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Why we need to tell our brain to step up

Warm and cosy in our comfort zone

I’m currently studying for a qualification. There are seven assignments in total to write and I’m one down. Six to go. Good math eh? (Unsurprisingly, it is not a maths-related qualification…). 

Completing the first assignment took blood, sweat and tears. I haven’t written an assignment for ahem, almost quarter of a decade, so this was way out of my comfort zone. So, passing the first one meant cartwheels and yee-hahs – well, almost. Since then though, it feels like my subconscious brain has been like: “Well done Kirsty, you’ve proved to yourself you can write and pass an assignment. You’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. So, shall we move on now?” And I haven’t done any further work towards a single assignment. Nothing. Nada. This is not good. 

For most people – bar the adventurous few – their brain doesn’t like change, nor being challenged – it...

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Always angry with the right person, for the right reason at the right time? That’s the challenge. So, what you gonna do about it?

Emotional vortex

A while ago, I posted a blog about how without realising it, we can misdirect our bad mood towards someone else. Now more than ever, I feel it might be helpful to re-visit this topic because I don’t know about you, but emotions in my house can run high at times during these strange strange times and that’s when it’s important to figure out what's at the root of it (obviously COVID-19 is the overarching issue but what is it specifically).

Sometimes, the person on the receiving end of our ire may not be completely innocent in the situation – maybe they know exactly how to press our buttons but quite possibly, their words or actions were what tipped us over the edge and all our wrath about something completely different, was aimed at them.

The situation we're in right now is surely a breeding ground for that kind of scenario to take place. There may be feelings of anxiety, frustration and disappointment and someone in the house does one little...

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How we can turnaround that Groundhog Day feeling…

Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow

Here we go again… The alarm goes off and it’s the start of another day, except it feels like the same day, over and over again. A scene from the film Groundhog Day, or our lives right now during  COVID-19?

I recently watched Groundhog Day with my family and my interpretation of the film’s message is that it’s not what you think about that matters, it’s the way you think about what you think about – sounds very familiar to me….! The main character, self-centered TV weatherman Phil Conner, gets stuck in Groundhog Day and it seems interminable with no way out. A bit like the feeling many have right now…

Desperately seeking something

The way we feel on any given day, at any given moment is a direct result of how we interpret the incoming data – i.e. people, events and situations; we become aware of something, we process it, too often with unconscious thoughts and the direct result is our...

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Newsflash: Your values are driving your decisions right now, not COVID-19

Choosing to do what you want to do and knowing why

It’s very easy to have a victim mindset about the situation we find ourselves in. COVID-19 is a lighthouse – an immoveable object and something we can do nothing about. It has resulted in an imposed lockdown and therefore, we might feel we’re a victim of our circumstances, behest to the way it all plays out. Not so…

We always live by our values – the things and people which we deem most important to us and right now, as ever, we are living true to our values. The choices we are making will be according to what sits emotionally comfortable with us because it fits with our values.

It’s what you value

If you are choosing to stay at home, it’s because you value your health and that of your family. Maybe it is because you place value on the advice given by the government and by key medical experts. Perhaps some of you are sceptics but on balance, you’re happier to heed their warnings.

If...

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Four steps to navigate this new ‘normal’

The normal rules do not apply

What is ‘normal’? I find this an interesting question because what is one person’s ‘normal’ can very much be someone else’s ‘abnormal’. I saw Vivienne Porritt give a fantastic TEDx where she said normal is a setting on a washing machine so the word should be banned in terms of describing people; instead, we should celebrate and value what each unique person has to offer.

Daily, we’re adjusting to all this and for each one of us, there are different challenges we face and we will all think, feel and act differently - our own version of ‘normal’.

Many are being furloughed, therefore earning less than they are used to, unless their employer is generously making up the difference; some have lost their job – their company simply cannot keep their footing in these uncertain times; there are those on zero contract hours and their employer has had to put things on hold, so therefore they...

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The way you think about what you think about is far more important than what you think about

Got the time

The situation we find ourselves in will continue for the foreseeable future so we have two choices: to feel hopeless, anxious and adrift or to be bold, step up and make what we can of it all.

These are unprecedented times. This is brand new to all of us and discombobulation is probably a very common feeling. However, rather than continue to feel like things are spiralling downwards beyond your control, anchor yourself in the here and now; use the time to think about what you want to achieve.

Unless a key worker or working from home, you will have a lot of spare time on your hands. The question is, how will you choose to use it? Will you get to the end of all this and have ticked off a list, achieved a big goal or maybe whiled away the hours going through boxset after boxset?

How many times do we wish we had spare time to sit and be, to reflect on our life so far and to think about what we want for our future? Rather than rushing here, there and everywhere, the hamster...

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How the mindset you adopt will determine how you fare during challenging times

Lockdown mindset

I write this blog fresh from a Joe Wicks PE workout. Was I big advocate of his fitness and food advice before lockdown? No. My fitness routine was a daily dog walk – a brisk dog walk but that was it. There’s the usual hurrying and scurrying that goes with being a working Mum of three but there’s not a kettle bell in sight.

However, in these COVID-19 lockdown times, I find myself craving structure and the Joe Wicks PE Workout provides that. It gets me and my girls in the right mindset to start the day and gives us a fab rush of endorphins to gain a sense of positivity – something greatly needed at the moment.

Up until now, I haven’t written a blog about the current situation which globally, we all face. I felt it important to change the focus, to give readers a brief respite from it all. However, I feel now, as we enter the second week of lockdown in the UK, it’s like the elephant in the room. The effects of this situation ripple...

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How you can avoid falling at the final hurdle to give the performance of your life!

When the game plan goes to pot

I came across an article recently about the psychology of choking – or to put it another way - when someone loses their nerve. This is the essence of performance psychology and is widely studied in the world of sport but is relevant to so many other areas where we’re ‘performing’, such as job interviews, public speaking, or presentations. What makes our endeavours a success but equally, what can stand in our way?

Most often, the problem is not the ability – you’ve no doubt mastered the skill or technique after many many hours of practise; the problem is nerve – you’re in the moment and although you might have honed your skills and you’ve the knowledge to get through it, your mindset causes you to falter and perhaps, to put it nicely, you blow it.

We have seen examples of this in the world of sport. Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed their spot-kicks during the Italian World Cup in 1990, meaning...

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Why allowing the green-eyed monster to get the better of you, stops you being the best you can be

The grass is always greener

My two eldest have mobile phones and after a few months of being given them, my husband and I allowed them to have a profile on a social media platform. I ensure we have regular conversations about e-safety, boundaries such as no phones at the table, switching phones off when they go to bed, family time with no devices etc. We also talk about the upsides and the downsides of social media – how it can raise awareness of social issues, help people connect if they feel isolated and it can enhance learning by getting knowledge from renowned experts and professionals. However, it’s also understanding that just because something is on social media, it isn’t always factual, that people can be keyboard warriors and that very often, we see people’s enhanced highlights but rarely the behind the scenes reality.

I once read an article in The Guardian on the topic of social media and how envy is created around everyone’s seemingly perfect...

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Why realising we can change our self-image if we want to, means we can take our life in any direction we choose to.

Apart from a few propensities we’re born with, a lot of what we’re like as children is down to the influences around us – our parents, family, teachers and friends, as well as the images we see in the media which we either try to relate or aspire to. You often hear parents say: “He’s so forgetful,” or “She’s such a serious little thing, always so responsible,” it’s as if children are being pre-conditioned before they’ve even had a chance to make their own mind up.

With these descriptions permeating the child’s subconscious mind, they’re being defined as a ‘type’ of person, so it’s no wonder they gravitate towards behaviour which reinforces this image of them – it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You hear people saying: “I’m hopeless at planning anything,” or “People say I don’t know how to have fun, I do, it’s just that I always seem to be the...

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