Tag Archives: happiness

Uncertainty:Tips to conquer self-doubt

In part one of this blog, I discussed uncertainty otherwise known as ‘self-doubt’, not as a feeling but as a decision ‘not to try’.  Click here to check out last week’sblog-a-sode.’

Uncertainty and self doubt tips.

How do you overcome the traps of self-doubt?

 

In part two, we’ll look at the impact of  ‘uncertainty’ and two of the traps that fuel the habit of self-doubt for some people. Including coaching hints that may help you to break that cycle.

Remember we are looking at self-doubt as ‘a habit of not trying.’

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Hesitation triggered by uncertainty.

What’s your story? Do you:

  • hang back from taking action because it’s not perfect?
  • become great at planning AND not the doing.
  • overthink the consequences of what could go wrong.
  • keep yourself busy with other tasks as an avoidance strategy.

And maybe you are hesitating because of the uncertainty in all the details of the big picture in what you’re striving to obtain.

How this can feel overwhelming and scary if you ruminate or continuously visualise what could go wrong.

“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.”  Abraham Hicks

Awareness of ‘how you do hesitation’ to help break the cycle

  1. What do you think needs to be perfect before you make a start?
  2. How do you to divert yourself away from taking action?
  3. Are you overthinking? What does this lead you to say to yourself?
  4. How would you break down what you want to achieve into smaller doable daily steps?

Taking action

Ask yourself – Have successful people always started from a position of perfection or learning? There are many examples of successful people who got their outcome due to grit and persistence. If you Google (search engine) famous failures you’ll find many of them.

“Fall seven times. Stand up Eight” Old Japanese proverb

  • Each evening jot down one thing that has ‘meaning’ to you.  And with this in mind promise yourself and diary-in one thing to take action on tomorrow.
  • What would let you know you are heading towards what you wish to achieve? Focus only on that one thing as your very next step.

And it’s okay to give yourself the space to be flexible if things change once you’ve taken that step.

Criticising yourself

What triggers that self-criticism for you? Is it a fear of disappointment, of failing or being hurt in some way?

Giving yourself a chance to break free

  • Identify excuses which hold you back.
  • Be clear on what it is you’re afraid will happen?

Taking action means ignoring the uncertainty

  • What can you do now to move forward and that’s inside your control?
  • Can any real constraints be overcome and how is that possible?

Check out part 1 of this blog about negative thoughts and the overuse of the imagination.

Is there a way to use the obstacle itself as a way forward?

  • If you have used determination or another relevant quality in the past to overcome a difficulty how could you bring that inner strength to the fore now?
  • Maybe you can ask someone to help you to move forward?  Like a mentor or someone that once stood in your shoes and is now thriving?
  • Or would you consider therapeutic help to clear those fears you have, let go of uncertainty enough to increase your resilience and self-worth?

“You never know what’s possible until you try!”

Remember that there is a difference between a possibility (just as unlikely to happen) as a probability. (Actual evidence rather than an overstimulated imagination.)

Decision time!  With reasonable expectations

Ask yourself – How do I know when I’m ready to make this change.

  1. What are you willing to commit?
  2. What new skill’s, do you need to acquire?
  3. Where, how, when – research plan. Commit your diary.

Then take one small, natural step to build confidence before moving to the next level.

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’

Modern society has a ‘must have it all now’ mentality. How important is it to you to follow the herd?

Getting things done in stages is somewhat like ‘building Rome.’  Its total construction doesn’t have to be in one day.

  • It may mean putting in extra hours at work, or it may imply delegating tasks in the office or at home! It may mean less TV-watching!
  • Equally, you may need a balance to relax and play which will help clear your mind and strengthen your thought processes!
  • What would you need to do to enjoy each step of the journey more rather than thinking about the destination?

Your priorities can change along the way when you treat life as one grand experiment.

Head towards a solution in preference to a problem

The potential to learn as you grow can ignite a sense of achievement which breeds confidence which is an antidote to self-doubt or uncertainty.

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If your mind keeps getting in the way

info@mariarichards.co.uk

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Self-help tips can be helpful. If, however you find that alone they aren’t enough, the apprehension is overwhelming, you’re quibbling or procrastinating, then it may be time to consider professional help.

And that’s a good thing because seeking guidance is just part of those small steps towards being able to get better and enjoy exploring more of your potential.  Click my image to make contact.

 “To building your confidence and self-worth.”  Maria

What a client reported about working with Maria:

“I needed a personal solution to bring back my motivation and to start believing more in my capabilities.

To feel comfortable with the uncertainty of running my own business and stop the panic rising in certain situations. I also wanted…” [continue reading click here]

Books and Kindle

Tackling the most challenging task of your day a problem? Here’s a classic book which I found to be a great aid when I worked in the corporate world! And is just as applicable to everyday tasks too.  Click here to check out Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.

How to kick out self-doubt

self-doubt

That feeling of self-doubt?

 

What is the opposite feeling of confidence building?

Some would describe this to be a feeling of self-doubt.

I wondered if ‘self-doubt’ is an actual feeling.

 

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Self-doubt as a decision ‘not to try’.

How about if for a moment we looked at self-doubt as a reaction to the feeling of the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

Self-doubt then becomes the ‘habit’ we fall into out of familiarity. By not taking action, it represents a way to stay safe.

However, this can also lead to a lot of self-punishment by the thoughts and beliefs that grow about our inadequacy to act. We then create assumptions relating to our capabilities.

And yet when we give something ‘a-go’ by taking action it provides us with a chance to flourish and succeed or fail and learn for next time. Either of which can also gradually build confidence.

Catch 22 – Now I’m Curious!

Because I didn’t take action, I doubt my ability to take action, and this can lead to over-thinking the next time something similar comes up.

So maybe it’s the initial hesitation which leads to feelings of apprehension which result in self-doubt.

That feeling is triggered and reinforced the next time we make a decision not to try because we are using thoughts to over worry.

“Hang on a moment, what could go wrong? Am I ready for this? It doesn’t feel comfortable. I could be embarrassed because everyone will see I lack XYZ and think I’m a numpty.”

You get my drift.

We forget that thoughts are just thoughts and we give them the power.

Just like a knee-jerk reaction if we judge ourselves for having that adverse notion we are giving more power to the excuse for inaction.

How painful is that? Does it lead to a sense of resentment or build up a fear of the unknown?  How different would it be if you didn’t have to be scared?

What if instead, you chose to take just one tiny step at a time? Now, that leads to taking action and a feeling of self-achievement. (phew!)

Because the smallest actions added together builds confidence minimising self-doubt.

I wonder who first coined this idiom?

‘It’s easier said than done!’

What could be a mind-reasoned antidote?

 “The person in my head saying ‘you can’t’ doesn’t exist – so why would I listen?” Trevor Sylvester

The emotions we feel that lead to self-doubt. A therapeutic angle.

The brain as a pattern matching organism

To keep us safe the brain has evolved to store experiences that indicate when we could be moving towards pleasure or when we need to stay away from perceived pain.

And it does this by unconscious pattern matching through time and signalling a feeling that feeds our beliefs. These feelings are initiated within the body first and can trigger an automatic stress response known as fight, flight or freeze.  You may have heard of this.

Nature’s way of protecting us can make a person act or not act depending on the fear of a danger perceived.

For modern humans, the imperative for approval from others to fit in and do not suffer emotional hurt can be strong.  This equivalence for survival was recognised quickly by our ancestors.  Imagine the physical experience and what they learned from the wrath of a Sabre Tooth Tiger.  Or the longevity afforded by belonging to a tribe.

This alert translates into our modern-day experiences.

It’s been said that ‘evolutionary change is far slower than social change.’

For modern humans the unconscious imperative is to protect us by using feelings, thoughts and behaviours learned initially from birth and through childhood.

Miscalculations based on early learnings can hold us back.

The good news is that there is a way to resolve and update the brain in what has become faulty pattern matching.

Try out a different perspective

We’re all human, and that means its normal in life for all kinds of emotions to come up.

  • What if you could believe that those scary thoughts due to feelings of uncertainty have no basis in your present reality. In this moment.
  • What if you could learn to use ‘future’ projections as a way to become more prepared over time.  At a pace that’s right for you.

For example, the harrowing vision of an interview going wrong might transform into something much better.  All from making time to build skills in communication and interview techniques. Add on trying those new skills out in chosen environments and watch how your motivation improves.

  • Now, what one small action can you be taking to achieve that learning path as your first objective?
  • If you can treat the actual interview as a training ground, it could reveal ways to improve for the next time.

And you can feel the difference when your brain is trained to have a new focus for improvement.  Maybe there is less need for self-flagellation.

Intriguing huh?

Generating more confidence.

If you allow yourself to think that just like the rest of us it is possible to update old patterns of behaviour, then you can start by slowly introducing small action steps.

The more you do this, the more chance you have to diminish heightened emotion gradually.

Keeping in mind that there is also a natural element of anticipation when going for or trying out anything new.  That nervous feeling becomes like the state of curiosity and excitement.

Join me this time next week for some coaching tips which may help you to break free of the habit of self-doubt like:

  • The hesitation to act.
  • The inner critic that feeds the decision not to try.

Sign up by clicking here       To receive a free guided relaxation audio download.

“ Here’s to eliminating doubt, building your confidence and self-worth.”  Maria

Build your confidence and put doubt in its place through taking action.

kick out self-doubt

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

Have you already tried other approaches or self-help tips and found that your mind is getting in the way of progress?

Click my image to make contact. Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy may be something you could consider to help you break the extremes of self-doubt.  Just part of the steps towards being able to appreciate and enjoy the many aspects of being you.

What a client said “I look at myself and what I have achieved – staying calm, not getting too stressed with situations, (at work) feeling more confident, speaking up in a large group or feeling more comfortable with leading my team meeting and realize that I have come a long way from where I was when I first met you. ” [Click to continue reading this review]

Interested in more of my blogs on confidence click here

Books and Kindle:

A classic self-help book how to turn doubt, fear, and indecision into confidence and action. Valued by many people today as it was on publication 20 years ago.  Susan Jefferey’s- click on: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway available on Amazon.

Build your confidence – Fixed to Growth Mindset

 

When you build your confidence, it can mean changing your mindset from fixed beliefs about yourself while experimenting and trying out something new or developing those skills you already have.

Changing that self-talk to encourage a growing self-esteem.

Growth mindset helps discover your potential

A fixed mindset very often is based on assumptions that we can’t change. That somehow our identity and a level of intelligence are fixed. “This is just the way I am.” I’ll always be like this, so there is no way for me to achieve this!”

As an alternative, cultivating a growth mindset can acknowledge that we may not be able to do everything to the same standard as someone we emulate, and that’s okay. But without having a go, we would never know our full potential. “I’ll try it out by taking small steps and practice every day at 7 am.” “I’ll join a class and learn the basics to see if this suits me.” “You never know who I might meet, let’s just have a go for fun.” “It may just lead to something amazing or unexpected, and that could mean better opportunities!” “So what if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be proud to say I had a go.”

Why not try thinking beyond a fixed mindset? Enjoying the journey can very often be more rewarding than crossing the finish line.

Transforming old fears and feelings

Imagine the difference if you were to be able to transform unhelpful fears into feelings of excitement When dipping those toes into a challenge to sense a difference within yourself that supports your moment to moment.  The excitement that comes from the perspective of learning and improvement, rather than fear of failure. We can be open to developing our potential and ultimately our capacity for fulfilment, meaning, and purpose in life.  Does this sound or feel’s too scary?  If it’s to do with your mind and limiting beliefs, that’s something we could begin to work on together.

Change your mindset:  build-your-confidence

 What if the beliefs we held about our abilities didn’t have to be set in concrete?
Build your confidence

Based on the work of Carole Dweck and the psychology of success and written by Maria Popova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review snippets – Clients personal experiences in…

Regaining Confidence…

“I was unsure of what to expect…but Maria…completely understood where my confidence issues were and managed to help get my life and career back on track….[ Read in full]

Build your confidence for interviews and leading work team…

“I look at myself and what I have achieved – staying calm, not getting too stressed with situations, feeling more confident, speaking up in a large group or feeling more comfortable with leading my team…[Read in full]

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Other blogs on change and confidence;

Confidence the power to change

Changes new ways of being

Worrying too much?

 

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Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind,

worrying too much

Escape the worry cage

Text Version here:   Worrying too much?

…when I was younger and out of a true concern for my welfare – my Mum was always saying to me, “stop worrying too much!”

So I began to believe that as part of my identity it was normal for me to have cycling persistent worries – always trying to think one step ahead. “Just how could I deal with any negative outcomes that might befall me.”

It wasn’t until many years later that I came to understand that when we consistently  hear or persistently think of a negative possibility as being a probability, then not only is it exhausting but it can reinforce the uncomfortable feelings of those message.

Flexibility and the ability to live with uncertainty  sadly becomes  alien.

Now I’m not saying that it’s not a good thing to think about things through planning ahead in a more constructive light but…

Let’s attempt to switch perspective for a moment. 

What if there is a difference between being a worrier versus being a person full of curiosity?  Think about it.

Does that mean we’d be more likely to be able to think more clearly about a given situation? Is it more likely that we could reach out for help to find useful solutions and get the emotional support we need?

Notice if becoming curious holds a different internal feeling for you. Or maybe it strikes a chord which creates changes in how you’re thinking.  What’s the difference to your inner experience?

Which one, worry or curiosity, would give you a glimmer of hope for the future. It’s intriguing, isn’t it? …

Many clients have said that they wish they could be more resilient when the stakes seem high.  I believe they have a good point. Growing an inner resilience to handle life’s challenges doesn’t mean we have to be super-human.

On the contrary growing an inner resilience means gradually gaining a more adaptable outlook. When things aren’t certain we can have more control, by listening to our emotions as a way to be helpful and supportive to our self.

How to –  where to start?

We’re all human, and we’re used to going into a protective mode of thinking which when we’re under stress, can lead to negative over-thinking, and high anxiety.

But being human means that we’re also able to grow strategies that nurture resilience. That means in circumstances where we need to handle the normal and not so usual challenges of everyday life too.

History is full of normal everyday people who have gone on to do extraordinary things, or have overcome challenges to lead a happier life with family, friends, and for themselves.

Sometimes we need help to learn those strategies and that’s okay because in one way or another, we are all fellow strugglers.

Just being…In this moment

Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet, worrying about what others are thinking about us, not feeling good enough, loved enough.

Overwhelming factors which lead to fatigue can take the juice out of remembering times when we’re having fun, when we were really pleased with the outcome of something.  Those things can be simple things that can bring us a sense of joy and connection.

Re-edit your personal movie

When life gets tough then people often find themselves replaying fears based on past experience, without taking into account what they have learned or that they have changed.

I wonder what happens if you stop the replaying of the feared expectation, that imaginary snapshot of discomfort by using the imagination to re-edit the journey.

What went well? Who helped? What have you learned that could help you make better choices? What things had the potential to make you feel good?

What’s the first action you can take today towards a better outcome? Does that mean moving on or holding out?  The choice is yours.

Recall those good times too.

From experience, we can recall how feelings of confidence do grow over time, with practice and experience. From the first time riding a bike, to the first time we were in flow with a work task which initially we can recall, months or years ago, was a challenge.

The world didn’t end!

Recognizing that we have choices.  knowing deep inside that it’s really okay to be the best that we can be within each moment, of each day, can help us to feel better and give us hope on the journey.

It’s been said that we’re learning machines!  No one is saying that it has to always be easy to learn.  But why not experiment, by choosing to believe that it’s okay to just give ourselves a fair chance.

I like to think that showing ourselves a bit more self-compassion is preferable to constantly berating ourselves.  It surprising how these switches in perspective can lead to improvements in self-esteem too. Give it a go…

As attitudes to ourselves change for the better, I wonder how that could allow us the space to be kinder to others who may be facing challenges too?

Do you want to change?  We all have to start somewhere..and that could begin by one small step, by giving yourself a break and showing yourself some kindness.

Interested in getting some professional guidance on your journey? One to one therapy at my office or over Skype or an alternative web meeting link is available.

Contact me

Quest registered Cognitive Hypnotherapy

Maria Richards

 

 

 

 

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Happiness!

Raising the default level of happiness in your life:

Theories abound about what it is that brings us true happiness. Like for example, “60% of our happiness is determined by genetics and our environment and that the other 40% is up to us”.

What’s for sure is that happiness can be something different for every one of us.

Research within the field of positive psychology has shown that the pursuit of ‘pleasure’ in itself, does not necessarily have any contribution to lasting fulfillment and happiness.

Rather ‘pleasure’ is the icing on the cake for those of us leading satisfactory lives which has meaning and purpose, and where we have a sense of engagement by being in-flow with what we are doing.

Yes, indeed this is possible to do. In the rush of our lives, it’s sometimes too easy to overlook those things that could make a difference in raising our perceptions and happiness levels.

Here’s are few tips from those who practice happiness within their daily lives.

Surrounding yourself with other happy people:

Well, who needs to be brought down by other peoples negative attitudes and behaviours?

If we feel that we are surrounded by people behaving or thinking in a certain way, it’s so easy to take on the same way of thinking and being.

Make a change and find people who are more joyous and playful – that too is just as contagious.

Cultivate resilience:

Okay, so something you’ve tried out may not be successful at first. To succeed we have to be willing to fail, then we can start coming up with the golden moments.

Take small steps towards what it is you want to do and remember to look out and celebrate the smaller victories too.

Appreciate simple pleasures:

At the end of your day, and just before you go to sleep, there is a ‘positive psychology’ tactic you can try out.

Take a moment to allow your unconscious to bring forward 1 to 3 gifts from the day.

For example, it could be help from a stranger, the beauty of the sky, or a flower, a piece of music, something you did to help another.

Whatever it is that would be a good thing to have happened because of, or while you were present.

Choosing to tune into optimism has many health benefits including reducing stress.

Learning ‘mindfulness’ or ‘meditation:

Giving you a chance to put to one side the cares of the day. Switch off technology and find a place to be at peace, just for 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day.

Using mindfulness or meditation techniques can lower your stress levels, recharge your brain functions and increase your resilience.

Connect with your environment in a new way:

By tapping into different habits, you could make a difference to your day, or your week. Learning to make choices in how we interact with ourselves and the world around us more positively.
For example, some people help themselves by creating a better experience of their day by choosing a different route through the park or a new street.
Opening up their awareness to the amazing things that surround us.

For many more tips and the route to background studies and research, I’d like to share with you this excellent blog from the Huffington post:

The Habits of Extremely Happy people

To your good health,

Maria

Cognitive Hypnotherapy offers a range of techniques and hypnotic downloads.  They can help you to relax or release you from the strains of stress and anxiety. 

New Year Resolutions

Maria Richards Cognitive Hypnotherapist

If stress or anxiety are causing you a problem you could contact me, click on my picture. And let’s see how we can help you take back control and create a much better experience in your life. 

You may also be interested in a previous blog on mindfulness – the spin cycle of stress – a small change can really help.