Are you ever satisfied with what you have got?

Aren’t we having glorious weather here in the UK! Or is the satisfaction tinged with a qualification, like it’s too hot or stuffy, or you can’t get out to enjoy it and you’re sure it’ll be wet by the time your holiday arrives? It’s worth checking what you do with something positive that happens and whether you negate it to some degree. Taking satisfaction in what occurs is something that does not come so easily for many of us. Being satisfied with what you have got can clash with a deeply held belief that what we have isn’t enough. We … Read more

Being who you are means knowing who you are not

“Just be who you are” can seem easy to say, except that it poses all sorts of questions. For one, it first presupposes you know who “you are” is and secondly that you feel able to “do it”! Yet authenticity, being who you are, is what our contemporary culture is demanding. Just watch reality TV programmes. We also today have a big rise in what is referred to as narcissism, the false self. Narcissus was a beautiful mythical Greek who fell in love with his reflection in a pool and wilted away and died of the impossible love. Narcissism can … Read more

To value yourself gives you your well-spring for action

As any who has battled with self esteem will tell you, a powerful impulse for action comes from a sense of inner knowing of your self-worth, when you value yourself. We’ll use different words for it and will often refer to things like self belief, valuing ourselves, knowing we are OK, that we’re worth it. We can often limit our actions, and the strategies we choose, and even the insights we come up with on which we make plans, by how we’re feeling inside about us ourselves. It’s like, what’s the flavour of the moment today? If I’m not feeling … Read more

Beating ourselves up doesn’t make for lasting peace

Have you found that the frustration, shame or disappointment you have felt for something adverse that has happened for you has been such that you’ve turned it on yourself? Beating ourselves up can be one way of dealing with lack of success in some area of life, although not exactly the most positive way of treating the self. If we don’t take it out on others, then there’s ourselves, if that is we feel we have to “take it out” on something. The anger, shame, rage, call it what you will, needs an outlet. There’s a long history of this. … Read more

There are two sides to self confidence

There are two sides to self confidence. There’s how we feel about ourselves and then there’s confidence in others, which is closely linked to trust. Confidence in others can take quite a lot to build up but can easily and rapidly be lost. It can be very easy to make self confidence “other-person related”. This is very evident curiously enough in the current furore over banking in the UK. Banking is built on confidence. That’s why you put your money in a bank. But because of the slump since 2008, confidence has been severely lacking. And it’s spread out to … Read more

Success need not be about how good you were at school

I was given a great link today to a video by Sir Ken Robinson about our western education system. For all those who might to some degree attribute their struggle to achieve success in life to the limitations of their education, or those of their parents or children, this is worth watching. Personally I’m reminded of how strongly education is dominated by a traditional academic “top-down” elitist approach, what Sir Ken calls a massive university selection system. The current belief goes that if you want to have success in life you “must” get good academic results, get a degree (preferably … Read more

It’s hard to like yourself when you don’t like your body

Imagine you were an alien and you were being given a guided tour of shops to get an idea of what interests Earth beings. Suppose you were taken round Boots, the UK drugstore chain. What would that tell you about people’s preoccupations? Probably an awful lot about our preoccupations with our bodies and our appearance. Many might be used to seeing news articles relating to women’s concerns in this area. Last week there was something on men too. Apparently 35% of 40-year old men surveyed would trade a year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape. … Read more

It is a journey to learn to honour and approve of your self

People who struggle to value, praise or appreciate others are often ones for whom the idea of valuing people overtly is not an easy one to do. A root cause of this can be because they do not value themselves underneath. Also people who look for appreciation from others can find it missing in themselves. So our ego watch for today is self-deprecation, putting ourselves down. People who put themselves down are ones who might for example when invited to have something for themselves will decline it, saying “It doesn’t matter.” They may push it away, implying it isn’t important, … Read more

The terrors of publicity

How do you feel about other people poking their noses into your affairs? For example, do you think “I have nothing to hide, I’m OK,” or do you resent the intrusion? We have an interesting debate going on in the UK about the right to privacy. A professional footballer had obtained a court injunction to prevent the media from disclosing anything about his private life, apparently to hide an affair he had had with a fellow celeb. This is in the context of already on-going “super-injunctions” preventing anything being published about particular people. “What about free speech and its concomitants?” … Read more

A time for celebration

May Day this year is being celebrated amidst seemingly unseasonable summery weather, but perhaps not inappropriate in helping people mark the shift away from wintry to more summer-like climes that is typical in May Day celebration. May Day has pagan origins in fertility rites but from the 19th Century has also been used as a Labour Day in many countries. Traditionally in the UK people danced round the May Pole and wore flowers on their hair or in their clothes. They celebrate. In the UK we’ve also had an unusual combination of celebration this year, Easter having just finished and … Read more