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Category: OVERTHINKING

  1. You need a dripping tap not a waterfall...

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    I believe that, at the moment, I have good mental health and a really good grip on my own overthinking tendencies and habits of self-doubt and imposter syndrome – but I am still naturally wired to overthink, to doubt and to worry.

    I don't believe these tendencies will ever disappear. I think if you studied my DNA under a microscope there would be specific genes in there for overthinking and anxiety – I really do believe they are part of my mental blueprint. That is why managing my own mindset habits isn't a matter of an instant overnight fix, but rather daily work to keep my mind healthy and to keep me in control of these habits (instead of allowing them to control me!)

    And the same is also true for you.

    We can spend a long time looking for a 'fix' that will mend our negative thinking habits, a special trick that will give us a massive dollop of self-confidence overnight or a powerful technique that will give amazing and everlasting improvements to our happiness after just 5 minutes. But there just isn't one. Bringing real positive change to your mindset – to your overthinking habits, your self-confidence, your happiness – takes tiny steps, taken every single day.

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    Some of these steps are so small you won't even think you've moved. But over time, these tiny steps – easy and simple techniques – used and practised every day really can have a profound impact on your mental well-being. This is why I share the tips and techniques that I do – because I use them myself every single day and have seen myself the massive difference that they have brought to my life.

    And most of them are so easy to do, and you can start doing them straight away! Everything I share in the Happy Mind Army Member's Club is based on this idea – techniques that are simple to do but which can bring massive results if you commit to doing them. All the stuff I share in the HMA Facebook Group and in the HMA Freebies section is the same – simple stuff that really can have a positive impact on your health and happiness.

    • Yes, just choosing a wallpaper for your phone with an inspiring message can make a difference – you will see it countless times throughout the day, and whether you realise it or not, the message you see will register on your mindset every time you read it.

    • Yes, telling yourself in your head 'I can do this' will make a massive difference – even if you don't quite believe it. Keep repeating it and again, this positive message will slowly chip away at the self-doubt.

    • And yes, wearing your best knickers to Aldi really can help your self-esteem! (You can read more about this here)

    It is about slowly changing the dialogue in your head from negative to positive, tipping the balance from doubt to belief and topping up the banks of self-confidence and happiness. Every single day. It is a dripping tap not a waterfall that makes the difference. Small actions, repeated day in, day out – drip... drip... drip.

    So start your tap dripping today – right now in fact. There is loads of Happy Mind Army stuff you can access absolutely free, including these new phone wallpapers that you can download and start using right now!* It isn't hard to start paying more attention to your mental well-being and it takes very little time commitment to implement these simple things – so you've got no excuses not to start!

    PHONE WALLPAPERS

    And commit to keeping that tap dripping. At first, you might not believe it will make a difference, but given just a little bit of time it is amazing the impact that a steady drip can have. If left unstopped, and given long enough, a tiny, but regular drip, can cause a landslide.

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    * once you have accessed the freebie section in the Happy Mind Army Hub you can login in to it again anytime to download things again or to get any new stuff – simply login in using the email address you signed up with as both the username and password (unless you have since changed your password!)

    The Happy Mind Army Members' Club offers a much more in-depth approach to you taking charge of your mental well-being- each month there are techniques, information and support to really help you build that happy healthy mind you deserve, plus a private members' facebook group where you can share with, ask and be inspired by your fellow members.

  2. A lesson in Overthinking from a picture of my lunch...

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    I am running a photo-a-day challenge over in the Happy Mind Army Facebook group at the moment as part of 'March To The Beat of Your Own Drum' – a month full of inspiring stuff to help you be who you are and love who you are – just as you are!

    MARCH PHOTO CHALLENGE

    The aim of the photo challenge is to encourage you to share pictures of simple things like your shoes, the book you're reading, your hobby – all to help you feel proud and comfortable in your own opinions and choices and to take small steps towards overcoming any fears of being judged or any temptation to just join in with the trends and fall into line with everyone else.

    Now, if you're not an overthinker or a people-pleaser this might seem like a bit of a daft exercise, a bit pointless. But if you are an overthinker or a people-pleaser, sharing even simple things like this can be the source of quite a lot of fear and anxiety.

    Let me try and explain.

    Day 2 of the challenge was to post a picture of your 'lunch' and this is the photo I took and shared.

    MY LUNCH

    Now, despite having quite a good grip on my own overthinking and fear of judgement, I am still naturally wired to do both quite frequently. So, the conversation in my brain when it saw the picture ready to post on Facebook went something like this...

    'Oh, I don't think I will post this – what if people judge my living room and don't like it? They might think I am being lazy for watching daytime TV and think I am a bit stupid for watching This Morning. Maybe I should take another picture with the foot stool moved or straightened up? What if they look at my lunch and think 'no wonder she's fat, that egg looks fried?''

    You see, posting a picture of your lunch can be a big deal for someone who overthinks, who wants to please people or who lacks in self-confidence. I can (a lot of the time) overcome this tendency to overthink everything so posted this picture without much hesitation, more confident in my own skin these days and not so concerned anymore what other people think (and also aware that most people won't even notice any of the things I am worried about anyway!) – but the fears were the first voices I heard in my mind and if I didn't have the tools to shut them up they would be the only voices I would hear (and I would never have posted the picture).

    being judged quote

    So, if you are an overthinker, a people-pleaser or lack in self-confidence (or have the full hat-trick like I do!) then believe me when I say I get it – and that I know what a brave thing it is for you to do to share simple things like this. And that is also the reason I am encouraging you to do so – because it is through little steps forward like this, every single day, that there can be massive positive changes to your mindset and your confidence. (So, if you haven't already, be brave enough to share a picture for the challenge – safely in a group full of people who will applaud you for it).

    And if you're not an overthinker or plagued by a fear of being judged, but are in a relationship or friendship with someone who is, please use that picture of my lunch as a reminder of what your friend or partner has going on in their mind over the simplest of tasks. They're not being stupid, or oversensitive, or daft or doing it just to get on your nerves.

    I am the first to now recognise that my own mind battles like this are irrational and I now have a massive awareness of my own tendencies to overthink (which is why I also have more control over it and can stop it paralysing me like it used to) but when I was held hostage by it, being told to stop being so silly, or made to feel stupid for not being able to just get on with the simplest thing just gave me another stick to beat myself with.

    So, if you share your life with an overthinker please be gentle with them and give them some patience. Encourage them to rationalise and overcome their habits rather than fuelling them and remind yourself that just because something seems easy and straightforward to you, doesn't mean it does to them.

    I am so passionate about the Happy Mind Army because I know you don't have to stay paralysed by overthinking, low self-esteem or the need to please everyone and I would urge every overthinker out there to join us and start working towards taking back control of those tendencies right now – and I would urge every friend or partner of an overthinker or someone with low self-esteem to understand and support them to do it.

     Together, we can do it!

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    * You can join the FREE Happy Mind Army Facebook group here where you will find the 'March To The Beat of Your Own Drum' challenge and find loads more inspiring stuff to help you build your own happier, healthier mind.

    * For more indepth content, including inspiring artwork ,ebooks and workbooks to help you start implementing mindset changing techniques straightaway you can sign up right now for the Happy Mind Army Members' Club – which is available at the moment for an unbelievable monthly price.

  3. A Massive Unwanted Visit From Imposter Syndrome!

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    I've made some massive work decisions lately – things I have been working towards for a long, long time but which I have finally acted on. I am now going all out in my mission to use all my skills in painting, writing and teaching to help you move your mindset to marvellous and I couldn't be more excited – or more scared at the same time.

    You see, having a positive, healthy mindset doesn't mean never feeling scared, or overwhelmed or anxious – you still feel all these things, you just become better at handling them and overcoming them.

    Take this week for example. I launched my new website and sent out my first 'Monday Mindset Manouevres' email – both massive steps in spreading my word and ones which I can sit here and know are backed up with decades of knowledge and experience which I can't wait to share.

    Yet, as soon as they were out there – being seen by more people than just me and my trusted friends – the wobbles set in. And I have spent the last week being visited by a massive case of Imposter Syndrome – those thoughts that hound us when we push ourselves and put ourselves out there. Thoughts that make us question if we're good enough, thoughts like 'who do you think you are advising other people about mindset?' and 'you do realise people will just laugh at you?'

    self doubt quote

    Imposter Syndrome is so common – you can bet that people you admire, people at the pinnacle of their career, also suffer from it. It can give us a wobble or left unchecked, it can be enough to make us give up, admit defeat and return to something less scary.

    Everyone has moments of self-doubt and an urge to run away and hide – what we have to do is stand up to these neagtive thoughts and not let them take over. And that's what I have had to do this week. And here are a few ways I have done it, and ways you too can help drown out Imposter Syndrome when it makes an unwelcome visit:

     

    1) SHARE HOW YOU FEEL

    One of the biggest challenges I still face in keeping a happy, healthy mindset is sharing my feelings. I have gone through most of my adult life putting a brave face on things, being stoic and wearing the 'everything is ok badge' all the time. I used to think this made me strong and brave but I came to realise this is actually the easier thing to do – sharing how we feel, especially at times when we feel vulnerable, is the strongest and bravest thing we can possibly do. So I shared how I felt to a couple of close friends who straight away reminded me why I am doing what I am doing and how capable I am – instead of the doubts staying in my mind and multiplying I got them out there and together me and my wonderful friends went about smashing them!

     

    2) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE MESSAGES

    I am a very visual person and like to be surrounded by interesting and quirky things to look at. I also use this to make sure my overactive mind is fed a constant stream of the good stuff – I use little symbols, quotes and images all over my desk and studio to keep me feeling positive (below is just a few of them!) It is like being nudged throughout the day and reminded to keep going and stay confident. So use your own environment to cheer you on – an inspiring quote on your desk, a certain badge attached to your bag or change your phone wallpaper to something that will give you a boost every time you see it. (You could of course use any of my Mindset Memos to do this task perfectly ;))

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    3) REMIND YOURSELF IT'S NORMAL TO FEEL LIKE THIS

    The danger of the negative thoughts that Imposter Syndrome brings along with it, is that we take them as fact and listen far too much to them. As soon as we remind ourselves that this way of thinking is just a natural and expected part of us moving out of our comfort zone and doing something challenging and new then it begins to lose its power. Imposter Syndrome is actually evidence that something positive is happening – it just has a really rubbish way of showing it. And remember, we all feel like this sometimes – what Imposter Syndrome reminds us is that we are all human and prone to self-doubt.

     mike myers quote

    So next time you get hit with a bout of Imposter Syndrome – remember these steps and remind yourself that the fact you're suffering with it shows that you're doing something new and you deserve applauding not discouraging. Whatever new challenge is giving you the wobbles – hang in there and stand up to the doubts. There are many times during the last week that the doubts in my mind were talking quite loudly to me and I felt like throwing in the towel and seeing what jobs were being advertised locally! But I didn't – I took the action above and kept going. Just like you can.

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    * The Happy Mind Army Facebook Group is a place you can come and feel comfortable in sharing your wobbles as well as your mindset victories – click here to come and join us. And sign up here to receive my weekly email full of advice and motivation to help move your mindset to marvellous *