YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AUDIT

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A useful exercise to help you to smoke out the type of thoughts, behaviours and actions which build your self-esteem. It might also point out where you are sabotaging your confidence levels. There are no scores here; this is a process of reflection that might reveal some new and useful insights. Would love to hear your comments!

1 When I am feeling high in self-esteem I ……………………………

2 Self-doubt makes me……………………………………………….

3 My self-worth is high when…………………………………………

4 I feel like a success when……………………………………………

5 I am at my best in relationships when………………………………

6 I lose confidence in myself when……………………………………

7 When I am facing a big challenge I…………………………………

8 If I make a mistake I feel……………………………………………

9 If someone criticizes me I feel………………………………………

10 Increasing my self-esteem would make it possible for me to…..

Consider your answers and reflect upon anything new that might come up for you in the way of fresh understanding.

Are there any changes you can put in place that would help increase your feelings of confidence and self-esteem? If so, when will you take the first action step?

For more confidence boosting ideas visit Lynda Field Life Coaching at http://www.lyndafield.com

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE?

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‘Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.’ Goethe

What do you think is the difference between those who are (or who act as) losers and those who are winners? It has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with attitude and approach. It’s not what you do that counts but rather how you do it. Confident people communicate differently and this is their defining feature. Go out and listen for victims. Notice the tone of voice as well as the actual words used – can you hear that ‘poor me’ whine? Now listen for non-victims – what differences can you hear? You can learn the techniques it takes to become assertive; anyone can become skilled at communicating if they are prepared to practise.

8 Ways to be More Assertive

1. Try to be less judgemental. Withhold criticism and look for positive things to praise; people really respond to this approach.

2. Be prepared to take risks (no need to take up a dangerous sport, just be ready to make changes).

3. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Open and honest communication is a confident style that gets good results.

4. Accept criticism calmly. Perhaps she has a point? If not, then say what you feel, but rationally and not in the heat of anger (this carries much more authority).

5. Keep things in perspective. This will help you to feel more laid back and sends out confident signals to others.

6. Be ready to say ‘no’ when you need to. You might need to practise this!

7. Simply smile! And immediately you appear confident and in control and you will feel it too.

8. Stop talking and start listening. Everyone responds well to this sort of attention.

Winners and losers communicate differently and this is their defining feature.

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Coaching and Confidence Boosting at http://www.lyndafield.com

HOW TO KNOW IF IT’S LOVE

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Love means that you can be angry, say how you feel, voice your opinion, go around with no make-up and hairy legs, without worrying about being criticised or abandoned.
Denise Knowles, Relate counsellor

When clients talk to me about their love problems they sometimes say that they aren’t sure whether to stay or to leave their relationship. Perhaps they have just met someone and don’t know whether to invest the time and effort into making it work; or maybe they have been in a partnership for a while and feel that they are stuck in a relationship rut, and then there are those who have been unhappy with a man for years and are still trying to change him.
When our love lives get difficult it is far too easy to get lost in nit picking and criticisms even though we know that blame is never a problem-solving tool. In fact as soon as we start to moan and complain about all his faults we have lost the ability to take charge of our own feelings and to understand what is really going on between us. And understanding is always the key to clarifying and resolving difficult relationship issues. So, whatever the dilemma, I always take the client back to the basics of coaching because this method opens up a positive and dynamic way forward.
The love coaching approach offers a step-by-step plan to get the love you want. First of course you need to know what you want. It is quite amazing how many of us seem to just drop into a relationship without ever having considered what we want from it. Would we buy a house in this ultra casual way, or a car? Or even a new outfit or a washing machine? Would we go for a new job without researching whether it was exactly right for us? Of course we wouldn’t, but lust madness and the euphoria of PEA cloud our usual good judgement when it comes to love.
But we want romance and the knight in shining armour stuff even though we know that we also need a lot more than this. So what can we do?
It is entirely possible to enjoy the romance of love whilst at the same time being aware of our longer-term needs. Up-to-date research reveals two vitally important points:

All love relationships go through the same phases.

This information makes it possible for us to place our own relationship within the context of the five phases of love. Once we do this we can begin to put our own love problems in some sort of perspective and this makes it easier to focus on exactly what is happening and why.

There are specific criteria that are required for a lasting and nurturing relationship.

We can check if our relationship fulfils these criteria and so become more realistic about our long-term prospects.

The 5 phases of love

Can you see which phase your relationship is in at the moment? Recognise the possible new challenges that can arrive with each new stage.

1 The honeymoon phase
This is the so-called ‘bonking and behaving’ phase, a phrase that says it all. We are blissfully and blindly euphoric, he can do no wrong in our eyes; we are in love with love. But as we know this feeling fades as the hormones subside and we start to face the realities of the relationship and so we move into the conflict phase.

2 The conflict phase
Everyday life begins to intrude and we no longer always see his behaviour tinted with a rosy glow. Our differences emerge and a power struggle begins. One moment he was the man of our dreams and then suddenly we find ourselves arguing. This is a natural part of growing closer together. You can never be intimate until you get to know each other and conflicts are bound to emerge with both of you wanting to be ‘right’.

3 The understanding/misunderstanding phase
There are two possibilities now: to keep fighting each other or to start talking about what it is you both want. If you can resolve your arguments without criticism and sarcasm you are on your way to greater intimacy and understanding. If you stay together and just keep fighting without working things out your relationship will not be able to grow in a healthy way.

4 The stuck in a rut phase
You are still together and are less in conflict; things are easier but they might just start to get boring. This is a dangerous phase when you can start to take each other for granted. Routine is the key word here and maybe the passion has been lost in the daily domestic round. You need to keep the fireworks popping; get romantic and sexy and revive those feelings that you had on your first dates. Don’t let familiarity breed contempt, let it breed greater intimacy.

5 The good team phase
You have come through the ‘stuck’ phase and breathed new life into your relationship. It takes two to achieve this and so now you know that both you and your partner are committed to the partnership. You have been through it and come out the other side and this gives you both confidence and a strong feeling of security. You are in it for the long haul and you know that this is love!

So, before you decide to ditch your relationship just check which phase you find yourselves in. Note the particular challenges that come with each stage and ask yourself how the two of you are handling them. Are you both prepared to work through the issues? True love is about being there for each other through thick and thin; it’s about being self-aware and also being sensitive to your partner, and it’s a two-way process. If one person is doing all the work then it is not a loving relationship and if you are in emotional pain it definitely isn’t love!

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Coaching and Confidence Boosting at http://www.lyndafield.com

Adapted from the book, Weekend Love Coach by Lynda Field

MAKE A POSITIVE IMPRESSION

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Cast your mind back to the last time you were faced with a group of strangers, perhaps at a party, a work-training event or a job interview.

Faced with the unknown our adrenaline starts rushing and our behaviour can become erratic. The person who can survive the pressure is the one who has high self-esteem and feels free to be herself. You know only too well how it feels to turn up to such a group event feeling nervous and low in confidence: everyone else seems so much more together don’t they?

The truth is that everyone feels intimidated sometimes in their lives but the person who survives such feelings is the one who has an open mind and can see the lighter side of life: the pessimist will look for problems and find them and the optimist will act spontaneously and creatively. We all know which of these two types we would want on our team. Look at the following checklist. What are your own positive and negative traits?

Personality checklist

1 Fear of rejection (negative)

2 Good sense of humour; can laugh at self (positive)

3 Worried about not being liked (negative)

4 Genuinely likes people and shows interest in them (positive)

5 Has to have the last word, must be right (negative)

6 Can say sorry when necessary (positive)

7 Self-centred (negative)

8 Good listener (positive)

9 Low self-esteem (negative)

10 Doesn’t take things personally (positive)

To eliminate the negative just accentuate the positive, and you will make a fabulous impression.

For Coaching and more Confidence tips visit  www.lyndafield.com

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Adapted from the book, Instant Life Coach by Lynda Field

ARE YOU AN OPTIMIST OR A PESSIMIST?

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‘If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

How did you start your day?

What were your first feelings on waking?

Were you expecting a perfect day or just twenty-four hours of hassle?

Are you thinking like an optimist or a pessimist?

It’s not what happens to you that counts but rather how you deal with what happens to you. I know, things do go wrong, and life can be demanding and challenging, but we can still choose the quality of our experiences. Optimism and confidence go hand in hand.

The Law of Attraction says that we create whatever we think about. We live within an electromagnetic field and every thought we have charges the energy field with vibrations. Like attracts like and this is why pessimistic people really are always having such a bad time (negative patterns attract all other forms of negativity). Optimistic people feel upbeat and attract good outcomes because positive thought patterns attract more positivity into their lives. Try this checklist and discover how much of an optimist you are.

The Optimist’s Checklist

• Is your cup half full or half empty?

• Do you expect the best to happen?

• Do you believe that you can change your reality?

• Are you a positive thinker?

• Can you relax and let go sometimes?

• Do you love your life?

• Are you generally a happy person?

Optimists have confidence in themselves and in the universe. Choose to act like an optimist and just feel the difference in the quality of your life.

For Coaching and more Confidence tips visit http://www.lyndafield.com

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Adapted from the book, Instant Life Coach by Lynda Field

ADDICTED TO YOUR PHONE?

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Lost, yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
Horace Mann

Ah yes, don’t we know it’s true; those precious 1,440 minutes per day are certainly whizzing by. But hey, who’s got the time to stand around appreciating those sparkling time slots when there’s just so much to do and so few golden hours to do it in? We might even be wondering if we have the time to be happy!
Journalist Carl Honoré came face to face with this dilemma when he found himself speed-reading his daughter’s bedtime story. We have all had mad moments like this when we suddenly stopped and realized that we had forgotten the real reason that we were doing something in the first place. Fast forward (actually make that slow forward!) to this evening when you: sit down to dinner; chat with friends; put your child to bed; make love…will you be enjoying every moment or will you be going through the motions of doing the task with your eye on the time? When Carl Honoré realized how his desperation to do more was taking him into the realms of the absurd he decided to fight back. The result was his internationally acclaimed book, In Praise of Slow, which has precipitated a worldwide movement that challenges the cult of speed. He describes being ‘slow’ as meaning ‘ living better in the hectic modern world by striking a balance between fast and slow.’ No worries then about throwing out your laptop and dishwasher and getting back to Stone Age basics.
Today we will be looking at ways to strike that magical balance between enjoying the amazing diversity of the material world and remembering to take pleasure in each and every precious moment of our lives. ‘If only I just had more time;’ how often do you say this? And what do you tell yourself that you would be doing with this extra stash of hours? I know you are busy and there are things that must be done before you can relax, but why not try a new approach. Instead of fighting the clock let’s find a way to work with it. When you have a realistic and healthy approach to the concept of time you will find it possible to do more of all those wonderful things that make you happy. I can sense your resistance; perhaps you have read a few too many articles about time management; writing lists and prioritizing. I know how you feel, and if you could see me now in my office with lists and research papers and notes cluttering every surface you would realize that I am on your side. I’m not knocking ‘to do lists’ but I do know that it takes more than this to get our lives into a happy balance.

Hurried woman syndrome

Mahatma Gadhi once commented that, ‘There is more to life than increasing its speed’ and he was certainly on to something even then. I wonder what the great spiritual leader and political activist would have made of our rushaholic times?
The Hurried Woman Syndrome (HWS) has been recognised as a new epidemic among British women and was first identified by Texan doctor, Brent Bost. The women’s magazine Prima has conducted the first UK study of the condition by questioning 10,000 women. More than 75% of these women showed signs of HWS. Now, are you wondering what the symptoms might be or do you know only too well what they are? You probably won’t be surprised to hear that hurried women are overweight, tired and have a low sex drive!
Ruth Tierney, Features Editor of Prima, said: ‘The results were shocking…Many of the women we interviewed instantly identified with the vicious circle of symptoms, which often begins with tiredness, leading to an increase in appetite, weight gain, and a loss of interest in sex and exercise. These changes kick-start a cycle of emotional symptoms including a lack of self-esteem, irritability, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and a drop in motivation.’ Ah, so perhaps now you know why you are not always at your fabulous best. But what’s to be done?
Ms Tierney says, ‘It seems the answer to this very modern condition is to go back to basics, and to stop trying to be the perfect wife, mother and employee.’ And Dr Bost concluded that all us HW’s should: ‘Do the things granny would have told you to do. Basically, slow down and smell the roses, set priorities and realise you have limits.’
Before you shout in protest that you haven’t got the time to smell a rose, or indeed anything else, let’s get all this into perspective; you are not the only who is in a hurry. Sociologist have now recognised the widespread effects of what they call ‘time famine’ which they suggest is due in part to our increasingly speed driven methods of communication. Our phones ensure that we are immediately contactable and that instant email/text whizzing through the ethers often demands a similarly instant response. A Harvard Medical School doctor has even invented the term ‘pseudo ADD’ to describe the people who compulsively check their phones and emails every 30 seconds and so are unable to focus on whatever they are supposed to be doing.
On his website http://www.inpraiseofslow.com Carl Honoré, using the word ‘slow’ as shorthand for a new approach to time and space, talks about the concept of slow email. He says: ‘These days, even technophiles are warming to the idea of speed limits on the information superhighway. A senior manager at IBM now appends this rallying cry to every email he sends: “Read your email just twice each day. Recapture your life’s time and relearn to dream. Join the slow email movement!” Mmm you might possibly be thinking that your boss would not be too keen on this idea; but it’s easy to relate to Carl’s approach. Are you hooked on checking your phone and your email? Would you like to recapture some of your life’s time? Start thinking about how you could you begin to do this.

Coaching and confidence boosting at http://www.lyndafield.com

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Adapted from my book, Fast Track to Happiness.

10 WAYS TO GET SUPER MOTIVATED!

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1 Ditch the ‘armchair contemplation’. When you think and think about doing something it can really feel like you are getting on with it but unfortunately this is not the case. There comes a time when thinking must be converted to action.

2 Make a list / cull your lists. If being orderly is not your style then introducing some structure to the chaos might be just what you need. On the other hand if you are surrounded by lists then the sheer number of jobs will defeat you. Identify your top three priorities and let that be your only list.

3 Accept that you are not perfect. If you don’t you will be unable to get going because whatever you do will never feel ‘good enough’.

4 Trust yourself. Remember past successes and achievements. Recollect some good decisions you have made. You have followed through for yourself in the past and you can do it again.

5 Consider the carrots! Think of the rewards of getting going; what will it feel like to have completed the task? How pleased will you be?

6 Stick to the knitting. This old phrase says it in a nutshell. Once you have made the commitment to act stick with it and keep going, do whatever needs to be done. Feel the self-respect!

7 Act confidently. Step up to the plate, even if you are feeling unsure. A courageous leap will energize, motivate and enthuse you – just do it!

8 Stop waiting to feel in the right mood. Days, weeks and months can pass while you wait to feel ready to act. You might never feel ready, particularly if the task hasn’t got a passion quotient of 10/10; meanwhilethe pressure mounts.

9 Become aware of your excuses. What strategies do you use to subvert your goals? Realize that they just won’t wash any more.

10 Take the decision to be motivated. Let this strong intention override all your apparent inner and outer obstacles. Act as if you are motivated and you will feel motivated – be the change you seek.

Copyright © Lynda Field 2015

Adapted from my book, The Self-Esteem Coach

Coaching and confidence boosting at http://www.lyndafield.com