Is positive thinking all it’s cracked up to be?

Is positive thinking all it’s cracked up to be?

Hi, I’m Honey Lansdowne, a Hypnotherapist and friend of Tracey-Jane and very pleased to be here as a guest blogger. This blog will ask is positive thinking all it’s cracked up to be?

Has someone ever said these things to you?

If you have ever told someone you feel depressed, you may have experienced  them telling you to ‘just’ need to think positively. And you will know the little difference that made!

People also tell people suffering from anxiety that they are ‘just’ being silly and nothing bad is going to happen and if you have ever felt angry you may have been told to ‘just’ calm down.

As much as I love positive thinking it’s taken a lot of work for me to become good at it and I am very mindful when I see clients that everyone’s starting point is different.

Noticing your feelings is important

Let’s think first though about the importance of noticing feelings. We need to notice feelings like we need to notice pain. Pain is a signal that something is up. It gives you the chance to address any issues and heal them. The same goes for emotions. It’s good to really feel your emotions and understand them.

Once you have noticed an emotion you then have a decision to make. Do you want to continue to experience this emotion or change it? The emotion will create a state for you. A state is how you feel at any given time and can change in seconds. Imagine feeling a bit down and then hearing one of you favourite songs and you start to sing along. That’s a state change.

Stick or twist

stick or twist

So once you are aware of your state, you can CHOOSE whether to stay in that state or to change it. By jumping straight to positive thinking you might miss an important step. The opportunity to assess a situation and learn from it. This is your chance to evaluate your behaviour or input in a situation that put you in a certain state. Rather than a chance to beat yourself up. Really be objective and learn.

When you view the situation objectively, you will also see more options available to you. Understanding yourself really is the key to self-development. You might not like everything you learn but all of it can help you. You might choose to think more positive thoughts, but that will be a conscious choice by you.

Facing your feelings, good and bad is very helpful. People often avoid situations that create feelings that make them uncomfortable or they are fearful of. Some examples being:

  • Speaking in public
  • Putting themselves forward
  • Losing weight
  • Social occasions
  • Approaching new relationships
  • Interviews
  • Exciting opportunities
  • Travel experiences

But avoiding situations often builds the fear in your mind. Your mind is very powerful and imaginative and will often imagine that the thing is much worse than it would have been if you had actually done it!

Download your free thought diary and measure where you are at

To assess if you are  a negative, neutral or positive thinker I would suggest keeping a thought diary and recognise the feelings that are being generated. I’ve made a thought diary which you can download free here. In a week you will have a record of the feelings you have experienced. You will be able to clearly see if you are more of a negative or positive thinker. Feelings might vary and include feeling:

  • Humiliated
  • Disappointed
  • Frustrated
  • Loved
  • Cheerful
  • Panicky
  • Happy
  • Hurt
  • Angry
  • Scared
  • Disgusted
  • Proud
  • Nervous
  • Insecure
  • Sad
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Embarrassed
  • Excited
  • Guilty
  • Frightened
  • Ashamed
  • Lonely
  • Empty
  • Lost
  • Worried

And many more. It is said that we can experience up to 34,000 emotions!

Get your positive thinking cap on

think positiveSo being upbeat and positive is a lovely state to be in. But it doesn’t need to be forced and it can be very tiring for you if you try and make the jump from negative thinking to positive thinking. My advice would be, just like most things, small consistent actions to make a long lasting difference. Once you’ve used the thought diary to capture your thoughts, you will have a good idea of where you are starting from. Then you can use the ideas below to start your positive thinking journey.

I’ve broken down some ideas for different levels of where you might be starting from. Some ideas on how to do this are:

Your thoughts are mainly negative:

  • Make a gratitude list. A list of things you are grateful for. They can be small or large. Anything goes because it is your list! You can find out more on how to write one here
  • Say your thoughts out loud. There is something about speaking what you feel that makes it feel different.
  • Think about what you would say to someone you cared about that had these thoughts and say them to yourself.
  • Remind yourself that you have a choice about whether to experience a negative or a positive thought at any given time.

Your thoughts are mainly neutral:

  • Fake it until you make it. Put a smile on your face and find things that make you laugh. Experience the sensation of happiness. There is evidence that when you smile you feel happier.
  • Examine how much you think you are playing to your strengths in your life. Make a list of things you are good at. Are you doing any of these on a daily basis? When you do things you are good at you will feel more positive and rewarded.
  • Find a photo of yourself when you felt really happy. Think back to what you were doing that made you feel that way and try and replicate it.
  • Try exercising to generate some natural endorphins in your body.

Your thoughts are mainly positive:

  • Keep up the good work!
  • Share your positivity. Many positive people ‘give back’ to the world by supporting and encouraging others which in turn generates even more positivity for them!

Thank you for having me Tracey-Jane and thank you for reading this everyone, I hope you found it useful.

Sending you positive vibes.


Honey LansdowneI’m Honey Lansdowne, a Hypnotherapist based in West Sussex, UK. My intention as a therapist is to make you feel better from the very first session. I use Hypnotherapy, NLP, Reiki and tapping in a blended form of therapy so you get the best possible outcome. I can help you with depression, anxiety, stop smoking, weight loss, going sugar free and stress. So don’t let these things get in the way of you living the life you deserve!

I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram or over on my blog.


Listen to yourself, you’re right

I’ve learnt to listen to myself much more closely these last couple of years, thanks to being an Acorn tutor, where I teach others to listen. The amazing thing is, when I listen to myself, I’m always right!

We’re often afraid to listen to ourselves, because we don’t believe in our ourself. Oh, there’s so many reasons we don’t listen. “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t know enough”, “They’re an expert, so they know what’s best”. What’s your main reason for not listening to yourself? I think mine has been, not believing in my own ability, and knowing what’s right for me.

I’ve wanted other people to tell me what to do, so I can ‘blame’ them if it doesn’t work out. Rather than take that responsibility on myself, I’ve chosen, in the past, to listen to other people’s advice, rather than my own. Guess what? Things didn’t work out, and I blamed myself and those others who’d advised me.

Listen to yourself, you’re right

are you bling to your own needs or do you listen to yourselfListening is powerful, and it really brought it home to me this weekend when I was running a course with a massively experienced listener and trainer. Part of the delivery is that as trainers we show a ‘formal listening’ session, using a live issue for one of us. I was the listener on this day. My colleague had given me an inkling about the topic – it’s one she’s talked about before, and I thought it was going to be a continuation of the story.

As she began to talk and explore her own thoughts out loud, it became obvious that what she thought was troubling her, and the area she’d been focusing her energy thinking about, (and not sleeping), wasn’t the actual deep issue. The deep issue, which my listening helped her explore, was something very basic, and also something she helps others with all the time in her work and volunteering. It was, “look after myself first”.

It struck me that this lady with all her knowledge and experience was still blinded to her own answers as she hadn’t spent time listening to herself. She was caught up in her busy life, and despite offering listening to others, hadn’t taken the time to listen to herself. It made listening come to life again for me, and how important it is to all of us. Do you listen to yourself and others?

We’re often blinded by others people’s knowledge, or enthusiasm, or we love their take on life and the bigger picture. However, no-one knows you like you do, and no-one can know what you’re really feeling or thinking right now. Only you know. Only you can know and do what’s right for you in your situation. It may well be hard, but deep down you know it’s right. For you.

I know my passion for helping others to listen better, and inspiring confidence to listen to yourself, will help many people live happier lives. Whether you want to be a better parent, or grow your business, or become healthier, it all comes back to listening to yourself. You’re right, and no-one can tell you otherwise.

If you’d like to learn more about listening, and the plans I’ve got for helping young people to listen to themselves, get in touch.

If you’d like to book a listening session with me, I’m opening my diary up from next week to listen to you, so that you can listen to yourself, as you’re right, and I want you to believe it.

[If you’re in Lancashire, then I recommend using the One2one Listening service run by volunteers]

Stop trying to fix things – let go

Stop trying to fix it. Let goI’m speaking words of wisdom today – “Stop trying to fix things – let go”. It doesn’t mean I always practice what I preach though, and I know this is hard for some of us, so I thought I’d reassure you that it does work, when you “let go”.

There’s been lots of times in my life when as soon as I’ve made the decision to “let go”, everything has fallen into place, I’ve felt physically and mentally better. Many of these times have been about issues that weren’t even of my making – things I couldn’t actually affect, but in my head, if I didn’t “fix” them, I couldn’t do x, y and z. Ahh, I can see you’re nodding. You’ve been there too?

Some of us pray, and/or meditate, and/or journal (write things down to get them out of your head), and/or talk the ear off a friend, to allow things out. I’m an advocate of Listening , and know that by sharing what’s in your head with someone else, will help you find your own solution to what’s holding you back.

Even when we’ve let something out, though, I’ve often found that I want to “make things better” and “fix” things. For example, when something goes a bit haywire, and not as expected, I want to tidyup loose ends, and make sure everyone’s OK. Are you like that too?

Just like the situations where other people or situations are affecting me, and I can’t do anything about it, I also know, (deep down), that I can’t make things better for others. All I can do is love and care for them, and open my ears when they want to talk. I can’t fix things for other people, as much as I want to – they have to do it for themselves, with or without my help.

I’ve had a situation this month which has really got me down, simply because I wanted to make things right for someone else. The fact that they don’t want to accept my help, or my listening ears has been hard for me to accept. I’ve tried different tactics to make things right, but nothing has worked. It was only when a friend helped me realise this, that I was able to finally “let go”. In my own way I’ve sent them love and will always be here for them if they want my help. It’s time to move on, and I’ve finally realised that this is a life lesson I need to practice ALL the time.

I know, I’m a fixer, and want life to be wonderful for everyone. That’s because I know it can be wonderful! But we, as an individual, have to believe that, and make our own decisions. I’m a true believer of “what you put out, you get back”, and I’ve been holding myself together for too long trying to fix something that isn’t mine to fix. I’ve been spending time and energy on something that I can’t actually affect!

Hmm, so you see my dilemma? I’m a carer, a fixer, and want everyone to be happy. My friend told me, “you’re a confident, empathic, talented, skillful, wise, funny, supportive, amazing, loving, caring, dynamic, wealthy feminine force in the world”. Wow. That’s been lovely to hear. But I still wanted to fix somebody else. With all these skills and talents, it’s still not enough.

I can only be me. And you can only be you. If you can learn anything from me today, it’s you can only fix things for you. Let go of things which aren’t quite right, and certainly the things you’re trying to fix in and for other people.

I’m ready to move forward with new exciting challenges and opportunities & share my love and passions with others. Are you?

If you’d like help with letting go of something, (or someone), let’s spend some time together so I can support you to stop fixing things, and let go.

Listening, being creative and writing for your business

Thoughts from my week – I hope they inspire you to be creative, listen to yourself, and write. We all have talents and skills hidden away. I believe today is the day to start finding them and using them 🙂

Happy Friday & it’s a beautiful autumnal sunny day here for me right now. I hope it stays that way for the weekend ahead – eldest has his final athletics competition of the year in Lincolnshire, and it’s always a nicer weekend without the rain!

It’s been a strange start to September for me, with some clients moving away from needing support, (which is always fantastic to see), new ones asking for help, and some projects going live. It’s exciting and scary all at once. I’ve had the opportunity to explore new opportunities, and open my mind to my creativity, which is fascinating. Do you open your mind to creating new things each week? (new recipe, new idea, new textile, new exercise?) I highly recommend it. It’s very freeing.

Listen to yourself you have your best interests at heartI’ve delivered a Listening course this week as well, in a volunteer role for the One2One Listening project in Preston, Lancashire. Training takes so much out of you, as you try and share everything you know in such a way that others understand and can use that information in their own lives. This week we were focusing on listening to ourself, which can often be quite challenging. We often keep our ‘real’ selves hidden, especially from our clients or customers, which means we shy away from our self in every day life. We think it’s not important. But I’ve learnt over the last few years that spending time listening to myself has been the most important part of my personal and business development. This listening has helped me move away from the things (and people) who’ve hurt me, and allowed me to find my confidence to do the things I love – loving my family and supporting others.

This week, I finished the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek. You may well know it very well. If so, why didn’t you tell me about it before? I’ll let you read my review rather than talk more about it here. However, I think that’s what I’m going to really focus on now – my Why. Everything I do will fit with my Why from now on. I may have seemed focused up until now, but it’s only these last few weeks that I’ve had my own lightbulb moment which is now helping me move forward with my own goals.

And then this came through this morning – The ebook of the 30 day blogging challenge. Today it’s FREE so go grab your copy. You can use the information in this book for all sorts of writing for yourself and/or your business. There’s support and information about how to make your blog/website better & if you want it, there’s a free support group to help you become a better writer/blogger/business owner. I’ve done the challenge a few times, and it’s always helped me move forward – personally and in my businesses. Whatever you want to achieve in your business, and your life, there’ll be some nuggets of advice in this book to help you along the way.

I hope you’ve had a positive start to the new school year, and are excited about the next few months for yourself and your business. I’d love to hear your plans, and what you’re creating with all your skills and talents. Let me know if you’re starting to write publicly for yourself or your business, and I’ll share your work with others.

Have a great weekend. I hope the sun shines on you and your family,

[Book Review] Start with Why, by Simon Sinek

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

I’ve just finished this book for the second time this year, and now feel ready to share what I’ve learnt from it. I’ve listened to it on journeys, and tucked into the content in the physical book as well, as I’ve been fascinated by the “why” question and how it applies to me.

Simon Sinek is fascinating, and knows how to tell a good story. The book is littered with stories about people and companies who did “start with why”, or who failed, to “start with why”. And even some who started with why, then lost track of it, which caused their businesses to lose sight of their original goal.

Everyone has a why, even if we’re not totally clear about what it is. Those of us who’ve had difficult times, may have gone into those difficulties because of losing sight of our “why”. For me, it totally makes sense that with my first business, I started focusing on the wrong things, (things other people told me were important to a growing business), and the reason I started the business in the first place got lost. I then lost confidence, and because I was focusing on the wrong things, (for me and my business), the business took a bit of a nose dive.

Everyone has a WHY. Your WHY is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you.

Knowing your WHY gives you a filter to make choices, at work and at home, that will help you find greater fulfillment in all that you do.
Simon Sinek

A lot of personal development starts with “finding your why”, or “your purpose”, or “your thing”. I’ve found that quite hard to understand over these last couple of years, and really get down deep and find my why – the reason for doing what I’m doing now. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve known that I want to support others, as I love it, and am good at it, but that’s not enough. However, Simon’s words made more sense from hearing the stories he shared about others, and their why.

I loved the simplicity of Simon’s teaching of the “golden circle” – Why in the centre (Start with Why), then How we do it, and finally, What we do. If we focus on the why, the heart of ourselves, (or our business), then the how and what simply follow. When we start with what we do, it’s harder to understand why we do it.

Have you ever worked for someone, or a company, that you had no idea Why they were in business? Did you respec them and work hard in your job? The people and places I know I’ve worked hardest at, and probably had my most satisfying moments with, have been those where the Why we were doing something was really clear. Agree?

So this year, I’ve been exploring myself more deeply again, and came across this book “Start with Why”. As I said, it’s my second read in 8 months, as I don’t think I really understood how to apply it to myself on the first read. I’m probably quite slow, but that’s OK. Today, having come to the end of the book, I’m smiling and happy to feel that I understand my personal Why again. Yes, it will be different for all of us, but understanding why you’re doing something, even if you’re enjoying it, will ensure you’re bringing the whole of you to the whole of your life and work. I’ve found, through this exploration with Simon, (he’s got a lovely voice by the way, which is very easy to listen to if you get the audio version), that I really wanted to understand more. I’ve been putting things on hold until I grabbed hold of my why from right inside me. I feel I can now shine a really big light on my why which will simply permeate everything I do at home and work, and in my businesses, and with my clients.

My clients probably knew what my why was, as they’ve told me how I make them feel when they work with me! Ha! It’s been more fun reading the book, and learning some of the scientific background that underpins how our mind works, and why, by starting with Why, we’ll be able to live a more balanced life. I’ll let you discover for yourselves what the celery test is, but when you know what your WHY is, everything else will fall into place.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it. Or, if you want to explore what your Why is, book a Find Your Why session. I’d love to help you find your Why more easily than it took me to find mine! 😉

 Just so you know: If you were to purchase the book from this Amazon link, would give me a few pennies. Any pennies collected this way go into an Elite Athlete Support fund, to support some talented athletes achieve their potential. If you’d like further details about these athletes, please do get in touch and I’ll send you some more information.