Category Archives: Assertiveness

Why picking the right path isn’t enough

picking the right pathWe all want to know what we’re meant to be doing, what our true calling is. We worry that we’ll never get that ‘a-ha’ moment of clarity or that sudden light bulb of clarity above our head. We want reassurance that we’re making the right decisions AND we want to ensure we’re taking the right steps.

The problem is, we often worry SO much; we inadvertently end up avoiding ANY path and end up doing nothing at all! Read More

10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL You – Part 4

What makes you so special? Do you know – honestly?  Have the demands of day-to-day life blurred the distinctions between your real self and your public self?  Do others see the real you or the public face you show others?  How much of the real YOU do others see?  Who exactly are you?

In this four part series we are looking at the strategies you can use to uncover the real you. We have already covered strategies such as using photos as a visual aid, writing a mission statement and how being selfish can be helpful to you.

In the final part of this series we will we be investigating the last two options to help uncover the real you.

9. Be Your Own Counsel

Vow to be more self-reliant. One sure way of losing sight of what you think and who you are is to ask lots of other people, or to rely upon your job title and work culture to provide you with a sense of self. You end up with a mixture of views, and your wisdom will be no better than the received wisdom of others.

Vow to stop asking for advice or allowing externals things, like a promotion or a pay rise, to define you. Make it a point that before you ask anyone else for their OPINION, you ask yourself first. Trust your instincts.  They’re better than you think and the more you use them, the sharper they’ll get.

10. Ban Self Doubt & Say ‘Hello’ To The Real You

You owe it to yourself to appreciate your own unique brilliance and your natural gifts. It’s not big-headedness; it’s about seeing real youyourself in the best possible light. We’re all born with innate gifts and talents. The trick is to spot them and use them to the full.

This goes beyond mere positive thinking. This is about the incontrovertible truth that you’ve simply not seen clearly before. Here’s what to do:

  • Identify the real you (as above)
  • Look for evidence that backs up and demonstrates your skills & attributes.  Make sure the evidence is so convincing and compelling; it will silence the other negative nonsense going on in your head.
  • Don’t undermine the truth by telling yourself you’re not qualified to express this talent. Which cookery course did Nigella ever take? Did the Bronte sisters sign up for a creative writing class? Finally, have a holiday from self-doubt.
  • Wean yourself off criticism and self-sabotage.  Every time you notice you’re doing it, stop. Remind yourself that’s the old you – the real you no longer needs it moving forward.

Finally, become a doer, not a talker.  If you’ve come this far and uncovered a secret passion, skill or gift, then act on it!  Decide one action that you can take today to get you started. As George Eliot said over 150 years ago, “it is never too late to be what you might have been.” So you might as well be the ‘real you’!

photo credit: Cinzia A. Rizzo / fataetoile BUSY via photo pin cc

10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL You – Part 3

In ’10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL you’ we are looking to answer the question of ‘how do you go about uncovering the real you?’ In Part 1 we looked at using a photo of you as a reminder to spark you imagination, plus asking someone whose opinion you trust to tell you three of your qualities.  In Part 2 we looked at using dreams, giving yourself time to think about your answers and how being selfish can actually be good for you.

In the third part of this series we will be uncovering another three strategies for uncovering the real you.

6. Forget About Money

Imagine you’ve won the lottery and you never have to do another day’s work in your life. After splashing out on shoes, bags and holidays, what else would you do?   Once you had a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes, and sunbathing by your pool starts getting boring (it will!), what would you do if you didn’t have to do anything?  Record your images and ideas and resolve to bring some of them into your current life.

7. Identify Your “Essence” – The Real You

Ask yourself the following question: If you were locked up in a prison for a long time what would you continue to do and what would you definitely not stop doing?  The answer gives you a good insight into what forms a fundamental part of the real you and what’s trulyreal you important.  Whatever springs to mind is what you should be doing more of in your life. Make it centre stage, do more of it – it may be specific like exercise or writing; or something less obvious like motivating others – this is what is vital to you to have in your life, it’s part and parcel of who you are, so make an effort to add it into your routine to create a meaningful life.

8. Write Your Mission Statement

It’s great to be adaptable, however too much suppleness will weaken your underlying structure.  True strength and poise comes from a strong core – both physically and emotionally – which you can achieve by knowing what you want and where you are headed.  So work out your own personal “mission statement”. Answer the following questions with a short statement for each, to discover your mission statement:

  1. What do you want most out of life?
  2. What do you want to see happen in the world?
  3. What makes you special?
  4. Things I can do/am capable of doing right now.

Now write this statement as follows:

I will… (Choose one answer from 4), using my… (answer from 3), to accomplish… (answer from 2), and in so doing achieve… (answer 1).

Now you have a mission statement that gives you a purpose and strengthens your sense of self.

In the final part of this four part series for uncovering the real you, we will be looking at being self reliant and how to banish self-doubt.

photo credit: Felipe Morin via photo pin cc

10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL You – Part 2

In ’10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL you’ we are looking to answer the question of ‘how do you go about uncovering the real you?’ In Part 1 we looked at using a photo of you as a reminder to spark you imagination, plus asking someone whose opinion you trust to tell you three of your qualities.

In the second part of this series we will we be investigating three more options to help uncover the real you.

3. Dream Diary

Sometimes our dreams are giving us big clues about ourselves.  Maybe you have frequent dreams about a particular career, hobby or place.  Make a note of what your dreams are about – as they may be trying to bring your attention to something important or special toreal you the real you.

4. Start Being Selfish

If you constantly find yourself saying ‘yes’ to the people around you, even when you don’t really want to, maybe it’s time to get a bit selfish. If you’re constantly running around after other people’s needs – you won’t have much time or energy left for you – let alone time to uncover the real you.

Give yourself some time, breathing space and a clearer sense of priority over the things that do and don’t enrich your life – start saying ‘no’.  Memorise a few handy get-out clauses (i.e. ‘thanks for asking me however I really can’t take this on at this moment in time’ or ‘unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to do it justice right now, so I’ll say no on this occasion’) to help you say ‘no’ to those things you really don’t want to do.

5. Stop and Think About The Real You

There isn’t a problem that can’t be fixed by sitting in quiet contemplation.  No matter how much pressure you’re under, everyone can find 15 minutes of downtime to stop and think.  Simply sit and enjoy the experience of allowing your thoughts to pass on by.  This will give your entire system time and space to calm down and unwind.  Keep a notepad by your side and jot down any persistent thoughts or insights that may come up. Over time you’ll develop an inner awareness and clarity about who the real you is.

Make regular time to think. Does something in particular keep cropping up? The chances are you know more about the real you than you’ve been willing to admit, although it may be buried under layers of self-doubt, fear and other people’s opinions.  Admit the truth to yourself and you may find the answer in front of you.

In Part 3 we will continue this four part series on uncovering the real you, by looking at identifying your ‘essence’ and writing a mission statement for your dreams and your life in general.

photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photo pin cc

10 Strategies to Uncover the REAL You – Part 1

Do you know the real you? Do you ever wonder what happened to that girl – you know, the one who matured into the woman you are now? Did the boy you were, grow into the man you thought you’d become?

What makes you so special? Do you know – honestly?  Have the demands of day-to-day life blurred the distinctions between your real self and your public self?  Do others see the real you or the public face you show others?  How much of the real YOU do others see?  Who exactly are you?

Chances are you’re a spouse or partner, a parent, and a money-earner now and the responsibility of these roles keep you happy and busy walking a certain path.  You may also be juggling the role of sibling, neighbour, committee member, campaigner, charity worker… the list, for most of us, is endless.  Each role we play often means we create another version of ourselves or another layer over the real you underneath.

Women in particular are still so programmed to take care of others we can quite easily lose sight of the ‘real you’, and the demands made on men are changing constantly.

All of which is great – but what about YOU – the real you? You are one in a million, a one-off, there’s no one just like you, nor will there ever be.  This four part series will be giving ten strategies in answer to the question of ‘how do you go about uncovering the real you?’

1. Picture The Real You

Find a photograph of yourself when you were a young teenager.  Preferably, a picture of you doing something active and having fun.  Spend 10-15 minutes really looking at yourself.  Think of what you really wanted to be and do at that point in your life.  What words real youand values does that photograph bring up?  Make a note of everything that comes into your mind.

2. Ask Someone You Trust

If you are struggling to see beyond the here and now and remember what the younger you was like, or you’re struggling with the practical implications of any thoughts that came up in the first point, try this exercise.   Ask someone who’s opinion you trust (i.e. parent, friend, partner etc) what three qualities they associate with the real you.

If they knew you when you were younger, what qualities they associated with you then.  Get them to describe the kind of person you were and what they liked about you and why. Make a note of all the qualities they mention, and then write a sentence for each using present tense.

In Part 2 we will continue this four part series of uncovering the real you, by looking at dreams and how being selfish can actually be a good thing.

photo credit: ♥KatB Photography♥ via photo pin cc