Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy July 10, 2014 – Posted in: Confidence, Personal Development – Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Karen* came to me last year as she was at a crossroads in her life. She’d fallen into an unfulfilling career after university, and then had her children who were now all at school. Quite tearfully, she explained to me that the thought of returning to her former career filled her with dread but she had no idea what else she could do. She wanted to find her passion in life but didn’t know where to start. She was stuck, unconfident and deeply fearful.

Our work started with a visualization exercise. Karen sat and spoke to me about how she’d feel if she was in the perfect job, what hours she’d be working, with whom and what type of work she might be doing; in this case she used the words ‘something creative’. She imagined all sorts of careers that had never been an option for her before. Slowly her mind opened up to possibilities and her fears began to subside.

Over time Karen built up a picture of the work she’d most like to do and from there she began to invest in training to reach her end goal. We also worked on her confidence and challenged her view that, ‘this is what I’ve always done so this is all I can do”.

What can we all learn from this? Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Listen to what it’s saying to you! In Karen’s case, her mind was telling her she wasn’t capable of doing anything new when, with help, she made some massive alterations to her life. Is your mind your best encourager or your worst critic?

A simple exercise for you: spend a day listening to the chatter in your head (we all have it!) and try to identify where that critical voice comes from. Once you know it’s there you can choose to agree with it or not.

This blog post first appeared as an article in my Life Column in The Bath Magazine.

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