Even people who consider themselves confident have moments where they doubt themselves. They feel unsure of their abilities or fear taking risks for the things they want. The reality is that most people struggle with confidence at some point in their lives. While it may seem like an innate trait for some, confidence is something that can be developed if worked at.
If you wanted to run a marathon, you wouldn’t just lace up your shoes and show up on race day ready to win. You would have put in hundreds of hours of training to get to the point where you could complete the race. When building self-confidence, it requires practice, repetition and positive habits. It won’t happen overnight, however you can build your confidence to help you achieve whatever it is that you want.
Many people experience that knowing sensation in their gut when their self-doubt starts creeping in. Self-doubt’s job is to protect you from pain or failure. It will sound the alarms whenever you are about to take a perceived risk, put yourself out there or do something you’ve never done before. When you listen to the self-doubt more than you believe in yourself, you can get stuck in a pit of fear, worry and inaction.
How can you build a strong sense of self-confidence? What habits can you adopt that will help you feel empowered and capable in any situation? If you are ready to fully embrace the wonder of who you truly are, you can start by building your self-confidence.
Here are a few tips, exercises and habits that you can use to build confidence and boost your self-esteem.
Visualisation: If you can see it, you can be it. Think about what your perfect vision of success looks like. See it in your mind and include every sensory detail to make it as real as possible. Visualisation uses the power of your mind to create the version of yourself that you want.
Positive Self-Affirmations: The words that we use have power. When we talk down to ourselves, we are reaffirming our insecurities and strengthening our self-doubt. By using positive affirmations, we can begin to change the way we think and feel about ourselves.
Challenging your assumptions: Many of us have a script that we have been using for years that tells us that we aren’t good or enough or whatever it is we are insecure about. Have you ever taken a moment to challenge your scripts? The next time you hear yourself say you can’t or shouldn’t do something, ask yourself if that is really true.
Feel the fear and do it anyway: Sometimes, the best way to deal with fear is to just do it! Taking yourself outside of your comfort zone every day helps your mind feel not so fearful. It doesn’t have to be big, because small things can add up to big results. Sure, feeling uncomfortable doesn’t feel comfortable! However the more you expose yourself to discomfort, the easier it becomes to handle the feeling in the future.
Set yourself up for success: When you set impossible goals for yourself, are you really surprised when you don’t achieve them? Allow yourself to build confidence by setting small, more achievable goals at first. These wins will help you build momentum for your larger and more challenging goals.
There are also simple ways you can build your confidence externally that will help you improve your confidence internally. Try a few of these this week and notice how it changes your perception of yourself.
How will you boost your confidence this week?
We are going through unprecedented times and the world is not the same place as it used to be! We are all having to adapt the way we live, way beyond what we could have ever imagined. Not being able to see and hold our loved ones that do not live with us or go out when we want to. Our elderly relatives, of whom a lot live on their own not being able to leave their homes or have visitors. Not being able to go to work, struggling to pay our bills, schooling our children from home and having to queue to get into our supermarkets. Things we previously all took for granted!
Life has just got more stressful and worrying for everyone. We have a lot more time on our hands to think and are consistently being updated with awful news on how the coronavirus is taking peoples lives and changing the way we live here and around the world.
The people I have spoken to say they are constantly in a state of anxiety and keep worrying about what the future will be like in a month, six months and in a years time. Their focus is on what is happening and what they are now unable to do. Their emotions are on such high alert they are finding it hard to function and due to this their mental health is suffering.
We are all struggling without our normal routines, we are finding it hard to just have the motivation to do basic everyday stuff. We are also not surrounded by the things that give us our identity; our roles in life, our hobbies, our loved ones and the things we normally buy and do!
Due to the challenges we are all facing I have come up with 5 tips that can help you cope. By refocusing your mind and dealing with what you can control, these tips can help you feel calmer and able to see what you have in your life.
Tip 1 - Exercise. I know you may not feel like exercising, however it is so important for your physical and mental welfare. This is why the government has allowed us all to get outside and exercise once a day. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins. Anything that gets you moving can help, even if you start with just a 10 minute walk. You can then build up from there, the main thing is to be outside and moving. Try to notice the sensations around you, the rhythm of your breathing, the warmth of the sun and the feeling of the breeze on your skin. By adding this mindfulness element and really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise, you’ll not only improve your physical condition faster, you may also be able to interrupt the flow of the constant worry running through your mind.
Tip 2 - Routine. Most of us have lost our normal routine in life and we are feeling lost. The days become the same and you do not feel like doing anything, you may also not feel that you are in control of your life now. A daily plan will give you back focus and control. It takes little time and effort to draw out a weekly plan, splitting each day into hourly chunks. Also along with your weekly plan write a list of things you would like to get done. Then start setting up your new plan, by adding when you are going to get up, and go to bed. Then add when you are going to exercise, when you are going to do something on your to do list, when you want to call, zoom or FaceTime friends and relatives. You can also look at setting time aside to learning something new, reading a self improvement book or do an online course. Another important thing to add is a couple half hour slots each day to meditate or listen to some hypnosis. By having a routine it will give you stability and normality. It will also give you a sense of achievement by ticking off what you have completed on your to do list.
Tip 3 - Connection. With us being in lockdown and most people having to stay at home unless it’s essential or daily exercise, our lives have become less connected and it can be very lonely. However before the coronavirus our normal lives were a lot more hectic and we were all rushing around trying to get everything done! Therefore take this time to really connect with your friends and relatives. Even reconnect with people you have not spoken to in years. With technology like Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, we can see who we are talking to and even talk to a group of friends and relatives. Also take this time to call an elderly friend or relative, you will be amazed what joy you will bring to their day and in return it will make you feel like you have made a real difference to someones life.
Tip 4 - Meditation & hypnosis. In everyday life our minds can be fearful and uncertain about what life has for us around the corner. At the moment our minds are full of fear and what life will be like going forward with the coronavirus. Meditation and hypnosis is beneficial at any time, and especially now. As it helps us to relax and allow the mind to just be, as it reduces stress, controls anxiety, enhances self awareness and improves sleep. Taking time out twice a day, preferably first thing in the morning and in the evening will give your mind timeout, allowing you to stop and wind down from what you were doing and thinking about. If you haven’t meditated or used hypnosis before it might take you time to relax. It takes time to practice being relaxed and not focusing on all the internal chatter that is going on in your mind. I promise you if you listen to either my free hypnosis audio* or a guided mediation you will feel less anxious and not so stressed.
Tip 5 - Your focus. Where your focus goes your energy flows! I know there is a lot of scary news at the moment and so many people have lost their lives throughout the world. However you have to put this into perspective. This is not forever, it will pass. Each year over 1.4 million people die in a car accident and 18 million people die of heart disease. Despite these figures, the news and everything we do normally is not focused on these deaths. Therefore we do not see them as a big threat to ourselves day to day. I know this virus is contagious and we have to protect ourselves and not overburden the healthcare service. Just remember what you focus on becomes your life. Also that nothing has a meaning until you give it a meaning. Therefore be careful what you let into your mind and the meaning you give it. I’m not saying do not listen to the news and I’m definitely not saying you should ignore the governments advice. However if you sit in front of the TV listening to everything that is going on in the world and listen to everyones opinion on how the world is going to cope with this, you just fuel your anxiety and stress levels. If you are going to watch TV, watch a good film or a comedian to put you in a happier and more relaxed mood. The best thing is to focus on everything you can do! Ok you can’t go out, but how long have you wanted to tidy that cupboard under the stairs or your kids bedrooms? How often have you mentioned a list of things you would do if you had the time! Well, you have more time now! Don’t waste this valuable time at home, do the things you have always wanted to get done in the house.
Take this difficult time and turn it into a personal triumph. You have time to go for a walk or cycle and do one of the many PT sessions on YouTube to get fit. Don’t just sit around doing nothing, getting up late and not even washing your hair. This is another day of your precious life, so make the most of it. Get yourself a new routine, one that you can be proud of and work through. I know that some of you reading this are thinking that you are not up to doing this and you are feeling anxious and tired. All I can say is ‘how is your routine working for you now’? If you carry on doing the same things you will get the same results. Take action and get into a routine, you will not look back. Get connected with friends and relatives, you are not alone even if physically you are! People out there would love to hear from you and you can reconnect with people you haven’t spoken to for years. Start meditating or listening to hypnosis, your mind will thank you for doing so! Just remember it isn’t something you just do once and say it was ok, but didn’t really work for you. This is something you need to do daily. Finally, you are what you choose to focus on. Ok we are in a very uncertain time, but as I said this will not last forever. Look after you and your loved ones, do everything you can to keep safe and well. Focus on you being the best you can be physically and mentally.
*for your free relaxation hypnosis audio go to www.desireforchange.co.uk
Are you afraid of heights, open or enclosed spaces, snakes, bugs, spiders or water? Well, you are not alone. Our prehistoric ancestors had the same fears which is mainly how they survived! So what are some of the most common fears that we have today? Strangely they are very similar - heights, confined spaces, snakes, bugs/spiders and water. Our environment has changed dramatically, but our minds have not!
Let’s imagine for one moment that you had to program our prehistoric ancestors to keep them safe. How are you going to design a human who can survive in a primitive environment where there are tigers, lions, wolves, and poisonous snakes and bugs? What could you build into the software of the primitive brain? How about FEAR?!
By being afraid of heights it would stop them falling off cliffs, fear of water would stop them drowning, fear of snakes & bugs would stop them being bitten and fear of open spaces (out in the open savannahs alone) or enclosed spaces (caves or burrows) would stop them being eaten by that sabre tooth tiger in areas that they would be in danger!! These fears would keep them safe in a ‘dog eat dog’ environment. However we still have the same fears in the modern world!
We are actually born with only two fears, the fear of loud noises & the fear of falling. Therefore it is believed that fears are learnt behaviours from family members/close friends as we grow up. This is why we find that people who have parents who have a fear of spiders usually develop a fear of spiders too. We can also learn to be fearful of a situation or items if something happens to us that we become frightened of it. For example if a child is walking along & a big dog comes running up to them as they are pleased to see them, but the dog is over excited & knocks them down. The child may miss read the situation & feel threatened & in danger. This could make the child fearful of not just that dog, but all dogs going forward.
Fear is not nice to deal with as it is highly emotive, it drives us away from something that is perceived will put us in danger. When you suffer with a fear it feels very real, however it helps to look at the actual facts instead of how you are feeling. It also helps to talk to someone who can help you see the situation differently. Think about your fears as prehistoric responses to a modern situation. What most people fear does not put us in danger. It’s like you are using outdated software in your brain. We do not need to be on high alert all of the time in our modern society!
Our fears can turn into a phobia. A phobia is similar to a fear with one key difference: the anxiety they experience is so much stronger. Also a phobia interferes with your quality of life and/or ability to function. So what can we do to deal with fears & phobias? The main thing is to acknowledge that the fear is not in proportion to the threat as we do not live in prehistoric times where what we fear is more than likely to kill us. Also our mind is trying to protect us, however it does too much of a good job & therefore instead of protecting us it causes us anxiety. A way of reducing your fear is to face the fear for short periods of time. This will help the unfamiliar fearful event becomes a more familiar event & eventually become easier to deal with. The more you do something, the more it becomes the norm & therefore not a threat.
However with a phobia, the emotion is an automatic reaction. Therefore looking at it in a logical way doesn’t always help. People think their phobia is strange & feel they are stupid to feel the way they do. However there are more than 8,000 different listed phobias in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Due to a phobia being an automatic response, hypnotherapy can help eliminate phobias & allow sufferers to live their lives normally when dealing with the situation or object that triggers the phobia. If you are suffering with a fear or phobia & would like to talk about how hypnotherapy can help you, please call me or arrange via email or my website a time convenient to you when I can call you to discuss your fear or phobia.
Woolhampton 19th February 2020 - 7pm
Newbury 3rd March 2020 - 7.30pm
It is near to the end of the year and it is often a time to reflect back on the year and forward to the New Year ahead. Both of these activities are really good things to do if we do it in a positive way! Unfortunately if we don't, we can get our brain stuck in an endless cycle of negativity by focusing on the wrong things and the happy task of reflecting can become an unhappy one.
December is always a busy month! Trying to fit everything in before taking time off for Christmas can be a struggle. There seems to be a lot more to do than a normal month and the strict deadline to get it all done for Christmas Day can be very stressful. Also having or not having family around us can create more tension and unhappiness.
When we’re stressed our primitive brain can take over from our more rational, sensible brain. Our primitive brain isn’t really very clever at all and it mistakes the stresses of a busy festive season for more primitive threats, like a sabre tooth tiger! I know, it seems daft but our primitive brain is exactly that – primitive. It doesn’t understand our modern lives so it views our December stresses in the only way it can – as threatening situations that it needs to either run away from or stand and fight.
The problem when we’re in this part of our brain is that any reflection we do on the past year or plans we’re trying to make for next year will get sabotaged by a very negative way of thinking. Once our primitive brain has taken over it is only interested in checking out any potential dangers. If it isn’t a potential danger, it’s not interested, which means that when we scan back over the past year our brain is more likely to pick up on all the things that went wrong rather than remembering the good bits.
Any plans we are trying to make for the following year will clouded by negative ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good enough’ or the dreaded ‘What if’s’. ‘What if this goes wrong, what if I’m not good enough, what if, what if, what if….’ When our primitive brain is in charge it’s very much like watching the news - it is only reporting on the bad things that are happening and we end up with a very unrealistic view of our lives. Suddenly it seems like the whole year was a tough one with lots of things going wrong, and we have forgotten time with our family, the days out, the weekends away and the fun night out with friends. Therefore it’s very important for us to make sure we’re in the right part of our brain when we are reflecting and planning, because when we are it’s a totally different experience!
When we’re calm and relaxed and not feeling overwhelmed our more sensible, rational, intellectual brain is in charge. This part of our brain has a much more balanced view of our lives. It will see the good and the bad and weigh them up together. This then might allow us to acknowledge that we’ve had a challenging year, but we’ll reflect on how well we dealt with it alongside remembering the fun, happy times. We’ll learn from our experiences, decide what we’d do differently and be on the lookout for opportunities to replicate positive experiences and avoid negative ones. We might recognise that we’ve set ourselves an ambitious goal for the year ahead but we’ll see that, with some hard work we’ll be able to achieve it and we find ourselves taking actions to help ourselves.
Now the rush of Christmas is finally over and we’re sitting back and relaxing, it is so much easier to reflect in a calm and positive way. However, the negative thoughts can start creeping in about what’s waiting for you when the New Year starts, going back to work, all the things you need to do, the bills, the things that you need to do on the house, what you’ve got planned…
I know as a hypnotherapist that taking back control from that kind of thinking can be simple, but I also know that simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy! That’s why I want to share with you a few tips that will help you gain back control and shift your minds focus away from the negatives towards the more realistic, balanced view where reflecting on the past and looking ahead to the future filled with optimism and excitement rather than negativity and feeling overwhelmed.
1) Remember your mind is there to protect you, not to make you happy (that’s your job). Unfortunately your mind goes a little too far and creates fear over the things that it is trying to protect you from. Therefore question how you feel, put it into prospective. Most things around us is not the threat your primitive brain thinks it is!
2) You cannot control what thought comes into your mind, but you can control what you do with it. When you are really busy and a thought comes into your mind about what you need to buy for dinner you just push it to one side and continue with what you are doing. Therefore you can push a thought that comes into you mind that you do not want! Whether it is an unhelpful thought or overthinking that is driving you mad, you can push it away. The best way to do this is when it comes into your mind shout ‘stop’ loudly in your mind the say something like ‘I am enough’ or ‘thank you for telling me’ or ‘thank you, but no thank you’. You might feel you do this a lot to start with, but your unhelpful thoughts will start to reduce dramatically or stop totally.
3) Reflecting over the past year and planning what you are going to do over the next year is required for development and growth. We learn from our failures and our achievements. Also we need a plan of what we want in our lives so we know what we need to do and where to go. You wouldn’t just get into a car and drive! You would either know where you are going or you have it mapped out. Saying that, the main focus of our mind to give us the greatest happiness in our lives is ‘living in the now’. If you are going for a walk don't allow your mind to be troubled by the past, or you keep mulling over the future, or your head is in your phone. See the true beauty in front of you, the sun shining, the wonderful view, the person you are with, the connection to nature and your companion. The now is the only thing that really exists! The past and present are just thoughts.
4) Remember you are your actions, your thoughts and your words. Look at how you act, think and talk as they create your world. Everything only has the meaning you give it. Be the person you need to be to create and attract the life you want and desire.
Enjoy the last few days of 2019!
Are you struggling with the symptoms of the menopause?
Are you worried about moving into the next chapter of your life?
Are finding you are gaining weight in areas you never used to?
Are you having hot flushes and sleep issues?
Do you not feel like you anymore?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions or you simply want to feel physically and mentally healthier whilst going through the change, then this book is for you!
Like many women, I suffered with the symptoms of the menopause, as well as struggling with feelings of being older and just not feeling like me anymore. I felt frustrated as I could not find anything that really helped me deal with the symptoms of the menopause and how I was feeling. Therefore I decided that I needed to take action. By adapting the techniques and therapies that I use to help my clients, I formulated a plan that would help me to deal with the symptoms of the menopause. The results were amazing, I felt back in control of my body and my life. I then started to share my knowledge with other menopausal women, who also had the same amazing results.
This helpful informative guide is a straightforward look at the menopause and how it can be managed. There is practical advice on diet, exercise, relaxation and sleep, which will help create a new you. It also includes a free hypnosis audio, 'How to beat the menopause’ which will help you to feel relaxed and control the symptoms of the menopause.
At the moment there is a lot in the media about how awful it is when going through the menopause. I am a strong believer in the fact that you get what you focus on. Women have always had to deal with the menopause and in some cultures they do not even have a word for menopause! These culture see being an older woman as an honour and a privilege. Discover now that with the right knowledge, taking action and listening to ‘How to beat the menopause’ you will experience positive changes in your life. This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, grab it with both hands and embrace it!
For a FREE 'Introduction to relaxation' hypnosis audio follow me on Facebook
Do you struggle getting to sleep?
Do you find it hard to sleep through the night?
Do you find it difficult to get the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are not alone! More and more people are finding they can not get the sleep they need and due to this their health is suffering.
I have helped many clients overcome problems of not being able to get a good night’s sleep. We all have the odd night that we can’t sleep or have periods in our lives that sleep is more difficult (i.e. a new baby). However some people just don’t know what it's like to fall asleep when their head hits the pillow and have 8 hours sleep! Also many people find they can initially get to sleep, but wake up in the middle of the night and just can't get back to sleep.
Sleep is really important to functioning properly and feeling ourselves. The effects of sleep deprivation can be:
• Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
• Moodiness and irritability
• Inability to cope with stress
• Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
• Concentration and memory problems
• Weight gain
• Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
• Difficulty making decisions
• Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems
Hypnotherapy can help you relax and have a good night’s sleep you yearn for. Especially if you are stressed or your mind works overtime as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Nevertheless there are things you can do to help yourself get a good night's sleep:
1. Stick to a schedule. Sticking to a schedule allows your body to set its internal rhythm so your body knows it time to sleep and you consistently get enough sleep every night. Also, make sure you try to keep the same schedule on weekends too; otherwise it will disrupt your internal rhythm.
2. Sleep only at night. Avoid daytime sleep if possible. Daytime naps steal hours from nighttime slumber. If you need to take a nap limit daytime sleep to a 20-minute power nap.
3. Exercise. It’s well known that exercise helps you sleep better. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure not to exercise too late in the evening. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bedtime may make falling asleep more difficult.
4. Taking a hot shower or bath before bed helps bring on sleep because they can relax tense muscles.
5. Avoid eating just before bed. Give yourself at least 2 hours from when you eat to when you sleep. This allows digestion to happen (or at least start) well before you go to sleep so your body can rest well during the night, rather than churning away your food.
6. Avoid caffeine. It keeps you awake and that’s not what you want for a good nights sleep. Also if you drink alcohol, keep it to one drink. As one relaxes you, more will stimulate your system and keep you awake.
7. Read a book. It takes you to a whole new world if you really get into a really good book. Then you can take some time to ponder over the book as you fall asleep.
8. Have your bedroom slightly cooler. Do not have your room too warm as this encourages you to wake. Our inner clock wakes when it’s warmer and lighter (i.e. morning).
9. De-clutter your bedroom. Your bedroom should be clutter free and a calming environment. Your bedroom is for sleeping, so no phones, upbeat music or TV.
10. If you can’t sleep don’t worry about it. If you are just lying in bed tossing and turning, don’t get annoyed with yourself. Try getting up for a little while, then going back to bed. Maybe the time you go to bed is too early for you. Some people are larks and others are owls. If you can’t sleep and you may be going to bed earlier and earlier as you are tired. However if you are a night owl this will make it even harder to go to sleep.
One of the important things is not to label yourself as a person who has problems sleeping, the more you do this the more your conscious and unconscious will believe it. Remember you are what you think! Also you used to sleep, so there is no reason why you can't sleep through the night again. You need to relax and not worry about not sleeping.
Hypnotherapy is total relaxation of the mind and body, therefore it is extremely helpful with aiding sleep. I also teach my clients self hypnosis, which is a great tool if you are prone to waking during the night.
If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy can help you get the night's sleep you can only dream of or to arrange a free initial consultation please contact me on 07875 652338. Alternatively email me at email@example.com
I've been a full time hypnotherapist and mind coach for over 10 years. My unique approach to therapy is client centred and I aim to educate and empower my clients to enable them to make positive choices and changes in their lives.