I’ve created a little survey (link above) with 10 questions for a project that I’m currently working on. This is also a good starting point to check in with yourself and how you are feeling at present.
Have a little go – the survey is anonymous.
If you feel there are areas that need working on after completing this survey, then please feel free to browse through my blog posts where you will find lots of tips/info.
Have a great day and keep believing in yourself and your abilities! Remember, you hold that key firmly in your hands and make 2023 the year to unlock that incredible door.
Jeepers the amount of pressure we put on ourselves to do well and at such a high standard can be detrimental to our wellbeing. Especially in todays world with social media and people competing with each other. Failing is part of the learning process, but when you’re a perfectionist it is so hard to view that outlook on life. Making mistakes really is part of being human. How do you go easier on yourself you may think? Try to be kind with your self-talk and become more aware of how you criticise yourself. This will help steer you in the right direction i.e, silencing your inner critic and loving who you are with all your flaws (heck we all have them)
When I’ve been too hard on myself Back when I was studying for my degree and coming up to assignment deadlines; I would chop and change my work so feckin much. My goodness it was never ending at the start of my studies, then procrastination would kick in big time. How did procrastination show up? I would always go on a mad cleaning spree before eventually hitting that submit button. Procrastination was in full force, my self-esteem would take a blow like nobody’s business and the stress levels were raised. Why was I feeling this way? It was fear of failing or doing absolutely rubbish. I would get flustered, feel irritable and my head would be swimming with self-doubt. However, there are times where perfectionism can be seen as a positive. Oh yes, it can make you one determined so and so and a very motivated and disciplined one at that. But, the overall effects on your health could cause a number of problems such as headaches, binge eating, anxiety and stress to name a few. It’s about being mindful, self-aware and kind with your self-talk.
A meta-analysis study from Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill from 1989-2016 on college students, found that perfectionism had increased over this time due to the young individual’s living in an environment where the pressure of doing well was so high and with many also suffering from anxiety and depression. Also, the study showed how parents are more controlling than generations before. This is no surprise with social media now being a big part of our lives where the perfect life is shown on this platform every single day.
How can you find that right balance? Perfectionism and being confident with your work (while still working hard at something) are two very different things. When you are confident you can do a good job when you work hard, believe in yourself and don’t overthink things to the point of disaster: but you are being kind with your self-talk. You are happy with what you produce. If it doesn’t go as planned then you learn and grow. It’s ok to make mistakes. That’s how you learn and do better.
Learn from your mistakes and take it as feedback for future assignments, work projects, training sessions or whatever you need to improve on. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m not extremely hard on myself when it comes to areas in my life that requires improving. I ask for feedback, learn, take courses and believe in myself so to be the best person, parent and coach. When you’re a perfectionist it never feels good enough and you’re so hard on yourself to the point of raising those stress levels.
Changing your core beliefsfor a more positive outlook
Changing your core beliefs from a negative to a more positive view of yourself can help with perfectionism – as you are being kinder with your self-talk. A core belief is an idea/belief you have about yourself and the world around you. It is deeply rooted and what you firmly believe from your early childhood and how you were raised.
Here are 2 examples of what a core belief would look like and how you can change the narrative:
“I’m no good at this and never will be. I will fail”
Change your inner dialogue to:
“How can I improve on this? Do I read more, take courses or ask for feedback/advice?”
“I can’t say how I’m really feeling for fear of hurting someone”
Change your inner dialogue to
““I will take a few deep breaths and it’s ok to say how I’m feeling. I know holding it in can feel worse”
Maybe you are a person that wants everything to just be perfect. Chopping and changing what you’ve written over and over again as that little seed of doubt lingers and those weeds start to sprout big time. Maybe you please everyone to seem like this perfect friend, person? (when deep down you are struggling and ignoring how you really feel). You are an all or nothing type of person.
Trying to be perfect at everything can be exhausting. There really is no such thing as that word perfect.
Changing your core beliefs can make your self-talk that little bit kinder as you are giving yourself the permission and a chance to learn and grow. Helping you along that path of believing in yourself and your worth. Boosting your confidence and self-esteem. You are changing the negative thought pattern to a more positive outlook. The more you practice changing the narrative, by being aware of your negative thoughts, then it will become easier over time. It does take time, but you will get there, when you work on yourself.
Believe in yourself. Remember, nobody is perfect. Fact.
If perfectionism is taking over your life and you are really struggling, then a mentor, coach or a therapist who specialises in ***CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can really help to give you those tools and to look at things from a completely different perspective.
*** Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a form of therapy that uses problem solving skills to change thinking patterns and focuses on an individual’s present situation; so to move forward in their life and to help cope with difficult situations.
Are you a perfectionist?
Do share how perfectionism takes control of your life and what helps you?
So, you’re scrolling through FB or Insta, having a little old harmless browse – next thing you know you compare yourself to others and your mood suddenly changes, you switch to auto-pilot and down that bloody rabbit hole you go, making yourself feel worse! Does this sound familiar to you?
It’s not surprising why we feel bad after a browsing session when it comes to social media. Selfies are everywhere, filters are on hand and those perfect (well edited) life snaps are shown. The “like” button has also become gold to so many people. The list is endless. On the other hand, however, social media can be a great platform for promoting your business, sharing your creativity, highlighting important issues, giving you a right old laugh and raising awareness on so many important causes/subjects. We’re in a time where everything is done online now and working from home is so much more common since the pandemic.
When my relationship with social media started
When I first became acquainted with FB back in 2007, I have to admit I loved it. Social media was a new way to connect with others and I loved checking into places, posting the obligatory holiday snaps, dinner (I know) and basically sharing the snaps I “wanted” the world to see. Oh did that soon change.
When Social Media becomes unhealthy
Now, when I look back, social media was not one bit healthy for my well-being. When the novelty of this new platform had worn off my self-esteem dipped whenever I was scrolling or if I was having an off day. Do you find your mood changing when you’re scrolling for eternity? Yep, we’ve all been there! My goodness I remember well before mobiles and the Internet and managed quite well. In todays world, don’t you feel lost if your phone isn’t attached to those hands? I’m so much more mindful these days with social media after deleting my personal social media accounts many years ago (I just had to and feel much more happier/content) I still have FB and Insta, but more for hobbies and work. However, maybe you do have control when it comes to social media use and that’s great – its all about being mindful. You’re in a time where social media is so powerful and addictive. Try not to compare your life (I know it’s easier said than done) we’re all unique and brilliant in our own ways. You have your weaknesses and strengths. Build on your strengths and what you enjoy doing and what makes you feel good.
According to NCHR (National Center For Health Research) 45% of adolescents have reported to being online “almost constantly,” whereas 44% stated being online several times a day. This is a huge percentage of younger people spending their time online on a daily basis – and is bound to have a negative impact to your mental well-being. However, a 2018 survey report (NCHR, 2018) has stated how 31% of adolescents found a positive impact from social media use and connecting with others. But, 25% of adolescents found social media to have such a negative impact.
Researchers have also shown how social media can disrupt sleep (NCHR, 2018) I can vouch for this myself, as I used to take my phone to bed (I stopped that years ago) put it under my pillow and if I woke during the night would have a quick check: then the dreaded scrolling started. Leave your phone downstairs at night or put it into a drawer. Get that proper nights sleep your body and mind needs.
Finding the right balance
There are positives to using social media when you get that balance right and become more aware when online. If you struggle with your confidence and you find yourself feeling low after spending quite a bit of time scrolling: then take a step back and have a little break to recharge your own batteries.
7tips on balancing a healthy social media life
1. Ask yourself these questions before going online:
How do I feel?
What can I do instead?
What exactly is making me feel worse?
How is this beneficial?
2. Delete apps from your phone, so you don’t have it handy to constantly check/scroll.
3. Follow positive well-being accounts, these will help you to see the positives. Follow genuine accounts focused on your wellbeing.
4. If it gets too much or overwhelming then take a little break from it. Or even dedicate a day with no social media use every week.
5. Take up a hobby you have always wanted to try or rekindle an old one.
6. Go outdoors (leave the phone at home) Spend time in nature to recharge your own batteries and connect with yourself. There is so much beauty out there and outside of social media. Breathe in that fresh air!!
7. Become more aware of your feelings when online. Check in with yourself: ask yourself do I feel ok doing this? Set yourself a time limit when online.
Social media can be so addictive and you can spend wasted hours scrolling.
Channel your energy into what YOU really enjoy. What makes you smile? It’s ok to take a break and remember to always be kind to yourself. Step by step you can change a habit. You are more than enough. You really, really are. I feel so much happier not having a personal social media account anymore and I limit my time spent when browsing on the phone. I’m more aware when online. I channel my energies into what I enjoy, which is being with my family, absorbing nature, writing and coaching. Talk to someone if it all gets a bit too much, it’s ok to share how you’re feeling with someone you trust – it’s not a weakness but a strength to open up (and at your own pace too)
Thank you for checking out my post and let me know what your relationship with social media is like.
Do you need to find a healthier social media balance?
Do you need the motivation and discipline to move forward with your goals?
This is a photo of myself, my race bib and my medal after I ran and completed Dublin Marathon in 2013 (I ran my first Dublin Marathon in 2010)
How did I feel? Delighted, relieved, exhausted, sore, but proud!
How did I make this happen?
I spent 4 solid months training 6 days per week, booked a few 5k and 10k races as part of my training plan and followed a great marathon book (that book was my training and nutrition coach)
I spent 4 solid months training 6 days per week, booked a few 5k and 10k races as part of my training plan and followed a great marathon book (that book was my training and nutrition coach)
Looking back it was hard work (results always take determination, belief in yourself and discipline) and there were plenty of times where I felt like giving up, shed tears and my confidence was knocked. But, I would always focus on the end goal and visualized myself running over that finishing line. That picture was always in my mind.
If you want it, you can fly,
You just have to trust ‘you’ a lot
When you set goals, you need to have a structured plan, believe in yourself and then visualize it.
Give yourself a pep talk!
Whenever you lack the motivation to move forward with your goals, ask yourself:
What can I do differently?
Why did I start?
How can I make this work going forward?
Running a marathon is HARD WORK and you need to put in that time and commitment. Build yourself up and pace yourself.
Like everything, most of it is all in the mind. What you feed yourself mentally certainly affects your performance.
Be kind to yourself with that self-talk!
When you put in the work, then you get results. It’s all in the preparation, believing in yourself, doing the research and being disciplined.
Keep checking in with yourself and reflect.
Plan of action and final thoughts
I make sure I follow a plan, set goals, have a clear vision and I work hard at what I set out to achieve.
Should you be training for a marathon, working towards a big job promotion, changing career, wanting to lose weight or anything that involves commitment; you need to put in the work, be disciplined, prepare, plan and visualize that end result! But, being kind to yourself too.
What changes do you need to make going forward?
How can you make that change happen?
You can do whatever you put your mind to. Believe in yourself, lace up those trainers and get starting!
How are you feeling today and did you get a good night’s sleep?
Are you getting enough sleep per night in general; i.e between 7-9 hrs? Are you struggling to fall asleep at the moment?
It’s tough sometimes to get the right amount, especially if you’re a new parent isn’t it? Or you could be going through other major changes in your life; should it be at work, your relationships, college or moving home.
But, getting the right amount of sleep each night is so important in order to decrease those stress levels; and to keep your anxiety levels controlled. I know myself by not getting those early nights (my youngest is an early riser!) I don’t feel myself. Your concentration is poor the next day, then you reach for the junk food and you lack the motivation to exercise or to move forward with your goals. Getting those early night’s in helps your overall wellbeing and to control stress/ low mood.
Sleep problems could cause health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression, heart disease and reduced immune system function (sleepfoundation).This is not surprising as you do reach for unhealthy options when it comes to food ( I do and I’m also too tired to exercise if I haven’t had a good night’s sleep). But, I make sure I get those 8 hrs sleep each night, so I’m more motivated/focused to eat a well balanced diet, to exercise properly and to be more productive the next day.
Research has shown:
That 40% of aged 18-24 struggle to fall asleep at night (sleep foundation)
33% of people above 55 in the UK also struggle to fall asleep (sleep foundation)
22% of people in general in the UK struggle to fall asleep (NHS)
7-19% of the overall population struggle to get enough sleep (national institute of sleep)
50-70 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders.
Sleep problems during times of stress
What problems do you experience during times of stress? Low quality sleep can affect your physical and mental wellbeing if not controlled/managed. Prolonged sleep problems can cause health problems/diseases.
Common sleep disorders
Restless leg syndrome
During times of high stress I tend to get palpitations prior to falling asleep. I’ve also experienced sleep paralysis a handful of times during my life (now, if you’re aware of sleep paralysis then you know how terrifying that can be! Not pleasant is it?)
8 ways to improve sleep(Sleep Foundation, NHS)
Avoid Caffeine (a stimulant) and alcohol just before bed (at least 2hrs) as they can prevent you from falling asleep or going into a more deeper sleep
Exercise throughout the day but avoid it just before bed
Make sure your sleeping environment is dark, relaxed and with dim lights if you prefer a light on
Put away those gadgets – I know how distracting they are. When I take mine to bed I’m scrolling and wasting valuable sleeping time (we’re all guilty of this aren’t we?) I always leave mine downstairs now.
If you’re feeling anxious, do a bit of writing before bed and let those worries out. It really helps.
Listen to a bit of relaxation music to help you drift off
Stick to going to bed at the same time each night so it becomes a habit/routine over time.
Stick to going to bed at the same time each night so it becomes a habit/routine over time.
Do you like your tea/coffee before bed and can’t do without? Maybe try some calming lavender herbal tea instead – to help you drift into a more relaxed/calmer state just before bed.
Take a step back, look at how your sleeping patterns are and adapt (using these tips I’ve shown throughout)
What tips do you have that helps you with sleep?
Thank you for stopping by to check out my post. And, here’s to you having a decent night’s sleep going forward!
Are you moving forward with your goals? Or has that little seed of doubt returned? You’re losing the motivation to move on and next thing you know procrastination kicks in.
When we set goals, we need a solid plan in place, written down, and a time-frame. Realistic goals. So you can work on that action plan.
Build it up slowly
Start off in baby steps (yes build it up nicely) and work on that confidence. Believe in yourself. Do all that inner work. Work on the relationship with yourself. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and what drives you!
Ask yourself, what exactly is my plan? How can I make this achievable?
When I set my own goals, I am more focused/clear when I actually do it step by step. Sometimes you can get too carried away and want the whole shebang overnight. All these incredible thoughts/ideas running around in our heads. The next thing you know you’re overwhelmed, and that confidence dips, oh boy does it dip. When it gets to that stage, step back and ask yourself these questions:
How can I do this in a more manageable way?
What is stopping me from moving forward right now?
What have I learned?
How do I really feel?
Set realistic goals, then reassess over time. And if you are reaching those targets, then yes aim higher, go for it. Do it. It really is all in the planning.
Using the SMART guide to help withsetting those goals
When setting goals just think of the following guide SMART to help throughout the process:
When you become stressed/anxious our body goes into overdrive. Then the procrastination starts and you are going nowhere. You are spending way too much time doubting your capabilities (I know this too well)
Sometimes, you just need to take a break, recharge those batteries and come back to those goals with a fresh outlook; raring to go again.
Each step forward counts
Even taking a step back.
I know myself when that little seed of doubt starts growing, and those weeds start sprouting; I need to ask myself ” why is this happening?”
You are only human at the end of the day. Go easy on yourself, set realistic goals. Yes, it’s great to aim high, but “slow and steady wins the race” otherwise you burn out before you even reach the starting line!
Take action, set those goals and be kind to yourself. Look within. All the answers are there!
Break it down to a manageable plan of action for you. Use the SMART guide throughout the goal setting process to help.
We all go at our own pace. Listen to your gut.
How are you doing with your goals and are you losing focus?
Thank you for checking out my post and keep going. You’re doing great.
How do you feel about change? As in changing your career, your mindset, your eating habits, or taking up a new hobby. Change can mean many things. This year I became certified as a Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist. I was nervous when training started, but the more I became familiar with the course material and my training group, the more I warmed up to this change.
The process of change can be full of personal development and you discover more and more about who you are as a person and recognising strengths/weaknesses (as I am on this coaching path) Facing these challenges head on is a constant journey of growth and can pull you right out of your comfort zone.
Following your passion:
You hold the key to
Unlocking your full potential
Believe in yourself
I’ve always been passionate about encouraging, supporting and helping others; and finally plucking up the courage to sign up to an accredited course was a positive step towards that goal of pursuing the field of coaching.
What do you want to change in your life at the moment? How can you make that happen?
Have the courage to follow your
heart and intuition
I worked in a senior position within the corporate world for years and just never really felt fulfilled (when I reflect hard on that time). When my children were born I made the decision to stay at home with my little girls while they were still young, and it has been the best decision, in order to spend that quality time with them before they started school.
Embracing change and following your heart
Although change can be daunting, the more you follow your gut instinct, do your research and take your time; you realise that life really is short and you become clearer about what you really want.
Believe in yourself and how capable and worthy that you really are.
Two years ago I wasn’t a writer and now, I’m a published writer, poet, blogger and have written articles for positive wellbeing magazines and poetry zines. How did I move forward with my writing goals? I started to believe in myself and joined a writing club. Connecting with a community of like-minded writers is empowering. Joining a community with individuals who share your passions and interests can help you to grow and move forward.
Opening that door
Working hard to achieve your goals when it feels right will open that door to amazing opportunities when you allow yourself to do so.
It all comes down to ‘you’ at the end of the day!
Write a list of what you want to achieve within the next 6-12 months and work on those goals, while working on yourself. Make that decision; allowing yourself to embrace ‘change’.
What are you passionate about when you listen to your gut instinct?
Thank you for stopping by, have a great day and remember ‘change’ is a good thing! And, as the saying goes:
How are you feeling after the festive season? Are you glad to be getting back into a more structured routine? I’m looking forward to getting back into a more healthier routine (too many sweets/tipples, but I enjoyed it all, and the banter that went along with it) I had such a lovely time back home in Ireland catching up with family, and my brother who I hadn’t seen in over 2 years due to Covid! I was grateful every day!
“It’s the feeling you get when you are able to be touched
By the simple things in life: watching a child playing,
The leaves falling from a tree”
When life stood tragically still in lockdown, I soaked up the outdoors, connecting so much with nature and my family. I then started to crave nature and became more self aware. I soaked up those giggles from our girls; realising there is so much beauty out there and the free stuff like fresh air, fabulous beaches, sunsets and mountains: are all breathtaking views that are food for the soul! Absorbing the “present” moment!
When you stop striving for “perfection”, you automatically start to slow down and realise all that beauty was right under your nose (while your mind was full of worry and busy from those to do lists, lots of unnecessary clutter taking up space in your mind)
I wrote the following ‘etheree’ poem as a reminder to absorb those precious little moments… Being present certainly is the way to do it. Sounds so easy doesn’t it? It is when you practice being present every day but you have to work on it, enjoying the simple little things in life, changing your thought process to a more “positive” way of thinking and being extremely grateful.
Fresh air. Free
But so powerful.
When you stop. Soak it up;
like sand soaking salty sprays,
gentle yet ferocious waves. The
present is all you have. Grab it, then
bottle it. Capturing every small bit!
Growing from within, self-awareness being mindful and always learning; are the components to reaching that place of peace and happiness. Getting the most out of life for “you” and yours.
Work on ‘you’ and believe in yourself. Trust me, the rest will follow!!
So I’m blogging 6 months now and have to say I’m so grateful ( wish I did it sooner, but hey ho here I am blogging)
Now, when I started out blogging, I was posting poetry I had saved from months earlier, would hit submit and off I went on my merry way. I never commented or visited other blogs (took me a while to thaw out really; confidence issues with my writing skills obviously). Then the comments started. I slowly started to get more confident, replying with a word or 2 ( now it’s all about crawling before walking isn’t it?) and then proper commenting on other blogs.
Do you know something? It’s been brilliant. Nobody is going to tear you apart with comments (unless you’re into heated debates) and the kindness and support on this wonderful journey makes it even that more enjoyable.
Enjoy it and remember: we are all on a “constant” journey of growth.
We are making sense of this world (especially during these times) and sharing your ideas, thoughts and advice helps to make sense a little bit more.
So what are the 3 things I’ve learned since starting to blog?
1. Blogging can be fun – stick with it, comment on other blogs, even just a little comment or like for that extra bit of encouragement and support for others.
2. Read up on blogging tips/advice: it helps. If like me it’s a hobby and a way to connect with fellow bloggers/writers, then don’t be putting too much pressure on yourself for having loads of followers. Just enjoy it and it’s great for brushing up on your writing skills too.
3. Use the tagging option in post settings, so your post can reach the bloggers you want to reach, and to share your stories/poetry/inspiration – whatever your niche is. Don’t focus too much on niche at the start, that will come and enjoy the process.
Blogging is full of encouragement, like minded and real people (non of this perfect social media portrayed life) when you read the material that suits ‘you’ that is.
Yes, there are times when it can feel overwhelming, and when it does, then take a little step back, recharge those batteries as your blog will “always” be there. Read up on blogging tips and remember “you have to crawl before you walk”. Something I’ve been learning more about lately. Try not to be too hard on yourself and take each step bit by bit.
So what tips do you have when starting out blogging and how has your blogging experience been so far?
Thank you for stopping by, happy blogging and be kind to yourself and others.
I wrote the following poem a few months back after joining a poetry writing group for mums. Since the beginning of this pandemic (when I started writing poetry) most of my poetry was written about Covid and nature.
When I started writing about motherhood, it made me think of the changes you go through when becoming a parent; but also the pure joy and unconditional love that you have for your children.
Parenting is hard, it’s rewarding, full of surprises and it’s a pick and mix of emotions: and throwing a pandemic on top of it all? Well. But the laughs from your little people, their little funny ways tugs at those heart strings like nothing else. And you would do ANYTHING for them..
I often sit back and watch my 4 and 2 year old girls playing, to absorb those precious, precious moments that flash by in an absolute heartbeat! Savoring those little moments, that you will never get back. Hugging them to pieces: without the rushing about and before they tell you to ‘get off’.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stop trying to be a perfect parent (that’s impossible) and to enjoy every moment. Doing the best you can is the very best you can ever do.
I often look at the bride beaming down from the canvas photo – two stone lighter, a wife, running enthusiast: not yet a mummy. I often look at my tummy; it sits like a bag of wheat, my thighs dimpled like an orange. I often look at my ashen roots, reflecting every bit of my years. I often look at how I indulge in chocolate, A withered flower blowing with those gales
The beaming bride? Two stone lighter, but gaining two of the most precious gifts to run after. My bag of wheat? Two beautiful little cakes were created. My ashen roots? Life doesn’t stand still and there’s no cheating that (a trip to the hairdressers does pretty well!). My chocolate craving? A tired mummy, lockdown mummy, craves that chocolate: In a lower gear – while sipping that obligatory glass of gin & tonic.
Reminders of life. A wife. A mummy. Lockdown and my birthing tummy.
So here’s a toast to you as a parent, the juggling act that goes along with it and YOU are enough.
Have a beautiful day, savouring those moments with your little blossoms and also being kind to yourself throughout the process.