Tell The Truth Day

6 07 2010

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”

(Elvis Presley)

I came across a mention on a calendar earlier that tomorrow is Tell the Truth day. A bit of further research has shown that this appears to be the American national Tell the truth day with other countries having similar ideas on different days.

While I’m not in America myself, I did think that it would be an appropriate time to talk about telling yourself the truth.

The origin of the word true is Old English meaning “faithful, trustworthy” with a modern dictionary defining truth as the qualities of being true.

Often people are not being truthful with themselves for one of two reasons:

(i)                  It’s never occurred to them that they are not being honest, they’re so used to a particular version that they never think to question it. Perhaps they have recognised the progress that they have made in an area and their self-perception is further behind reality.

(ii)                A form of self-protection from a potential uncomfortable feeling, often fear. Avoiding having to deal with a situation. As the author Tad Williams so succinctly puts it: “We tell lies when we are afraid … afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.”

When I sat down to write this I pondered the impact that being truthful, or not, with yourself can have. I came up with several points that I could take each one in turn and have more than enough to create a piece. However, to keep this a reasonable length here is a summary of the main impact telling the truth, or not, with yourself can have.
Confidence
How confidant you are feeling generally, can be affected by how truthful you are being with yourself. In effect not being honest with yourself is pretending to be someone else. So is it any surprise that in that instance many people report that they are scared that someone will find out that you are a fake. One of the common comments when people don’t feel confident is that they don’t feel worthy.  Consider the message you are giving by being honest with yourself – that you are trust-worthy of knowing the truth.  Being honest with yourself is an important part of being comfortable in your own skin.

“Thinking positive.”

At first glance “thinking positive” can appear to be a fantastic idea and taking time to see opportunities, the things that you are grateful for and putting things into perspective with the rest of your life are all things that can make a positive impact upon how you live your life.

So why am I including this in a piece about honesty? The thing is that the way a lot of people attempt to do this is by having their very own internal thought police. As soon as these internal thought police notice a thought that isn’t positive they’ll chime in with another thought that isn’t positive about you not having a positive thought in the first place – it can become a loop of negative thoughts.

Where honesty comes into effect is that if “being positive” comes up against the truth then it can feel draining as you get a resistance to what is actually going on. I find that being honest with myself about how I am feeling, rather than trying to “fight against it” with positive thinking normally means that I feel better within myself anyway.

Often people are concerned if they are honest with themselves about how they are feeling and not think positive that they will be stuck in a negative experience. I will expand more next week about how you can combine honesty and positive thinking as this is a huge topic.  For now, know that when you are honest with yourself and acknowledge how you are feeling does not mean that everything stops. Bear in mind that “this too will pass.” (Phrase taken from a Hebrew fable)
“Success”
Not being honest with yourself about what you actually want can affect how you feel about the projects you are working on. For instance, a lack of motivation and inspiration can mean that you are working for something you think you should have or want rather than what you actually want. I find that one way to easily find motivation is to reconnect with what you honestly want.
Action
Sometimes we are not honest with ourselves because we have become caught up in a story. It never occurs to question if what we are telling ourselves is the truth now. For instance, we may have an explanation (“story”) about an obstacle that is in the way of what we are doing  – we can get so used to that being the explanation we don’t become aware if circumstances alter, or check that they were even true in the first place. Hiding from the truth prevents you from being able to take any or the right action. 

For instance, Bob thought that the obstacle to him building a successful business was that his skills were not good enough – so he went and got more training, practiced and gained more experience. He kept taking more and more action to increase his skills and neglected that to build a successful business he not only needed to have good skills but at some stage would need to take action to let customers know to come and use these skills! He was so caught up in the “story” that his skills were not good enough he never thought to check where he honestly was.

This week I invite you to be honest with yourself and notice the difference that it makes. This can take a bit of practice, and I advise being kind to yourself in the process. Watch out for getting caught up in familiar stories – double check with asking yourself “is it true?” And “can you absolutely know that it is true?” Allow yourself to be open to the possibility that the truth is not what you expect :)

You don’t have to share what you are being honest about unless you want to, just question for yourself how truthful you are being.

Have a week full of truth, as Shakespeare said “This above all; to thine own self be true”

Love

Jen

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What have you left uncompleted?

17 09 2009

“Thought is free.”

(William Shakespear)

This week I thought I would revist a piece I wrote a couple of years ago:

For the last few days I’ve had a couple of lines of music stuck in my head. It started when I heard a brief clip of it on the TV and after that it went round and round so I found myself absentmindedly humming it throughout the day.

What was irritating was that it was only 2 lines – no more, it was uncompleted. In fact as soon as I realised that, I had the solution – listen to the complete tune and the previous irritating 2 lines were stuck no more.

It’s just like when people say to me that they keep saying or asking themselves the same question over and over. It’s often some form of “who do you think you are?” “I’m not worthy/ good/beautiful / (insert relevant word for you) enough.”

Often its because something is missing so that the question or statement is not completed and just like with a piece of tune, it goes round and round in your head.

So what’s missing? This week’s message will give some
categories that may give you ideas. As always be gentle with yourself, if you feel it is more appropriate that you work through this with a trained professional than please do find a coach, therapist, counsillor etc. that you are comfortable working with.

“It’s not what you said it’s how you said it”

You have probably seen instances where somebody has caused offence to another person not by what they said but by they way they said it. So first let’s play with how you are saying these things to yourself. It’s not unusual for these unfinished bits to be heard in your head as a sneer or said viciously.

Imagine what it would be like if that was said softly and gently, or asked with a genuine curiosity.

What would it feel like to say the same words to yourself with different emphasis?

I had one client who admitted that for as long as she could remember she had had this sneering voice say scornfully “who do you think you are?” whenever she thought of something new.

By asking herself that question in a gentle, loving and curious way – while changing the way she stressed the words, she had an entirely different experience. She changed the entire meaning of the question to her, and felt very differently about it.

She found that now she wasn’t hearing it as an insult and a put down, that she actually had loads of answers coming to her about what she wanted to be doing with a new career. In her case what was missing was an answer to the question – largely due to the fact she had never heard it as a question before.

What’s the other half of the question or statement?

Get specific, what precisely is it you are not good enough, worthy enough etc. to do? Sometimes just getting specific can be enough to realise that it’s an old outdated comment that really doesn’t matter any more. For example – I’m not good enough … “to make the school sports team” really doesn’t have the same importance to me now as it did at age 9!

Compared to who or what?

Sometimes we unconsciously compare ourselves to other people or an image that we have created for ourselves as perfection. It can be worth doing a reality to check here – is it a useful and realistic comparison to make?

For example, if you are not beautiful enough and you realise that your image of perfection involves you being 6 ft 2″ when in reality you are 4 ft 8″ you are setting yourself up to feel bad (unless you know some secret trick to grow that tall).

It may be that you realise that you are comparing yourself to someone with 30 years expertise when you’ve had 10 lessons – realistically, could that comparison be considered fair? It may be enough to realise that the comparison is laughable and you’ll find the question and statement is completed and no longer has that same power it had over you before.

Recap

1) Pick something that you keep asking yourself or saying to yourself.

2)Play with how you are saying it to yourself – just for 5
  minutes, if you really want to go back to the old way of
  saying it after that you can!

 Notice what’s different when you say it differently and stress different words.

3)What specifically is missing from the question/ statement for it to have more detail?

Some questions to help give you some ideas:
To do what?
Then what?
About what?
Who says?

Notice the difference including the missing bit to make it more specific makes. Is it still relevant to your life today?

4)What or who are you comparing yourself to?
Is this a realistic benchmark for you to have? If so, if you really must compare yourself to something, what could you pick instead?
(Bonus tip – you could compare yourself to how far that you have come.)

Most people report that by using tricks like the above, the questions and statements that used to have so much power no longer has the same effect over them.

Have a week full of completions

Love

Jen Waller sig

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First Interviews after education made easy

13 08 2009

In a month that sees GCSE, A-level and Scottish Higher results published in the UK, it’s a time of year when several will be just entering the full time job market for the first time.

For those who are perhaps experiencing job interviews for the first time here are some points to consider, to make the whole process easier.

Build a strong foundation

Give a strong first impression. While it is possible to recover from a weak start, why make it harder for yourself? If you’ve got a strong foundation then, just like with constructing a building, it’s a lot easier to deliver strong overall interview.

Things that you may want to consider to ensure a strong start.

  • Presumably if you have an interview there is a strong possibility that the interviewer has already seen your CV or application form but what else do they know about you? What shows up if they do a web search?

You may want to set any social media sites you are a member of to private depending upon the content you have on there. Do you really want your potential boss seeing the pictures of what you got up to last weekend?

  • Be on time. Know the location, time and person that you are meeting in advance.
  • Dress appropriately. Appearance is one of the very first things that an interviewer will notice in a face-to-face interview (obviously this does not apply to a telephone interview.) Use this to set a strong impression.

What message do you want to give?

So building upon a strong start presumably you want to be offered this job. This is the time where you can demonstrate to the interviewer that you are a great fit for what they are seeking.

You can do this not only with your answers but also with your behaviour. Think about what qualities and attitude you want to communicate and how you could do that and stand out from the other candidates.

For example:

  • Bring an extra copy of your CV – The interviewer is likely to have their own copy but this demonstrates forward thinking and shows you are prepared
  • Take your own notepad to take notes of what you are told – This can be a great way to show how interested you are in the business and what your interviewer has to say.
  • Turn up on time – can demonstrate good time keeping and reliability
  • Use appropriate language – for example, some interviewers may view a misplaced joke as not taking the role “seriously.”

Be prepared

Know what you can bring to the role/company. Don’t leave it to chance that the interviewer hits upon the right questions to draw this information out of you mysteriously. Spend some time in advance so you are clear about the difference you can make. If you are clear in the answer yourself, then you are much more likely to be able to communicate that succinctly to your interviewer.

Demonstrate research on company. Don’t just rely upon what you are told in the interview, there is nothing stopping you finding out more in advance – the company website, local papers, word of mouth can all give you extra pieces of information. This not only will help you prepare but it will also give you the opportunity to decide if you want to work for such a business.

Most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions. Make it easy and have some already prepared. Some general questions that fit any role:

  • Why is this position available?
  • Is there any training or induction available?
  • What are the growth plans for the business?
  • What are the promotion prospects for the right candidate?
  • What is the next stage in the interview process?

Attitude and State

Most job roles involve interaction with other people, either external customers or other members of the business. Employers often will take into consideration someone’s attitude. After all they can always teach a new skill or piece of knowledge but you will need to bring the appropriate attitude to the mix.

This is your first interview so let me address any concerns that you may have about a lack of full time experience. I have personally been involved in interviews where one candidate, on paper, had massive amounts of experience. However, during the interview process it was apparent that his attitude was not suitable – he had turned up late, proceeded to try and belittle other candidates and at one stage one of the interviewers, not shown the slightest bit of interest in finding out about the company etc. Needless to say he did not get offered the job and it in fact went to someone who may have needed us to spend a bit of time teaching some new skills and knowledge but we were (correctly) convinced that their attitude would make that easy.

Just because someone has massive amounts of experience it does not mean that they are the ideal fit for a role, or what the company is looking for. Concentrate on demonstrating what you can do and your attitude and state can make a huge influence.

  • Relax; don’t be nervous – contrary to the common belief you don’t have to be nervous at job interviews. There are many ways of feeling something other than nerves in an interview from being aware of your breathing rate to keeping it in perspective. Find the ways that work for you and use them. [If you want extra support with this check out my dealing with interview nerves MP3 or interactive coaching program]
  • Remember your manners – It’s remarkable how many candidates get so caught up in the moment they forget to say thank you if provided with a drink etc.
  • Switch your mobile phone off, not only can it disturb the flow of your answer if it goes off at the wrong time, it is also polite.
  • Follow up after the interview with a quick thank you for meeting me. Even if you don’t get this job by standing out from the rest you never know what you may get invited to apply for in the future.

Answer the question asked

This may seem an obvious statement but presumably the interviewer is asking a question because they want to know your answer. Make sure that you give them that information. If you are not sure if you have provided them with all the information, you can always ask them if they want to know more detail or if that answered their question. This gives the interviewer the option of rephrasing the question to be more specific about what they actually wanted to know.

Interviewers may not always be the most skilled at communicating what they want to know. If there is anything that you are unsure about clarify what they mean. It is so much easier to provide them with a clear answer if you understand what they asked.

Finally, remember that an interview is a two way process. It is not only the interviewers chance to check out if you fit with what they are looking for but also your chance to check if you want to be spending a lot of your time and energy in that business.

An interviewers role may be to put you at your ease but that does not mean that they (a) have the skills to do that, (b) want to or (c) they may be too nervous themselves even if they have the skills. Don’t leave it to chance, take responsibility to do everything you can to make a difference for you so you can give the strongest interview you can.

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Dealing With Interview Nerves: The Interactive Coaching Program

8 08 2009

I’m very excited to be offering my coaching in a new format.

“Dealing with Interview Nerves: The interactive coaching program” combines the content from my recent MP3 release and introduces some of the interactivity and accountability that previously only my one to one packages offered.

What you get:

  • 11 audio tracks all designed to tackle the various causes of interview nerves and give you methods that work to use before and during an interview.
  • 11 worksheets to accompany each track. Each worksheet includes a transcript of the track and space to fill in your own personal answers to questions from and about the content of the track.
  • 1 months email coaching/support based upon your answers on the worksheets.

I’ve taken the common things that get in peoples way and collected practical methods, questions and techniques that will make a difference to your interview nerves.

The email coaching/support then allows us to play with the content, to tailor it specifically so you get maximum benefit. I want this to be a program that you not only use but also one that makes a positive impact upon your interviews and your life.

By the end of the program you will have:

  • Identified any limiting beliefs about nerves and interviews so you can do something about them
  • Challenged the 3 most common assumptions about nerves and interviews, so that they don’t get in the way of any of the other techniques
  • Used spinning to feel something different instead of nerves
  • Looked at possible outcomes and taken necessary steps
  • Be able to use your breath to control how you feel
  • Be able to use body posture for a quick burst of confidence
  • Used your own knowledge about what will make a difference for you
  • Reduced stress by being prepared
  • Identified the message you want to communicate to your potential future employer
  • Checked how you were imagining the interviewers and the situation and played with that image so that you feel different
  • Rehearsed and practiced the interview in advance (and I don’t mean with role-plays)
  • Identified and committed to take action that will make a difference for you

One of the reasons many books and programs that fall into the self-help category do not have a higher success rate is because people buy them and then don’t use them. The book will stay sat on the shelf gathering dust or the program will sit on the computer or in a box ignored.

I specifically designed this course to build in elements of accountability to make it easy for you to get started and use the material. So I have set the price to encourage you to use this immediately – £79 for 1 month.

After that you will still have access to all the audio and worksheets (plus the emailed coaching/support we have already done.) However if, for whatever reason you have not yet completed all the sheets, then to carry on with the email support the cost is £50 per month.

I guarantee that I will respond to every worksheet within 1 week of receiving it. In reality this will probably be a lot quicker depending upon my travelling and one to one clients schedule for that week.

By offering it in this format I hope that this will ensure that this will make a difference for you in dealing with your interview nerves.

As this does have the individual email support I want to make sure that everyone on this program gets the support offered in a timely manner. This means that there only a limited number of places available on the program at any one time.

To book your place now and get started right away click


I look forward to working with you

Love

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Take control over what you feel

7 07 2009

“Next in importance to having a good aim is to recognize when to pull the trigger.”
(David Letterman)

My sister works with children and when I spent some time with her this last weekend she had the remainders of a bumper pack of sweets they had used as an end of term treat. The majority of these sweets I didn’t even know they still made and had great recollections of them from my childhood.

Just one taste seemed to transport us back to a school disco, or the excitement of a birthday.

You may have noticed that specific smells can immediately have an effect on how you feel because of what you associate with them. Perhaps every time you smell a particular perfume or aftershave you grin because of who it reminds you of, or maybe it has the opposite effect.

Then off course you may have a particular piece of music – I found myself grinning the other day because of an old TV jingle was being played. There are the tunes that you feel great when you hear them because of what you associate with them. Maybe there are also songs that have the opposite effect if you connected them with an old unpleasant experience.

These associations or connections between a trigger and a feeling are often set up without any conscious deliberate thought. What I’m going to invite you to play with this week is a way to give you a deliberate way to set up a trigger so that you can use it to your benefit.

You can do this with any feeling you want though I suggest something positive that you can then use. Maybe you want to play with confidence and use it when speaking in public. Perhaps you’d like to pick relaxation and fire it off before a job interview. It’s up to you what you pick.

You’ll get most benefit from playing with this if you pick a time when you are not going to get disturbed. This will allow you to easily set up a lovely strong feeling without anything else getting in the way. Initially imagining a state of relaxation before you set up a trigger for example is much easier without 100 kids screaming, the phone ringing and the dog running around you ;)

1. Having picked the feeling you want to have at your beck and call, vividly imagine what that feeling is like. By all means close your eyes if that is easier, and remember a time or a place where you felt that strongly – notice what you saw, the colours, people, etc, become aware of what you heard, the noises, tones etc.

As that feeling intensifies make it a full sensory experience by noticing if there are any aromas, perhaps there are tastes to savour.

2. Take as long as you like to really get a strong and powerful sense of this feeling. When you have a full sense of that strong feeling squeeze together your thumb and little finger.

3. Repeat this process several times, remembering to get a really strong feeling before squeezing your thumb and finger together. (I’m sorry, you’ll just have to feel that good feeling again ;) )

4. Squeeze your thumb and finger together on it’s own and notice how that good feeling automatically follows. You have created a trigger, or anchor for you to fire off when ever you want to.

Have a week full of great feelings

Love

Jen

PS If want to deal with interview nerves, check out my Dealing with Interview Nerves MP3 recording for practical solutions. Visit Here for more details.

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The camera never lies …

3 07 2009

I came across a great website recently that shows the before and after versions of digitally manipulated or “touched up” photos. If you’ve ever looked at an impossibly beautiful modal in the magazine and marveled, this may provide an explanation :)

Click here to see for yourself.

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“It’s what they said that makes me unconfident”

12 06 2009

"Don’t let him live rent free in your head."

(Line from the TV show CSI episode If I had a hammer, spoken by the character “Brass”)

This week’s message is in response to a few queries and stories people have shared about how what others have said in the past effects your confidence. 

A couple of years ago I wrote the following in response to similar questions. The piece was very popular at the time so it felt appropriate to share it with you again.

As always you are the expert on you, I invite you to play with what’s written here and if you want modify any of it to see how it makes a difference for you.

I was co-delivering a training a few weeks ago and the theme that appeared throughout the day was that you only had to live through something once. 

It reminded me of a Zen story about two travelling monks, one was younger and less experienced who looked up to the older brother. On their travels they came across a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. The younger monk hesitated, as their order strictly forbid relations with females. The older monk quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed. 

As the monks continued on their way, the younger one was brooding and preoccupied. After several days and unable to hold his silence any longer, he spoke out. “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!” 

The older monk looked surprised and then laughed, “Brother,” the second monk replied, “I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”

So how can you put down something you’ve been carrying around? Unless someone is in the room with you right now the actual event which made you feel unconfident has been and gone so it’s what we’re doing in our head that often keeps people stuck in one place. This week’s tip looks at one way in which, if you wanted to, you can play with that and alter your feelings towards an event.

There is a range of options you can control now when watching digital television, just by using your remote control:

Brightness 
volume 
The camera you watch events on, 

If you want commentary (or not) on sporting events etc. 

This technique literally hands you the control panel to your own memory.

I invite you to play with some event in the past that you would like to feel different about. Be gentle, I wouldn’t suggest picking anything traumatic, remember this is the first time that you’ve potentially done this.

You may find this easier if you note down your answers to this using a pen and paper.

1. Imagine you are sat about to watch this event on screen. 

Notice if you are watching this on TV, a normal cinema screen, a special panoramic screening or something else entirely.

How close to the screen are you sat and at what angle?

2. As the event begins to play on screen notice how the director has chosen to display this event:

Is it colour or black and white?

Is it bright or dim?

Is it moving or still (or a series of still photo’s)?

Is what you’re watching flat or 3d?

How big is the image your watching?

3. Once you have noted that, begin to play with what you have noticed – You become the director of the event and you can decide how you watch it. Feel the difference each change makes to the experience.

For example if you were sat close to the screen before what happens if you move the screen right to the horizon?

If you were watching something in colour before what happens if you use the control panel and drain the colour out so it’s black and white.

Bonus tip

4. As you notice which settings feel just right you may want to play with a combination of changes. You could also add a different soundtrack, or alter the speed or direction it’s being played at.

For example:

Option 1: A shrunken black and white image running backwards on the horizon with circus music in the background 

often feels very different to a 

Second option: A huge panoramic event with bright bold colours, a gospel choir and full orchestra playing as a soundtrack. 

Each representation can have its place, I invite you to play with what difference it makes for you. You can be the director of any movies or pictures playing in your own head.

Love 

 

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