Ways to boost your confidence right now

December 22nd, 2014

Ways to boost your confidence right nowConfidence can be very elusive. Without it we can fall down the route of self-doubt and negativity. So here are some confidence-boosting shortcuts to brighten your day.

1. Sit up straight

If you find yourself slouching in a chair, sit up straight! Research suggests that good posture can lead to a great amount of self-confidence.

2. Turn it up

Cranking up the volume can do great things for your body and mind. Try listening to songs with heavy bass to make you feel more powerful.

3. Learn from failure

A Michael Jordan quote sums it up quite nicely, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” If you have the mentality to learn from your failure, it can immediately boost your confidence knowing that you will not make the same mistake again.

4. Be a friend

Next time you need a quick confidence boost, speak to one of your best friends about a shared passion. This will both improve your mood and boost your confidence.

5. Exercise

Exercise is not only good for your health; it’s good for your well-being too! According to research, working out regularly can improve your confidence. So why not try it today?

6. Visualise your success

Experts say that visualising yourself scoring the winning goal or focusing on your ideal body weight when exercising can help you feel more confident. This positive affirmation is perfect for when you wake up, before and during a task.

7. Practise

Even if you’re blessed with a talent, practising can make you feel even more confident in your abilities. This can range from practising your instrument before a gig or going through a slideshow one more time before a presentation.

8. Smile!

Cracking a smile is an instant way to boost your confidence. It can make you feel and appear both composed and confident. So try it!

If you would like to know how a life coach can help you build your confidence, visit our informative confidence fact sheet.

 Read and comment on the original Greatist article.

Take control of your procrastination

December 19th, 2014

Take control of your procrastinationIn this article we discuss five ways you can become more productive.

We should probably learn after the first few times that it isn’t a good process to leave things until the last minute, but we still keep on doing it. Putting off gym to finish off a large bag of crisps is a classic example. You let your impulses take over, rather than working towards the more favourable payoff.

The immediate payoffs are incredibly hard to resist. It’s similar to jumping on social media instead of writing an article or essay. If you get the essay out of the way now you will feel much better for it, so why would you want to delay that sense of satisfaction? Here are five ways that will try to help you stay on track:

1. Pomodoro technique

This technique is best for those who work in short productive bursts. Try working in 25-minute intervals with a short five-minute break in between. Then after four sessions, give yourself a longer 25-minute break as a reward.

2. Parkinson’s law

Parkinson’s law introduces the idea of work only filling the time you allow it to. So try using a medium to short period of time before the submission date to complete your task. This will allow you to focus entirely on the problem at hand, rather than allowing distraction to seep in over a longer period of time.

3. Pareto principle

The Pareto principle promotes the idea that only 20% of your time is used to reach important goals. So if you can complete your important task in only 20% of your time, it gives you the incentive to not waste any of it. If you think you’re not in the situation to be productive (i.e. tired), leave it to a time where you are fully energised. Use your most alert time to tackle the most challenging tasks.

4. Quadrant method

In the Quadrant method, aka the Eisenhower method, you categorise your tasks into four quadrants. The first two rows are labelled ‘important’ and ‘not important’, and the two columns are labelled ‘urgent’ and ‘not urgent’. Once your tasks are categorised, focus on the urgent and important tasks, then gradually work through the rest in your own time.

5. Time chunking

Time chunking is a concept that promotes flexibility with your work time. Try dedicating certain parts of the week to certain tasks. You can even add ‘waste time’ as a category so you can do all of the things that would normally distract you. You are in control of what you do with this method; you decide how you spend your time rather than procrastinating.

We would love to know how you overcome procrastination. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

How to correct things we mistake for happiness (part two)

December 18th, 2014

How to correct things we mistake for happiness (part two)Here’s part two of our article that explores more ways to escape mistaken happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy. But some people might take a wrong turn for one reason or another and end up confusing certain negative situations with happiness. Here are a number of things that can cause confusion:

1. Complaining, then not rectifying

There isn’t anything wrong with complaining from time to time; it does have its benefits. It can be used to point out the weakness in something so it can be improved. The problem starts when people complain for the sake of complaining, and then don’t do anything about it. If you do want to talk about what’s wrong, try your best to also think about potential solutions.

2. Staying friends with negative people

Sometimes letting go of a friend is harder than ending a relationship with your partner. But it’s important to be loyal but also remember there is a difference between being dependable and mollycoddling! No one wants to break a friendship at the first sign of trouble, so give them enough time and room to change, if they don’t, it just might be time to move on.

3. Having too many friends on social media

Making friends and ‘connections’ is far easier now than it has been in the past due to the introduction of social media on a global scale. It can be quite flattering to have a number of ‘friends’ on your social network, but this can easily form a source of frustration and angst when reading your dashboard every day.

Sometimes it can be fun finding out what your best friend had for lunch, but you might become less interested when you see the same holiday selfie and life problems from people you barely know. Try ‘unfriending’ acquaintances that you wouldn’t say hello to if you saw them in the street. It can feel quite cathartic and will allow you to nurture your worthwhile friendships.

4. Pursuing an interest to please someone else

If you need a distraction or just want to do something out of the ordinary, accepting an invitation from a friend to join a new project or pursue a new hobby can be a great thing to do. But if you’re only there to please someone else, the excitement might wear thin pretty quickly making you want to leave, creating a very awkward situation.

Trying new things is great though. Don’t be turned off just because you might not end up loving it like your friend does. Just explain to them you aren’t enjoying it enough to keep going; be honest and they will understand!

5. Making fun out of people

Having a sense of humour is great. Being in a group where laughter naturally occurs can bind friendships together. Sometimes however, humour can cross certain lines and we don’t realise it until we lose our friends one at a time.

Making people genuinely laugh is a great skill to have; it’s a sign of confidence and creativity. But sometimes insult-based humour can be offensive and not everyone will take it the right way.

Happiness is within our grasp, but sometimes our journey can complicate things. So try simplifying it!

If you feel you could do with some help managing your happiness, a life coach may be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read part one of How to correct things mistaken for happiness for more tips, or view and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Would a shorter working week have an impact on your happiness?

December 12th, 2014

Would a shorter working week have an impact on your happiness?If your boss offered you the opportunity to work less hours with the same pay you would most likely bite their hand off. But would it really be a positive thing?

South Korea tried reducing their average working week from 44 hours to 40, giving residents an extra four hours of relaxation time and also giving them Saturdays an official ‘off-day’. According to Robert Rudolf, a labour scholar at Korea University, this didn’t have any effect on life or job well-being.

He concluded, “Holding everything else including own earnings and household income constant, average reductions of more than four hours of work time did not have a significant impact on full-time workers’ overall job and life satisfaction.”

Rudolf’s findings are based on a pool of approximately 13,700 workers between 1998 and 2008. It covered a number of years before and after the cuts came into effect, offering a fair outlook on the policy’s impact on worker’s work/life balance. The sample was restricted to people who were either living with a partner and a family or married, as one of the major points of the research was to find out the home/work balance.

Research highlights

The research highlighted that Koreans worked very long hours. In 1998 the average working week was 56 hours; over the 10-year period it fell to an average of 51. This is still a very long working week compared to the average of a UK worker.

It also showed that workers preferred shorter working hours in the day, but didn’t feel particularly strongly about shortening the working week (ie working a four-day week). It didn’t however seem to have any effect on the work/life balance of people who worked very long hours (60+), as they had most likely achieved a high status and understood the hours they needed to put in.

“These findings are probably not what policy makers had intended when designing the reform,” Rudolf says.

He also believes that companies might have kept the workload constant, so workers needed to complete everything in a shorter window thereby contributing to stress rather than a positive work/life balance.

Do you want a shorter working week?

So what do you think would happen if a shorter week was introduced where you live? Trimming the 37½-hour week in the UK by four hours might not make enough difference. Would this be enough to affect your work/life balance? Or would it add to your stress because there isn’t enough time in the day already to finish all of your work? Please let us know in the comments below.

If you are struggling to find a positive work/life balance, you might want to speak to a life coach for advice. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

Five signs you might be underestimating yourself

December 11th, 2014

Five signs you might be underestimating yourselfSometimes being reserved about your skills and accomplishments is considered humble, but if you don’t celebrate them at all you may be holding yourself back.

If you’ve been raised in an environment when accomplishments aren’t celebrated, it might seem second nature to revert to these old habits and beliefs throughout your life. But take a moment and reflect on your past achievements. Could you have done more with them?

So here are five habits that are most likely contributing to you underestimating yourself:

1. You don’t have a daily routine.

Establishing a daily routine is key to getting your mind and body in sync. It will align your intentions and give you structure amidst the daily chaos. This could consist of healthy eating, yoga, meditating, reading or exercise.

2. You always compare yourself with others.

Nothing is private with social media anymore as it’s very easy to find out what’s happening in other people’s lives. As a result of this, it’s very difficult not to compare yourself to others. Just remember that social media is biased. Rarely do you see your friends airing their problems and fears. Try to focus on your own journey and make the most of it!

3. You’re in the wrong crowd.

It’s important to be with friends that support you, value you as a person and are generally great to be around. It’s hard to spend time with eternally negative people. So find others that understand you, not ones that will revel in your disappointment.

4. You’re not fuelling your body.

You make excuses to not exercise, to order a take-away instead of cooking healthy food and to drink fizzy drinks rather than water or fruit juice. This can wreak havoc with your confidence both in the way you feel and what you see in the mirror. Try making an effort to eat healthily and exercise regularly to feel energised throughout the week.

5. You have no self-belief.

There will only be a few people in your life who will love you unconditionally and you should be one of them! If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? Set yourself some standards to live by. Believe in yourself and everything you want to share with the world.

If you are having trouble with your self-belief, you might want to consult a life coach. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

Four fears to conquer before starting a business

December 6th, 2014

Four fears to conquer before starting a businessBecoming an entrepreneur is a frightening prospect. So try to conquer these four fears before starting out.

While every entrepreneur and new business is entirely unique, to be successful you will need to prepare for the risks and conquer your fears accordingly.

1. Running out of money

One of the major concerns entrepreneurs have is the health of their capital. In the majority of cases, starting a new business requires a lot of money upfront, which can come from the entrepreneurs’ life savings, or from independent investors. If you can’t acquire a steady revenue stream by the time your initial capital investment runs out, you could lose your business and all the money you have invested.

If losing your life savings is too much of a hurdle to surpass, try to secure funding from somewhere else. Crowd funding and government grants are two ways that can help get your business started. Although if you don’t have enough faith in your business model to achieve a strong enough revenue stream, you may not want to start.

2. Not being good enough

You might be worried that you don’t have the business acumen to succeed, or your product isn’t good enough to be competitive. These fears can be debilitating for entrepreneurs.

Remember this: no product ever starts out perfect. If your product is acceptable on release, that should be good enough. You will have plenty of time to improve it.

3. Failing

Failure will always set you back, but you cannot be afraid of it. It can range from a misstep in an email marketing campaign to your business going under. Try to think of failures as learning opportunities, ways to improve your product or business processes so the same things don’t happen again.

4. Becoming overwhelmed

Entrepreneurship isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a tough challenge with many rewards littered throughout the journey. You will experience the largest workload you have ever experienced, as you will be in charge of almost everything in the beginning. Just remember you are in control – deal with problems in your own way.

To conclude

Starting your own business isn’t for the fearless; it’s for the prepared. If you are strong enough to learn from your mistakes and move past them you are most likely on the right track. Instead of avoiding fears, embrace them and try to prevent those disasters from ever happening.

If you are starting a business and you think stress is getting too much, you might want to consult a life coach. To find a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Entrepreneur article.

Five ways to fight holiday stress

December 5th, 2014

Five ways to fight holiday stressThe holiday period should be spent having fun with your family and friends, but in reality it can be very stressful. So here are five ways to reduce stress around Christmas.

Sometimes stress can be caused by interacting with our family – previous memories of past holidays, changes in our lives or simply the mood of each individual. These five strategies can be used to help combat the stress over the winter period.

1. Recognise your feelings

Losing a family member can be tough for everybody, and each person will deal with it in his or her own way. Understand that it’s normal to feel sad and embrace those feelings. Try celebrating the life of the person by sharing stories of the good times.

2. Be realistic

Try speaking to your family to let them know what to expect regarding holidays and gifts. If money’s tight this year, explain that to them. You will feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders when everybody is on the same page.

3. Try something different

If your traditional family meet up is getting more stressful every year – try something different. Plan a dinner at a local restaurant or an evening out somewhere nice. This can reduce your stress levels, as being in the same place with the same people for long periods of time can take its toll.

4. Learn to say no

Try to be honest with your friends and family. Saying yes when you mean no can create the feeling of resentment. Try saying no and explain the reason why – they are your family after all, so they will understand.

5. Prepare a budget

Decide early how much you are able to spend on gifts and food. Do not allow yourself to spend more money than you can afford to appease everyone. Remember that the happiness received from gifts is only temporary.

If you think you will experience family problems this holiday season, visit our informative family page to see how a life coach can help.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

How to correct the things we mistake for happiness (part one)

November 27th, 2014

How to correct the things we mistake for happiness (part one)Try to escape mistaken happiness by evaluating and correcting life’s decisions.

Happiness is a very personal thing, it can differ from one person to the next. Some people prefer instant gratification whereas others don’t mind waiting for it. Here are a number of things we can confuse with happiness:

1. A job you don’t like

Paying the bills and saving for the next step in your life is important, but so is working in a positive environment and enjoying your chosen career. Happiness at work can help you achieve success, build relationships with co-workers and make you more productive.

It’s natural to grumble about work the next day, but if this becomes a persistent thing, you might want to evaluate your current position. Sometimes you just might need to moves things around. Change your routine, transfer to a different part of the company or even consider taking a holiday. If these don’t work, consider exploring other opportunities.

2. A broken relationship

Relationships are rarely perfect, but this is often used as an excuse to stay in a one that isn’t working. Many couples go through the inevitable bumps in the road and they can pass over them without a worry. However if they are too frequent or too fierce in nature, they can bring a relationship to a stop. Try assessing your relationship from time to time – this gives you the opportunity to enjoy things while they are good, or save things when things aren’t.

3. Buying the latest products

It’s nice to have the latest car, smartphone or new pair of trainers. There isn’t anything wrong with it, but sometimes we become obsessed with getting the latest and greatest without actually evaluating the benefit of buying them.

Ask yourself ‘do I truly need to buy this?’ the next time you consider a new purchase.

4. Obsessing over perfection

No matter how many times we are told nothing and nobody are perfect, we still strive to achieve it. To a degree, this can be a good thing, but if you fixate on this and it impairs on you getting things done, it can be seen as a negative. If you don’t get it right first time – it’s OK! Just learn from your mistakes and try again.

If you are having trouble with managing your happiness, a life coach might be able to help. To find a life coach in your area, use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Lifehack article.

Eight tips to beat the winter blues

November 26th, 2014

Eight tips to beat the winter bluesSeasonal changes affect people in different ways. We explore methods to stay positive throughout the winter period.

With nights drawing in and the weather getting colder, the year’s end can trigger a change in mood. For some people this can cause seasonal depression that lasts throughout the latter months until spring comes round in March.

If you find the winter months particularly hard, here are ten tips to help balance your mood during the shift in weather and light:

1. Maximise the light

Open curtains and clean windows to let more light in. Rearrange your home and office furniture to make the most of the natural light when it’s there. If it’s sunny in the day, embrace it.

2. Rest up

If you have a busy schedule throughout the winter months, take advantage of a few moments of rest. This will make you appreciate them more, and feel even more recharged for the next event.

3. Appreciate the season

Winter isn’t all doom and gloom. Wrap up with a blanket, enjoy a warm drink, watch seasonal films, and listen to holiday music. Appreciate what the winter has to offer.

4. Keep active

Change up your exercise routine if you don’t like the idea of running through the woods at 6am on a frosty winter morning. Stretching, yoga and walking are all great activities to start with. A brisk five-minute walk will invigorate your mind, body and heart.

5. Be sociable

Autumn and winter can be great times to meet up with friends and family. Holiday celebrations are a perfect way to reconnect.

6. Soothe your body

Take a bath or shower to rest and relax from your hectic day at work.

7. Enjoy warm drinks and tasty food

Tasty food doesn’t always mean it’s unhealthy. Find nourishing comfort food recipes online to provide you with that rewarding feeling of eating well.

8. Seek professional help

Speak to a counsellor or a life coach if you are regularly experiencing depression – be it seasonal or ongoing. You can discuss your mental and emotional troubles to try and find a solution.

If you are feeling depressed and would like to learn more about what you are experiencing, visit our depression page.

Read and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.

How to make friends as an adult

November 22nd, 2014

How to make friends as an adultKeep reading to find out why it’s so difficult to make friends when you get older, and how you can take positive steps to build these new relationships.

Making friends when you were a child was rather easy. You had a number of school classes, lunch breaks, extra-curricular sports activities and social clubs to meet other children and form new relationships. As you get older, with work and family commitments, meeting new people and forming new relationships gets harder and harder. Sometimes you have an evening to yourself and you just want to relax, rather than going out to meet new people or socialise with your current friends.

Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen says “Professionals who accomplish amazing goals like starting companies often admit that they have a hard time making friends.”

According to a 2013 study by the Psychological Bulletin, social circles tend to increase through early adulthood, but friendship groups peak and then start to decrease as you transcend through your late twenties. The research suggested that the reason for this drop was often down to parenthood, marriage and a desire to focus on stronger relationships.

Consistency is key

As a child you had the consistency of the school day followed by playing with friends until it was time for dinner. As adults, we don’t have that consistency after work. Perhaps joining a group that meets up on a regular basis like a book club, a gym class or a workshop could give you that consistency to build new relationships.

Friendship is thought to be limited to its ‘container’. In the case of the working day, the ‘container’ will be your job. Your friendship with your work colleagues is fine throughout the day, but stops as soon as work ends. You need to initiate something outside of the ‘container’ to cement these relationships i.e. invite them round to watch the game, go out for lunch or a even few drinks after work.

It’s your turn to be vulnerable

To deepen relationships, vulnerability is the key. If you don’t open yourself up, friendships can become superficial and meaningless. Try leaving your comfort zone with a group of friends – take up salsa dancing or a skiing course. This will make both you and your potential friends feel vulnerable, needing each other to provide support.

While you’re building new relationships, try hard to maintain them and keep all communication positive and cheerful. This will reflect on you as a person and give you the biggest chance on cementing these new friendships.

If you would like advice on how to make more friends as an adult, you might want to consult a life coach. To find a life coach in your area, use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.