic meals? Get jealous?
No.
Of course not.
It’s not what best friends do.
 
You want to find your confidence?
  • Start by being your own best friend.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Recognise your ‘good stuff’.
  • You can even talk to yourself! I do! (Ooops, did I really write that???)
  • Give yourself that valuable positive feedback.
  • Build up your own list of  ‘What I know I can do well’.

If you find it hard to believe in your abilities, it will show, and others will treat you accordingly.

Just say to yourself: ‘Would I treat my best friend like this?’

You’ll be surprised how it changes your thoughts about yourself, little by little.

Do you have a confidence area you’d like me to write about?

Just let me know and I’ll give it some thought…

Any confidence tips to share?

Please do!

Header image by cursedthing, post image by Adam Foster, on Flickr. 

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I Can Try To Solve Your Problem (With A Little Help From Your Friends)

This is your blog!

 And its aim is this:

I want to try to solve your particular problem.

Tell me your problem and I will give you my

Positive Spin.

 

 

Here are 10 areas I can help you with, as examples:

  1. How to find your confidence
  2. How to say ‘no’ and stick to it
  3. How to set and reach your goals
  4. How to deal with a difficult person
  5. How to conquer your fear of driving/heights/dating/water/any fear!
  6. How to give a talk for the first time when you’re very nervous
  7. How to speak up for yourself
  8. How to not be a doormat
  9. How to deal with a difficult aged parent
  10. How to find your self-esteem

Here are 10 ways Spinners can join in and help:

  1. discuss an issue
  2. provide interesting insight
  3. air opinions
  4. ask questions
  5. toss ideas around
  6. agree to disagree
  7. provide one another with food for thought
  8. be controversial
  9. view things from a different standpoint
  10. let off steam

I have a seriously long list of  ideas to write about,

but I  want to write about what helps you, specifically!

I need you to tell me what you would like me to focus on.

I will write about your suggested  topics – they will be my priority areas.

And all you Spinners can join in and make a noise!

Please don’t be shy…

Just tell me, in the comments, about a problem you’d like us to solve for you on this blog.

Lots of heads are better than one and, as they say, it’s good to talk…

Over to you…I can’t wait to begin!

 

Just in case you’re new here and you missed yesterday’s cakes,

I have a Guest Post over on weblogbetter today.

I hope you’ll pop over to read it during the next few days and  join in the comments.

And… if you missed the cakes, there’s one left- just for you!

 

Header image by cursedthing, post picture by Helga Weber, both on Flickr

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99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked ( Not To Be Read All At Once)

from Turkuu

 

Going into space.    

Our achievements seem to pale into insignificance compared.  

Compared!   

Bad word.  

Every achievement stands alone.  

We can all list our achievements and believe they ‘don’t count,’ if we compare them with being a successful astronaut.  

The point is, there is no comparison. It’s impossible to compare.  

On Tuesday I asked a question about achievements and one of our Spinners commented that  

she had no achievements to be proud of,  

and that made me sad.  

As a result, I decided to compile this list of  

99 Achievements You May Have Overlooked (Not To Be Read All At Once)  

Each one has been achieved by a person I know, or know about,  and some of mine are in there too.  

1.   You create a cottage style garden, from scratch  

2.   You get out of bed in the morning when you’re severely depressed  

3.   You travel to London to work when you’re blind  

4.    You take up belly dancing again after a long break  

5.    You undergo chemo when you’re 6 years old  

6.    You undergo chemo when you’re 60 years old  

7.    You choose breast reconstruction  

8.    You choose not to have breast reconstruction  

9.    You pass your driving test after 13 attempts  

10.  You travel in a lift when you’re claustrophobic  

11.  You bring up your child alone   

12.  You are a carer for an elderly parent    

13.  You give up a well paid job to care for your sick child  

14.  You keep a ‘gnome’ on display in your garden, although you hate them, because it was a precious gift  

15.  You become a regular hospital visitor  

16.  You befriend a difficult neighbour  

17.  You teach your teenage son how to budget  

18.  You read Lord of the Rings without skipping any of it  

19.  You produce a Bat-Man fancy dress costume with 2 hours notice  

20.  You keep taking driving lessons although your hands leave damp patches on the steering wheel  

21.  You lose 8 pounds in weight in time for your son’s wedding  

22.  You help a child to make cup-cakes without losing your patience  

23.  You pay off your credit card  

24.  You cut up your store cards  

25.  You take a flight in a micro-lite, despite a fear of enclosed spaces  

26.  You go snorkelling despite a fear of deep water  

27.  You go up a long spiral staircase to the top of an ancient Italian tower despite an acute fear of heights  

28.  You leave your abusive partner after years of trying to do it  

29.  You climb a proper mountain for the first time  

30.  You give a talk to a large group of professionals in your field, despite your natural shyness  

31.  You go on holiday abroad by yourself after recovering from agarophobia  

32.  You walk a marathon with a friend for charity  

33.  You walk through a field of cows despite your fear of them  

34.  You go to adult swimming classes   

35.  You have an article accepted by a national magazine  

36.  You join a gym despite not liking exercise and go twice a week for 3 months  

37.  You pick up an enormous spider without showing your fear to your husband who’s petrified  

38.  You give up alcohol for a month to show you can  

39.  You drive on the motor way for the first time, despite your fears   

40.  You take control and sort out your difficult housing situation  

41.  You help an unemployed friend to update his CV and, as a result, he gets a job  

42.  You leave your comfort zone and fly abroad for the first time  

43.  You successfully learn to play golf so you can see more of your OH  

44.  You cure yourself of your chocolate addiction (well, almost)  

45.  You visit a friend in Intensive Care despite feeling very scared  

46.  You ask a child to teach you how to skateboard in the park  

47.  You painstakingly research your family history back to 1700  

48.  You go to the dentist for the first time for years  

49.  You sign up to a writing class and discover a hidden talent  

50.  You make jam for the first time and it sets!  

51.  You learn how to take excellent digital photos  

52.  You apply for a part-time job, now that the children are at school, and you love it  

53.  You go to assertiveness classes to help with bullying in the workplace  

54.  You receive one of the largest ‘office leaving collections’ ever  

55.  You are a ‘stubborn optimist’ (you know who you are!) despite being on dialysis for ten years  

56.  You are dyslexic and achieve your degree. You’re considering a Ph D to follow  

57.  You take a risk and get your ‘purple wallet’  

58.  You start a successful antique market stall with no previous experience  

59.  You complete your promotion exam for the prison service despite being severely dyslexic  

60.  You bravely decide to drop out of your uni course after a year of doubt and despair  

61.  You choose not to wear a wig when your hair falls out after chemo  

62.  You decide  to travel abroad by yourself so you go off to China with ‘Just You’ (for solo travellers)  

63.  You undergo a 30 minute MRI scan despite your claustrophobia  

64.   You adopt a mistreated cat from Cat Rescue  

65.  You perform Karaoke at your daughter’s party in front of a room full of strangers  

66.  You  sit with your father in hospital on his last day on this earth  

67.  You go horse riding for the first time since childhood   

68.  You achieve a 2.1 degree at 43 years old  

69.  You jump in the deep end and take Copyblogger’s 7 Link Challenge  

70.  You book up for piano lessons at 60  

71.   You write your autobiography and have it published  

72.   You travel to Canada to find your birth father  

73.   You hand in your notice for the job you’ve been unhappy in for ages  

74.   You take your cat to the vet knowing it’s his last journey  

75.  You finally learn how to make a decent cup of tea for your fussy MIL, despite never drinking tea yourself  

76.  You play the piano with your feet because you have no hands  

77.  You handle an enormous python, to prove you’re cured of s snake phobia  

78.  You stand up for yourself against a bullying boss  

79.  You sign up to take A-Level Art with your daughter at her college, and you get an ‘A’  

80.  You survive a stroke at 50 with great courage  

81.   You learn how to make Christmas pudding and it’s as good as his mum makes  

82.   You bravely remove the heads and tails from a plate of prawns to conquer your squeamishness  

83.   You decide to stop being a people pleaser and learn to say ‘no’ when you want to  

84.   You decide to take control of your children’s difficult behaviour and make a realistic plan to achieve it  

85.   You set aside a whole day every week to be you and stick to it  

86.   You make up your mind that you’re not just a housewife  

87.   You decide to stop harming yourself by pulling out your eyelashes. It’s not easy but you achieve it.  

88.   You join an internet dating site with confidence  

89.   You buy Dr Phil’s Book, Life Strategies, and start to follow his brilliant advice  

90.   You press publish on your very first blog post, despite the butterflies  

91.    You  hold down a job you enjoy despite 4 hours daily commuting  

92.    You speak up at a business meeting despite worrying that you’ll look foolish  

93.    You run a successful Parenting Course, overcoming your self-doubt  

94.    You spend nearly a year writing a book, finally seeing it published  

95.    You put your child’s needs before your own, always.  

96.    You walk through a flurry of bees on the lavender path,although you’re terrified of them  

97.    You go into the anaesthetic room with your daughter without showing her your fears  

98.    You decide to start a blog to show your readers that Positivity can be found all around us  

99.    You complete writing/reading this list!  Phew!  

Still believe you have no achievements?  

Right…  

When you have a few hours to spare, write your own list.  

I guarantee it will be a long one.  

Why not add your most important achievement, in the comments?  

  

Header image by abyreed, on Flickr 

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Thanks, Dad, for the Memories

I’m writing this  post for the lovely man who was my dad..

It is said that there’s a special relationship between fathers and daughters and that certainly was the case with me and my dad.

He was a rock for me, always positive about what I could achieve , always on my side.  He died over ten years ago but I think of him every day, even pausing to ‘talk’ to his photo, wishing I could talk to him again.

Dad  gave me confidence and a belief in myself and I know he knew I loved him.

 Here are some special memories I’d like to share with you.

 

  1. I loved to hear him sing. He had an amazing tenor voice and tears would come as I listened, even as a child.
  2. He was a chorister in Worcester Cathedral until World War Two, when he was ‘called up’ and joined the Royal Airforce.  Many years later, in his eighties, we took him back to  Worcester, to re-visit the place where he’d been so happy.  It was a very moving experience when he was welcomed by the Head Chorister. The choir sang for him and we were all moved to tears, as was he.
  3. When our car needed a £50 repair in the late 60’s, we couldn’t afford it. As soon as dad heard about it, he offered to settle the bill. Needless to say, I cried.
  4. He used to dry my hair with a towel in front of the fire, when I was about six.  No hairdryer in our house then!
  5. In the Spring, as a child,  he and I would go off on our bikes to catch ‘tiddlers’ in the stream with a jam jar on a string. I don’t know how, but we always succeeded in finding some.
  6. On the way to my first wedding (!) he said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’  Did he know it wouldn’t last…?
  7. When I left home at eighteen to go Teacher Training  College in London, I was very excited and didn’t give a thought to how mum and dad might be feeling.  Mum told me later that there were tears on his cheeks as he waved me off on the train. I felt exactly the same when my son left for university in London, many years later…
  8. On our regular farm holidays in Cornwall he and I would get up very early to pick enormous field mushrooms for breakfast. I thought they were disgusting but dad loved them.
  9. At Christmas, when I was about five years old, he’d dress up in mum’s red dressing gown to be Father Christmas … and I almost believed it was really FC!
  10. My brother and I had a pet Dutch rabbit called Bun. (No, not a very original name, but there you go…)  Dad loved that rabbit too, and cried with us when Bun died.

It’s amazing how these memories come flooding back.

 But he didn’t just leave me with memories.

He left me with

  • a strong sense of right and wrong,
  • a soft heart,
  • a hatred of unfairness,
  • a love of animals,
  • compassion,
  • a love of Church music,

so many , I could write a book. 

Thanks, dad, for the memories.

I miss you, every single day.

 

Do you have a favourite memory of your dad?

Do tell us about it…

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