Worry less, do more, 5 things to stop worrying about now

Dont worryMy mum came over to for lunch today and we had a really interesting conversation about positivity. When things go wrong, however hard they may be my mum has an amazing capability to not lose her head and keep moving towards her goals. I asked her how she did this and her answer was simple ‘I don’t worry about what I can’t control and use my energy to change the things I can control’, Everywhere we turn these days, people are urging us to worry, children being snatched from the streets, the global recession, global warming, the obesity epidemic – the list is endless. These things can be internalised to ‘how can I protect my child?’, ‘is my job safe?’, ‘should I be recycling more?’ and ‘maybe I should drop a few pounds?’. There are many areas in which we need encouragement, but worrying is not one of them.

Why You Keep Worrying

You have mixed feelings about your worries. On one hand, your worries are bothering you – you can’t sleep, and you can’t get these pessimistic thoughts out of your head. But there is a way that these worries make sense to you. For example, you think:

  • Maybe I’ll find a solution.
  • I don’t want to overlook anything.
  • If I keep thinking a little longer, maybe I’ll figure it out.
  • I don’t want to be surprised.
  • I want to be responsible.

You have a hard time giving up on your worries because, in a sense, your worries have been working for you.

Source: The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.

But worrying is worrisome: It’s stressful, and as we all know, stress can kill you. I worry about that a lot! So lets stop the worry and decide on five things we can officially stop worrying about today.

1. Your to do list

“If I can just finish this piece of work,” we say to ourselves, “I can stop worrying.” We say this every time we start a new piece of work. No matter how much work we finish, by the time it’s done we’re fixating on the next thing on the to do list. But we need to stop that we need to enjoy the experience and what we are learning from what we do. Don’t worry about it – just spend the energy getting that task done. Being alive means that we have things to do, let it go.You may be thinking, “I can’t just cut my worrying loose! It isn’t under my control!” I empathize with this argument. I also know it’s rubbish. To stop worrying about something, simply direct your attention toward something else. Take yourself away from the situation, make a cup of tea, have a walk, write a blog…

2. Your looks

Although the beauty industry tell us differently your looks are something that’s basically genetic. Stressing about them only deepens the facial creases that make everyone in your family resemble raisins after the age of 70. Key phrase: everyone in your family.  Instead of obsessing over your own appearance, try noticing—and mentioning—lovely things about everyone else. This will make people attracted to you, which, last time I checked, is what most of us are hoping to achieve by worrying about our looks in the first place.

3. Mess

The trick here is learning to reframe your perspective. For example, my friend always covers her furniture in cheap throws to avoid spills and stains from her children. One of the children recently said, “Mummy, you don’t need to worry about us spilling. Spills are just memories.” If you’d rather live surrounded by pristine objects than by the traces of happy memories, stay focused on tangible things. Otherwise, stop fixating on stuff you can touch and start caring about stuff that touches you.

4. The Past

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today’s a gift, that’s why they call it the present.”

You can’t change the past  – live for today – why would you do anything else?

5. What other people think

We all worry what people think about us—until we decide not to waste the energy. Think 5 years ahead – will you really care about what your colleagues think about what you are doing today – surely not? Let it go and start doing what you want not what you think someone else wants. So go on give it go – stop worrying and see what happens, what new goals you achieve – there are a few quotes below to keep you inspired…

“How would your life be different if…You stopped worrying about things you can’t control and started focusing on the things you can? Let today be the day…You free yourself from fruitless worry, seize the day and take effective action on things you can change.”
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

Why worry?

“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous. (quoted by Carol Lynn Pearson in Consider the Butterfly)”
― Deepak ChopraSynchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles

“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.”
― Winifred GallagherRapt: Attention and the Focused Life

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Change, Confidence, Creativity, Family, Goals, positivity, Time Saving, Work, working mum

What do you want to be?

I hear a lot of people talking about what they don’t want to do but not many people can clearly articulate what they do want to do either. I believe getting closer to your true passion  starts with understanding more about yourself.  It can also help you to understand how you can perform better in your current situation. There are 3 personality tests below that will help you get closer to understating who you are, how you are perceived by others and what you can improve. This gives a quick guide to compare them at a glance. These test are also great for understanding how you work in teams and I often use them for building and managing teams.

The quick and free one

This animal types test is a very simple, freely accessible test that give you a quick output. The results of this quiz will help you understand how you come across to others, what your communication strengths are and how you can flex your style to relate better to other people. I’m manly Lion with a bit of monkey which gives a pretty spot-on summary description of strengths and weakness:

Strengths: Independent, Goal-orientated, Decisive

Weaknesses: Aggressive, Impatient, Intolerant

Try it for yourself…


The one that tells you how you thrive

The Kolbe A Index measures a person’s instinctive method of operation (MO), and identifies the ways he or she will be most productive. It need only be taken once, since these innate abilities do not change over time. For me, as a 4394 it said that I my ideal job would allow me to innovate new ideas and tackle a variety of challenges which is very accurate. I’m currently on a rotational leadership programme so it’s helped me think about what job I should do next. Take the test here: https://www.kolbe.com/index.cfmcircuit=QPDGateway&routeId=39

The most well-known one

Myers Briggs is one of the most well know personality typing

Myers Brigstests. Using their online test you can find out your type and how knowing more about it can help you in communicating with people, planning your future, and even getting to know yourself better. This is the test of used most throughout my career and on my MBA, mainly through facilitated sessions. It’s useful because it’s quite in-depth and lots of people know their type. I’m an ENTJ – life’s natural leaders and the same as Margaret Thatcher !

Take the test here https://www.mbticomplete.com/en/index.aspx and find out celebrities that share your type here http://www.celebritytypes.com.

At different stages of me life these test have helped me to understand myself, my colleagues and even my family. They are a very useful starting point for getting to know yourself better and working out your next step for career and life plans.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Change, Confidence, Goals, Home, Work, working mum

5 timesavers I swear by when every minute counts

Finding time to do all of the things you want and achieve your goals is hard. After going More ideas than timeback to work from maternity I found it even harder. There are a few things that save me time that at I would really recommend.

1. Getting a cleaner

Its an indulgence I know but I hate cleaning in a big way and my cleaners are worth every penny. Thomas Cleaning in Cheltenham have been cleaning our house for over a year now and I would highly recommend them. They can do a regular clean but they also do a great deep clean service which will spring clean your abode from top to bottom. The little things they do really make a difference like emptying all the bins and my most favourite part is coming home after a long days work to a freshly made bed.

2. Having your dry cleaning picked up and delivered

Washing done in Cheltenham will come to you house pick up your dry cleaning and hand washing and return it fresh, clean and pressed a few days later. It just makes life that little bit easier by not having to lug a pile of clothes to and from a shop and the service is always very friendly and very quick

3. Giving up the GHDs

I have crazy unruly curly hair that I used to straighten within an inch of it’s life on a daily basis. When I had the baby I just didn’t have the time for that 30 minutes of daily hair styling so now I go natural. I thought I’d really miss my sleek look but living with my hair as nature inteneded isn’t all bad. Its extremely quick – I just leave it to dry and I do get compliments about being lucky to have curly locks. When it comes to hair I think people always want what they can’t have, but at 30 minutes a day, that’s 3 and half hours a week or 182 hours (7 and half days) a year – I’ll go with curly!

4. A no brainer work wardrobe

By having a few key pieces in my wardrobe that I know will look great, it means that on days where I don’t have time to think about what I am going to wear, I know exactly what to reach for. For me its a couple of suits from Hobbs and some lovely LK Bennett dresses. I also invest in my shoes, and accessories so that the finishing touches make me feel fabulous too.

5. Reading on the run

I just don’t seem to have time to read books any more. I’ve never been a great fiction reader but I do love a good business, lifestyle or self development book. So to feed my habit I listen to audiobooks on my commute to work. What would have been dead time turns into constructive time and by the time I get to work I feel like I’ve learnt something new. iTunes have a great selection although I wish more publishes would release on audio so you could access every book this way.

I can’t pretend I don’t still end up running late, rushing to get my son to nursery or leaving the house without forgetting anything but goodness only knows what it would be like without my timesavers. And I’m pretty sure there would be no way I would be writing this blog!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Change, Cheltenham, Confidence, Goals, Home, Rest & Relaxation, Time Saving, Work, working mum

Making your dreams come (a little bit) true

In life, success begins with a goal whether it be losing weight, getting a new job or moving house. According to Frank Niles Ph.D, a performance improvement specialist, before we can believe in a goal, we first must have an idea of what it looks like. To paraphrase the old adage: we must see it before we can believe it. This is where visualisation comes in, which is simply a technique for creating a mental image of a future event. When we visualise our desired outcome, we begin to “see” the possibility of achieving it.

I have used visualisations in the past, one of was is to imagine my future self and what my life would look like. I enjoyed doing this but today took it one step further.

One of the things I would really like to change is to live closer to where I work in Bristol. I love living in Cheltenham but I also think we could have a wonderful life in Bristol. We can’t really move for another year until we have finished saving and our fixed rate mortgage is finished. I’ve been finding it really hard to keep doing the commute as takes 60-90 minutes each way. Rather than just visualising it I thought it would be more powerful to take it to the next level and actually going and spend the day in Bristol thinking what it might be like to live there.

We started the day by driving around some of the areas we would like to live in – Cotham & Redland. We saw some wonderful houses and one in Redland that would tick all of our boxes – off street parking, 4 bedrooms, a garden and near a school.  It’s only a dream for now and outside of our budget but maybe if I keep working hard…

Dream House

Dream House

We spent the rest of the day mooching around Clifton. We had a lovely lunch at Cote Bistro, which serves very reasonably priced French cuisine and was an easy place to take our 15 month son. We then walked around the shops and down to a beautiful view of the Clifton suspension bridge. I love the period architecture and just taking it all in. It was a beautifully sunny day and we finished up with afternoon tea at Clifton Lido. This amazing Lido has a spa, bar and restaurant and is such a special place to visit. My favourite part is the poolside cafe bar with its huge retractable windows, which come rain or shine is open early for breakfast and coffees. Today the sun was shining and I couldn’t think of a better place to be.

I know every day can’t be like this but I’d settle for a day like this every now and then! Today gave me renewed enthusiasm for my goal to move to Bristol. The memories of today will help get me though the daily commute and keep me focussed on where we want to get to.

You could try this for goals you have. If you want to set up your own business commit a day to acting out as if you already have. If you want to be more relaxed – take out time for a spa day. If you want to loose weight go and buy something in your target size as an inspiration. Make it real in whatever small way you can.

Visualising Goals

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Experiences, Family, Fun, Goals, Home, Rest & Relaxation, Uncategorized

Let’s celebrate!

Achieve your goals

Well my little blog is only a few days old but for me that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate.

I’d been thinking about doing this for a long time and its only now I’ve taken action. So what took me so long?  I guess partly fear as I didn’t know what people would think or whether it would be any good. But now I’ve started it doesn’t matter – its just an achievement getting started. We can get too worried about achieving something perfect when the best thing is to really just get going.

I listened to an audiobook recently that really helped with my thinking on this, its called learning to avoid the gap. At the most basic level it describes two types of people:

1. Those who measure themselves in terms of how far they have come, recognising all of the small achievements they have made

2. Those who measure their achievements against their progress to their goals which can be ultimately unrealistic and unachievable

Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals, our goals are there to inspire us and motivate us. It just means that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we haven’t reached them yet, we should invest our limited resources in making the small steps and celebrating the progress we have made. Its very simple but for me very profound.

As a self confessed perfectionist I’ve spent most of my life measuring myself against an ideal future state. Although this means I have been incredibly successful on many levels but at times unhappy when I feel I have fallen short. I’ve realised its time to start taking a different perspective. I don’t think that it will make me any less successful but I hope that will lead to a perspective that is more rewarding and satisfying.


Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Confidence, Creativity, Experiences, Family, Friends, Fun, Goals, Love

What do I want to be?

Sometimes I find it really hard just to figure out what I want to do. A good way to start thinking about your goals is to start creating a goals mood board. This will help you visualise what you want from different ares of your life.

You will need

  • A large sheet of card (approx A3)
  • Some coloured pens
  • A stack of your favourite magazines
  • Paper Glue
  • About an hour of free time

These are the steps I took to create mine.

1. Identify the areas that are important in your life and you want to create goals for. Draw these in the centre of a sheet of A3 card. For my areas I used:

  • Love
  • Home
  • Work
  • Friends
  • Fun
  • Family
  • Rest & Relaxation
  • Money
  • Experiences
  • Health & Fitness
  • Creativity
  • Confidence

Next to each areas you can make notes of what this means for you.

2. Go through the magazine and find images that link to your goals.

3. Stick the images around the card to build up a beautiful view of how you want your life to be.

4. Hang the mood board somewhere prominent to inspire you every day – I’m really loving looking at mine. Talking it through with my husband also helped him to understand what’s important to me.

Goals Mood Board - what do I want to be

Goals Mood Board

5. Keep adding to you board as you find things you like.

…the next step will be to create an action plan for each area to get from where you are to where you want to be – but you’ll have to wait for that!

Posted in Confidence, Creativity, Experiences, Family, Friends, Fun, Goals, Health & Fitness, Home, Love, Money, Rest & Relaxation, Work

It all starts here

Time to dreamI’m a person who believes in dreaming, I love setting goals and reaching them and learning how to do it better. I recently read a quote as part of a careers article. ‘See your ‘career’ as one of creating joyful life experience. You are a creator and the subject of your creation is your joyful life experience. That is your mission. That is your quest, that is why you are here’.

My quest is helping people to achieve their goals. I want to spend my life working on that mission, making it fun and inspiring through a process of identification, planning, action and review. Whether helping people face to face, through my blog or the tools I can provide that is what I want to do. I also have goals of my own, ones that I have achieved, ones that I am working on and also future aspirations. In fact this blog is one of them. By sharing these and talking about them I hope that it will provide learning for others and for myself. I’m not even quite sure yet of how I achieve my quest but I want to start working out a way to get there and I want to take you with me. Today is the day it starts – with this blog and a commitment to keep going and doing!

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Confidence, Creativity, Experiences, Friends, Fun, Goals, Work

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,239 other followers

Follow me on Twitter
%d bloggers like this: