5 easy exercises you can put into practise right away.
Thank you to Kim McAllister who asked for some tips on exercises to keep positive after reading my blog about mindset. As she noted, mindset is so important yet also very tricky to control. Here are some “easy to start right now” suggestions for how you can take control of your mindset.
1. Notice what is going well for you! How often do beat yourself up for not finishing half the things on your to do list? How often do you congratulate yourself for finishing half the things on your to do list? I suspect the first number is much higher than the second! Most of us take for granted everything that goes to plan, especially the smaller everyday things. We expect they should happen so we don’t acknowledge to ourselves just how much we achieve every day.
Exercise: At the end of every day, write down 3 things (or more) that went well for you today, and your part in making it happen.
2. Celebrate your achievements. Now that you notice what is going well for you, celebrate it! Think of small ways you can celebrate the small things, and bigger celebrations for the big stuff. Choose something meaningful to you, it doesn’t need to be expensive! Maybe it is making “me time” if that is a scarce resource for you, time to reflect, or soak in the bath, or read a book, or go for a walk, or spending quality time with family and friends.
Exercise: Write down a list of ways you can celebrate your achievements that will be meaningful for you and affordable for you to do often! Or more expensive but affordable and desirable to celebrate your really big achievements. Allocate these celebrations to things you will celebrate each day. Put this list somewhere you will see it to remind you to celebrate! Invite your friends and family to join in this exercise with you – it’s a lot more fun to share.
3. Be proud of what you have done and who you are. When we hit a rough patch and we find ourselves compelled to put ourselves down and sink into our negative mindset, it is so useful to have something concrete to remind ourselves of why we can be proud of being who we are.
Exercise: Make two columns on a large piece of paper. In the first column, write down your lifetime achievements. These are all the major things you have done in your life and things you feel proud of. Remember to include things from all areas of your life – education at school, and maybe college or apprenticeships or university, qualifications, work life, voluntary work, home life, your family, relationships, sport, hobbies, interests, your community, holidays and so on. In the second column, write down all the things you have achieved recently and include the smaller everyday things as well as bigger things. When you have done, share it with your close friends and family. Why not encourage them to do this exercise with you and celebrate your lists together.
4. Notice your self-talk. This is the mind chatter we say to ourselves throughout the day. How constructive is your self-talk? Would you accept that kind of talk from anyone else? Would you say that to your best friend? If you answer no to the last two questions, why are you doing this to yourself? Raising your awareness of your self-talk gives you the opportunity to do something about it. For many people, even being conscious and mindful of their thoughts helps to reduce how often they are negative.
Exercise: Keep note of every negative thought you have throughout the day. Some people keep a notebook and just make a tally mark each time. Some people keep a tally on their mobile phone. Use whatever works best for you. Review each day and see if over the week your awareness of your self-talk helps you to reduce the flow of negative thoughts.
5. Challenge your negative thoughts and make them positive. When you have a negative thought, think about how you can counter that and change it to a positive thought. For example, you could turn “I made a real mess of that” into “I did my best and can learn some things from it”.
Exercise: Add a second column to your self-talk notes and make a tally for every successfully converted positive thought. Review each day and see if over the week you have less negative thoughts and also change more of them into positive thoughts.
6. New Bonus Tip – practice and learn these with other people to really boost your success in making it happen!
Are you near Edinburgh? Why not join the Ignite your Confidence seminar on 9th July 2014 and really add a positive zest to your life. Get it half price – click here and enter this code WPP1406 at the link above the register button Code to copy and paste: WPP1406.
“If you let your own light shine it gives others permission to do the same” Nelson Mandela
If you would like to talk to me about coaching around changing your mindset or being more confident, please do get in touch. You can also check out our online confidence coaching programmes on www.aeonacoaching.com or see the Aeona webpage for more information about what I do: www.aeona.co.uk
Sue Mitchell email: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone +44 1875 830708 or use the contact form below – please make sure you spell your email address correctly for me to be able to reply to you.