Tips to handle emotional outbursts during periods of increased stress

emotional

I am not saying that we are usually prone to random emotional outbursts in our professional settings (at least I hope not).

However sometimes our lives can be inconsistent. We may have the misfortune of being greeted with a tough scenario at in our personal lives whilst we are working through an incredibly challenging work project.

There’s never a convenient time for stress.

If we’re going through a particularly rough time in our personal lives and then have to carry on with work as if nothing has happened then emotional outbursts are a risk.

Increased period of stress require a little damage control.

So hare some great tips to keep your emotions under wraps.

1.  Shift your focus

Simply don’t give grating issues the importance they don’t deserve.

For example, if you’re feeling inadequate or that your boss doesn’t value your opinion then stop obsessing over it.

Use all of your might to give a tiny amount of thought to an issue that might tip you over the edge.

This strategy sounds easy and it really is. The less time you spend thinking over an issue. The less of an issue it actually is.

2. Use the benefit of foreseeability

If you know your triggers avoid the situation where they might exist,

If you know that you’re most likely to get panicked or stressed when you’re late then do everything you can to be early.

If a particular person annoys you, totally avoid them (where possible) during your most vulnerable time.

3. Don’t be so hard on yourself

Striving for perfection when you have a lot on your plate is never wise. Instead, balance tough self-talk with compassion.

Pat yourself on the back for pushing on through a tough time and if you make mistakes then rectify them.

Don’t unnecessarily crucify yourself if you’re doing the best you can in rough circumstances.

That is an achievement in itself.

4. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about creating the space between your emotions and your actions.

Take time to absorb information if you find it triggering a negative response.

Think about your action. Make sure it is reasoned and motivated by good, purposeful intentions.

There is nothing wrong with being slow, or taking time if it avoids a bad response.

As a rule, ask three why’s when dealing with negative information that might warrant a negative response. When you first decide your reaction, ask ‘why?”. Then ask ‘why?’ again. If, it passes the third time you ask ‘why?’ then it’s a reasoned response if it doesn’t then it’s an emotional kneejerk which should be avoided.

Hopefully, you don’t feel like your ever at risk of an emotional outburst but, if you do this guide should hopefully avoid any reputational damage and keep your energy focused on what matters.

 

5 common mental errors that prevent you from good decision making

mental errors

We might like to think of ourselves as the epitome of rationality, executing utmost mental clarity in every of life’s choices. But, that is far from the truth.

If you are human you are irrational and are prone to mental errors.

The key to being rational, therefore, is to eradicate (or at least be aware of) our natural disposition towards mental errors.

To do that, we must know what they are.

So, here is a list of the most common mental errors that cloud your judgement.

1. Survivorship Bias

This is the belief in winners.

For example, “How to have your dream summer body” followed by a picture of an extremely athletic person with a body you really do want this summer. Once we absorb this article we believe that if we too drink celery water three times a day, without making any other lifestyle shifts, we will look just like the person in the picture.

The problem is, there might be 1000 people that tried this diet but didn’t get the same dream body. We just don’t hear of failures. Failure stories don’t make the headlines. Survivorship bias makes us lap up the “winner evidence” but dispel anything that contradicts it (maybe because we can’t find that information).

Survivorship bias isn’t merely saying that a strategy may not work well for you, it’s also saying that we don’t really know if the strategy works well at all. Just because it worked for some people doesn’t mean it will work for you.

2. Loss Aversion

Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. Research has shown that if someone gives you £10 you will experience a small boost in satisfaction, but if you lose £10 you will experience a significantly higher loss in satisfaction.

The responses are the opposite, but they are not equal in magnitude. 

Our tendency to avoid losses can cause us to make irrational decisions, for example, hoarding our belongings. We are predisposed to feel protective of the things we own and that can lead us to overvalue these items.  For example, keeping all of the clothes we never wear (especially the ones with the labels still on) simply because it causes us too much pain to throw them away. “What a waste!” We would say. You never use them but can’t bear to part with them. That is loss aversion

Similarly, you might feel a small bit of joy when you breeze through green lights on your way to work, but you will get downright angry when the car in front, slowly chugging away at 12 MPH, misses the green light.  Losing out on the chance to make the light is far more painful than the pleasure of hitting it.

3. The Availability Heuristic.

The Availability Heuristic refers to a common mistake that our brains make by assuming that the examples which come to mind first easily are also the most important or even, the most factually correct.

For example, research by Steven Pinker at Harvard University has shown that we are currently living in the least violent time in history. This makes absolute sense if we consider most medieval dinner parties would offer dessert with a slice of serious violence. Quite simply, rates of homicide, rape, and child abuse are all falling. 

Most people are shocked when they hear these statistics. We always hear of violence how can this be true?

Welcome to the availability heuristic.

The answer is that we are not only living in the most peaceful time in history but also the best reported time in history.

We overvalue and overestimate the impact of things that we can remember and we undervalue and underestimate the prevalence of the events we hear nothing about. 

4. Anchoring

This can be seen in the form of advertising, telling you to do one thing but it’s actually sneakily persuading you to do another.

For example, business owners have found that if you say “Limit 12 per customer” then people will buy twice as much product compared to saying, “No limit.”

Perhaps the best example of anchoring can be seen with product pricing. If the price tag on a new watch is £400, you might consider it too expensive. However, if it’s sitting next to a watch for £5,000 than you’ll be convinced that it’s actually quite reasonable. And before you know it you’ve been “anchored”.

5. Confirmation Bias.

Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for and favour information that confirms our beliefs while simultaneously disregarding information that contradicts our beliefs. We do this all the time.

The more you believe you know something, the more you filter all information to the contrary.

So, now you know the common mental errors, try to avoid them. It’s a lot easier than it sounds but self-awareness is key!

How to successfully execute a career change

career

Changing careers can often be an idea looming in the back of your mind.

You think about it and think about. Never brave enough to make the move.

Then one day, you regret it, because it’s too late and you never got to turn your hand at the career of your dreams.

Well, the first lesson is that it’s never too late to change careers.

The second lesson is that you have to be ok with some risk.

Once you’ve decided that changing your career is absolutely something you must do follow these steps for a successful career change;

1. Start with the why

So many people know they hate or have outgrown their jobs, but the awareness stops beyond that.

You’ve got to get clear on the why before you start spearheading for something new. Otherwise, you could end up in the exact same position but just with a different title.

Think about these questions:

Why do I want this?

Why do I think this new career will enhance my life?

What are the risks or potential downsides?

Through this excersise, you match your expectations with any future potential role!

2. Determine the what

What will a new job or career look like for you?

What will your day to day look like?

What tasks will you be faced with?

How will you be in the role?

Also, a very important question to consider:

What is my career capital? In other words, are you going to be able to leverage your skills, your contacts, and your professional brand to make a successful transition?

You are much more likely to be successful, in any new transition, if you leverage your existing career capital. That means, try if you can, to move into roles that leverage the career capital that you’ve already built up over the years and draw upon your areas of expertise in new and creative ways.

3. Understand what you need

Once you’ve mapped out your career capital (as above). Fill in the gaps. Work out what other skills/experience you need to get the job.

Think about it from a recruiter perspective. Are you an attractive candidate? Do you need more qualifications? Different experience?

Don’t be put off if you need to learn new skills. It could simply be a matter of taking an online course in order for you to say confidently, “Yes, I know Excel” or “Yes, I can use X program.”

Even if the skils require more of your time and effort, if you really want to make the change, you will do it. However, if you are unsure now is the time to know.

You also want to be very clear on the resources you’ll need to fill the skills gap. Will you need childcare assistance? Will this effort take time away from other relationships or activities in your life? Can you have an income free period whilst you transition?

Assuming you feel you’ve unturned every stone, then it’s time to make a plan.

4. Make an Action Plan

Start with the end goal.

What’s your key goal and desired timeline?

Figure out the skills you need to acquire, people you need to meet and who you need to be. Understand each and every milestone.

Write a list of things you need to achieve and get them done. A career change is a huge amount of work. You need to be seriously productive to make the move in good time.

As you work through your tasks you’ll feel the adrenalin and excitement as you ace your steps. You are now plummeting into “newness” and everything is going to be exciting.

5. Track the Effort

Make sure you reach your goals and hold yourself accountable if you miss your own deadlines. Monitor how you’re doing and what you might need more assistance with. Have your calendar organised with everything you need to do. Take no prisoners. If you can’t be accountable to yourself, how can you be credible to anyone else?

6. Rebrand yourself

You’ll need to reconsider your USP (“unique selling point”) in light of your new chosen audience. The easier you make it for them to “get” you, the better the odds that they’ll want to know more. If your skillset is confusing or there are some gaps, there’s more chance of them skipping to the next candidate.

You can’t expect them to join the dots and figure out why you’ll be perfect for a particular role. You need to make it strikingly obvious in your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile why you are the best for this job.

Your competitors will look great on paper because they’ve been in that industry (or worked in similar roles) for several years. So how are you going to brand yourself in a way, to overcome their direct experience and make you stand out?

Here’s an example. Say you’ve been a criminal barrister for a long time and now you want to become a content writer. Not only will your CV show that you’re a lawyer but it will be hard for any recruiter to see why you are a good writer. What you need to do is focus on your transferable skills. So, using this example. Being a criminal barrister means never meeting your clients until the day of the trial. You are a real-life storyteller, in a wig. You have to design the most compelling story in your client’s defence (using his/her instructions of course) worthy of wowing over any jury to overlook your client’s unattractive antecedents and convince them that this time he is innocent. You have to pull on the right strings, sing to the hearts of 12 lay people you’ve never met and rely on your outstanding character judgement in the hope that your client (and all the witnesses) fulfil their roles in your drama. You have to have your finger on the pulse and understand how your words will make people feel. You need to control the narrative, at all costs. And, that is why I can create compelling content, at the drop of a hat.

7. Enlist the help of your contacts

Get your people on board. Get help where possible. Identify your needs. Make it clear how they can help you. Try to offer some value in return but if you can’t just know you’ll get them back when you can.

8. Network

You must know successful people working within that new field of interest. Don’t stress about this. People are actually more generous with sharing their knowledge than you think. especially when you show interest in them and flatter their careers.

The best way to approach is by paying a compliment or noting something that they’re doing that seems interesting. Try not to ask for favours (unless your judgement tells you its appropriate) just use them to study. See who they are and how they do their thing. This knowledge is invaluable.

Change is terrifying.

But, imagine how awful you would feel if you never took the risk.

A life of embracing change (and all consequences that flow with it) is far better than bearing the burden of regret.

So, once you muster up the courage to make the move, you have everything you need here to make sure it’s successful!

For more information read this very helpful blog on Muse by career strategist Jenny Foss.

How to stop worry about the future ruining your present

worry

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia

Sometimes worry can take over our lives. If we let it get out of control we can find ourselves worrying most of our day. Imagine 18 hours of worrying per day. Well, that’s like a prison sentence. Why would we want that?

Here are some great tips to stop worrying from taking over your mind.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Since worrying about the future pulls us into the future, nothing eliminates worry faster than mindfulness. Mindfulness keeps you focused on the present moment. It grounds you back to where you are supposed to be.

Take a look around. Notice and take in your surroundings. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you hear?

This practice is a sure way to connect with the present moment you are living in. It helps you to stop living in the worry about the future and realise that if you do, your present moments are being sacrificed.

2. Do Deep Breathing

Have you ever noticed your breathing when you are worrying? If not, the next time you are worried about future issues, focus on how your breathing has changed.

Worrying causes our breathing to become shallow.

So, by simply changing your breathing, during times of worry you can carry yourself back to positive thinking. When you deep breath, inhale through your nose and count to four. Then let the breath out through your nose to a count of four.

Do that four times.

See how you feel after.

It is transformative.

3. Express gratitude

As you are probably already aware, worry creates negative thoughts and feelings. Gratitude does the exact opposite. Give yourself a boost of positivity by being grateful for what you do have.

Since your brain cannot simultaneously project positive and negative thoughts at the same time, gratitude eradicates your worry. Its also incredibly fast to achieve.

Really quickly begin listing at least three things or more that you are grateful for.

Before you know it, the feeling of gratitude will replace the negative feeling of worry

4. Lean Into “What Ifs”

Rather than try to ignore the worry, lean into by asking yourself the following question, “What if what I’m worrying about were to actually happen?”

Once you have your answer then ask yourself this follow-up question, “Then what would happen?” Keep asking the follow-up question until you have run out of “then what’s”.

Face the real facts, not the exacerbated version of the same facts that worry offers you.

5. Take Back Control

What do you have control over? What can you fix? What can you do to prevent whatever you are worrying about from happening?

For many of us, worry creates a feeling of being out of control and not safe. When the reality is, we are in control.

If what we are worrying about is totally out of our control then recognise that and don’t think about it again.

If your anxiety is something you can physically manage then it’s time to take action or drop it from the worry list.

Either way, you are in control.

6. Is it even important?

Worry serves as a great benchmark to let us know what is important and what is not. When you are worried about something, tune-in and figure out if it’s even important.

How important is what you are worrying about on a scale of 1-10? If you gave it a 5 or less, ask yourself this question,” Since this thing I’m worried about isn’t super important, what is really driving the worry?” Get to the root of the problem.

If you gave it a 5 or higher, then it’s time to turn worry into a motivator to start taking action.

  • Create awareness around what the worry is costing you.
  • Use one or more of the worry techniques above.
  • Remember that you are not alone when it comes to worrying (we all do it).

So, there you have it. By following the steps above you’ll be able to have a more worry-free life so that you can prevent worry from ruining your precious days and start living more in the present moment.

Do you have high emotional intelligence?

emotional intelligence

Decades of research proves that emotional intelligence is critical to success. 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

How to work out whether you have high or low EQ, isn’t easy. However, Dr Travis Bradberry co-author of the leading book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 collected data from a million-plus people tested in order to identify the behaviours that are the hallmarks of a high EQ.

What follows are sure signs that you have a high EQ.

1. A robust emotional vocabulary

All people experience emotions, but it is a select few who can accurately depict them as they occur. In fact, only 36% of people can do this. Misunderstood emotions lead to frustrations and even actions that we regret.

People with high EQs master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so.

2. They are curious about people

Emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them. This curiosity is from their underlying empathy. The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.

3. They embrace change

Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They are the leaders of innovation. They understand that success means embracing change and feeling the change of the wind.

4. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses

Emotionally intelligent people don’t just understand their emotions they are self-aware about what their weaknesses and strengths are. They keep tabs on their frustrations and work harder every day to be a better person.  Having a high EQ means you take full advantage of your strengths while keeping your weaknesses from holding you back.

5. They are excellent judges of character

Much of emotional intelligence comes down to social awareness. This is the ability to read other people, know how to manage them and empathise with them.

6. They are difficult to offend

People with high EQ have a high sense of who they are and can’t easily be knocked down. Don’t get me wrong they are open to constructive criticism but anything else is water off a ducks back.

Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin.

7. They don’t hold grudges

The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Emotionally intelligent people recognise that grudges are simply an inability to let negative experiences go. The weightless experience of letting go of grudges is a clear path towards future success.

8. They neutralise toxic people

High EQ individuals control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they must deal with a toxic person they approach the situation rationally, they don’t let their emotions take leadership. They try to empathise even pity the toxic person but the one thing they don’t do is give them any importance.

The best self-awareness exercises to aid your success

self-awareness

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” – Marcus Aurelius

Your inner self governs everything you do. Those frustrations you feel come from deep within. Your inner self can either afflict you or be the string in your bow of success.

Self-awareness is one of the most important skills for success.

Your behaviour and responses are governed by internal mental processes. Self-awareness uncovers any destructive thought-patterns and/or unhealthy habits.

If you find yourself lashing out, or frustrated then perhaps it’s time to get your self-awareness in check. Even if you feel fine, self-awareness adds indispensable value to your life and without it, you can’t possibly hope to be the best version of youself.

Here are the best exercises for self-awareness.

1. The three why’s

Before acting on a decision, ask yourself “Why?” Then follow up your reasoning with another  “Why?” And then a third. If you can find three good reasons to pursue something, you’ll have clarity and be more confident in your actions. Don’t go through your day being a bag of unreasoned emotions. Think before you act. It pays dividends.

Self-awareness is about understanding your motives and assuring yourself that your actions are reasoned.

2. Expand your emotional vocabulary

When we can’t explain how we feel we feel frustrated. Emotions hold a lot of power towards our actions. Putting your feelings into words has a therapeutic effect on your brain. Here is a great list of “feeling words” to help with describing and labelling your emotions.

3. Take responsibility for your flaws

Nobody is perfect. Being aware of your flaws means accepting responsibility for the things you do wrong. It’s very easy to criticise others but we can’t do that without turning the mirror on ourselves. We wouldn’t want to be hypocrites now, would we? Self-improvement only happens once you recognize a flaw. Create a habit of acknowledging your mistakes, rather than making excuses.

4. Practice saying ‘no’ to yourself

One of the most valuable aspects of self-awareness is self-control. Stopping yourself from doing things that will hurt you or others is a major part of what keeps us successful.

The ability to say “no” to yourself to put off short-term gratification for the long-term gain. It’s a core life-skill. The more you practice saying “no” to small daily challenges, the better you can withstand major temptations.

5. Monitor your self-talk

Be very aware of how you communicate to yourself. If you pass off your achievements as luck and crucify yourself after failures you are lacking in confidence and your self-talk could be making it worse. You need to put an immediate stop to it. How can you expect to be successful if your main supporter (you) doesn’t even believe in you?

A little bit of negative self-talk can spiral into stress and depression.

Balance tough talk with self-compassion. That’s a real winners mentality.

6. Improve your body language awareness

Watching yourself on video can be a cringeworthy experience, but awareness of your body language, posture, and mannerisms improves your confidence.

Slouching, or taking a “low-power-pose” increases cortisol and feeds low self-esteem, while standing tall or taking a “high-power-pose” stimulates testosterone and improves your performance. Using hand gestures helps with articulating your thoughts and affects how people respond to you.

7. Ask for constructive feedback, regularly

We all have blind spots in our thinking patterns and behaviours. Asking for regular constructive feedback cuts through any incorrectly perceived characteristics or blind spots we might have about ourselves. It gives us a rare glimpse of how other people see us and it’s invaluable to our progress.

8. Break visceral reactions

Last but by no means least. A person without self-awareness runs on auto-pilot and responds with knee-jerk reactions. Self-awareness allows you to assess situations objectively and rationally, without letting your actions overcome your chances of success.

Add space between your thoughts and actions this is the key to a life of self-awareness.

How to practice patience

patience

We all want instant gratification. We have all forgotten about patience.

In today’s fast-paced society where everything can be at our fingertips in seconds, waiting seems like such an outdated concept. Except that it’s not. It’s arguably one of the most important characteristics of a successful career and life. We can’t get immediate results in the gym and we can’t become successful overnight.

The most important things require patience.

So in light of that truth, maybe it’s time we slow down and practice, patience. It is, after all, a necessity.

1. Start practising patience

The best way to practice patience is to make yourself wait. Sounds hard but it does pay off. A study published in Psychological Science shows that waiting for things actually makes us happier. Start with something small like waiting a few extra minutes to eat your breakfast or eating your dinner, then move on to something bigger. You will start to train yourself to be better at patience.

2. Remove from your day what isn’t important 

We all have things in our lives that take time away from what is important. So, one way to get more of what we want quicker is to remove the things that are not important. Take a few minutes and evaluate your week. Look at your schedule from the moment you wake up to when you sleep. Take out two or three things that are time wasting but take time. This can be anything from scrolling on social media to spending time worrying.

3. Know your triggers 

Sometimes certain tasks can trigger our impatience. If we know we need to spend more time on something due to our lack of knowledge or skills we are more likely to get frustrated when it takes more time. It is better to be mindful of what makes us impatient. Write them down. This will help you deal with your impatience before it strikes you unexpectedly. Impatience is ok, it just means you really want something. Learn to accept it, deal with it and don’t let it remove your focus from what is important.

4. Breathe 

Most of all, just stay calm and focus on your breathing. It sounds simple but it is often overlooked. Taking slow deep breaths can help calm the mind and body. This is the easiest way to help ease any impatient feelings you are immediately experiencing. If you want to take it a step further

If breathing doesn’t help I find taking a walk to clear your head The point is to find some time for you each day to let go of all the frustrations.

Lifes frustrations have a way of creeping in on us without us realising. Give importance to your mental health. Give time to letting go of your stressors.

How to remove your fear of missing out

missing

Do you ever find yourself longing to be somewhere you are not?

Well, it happens to all of us. We have to make some tough decisions about our career and sometimes that means missing out on things. This can be the opportunity to work on a meaningful project or even a family reunion. Whatever it may be that’s tugging at your heart, just know you’re not the only one that feels FOMO (fear of missing out).

So when FOMO strikes here is how to deal with it.

The only way to deal with your fear of missing out is to embrace it. One of the most painful aspects of is, feeling stripped of your choice. You feel that because of your hectic life you have no liberty. Well, actually you do. You may have a busy schedule but in fact, you’ve chosen to be where you need to be.

Appreciate the value of your choice to say no. You have chosen to invest and dedicate yourself to your future success and that is something to be proud of.

For example, if you’re missing out on what you perceive to be important opportunities by saying no. Think about it. You are more than likely too busy, frequently stressed, overworked and dangerously close to burnout. So look at it this way;

So, saying no to more opportunities means

  • You are going to give priority to what’s in front of you
  • You are going to create space for mental health, self-care and in order to avoid burnout
  • You are committed to the work that in front of you and that’s the most value you can give to it.

Dealing with the feeling of missing out

Even if you do rationalise why the missing out is good for you, it still hurts.

So if you notice yourself struggling with this pain don’t feat, it’s actually an incredible doorway to transformation.

Here’s how you might practice:

  • Stop and notice that you are feeling the pain of missing something important.
  • Pause and let yourself feel this pain. Focus on the feeling instead of the thoughts. Embrace this pain and don’t run away from the feelings.
  • Ask yourself if what is before you is less important than what you have said no t0. Asses the damage – could you reasonably leave your commitments, right now, without seriously damaging your career? If not, you are clear on your priorities.
  • Remind yourself that you’ve said yes to your present priorities That this pain and fear of missing out is the price of your commitment and that’s ok.
  • Remind yourself that you would feel greater pain, in your future, if you throw away your present commitments.
  • Feel proud of your commitment to whats in front of you. Feel strong and brave that you have the courage to commit to your success.

Learn to trust yourself. Understand you have made the right decision. The best way to deal with your fear or pain of missing out – is to face it. Learn to validate yourself. Learn to have the courage to deal with everything and it’s ok to feel the pain.

In the end, success requires that sometimes you miss out on other important things. It’s unavoidable. But, rest assured that what you’re working towards, is worth it.

How to be aware of and master your mental states

mental state

If you’re tired or feeling down, there’s a good chance you’re not physically sick. But, every chance you are neglecting some meaningful part of your life and your mind can no longer stand it.

Our mental states will usually affect whether we exercise, socialise, eat well, educate our minds (or not), drink alcohol, have low moods, are happy, irritable or open-hearted with the people that matter to us most.

So, for obvious reasons, it’s really important to monitor mental states. It’s an incredibly powerful skill to determine the mental state you need (or don’t need) for any given moment.

The power of mastering your mental state is limitless.

However, what if you have neglected part of your inner self and now you have to deal with a bad mental state when you’re really busy at work?

You need to overcome your mental state and fast.

Well, here’s how.

How to change from a bad mental state to a good

Firstly, you have to want to do it.

You have to show commitment.

Leo Babauta from Zen Habits suggests the following practice to initiate the change from one mental state to the other.

1. Recognise that your mental state needs to change (recognition) 

For example, if you’re tired or frazzled and you need to focus on work.

2. Make it happen, despite the mental state (acceptance) 

Here you carry on with your task, regardless of your mental state.

If you’re truly committed to your task then a bad mental state certainly won’t impact you.

If you’re tired. That’s ok. Just make sure you take extra care so no mistakes are made.

If you’re frustrated simply be kind to yourself and others. You shouldn’t ever show your signs of frustration – and if you act with kindness – this would never happen.

Show generosity to whatever mental state you find yourself in and give it the extra attention it needs.

3. Take actions that contribute to a better mental state (action)

We all agree that if you’re not in a good mental state (i.e tired, distracted, anxious etc) this is a negative place to be. Therefore, the answer is clear, inject some positivity into your life and that will instantly help to lift your mood.

For example, some common actions that help you move into a better mental state:

  • Meditation
  • Walking
  • Exercise
  • Talk to someone (if you’re worried about something).
  • Have a cup of tea (or your favourite soft drink).
  • Getting into a quiet, clean and uncluttered environment.
  • Disconnect yourself your computer, phone and/or tablet.
  • Playing calm (or your favourite) music.
  • Read your favourite (or current) book
  • Do something fun

There are many other possibilities, of course, but you get the idea.

This practice allows you to carry on with any task, regardless of your mood.

It’s a simple process of recognition, acceptance and action and it makes the world of difference when trying to push through negative feelings.

For more information on this topic read the very helpful blog by Leo Babauta for Zen Habits, here.

Is self-doubt part of our process

self-doubt

The one mistake you can make is believing that self-doubt is a part of your process.

Spending time thinking that your work isn’t good enough, isn’t part of the journey. It’s a travesty.

Here are all the reasons why self-doubt is ruining your career and how to stop it

1. You’re not respecting the journey

If you are making mistakes, early on or when starting out in a new environment, don’t beat yourself down. It’s always hard hearing criticism but it’s not as hard overcoming them. If you could have done something better, hold your hands up. Promise to do it better next time and move on with your life. You would never judge a young person for mistakes in their grammar. Why? Because they are just learning. So, give yourself the same respect.

2. Every outcome you have achieved has come from practice not, self-doubt

Remember that time when you got really lost in self-doubt and then because of that you smashed your work the next day? Exactly, because that never happens. Your best outcomes are based on your repetitions and on your hard work. It has absolutely nothing to do with your self-doubt.

3. Self-doubt makes you rely on confirmation bias

When you lack confidence in your work and stew in self-doubt, you can’t help but feel a little guilty because you know it’s so completely and utterly counter-productive.  So, instead, to justify your self-doubt hole, you start to gather all of the evidence you can to support the fact that you are a failure…!

This is very easy to do but also very destructive – why would anyone in their right mind try to focus on their negatives to better themselves.

Instead, do what your gut is telling you to do.

Stop focusing on the negatives and start fact-finding about your positives. Remember every one of your achievements and wear them with enough pride that it melts all your self-doubt away.

4. Self-doubt ruins your rationality

Think about that spiral of self-doubt.

Think about how quickly it transpires out of control. Making you feel a myriad of uncontrollable negative emotions. One minute you’re fine and then the next, well, you’re doubting the point of your existence. Does that sound rational to you?

Well, that’s because self-doubt is highly irrational thinking based on fears.

Think of self-doubt as the rapper over the sound of your anxious beating heart. It’s just meaningless words, based on how your body/mind feels at that time. It doesn’t make it true.

Try to be objective when you feel an attack of self-doubt. Imagine it was happening to your friend. Step out of your own thoughts and advise your “friend”. There’s no way you would encourage them and say “continue with all this self-doubt, it’s great”.

Well, that’s exactly what you should be saying to yourself too.

So enough is enough, forget the self-doubt. Just concentrate on being the best version of you.

 

 

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