Comparison or Contentment?

Comparison or Contentment?

Theodore Roosevelt once said that ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and I really think he hit the nail on the head with this one.

Comparison, according to our dear friend google, is described as ‘a consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.’ Essentially meaning to compare how similar or how different you are to others.

One of the problems with the information and social media age that we currently live in is that, it is extremely difficult to avoid comparison. Even if we don’t want to know what others are up to we will somehow find out. It’s always in our face.

So we get stuck in this trap of comparing ourselves to others especially when we see them doing things that we wanted to do or could have done but fear and/or a lack of confidence stopped us.

Over-indulgence in comparison can lead us to create imaginary benchmarks in our heads where we measure our own successes and shortcomings against those around us and even worse those in popular culture. Before you know it you are competing with people you don’t even know!

But do you know how crazy it is to compare yourself to people who most likely had a different starting point to you?

See once you begin comparing yourself to others and letting those thoughts manifest in your mind and heart, you begin to feel frustrated and discontent with life causing yourself unnecessary torment. Comparison robs us of precious time. The same time and energy that you could have invested in yourself and your goals.

Although comparison can be positive especially if it brings on a desire to achieve and further develop yourself. Just as a business analyses the external environment to spot opportunities in the market that aid in development and innovation, you may decide to do the same with your own external environment.

So how do we avoid ‘negative’ comparison? Below are my top 5 tips

  1. Focus on yourself – not as simple as it sounds, I know. But it is so important to focus on your own journey and remember that you are running in your own lane and not competing against others
  2. Remind yourself of your achievements and why you are remarkable (because we all are!). Whether you prefer to speak positive affirmations out loud or stick post-it notes around your bedroom, you have to be your own biggest cheerleader!
  3. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Try a gratitude jar – where you write things you are grateful/thankful for on a small piece of paper and store it away in this jar (on a daily basis)
  4. Find inspiration through comparison e.g. if she/he can do it, then so can I!
  5. Learn to be content with your yourself, your progress, your journey and the unknown

Remember that you are your own worst enemy and the only thing stopping you from being the best version of yourself is yourself.

So will you let comparison steal your joy, your strengths and your success or will you reclaim what’s yours?

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The Power of Networking

The Power of Networking

For me 2017 was a year of learning and growing and one of the many things that I learnt is how powerful networking can be.

Networking is described as the process of “interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.”

Sounds simple doesn’t it? But the truth is that many of us do not know how to network. In my opinion, to effectively network, one needs to have a purpose in mind. Ask yourself the following questions:

Continue reading “The Power of Networking”

Can you step outside of your comfort zone?

Can you step outside of your comfort zone?

What is a comfort zone?

“A behavioural and/or psychological state where activities and behaviours fit a routine and pattern that minimises stress and risk.”

Within this state people generally feel at ease and in control of their environment, it is essentially a place of security and comfortability.

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23 things I have learnt in my 23 years

23 things I have learnt in my 23 years

I wanted to share with you all 23 things that I have learnt during my 23 years of life through past and current experiences. Enjoy.

  1. Every individual has a God given purpose and it is up to us to discover our purpose and use all of our resources to fulfil it

2. Embrace your strengths and turn your weaknesses in to lessons

3. It is important to be who you are unapologetically and do not allow others to make you feel that you need to be less of who you are (especially because it suits them)

4. We should never stop learning – as Napoleon Hill said “the person who stops studying merely because he has finished school is forever hopelessly doomed to mediocrity”

5. Work smart and work hard

6. Failure is nothing more than the lessons that we use to propel ourselves to the next level of growth

7. Fear is false evidence appearing real

8. Use the ammunition of “fear” and “failure” to achieve your dreams

9. Preparation + opportunity = success

10. Have ambitious (not mediocre) goals and smash them

11. Make time for yourself and know that it is ok be selfish with your time when it comes to achieving your goals

12. Have specialised, rather than generalised, knowledge in your field

13. We do not need fair-weather friends

14. Expand your network and surround yourself with likeminded people

15. Give because you can not because you want something in return

16. Be of service to others and provide value

17. Have an understanding of the economical and political climate of the country that you reside in so you can navigate yourself effectively

18. Healthy and prosperous finances are only possible with smart money moves

19. Make better decisions when it comes to your health and fitness – you’ll live longer 🙂

20. Only you can decide to be happy, nobody else controls your happiness

21. There is power in declaring things out loud and truly believing that they will come to pass

22. Prayer is everything

23. “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

I hope that sharing this has made you reflect on some of the most important things that you have learnt throughout your life. Remember that every lesson learnt provides an opportunity to be a better person – as Dan Lok said “hell on earth is meeting the man or woman you could have been.” – find the link to his tedx talk here

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It starts in the mind…

It starts in the mind…

At the start of every New Year a lot of people start the year by setting New Year resolutions/goals.

But research has suggested that around 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. Most shockingly a study conducted by Strava (the social network for athletes) identified the second friday in January as “quitters day” suggesting that this was the day where motivation began to diminish.

Psychologists believe that one of the biggest contributors to this is the “internal battle between doing what you want to do and what you should do.” In other words it starts in the mind. Our minds are one of the most powerful tools we have as individuals and I believe how we control it can determine the course of our lives.

Why is our mind such a powerful asset?

Because ultimately how we think dictates our behaviours. I believe that the reason why 80% of resolutions fail is because people have not trained their minds and their thought processes. And because of this they allow a lack of confidence, otherwise known as self-doubt, to prevail in their mind.

If I constantly tell myself I am not capable of doing something, I most likely will not be capable because I no longer have the motivation or right attitude to do it. As Napoleon Hill said, “Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.”

It starts in the mind.

Once we really understand how powerful our mind and consequently our thoughts are, then we will have the foundation and in due course the capability to reach whatever goal or resolution we have set ourselves. But it isn’t just enough to have confidence, you have to really apply yourself to whatever you want to achieve. And I mean really apply yourself.

When I first started my fitness journey I absolutely hated running and I would tell myself I couldn’t do it before I had even tried, but once I changed my thoughts, the change in my behaviour followed and before I knew it, I loved running.

Only we as individuals have the power to change our thoughts, feelings and attitudes. But how can we do this? I think the answer is in self-awareness. When we truly understand ourselves we can then work to proactively manage our thoughts, emotions and behaviours.

So lets hit the ground running. Whether it takes you 6 weeks or 6 months, lets be the 20% of people that do achieve their yearly goals/resolutions.

2018 is the year of confidence and self belief. Its time to stop being your own worst enemy. Lets be more than just average because as we all know it starts in the mind.

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What type of year has 2017 been for you?

What type of year has 2017 been for you?

At the beginning of September my friend and I were talking and she said that 2017 had been a great year for us. And even though I agreed I did not really feel that way. That conversation led me to really consider and ponder on what “a great year” actually meant to me.

During this reflection I realised that the reason I felt that 2017 had not been a great year for me was because I was focusing and dwelling on the negative. I was focusing on the challenges I had faced and the goals I had not yet met. I was blinded by negativity.

Continue reading “What type of year has 2017 been for you?”

Are you the best version of yourself?

Are you the best version of yourself?

Are you the best version of yourself?

A tough question, I know. Before I could answer it myself, I had to really consider what it meant to me.  So I am going to rephrase the question for you. “Are you allowing yourself to live up to your full potential, both in the personal (e.g. mentally, physically, spiritually and so on) and professional sense (e.g. career, entrepreneurial and so on)?”

If I had answered this question a couple of months ago, it would have been with a big fat no. Being victim to laziness, procrastination and doubt meant that I wasn’t allowing myself to flourish and I’m probably not the only one.

As I pondered on it, I realised that I could be doing much more. I was not going above and beyond in all that I did, in fact I was doing the bare minimum. I was not able to confidently say that I was putting 110% effort in to my personal and professional life. I was too comfortable and that to me, was a problem.

Now of course the idea of “being the best me” will vary considerably amongst each individual, but as you’re reading this today I challenge you to consider what does that mean to you?

There are many ways to be the best version of yourself but I believe in a 3 step cycle.

1. Firstly learn about yourself; identify your skills, passions and interests, your strengths, your weaknesses, what you like and what you don’t like, how you interact well with others, and how you fail to communicate well with others, how you work – the idea is to really just know yourself

How can you be the best version of yourself if you do not fully understand and know yourself well? Once you are able to understand yourself you can gain a better understanding and sense of direction. Identify your skills, your passions and your interests and then try to use this to discover your purpose.

2. Secondly develop an uncanny confidence in yourself and use this to take action

Once you know yourself and you know what direction/path you want to take in life, it will be much easier to believe in yourself and your abilities. I genuinely believe that we can do whatever we set our minds too. All it takes is self-confidence. If you do not have confidence you will struggle to take action.

Take action. Make a plan. Then execute this plan.           

3. Finally keep growing – learn from your mistakes and your “failures,” increase your knowledge capital, grow your network and just keep shinning 🙂 

So you know yourself, you’ve got confidence and you’ve taken action. What next……?

Continuous learning – Upgrading your skills and increasing your knowledge

Every experience is an opportunity to learn. But you have to go beyond this. You have to seek opportunities to learn. You have to go outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. This is where real growth takes place. Stop comparing yourself to others and use your time and resources to focus on yourself.

The reason I put failure in quotation marks is because I believe Napoleon Hill when he said “Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another direction.” Being the best version of yourself is being able to understand and recognise that “failure” is nothing more than a learning opportunity. And the application of such lessons will push you to be better. To be a better version of yourself.

Nobody said it would be easy but all you can do is try. So how about today you start trying to become the best version of you.

As Judy Garland said “always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

Thanks for reading and please comment below with any strategies or tools you use that aid you in being the best version of yourself!

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You don’t need fair-weather friends…

You don’t need fair-weather friends…

“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)

Who do you walk with?

There are many verses in the Bible centred on the topic of friendship and making sure that we have the right type of people around us.

What type of friends do you have around you?

Continue reading “You don’t need fair-weather friends…”

What Do YOU Fear?

What Do YOU Fear?

Have you ever asked yourself what your biggest fears are?

When people ask us what we are afraid of we tend to think about tangible/physical things or things that are very obvious to us. For example some people have a fear of dogs and others have a fear of heights.

But have you ever considered what it is that you are actually afraid of?

Continue reading “What Do YOU Fear?”