When I'm out and about meeting Psychologies readers at our events, we often talk about no-limits, 'magic wand' thinking. If you could wave a wand and change something about yourself - what would you change? 'Confidence' is the word I hear over and over again. If we could only be a little bit more confident and comfortable in our own skin, the world would be our oyster...
In mental health, we talk a lot about stigma. How stigma leads to misconceptions about what mental illness is, how people living with mental illness act, and how possible recovery is. This misconceptions hurt people's access to support, which is the very thing that could save their life. So for my very first HuffPo blog post, I wanted to use my story as a message of how I try to defeat stigma.
When it comes to success, every thought, belief and behaviour that we hold creates our future. The actions we take influence our outcomes and if we really want to be successful in our efforts, we need to get clear on what habits are holding us back so that we can stop them from dominating our headspace or sabotaging our attempts at success.
Our emotional health is just as important as our physical health right? That's why I am making it my New Year's Resolution to take better care of my mental health this year, instead of the past few years of vowing to eat more fruit and vegetables (doing quite well on), regular gym visits (achieved), drinking more water (sometimes), going to the dentist regularly (what dentist?).
Here's another crap misconception. That it's egotistical to love yourself. I was accused of loving myself at school, far from the sad truth that I had a lot of healing to do before I was to understand what it meant to love myself. Now I realise it's something that people say to others when they are threatened by someone's confidence as it reminds them of what little acceptance they have for themselves... I see beauty all around me, in people, places, objects and actions. That's love and it's a very powerful thing!
The modern world is a manic place, juggling family life with work, keeping on top of the housework, the endless barrage of paperwork, not to mention keeping up to date with technology! There are so many things that demand our time and attention. And very often it leaves very little time for getting our own needs met.
I didn't just 'not love myself,' I didn't actually even like myself. I was angry at myself for so many different things in my past and it not only held me back in my own relationship with myself but got in the way of my relationships with those around me and made me less productive in my everyday life.
I have enormous respect for anyone that goes to therapy and extending that, anyone who walks into my office. To walk into a therapist's office (or in my case, a coach's office) admitting you need help and wanting to change is, in my eyes, admirable. In addition to that, to keep going to therapy is hard.
When I look at mother and father blackbird nurturing their chick at a healthy distance I am reminded that the basics of parenting can be simple. It has been overcomplicated by the digital revolution and our 24hr access to an excess of information. It's time to get back to basics, to fledge our children...