Changeability Podcast: Manage Your Mind - Change Your Life-logo

Changeability Podcast: Manage Your Mind - Change Your Life

Self Development

Want to change or improve your life or business, but know how hard it can be? The Award Winning Changeability Podcast, Best Self-Help Podcast (UK Podcasters Awards 2015) can help. With much of our behaviour carried out on an unconscious level, this is great to keep us alive but not so great when we want to change something. The mechanisms that protect us are the mechanisms that make it hardest to change. Enter Changeability – the ability to change through managing your mind and tactics. With discussion and interviews to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business, this Award Winning Podcast looks at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics and tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality.


Suffolk, United Kingdom


Want to change or improve your life or business, but know how hard it can be? The Award Winning Changeability Podcast, Best Self-Help Podcast (UK Podcasters Awards 2015) can help. With much of our behaviour carried out on an unconscious level, this is great to keep us alive but not so great when we want to change something. The mechanisms that protect us are the mechanisms that make it hardest to change. Enter Changeability – the ability to change through managing your mind and tactics. With discussion and interviews to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business, this Award Winning Podcast looks at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics and tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality.




CA100: The Changeability Podcast past and future

The Changeability Podcast past and future We celebrate 100 episodes as we take a look at the Changeability Podcast past and future. Here’s some of the top 3s from the past 99 episodes followed by a look at the next episode in the Changeability Podcast story. Audience top 3 episodes The 3 favourite episodes of our audience to date. These are the shows with the highest number of downloads so far. The longer the episode’s been on iTunes or our website or Stitcher or TuneIn the longer people have had to listen to it, so we would expect the older shows to have more downloads than newer ones and that’s reflected in these results. Third most popular episode - ‘What is Mind Management’ Episode 6 In episode 6 of the Changeability Podcast we were thinking about our strap line phrase – ‘Mind Management’. What is mind management and what’s in it for you? In episode 6 you found out about: Second most popular episode - ‘The Brilliant You’ Episode 2 Do you know how truly amazing you are? Well that’s what episode 2 is all about. You might not always feel like a magnificent being, but by the end of this second episode you be agreeing with us that you’re pretty smart. Because in this show we talk about just how brilliant you and your marvellous mind and what it means. Understanding a few basics about how your mind works, will help you understand what’s getting in the way of doing what you want and what to do about it. Most popular episode - ‘Changeability – The Start’ Episode 1 The first episode saw us introducing ourselves and the Changeability show. The Changeability podcast is for you if you’re interested in changing or improving something in your life or business, big or small. It’s for people like us who’re interested in finding ways to make our lives the best they can be – so we can be more successful (whatever that means to you), happy and fulfilled. Through discussion and interviews we look at practical mind management and change techniques, tactics & tools - taken from the worlds of personal development, psychology, neuroscience, business, sport, entertainment and spirituality – to empower and inspire a happier, successful life or business. In the first episode you find out: Top 3 countries We love you being here wherever you’re from – so this isn’t our favourite countries – but rather the top 3 countries with the highest number of listeners out of the 167 countries we currently have listeners in. (And just in cast you’re interested the fourth is Australia with India in fifth place.) Kathryn and Julian’s favourites This was so hard to choose, especially as we decided not to include any interviews in our top 3s (maybe they’re deserving of a separate post) – but here’s three each with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure. Kathryn’s favourites Julian’s favourites Couple of extras 3 of our favourite reviews on iTunes Very hard to pick 3 out of the 78 we have so far across the different iTunes countries as we obviously love them all. So we can’t really call these our favourites but they are reviews we’ve especially like. Excellent - iimmmii from United Kingdom One of the best ‘change your life’ resources I’ve come across. If you like to understand the theory and evidence (be it scientific or anecdotal) behind advice on how to change your life, this material is presented in an engaging way in this podcast. Of course they also make recommendations for how best to go about taking action. A few episodes in and you will feel like you’ve made two new friends who are supporting you on your journey of change. Well done Kathryn and Julian, listening to you makes me proud to be from the same Sceptred Isle! A Homely Serving Up of Sound Advice/Wisdom - Ola-B. from United Kingdom Where has this amazing couple been all my life?! :) Love Kathryn, love Julian, and let's not forget Dude!!! Love this podcast - the topics, the delivery of it's simply unique, uplifting and inspiring! Thank...


CA099: Habits willpower and motivation

“Habits are formed by the repetition of particular acts. They are strengthened by an increase in the number of repeated acts. Habits are also weakened or broken, and contrary habits are formed by the repetition of contrary acts.” ― Mortimer J. Adler Habits are an intrinsic part of who we are and how we function. Habits are fundamental to how we think and behave, which makes them key to how we live our lives and make our decisions. The achievement of our goals and success are more the product of our daily habits than any one off transformative situation or action on our part. Habits are a key part of mind management because; To do this we need to know which habits are good for us and to continue and critically which habits are not supporting our goals. The first step therefore is to identify a habit you want to change for a helpful, empowering, positive, healthy or wealthy habit, or a new habit you want to cultivate. This an important step as the funny thing about habits (like limiting thoughts) is we’re not always aware of them. We have to take a deliberate step back to identify the habit or to acknowledge that thing we keep doing but would really love to change is indeed a habit – an habitual way of behaving in response to a situation or action. Willpower Now you know the habit you want to change, is it a matter of using your willpower to change it and your motivation to keep going? Yes and no. Yes because when it comes to habits willpower and motivation both have an important role to play but they’re not enough on there own as there are limitations to be aware of. Willpower is the power to exercise your will. To have control over what you do and self-discipline. But the thing about will power is you only have so much of it and when it runs out – because we’re tired or hungry or sad – it’s hard to rely on. This is why you can wake up with good intentions and lots of willpower but by the evening it’s decidedly harder to exercise your will. Although you can get better at exercising willpower the more we do it, your brain likes your habits so wants you to keep them. So although willpower has a role to play in changing your habits, it can’t be relied on to do it alone. The same goes for your motivation. Motivation Your motivation is the purpose or the ‘why’ behind what you do – in this case behind the new habit you want. I think of motivation as having different levels or layers and each level or layer has a different strength. Think of it as concentric circles –circles within circles like an onion. The outer layer is your big ‘why’ or the purpose that motivates you. Say you want to develop some health and fitness habits– the big outer layer motivation is to be healthier and fitter because it makes you feel better, gives you more energy, to get the most out of life, you look better which makes you feel better, and that makes you a better happier person in yourself and relationships. In short the outer layer is you want to develop healthy habits because being fit and healthy feels good and makes me a happier person. That’s all very well and good but it’s hard to keep that at the forefront of our mind in everything we do – and we know that willpower will only take us so far. Especially as we move in onto the next layer. The next layer or circle in is your situation. For example, you have a busy life, you’re looking after your house, maybe you have a family or a hectic social life or many commitments, and you’re always rushing around from one thing to the next. Then we get to the next layer in which is your career or job that maybe demands a lot from you in terms of energy and time. Next comes the final layer because right in the middle (like the bullseye on a dart board) is a circle which represent you. It has the word ‘you’ of ‘me’ written in it. This is you at this very moment or in the present moment when you’re thinking about it. That’s the model but it’s not static, because the thickness of these...


CA098: What are habits and why they matter

What are habits and why they matter Your habits are key to who you are and the change you want. Habits underpin what we do at Brilliant Living and on the Changeability Podcast – mind management for your best life and business and how to make changes. Lasting change, i.e. achieving your goals – is not the result of a one off transformation but a product of daily habits. What do you want to achieve? What do you want to change? Whatever it is, getting it is the result of your habits. Habits play a role in what you look and feel like, in your success and relationships. All of which makes it slightly surprising we’ve got to episode 98 of the Changeability Podcast before dedicating and episode to habits – but here we are and this is it. So what are habits? Habits are the things we do, but also and maybe as importantly, the way we think and what we believe. They include the self-beliefs that influence what we do, our behaviour and the actions we take. A habit is the repeated thinking and behaviours that become automatic, so we don’t mostly think about it. We need to know how we form habits in order to change them. Habits have certain characteristics or constituent parts that keep us doing them. Cues, routines and rewards There’s a cue that initiates the behaviour. A cue is a trigger, or reminder, something that triggers our thought or behaviour. Like the cue line in a play, (the line before you come in) which on hearing it reminds you to say your line, or triggers you to deliver your line. Then comes the routine. This is the behaviour or action that the cue has triggered – and the bit we think of as the habit. This is followed by the third part of a habit – the reward. This is the bit that is of benefit to you in some way, even though it might not actually feel like that, your brain is seeing it’s benefit. Because it’s a reward or benefit your brain wants you to repeat it and so you do until you’ve done it often enough it becomes a habit. This forms what Charles Duhigg in ‘The Power of Habit’ and Stanford professor B.J. Hogg in ‘Tiny Habits’ call the ‘habit loop’. Many of our everyday activities involve habits with a cue, action and reward. Here’s a few you probably repeatedly do and don’t really think about them : Then there’s certain ways of behaving we get into which quickly become habits for example, Then there are the habits you think of as bad or unhelpful. If you want proof of the power of habit – if proof were needed – just look at your pet. Our dog Dude not only knows the time of day but exactly what should be happening in his world at what time and what order. Especially when it comes to food and walks. Why we need habits Habits help us manage our minds. Habits save us brain power – or rather free up our brains to do exciting creative thinking. Making habits out of the things we do repeatedly, our behaviours and actions – provides our brain with a power saving or effort saving mechanism. An automatic response requires less creativity and complexity of thinking from us. Gretchen Rubin in her book “Better than before” sums it up nicely: “When possible, the brain makes a behavior into a habit, which saves effort and therefore gives us more capacity to deal with complex, novel, or urgent matters.” ― Gretchen Rubin Why habits matter Habits matter because they hold great influence and sway over how we think, act and feel – which just about covers everything we do. We get into habits of thinking, doing and feeling. And because it’s the brain’ shortcut to behaving and feeling certain ways, it becomes automatic behaviour. “We become what we repeatedly do.” - Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens This is great if it’s good automatic behaviour – but what if it’s not good behaviour? We’ve mentioned a few of our bad habits, those unhelpful habits that don’t support us in the changes we want to make and the way we want to live. And the truth is we all have unhelpful habits. That’s...


CA097: Healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters

Healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters Kathryn and I first met Emma and Carla when we were attending a business entrepreneurs’ event in the Philippines. Meeting these two vivacious and fun loving entrepreneurs made a mark on both of us. Their joy of life was infectious, and we wanted to know more about them, their journey and what they did. Emma and Carla Papas, known as ‘The Merrymaker Sisters’ are real life sisters who went from being communication professionals to health and happiness advocates and health coaches! They're the founders of where they inspire hundreds of thousands of Merrymakers around the world with real food recipes and ways to find and follow your bliss! “If we hear ourselves say ‘we want this to happen’, we have to focus some energy on it.” - The Merrymaker Sisters So, what better than to invite them onto episode 97 of The Changeability Podcast laugh and chat healthy happy eating with The Merrymaker Sisters. Packed into this week’s Changeability Podcast “Life is too short to say no to dessert. You just have to make your dessert healthy” – The Merrymaker Sisters Links mentioned on today’s show: themerrymakersisters.comInstagramMake it Merry: A Healthy Cookbook


CA096: Change your brain, revitalise your body

Change your brain, revitalise your body – really? Sound too good to be true? We’ve been talking over the last few weeks about how to use the power of your brain to reach your ideal body weight, look younger and boost your energy. And let’s face it, who couldn’t do with a bit of that! As part of our wellness and wellbeing series we’ve explored Dr Daniel Amen’s book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, including 10 brain principles for the body you want and four ways to use your brain to change your weight. Today we conclude our exploration in change your brain, revitalise your body. How your brain can help beautify your body and improve your overall health and well-being. Dr Amen puts forward 6 solutions: 1 - The Skin solution Your skin is directly tied to the health of your brain. People spend a lot of money on skin care products and more. It’s a huge multi-million pound business. From skin-care products to laser treatment, to the plastic surgeon, but Dr Amen argues these are only temporary fixes and the real solution lies in your brain. It’s your brain that tells your skin to produce more or less oil, supervises the production of supportive collagen and is responsible for skin regeneration; so it’s there we need to begin. “The health of your skin is an outside reflection of the health of your brain.” – Dr Daniel G. Amen So what’s bad for our brain (and therefore our skin)? Well it’s the usual suspects: Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor diet, too much sugar, yo-yo dieting, inadequate water intake, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, unresolved emotional conflicts or PTSD, hormonal changes, untreated psychiatric conditions, dementia, medications, sun exposure, pollution and environmental toxins, climate. And the solution: Get more sleep, distress, exercise, balance your hormones, have more sex (really), limit caffeine and alcohol, quit smoking, eat a brain healthy diet (more of that next week), maintain a healthy weight, drink more water, balance your sun exposure (some sun is good for your Vitamin D) but not too much which can cause premature aging and sun spots. 20 minutes during the day after which protect yourself with sunscreen. And finally treat mental disorders and memory problems. Plus you can take some supplements, e.g. Vitamin D, fish oil, evening primrose oil and grape seed extract (good antioxidant) 2 - The Hormone solution Did you know your hormones have a huge impact on brain function? When your hormones are balanced you tend to feel happy and energetic. And in contrast Dr Amen cites evidence pointing to low hormonal levels being responsible for amongst other things: low libido, depression, memory problems, midlife crises and divorce. While high hormone levels lead to: hyper competitiveness, acne or aggression. Once again it’s the brain that controls all the hormones in your body. Types of hormonal imbalance include thyroid, adrenal, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone to name but a few. Different hormones require different treatments but often begin with blood tests depending on the symptoms. 3 - The Focus and Energy solution If you want more energy and focus (and frankly, who doesn’t) then you are probably prey to one or more focus and energy robbers. These fall into different categories including; infectious causes, hormonal issues, low or erratic blood sugar states, anaemia, brain trauma, environmental toxins, inherited brain disorders, medications, chronic stress, untreated past emotional traumas and bad brain habits. So if you find yourself wondering if your lack of focus could be something more that just being disorganised or lacking focus, it might well be. The good news is there’s lots you can do to counteract this. The first step is to get any of those focus and energy robbers treated and at the same time develop and maintain a brain-healthy lifestyle – adequate sleep, a brain-healthy diet, exercise (4-5 times/week), a stress reduction program if chronically stressed,...


CA095: How to use your brain to change your weight

How to use your brain to change your weight This week we’ve gone from consuming 5 course dinners every night in a lovely hotel on holiday in Wales, to thinking about weight and the brain. It’s sweetly ironic and rather timely. As part of our mini series on health and wellbeing, this week we think about weight and if we can use our brains to help us lose weight. Today’s featured author certainly thinks so as Dr Daniel G. Amen devotes the second section of his book, Change your Brain, Change your Body, to the subject. Last week we looked at 10 brain principles for the body you’ve always wanted. Continuing with our exploration of the link between your brain and body and how having a healthy body and making healthy decisions all starts with your brain, we turn to the subject of weight. Weight is an aspect of our bodies that many of us want to do something about. We might want to change our weight upwards or more commonly downwards, for our health and because we think it will make us feel better about ourselves. So what does Dr Daniel G. Amen say about this? How can you use your brain to achieve lasting weight loss? Dr Amen, puts forward four major solutions to how to use your brain to change your weight. 1 - The Craving Solution This is about using your brain to increase your willpower and calm the urges that prevent you achieving your goals. How often do we have a day where everything’s going well and then someone offers us a cream cake? In Dr Amen’s case it was a caramel apple which he resisted it by walking away – but why was everything in him craving it? Essentially, there are centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control – the pre-frontal cortex in the front of your brain – and there is also a pleasure and motivation centre deep within your brain plus we also have emotional memory centres that trigger behaviour. All this comes together to influence our behaviour. By understanding these brain circuits of willpower and control you can work towards gaining mastery of your brain and body. It starts with our first experiences of pleasure or intense emotional experiences. These first experiences can get locked in the brain and lay down the tracks for later behaviour and addictions, because we want to replicate and repeat what led to our first pleasurable experiences. For Dr Amen it was linked to the pleasure he associated with some of his earliest memories of making fudge with his sweet-maker grandfather. What about you? What are your earliest memories of pleasure or intense emotional experiences? I remember eating ‘milky way’ chocolate bars at my Grandma’s house when I got home from school and my Mother’s sherry trifles were legendry at family parties and celebrations of every kind. For Julian the stodgy puddings of school dinners and getting enough of it after it had been passed down the table of older children first, loom large in his memory (yes he is that person that loved school dinners)! So going back to the idea there are different centres of the brain responsible for focus, judgment and impulse control plus a pleasure and motivation centre, it’s the relative strength and weakness of each of these brain areas that goes a long way in determining how much control we have over ourselves and how well we are able to stick to our plans. Regaining control of these different centres of the brain depends in part on the area in question but it generally involves balancing your brain systems. If, for example your Prefrontal Cortex is out of balance, you might need to treat any PFC problems that exist but in more general terms you can strengthen this area by: Changeability Starter Kit Solution 2 – The Weight Solution Here, you’re using your brain to achieve your optimal weight. While according to Dr Amen we might exhibit different clinical presentations and brain patterns and require different approaches, he outlines 13 things all of us should do to maintain a healthy weight. Solution 3...


CA094: 10 brain principles for the body you want

10 brain principles for the body you want Is it possible to utilise the power of your brain, to reach your ideal body weight, to look younger and boost your energy? That’s the question we’re asking today. And it’s the bold claim Dr Daniel G Amen makes in his New York Times bestseller, Change your Brain, Change your Body - the subject of this week’s blog and Changeability Podcast. What’s the idea behind Change your Brain, Change your Body? In his introduction, Dr Amen tells us “Fifty percent of the brain is dedicated to vision. How you look plays a large role in how you feel. To look and feel your best, you must first think about and optimize your brain.” Let’s unpick this a bit. We’re visually orientated, with our brain devoting half of its processing power to sight. Being visual creatures – how we look, or how we perceive we look, plays a large part in how we feel about ourselves and that can often determine our ultimate success. For our own underlying health – and not just for vanity sake – we should therefore concern ourselves with how we look and feel. And that ultimately, to look and feel your best you need to first think about and then optimize your brain. So as the title suggests, this book is about understanding and optimizing your brain to help you reach your ideal weight, look younger, boost your energy, change how you feel about yourself and that process of changing your body (via your mind) will in turn ultimately determine your success. In essence then, this book is about body/mind integration, mind/body connection and how you can use your brain to improve your body and health. And I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s an interesting premise. But what do we know about the author and how he comes to make these claims? Background and credentials of the author Dr Daniel G Amen is a doctor with three decades of clinical practice at the Amen Clinics. His interest in the brain-body connection started over 30 years ago – where intriguingly he was influenced by an oncologist who taught people to use visualization to boost their immune system in order to fight cancer. At medical school he became trained in hypnosis and saw the effect it can have on healing the body in a variety of treatments. But it was in 1991 that he truly started to understand the mind-body connection when he started doing the brain imaging work which he now does at his clinics. “Our brain imaging work opened a new window into why people do what they do. It provided the missing link and allowed people to see what was going on in their brains, so they could do things to improve their brain and bodies.” Addressing the effect rather than the cause of body dissatisfaction How often do we look in the mirror and see things we don’t always like? We look at our reflection and we see lines on our face we don’t always want there, or we catch a glance of ourselves sidelong and see a tum which frankly we’d prefer not to have. We notice a few split ends in our hair or excessively dry skin on our face. What do we do? Well, we could make an appointment with a hairdresser for a haircut. The wrinkles – we might slap all sorts of lotions and potions onto the skin to moisturise, cleanse and fill the cracks, so to speak – and some might nip along to their doctors to make an appointment for Botox. Basically we try and fix it ourselves (diet to lose the tum) or get some professional help. We address the effect. But Dr Amen would say that we need to address this issue by thinking about the health of our brain, the cause. And that many of us are walking around with brains that could do with some serious help, but we don’t know it, so we don’t do anything about it to address the issue. The things we see in the mirror are symptomatic of our brain health and instead of addressing the causal symptom we address the effect. 10 brain principles for the body you want Amen’s book is based on 10 key principles about the brain and its relationship with your...


CA093: The Art of Epic Wellness with Nicole Keating

Nicole Keating is on a mission to live a life of Epic Wellness, and to inspire and help others in their quest for The Art of Epic Wellness – a life of physical, spiritual and emotional vitality. Nicole maintains: “If you treat your body as a temple, then your body is going to treat you with beautiful energy and epic vitality” And who doesn’t want more energy and vitality? We know we certainly do. Behind the concept of epic wellness is the belief you have the right to know what’s going into the temple that is your body, and the responsibility to share what you know with the people you love. “It’s all about becoming involved with your food”, Nicole tells us. And this carries on from ideas we explored on last week’s Changeability Podcast where we were talking about wellness and wellbeing. Nicole’s website, and her podcast of the same name seeks to do just that, to explore, uncover, question, unburden and uplevel your wellness journey. After all… “When you invest in clean food going into your body you won’t to have to invest later in your healthcare.” With a life voyage of such life changing proportions, we thought the only decent and British thing to do was to invite her onto the Changeability Podcast to discuss not the science but the Art of Epic Wellness. And when the California State (where Nicole lives) and good old blighty meet – that’s home to Kathryn and I – there’s bound to be room for lively discussion on living a life of such epic proportions. On today’s Changeability Podcast Hear Nicole, Kathryn and I discuss: Epic Wellness?Art of Epic Wellness Manifesto?unburdeninguplevelling “I like to think of my meal as a palette, I’m building a beautiful canvas of food in front of me and I want to see all the different colours, I want to have different textures, I like to have some things cooked and some things raw and whenever I am cooking, I’m thinking about it that way.” Links mentioned on this week’s show vote for The Changeability Podcast29th Maytheartofepicwellness.comnicole@theartofepicwellness.com


CA092: What the heck is wellbeing?

What the heck is wellbeing? Here at Brilliant Living HQ and our Changeability Podcast we’re all about helping you and us manage our minds to make changes and have more success and our best life and business. As well as looking at mind management techniques and processes to do this, we thought it would be fun and hopefully helpful to look at some of the key areas of life that many of us want to do something about. Earlier this year we did a series of podcasts and posts about relationships and today we start thinking about wellness and wellbeing. “Everything that brings us well being is achieved through allowing ourselves to flow with life and be in harmony. Pain happens, it is our attachment to the pain and our resistance to change that causes suffering.” Alaric Hutchinson Today is a beautiful day. It’s the first week of May and spring has sprung here in our little corner of England. The evenings are light and the days getting longer every day. The sunshine is making us feel better and it’s amazing the difference it makes. In fact we could say it’s increasing our sense of wellbeing - it certainly feels like that to us. But what the heck is wellbeing? What does wellbeing and wellness mean to us? This notion of wellbeing seems to be everywhere, in the work-place, in magazines, all over the internet, in fact there is a whole wellness and wellbeing industry out there. Wellbeing is big business. It’s a world populated by spas, therapists, therapies, fitness, gyms, dancing, exercise classes, weight loss, relaxation, supplements, closely associated to the health industry and being in a healthy state. Wellness is the manifestation of wellbeing. Wellbeing is a particular way or specific state of being encompassing many different aspects such as: Psychologists, economists and policy makers are all interested in wellbeing and try to measure it, so they can use it to understand more about populations and the policies needed in the future. While our focus at Brilliant Living HQ and in the Changeability mind-work is on mind management, it doesn’t mean we ignore the physical or body side of things. The two are totally entwined. We know this is area where lots of us want to change things – and that’s great because we believe mind management is key to making those changes, as much as it is to making any changes in life or business. Is it an area you want to change? Ask yourself if your level of wellbeing is having an impact on your life, work, business, interests, family or relationships? Mind body and spirit When we talk about wellness in terms of Brilliant Living, we see wellbeing encompassing body, mind and spirit. For us it has to be a holistic definition and approach to wellbeing that takes all three elements into account. How do you define wellbeing? What the heck does wellbeing mean to you? We asked our Changeability Facebook Group and is what two of our members told us: ‘Giving your body what it needs (fuel, movement, rest and recovery) self care, connection, emotional support/nurturance... Just some ideas off the top of my head 😉 ‘ Vicky ‘Wellness for me has to do with both mind and body, but I sometimes have to go along with wellness also including pain/discomfort as well. So it isn't the absence of problems, more like being happy where I am, appreciating all the good things, having a sharp mind to play with and a very useful body! Other people, communication, meaningful activities, and all the basic needs met are of course in the mix. (There’s no of course about that list for so many people, so gratitude is in there too!)’ Janet Thanks to Vicky and Janet for these insightful definitions. Positivity Just as health is not the absence of disease, there’s something much more positive to it rather than being just an opposite to a negative thing, wellbeing is something positive in its own right. As Jan points out, it isn’t about the absence of problems, but about being happy where we are – which is a relief for all...


CA091: A new measure of success

A new measure of success How do you quantify success? What is it you actually measure? Should it be statistics, figures, numbers? Or how about the effort put in to achieving it? Maybe it could be a combination of these, rather like those school reports where you get a grade for achievement and a score for effort. Or should we more concerned with experiences rather than numbers? Statistics are certainly the easiest and most obvious way to measure success. With money wealth, income being one of most popular ways for people to measure their own or others’ success. But it’s all relative. What constitutes a measure of success in monetary terms fluctuates according to age, the circles you move in, geographical location and your time in history. Money can be measure in it’s own right or as an indication or measure of success. It’s not necessarily the money per se that’s important to measure, but it’s rather the way some people choose to quantify their success. The success is what drives them, not the money, but income is a useful indicator and measure of that. That’s all very well and yes numbers and effort are a good way to measure anything, but let’s not ignore the role of feelings and the experience itself. Otherwise we run the danger of seeing success as one-dimensional and we’re not one-dimensional beings, so if we do this we fail to capture the true meanings of success. So how are we measuring success? During my reflection time recently (a part of my Changeability mind-work where I write whatever comes to mind during meditation or visualisation) I came to a realisation as I was musing on this very subject. I realised that for much of my life I’ve equated success with validation. Validation for what I’m not sure, but it’s something to do with feeling valued and wanting to be seen to be good enough or for people to think I’m good at doing what I’m doing. This was quite a revelation! I was interested in what it meant. Did I see my self-worth wrapped up in other people’s idea of my worthiness? I don’t think of myself as someone who worries too much about what others think of me, or let it stop me doing things. But maybe it’s not so much about what others think, but more that I want to be seen as good enough so I think I’m good enough myself. There’s a lot more to be said about this and how it shows up in what I do and don’t do. You can hear all of this in much more detail in episode 91 of The Changeability Podcast. A new measure of success If you haven’t got time to listen to the episode now (and it’s quite a short episode for us) here’s a flavour of what I wrote in my Changeability Daily Journal: I am going to have a new measure of success from now on. My new measure of success is around enjoying every day. So essentially I will measure my daily success in terms of whether I enjoyed the day and found it fulfilling in some way. Now of course what constitutes an enjoyable day or a fulfilling day will change from day to day depending on what I’m doing – but in many ways that is the point. There is no real single measure of success, but many different measures depending on what we’re trying to achieve at any time. Therefore, I’m using this as an overarching catchall that can encompass any other measure within it. After all, what I (and I think most people) want to achieve in life and business is to be happy and fulfilled and enjoy this amazing experience of being alive. What makes each of us happy and fulfilled will be different and that doesn’t matter, because my new measure of success allows me to capture this for me. Listen to the podcast to hear me read the full extract from my Changeability Planner and Journal. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” Bob Dylan Getting to know you If you listen to our podcast or come to this website regularly then you know a bit about us – and we’d love to reciprocate and get to know more...


CA090: 6 ways to measure success

6 ways to measure success Have you thought about what success looks like to you? If so, how do you measure your success? Actually the first question is – do you need to to measure success? We say yes. One, because when you measure your success it makes you think about it. What is success and what does it mean to you? It makes you aware of what you want in life or business, rather than wandering aimlessly. Two, it gives you something to aim for, and we know that as humans we thrive and are generally happier and more fulfilled when we have a sense of purpose. Three, what gets measured gets done. It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” ~ Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents So how do you measure success? That depends on the sort of success it is. Here’s 6 ways to measure success – or 6 different types of success and our (some obvious and some not so obvious) suggestions of how to measure them. Episode 90 of The Changeability Podcast Hear us talk more about this in episode 90 of the Changeability Podcast Links Thank you for listening and reading this. If you like the show, please go to iTunes now and leave us a review – we will love you for it.


CA089: What does success mean to you?

What does success mean to you? We start every episode of the Changeability Podcast with the words ‘brought to you by Brilliant Living HQ .com’ because that’s our online home. That’s where you find us, our products, the 89 podcast episodes we’ve published to date, and hundreds of blog posts. But this week we asked you if you’re experiencing ‘brilliant living’. If you take the dictionary definitions of the two words and put them together it brilliant living means something like ‘living life in a way that is excellent, bright and marvelous, pursuing a lifestyle that feels very good to you.’ We define ‘brilliant living’ as living life on your own terms. Ok, so its not always 100% possible, but it is definitely more possible than most people think. Sure there are physical and social parameters, but we can push those boundaries and look at what are the real boundaries and which are those created by the cultural norms and social expectations we go along with. What brought all this on you might ask. Well this week we had a fabulous day in London. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was the first warm day of spring. We met our son Alexander for a full works English breakfast sitting outside at the Bankside Café – they even had three vegetarian options for me. We walked along the Southbank of the River Thames - past Tate Modern, past Shakespeare’s Globe and down to London Bridge, where we ambled round Borough market, saw the house from Lock Stock and ended up drinking smoothies in the Refectory Garden at Southwark Cathedral – all by lunchtime. Returning along the river to the Royal Festival Hall we met with some Tropical Think Tankers for a Mastermind Session and had a fun productive great time talking business. Then back to my sister’s house for family dinner before driving home to pick up Dude the Dog and get back to our house and bed. Reflecting on it in my appreciation time the next day I thought to myself – that was a brilliant day. This triggered thoughts about what makes a successful day. Because in a way success is another way of looking at what brilliant living means to you. So how do you define success – what does success mean to you? “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” Abraham Lincoln The definition of success The Oxford Dictionary describes success as ‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.’ ‘The attainment of fame, wealth or social status.’ ‘A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame wealth,' These last two definitions are interesting because this is the sort of thing that springs to mine when we think about what success means. Conceptions of success: Moving up the ladder There is the idea that success is about getting to the top of the ladder especially in terms of career and moving up the corporate hierarchy. Any organisational chart will make it obvious where you are in the scheme of things, but at what point on that ladder of success will you think you’ve been successful? It will partly depend on why you’re doing the job. Is success about the status or b the influence and impact you will have? Is it connected to the benefits or trappings of success? Expert status Another way of looking at success is about reaching an expert status. We call people a success when they reach a level of expertise like actors, musicians and sports people. An interesting question is at what level do you become a success in your own eyes and in the eyes of those around you. Financial success The most common definition of success is probably around financial or monetary success. There’s a wealth connotation implied when we think about success. When we say someone’s done well or they’re a real success, more often than not the implication is around wealth, but it doesn’t need to be. Social success Success can equally encompass social impact as seen in social enterprises and community based initiatives and roles. Then there is...


CA088: Why you need mind management

WHY do you need mind management? What do you want to change in your life? Do you want more or less of something or to learn a new skill or experience different things? Or do you want to change something about your relationships or body or work or finances? It doesn’t have to mean you hate your life or work now – but you just want it to be better in some way. Yes, we all want changes but WHY do we need mind management to do it. ‘Life management begins with mind management. The quality of your life is influenced by the quality of your thoughts.’ Robin Sharma Your marvellous mind Your brain is amazing and has enormous power. Its big job is to keep you alive and it does that by keeping you safe which tends to mean maintaining the status quo – because that’s what’s worked so far. This is fabulous for keeping you alive – but it’s not always so fabulous when you want to make changes – in other words you want to move away from the status quo in some way. It’s important to know that although you think you make your decisions and plans – including what you want to change – much of your thought processes go on at an unconscious level and decisions are made without you being aware of them much of the time. It has to do this. We have control over the conscious part of your mind, and although amazing, your conscious mind has limitations. It loses focus easily and typically holds about 7 chunks of information at any one time. This is why the subconscious takes control of most of what’s happening in our bodies. It’s the engine driving us – leaving our conscious mind to focus on other things. Changing your mind This is critically important when we want to make changes, because your unconscious mind, which is a million times more powerful than your conscious mind, is running the show. And it does much of this based on the beliefs and habits you’ve built up over your lifetime – not all of which are serving you well. Both parts of your mind are crucial not only to survival but also to getting the changes and living the life you want. The real trick is to get them working together to make this happen. This enables you to use the whole of your marvellous mind brain to work for you and not against you –otherwise it’s all to easy to end up self-sabotaging what you want to achieve. We’ve all done that! Why when you want to lose weight do you still eat the very thing that you know will not help you get the body you want? Because your mind is screaming at you that you’ve hungry and want to eat and want to eat something that tastes nice – and your belief and experience tells you that cream cakes – especially a Victoria sponge with butter cream icing – will fill you up quickly and taste nice, and you’ve had a hard day so of course you deserve a little treat. Now that might be irritating and throw you off course a little but it also happens in really important decisions and situations. You want to leave a job and set up a new business for yourself, but your subconscious is screaming at you – ‘are you mad, you’ll never make a good business person, why do you think you can do it, you never see anything through.’ Or whatever it might be for you, based on your past experience. Mind management is about becoming aware of the impact your thoughts have on yo,u and using your mind to your advantage. Your Thoughts Time to take a step back - because underlying all of this is the notion that the way we think and the thoughts we think, influence what we do. Our thoughts influence how we feel, which influences what we do or the actions we take, which impacts how we live our lives. It sounds obvious when you say it like that – but just take a moment to think about it and see if you really believe this is so or if you’re aware of it in your day to day life. The thoughts you think lead to the action you take. It therefore follows that if you change your thoughts (that’s the way you think) then you can change your actions. This means you can make the...


CA087: Mind management

At a recent business event I had 30 seconds to introduce myself and what I did. This is the so-called elevator pitch and it’s not as easy as you might think. Having seen how some people were struggling to get their description done in 5 minutes let alone 30 seconds it was suggested we use the quick little formula – I help …. To …. By…. I was the next one up so I sat there and said: “I help people make changes in their life or business by managing their minds”. It worked because everyone went ‘oooohhh’ and wanted to know what does that actually mean and how do you that. And it got me thinking that it's a long time since we've actually talked about what it is we actually do or rather the idea behind what we actually do. So today we're going to put that right because we’re going back to basics and thinking about what fundamentally underpins everything we talk about at Brilliant Living HQ. It’s also the subject matter of my Changeability book and underpins the whole Changeability process and practice and Brilliant Living products. It is mind management! What is mind management? The key question is what is mind management and why do we all need it. At it’s most basic level mind management is about managing your mind. Which maybe isn’t saying much – or more like it’s saying the same thing twice – there’s a nice word for that – tautology! But mind management is about managing your mind and we’re very keen on the whole idea of it. Our strap line here at Brilliant Living HQ is ‘Mind management for your best life and business’ or at least it was until we changed our site recently – we thought our logo looked better without it but maybe we should put it back somewhere so people know what it’s about! And the strapline to our podcast (and the Changeability book) is ‘Manage your Mind – Change your Life’. Why the obsession with mind management – what lies behind it? Mind management is the idea you can: ‘Harness the amazing power of your mind to help you get what you want in life.’ In other words you can reprogram or train your mind to create the right mindset to change what you don’t like into what you do like, and achieve your desires and live life to the full. “The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer. That’s a good start, but can we define it further and look at the individual elements of ‘mind management’ to get a better working definition? How do we define mind management? The Business Dictionary defines management as: “The organisation and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary adds a useful extra dimension defining management as: “The act or skill of controlling and making decisions about a business.” If we take these definitions together and replace business with the mind we come up with: “Mind management - The act or skill of controlling, organising and coordinating the activities of the mind in order to (make decisions to) achieve defined objectives.” This does assume that you have already determined what you want from your life, and have a vision of your defined objectives (goals) and what you have to do to achieve them. And for us that’s where it always begins – getting clear about what you want – because there are clear mind management reasons for doing this and for using the power of your brain and mind to help you achieve those goals and the changes you want. It has to start with intention plus inspiration which equal your vision or goals. If you want to know more about that go to to be one of the first people to find out about our goals challenge. So that’s the management bit. Now for the second part. The Mind There are basically two major components of the mind - the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious which is the bit we’re aware of – e.g. as you’re listening to this, the thoughts you’re thinking about what you want to...


CA086: Emotionally draining vampires - dealing with toxic relationships

Last week we gave you the ultimate guide to recognising toxic people and relationships. Now it’s all very well recognising toxic people and the characteristic behaviours of these relationships, but it’s not much good if you can’t deal with them. So this week we thought we’d look at those emotionally draining vampires and the process of dealing with toxic relationships. “You let go of a toxic and unhealthy relationship not because you are weak, not because you no longer love the other person, but because you are strong enough to understand that there are times when two people will be a lot happier if they go separate ways than if they stay together.” Dealing with toxic relationships and people So how do you deal with toxic relationships, toxic people and their behaviour? By literally detoxifying! Or as the dictionary would define it: “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” And we like that definition of ‘detox’ for that is sort of what you are doing here. Taking time out: “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of the toxic source” (in this case the person). It’s a process of distancing and this can take the form of mental, physical or emotional detachment. But what if these are people that you can't necessarily extract from your life or your situation? So this could be someone you work with, or a member of your family. And in this instance, the approach would be about how we manage these people and their behaviours. Essentially a process of controlling what you can and eliminating what you can’t. We’ve identified 15 ways that can help you can do just that. 15 ways to deal with toxic relationships or emotionally draining vampires you are more in control than you might believeRise above the behaviourlast weekEstablish your limitsrecognise a toxic person’s behaviour patternsestablishing what you do or don’t put up withStop trying to please the person and pretending their behavior is okDon’t continually justify your actionsyou don’t need to justify or defend yourself or deal with a false accusationBe aware of the characteristics of a person’s toxic behaviorKnow that it’s them – not you! Evaluate the relationshipDiscuss your feelings with the other personSet and maintain your boundariesFind ways in which you can protect yourselfTake time for yourselfdistance yourself from that relationshiprelease them by letting the relationship goseek professional help Episode 86 of The Changeability Podcast Hear us discuss all this and more in episode 86 of the Changeability Podcast and be certain to catch last week’s episode on ‘How to recognise toxic people and relationships’. After all, if you can’t spot it, how can you deal with it? Until next time.


CA085: How to recognise toxic people and relationships

You’ve probably heard of the phrase toxic person, and are aware at least of the importance of not surrounding yourself with this type of person. Particularly, if you consider: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~ Jim Rohn And one of those five is either someone you’re living or work closely with and has a toxic personality. So what is a toxic person? The dictionary definition of toxic is a poisonous substance with the synonyms: dangerous, unsafe, harmful, destructive and even malignant (with connotations of evil, or hateful). If we apply this to the term toxic person we might consider this to be a person who is dangerous, harmful or destructive to us as an individual. The Urban Dictionary gives a rather nice definition of a Toxic Person as being: “Used to describe a person who is tainted by a subconscious malevolence or psychosis that affects the lives of those who come into contact with them.” But we’d probably put it less strongly than subconscious malevolence or psychosis and describe it as behaviour which drains you - the receiver of this toxic behaviour - of energy and life. A person causing social tension or indeed unpleasantness, might be described as having a toxic personality, for example. So is it a toxic person or toxic behaviour? It is of course important to separate the behaviour from the person. It’s not the person in their entirety who is toxic, rather it is their behaviour which is toxic. And it’s also worth pointing out, it is your response to their behaviour, i.e. the power you are giving that behaviour in your mind that determines whether or not they are toxic to you. Not such a comfortable thought! Perhaps of more comfort then is the fact that you always have the power to choose your thoughts and responses to that behaviour however difficult that may seem. And it’s important to recognise that both the person displaying the behaviour and the person who might be on the receiving end – both play a part or a role in the toxic interactions. So if you feel you are on the receiving end, it is equally necessary to consider your own personal role as well. What are the signs you’re in a toxic relationship? What are the indicators or signs of this toxicity? Toxicity – a great word isn’t it? “The degree to which a substance (or person in this case) can damage an organism (or in this instance another person) as well as the effect on the substructure” – Wikipedia (Note, our additions are in brackets) In that definition, the actual word refers to the effect on the whole organism, such as a person, as well as the substructure of the organism. We even hear that effect on part of us in the language people sometimes use to describe toxic behaviour, saying things like: “His behaviour does my head in!” And we know that having a toxic person around can have quite an effect on a group of people. Within an organization, like the workplace, for example. And maybe the toxicity of the individual relates to the amount of contact, or degree of proximity or closeness you have to that toxic person. Or the amount of credence, you give to that person’s behaviour. It is quite incredible, how one person can affect so many others around them. Why do toxic people behave in this way? Often the person has been deeply hurt or is suffering themselves, and on some level are unable to take responsibility for that hurt and suffering and the subsequent problems that causes in their life. So they may typically project their behaviour onto others. How do you know that you’re dealing with a toxic person or toxic relationship? Here it’s useful to separate the behaviour of the toxic person from the behaviour you find yourself enacting when you’re dealing with it. Toxic behaviour of the toxic person Typically, the toxic person will exhibit some or all of the following characteristics. They might: Create drama in their livesBe jealous and envious of othersmanipulate or control othersBe...


CA084: Better relationships with Susie Miller

The heady heights of a budding relationship can quickly fall into the treadmill of something more humdrum and yet it doesn’t have to be that way. So, what makes better relationships in both life and business? Well who better to ask than a relationship coach. Susie Miller, known internationally as The Better Relationship Coach is an Author, Speaker and Coach. She is dedicated to helping people create better relationships and is the bestselling author of Listen, Learn, Love: How to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships in 30 Days or Less! She teaches us that by being willing to listen, open to learn and therefore ready to love – truly, deeply and kindly – any and all relationships can be reignited beyond our imagination. Over the last few weeks of the Changeability Podcast we’ve been exploring the many facets of love and relationships: Celebrate Loveself-lovesix reasons why you should10 ways to build the self-love habitself-love rituals With all that talk of self-love, we thought our mini-series on love and better relationships with ourselves deserved to be broadened to include better relationships with our loved ones and those other key relationships we have with friends and work colleagues. So to help us ‘put deposits in our relationship bank’, we invited Susie Millar to come and speak on that very subject of better relationships, in episode 84 of the Changeability Podcast. And what a great interview it turned out to be. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, I will try again tomorrow.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher In episode 84 of The Changeability Podcast Hear your hosts Kathryn and Julian interview Susie and discover: all Mentioned on today’s show: susiemiller.comListen, learn, love – How to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships in 30 Days or Less!


CA083: Self-love rituals

Love yourself if you want to be a happy, fulfilled, confident, effective person, able to give and receive love, have self-esteem and a good sense of your self-worth. But it’s one thing to understand this intellectually and quite another to really know and believe it. One of the best ways to accelerate a self-love habit is through using self-love rituals. Practicing self-love rituals is an easy enjoyable way to implant and build your self-love habit and behaviour until it becomes natural. Today we look at 11 self-love rituals to get you started, but first what’s so special about rituals? What are rituals and why are they so powerful? A ritual involves a series of actions, sometimes in a prescribed order – which are a type of behaviour regularly and invariably followed by someone – in this case you! Because that’s what we’re after isn’t it – a way of behaving you do regularly and invariably, habitually and consistently. That’s why developing rituals is powerful, because rather than leaving it to randomness and chance or how we’re feeling on a particular day, by creating rituals we build them into our life and are more likely to do them. Once you’ve created the ritual you don’t have to think about it – it’s part of a system. It’s internalised. Rituals will supercharge your habits and are better than habits in some ways. You can encompass more than one habit within a ritual and because rituals focus on specific ways of doing something, they are very focused. Apart from building the habit, the other great thing about using rituals is that by following a set way of doing something you’re creating space and time in your life for it. Just doing these rituals will send your brain the message that this is important to you – you matter. These rituals we’re talking about of themselves nothing out of the ordinary. You might think that’s not a ritual that’s just how I’m spending my evening. Great if that’s the case – but by virtue of thinking of it as a ritual and labelling it as a ritual – it makes it a thing. It raises it up out of the everyday and mundane and it becomes something more. It becomes that thing that you do, and what’s more you’re doing it with intention. ‘You’ time Most of these self-love rituals fall into the category of how to spend ‘you’ time. This is time you put aside where you focus on yourself. Scheduling ‘you’ time is one of the key self-love habits. These rituals are a great way to help you do this. How you interpret them and make them your own will depend on your lifestyle, situation and preferences, but we’ve included a few suggestions to give you the idea. 11 Self-love rituals This will mean many different things to different people. It doesn’t really matter what it is – what matters is that you make a ritual and habit of scheduling time to do something that gives or brings you joy. Schedule it to make it a ritual. It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day or for the same amount of time every day. Make a ritual of asking yourself – what am I doing today that it going to bring me joy. The power of laughter is immense. You’re telling yourself you deserve to laugh – you deserve to be happy. Sometimes when we’re stressed or not feeling very loving towards ourselves we almost don’t feel right doing lots of laughing and having fun – especially if others are suffering – but we all deserve to be happy and making laughter a goal for your day or a ritual will help nudge it up the list and keep it on your radar. Of course at we’re big on gratitude and appreciation of what’s going on in our lives. It’s one of the most efficient and pleasing ways to ground us in our present, but more often than not it’s about other people and things around us. The difference with this self-love appreciation ritual is it’s about self-appreciation. It’s not always easy, we tend to feel a bit funny about writing down what we like about ourselves. It goes back to the old idea some of us were brought...


CA082: 10 ways to build the self-love habit

It’s all very well knowing we should love ourselves but how do we do it? Find out how with these 10 ways to build the self-love habit. ‘To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.’ Oscar Wilde What a lovely quote from the unique and fantastically brilliant Oscar Wilde but what did you think when you read it? Did you think that’s a clever little quip, or it’s a bit over the top or fanciful? Maybe you think it’s narcissistic or you haven’t thought of loving yourself as a romance with yourself. Whatever thoughts came to mind are an indication of your view towards you and self-love. Self-love is an inner love and acceptance of who we are and how we are. Last week we talked about what self-love is and why we all need it, in our blog posts and on the Changeability Podcast (episode 81). We looked at 6 ways or clues that show us we’re not being loving towards our self. We understand what self-love is and why it’s good for us, we’re looking out for those times we’re not being self-loving, but how do we go from the ways we tend to behave where we’re not being loving to ourselves, to growing our self-love until it becomes the norm or a habit. 10 ways you can build a self-love habit for yourself Choose yourself Give yourself permission to do what you want. Don’t wait for others to give you permission. You might think this doesn’t apply to you, but ask yourself if there’s anything you want to do in your life or at work where you’re waiting for someone else’s permission to do it. You might not have realised it before, but tacitly you’re waiting. It can be more explicit or obvious in our close relationships. You seek someone’s permission before starting something new or maybe even to go out. This isn’t about not caring about what your family, partner, boss or colleagues think. It’s about not holding back from being who you want to be or doing want you want to do because you’re scared or reluctant to ask or because you think you need someone’s permission. When often it’s an excuse for procrastination and you don’t need that permission at all – you only need your own permission. So give it to yourself. Create ‘You time’ and use it Neglecting your own needs was one of the key signs for not loving yourself and this is the antidote. Make space in your life for you. One practical way to do this is to make time for you. Carve out your own personal time to do something that pleases or excites you, or enhances you or your skills in or just makes you feel better. This is a time when you put yourself first. This doesn’t mean you don’t look after children or do your job well, but it does mean there is a time when you’re not putting other first. When you create ‘you time’ you become a better parent, wife etc. You set a great example to your family and colleagues of one of the ways of being an effective person, and send a strong message that you matter and want to be treated as if you matter. You matter enough to yourself to spend time on yourself and tend to your own needs and desires and they need to respect that. And they will respect that – even it it takes a little while to get you and them into the swing of it. If you find this an uncomfortable prospect, ask yourself if rushing around, doing lots of things for others, however worthy, is feeding an underlying limiting belief (like I need to be busy or look after everyone else to be valued) or is it because you really want to do it. Be realistic and double it. Unless we’re talking about SMART goals you don’t normally hear us talk about being realistic. However, we’re not talking about a lack of ambition or not having big dreams or goals; this is about being realistic about what you can achieve in a given timescale. Or to put it another way – don’t overstretch yourself or take on too much. One of the times we hear our inner critical voice is when we get impatient or cross with ourselves that something’s taking us too long or we’re not as far along with a project...


CA081: Self-love

‘Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.’ William Shakespeare, Henry V Last week we were celebrating love and Valentines, which inevitably led to thoughts of romance and different types of love. But despite a lot of talk of love everywhere – from card shops to films to books and the media – we see evidence of a lack of love all around us. That lack of love is not only evident in the terrible things we hear on the news, but also in something closer to home. And that’s the love we have for ourselves – or self-love. What is self-love? What are we talking about when we talk about self-love or loving yourself? A good place to start is by saying what it’s not. It’s not about being selfish or self-centred – even though it’s easy to jump to this conclusion when we talk about loving ourselves. And it’s not about showing off or having an over-inflated ego or sense of self. Nor is self-love about being narcissistic. In fact narcissism is the opposite of self-love because we’re seeking approval of ourselves, as this quote from Emily Levine illustrates: ‘I am a recovering narcissist. I thought narcissism was about self-love till someone told me there is a flip side to it. It is actually drearier than self-love; it is unrequited self-love’. Emily Levine So that’s what it’s not – but what is it? Self-love is about our ability to deal with and cater to our own needs and desires. It’s about having a healthy view and sense of our self. It’s tied up with our sense of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence in ourselves. Yet how often we don’t love and respect ourselves. 6 ways we don’t love ourselves What does it look like when we don’t love ourselves? Here are 6 tell tell signs to look out for, clues that indicate you’re not being loving towards yourself. Negative and derogatory self-talk This is the inner dialogue that goes on in our mind. For example: I can’t or I couldn’t do that I’ve never been any good at… Why would they want to hear what I’ve got to say… They wont be interested in me I’m not clever enough to… Stupid man …. Why am I so silly or stupid (one of Julian’s favourites) I feel disappointed in myself that….(one of Kathryn’s favourites!) Being Critical and impatient It’s not just what we say to ourselves but also what we say out loud and in front of others, including when we put ourselves down in front of others. This is where you’re critical of yourself e.g. ‘why can’t I do that’, or where you’re impatient with yourself for getting something wrong or with how long it’s taking you to get something right. Think about when we’re learning something new. It might be a new or complicated skill like playing a musical instrument, so of course we’re not going to pick it up straight away. But still we somehow think we should be able to do it much quicker than we realistically can. We’re impatient, as if it’s some defect or lack in us that’s the cause of our slowness. We get frustrated or even angry - when really it’s our expectations that are unrealistic. The same goes for when it takes long time to do a task or our work. Impatience or criticism creeps in and we question why we can’t focus more or why’s it taking so long to get it done. These are the signs of being hard on yourself that we both recognise only too well! We don’t look after ourselves One of the classic signs of a lack of self-love is when we don’t look after ourselves physically. We might show a blatant disregard for our health and what we put into our bodies or what we do with our bodies, such as indulging in risky or dangerous behaviour. When you love someone you want the best for them. Yet many of us fill our bodies with food and drink that’s no good for it and harmful in the long run. Is it we don’t love ourselves enough to give us the best we can, or is the quick reward of eating something we like the taste of, more appealing? It’s a complex subject and might not apply to you – but it’s worth thinking about what...