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jane@janekeogh.co.uk ~ 07813 847205
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People often ask me how I stay so positive all of the time.

My response is this: I am usually positive, but my positivity levels vary, so I work on myself. When I say that I work at it, I don't mean that I try to be positive, I am naturally positive, always have been, even in the most adverse of circumstances. I think I have always intuitively known that being positive is better for my mental health.

This doesn't mean to say that I haven't had lows in life - I have. They hit me hard because I found them so alien. I also struggled to acknowledge that as a positivity coach I could feel anything but positive. And because of this I went into denial and the more I denied how I felt, the worse it became. Not only that but the ego clicked in and the inner critic went on a rampage!

After another morning of waking up with no motivation or enthusiasm, I knew I had to change something. Here are some of the steps I took:

  1. Acknowledged how I was feeling.
  2. Allowed myself to feel how I was feeling, instead of ignoring it.
  3. Let go of the stories (thought processes) that I was running, that weren't helpful and that were creating obstacles and getting in the way of my creativity, flow and motivation.
  4. Made time for myself - introduce a daily routine that included me time . I chose things that I know make me feel great and got me out of the overthinking tendency.
  5. Put my attention and focus on the very exciting things that are unfolding around me.
  6. Learnt to be patient and kind to myself.
  7. Introduced a gratitude practice.

I pledged to create a daily practice of looking after myself which included and includes meditation, exercise, good diet, plenty of water and no alcohol. I also set the intention to attract more positive, like minded people into my life.

The results have been phenomenal. The teacher listening to and practicing what she preaches!!

Do I have days when I feel out of sorts? Yes, I do. Today I have been slightly off-kilter, but instead of wallowing in it,the difference now is that I tune in and listen to the signs. I check in so that I can fine tune my frequency (the way radios needed to be tweaked when you were out of the reception zone). I allow myself to acknowledge what I'm feeling, so that I can deal with whatever shows up.

If I need to I take time out, meditate, walk the dogs, do yoga, exercise or simply just sit and listen to some music. I give myself a chance to recharge, re-energise and re-connect.

I also make sure I slot times into the diary where I can do a lot of the things I enjoy outside of work, like photography, travel and adventure.

It's simple but not easy - it takes commitment to create new habits. Like most people, I am very busy and used to claim that I couldn't find the time for a meditation practice. There is a Zen proverb that says: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy, and then you should sit for an hour. The loose translation for this proverb is: If something is easy for you work on it a little. If it is hard for you, work on it a lot.

For someone who found meditation almost impossible at first, I promise you it is possible and the benefits you will get are worth the initial effort. Start off with 2 mins, work up to 5 mins, then 10 mins and before you know it you'll be doing 20 mins before you get up in the morning and 20 mins before going to sleep at night.

I love the following from the book the 4 Agreements.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are tired as opposed to well-rested. Under any circumstances, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse and regret.

By the way, I was tired this morning after working all weekend. I shall be addressing the imbalance by taking time out tomorrow.

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JANE’S TOP TIPS FOR A CONFIDENCE BOOST

Stop judging yourself
by what happens to your in life, so you're not basing your confidence on outside events.
Forgive yourself
and others for past mistakes. Harbouring old grudges takes up a lot of time and energy which you could be using in more productive ways.
Learn to think differently
When you fall into self-criticism, notice them and change them to positive thoughts.
Set goals/outcomes
on the basis of what you can realistically achieve, and then work step-by-step to develop your potential. Acknowledge small achievements which take you closer to your end outcome.
Emphasise your strengths
Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot.
Remember
self-confidence and self-esteem are learnt behaviour, and with practice can be built.