Are you working too hard for no reward

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly .” Proverb
are you on the right track with your businessYou’ve probably heard a lot about “pushing through the pain”, and “You’re almost there, if you just keep going.” That’s what happens with caterpillars isn’t it? Their next phase is become a butterfly. That’s nature, and part of our natural wonderful world.When we’re having a tough time, and people around us tell us to keep going, does it feel natural to you? It’s never done to me. I’ve often thought my world is ending when I’m working long hours and see no reward. When I look back at some of these times, (yes, there’s been a few!), I realise that it didn’t feel natural because it wasn’t natural for me to be doing “that thing” I was doing.

Now I don’t mind hard work, and I’ll always ensure I do the work for clients before I work for myself. But if something isn’t feeling right, it’s probably not. We don’t all have the same skills, and we often have to learn lots of things to run and grow successful businesses. Some of the things we don’t find easy or that we enjoy are the best areas of work to pass on to someone else to do. But you still have to manage those people doing the work for you.

I had this last week, when whilst trying to get the new website live, something came up that meant I had to take a breath. I had been pushing my web development team to get everything complete, but something wasn’t going quite right. On Thursday, we worked it out. We need TWO websites, not one, to do everything I want, to support business owners to get the support to grow their business, learn new skills and get business coaching when they need it. Yep! Pretty major that one!

So, we’re now getting one finished, (fingers crossed for this week), which will be the hub of free support, resources and business expert interviews at The other one will take a bit longer. Whilst this is all happening, you can join the merry band of business owners who are brilliant at helping one another, asking for help when they need it, about all things business, for the reduced price of £24 a month. There’s a group coaching session Tuesday 8-9.30pm BST which you’re very welcome to join as a member. AND there’s our monthly business expert workshop too this week. Laura Donnelly will be helping us to learn some tips to De-stress quickly, whatever your situation. So this week is a great week to join!

Are you working too hard for no reward and getting more and more frustrated?

So if you’re feeling like your world is ending, take some time to reflect if this is because it’s just pretty hard work right now, and you know that once you’ve done the work, beautiful things will happen. Or, is it because what you’re trying to do isn’t a natural fit for you or your business. Are you trying to take a path that’s just not right for you right now?

It can be hard to work things out for yourself, so if you’d like to book a free 20 minute Explore call, that may be all you need just to get back to knowing that you’re on the right track, or that you need to change direction by a degree or two.

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Are you so busy you’re not seeing what’s obvious

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Anonymous

spend time thinking in your businessSometimes we’re so busy doing things, we can’t see what’s in front of our nose. Just like when we’re rushing to get out of the door and you’ve forgotten to pick something up, and then you can’t find it. Someone else comes in and asks what you’re looking for, and they spot it straight away – it’s where you’re standing but you were trying too hard and you just “couldn’t see it for looking”.Whilst you may be very focused to get things done, achieved, and actioned to hit your targets for the end of the year, it’s still worth spending some quiet time each day to allow your brain some space to work things out for itself. The commitment the Kick Start Challengers had in September to 20 minutes a day focused on their business gave them great clarity and helped them plan the next few weeks of their business growth.

One of my clients is following the Artists Way programme at the moment. Even after a few days of spending a few minutes each day letting her mind wander, and her hands explore, she’s finding her mind clearer, and more able to work out the priorities in her business.

Another client who completed the Find your Why session last week has been set a task to simply let her imagination wander this week. We’ve agreed the topic for this, and just the act of letting your mind imagine and wander around different options and opportunities is liberating. Sometimes you’ll find there’s nothing you can do about a situation.

Whatever works for you is the right thing to do. If you’d like daily prompts for journaling or imagining, let me know, I’m thinking of setting this up, as I know how much that regular support and reminder to take time for you can help. You could be my first tester to see how it helps you. Say £10 a month for a daily email prompt? Would that help you? Contact me as it’s not set up yet & we can start tomorrow if you like?

Don’t forget to allow yourself down time during your week too. You may feel like you’ve got so much to do you can’t possibly stop and take the dog for a walk, or read a book, or have a bath. But once you’ve spent that time, just being you, you’ll realise that you’ve got more energy and excitement to put into getting those things done. I often find I do them better to, or add in an extra twist which is even more beneficial to my clients!

If you’d like help scheduling your week and month to fit everything in you want to do, including “me time”, feel free to book a free Explore call with me.

How do you let your mind wander and explore options and opportunities? Let me know in the comments below.

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Life is not a race. Don’t worry. Just do not stop

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius

it doesn't matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stopWe often need reminding about things don’t we? However busy we are, and how much we want to get done, achieve, or complete, we will get there. Even if it feels like we’re making slow progress,if we keep taking little steps we’ll make it.

Many of the business owners who did the 5 day kick start challenge in September realised early on in the week that this was an important way to be. They had been getting overwhelmed with so much to do. So when they broke it down into how much time they actually had available, and the big goal for the next few months, they saw that it was possible to achieve it. Just in a slightly different way from the one they were trying to push to achieve.

As with anything in our life, we have many responsibilities to ourselves and others. Our business is likely to be only one part of our life. I know it’s an important one, but it does have to fit along side our family commitments, and any caring commitments we have.When you allow yourself the time to take a little breather (yes, time for reflection and review), you often notice different ways of doing something which will actually fit better for your business and the other aspects of your life.

That’s what the challengers found. They were going to continue doing the same things, but with a slightly different focus. The feedback was that this little shift made them feel like they could achieve everything on their list, and they were excited for getting started. I’m looking forward to hearing how they get on in October!

So, what’s on your list for October? Are you trying to rush something for a self imposed deadline, or fit a challenge into your life that a friend suggested would be good for you? Let me know what your main goal is for the month ahead.

For some of us, we have half term in October. If that’s you too, how are you working out your work with your holiday/child care? Always good to plan in advance, so the start of the month is the perfect time to make sure you’ve got everything in place to achieve everything you want. Don’t forget your support team – what are they contributing to October goals? Can they do more if you need to do less?

If you need help planning things out, feel free to book a free Explore call with me.

Louisa from WorkflowVA shared some excellent tips with me last week, which may also help you explore your options.

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Who’s in your support team

“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” Helen Keller

whos in your support team so you can do anythingThe one thing I found yesterday, was that I just couldn’t fit everything in that I wanted to, and still be able to eat and sleep. So we can’t always do EVERYTHING we want – or certainly not all on the same day!

I spent the weekend with a volunteer Listening service I help with. We were given a stand at a health festival, to raise awareness about how being listened to can help us all in our daily lives, as well as when we have difficult things to cope with.

It started some fascinating conversations. Our sign said, “Listening Space. We are here to listen to YOU“. Some people didn’t understand why such a service is needed. When I explained not everyone has someone they can talk to, they nodded, and understood. Others shared their own experience of not having the “right” person to talk to when they needed support. Some people told us they wanted to talk to a stranger, rather than “bother” their friends and family about something which was troubling them. And others still just stood and talked, whilst we listened. This tent in the courtyard of Lancaster Castle surrounded by all sorts of fun activities, certainly made people think.

Yesterday, my Preston Action Learning Set met for their 6 weekly action meeting. Following on from the conversations and observations of the weekend, it was interesting to hear business owners express ideas, and challenges out loud to the group, whilst others listened. Then suggestions were made, thoughts processed and actions committed to. One of the attendees said, “I’m so pleased I’ve found the right place to share my thoughts with. I’ve come so far this year, and it’s all down to your support”. So finding the right place to share your thoughts, ideas, and explore new ways of doing things, or even being challenged (one participant said she wanted to be challenged with the issue she brought to the group), by people who have an understanding of what it’s like to run a business.

Fascinating isn’t it?

Who or where is your “listening space” for sharing your ideas and getting your thoughts in order. Who challenges you on what you’re doing, or offers suggestions for how to grow your business in the way you want to. Or shares tips for connections to others which may be helpful, or collaborations which may work for your business?

Your support network is crucial to your sanity as well as your personal and business growth. It can be made up of many different types of people in different places. Many of us have friends or colleagues we talk to about certain things, and other members of our support group who support us for something else.

Business Support through Action Learning Support Team

I’ve got a few spaces left at the online ACTION LEARNING SET 2nd October 12pm – 4pm BST, (Choose Base membership option). If you’re looking for a place to explore business ideas and challenges more, be supported and encouraged, commit to learning from others and to taking action, then this could be the place for you. Message me if you’d like to check if this is right business support option for you.

Today is the monthly Action Spotlight Coaching session where 5 Business Cheerleading Club members can have 20 minutes exploring ideas for a challenge that’s currently going through their mind. Membership is currently only £24 a month, whilst the new resource site is being put together. So if you’d like to join us at 7pm BST today for the coaching session, simply sign up & message me & I’ll ensure you get the link to the meeting room.

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Enjoy every opportunity you’re offered

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J Watson

Tracey-Jane Hughes and family on Breakfast TV taking opportunitiesNot everyone gets a chance to be on national TV, but I was fortunate enough to experience that this morning, with my family, on BBC Breakfast. We were asked to get involved with a special outside broadcast the BBC was doing. They wanted families to get involved with the conversation.It’s been a fascinating experience! From the initial conversation with the researcher, to today’s 5am get up, and at the venue for 6am, to be on live at 6.40am, and leaving the show at 9.15 after it ended. It was fun for us to be involved with. I’ll be honest, I’m finding it hard to get back into “work mode” now 😉

Whilst it was a great experience to be part of, and my teenage sons loved the mini-tour of the studios afterwards, as did mother in law who watches BBC Breakfast everyday, there’s so much I can learn from the experience:
when asked if you’d like to take an opportunity, don’t hesitate. You’ll never know if it’s “right” for you, but if you’ve been asked, someone else recognises you for the value you have to share.
– preparation is key. The BBC team & interviewer does so much preparation, but then the live aspect of this show means that so much is on the hoof. If you’re prepared and know what you want to say, you’ll get your message across. Mother in law was a star, as she was really clear what message she wanted to give.
– enjoy the experience. We decided as a family that it was an honour to be asked, and we’d love every minute. The topic may not be something we’d talk about with our friends everyday, but our views count. We matter as individuals. My sons were disappointed that they couldn’t share their views, but that wasn’t what the producers of today’s show wanted. They loved watching us all take part, and were involved with our preparations, and the after show tour. We’ve all had an amazing day.
ensure you’re clear what’s important and stick to that. For us, it was important to give the family the opportunity to be part of this experience. That took precedence over business, and school/college. [It’s the first time in my boys school life that we’ve taken them out of school for anything! Eldest is 16 & just started college]

The challengers who’ve been doing the 5 day kick start challenge have been amazed at how such little time is needed to get real focus in their business, even with so much going on in their busy lives.
“I’m 3 days in and already have more focus than I’ve had in a long while. Thinking much more about what I want from my business ventures and how to balance it with family and free time. It’s really good to feel guided and supported, and Tracey-Jane seems to have a limitless supply of encouragement!” LC

What can you get clear this week to help you move forward with something that’s important to you?

The new Business Cheerleading Club website, with all the resources and training, and support will be open by the end of the month. In the meantime, you can get access to the club, with all the support and encouragement, this month’s workshop and online coaching, at the offer prices, from only £24 a month.

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Do you value your own time

“If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents – start charging for it.” Kim Garst

value your timeIt’s interesting isn’t it how we value our own time. Or don’t! Many of the people I meet, talk to, and support, are often telling me that they need help with their time management, or scheduling as if they could only get this “sorted”, they’d be fine.

Hmmm. So, let’s just think about that a little bit more. I’ve said the same thing too. And yes, my time management has improved, and I don’t think about ‘time’ any more. I suppose I learnt to value my time, and that of other people, and over all, it all fitted together OK. Valuing time is just one part of valuing ourselves isn’t it? Is your hour of time more precious than your partners, or your children’s, or your work colleague? If you want time with a specialist to help you with something, do you have to pay for their time? What are you paying for? Their expertise?

What about when we volunteer? Is that time not as important as our time with our family or with our customers? Interesting isn’t it? I’d say that my time when I’m a volunteering as a trainer to help others to listen better, is actually more valuable than when I’m with my family! We can’t always put a monetary value on our time though can we?

I do some volunteer work for a Listening Service in Lancashire, and help people learn how to listen better. For some, they do all 3 modules of training and give their time to listen to others. The volunteer listening service is open to anyone who wants to get something off their chest. Being listened to, properly, without interruption, or questions, is powerful. It helps you really think things through for yourself. You take responsibility for yourself and your actions. No-one else can be you. Only you can be you, and do the things that are important to you.

So, when you start to look at your weekly schedule, you’ll really know what’s important this week, and what can be left until next week. Being a business owner can be lonely at times, and having somewhere to be listened to, without judgement, can be just what you need to get to your priorities clear. If you’d like someone to listen to you, book an explore call, and I’d be delighted to help you get your thoughts clear this week.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how you value your time.

There’s still time to join the free 5 day Kick Start your Business 20 minute a day challenge. You get to choose which 5 days you want to use to focus your attention on your business, and there’s a few starting today. I’m offering free group support until 21st September, which should be long enough for you to get your business kick started. I’ll be in the online group everyday (less at weekends, due to family commitments, but I’ll still be checking in), as I know how important this month is to get you back on track after the summer break.

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New month new ideas more action

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” Eleanor Roosevelt

new thoughtsAt the start of this month what are you planning to achieve? There’s 4 months left of 2018 and still time for you to make that impact you set out to achieve at the start of the year. I’m sure life has changed and moved on since you created your ideas for the year back in January. That’s fine. That’s life 🙂 Don’t be beholden to what you thought you wanted back then! Keep looking forwards and adapting to the new thoughts and ideas you keep having.

If I look back at what one of my clients was aiming for at the start of the year, and what she’s starting today, I can honestly say she had NO idea what this year would hold for her. We started working together last December, and all she knew was that she was ready for change. She didn’t want to keep doing what she was doing. She felt she was holding herself back, but wasn’t sure quite how to move forward. Or even what she really wanted.

Today she’s opening her own Holistic Therapy clinic in Chorley, and is totally self employed. When I saw her last week she looked happy, relaxed, and was so excited she was bubbling over with giddiness at what she was starting this week. It was infectious and I came away smiling and laughing at what this lovely woman has achieved 🙂 She didn’t know what she wanted at the start of the year, but through her dedication to exploring, and taking small steps each month and week, she’s discovered what is right for her and her family. I wish you well Karen Peddie Holistics as you’re able to help so many more people locally to find improved health and well being. It’s been a privilege to support Karen over the last 9 months and watch her strength and confidence grow as she listened to herself and the new thoughts which kept popping up.

Today is also the start of my free Kick Start your Business 20 minute a day challenge. You get to choose which 5 days you want to use to focus your attention on your business, as I know not everyone is able to get right back into business from today with school and college returns staggered. So I’ve made it flexible so that you can use the resources in the way which suits you. I’m offering free group support until 21st September, which should be long enough for you to get your business kick started. I’ll be in the online group everyday (less at weekends, due to family commitments, but I’ll still be checking in), as I know how important this month is to get you back on track after the summer break.

If you’d like to know what programme Karen has followed get in touch with me. I’ve used a variety of tools to help Karen, including Find your Why, Action Learning Sets,Business Cheerleading Club, one to one coaching & training. I believe there’s no “one size fits all”, so I work with each client in the way that’s right for you, depending on what you’re wanting to achieve, (and if you don’t know, that’s where we start!).

If you’re ready to Kick Start your business, then I’d be delighted to support you in the Kick Start group this month 🙂
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Prioritising makes you happy

“I know where I’m going, and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” Muhammad Ali

prioriting makes you happy and freeMy children go back to school (and college) next week, and I’m looking forward to finding a new routine for us all to slot into. Eldest got the exam results he wanted, which enables him to do the courses at college he’s keen on. You can’t ask better than that can you?

If you’re anything like I used to be, on a Bank Holiday week I tried to fit in as much work as I’d usually do in a 5 day week. Yet, I had one day less. Ummm, even I know that’s just not possible. But I still tried to do it, and was always left disappointed at the end of the week. Especially this time before the children go back to school. My boys aren’t the most organised, so finding PE kit, and making sure everything fits and is labelled is always a priority. Yet, I always put it on my “house” list, which never seemed to take account of my “work” list. The two were kept very separate.

Guess what happened? I wasn’t the happiest Mum in the world for their final week off school. I wasn’t offering my best service to my customers.Everyone was getting a bit of me, but it wasn’t usually a good bit. I was frustrated and upset with myself, and this passed on to my workers, family and friends. Yeah, not the best thing to do, when time is so precious.

Once I’d learnt that everything I do is a part of me, and I need to allocate enough time to my priorities (whether they be home or work), everything fell into place. I haven’t always got everything done that’s on my list, but I’ve not worried about it. I know the boys have got what they need to be ready for school. I’ve focused on my customers when it’s work time, and I know that customers will come higher up my list next week when the boys start back at school/college.

Prioritising makes you happy

You’re free too, to use the time you have on all those things you want to do this week. Don’t forget that coming back from holiday can be a shock to the system – earlier starts, more things “to do” in a day, and probably a bit more structure. Don’t be hard on yourself. You can only do what you can do. Next week’s free Kick Start programme is designed to get you moving if you feel you’ve let everything slide this summer. You’re not alone remember. There’s many people like you juggling lots of balls, and feeling that you’re dropping too many of them.

So for this week, just breathe, enjoy what you do, and make a note of all those things that you simply can’t squeeze into the time available. It’s OK. There’s always next week 🙂

The free programme will start on 3rd September. You can join the free 5 day programme here & get your business moving forward in the way you want. There’ll be a little tutorial each day, with a task for you to complete. It should take you no longer than 20 minutes a day (you may choose to allow yourself longer), to use the materials and support in the group.

You’ve no excuse focus on your priorities this week & enjoy every minute of it.

Let me know what you’re worried about this week & what’s concerning you about your business.If you don’t want to wait until next week, feel free to book a 20 minute free Explore Call, or join the Business Cheerleading Club and get the help of other business owners to help you.

Grief, loss and Mother’s Day

I’ve had a tough week. It’s spilled over into this week, with my feeling “under the weather”, and not “on top form”. It’s been quite a while since I felt like this. I’d put it down to the hours I’ve been putting into my business recently.

However, after a conversation with Dale Darley about journaling on Friday, I realised that actually, I was holding things in, and that’s what was aiding my ‘tiredness’. Then on Sunday, when I was with my family for a wonderful weekend away, I was grumpy and broke down in tears, to be comforted by my 16 year old son, who I told, “I miss my Mummy” by way of explanation.

Grief and loss

I attended a train the trainer session on Wednesday, (see how my week has had a flow to it?), to allow me to train others to support people suffering grief and loss. I had no idea that I would be hit so hard by this. I support other people as a business, and volunteer, friend and mentor. I should be strong and be able to let go of all my grief and loss shouldn’t I?

“I must be strong, so that I can help others”, is what my head says. And then another little voice says, “well that’s OK, but who’s supporting and helping you?” That’s when I turned inwards. Not to ignore the voice, but to reflect on it.

You see, I guess I’m still grieving for my Mum who died, age 65, in May 2009. She was an amazing woman, loved by so many, who really could wear the SuperWoman motif. Everyone said so. She touched the lives of so many. She was very special. Not just to me and my brother.

I’ve grieved over the years. I’ve let her go. I have wonderful memories, of happy times and so much love shared.

It was interesting that I shared about my Mother in Law not realising her son’s needed support as they’d lost their father too. What I didn’t say out loud at the time, was that I’ve never felt my Dad realised I’d lost my Mum.

I’ve lost my father too

Not because he’s died, but because he’s changed. He’s not the person I grew up with, and I miss the father I knew for 38 years. I don’t need you to know the details, just that I’ve not allowed myself to grieve this loss in the same way as I have my mother.

Over the past 9 years, I know I’ve tried to put a ‘brave face’ on things, and when with family and family friends who loved my Mum and Dad, who are also grieving their loss of two people, and not just one. It’s been hard. To start with I tried to explain his behaviour away with “I’m sure it’s just a phase”, but after almost 9 years, I know I have to let him go too.

That’s so hard 🙁 To let someone go who is still alive, who you love, and always enjoyed their company. We had so many happy times.

I know many people lose people in life to illness. I feel your pain. I think it would have been easier to accept if he’d had a diagnosed illness, rather than a personality change!

Losing close friends

who supports you when you need it most - grief, loss and mothers dayDuring the training last week, and then again in a workshop I hosted on Monday, led by the lovely Simona Frumen, for my Business Club members, I realised that I was also suffering loss of people I’d had a very close relationship with over the past few years. Whilst I’ve just “got on” with life, during the workshop I shared that the hardest part I’d found, was that they hadn’t wanted to have a conversation about the ending of our business relationship.

Friends, I know, sometimes come and go. We ebb and flow with some people, whilst others are constant in our lives, and the bonds are so strong you know you have a shoulder to cry on, or arms to hug you, whenever you need them.

But this relationship I lost last autumn had been very special to me. It was intense in it’s starting and growing. And it was a surprise quick ending for me. I guess the grief has finally caught up with me on this one.

Whilst I’ll never understand this ending, I can put it in perspective in my life through my own journaling, and letting myself.

There’s all sorts of areas of loss in our lives. The training last week had me thinking about a lot of different things – confidence, home, momentoes, jewellery, esteem, identity, friends. Have you lost anything that you haven’t grieved yet?

This last week has shown me I must take time to reflect, and be honest with myself. I’m very good at helping others to reflect and learn to help them move forward. It’s time I took my own advice!

And then came Mother’s Day

It was hard. Probably the hardest one after the first one 8 years ago.

I guess as my awareness had been raised over the previous week in the training and conversations, that I was more open and raw than usual. There’d been International Women’s Day, celebrating amazing women. I allowed my wonderful Mum to creep back into my head. I allowed myself to say, “I miss my Mum”.

It’s not unusual, and I know many women who’d love to have their Mum’s back in their lives.

For me though, this last week I’ve allowed myself to reflect on the last few months I’ve had. My husband has had labyrinthitis, and needed caring for for 6 weeks. The boys and I have worked together, and got through pretty well, in the main. It made me realise that we don’t have the support I’d like. My Mum, (and Dad), used to come and stay for a few days at a time and just “be there” and “do stuff”. It was wonderful. It was annoying sometimes as well, I’ll admit that. But having someone to make tea – even just think about it & buy the ingredients, or do the washing was a relief. Since Mum died I’ve had no-one else who’s helped us in this way. I miss it.

Am I a big softie who doesn’t want to take on my own family’s responsibilities? I don’t think so, but then I’m happy for you to disagree with me. I think we all need support – the right support for us. Throughout our lives this will vary.

During this reflection it’s shown me that I don’t have the support I need around me at the moment. We have some wonderful friends and family, and they all did what they could whilst hubby was laid up in bed. However, I now know that I need more. I need more time to look after myself. More time to write, and reflect, and exercise and eat well, and have girly chats, and walk.

In my Business Club this month, the focus is on reviewing personal resources. I’ve been asking business owners to check if they have the right support for themselves and their business. Little did I know when I wrote that, that I need to review my own support too!

What support do you have around you?

I know I’m not alone in hiding, or pretending that loss or grief isn’t there, or doesn’t affect me. I know I’m not ready to lead any training sessions to help others with grief or loss, but I am able to listen to others who need to get things off their chest.

When I train a listening course, which is done as a pair of trainers, we listen to each other as part of a live role play to show attendees how listening helps to clear your head. We, as trainers, always benefit from this short listening session. So, I simply need to add in “be listened to” regularly in my diary with a friend, and/or trained listener.

It’s been great in the Business Club this week, where members are supporting each other, and becoming accountability buddies. Hopefully those relationships will allow for “life” stuff to happen, and they’ll support each other in the way each of them needs it.

Thank you for listening. I feel better having shared with you. It is a good thing to share – with ourselves, and with others. Don’t hold it in. Don’t hide from it. Whatever you need to do to reflect, and remember, it’s worth it. You will feel better in the long run.

I promise.

If this has raised issues for you, please do what you need to get the right support to help you. I have two good listening ears, Dale is wonderful at helping you journal & Simona helps to mediate solutions. Ask for help from your friends, or network, and if the right support isn’t there, keep searching.

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.