personal development

Powerful Lessons I Learned in 2017

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Pic by Hey Saturday

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a great night and enjoyable day however you spent it. So with 2018 now here, I thought I'd talk about some of the most powerful things I’ve learned from 2017 in the hope that you can take some value and apply in your own life.

As I mentioned before, I’m not really into resolutions and 2017 saw me play around much more with intentions. Good on anyone that makes resolutions and enjoys the process but for me, they feel too regimented, overwhelming and you can leave yourself ripe for self-sabotage as soon as you step off-track.

My intentions are much more about checking in with myself daily and asking myself how I want to FEEL. I definitely have goals, but I know I’m much more likely to achieve them if everyday I’m thinking about how I want to feel and leading with that as opposed to approaching resolutions with gritted teeth and stressing about whether I’m making enough progress and feeling bad if I don’t live up to them or see them through.

Some examples of my daily intentions have been -:

- To feel energised

- To feel alive (not literally, but truly alive)

- To feel what I'm feeling without worrying!

- To feel relaxed

- To feel creative

- To feel inspired

- To feel like I’m showing up looking a million dollars in my appearance

- To feel like I’m getting sh*t done!

- To feel like I’m offering value

- To feel flirtatious and playful (a fun one!)

So I’m definitely going to continue with this because hey, if it ain’t broke….

Next up, I learned that it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to compare yourself to other people, whether that’s online or off. There will be so many people talking and writing about their 2017 highlights and whilst I’m ALL for celebrating the wins and best bits, it can be helpful to remember that many people choose not to put out there the moments, days or months of struggle.

People often don’t want to reveal their ugly cry moments or things that have gone wrong - they choose to keep it private (which I’m all for) and so it can help to remind yourself of this just to keep some perspective.

There was a point in 2017 where I felt like I’d lost my way a little. I found myself comparing who I was and what I was doing in life, business and love/dating/relationships to other people and it was the most stifling and stalling experience that did NOTHING for my health, relationships or work life.

Later on in the year, I chose to abandon this and get INSPIRED instead of comparing. I’ve taken multiple breaks from social media, focused on myself and the people around me who really matter (because that has been a learning too!), thought about my work and business in a way that feels good to me (and took my time with that) and gained inner confidence back.

(On a side-note, a big tip I have is to switch off your phone in the evening. Read a book that isn't on an electronic device, do something creative or just relax. 2017 was also the year I read more books than any previous year and it's been such a rewarding experience that I'd forgotten. It opens up your imagination and can make you feel like you're having a conversation with a dream mentor depending on what you're reading!)

So, 2018 is all about staying on my own path and reminding myself the only permission I need is my own. It’s about listening to my inner alert system when something feels ‘off’, checking myself on the comparison monitor and it’s about not caring what other people think so damn much or holding off things in fear of what people might do, say or think.

It's exhausting to spend your life worrying about other people’s opinions and putting them on an invisible pedestal you’ve taken precious time and energy to carve out - that they’re not even aware they’re on!

A little more superficial, but this is one that has brought me a surprising amount of joy and that’s been rediscovering my love of style, beauty and wellness. I’ve always harboured a passion for these (I used to write a fashion blog and was a fashion and beauty writer professionally at one point) but I really dove back into this in the later part of 2017. It’s made me feel even more like ‘me’ again and I’m excited to incorporate more lifestyle content into my work. (Leave a comment and let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see!). After all, healing from heartbreak, bouncing back and reinvention can work on multiple levels - there’s inner work to be done sure, but the creativity and self-care aspect of style, beauty and wellness never goes amiss either!

Personally, I know coming back to this part of me has helped me reconnect to myself even more.

A good question you can ask yourself for this year is if there's a core part of you that you’ve lost a connection with? Was there something you used to do or love that you've side-lined? Don’t undervalue how much fun and happiness it can bring you by reintroducing even just a piece of that back again.

Something else I’ve been reminded of, is that when it comes to confidence and self-esteem, the more you believe you're worthy and what you have to offer as a person is of value, the more other people will respect and respond to that accordingly. If you’re doubtful about yourself, people have a radar for it. Your dating life becomes one filled with anxiety instead of fun, people you meet don’t gravitate towards you quite so much and whatever you’re putting out into the world is tarnished with your inner doubt and therefore isn’t received as well.

Simply put, the more faith and passion you have in yourself, the more others will. The more respect you’ll get and the better results you’ll have in all areas of your life. This isn’t about ‘faking it until you make it’ (urgh) it’s about practicing it until you believe it. And it’s a constant thing - I don’t believe there’s a level of perfect, absolute confidence. 

So how do you even begin? Well, it's about doing things that make YOU feel good, not comparing yourself to others, being your own cheerleader, having faith in YOU, working at your crafts with laser focus, having boundaries, pushing your comfort zones to expand your inner knowing and being open to change - all of these are integral to cultivating confidence. It can feel scary but in my opinion, that’s a worthy trade-off!

Celebrating the good stuff in the everyday is what I want to end this post on. We’re so conditioned to focus on the bad, the struggles, the annoyances, the heartbreaks, the stresses. What I really learned in 2017 as I stripped many things away, was that when something good happens, celebrate it! I was fortunate to get some great press and opportunities before Christmas and there was a point when I might have taken this for granted.

This time though, I enjoyed it, I felt good about it, I savoured it. I’ve had some beautiful conversations with people that I truly appreciate. I’ve enjoyed experiences that at one time I might have overlooked in sight of the next best or big thing. I’m as ambitious as I ever was but I’ve truly learned the art of stepping back to appreciate and live in the moment more. This has been one of the best changes in myself that I’ve witnessed and it’s something I'll definitely be taking even more into 2018! I really do encourage you to think about how you can celebrate everyday moments more too. It’s a game-changer.

So there we have it :) I also just want to thank you all so much for all your emails, comments and support. Every time I receive one, it makes my day and I’m so looking forward to bringing much more to you in 2018. I want this year to be incredible for you – your best yet, and I’d love to know what type of posts you’d like to see more of to help with that. Do let me know in the comments!

I also have some other things in store for you but will reveal more in January ;)

Wishing you a fantastic New Year however you’re spending it. And if you are alone - know that you’re not really alone. The person you’ve spent every minute of every day of your life with is you - you are your own hero, cheerleader and soulmate so embrace that, appreciate yourself, show yourself the love that you crave and set some fun, bold and intentions that you're actually excited to live by in 2018 - because we’re all in this together and we’ve all got this!

Love,

Laura xx

 

 

 

What to do if you’re Still not 'Over it'

Pic by Saskia of  Hey Saturday  

Pic by Saskia of Hey Saturday 

You probably feel like you’ve done absolutely everything you’re ‘supposed’ to, you’ve followed all the advice, all the 'do’s' and 'don’ts' and yet you’re still not over the heartbreak. For some this feeling can creep in after weeks, for others months, and even years for some people.

What I want you to know is that you’re not alone in this feeling. I really wanted to write a post on this topic because not only have I experienced it myself, but I know and have worked with countless others who have too. 

The thing about heartbreak, is that it isn’t linear. There isn’t a set time limit by which you should be ‘over it’ and it also depends on the complexities of the relationship or what you’ve been through. That’s why you can never compare yourself to someone else’s experience.

I recently had an email from someone who asked me how to speed up the process. Like I always say, there isn’t a quick fix to getting over heartbreak and you can't exactly expedite it. But there are things we can do that will, let’s just say, help things along. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually involve a simple ‘5 step’ plan from a google article. I know I know, that’s not what any of us want to hear but like a sugar fix is only temporary and leaves you hungry for more and feeling all sorts of wired, it’s kind of the same thing when it comes to dealing with heartbreak. 

Usually, the biggest reason why we fail to ‘get over it’ is because despite intellectually wanting that more than anything, on a deeper, more subconscious level, we haven’t let go because we don’t want to or are scared to. Not intentionally and this isn’t our fault - the subconscious sure is a tricky one to figure out! 

On one hand, you’re wanting to be over it and frustrated as hell at that, yet creating an inner contradiction by ruminating over the past, wondering if breaking up was the right thing, questioning if you’ll ever find that relationship because months/years on even though you’ve dated, you still can’t seem to find anything or anyone that sticks. The initial effort of doing ‘all the things’ is there but a part of you still keeps looking back and isn’t really letting go at all. 

Usually, because truly letting go propels us into the unknown. It means total acceptance and it means changing old habits. The thing about habits, is that even if they’re not working, they’re safe, they’re comfortable, we know the outcome of them, and they’re our identity. 

So try asking yourself what would really happen if you did, 100% let go? What would that mean? What part of yourself and your past would you be shedding in favour of the new and unknown?

What kind of feelings come up from that? There might be some uncomfortable ones but that’s ok. 

If you really want to get over the heartbreak, honestly, you have to be prepared to change this identity you’ve created for yourself. You have to put in the work to change the habits and gradually replace them with ones that are more aligned to moving on. That are more aligned to you, who you want to become and what you want for your future. 

You have to 100% believe you can and will get over it and know you want to on every cellular level. You have to know that despite what you're feeling, there's a future out there for you that isn’t tarnished by that breakup, person or heartbreak. 

Some relationships or situations will leave a mark, even a scar on our hearts, but that still doesn’t mean that we can’t find love, fulfilment and happiness in the future. We just have to want it enough. 

Here are some things that it might mean -:

- Accepting that your ex is with someone else - dating, in a relationship with or married to. BUT also 100% deciding to believe that it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough and instead, knowing that by the very nature of them being with someone else, the relationship wasn’t right for you.

- Accepting that just because you’ve dated, met loads of people and it hasn’t led to anything, it doesn’t mean that breaking up with your ex was the wrong thing or that you won’t find anything/anyone better for you.

- Letting go of regrets. It's a cliché but for a reason!

- Owning up to the crap/habits/behaviours that aren’t working and taking the steps to change them. And taking those steps again and again. Creating new habits is like teaching a child something - they have to be told over and over, not just a couple of times. 

- Treating yourself like the person you want to be (and how you want to be treated in a relationship). Having full respect for yourself and seeing this through in your thoughts, actions, habits, behaviours - everything!

- Embracing the unknown.

- Knowing that it’s ok to feel sad, hurt, lonely, frustrated and that it’s actually very healthy. But to also know that these feelings don’t have to define you. You don’t have to sink into them and you have the ability within you to choose better ones.

- Knowing that this all takes persistence and patience.

- Getting support, advice and help from others but ultimately knowing that the decision to let go has to come from you. When you make that decision, you have everything you need within you.

- Believing that letting go is the key to your emotional freedom.

- Knowing that forgiving (yourself and anyone else) is the biggest key to being over it and TOTALLY reclaiming your emotional freedom. 

As always, you have my full support and believe me, you can do this. You can let go and move on if you really want to, I assure you :) 

I have some fun style/fashion themed Christmas posts coming up next so excited to be preparing those for you!

And if you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com

Love,

Laura x

 

 

Heartbreak, Dating & Finding Purpose with Social Media Influencer and Comedian Madeleine Byrne

I've just got back from an amazing trip to LA (whole post on that coming soon!) and whilst I was there, I recorded a podcast with social media influencer, comedian and actress Madeleine Byrne.

If you're not familiar with Madeleine, she makes really funny and entertaining videos on instagram, many of which touch on dating, online dating and life in general - stuff we can basically all relate to!

Check out the episode on iTunes here http://apple.co/296DgJJ

....and on Soundcloud here

I loved recording this with Madeleine and we spoke about so many topics - heartbreak, dating, dating in LA, the entertainment industry, being an introvert, being an only child, the importance of friendship and human connection, beauty and loads more.

If you like what you hear, please don’t forget to subscribe and write a review on iTunes! I'd be SO grateful!

Hope you enjoy it!

I have loads of posts coming up for you all over the next few days so stay tuned :)

Laura x

What I've Learned about Confidence

I've tried many things over the years to become more confident. Someone recently said to me that I have the 'bullshit factor'. This took me aback a little for obvious reasons! Then she went on to say that I come across as very confident but underneath, there's a layer of vulnerability. I think that's true and I think, very natural given that I'm also a shy and sensitive person.

I spent many years pondering how I could be more confident. Confidence covers so many areas - we can be professionally confident but a complete mess when it comes to social confidence for example. For me, overall confidence has been more about finding self-acceptance. When you have that, even if you aren't even 50% confident in something else, it makes dealing with it a whole lot easier.

Right now at nearly 32, I'm probably feeling at my most confident - or self-assured, which is possibly due to age and I also think due to many things I've learned about confidence. There's no cheat sheet or life hack to becoming more confident though. I don't want to say it takes 'work', it's actually more about learning, growing and observing. I can go from one end of the confidence scale to the other in a heartbeat depending on many factors. You have to notice what you do in one situation compared to another. And of course, there are things you can do to build your confidence too.

Here are 3 things I've learned -:

- Some people I can meet instantly and feel like I can just be myself around them. I feel confident. Others I go to pieces, I become socially awkward, can't make eye contact, can't even speak properly sometimes! Why does this happen? Well usually it's because as people, we feel most comfortable around people who are like us. The people who we feel at ease with are probably the people we should be spending the most time around. Obviously you can't choose who you interact with on a day-to-day basis and there are many people who I also feel intimidated around. Even people I know quite well sometimes! So I think about why I feel that way. Is it because I admire them? If so, that's a positive thing and it's therefore easier to think of ways to be more confident around them, which is mostly about being mentally prepared and being very aware of things such as maintaining eye contact and keeping open body language. And also, letting go a little around them. Some people just have big personalities and as someone who is naturally shy, that can be overwhelming. Once you acknowledge that you lack confidence around specific people, or types of people, instead of it just happening, falling to pieces and then forgetting about it until the next time, if you observe why all these things happened, you'll probably realise that there are different ways you can choose to behave around them and different conversations you can make with them. Be prepared. And also, acknowledge that it's mostly your own mind chatter that's making you feel that way! It's likely that you're falling into the comparison trap, which can be so easy and a serious confidence killer – especially when we’re around people we look up to. Again, it’s about noticing how you feel, relaxing and thinking of better ways you can interact with them. It's also important to remember that feeling more comfortable and therefore confident around some people and not others is very natural!

- Constantly push yourself. There's that saying that you should do something every day that scares you and I think it's a good one to live by. If there's something that you're not confident with, challenge yourself little by little to do more of it. Or just do something that scares you a tiny bit, even if it isn't directly related to what you want be more confident in. The act of pushing small boundaries will make you see that you can get yourself out of your comfort zone, which will equal greater confidence in yourself all round!

- Get good at what you want to be confident in. For me a big one is public speaking. I think this is one that many people lack confidence in. I've actually never done a public speaking gig and it's something I passionately want to do - but the thought terrifies me! Although I know I have something valuable and meaningful to say, the idea of just getting up there and doing it, I instinctively know will not be the way for me to tackle it. I'll probably need to get lessons, practice to friends, practice 1000s of times over and be very prepared! At least until I get into my groove with it! But even though I know I'll still lack confidence when I get up in front of people, if I'm prepared, that will be half the battle. People who give amazing talks and who seem naturally confident in their ability to do so probably put a look of work into honing that craft! So when it comes to confidence in a skill, that type of confidence can definitely be learned.

- Go easy on yourself. This is the most important lesson I've learned. Going back to the self-acceptance side of confidence now, I spent most of my twenties really not liking myself much at all and so my confidence was rock bottom. I really had to spend a lot of time rebuilding the essence of who I was. I wasn’t confident because I didn’t know who I was. The confidence I have now really comes from taking care of myself, doing the things I love to do, making the leap to do what I love when it comes to my career, spending time with people who have my best interests at heart, not worrying so much about what other people think, challenging myself in the most positive ways possible and taking responsibility for myself. Oh yeah, and having fun! Being silly! All of these self-nurturing habits make me feel good and when I feel good I feel like 'me' and when I can be me, I feel at my most confident. Even if I'm not the loudest person in the room that doesn't matter because confidence is really, an inner self-acceptance. And even that layer of vulnerability isn't a bad thing because it just makes me - me.  I’m sensitive and also, vulnerability makes us human and helps us grow. I think we all have to wear many hats and with that comes having to 'put on' confidence in some situations. And that's fine, it's normal. But ultimately, I think that having that real authentic inner confidence is the foundation of what we need to be able to build all the other parts of confidence that can be applied to other situations.

Confidence is an ongoing process. The more we learn about ourselves, the more experiences we have, the more we interact with different types of people…the more you can throw yourself into these situations and scenarios the more you'll learn about where and when you feel most confident. But it all starts with taking care of you. Nurture yourself, take time to acknowledge all the amazing qualities and strengths about you and what you have to offer. Be good to yourself, sleep well, eat well and have fun. Know who you are, what you want and surround yourself with people who make you feel incredible.

So they are just a few of my thoughts I have on the topic of confidence. There are plenty more, which I'll delve into more in future posts! I'd love to hear what you feel about confidence and any tips that you have?

xx