7 Easy Steps To Become More POSITIVE:

December 4, 2012

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Have you ever noticed how a negative thought can snowball into a huge problem? It’s as if a tiny snowball was being rolled along the ground and before too long you have a huge ball big enough to be a snowman’s body?

Negative thoughts can grow and fast become out of control. Positive thoughts on the other hand can grow and become powerfully motivating. So, how do you become a positive thinker?

1. JUST DO IT! Maybe you’re thinking it’s just not that simple Sarah…. And I’ll say ‘It Could Be! If it doesn’t feel natural to you to begin with, keep practising until it becomes second nature. Positive people are in the habit of being positive so by doing a little bit each day you get your own snowball of positivity building. Start each day with a positive thought. Write it down and carry it with you for the day, looking at it frequently. If you’re stuck for ideas go to: http://tinybuddha.com/wisdom-quotes/

2. Turn off the news and the depressing soaps. If you hear more negativity than positivity it will get you down. It will lower your energy levels. You wouldn’t allow anyone to follow you day in and day out complaining and filling your head with doom and gloom so don’t allow that in. YOU have the on/off switch. YOU buy the newspaper. YOU have control.

3. Positive People Mix with people who love life and who focus on the possibilities not the limitations… People who see the glass as half full, or who believe it’s about to be topped up!

4. Banish negative chatter. I don’t just mean the gossip you hear around the coffee machine at work, I mean the stuff that’s going on in your head. The voice that dwells on the ‘what ifs’ everytime you consider the future, and the what ifs become so scary it paralyses you from action.

Start to notice this happening and STOP! Find a positive thought to replace it with and smile to yourself…. Smiling helps J

5. Feed your brainRead something positive, uplifting, and empowering daily! Short of ideas? See my list of favourite books from around the world: http://sarahspositivethoughts.wordpress.com/resources/

or follow a positive blog such as my friend Kelvin Ringold  at http://intenselypositive.com

6. Good Samaritan – do something nice for someone! Even if its just acknowledging someone at the cash desk at the bank or supermarket…. Or opening a door for someone…. Or just a smile. They’ll feel good and you will too.

7. Play your song. You know – the one that always makes you feel good. We’ve all got one! One of my favourites is Nina Simone singing Ain’t Got No – I Got Life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNZGoaAn7wU&feature=fvst

Find yours, or borrow mine, and listen to it first thing in the morning — on your way to work would be fantastic — on your way home or while you prepare supper. You will feel good!

So that’s great, you’re now positive!Well, you will be by the end of 21 days. Research has shown that in order to form a habit we need to do it for 21 days. So give it a go and within a month, I promise, your world will have changed.


How to Live life With Passion

July 19, 2011

I’m so excited! The summer holidays are nearly upon us. There’s a sense of expectation in the air as the children enjoy their last days of school before the long holidays and my thoughts have turned to my own childhood – despite what my children say I can still remember that far back!!

…I would feel positively euphoric knowing all routine and homework would cease for a 6week period
…The expectation of sun, sea and surf…. building castles out of sand or reading a book uninterrupted from cover to cover.
…New places to explore, people to meet, foods to taste, adventures to be had…
And I’m left wondering what happened to that feeling of carefree abandon that as a child I so naively took for granted and flaunted? As I watch my children I realise that I’m finally the adult who gets to choose how things are done, where we go, and what we do. How I coveted that position, when doing something ‘because I said so’ would mean that I’d chosen it!
I’m now all grown up and I want the magic back!
 So this summer I’m going to be a child again. I’m not going to be the one making all the decisions, but neither will I be doing all the cooking, shopping or cleaning. I intend to get in touch with the child in me and have some good old-fashioned fun…. look out Portugal, you have been warned!
 I will be bottling my new found energy, enthusiasm and zest for life … the one that no matter what the weather, says hooray, today is the first day of the rest of my life.

 The 5 minute challenge

 The 5 minute challenge this month is to recapture the child in you…. the one that lives with passion, who doesn’t dampen every dream with ‘yes but’ …. the one that knows how to have fun. After all, what value is there to life if it’s not fun?
 So, armed with pen and paper, take a trip with me down memory lane, let your mind wander back to your happiest childhood memories and describe them in detail: where you were, what you did, how you felt, your hopes and expectations at that time…
 Make the memory bigger and brighter, allowing yourself to really feel the laughter, the happiness, the expectations…
What can you do this summer to put you back in touch with those feelings?
If you enjoyed painting, then paint again. It doesn’t have to be a work of art….just fun! If you enjoyed dancing, join a class or just throw a party. If its sandcastles you’re after go to the beach…. or do some clay modelling at home and enjoy the feel of the different texture and the creativity…
 Drop me a line here or on http://twitter.com/coach2inspire and let’s see what the summer unleashes….
Rediscover the child in you and live life with passion!
Have a great summer
Sarah

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2125


If we learn from mistakes, why are we frightened of making them?

June 9, 2011

Ok…I’m back blogging  by special request, after a period of hibernation ( thank you Claire )
I came a cross this question which made me stop and think, as I do from time to
time, and I thought it important enough to come back and  pose the question on my blog! Why
are we so afraid to make mistakes?

As the well known saying reassures us, mistakes are the very things
we learn from, right? Like teachers, lecturers, parents even, … and we
happily seek out their opinion, so why the fear surrounding mistakes? What is
it about getting something wrong that paralyses us so much that we fail to risk
doing something?

It’s really amazing to think that most of the modern day
inventions that we all take for granted in our day to day living, like the lap
top,computer or i-phone you’re reading this on ,would never have been invented
if the inventor had  been afraid of failure. By getting things wrong the
product was tweaked and modified, and will continue to do so, to bring us the
optimum in technology.

So, the 5 minute challenge of the day is to ask yourself:

If you knew that you would be a better person after making a
mistake, what would you dare to do?

Where is fear of failure holding you back in your life?

What would you do today if there was only success at the end
of it?

Set yourself the task of collecting a failure a week…
really! It’s amazing what you can achieve, and failing is so much more difficult
than you imagined!!

Have a good week!

Sarah

photography thanks to graur codrin:
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=982


Do you truly love your life?

September 4, 2010

It’s the end of the summer holidays and life is, once again, returning to its normal ebb and flow. The children have returned to school, excited about seeing their friends again and full of the enthusiasm that only a fresh blank text book can inspire. It was while I was thinking about the patterns that our lives take that I came across this video and wanted to share it with you:

It made me think…It made me ask questions of myself…It made me want to dance in the rain barefoot …

Sometimes we just accept the pattern our life has acquired, without questioning if it’s what we really want. How often do we ask ourselves…’do I really love my life?’ Change isn’t easy on our own. And sharing our dreams with others is often harder still because we fear being laughed at or talked out of it.. so we keep it as a dream, locked away in a dark corner of our mind.

But what if we could lighten up, risk free-falling a bit and allow ourselves to explore wherever that may take us.

I’ve worked with clients from all over the world who’ve done just that. They have taken that leap of faith to follow their heart, explore new ideas and to shift their focus onto what they truly desire. Their self belief and bravery to take that first step to change has been truly inspirational and I’d like to acknowledge their courage here… you know who you are!

5-Minute Challenge

My challenge to you all this week is to watch the video and make a note of the unanswered questions in your life. What are your fears? Where are your self-limiting beliefs holding you back? How could a more positive attitude, support and encouragement help you live the life you love?

I’ll leave you with  the words of Martin Luther King ‘ You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just the first step.’

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

May smiles fill your day…

Sarah


How to live without ageing

August 18, 2010

Inspired by a quote a friend sent me recently I’ve been exploring the concept of age and why we use it as an excuse to place self limiting beliefs on ourselves ( thank you my friend, you know who you are):

‘youth is not entirely a time of life…it is a state of mind. It is not wholly a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips or supple knees. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your self confidence, as old as your fears, as young as your hope and as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope cheer and courage… you are young. When the wires are all down and your heart is covered by the snows of pessimism, and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, have you grown old.’ Author unknown

30 – Minute Challenge

Let’s take this opportunity to do a life check, to stop and assess our age not in terms of years but in terms of outlook so that we can understand which stage of our journey we’ve reached and ask ‘is this where I want to be?’ After all, if it’s a state of mind we’re after we can be any age we choose – it’ll just take some mind work! How hard can it be?!

1. Take a few minutes to think about the age you would like to be. This should be a time when you had/have/will have the wisdom to understand yourself, the confidence to be who you are and the imagination to see and enthusiasm to experience the possibilities life has to offer.

If the answers don’t come straight away don’t force them.. put the idea to the back of your mind and allow your sub-conscious to find the response that’s right for you. Then choose a time when you can be alone, relax and let the answers bubble to the surface in their own time. You might be surprised by what you discover….

2. Take a piece of paper and  write ‘I am (your chosen age)’:

Now, writing in the past, present of future as appropriate write down your thoughts, hopes and aspirations for yourself. Don’t bother with punctuation or spelling, just let the words flow. Often when I do this sort of exercise I have difficulty starting so just write whatever I’m thinking until my thoughts calm down and my true self can speak without censorship e.g mine looked something like this:…. ‘I really have no idea what I’m going to write but I’ll just keep writing and maybe the brain I’m supposed to have will start working and… oh.. the number 42 has popped into my mind..that’s interesting.. i like the feel of that …so what does 42 represent to me.. I guess my life will be at the stage when I feel…’ etc….yippee, I have focus and it’s beginning to come! You get the idea anyway so give it a go and see what comes up for you.

3. The next stage of the exercise is to see how your written thoughts compare with the way your life is at the moment. Make a list of areas of the main differences, currently I think ‘x’ and I want to think ‘y’. Eg: I currently think ‘to be successful I have to live in the fast lane’ and I want to think ‘success means having balance and peace in my life’.

 4. For each of these write down 3 positive statements for thinking ‘y’.

e.g  When I feel at peace my problems pale away

        When I feel at peace those around me feel calm and the atmosphere becomes energised and positive

         When I feel at peace I get more done because I’m more efficient.

5. The final stage is, of course, to write down 3 actions for each change that you want to bring about…. and do it! Keep it simple and achievable.

e.g:  To help me find more balance and inner peace:

         I will play more uplifting and calming music (easy and achievable)

         I will say ‘no’ more often to create more ‘me’ time (should be easy but is often not…I’ll  work on this one!)

         I will light candles and relax in the bath before bed ( love this one, easy and achievable – will buy more candles!)

When you’ve completed this for each change that you want to bring about just pick 3-4 actions and commit to doing them every day for the next 28 days. There is a magic in repetition. It creates a habit and then you will rapidly notice the difference this will make to your life and the changes you wish to make. Next month you can add to these but to succeed I’d suggest starting with just a few.

 

Now, I know there’ll be some of you resisting committing anything to paper. Firstly I’d urge you to try it…. You can even burn it afterwards!! But if you still resist… I really am reading your mind now!… then the one thing I would ask is that you re-read the quote at the start and identify your own messages of hope and inner beauty so that you can feed your own ageless inner confidence and keep it alive and vibrant. This will enable you to look beyond the limitations of your own personal perimeter fence and take advantage of the possibilities unfolding in front of you.

Life is full of possibilities… explore, discover, enjoy!

Have fun being your chosen age…. and if it’s not fun, just choose another one!

Sarah

photography by:

healingdream:
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=989


Life’s lessons…. the first 7 that come to mind anyway!

July 16, 2010

Mmm…. Interesting title. I can’t possibly imagine that I’ve yet learnt enough to earn the right  to commit these to print…. but I’ve decided to write what I believe I have learnt to date. As my first baby is soon to flee the nest, not so much flee as ask for a lift to the station to spend a few weeks at university before coming home at the end of term, but it feels like a pivotal point and started me on a reflection of what words of wisdom I’d like to impart.

So, this is for my children so that they may shorten the learning curve and start where I am now, giving you many years to learn so much more than me… that should appeal !

  1. Be yourself, everyone else is taken. You have been given this life. It will have it’s fair share of adventure, heartache, fun, excitement, love and laughter but remember to have fun. If you’re not happy then do something about it. Take responsibility for your life, and change the things you don’t like. It is not someone elses fault if you are unhappy. It’s just the way you have chosen to react to a situation.
  2. Everyone sees life from their own perspective… this doesn’t make them either right or wrong, it just is. They have as much right to these views as you do of yours. If you had lived their life you may well have come to the same conclusion. Respect their views, and always be curious so that you can expand yours.
  3. Take time to observe. Sometimes we are so busy living our day to day lives and doing what you’d call ‘stuff’ that we forget to step out for a minute or two and take time to observe ourselves, dispassionately, to see if we like who we are, who we are becoming, and where our current path is taking us. We have a choice and are always in charge of our own destiny. When you step out to be the observer rather than the main player you can see life is full of possibilities – all you need to do is choose.
  4. Your Grandmother was a firm believer that ‘there’s no such word as can’t’. Because I was a contrary child I made it my mission to prove her wrong. I now realise, too late to tell her unfortunately, that she was right. If there’s something you want to do, know that you can. This needs some thinking about as your first reaction will be that ‘ I can’t just be the Prime Minister though can I?!’ But take a while to think about it. If you had a passion to be the PM, and you thought it was possible, what would you do first. You’d join a political party, you’d volunteer to help in campaigns, you’d get noticed, you’d speak at conference, you’d stand for parliament yourself eventually.. soon it no longer seems a childish dream but a real possibility. The key is to find your passion and to follow it – by taking the first step, and then when you’ve achieved that, the second. Of course you are at liberty to adjust your passion as you go through life. It needs to be what the label says, and not a noose around your neck. You’ll feel energised and happy when you’re following a true passion and doing it to fulfil your own life.
  5. Practise humility. This word has been done a huge disservice over the years, and the dictionary ‘s definition implies meekness and timidity. I’m using it here as possibly the most powerful lesson yet. By assuming others know more than you, that they have a valid contribution to make and that you can learn from them allows you to put away the ego, turn on the beginners mind and approach anything with an open curiosity, eager to learn and with nothing to prove. From this position there is no fear about defending a fragile position, your growth is accelerated and as you expand you will bring others with you. It is one of the most important lessons and practiced by great leaders. Ask questions, seek information, and allow others to reveal their greatness to you – they will gladly follow.
  6. Value your energy. So often in life we find ourselves in jobs that leave us feeling tired and drained, or in relationships which do the same. Find what energises you, what excites you and leaves you feeling fulfilled and full of energy. Never allow yourself to take this for granted or just give it away. Passion, living with heart and soul if you like, is a key to happiness.
  7. Love yourself. Not in the strutting in front of the mirror hair gel sort of way (!) but in an unconditional all encompassing sort of way. If you can’t love yourself you cannot love another. This principle involves a total acceptance and understanding of who you are, your values, strength and a sense of purpose. If you can live with integrity, knowing you are living in a way that upholds all the above, you have love to give away. Forgive yourself when you fall, we are only human after all, and realise that others don’t necessarily share your values and will have a value system of their own. Respect that and accept that they too may fail at times. We are all, after all, on life’s journey together and can learn from each other.

So, there we have it.. the first seven life lessons. Maybe I’ll add more before the youngest flees the nest, but this seems a reasonable start…..

5 minute challenge:

What are the first 7 life lessons that come to mind when you think of passing on your wisdom to the next generation? Challenge yourself to spend a few minutes jotting these down and then question how well you live up to them yourself. What adjustments do you want to make in your life to live with heart and soul so that you’re making the most of your life. If you’re interested in doing further exploratory work on this subject take a look at http://headheartandsoul.wordpress.com .

This and other articles make up  a Life Lessons Series which have been put together by the very talented and inspirational blogger Abubakar Jamil. You can follow the series by clicking on:  http://www.abubakarjamil.com/life-lessons-series/

Thanks for reading. Please let me know any ideas you have on the subject and add some life lessons of your own in the comment box.

Warmest wishes,

Sarah

photography by luigi diamanti:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=879


Are you a good communicator?

June 21, 2010

We all communicate daily, through more than one medium, and yet do we ever stop to ask ourselves whether we are doing it well?

Have you ever noticed how a simple email can be read with humour, frustration, happiness, exasperation, blame or just neutrally depending on the mood you’re in when you read it? Texts too can be equally difficult, as anybody with teenagers knows. They also carry the added complication of abbreviations and teen speak, a language specially designed to confuse so that they are always misunderstood and have licence to do as they wish because ‘they did tell us, we were just too old and stupid to understand!’

In my opinion emails and texts are fine for gentle reminders or confirming arrangements but when it comes to meaningful idea-sharing communication there is only one way forward and that’s through a good old fashioned conversation, preferably face-to-face…. I really am becoming such a technophobe!

What makes a good verbal communicator?

Well, as I see it

  1. Language that the other person understands and built-in check points to assess whether what you are saying is being understood…… question them to ensure clear understanding and paraphrase or repeat it in a different way if you need to clarify.
  2. A sensitive tone, intonation and pace, checking in with the listener from time to time to ensure not only that your words are being heard, but that their meaning is being understood.
  3. Body language. Is the way you are standing or sitting in line with what are you trying to say? Are you looking intimidating, relaxed, confident, open?
  4. Are you allowing the other person enough time to respond? Is there a balance to the conversation so that they have the opportunity to speak while you listen… or are you lecturing, hammering home your point until they submit and wave the white flag?
  5. Is what you’re saying interesting? If it’s not of interest to you it’s guaranteed not to be of interest to anyone else. Make sure there’s a point to what you have to say and if you see those tell tale signs of losing interest ( especially if it’s a full-on-drive-a-bus-in yawn ) quit before they nod off!
  6. Weave the thread. Continuity is key to a good communication. Link what you are saying to the listeners comments or views shared earlier in the conversation.
  7. Be versatile: If the other person doesn’t seem to ‘get it’ don’t repeat it the same way only louder! Try and use questions to understand where the break down in communication is happening and explain your point in a different way.
  8. Never try to explain things to someone when they’re angry. When all they can see is red they are not receptive. Your words will fall on stoney ground and you’re better off calmly saying ‘ I can’t talk to you when you’re angry. We’ll continue this conversation later when we’re both calm’….. and walk away.
  9. Be interested not just interesting. Give the other person a chance to speak and be genuinely interested in what they are saying. Ask questions, add comments and smile.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something. You cannot communicate your point if you’ve not understood theirs. It’s not a sign of ignorance, it’s filling the gaps in communication.

5-minute challenge

Where is communication causing you problems in your life?

Could better communication stop the misunderstandings, irritations and arguments occurring?

What can you do differently to communicate your feelings?

Choose one area of conflict and write down 3 key messages you would like to communicate. Leave blame and anger out. If you cannot, then leave it until you feel calmer. What do you want to say in a neutral way to express yourself?

Often sentences that follow this formula serve us best in taking the heat and blame out of a conversation:

‘When you say/do…………………… I feel …………..’

‘What I want from you is………………….’

In this way there is no blame attached. It is just simple fact.

Notice your communication style this week and measure it against the 10 points above.

 

Have a great week of communicating.

Cheers

Sarah

Photo by Salvatore Vuono:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659


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