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The 12 Days of Christmas – the gifts I give to me…

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of great joy, happiness and celebration. Let’s face it, in reality, many of us are running around like headless chickens, spending far more than we should on gifts that people probably don’t need or want. People place such high expectations on this time of year and many feel under pressure to provide a sumptuous meal for that one day, and then it’s leftover turkey and bubble and squeak for the following week - and thereafter. For some, this time of year compounds deep grief and sadness, it’s not all shiny baubles and glistening tinsel.

Some people might feel an added pressure this year due to the fact Christmas will look slightly different. Maybe they want to pull out the stops to make it extra special to make up for the strange year we’ve had; maybe many would like to, but the rollercoaster of the past 12 months means finances don’t permit...

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The surprising root cause of your stress and what you can do about it.

You can listen to the audio version of this blog via Spotify.

Tis the season

As Christmas approaches, new rules have been introduced in the UK as to how we can meet up with family and friends. Tis all a tad confusing, especially as tiers have also been announced, which will remain in effect until reviewed on 16 December. We’re all trying to get our head around this information and already today, I have had confusing conversations with grandparents in my family as to who will be in which bubble and whether we can see each other or not.

Social media is awash with people commenting on the announcements – many questioning how much sense this all makes. Many of the comments might be fuelled by frustration, disappointment and sadness which is completely understandable. We have had thoughts on what our plans in this family could be, but they’re probably going to need to change which I know my children will find upsetting because it means not seeing much-loved members...

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10 leadership qualities that will surely get the vote

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Leaders of tomorrow

Finally, we know the result - Joe Biden is to be the 46th President of the United States of America, with Kamala Harris by his side as Vice-President. On paper, an exciting combination. Let’s hope, that after a turbulent four years of American politics, they can heal the stark rifts that exist in the country and unite those 50 States, amongst all the other work they have on their agenda.

So, what kind of leader is Biden? Well, word on the street is that he’s a good man, he’ll steady the ship. He does after all have almost four decades under his belt as a Senator, only resigning to serve as vice-president for Barack Obama – in my opinion, a trail blazer of a President. Apparently, Biden listens to expert advice, even when it might go against what he believes; he is a multilateralist – again demonstrating that he wants to unite, rather than to divide. And, he is...

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Your attitude = the quality of your life. Simples.

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You’re in for a big surprise

2020 has in no way panned out in the way we thought it would. Except for one person I know of… My friend took delivery for her neighbour back in late January because her neighbour wasn’t home. When he collected the box from her, he told her it was full of face masks. At that point, there was news of a virus in China, but not much more was known than that. Clearly, someone had their finger on the pulse and whilst my friend and I found it amusing he was panic buying face masks, we were laughing on the other side of our face (mask) as the months wore on…

As individuals, and businesses, we made plans for 2020. Plans for trips afar, maybe savings plans for exciting adventures in 2021; intentions to see old friends; begin new pastimes and activities to meet new ones; maybe to grow a role at work, to move on to enhance skills, or maybe to stretch oneself, perhaps to...

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5 steps to help an overthinker get unstuck and move forward

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Paint it black

Over the past year, we’ve been updating our home. Apart from a new kitchen, everything else, in the main, are cosmetic changes There have been many decisions made – ones around the kitchen requiring the most thought but something as simple as choosing paint sent me into a bit of a spiral last week. Well, it didn’t send me into a spiral, clearly my thoughts did. I often reiterate that self-development is a work in progress, and I am aware that each and every day, I need to work on my own thoughts in order to think effectively. Just because I write about mindset, doesn’t mean I claim to have it all sussed. What it does mean however is that knowing this stuff, I am very consciously aware of the nature of my thoughts and I know the tools and strategies to get myself out of the headspace which isn’t serving me well at that particular point. If I want to enough.

So, as I drove...

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Is there an impostor lurking in you? How to work on those thoughts to finally give yourself the recognition you deserve

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Take back the power

One of my best friends works for the Civil Service and is very high up in her department. So much so, that when I’m on a video call with her and our other school friend, when there’s banter about how work is, projects we’re working on etc, she never contributes. Official Secrets Act and all that. Although there is another reason she doesn’t say much about her work. She is very bright, erudite and knows her stuff and yet, feels an impostor. Although highly motivated, I know that she doesn’t believe any of the credit that comes her way.

Sophie believes she’s only where she is in her profession because she’s been there years and so it’s by default. She thinks she’s half as good as those around her and got twice as far undeservedly. When challenged and asked how it can be possible to be so high up the ladder if not by merit, she says it’s by...

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Why being a People Pleaser isn’t good for your self-worth

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Is it the most wonderful time of the year..?

“The one good thing about this whole #ruleof6 thing is that Christmas will be less of a nightmare for me.” So said one woman in a rather loud voice when I was in a café the other day. I was sat waiting for my Mum to arrive, so thought I’d sit and listen – there wasn’t much choice not to! “Well, I think you make a rod for your own back. You don’t need to have them all over – there are so many with all their kids too, but every year you cave and round they come. You should let them do it one year,” answered this woman’s friend. The Christmas host then proceeded to say that her house is neutral ground and if one of her kids hosts the day, there’s usually a falling out and she doesn’t like that at Christmas. “How can I say no? They expect me to do it. Besides, I like making everyone happy,...

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Why Perfectionists don’t always have it all right.

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Couch not Coach

I signed up for the Joe Wicks 90 Day Plan a month ago. My personal plan was sent to me, I got it printed, chose the recipes that I liked (to be honest, it’s a whole new taste sensation for me!) and I joined the Facebook Group. I read about lots of people’s achievements and was inspired. Not enough to actually get on with it though…

The reason for this? It’s not because I am lazy. I’m not fearing the workouts, I did enough in Lockdown to know what I’m letting myself in for. Nope. It’s the cooking. I don’t cook and I don’t like cooking and to be honest, I don’t know where to start. I know we are given the recipes but I want to do this whole thing right and if I  get the recipes wrong and consequently, don’t like what I have produced, then I’ll have to cook a makeshift meal that will be off-plan. I will have messed up my...

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You think there’s no freedom right now? Why you’ve got it all wrong.

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Your ‘why’

Sidney Rittenberg was an American journalist and scholar. He was sent to China during the Second World War as a Chinese linguist and when the war ended, he chose to stay in the country. As a committed Socialist, he was sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cause. He knew Chairman Mao personally, as well as many of the other high-ranking leaders but just as Mao was a friend, he was also Rittenberg’s jailor. At various points, over the coming years, as suspicions grew about foreigners, Sidney fell afoul of the CCP and was imprisoned in solitary confinement not just once but twice, for a total period of 16 years.

During Rittenberg’s first imprisonment, for the initial 12 months, he was kept in a completely dark room. His incarceration continued for a further five years before he was finally released. Through his understanding of human nature and empathy with the prison...

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Why we not only need to fight the good fight from the outside in, but so too from the inside out

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The ripple effect

I read with regularity that we’re going to soon be facing a mental health crisis in the UK, due to the effects of the Coronavirus. The pandemic has no signs of abating, as cases increase, and more local Lockdowns are imposed. If you look around and see the effects it’s having, you can understand that the human psyche is taking quite a battering at the moment.

Whilst there are pockets of businesses managing, pivoting and diversifying, there are so many at breaking point. Only recently, I read about a travel agency owner who had successfully run her own firm for 20 years but is now struggling to keep things going. In her late 50’s, she’s needing to put a CV together, something she hasn’t done in decades, and she feels desperate about the whole situation. Unfortunately, her story is not unique.

The entertainment and hospitality sectors are fighting to hang on but every...

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