Make your own happiness

Happy International Happiness Day everyone. There’s one photo here for the hopeful and optimistic, and one for the cynics among you, courtesy of Modern Toss (that’s most of the people I know, then).

The serious message: don’t expect things or others to give you happiness. You’ve got to create your own. You, and only you, are responsible for your happiness.

Get ready to live your dreams

The recipe:

1) Meet new people.
2) Get out of your comfort zone.
3) Dream bigger.
4) Progress, not perfection.
5) Take control of your fear.
6) NOW is the time.

What are you waiting for? Start here; start now. Get in touch for a chat about how Quiet Space can help you soar.

 

You are enough

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On Friday I met two coaching clients and a key theme in both sessions was their perceptions of other people’s opinions and judgments.

Confidence and good self-esteem can be such a hard-won thing – particularly for women. We see in other people the things we don’t believe we measure up to, and our insecurities make us believe that they are judging us on what we see to be our inadequacies. Sometimes we put on masks to be the people that we think we ought to be.

We can unlearn all these unhelpful thought patterns, and learn to give ourselves the freedom not only to be who we really are, but to realise that we are all that we need to be.

You are enough – and not only that, you are loved, and you are amazing. Never forget that.

Define your own success

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I confess to having fallen prey to some Instagram envy yesterday. I was having a bit of a nose around the way other people live and came across the account of someone I know from a previous life (and who therefore isn’t some virtual person on the other side of the world). She has a gorgeous Instagram feed – everything is incredibly stylish, impeccably curated and impossibly glamorous. How does she do that?

And then I got to thinking. I remembered that it’s me who chooses what I spend my time on. It’s easy to get your head turned by the beautiful and unfamiliar, but it doesn’t mean that it’s something that you should aspire to.

So I asked myself a few questions. What do I value? What are my goals? Do I really want what she has? Someone else’s gilded life doesn’t mean that mine pales in comparison, because success is measured in lots of different ways and by relative means.

Comparisons are often a recipe for dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Rather than envying what it looks like someone else has or feeling inadequate, take a look within. What’s at the root of your emotions? What is it that you actually want?

Other people’s successes don’t define your success. You define your success. Achievement is individual. You don’t need to compete with anyone else to win.

Do you agree? Leave a comment, like this post and follow Quiet Space. Message to get in touch – come work with me to identify and achieve your real goals!

Dream bigger!

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Last week, I attended a mini-workshop all about tackling fear. On Day 1, ‘Some Kind Of Fairytale’, we each had to write a story.

The story, as you might imagine, was an allegory. I gave mine a happy ending. Which I was then asked to rewrite so it was even happier.

I’m looking at my story now which is full of annotations in the margins. At the end, one annotation stands out. It says DREAM BIGGER!!!

How often do we constrain ourselves without even realising it? Don’t censor your dreams. DREAM BIGGER.

Self-care

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I’ve been thinking about self-care. The course of 2015/16 for me was a year of crisis, during which I learnt how vital it is to be nice to yourself. Everyone’s needs are different, but I thought I’d share some of the things that helped me recover my sanity and wellbeing.

1) Running and spending time outdoors
2) Singing in a choir
3) Leaving work in the office
4) Seeking out new experiences
5) Listening to lots of new music
6) Giving and getting hugs (and flowers!)
7) Not taking things personally
8) Knowing when to say no
9) Making micro-resolutions
10) And remembering:
– Not everything has to be excellent
– No one has everything sorted out
– Sometimes it’s all just stuff.

What do you do for self-care?

Perspective

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I took this at the Museum of the Moon exhibit at the Birmingham Thinktank this summer. It makes me smile – the tiny 4 year-old contemplating the magic of the full moon.

It also makes me think of perspective and our place in the world. We let issues that are inconsequential in the larger scheme of things get to us, when often we need simply to let them go. We can’t always change the world, but we can certainly change our response to it, which can make all the difference to our happiness.

It’s a journey, not a race

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Someone sent this to me today and the sentiment vividly reminded me of a three-way peer coaching session that I participated in back in 2013.

When it was my turn to take on the role of the person being coached, I was talking about all the things that I felt I ought to be doing. My coach asked me: “Why are you in such a hurry?” It was a bit of an epiphany, to be honest. Why, indeed?

One of my personal challenges has been my learned tendency to link high achievement with my self-esteem; a singularly unhelpful need to compare my performance against the ‘elite’ in all arenas of my life.

The desire for achievement is important, but can hold us back from being truly happy in our own skin if we end up always looking at how we’re stacking up against everyone else. Learning, growth and success manifest themselves in lots of different ways. Strive on your terms: it’s not a race but a journey, and you’re very much on time, all present and correct.