When loneliness and feeling alone is no laughing matter

The Christmas season is usually a time when people gather and celebrate together. Paradoxically almost, it can be also a time when many people feel very lonely. The sense of loneliness can affect people who are single and in relationships, living with others or on their own. It transcends cultures, class and locality. It can affect even those who seem the most jolly and full of the joys of life. Particularly after Christmas, there’s a “let down” period. After the high adrenalin rush and the excess, there’s often a “down” time. Christmas in the West is a big spending binge … Read more

Uncertainty undermines your sense of purpose

Uncertainty undermines your sense of purpose. You’re not sure what’s going to happen, what direction to take, or whether you are doing the right thing. You feel disempowered, no longer in control, at the mercy of other people or events, or prey to your mind and its fears. It might be that this is due to events. Brexit could have put a halt to plans. Your organisation might have put investment and hiring on hold. You’re not sure whether you’ll have to move countries or whether you’ll have a job. Business conditions might have turned unfavourable. Maybe your landlord wants … Read more

Do you wish you have confidence to make things happen?

The self-help industry is full of powerful-sounding exhortations to transform your thinking: “If you think you can, you can”. “Drive away negative thoughts”. “Let go – be in the flow!” But are you sometimes left feeling inadequate, like maybe others can do it but somehow you can’t? It might be that the missing ingredient is confidence. I often hear clients say that after coaching they feel much more positive and confident. It’s like something has happened in our work that has boosted their confidence. Yet, it would not be easy to say what precisely that was, just that they felt … Read more

Is being yourself really scary?

People are it seems really confused around the issue of identity and authenticity, especially when communicating with or presenting themselves to others. The comment “just be yourself”, sounds very simple but is actually a minefield for many of us. Being yourself can mean to enter into a state of authentic being, but you might not be able to work out what that is or how you do it. To put yourself out there in a genuine way can feel very scary since we can feel very vulnerable and we don’t know how it will go down with others. What if … Read more

Have you lost confidence recently?

Confidence – that ability to believe in yourself and your capability – can be present one moment and gone the next. It can help us to sparkle, impress and be effective at what we aspire to do, and its absence can weaken, undermine and inhibit our potential and what we accomplish. When we’ve lost confidence in some area of our lives, we really know the difference because there’s a gap between what we really want and what is occurring right now. We can feel undermined, held back and limited in some way. And it’s likely we don’t know what to … Read more

Do you blame yourself too much?

Do you find that when things don’t go well you blame yourself? It’s like we can have an omni-present scanner that detects incoming signals and filters them for where we can make ourselves wrong. Someone makes a negative comment and we think it is us that has the problem, even if it really belongs to another. We have difficulty with a project at work and blame ourselves for our mistakes when it could be that we haven’t had things fully explained or we haven’t been trained properly. It might be that really it is as a result of a multiplicity … Read more

Too many thoughts can get you what you don’t want

As well as having too many thoughts, we can also tend to repeatedly focus all these thoughts on particular matters. We churn these issues round in our minds. Then, surprise surprise, these things go on in our lives! Bummer, isn’t it?! So if we want to see improvement in our lives, as well as our mental contentment, we can benefit from paying attention to and letting go of what we focus on. A tricky one. What’s on your mind then plays out in your life. It’s a well known understanding in the yoga tradition. For example Swami Muktananda wrote that … Read more

Lack of self belief limits us until we choose to think differently

How often do you not attempt something you would like to accomplish because you don’t believe you can? If you were honest with yourself would a lack of self-belief hold you back? You’d not be alone. Huge numbers of us, even “high achievers”, have areas of their lives where they doubt themselves. It is not uncommon to find people at the tops of organisations who think they are frauds, that one day they’ll be “found out”, exposed for who or what they really are, “not good enough”. When we don’t believe in our capabilities, we put a limiting thought out … Read more

How fear keeps you from the wellbeing you long for

Fear and being fearful, being absorbed with fear, is the great disconnect, keeping us from what we truly want, and keeping what we truly want from us. It is often said on these pages that love and fear are opposite sides of the same coin. From being absorbed in fear, you let it go, turn your attention, and you can have love instead. One obscures the other. By love of course I also mean contentment, joy, enthusiasm, positive passion and any one of the different ways our heart-centred connection manifests itself, if we put aside that oft-felt discomfort at saying … Read more

Being in the public eye can be terrifying but it needn’t be so

Despite the jokes made about Michael Bay’s exit from his own presentation, some might be surprised and some amused but others more sympathetic about a very common fear that is likely to have driven Bay away, the fear of being “upfront”, being in the public eye, in front of other people, vulnerable and exposed, as when something wasn’t working in his presentation. I would add to it, for many of us, the fear of being upfront in itself. We’re thankfully becoming more candid about such things, as witnessed by a well-known book, And Death Came Third, by Lopata and Roper, … Read more