Tag Archives: confident

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



Filed under adjust, change, confidence, expectation, happiness, hope, plans, positive, progress, self-esteem, success

How To Customise Your Christmas and Cut the Stress

Do you sometimes feel it’s all too much?

Do you feel caught in a Christmas trap?

I used to. I worried about every aspect of the approaching ‘Festive Season’, feeling far from festive. And then my son, who knew how I was feeling said this:

‘Mum, why don’t you choose the parts of Christmas that you like and leave the parts you don’t like? You don’t have to do all of it!’

I was reminded of when I bought my new Mini.

I knew the colour I wanted but that was it. The salesman had to talk me through how I could customise my new car. He explained which features came as ‘Standard’ and then presented me with choices for all the rest of the spec. Bit by bit I built up the picture of the car I wanted, choosing fabric or leather seats, interior and exterior colours, automatic or gear shift and so on.

The Mini I collected bore very little resemblance to the one in the brochure because I’d chosen how I wanted it to be. I’d ‘customised it’.

You can do this with the Christmas holiday.

 There are no rules apart from the fact that we all celebrate (or not) on the same day. You do need to be positive and assertive (not arrogant) but with a bit of practise, you can do this!

What comes as ‘standard’?

  • A day for giving gifts
  • Food
  • Decorations
  • A tree
  • Cards
  • Family time
  • Parties
  • Carols

You will want to add more to my list but let’s look at the first three.

How to customise.

  • Gifts.

You need to get ahead on this one, if you’re going to change from the ‘standard’ requirements. If you want to change who you buy for, perhaps only for children and not for adults, let people know your intentions well in advance, to avoid embarrassment or upset. It’s not easy to change a long-established routine but it is possible to do it if you are sure that’s what you want to do.

You could write down what you’ll say and even practise saying it until you’re confident.

  • Food

Ok, so the turkey roast followed by Christmas pud, mince pies, large amounts of cream and custard, is fairly ‘standard’. But you can customise!

Christmas food should be special. That get’s hard to do when we have the ridiculous amounts of ‘special’ food in the shops all year round.

One way to customise your Christmas food is to choose your favourites. If you love fillet steak but it’s a rare treat, or your mother is coming and her favourite is steak and kidney pie then that’s what you have! Try to have the food that’s a ‘treat’ for as many of your guests as possible.

If you choose to spend the day with your OH then it’s easy to have your favourite food but it can still be done with the family. Not everyone wants turkey when they can have it on any day of the year.

  • The family.

Not so easy to customise but not impossible. Here are a few suggestions:

Decide, well in advance, where you and your family want to be for Christmas. At home? On holiday? At your parents? Your parents at yours? Once it’s decided, stick to it. A few feathers might be ruffled but there’s no rule that says you have to do what you always do. You can change the habit, if it’s a habit you don’t like…

Do you spend much of the holiday driving your children to see step – parents, grandparents, divorced parents, so much so that everyone’s bad-tempered and the children hate it? If it’s what you want to do, and most importantly, if it’s what the children want to do, fine. If not, decide how to customise.

It’s about forward planning. It’s about taking the ‘I ought’ out of the equation and replacing it with ‘I’m happy to’.

I was delighted, and still am, with my beautiful blue Mini. Every time I drive it I smile. (Except in snow.) It suits me fine but I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s choice.

You can customise Christmas, to suit your capabilities, needs, emotions and stress levels.  It’s not selfish in a bad way, it’s simply deciding what you can cope with. As my son said, so wisely, you can include the parts you love and leave out the parts that concern you. That way, you might even enjoy it!

How do you deal with the varying ‘obligations’ of the Christmas season?

Are you changing things this year?  

 Have you ‘customised’ Christmas?

Do pass on your hints and tips.


Header by cursedthing, post image by the mullett, on Flickr.


Filed under action, adjust, anxiety, change, expectation, fear, hope, plans, positive, progress, success, timing

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?
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. 


Filed under action, change, confidence, fear, hope, positive, safe, success

How Failure Can Turn You Into A Happy Bunny (Part 3)

My stomach churns.  

I hardly dare look.  

She hands me the pages.  

Covered with red ink.  

‘It’s good so far’, she says. ‘But may I make a few suggestions?’  

No… it wasn’t my Maths homework. This happened about two weeks ago. It was the first draft of my book, edited by a professional editor.  

‘I’d like you to do some more research. It’ll add a lot to the book, but…. it’s your work, you must decide what’s best.’  

I was not a happy bunny.  

It felt exactly the same as having my Maths homework returned with loads of corrections to do.  

Let’s face it – my pride was hurt.  

Why wasn’t it OK as it was?  

Why did I have to do more research?  

Why wasn’t it a masterpiece already?  


Picture the scene two weeks later.  

I’d researched for hours on the net, added several thousand words, re-arranged some of the chapters, changed some titles and felt quietly confident with the result. In short –  

I was a happy bunny.  

I knew she was right...


No-one likes to be corrected. Not really.  

Especially as an adult.  

It’s hard to admit when we haven’t got it quite right and need to do more work.  

But failing to write the perfect ‘first draft’ of my book taught me a lesson.  

It also illustrated the last two of my…  

6 Reasons That Failure Is Good For You.  

5.   ‘Failure’ shows you how you can, and should, improve.  

      Just when you think you’ve got it right, perhaps you haven’t.  Perhaps you ‘could do better’.  

6.   Failure shows you that nothing achieved easily brings satisfaction.  

I shall be so proud when I truly have finished and my editor tells me it’s ready for publication.  


Over to you!  

  • What have you worked extra hard on and finally completed with pride?
  • What have you failed at but secretly known you should have done more to succeed?
  • What has failure, in any sense, taught you?

All thoughts in the comments please!  


Header image by abyreed on Flickr.  

Rabbit photo by hans s on Flickr.  




Filed under adjust, anxious, excuses,, expectation, failure, hope, persistence, plans, progress, realistic, success

5 Life Lessons I Learnt From Chickens

Chickens pecking at feed
Image via Wikipedia


‘Chickens needing a good home. 

Give me a call on ….. ‘ 

I smiled when I read the card in the shop window. 

As I walked up the lane I started thinking about those chickens. I realised that they can teach us some important lessons, about what we all need in our lives.  I’d have to provide for their needs if I wanted to give those chickens the home they seek.  Sadly, I can’t do it, although I’d love to. 

Here are 5 Life Lessons I learnt from those Chickens… 


1.   Chickens need the right kind of food. 

Apparently they tend to know what’s OK  to eat and what’s not.  They need the special food you buy in a feed store but they also love kitchen scraps all boiled up. They eat insects and slugs (!) and most kinds of ‘greens’. 

We need the right kind of ‘food’ too. 

We need books, films, conversations: in fact a variety of stimulation to broaden our thinking, to make us stronger, more confident in our opinions and ideas. 

Are you getting the right kind of ‘food’? 

What are you going to do  to get it? 


2.   Chickens make a difference. 

One chicken can produce 250 eggs each year! 


what one little hen can do… 

We can make a difference too. 

Are you a carer, teacher, nurse, librarian, writer, parent, gardener? 

What’s your role? 

And… more to the point, are you fulfilling that role the best way you can? 

Are you making a difference? 



3.   Chickens need a nest-box. 

It must be warm, safe and provide protection for those eggs. 

We need a ‘nest- box’ too. 

A special place – a corner, a room, a seat by a window, where we can simply ‘be’. Where we can think, not think, rest, allow our minds to wander, to create, to absorb, where we feel protected from the world of busi-ness, hassle and noise. 

Where’s your ‘nest- box’? 


4.   Chickens get bored! 

You can tell when that happens because they start to peck one another. Not good. 

I read that they need a few logs to perch on to give them a different perspective, some ‘greens’ hanging up to peck at and enjoy. 

We’re just the same. 

We get bored. We become ratty, bad-tempered, irritable. We need variety in our lives, something to aim for, whether it’s a goal, a project, something we can feel proud to achieve. 

We need ‘logs’ to perch on- to give us a different perspective, so we can look at life from a new angle, stand in other people’s shoes for a change. 

‘Same old, same old’ isn’t enough. 

‘If you want different, you must do different.’   Dr Phil Life Strategies 


5.   Chickens need to be safe. 

They need to be protected from foxes and rats. Predators can carry diseases and pose a real threat. Tall fences must be  built and electric ones installed. Once the fox gets that electric shock, it’ll give the hens a wide berth. 

We need  protection from the ‘foxes and rats’ in our lives. We must protect ourselves from people who love to criticise, us, discourage us and try to prevent us from making changes or taking risks. 

Unlike the chickens, we don’t need to be fenced in. 

We need to live our lives free from all the ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘can’ts’. 

We need to be free to make the choices and decisions we want to make. 

What’s fencing you in? 

  • What life lessons will you learn from the chickens?
  • Can you think of one more, to add in the comments ?
  • It’s OK,I haven’t lost the plot!


Header image by abbyreed on Flickr 


Filed under action, adjust, change, fear, goals, happiness, hope, persistence, plans, risk, safe, success

A Brief But Useful Guide To Interview Success

After I wrote my post for Friday –     

‘9 First Impressions and 1 Thought’      

it dawned on me that everything I’d written could apply to   

making good ‘First Impressions’ for that elusive job interview!     

Is this too much, do you think??


Let me remind you…     

9 First Impressions for my blog –     

or an interview!     

  1. Be a bit different.  Let the interviewer see that you’re an interesting person who’ll be an asset to their business.
  2. Dress to reflect your personality, to stand out from the crowd (but not tooo over the top…)
  3. Be approachable.  Smile and give a firm handshake. Make eye contact, but again, not  too over the top…
  4. Be honest in how you respond to their questions.
  5. Don’t pretend to be an expert if you’re not. Don’t over state your abilities – it doesn’t work in the long run.
  6. Show you’re useful and  interested in the job and the company/organisation.
  7. Don’t clutter yourself with  jewellery or too much makeup. Wear clothes that show you’re confident but not too confident. (If you’re a man, ditch the cartoon tie and the purple shirt unless you’re after a job in the arts/media/graphics etc).
  8. Make sure you’re true to yourself and your image.
  9. Show that you will do your best to  meet the needs of your employer.


And 1 Thought…     

What advice can you add to this list for an interviewee?


Filed under adjust, change, expectation, goals, hope, persistence, plans, positive, progress, realistic, success

Who’re You Looking At?

I came face to face with one of these the other day.

It’s odd,

making eye-contact

with a squirrel.

It stares,


taking me in.

It seems ages

that we gaze at one another,

but it probably isn’t,

both relishing the experience.

Alert at first,

no sign of fear,

confident, looking at me,


it shows me trust

but not for long.

Something spooks it,

it scampers off

to safety.

It wasn’t afraid…

and then it was.

As I watched the squirrel , made eye contact with it, I got to thinking about how often I make eye – contact, with people, as opposed to squirrels.

It’s pretty exposing but it does make the other person feel important.  I’m giving them my full attention.

Just four or five seconds is enough – no-one likes to be stared at – but it helps a relationship to flourish when we show our trust.

Just like the squirrel and me.

Why not try it with the next person you meet and tell us how it feels?

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Filed under action, expectation, fear, happiness, positive, progress, safe