Tag Archives: positive feedback

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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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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4 Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Esteem (And Some Answers)

Like to turn this

I'm hopeless...

 

into this? 

Hey! I'm as good as anyone else!

 

Self-esteem, or lack of it, is a subject often raised by my clients. 

They want to know: 

  1. What is Self-esteem?
  2. Why did I lose it?
  3. Where can I find it?
  4. How do I keep it?

Here’s how I answer these four questions- 

1.   What is Self-esteem? 

Self-esteem is about how you value and respect yourself and your capabilities.  

If you’re aware of your strengths, achievements and skills you’ll have high self-esteem. But if you constantly put yourself down, don’t believe the compliments you get and set unrealistic goals for yourself, your self-esteem will suffer. 

2.      How did you lose it? 

Your self-esteem probably started highish’, like all the other children in the class. But a creeping series of events gradually caused it to shrink, over the years. 

Perhaps you found school life hard. You believed that others were more lively, sporty, musical, numerate than you. You might have been shown up in class by a thoughtless teacher. You might have been bullies or humiliated. 

Perhaps your family had too high expectations of you and compared you unfavourably to your brothers or sisters.  

In other words, you got ‘negative feedback’ and after a time, you began to believe it was true. 

3.   Where can you find it? 

The good news is it’s not lost for ever.  Here are some suggestions about how to find it: 

  • Start small.

Set a goal that you know is realisitic 

e.g. stop smoking for one hour 

learn some simple recipes before moving on to more complicated ones 

sort out one part of your garden. 

  • Give yourself some positive feedback: a reward.

I know it sounds silly but, trust me, it works! 

A reward might be: 

an hour to yourself, 

an afternoon to read a book you’ve been looking forward to for ages, 

some retail therapy, 

whatever means a reward to you. 

  • Start to banish negative thoughts.

It’s not easy to do this when negativityis a long term habit but when you hear yourself say, 

 ‘I could never do that…’ 

‘I always get it wrong’ 

 ‘I’m a hopeless cook/mum/person/dad/’ 

try to turn it around to, ‘ 

‘I think I could try…’ 

 ‘I’ll get it right this time’…  

I’m sure you get my drift. 

  • Practise giving compliments.

See how the person beams at you when you compliment them. Notice how they react. Try to do this several times a day (OK, once if you like…). You’ll enjoy it! 

Then – next time you receive a compliment, 

don’t say,  

‘Oh, this old thing? It’s only from Marks and Spencer. It’s quite old.’  

Just smile and say ‘Thankyou.’  

It gets easier the more you do it. 

  • Follow your intuition.

Do this, all the time and you won’t go far wrong.  

If it feels right, then it probably is. 

If you think you can achieve a new goal, then go for it. 

Your intuition always acts in your best interests. 

4.   How do you keep it? 

It won’t all happen over night. 

But if you get into the new habits that I’ve described, it’ll become part of the way you naturally behave. 

The secret is, consistency.  

Every time a negative self- belief lurks in your mind, banish it with a positive one. 

Every time you think, ‘I can’t’, remember this: 

You started out the same as everyone else. They’re not better than you, simply different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

If you really want to… you can. 

‘Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.’  

Anon. 

  

Header image by abyreed, post photos by starbooze and Dawn Ashley, all on Flickr. 

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How Do Your Butterflies Fly?

I watched it yesterday,

 

lightly settling on the lavender, shyly showing me its beauty.

A welcome breeze lifted its wings for a few seconds before it perched again, ignoring me.

Without warning, the lavender trembled as the breeze increased.

It fluttered and danced, higher and higher, before flying away.

I gazed into the summer sky, into the space where it had been,

and smiled…

This blog is evolving. 

I’m finding my ‘voice’.

As you know, I  wrote an On-line Confidence Workshop on a forum in Woman & Home magazine at the beginning of this year.  The positive feedback encouraged me to start my blog,  focusing on the need for some of us to be more confident.

I had butterflies…

I’m sure it won’t have escaped your notice that I’ve decided to change the name of my blog.  The new title, ‘Positive Spin’, encapsulates the way I view life events and leads me to find  confidence clues in unexpected places.  I hope you will enjoy sharing with me as I write about ‘noticing the small stuff’, looking for that Positive Spin that can make all the difference to our confidence and self-esteem.

When I began I had butterflies.

Now I believe they’re beginning to fly in formation.

‘You don’t have to be careful what you wish for if it’s what you’re meant to have.’

Jenni Mumford

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Day 31 – 31 Ways …

to be confident in 5 words or less!

 It’s the final day of our Spring into Sunshine Challenge.

The sun is out and I hope you’re all feeling a lot more confident!

I’ve borrowed this post idea from over at Marc and Angel’s blog .

Here are my 31 Ways to Be Confident in 5 words or less!

  1. Specify your area for improvement.
  2. Value your past achievements.
  3. Take one small action today.
  4. Let light into your life.
  5. Notice your ‘good stuff’.
  6. Think about your tracks.
  7. Leave tracks you’re proud of.
  8. Give positive feedback.
  9. Persistence – the key to success.
  10. ‘Radiators’ good, ‘drains’ bad.
  11. Leave foolish beliefs behind.
  12. Worth achieving? Worth waiting!
  13. Stuck? Ask for help.
  14. Eat some chocolate!
  15. Do the best you can.
  16. Review progress.
  17. Practise receiving compliments.
  18. Build your Circle of Confidence.
  19. Remember – perfection doesn’t exist.
  20. Listen to your instincts.
  21. Set realistic goals.
  22. Try a fresh perspective.
  23. There’s help out there.
  24. Be passionate about your goal.
  25. No-one’s better, simply different.
  26. Switch off noise, and listen!
  27. Find your ‘confident voice’.
  28. Can’t change it? Adjust!
  29. Show the real you.
  30. Start your own ‘river’.
  31. Look forward with renewed confidence!

 

WOW! 

Thanks for staying the course!

Now…

Ready for  TODAY’S TASK?

First, read through the 31 ways once more.

Now…

  • Which were the most useful to you? Tell us, in the ‘Leave a Reply’  box.
  • What can you add to the list?
  • Let’s try to make that list as long as we can and help one another in this Confidence Quest.

‘It’s never too late to turn your life around.’

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Day 16- 15 Steps you’ve taken to Becoming More Confident!

 Congratulations! 

We’re half way though my Spring into Sunshine Challenge.

Time to sit back for a moment and  look at what you’ve achieved!

Here are the 15 steps you’ve taken…

 

  1. You PREPARED – you decided where you’d like to be in 31 days time.
  2. You MADE A PLAN to prevent you feeling too daunted by the task. Oh yes, and I hope you ate some Maltesers.
  3. You sewed some SEEDS – you took one small action towards seeing your goal in bloom.
  4. You let in some LIGHT – a fresh approach brings renewed optimism.
  5. You NOTICED all the ‘good stuff’ about you.
  6. You looked back at your TRACKS – you thought about how you’d like to be perceived.
  7. You considered how your TRACKS can make a difference to someone’s day.
  8. You thought about the need to give and receive POSITIVE FEEDBACK to build confidence.
  9. You chose to be PERSISTENT – like my tattoo!
  10. You decided to try to see more of the RADIATORS in your life and not to allow the DRAINS to sap your confidence.
  11. You chose to leave your APRIL FOOLISH beliefs behind.
  12. You decided to try to be more PATIENT and not to expect instant results.
  13. You decided to ASK FOR HELP and not to feel silly about it.
  14. You gave yourself some REWARDS!
  15. You resolved to try not to compare yourself with others – to simply do the BEST YOU CAN.

 WOW! I hope you’re as impressed as I am!

So… what do you think? What was the most helpful post for you so far?

Do leave a Reply to tell me so I can write more posts on that theme.

Remember this – ‘We must become the change we want to see.’ Ghandi.

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Day 8 – That chance remark…

When I started writing this blog, I was filled with self-critical thoughts. 

What ifit’s too difficult?

What ifI run out of things to write about?

What if no-one’s interested to read it?

Then came the ‘chance remark’ that gave me the confidence to keep writing.

A friend said,

‘I love your blog!  You really have found your writing niche!’

I blushed, smiled and then my whole face beamed.

That seed of positive feedback was all I needed to stick to my goal and write.

Sometimes it only takes a chance remark to lift you from pessimism to optimism again.

In my view, confidence thrives on  positive feedback. We’re all fragile beings and sometimes all we need is a seed of hope.

TODAY’S TASK 

Next time someone tells you about their plans, give them that

seed of hope.

Then stand back and watch them beam.

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