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The party season has come to a close and as we enter a new year the January blues can strike, weighing you down like a lead balloon. Your inner critic can pop up telling you about all the things you need to change and pointing out everything that is wrong with you. But maybe this year instead of letting that happen make 2017 a time where you practice some self care and work on that inner critic that we all have.

My inner critic used to keep me up at night constantly whispering in my ear that I wasn’t good enough. There were days I felt like a fraud in my business sitting in a room full of models and not feeling up to scratch. But no matter who we are or what we do we all have days and moments like this its simply part of being human.

What I have realized is that we all have an inner critic but how much room you allow it in your head is up to you. I allowed my critic to build extensions and manicured lawns and get far too comfortable in there. This inner harshness as I like to call it is really just a habit that you have worked hard on so now its time to create a new habit and take over his palatial palace with positive behavioral patterns that will force your inner critic to sell up and move out or at least just occupy the smallest bedroom in your house.

So how do you get good at something? Well you practice it right? Remember sports, dancing, music and all your other activities when you were young. You had to work at them and practice before you became good at them. Some people have a natural ability to be more positive and kinder to themselves just like some people are naturally sporty or musical but for the majority of us we need to work at it.

Practicing self-compassion and kindness can be difficult for a lot of people especially since as westerners we are taught that self-care is selfish. We have jumbled this message up and it has cost us dearly. Low self esteem, depression, anxiety and stress are at an all time high and they are just some of the side effects of little or no self-care. If you don’t give to yourself first how can you give to others? It’s like getting into a car that has no petrol every day and expecting it to run perfectly. This is what we do to ourselves every day and it madness. So start filling your tank with good quality fuel and help it to run to the best of its ability.

SELF LOVE, REFLECTION, NEW YEAR, 2017, JANUARY, INNER CRITICHere are my top 5 tips for stopping the madness and cultivating some kindness and compassion for yourself. Be careful though as it works and you might end up liking yourself, having more self-esteem and even loving life!

 

  1. STOP-CATCH-CHANGE
  • This is a technique I developed a few years ago and its works great. (FIND IT IN MY BOOK HERE)
  • The essence of this practice is to swap a negative thought for a nicer one. Becoming aware is the key so each time you catch yourself with a negative thought about yourself: stop it, catch it and change it for a new one.
  • I have great fun with this even using my hands as actions to drive the message home deeper to myself.
  1. WRITE A LIST OF LIKES
  • This can be a difficult one for a lot of people but stick with it. Write down three things you like about yourself and then about your body.
  • If you are struggling then write down three things people have complemented you on. So maybe you have been told you have a nice smile, great legs, a fun personality, nice skin and so on.
  • Read through this morning and evening for the next week and then write new ones and start again
  • It’s the consistency of being kind to yourself and saying nice things that’s powerful.
  • Try and focus on each body part and breathe into each one as you think of it
  1. LEARN TO STOP PEOPLE PLEASING AND SAY NO
  • This can be so hard to do and I am definitely a recovering people pleaser who relapses from time to time but when people like you for YOU the energy and authenticity of the relationship changes. If you struggle with work colleagues and even family members just remember that it’s ok not to be liked by everyone and have constant approval. Once you work on your own self worth it will lessen the need for validation from others.
  • Learning to say no and valuing your time is important too. Some people take advantage of a kind nature. If you feel guilty when you initially say no, that’s ok and completely normal. Its misplaced guilt because of a bad habit and it will pass.
  1. PROTECT YOURSELF, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND LIVE WITH INTENTION
  • Protect yourself and surround yourself with friends not frenemies. As you grow you will outgrow certain friends and that’s ok
  • We are so hard on ourselves so while its important to take responsibility for your actions its also important to go easy on yourself and remember you are only human
  • Living with intention means living with purpose and passion. Don’t panic you don’t have to know exactly what this is but be healthy, be kind, keep trying and have fun along the way.
  1. MAKE CONNECTIONS
  • We have some of the loneliest people living in the biggest cities in the world. We are social animals and wired for interaction and our bodies and minds instinctively know that there is something off in this digital age. Build a strong community for yourself and find your tribe.
  • Also try and give back in whatever way you can. Helping others means in turn means you help yourself and is an important part of the self-love journey.

Thanks for all the messages I received from readers who sent themselves a postcard with a goal attached. I’m delighted you got a boost from the exercise & you spent the money on the stamp.

Right so in life you have to practise what you preach. Now I was tested, so much that the venom was pouring out of my body. Over an argument that I walked away from, under the sound advice from my friends. I was built up with such rage but I walked away eventually even though I wanted to continue the argument.

As my mother would say “park it and say a prayer for that lost soul” so I did just that. Slept on it and wiped it from my memory when the strangest thing happened to me. People reached out to me, saying they had experienced a similar argument with this particular person or more like an attack.

Now I didn’t want to walk away, but I did. The amount of positive feedback I received was uplifting. It was an incredible lesson to learn in life. The Hardest thing is to walk away from an idiot but that’s exactly what you should do.

Met my agent today and planning out the year with work. He told me “David you do so much for free to help others in your career, all I ask is that you concentrate what you want this year, look after no1 in 2016 first”.

In life sometimes we forget about no1. So today concentrate on your goals, your feelings, your life and nobody else’s. Let spend some time looking after me.

I’m like that energiser bunny on the television but over the weekend I felt like I was hit by a moving train. I shut off from the world yesterday and I feel like a new person.

Don’t forget to listen to your body. Sometimes it’s nice to shut off from the world and have a me day. I needed that break and feel vitalised and refreshed.

Wishing you all the positivity and energy you need for the week ahead.

 

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As Idina Menzel sings in the movie Frozen, “Let It Go.” Recently, I produced an event for Idina’s charity, “A Broader Way.” It got me thinking about things. The concept came up again, when my teacher and a personal mentor in LA, said, “Show up, do the work and don’t be so attached to the results.” This is easier said, than done, especially being a Type A” and an event planner for a living.

When you are attempting to do something big in your life, whether it’s to start a new business, run a marathon, or simply being a more positive person, it is so important to not be attached to the outcome.

In my case, I’ve been through all of these experiences and often pushed myself quite hard which is the cost of being an “overachiever.” I’ve actually run five marathons so far but I don’t have any regrets as my training partners and I had a great time training and traveling together.

However, my new mantra now is:

Be open to the outcome, not attached to the outcome.

This lesson is embedded in the practices of Buddhism and is often a very difficult way of life for Westerners to learn. In this culture or the western world, the key to success is believed to be through material means, where “consumerism” and “hedonism” rule.

We promote “Individualists” who are highly task oriented and focused on getting things done. What ever happened to “together we can?” Relationships are everything. 90% of my business has come from referrals and everyone I know has enriched my life in some way. We need others.

David Brooks, New York Times columnist and deep philosophical guru says that wealth is not the key to happiness. Instead, the number one factor in human happiness is interpersonal relationships. “The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work or having dinner with friends. Joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income.” I’d also beg to say that going home every night to someone, working out and pets bring us overwhelming pleasure.

When you are attached to the desired outcome, you miss opportunities and can actually drag yourself down, inhibiting your efforts. It will drain your energy, you’re too focused on yourself and you lack the success mentality. We also feel intense frustration. Frustration is caused by one thing: wishing things were different than they are and the universe doesn’t always align itself with what you want when you live this way.

Being unattached is an art form. It takes time and practice and here are a few tips I have picked up that I wanted to share with you:

  • Deal with the root cause; acknowledge your fears, anxieties and insecurities.
  • Build unstructured moments in your life – play, get outdoors, do yoga, dance.
  • Start a gratitude journal. Make a list of the good things that have come out of hard and difficult situations in your life.
  • When you start to judge right or wrong, take a step back and assess more compassionately.
  • Pay attention. Often we find ourselves thinking about what to say next.  But when we’re thinking about what to say next, we’re not listening.
  • Realize that a mind that is detached emotionally is a stronger mind — one that is much more able to think quickly, creatively and discover a new path, an alternative solution, etc. Great for the workplace!
  • Give spirituality a chance; discover a new way of thinking.
  • Meditate and meditate regularly. Do alone or with a group.
  • Share with someone and love someone without expectations

I am, by no means, an expert on this subject matter, but wanted to share what I have learnt. Sometimes the dreams we chase and the life we design for ourselves really do provide us with happiness and peace, and yet sometimes it takes letting go, and having faith like we have faith in our next breath, that there is a divine and perfect order; we just might not be seeing it at the time.

Nichole xxx