It’s called confidence not arrogance

I am writing this short post off the back of some of my ramblings that come out in my journal at the end of each day. I was expressing my own feelings about looking to others for approval. This may be needing to know that you are doing a good job, needing to hear that you are beautiful or wanting reassurance just to know that you are on the right path.It’s something I do a lot myself, its always nice to have a bit of a reassurance! But what happens then? Where does the hunger for approval stop?

It has seem to have come the norm for people to put themselves down and be a bit coy about their achievements because standing and saying ‘I am doing a good job’ ‘I am beautiful’ ‘I love myself and my life’ all sounds a bit arrogant right? I remember reading a quote from Ronda Rousey where she exclaimed ‘Some people see it as arrogance but how dare you assume I should think less of myself’ 
Once again we come back to the fear of how we will look in the eyes of other people. You will never find happiness from other peoples opinions, you will constantly seek more and more validation as you feed of their approval.
It takes time but it is important to allow yourself to build your own confidence. You need to know you are doing the best job you possibly can, you pour your heart and soul into it. You need to believe you are beautiful and outstandingly unique. You must begin to love yourself as much as you are loved by those around you.
Compliments and ,motivation are priceless, take it on board and dont shrug off the words they put out for your soul to hear.
Believing in yourself without doubt isn’t arrogance, its confidence.
Be happy with yourself and behave in a way every day that makes you feel proud, then what is there doubt? Be true to what your heart really wants and other peoples opinions wont be so necessary, you’ll already be happy.
And if anyone does try to dull your sparkle? Fuck em. There are plenty more cheering you on.
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Always Moving Forward

I am the first to promote a positive outlook and try to build this motivation within others. Its not just a belief and passion but my job. I get paid to lead others and get the best out of them,  I spend my days encouraging my team to look towards to goals and learn best practices to reach the next level. I write this blog to tell my story and share my thoughts in the hope that it also may help a reader think and feel differently about a difficult situation that may be bothering them.

I quite often get comments suggesting I wouldn’t really understand, I mean after all I don’t get stressed or miserable and moody do I? Wrong. Of course I do. Everyone goes through shit, everyone has their own insecurities and problems they are dealing with. As I have said before the deal breaker here is even if you feel in a rut for hours, days or weeks you make a conscious effort not to stay there. You have so much more to give and dwelling on what could have been, what may happen or what never has is the leech on your happiness.
What makes the difference is whether you are willing to accept these challenges and figure out a plan to move forward. Its no different in life or business, no matter the problem is you are face with it takes a plan and focused determination to get to where you want to be.
We spend most of our lives looking to the next best thing or looking after others that our own inner desires and true selves can get lost in the madness. This is what creates unhappiness.
I treat any setback in work or life the same. Take some time out, whats really going and why. What do you need to do to get back on track? It may be a complete change in direction and that’s ok, as long as you end up back on the road to your own happiness then a change in direction is a positive move not a negative one.
Life is never going to be a journey from A to B and the sooner we all accept that and embrace the lows as a chance to grow and evolve, the sooner we will all have many more successful and bright days to outweigh the dark.
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Be Your Own Best Friend

I think one of the hardest things to do when we are going through things in life is gaining perspective. Hindsight is a beautiful thing but when you have something (or someone) that is bothering you it is incredibly hard to see beyond what is aching in your heart.

Sometimes we cant even pinpoint what the cause is, we just generally feel a bit shitty. One thing that always amazes me personally at times like this is how I know I could easily give any of my friends clear advice on a particular situation if it was them.. but yourself? that is a different much more complex story.
If this sounds all too familiar then first thing is to trust yourself! Tune in to what the root cause is and step outside of your mind for just a minute.. feel the emotions and think ‘What would I say to my best friend if they were coming to me with this problem for advice?’ Write it down if you have to. The answer you give them honestly is what you should be telling yourself. Stop telling yourself bullshit lies and encourage your self belief.
In most cases we get so engulfed in our own emotions and negative thought patterns that we cant access or listen in to what we really need as apposed to what we think we want at that point in time.
The best thing you can do when feeling lost or overwhelmed, no matter how trivial your worries may seem, is to take a step back. Think. What would you tell your best friend?
We need to start being our own best friends. Treat yourself with as much compassion, honesty and love as you do your closest friends. You deserve it more than anyone and more importantly you know what your soul needs more than anyone.
When you do this suddenly what is bothering you becomes clear. Its like a weight is lifted and you know what you need to do.
By all means talk it out, go to your friends and get their opinions but don’t for a second think that you aren’t capable of overcoming lifes mini hurdles on your own. You know what is best for you, you know what makes you smile and sets your heart on fire. Follow that shit and soak in the empowerment of knowing that no matter what you face, you’ve got this.
I am writing this as I have spent weeks with something on my mind, its been bothering me and I got the advice from my beautiful best friends. As much as I absolutely adore them and appreciate the love they give it still didn’t take me away from it completely.. I needed to be honest with myself and what I knew deep down was the right decision before I could accept it and move on.
When you are honoring yourself 100% you feel a weight is lifted. Your happiness radiates and suddenly life is in bright techi-colour once again.
My message today is to trust yourself, start taking your own advice and give yourself a break.
I did and I feel happier than ever. Hold your head high. Be your own best friend.
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Sometimes it’s ok to not be ok

I can never speak the words to explain how I feel but writing is my escape. My therapy.

Im writing this post on a day where I have had to remind myself of this over and over.
Its so incredibly important to remain positive and focus on the good, I always advocate this because it is true. Remaining positive is what got my Dad through his illness, the past 2 years has changed our lives and outlook completely. However the trouble with this at times when you are struggling it can add extra pressure. A pressure that somehow you always must be strong, you always must have your shit together and you always need to be happy.
This isn’t life. This isn’t real.
Real is having days where you feel like you are crumbling but you keep moving because you know that in time, these emotions will change. You know that nothing is infinite and living with a mindset that you must never admit to feeling scared, lonely or sad is quite frankly exhausting.
Allowing yourself to feel your emotions and deal with them means that you can be stronger, you can straighten yourself up and you can move on.
My Dad goes in for surgery again tomorrow and I am so incredibly scared. The day he was diagnosed was the worst day of my life. We have overcome so much together in the past two years and the next few months will be no different. I will be strong for him, I will support my Mum when she breaks down and I will do all I can to just.. help. His surgery tomorrow is a positive in itself, its a final step in a long journey but it doesn’t make the fear any less real.
Does me admitting the above make me weak? Does me admitting that I wasn’t the most composed at work today because my mind is whirling make me weak? Does me not giving a fuck about anything else right now make me selfish? I think this my friends makes me human. (who knew)
So I go back to my main point, sometimes its ok not be ok because having these moments means you can step up when its most important.
Maybe I am too hard on myself but I set high expectations for myself because I know anything is possible if you set the bar high enough. My Dad taught me this and he beat cancer.
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Check your influences

Recently I went on a management course through my day job – it was a really insightful day but I had a moment of realisation whilst I was there.

You are only ever going to be as successful as your surroundings and influences allow, unless of course you stop allowing it and control your environment.

Let me explain, I have recently changed jobs and am working for a company I absolutely adore. My fellow manager and directors have all been incredibly supportive, we work very well together and I have been given the opportunity to flourish. I have only been in this position for one month but I have fitted in so well, I couldn’t be happier. I feel confident in my position, I want to exceed and am excited for what the future holds here for me. This is all down to the atmosphere I am now in and the encouragement I am receiving.

This hit me when on the course as there were other managers there that were desperate for help, they were timid, not supported within their companies and all felt a little lost. I suddenly realised how lucky I am and remembered how that is exactly how I have felt in the past.

If you don’t have the appropriate support network, people around you that build you and encourage your development, whether this be in your career or personal life then you will never reach your full potential.

When listening to the other delegates and their woes I remembered being that girl. I remember feeling unappreciated so I gave up trying. I decided at that point to look for another job, I knew I could be better but needed to take control and change my environment.

This applies to many stages throughout life, I have been that girl in relationships, friendship and my career. Every time I chose to get out, move on and find something that nourishes my soul..

Whether it be a relationship, friendship or job.. make sure you are being built up and not torn down.

It’s up to you to then take the necessary steps. Never feel guilty or reluctant when looking after your own hopes and dreams.

Life is too short to spend it unhappy or surrounded by people leave you feeling bad about yourself or your current life status.

Love & Happiness

 

 

Here’s to YOU and a year well lived

When you look back over the year are you happy with the decisions you made?

Do you feel your year was one well lived?

Choose to look back fondly and accept the trials you may have gone through as periods in your life of change. Tough times are there to propel us forward once challenged, they remind of us of what to be grateful for and what to cherish – or at least they should if you have a positive perspective on yourself, your life and your journey. If you are still going through a tough time then take comfort in the knowledge that it will not last forever.

When I look back over 2015 I could remember times of my Dads illness, my Nans illness, break ups and set backs.. and I still do but I remember them fondly… SOUNDS CRAZY? The way I see it is although painful at the time each experience either taught me a lesson or was the catalyst for growth within. I choose to see an ending as a new beginning towards something better. Having to see both my Dad and my Nan battle ongoing serious illnesses has just reminded me of how precious life is and the time I get to spend with them, it makes you realise how all the things that would normally stress you out really don’t matter in the long run. In between the less than favourable times there was plenty more celebrations, laughs, achievements and life changing successes. Every goal I set myself I worked hard for, even if I didn’t quite make the goal I can sit back and feel I gave everything a bloody good try.

We are nearing the time of New Year’s resolutions and I love this, but remember not to write off your past completely. Your past has brought you to where you are now and you have the opportunity to change your future.

If you are ending your year wanting next year to be better then my advice to myself and to you is to be prepared to let life unravel whilst directing yourself the best you can. By this I mean I have clear goals and make tiny efforts every day towards them but sometimes roadblocks will come up and cause either a delay or a complete re-direction. This is ok, this is life in all its unpredictable glory that we have the pleasure of experiencing.

Next year will be no different, we dont live a fairy tale so let go of thinking your life will be and you will instantly feel more at ease.

Letting go of a little control and being a little kinder to ourselves will result in a much happier existence. I am a self-confessed control freak and time has taught me that being too structured can cause more stress than necessary. Once you have had a major disruption in your life your perspective changes quite rapidly.

I am looking back over the year and I am thankful, I am proud and I am happy. I can’t help but smile and this is something I hope to replicate year on year.

Be authentic to your wants and desires, chase the dreams you have in your soul and be kind to yourself whilst doing so. Treasure time with your loved ones and work on becoming your best self.

I am incredibly happy to have already started my Christmas celebrations with my best friends and family. These people have helped me through and been through all of the best and worst times. My wonderful tribe.

This New Years I am going to toast to a successful year well lived, to my beautiful friends & family and also to myself! I’m choosing to focus on the great times and accepting the rough times for what they were. I’m choosing to look forward to an awesome 2016.

Here’s to YOU and each year you get better.

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

InkedBarbelle

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The death of real connection

I miss real conversation. I miss adventures. I miss getting to know someone new or getting to know your loved ones even deeper through endless chatter as the sun goes down and the stars shine bright. I miss exploring both places and people, getting lost in beauty and discovering new parts of yourself in the process.

This seems ironic that I am about to post about how much our lives are effected by the rise of technology and social media.. on a social media platform.. but I need to vent..

I’m a self-confessed Facebook addict, I love my Instagram and I am always on my phone messaging… I’m not a hypocrite but my mind is forever curious and I have now realised the huge impact it has on our lives and mine included. My family refer to my phone as my ‘lifeline’ as it is constantly with me.

The only times that my phone is not in my hand is when I travel, when I am with my friends or when I am on a date. There are times when technology needs to take a backseat and we need to experience the moment, not a moment through a screen.

When I travel I switch it off. I meet new and amazing people, I taste strange foods and I take in the sights and listen to the sounds. I do my best to live in the moment and have memories forged on my mind.. yet as soon as I’m home it has to go on social media and I’m back to living through the screen.

Today I decided to not use headphones when I went for a walk and I ended up having long conversations with several people. I miss this, the art of conversation is dying a slow death as we all get consumed more and more by an online opinion over a real one.

I have been thinking about this ever since hearing that a salon is introducing the option of a ‘quiet chair’ so the client can opt out of general chit-chat.. I understand that some people don’t like small talk and that is fine but it made me sad… the simple art of conversation is dying out. Separation in society is forming, we should be encouraging connection in real life not through facebook.

I’m not quitting social media or my laptop by any means, but I am going to be more aware of its usage and my feelings towards it.

Let’s not message or comment – call me and let’s go for a coffee.

Let’s do life and laugh. Let’s socialise away from screens and open ourselves to opportunity.

I for one know how precious memories and experiences really are, let’s not let real connection die out.

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You are what you eat

I am nearly at end of my Sports Psychology course already! So I thought I would post an extract from of one of the essays that I wrote during my last course for Diet & Nutrition. This is a shortened and simplified look at why it is important that we are aware as to what goes in our mouths… I am however very much looking forward to a treat tonight after training hard again this week!.. enjoy!

“The foods we eat have a major impact on both our physical and mental health. Our bodies are constantly performing essential processes which keep us living, breathing and growing. For these processes to occur we require energy and this energy comes from the foods we eat. Our food is digested and the nutrients from our food allow all the unseen processes to take place with plenty left over for movement and warmth.

The quality of the food we eat determines the quality of nutrients our body can obtain, because of this what we eat is incredibly important for good health. There is a delicate balance within our bodies between the vitamins and minerals we obtain in our food and the processes that occur.

We must ensure that we eat a balanced diet including wholesome natural foods from each food group where possible. Following these guidelines and providing your body with the appropriate fuel and nutrients it needs will maximise your health. Fruit and vegetables contain many essential vitamins and minerals required, carbohydrates provide us with energy, protein assists with the repair and growth of our bodies and fatty or sugary foods do have their place in moderation depending on one’s activity level.

A diet low in essential nutrients and vitamins will put strain on our bodies and the digestive system. Over time a consistently poor diet will result in inefficient working of the vital organs and fatigue is likely when energy stores are low. The immune system may not be able to fight off bacteria and infections like it normally would so therefore the risk of illness and disease will increase. Intolerances and allergies can also form as result of a poor diet, this further diminishes the body’s ability to assimilate the energy from our food.  A poorly fuelled body will not work at its optimal level.

The reduction of sugar and processed foods within the diet is the best place to start when wanting to change ones diet to improve health. Sugar itself is very high in energy and usually eaten in excess to what we need. Our bodies do not know the difference between natural or chemically refined sugars, but many sources such as fruit which contain naturally occurring sugars also contain vitamins which will benefit health further. We do not need sugar in the refined form, there is enough glucose stored in our liver muscles already, and choosing the source wisely will have a notable impact on health.

Even the way we eat different foods can have an effect on our health. Our digestive system has a delicate balance of enzymes that are secreted at specific times to assimilate the nutrients from our food. If certain food groups are eaten together which do not easily digest with one another then improper digestion could occur. For example one of the most common food combination eaten is a protein and starch, such as steak and potatoes. Both these foods require different acidic environments within the stomach to fully digest and digest at different rates, this is therefore likely to result in indigestion. By applying food combining digestion can be enhanced and therefore increasing nourishment from our food. However this is an advanced technique and should be of high concern to most. If digestion is a problem once the diet has been adjusted to be the most healthful then it could be focused on with the help of a Nutrition advisor, when digestion is optimal such disorders such as indigestion can be eradicated without the need for prescription drugs.

We can live for weeks without food but only survive a few days without water. Water helps to remove toxins from the body via the kidneys, it assists in the digestive process and acts as a cushion for joints. Even with mild dehydration our processes can slow and our bodies become lethargic, some foods and drink can increase dehydration so it is advisable for one to manage the water intake when looking to improve overall health and energy levels.

It is also important to keep on top of the volume of food we eat as obesity can cause many health ailments in itself. Being overweight can put extra strain on the heart, joints and lungs as well as increasing the chances of developing illness such as cancer and diabetes. A well balanced diet in nutrients and calories is the best way to improve health and enhance life expectancy. An initial response may be to dramatically cut food intake to tackle the problem of obesity, however creating sustainable habits focused on optimal health is much more beneficial and will allow the body to heal and flourish. Due to the regenerative nature of all cells and tissues it is possible to turn your health around through the foods we eat and lifestyle we lead providing action is taken at the right time. It is common for one to only take control of their health and weight when problems begin to arise and it may be too late, taking control of what we eat now ensures a longer, fitter and healthier life.”

Have a good weekend

Inked Barbelle xox

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Dear Diary: Lifting & Learning

I have my Diet & Nutrition Diploma!

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I like to challenge myself. I like to keep working towards goals and bettering my understanding of my passion. Ever since I began my fitness journey I have had a fascination with the nutrition side of things as what we eat plays such a huge role in how we feel and the results we can achieve from our endeavours.

I have had first-hand experience of disordered eating over the years so self-taught knowledge of different aspects of diet and nutrition as I tried to get myself to a healthy place with food. The more I learnt the stronger my desire grew to delve deeper into the inner workings of our digestive systems and the power of the food we eat.

My inner geek was set on fire and it’s a subject that I become very animated about when I start talking.. this passion helped me decide to take my learning to the next level and start the course. I decided it was something I wanted to do.. so I did it. Simples.

The first fitness related qualification I took was my Gym Instructors Level 2, this course touched on nutrition but I decided upon finishing that it was a subject I wanted a closer look at. I sped through the Diet & Nutrition course fairly recently and loved every minute. I am now busy working through a Sports Psychology course dealing with the mind-set of champions.

Every course I take serves a purpose, these courses will benefit me on my own journey and give the added sense of achievement from reaching mini goals I set myself in fields I am incredibly interested in.

Once I have passed the Psychology diploma I am hoping to go further in depth into Sports Nutrition next year.

Always push yourself on to achieve things you thought you never would, no matter how big or small🙂

Inked Barbelle xxx

When you look in the mirror..

Do you look clearly or are you seeing yourself through a frosted view which has been built up over the years through hurts, disappointments or from self-imposed ideals?

How does your self-talk usually go? Are you tearing yourself down or giving yourself gentle encouragement?

The power of our own self talk is grossly underestimated. When looking at oneself and feeling a sadness and then verbalising this by talking yourself down with comments like ‘You’re fat.. You’re ugly..’ or justifying a disappointment by saying ‘It’s because I’m a loser’ ‘I’m such a twat’ ‘I’ll never get x so what’s the point?’ how does this make you feel? Not very helpful is it.

Most won’t even realise that they do this. It might be so subtle in the thought process when faced with something upsetting that it sneaks in and before you know it you are believing this nonsense as truth.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to become more mindful of your thoughts and the tone you are setting for your day. This will change your world overnight.

When something has upset you and your first thought is ‘well im not surprised because Im stupid/fat/not funny blah blah blah’ just STOP. Tell yourself to shut the hell up because this is wrong.

Recognise those unhelpful thoughts and stop for a second. What caused it? What has been the trigger? There will always be a reason and teaching yourself to be more aware of your reactions and control your influences is where the magic happens. You can then sit back and think about the initial problem and try to think of ways to overcome it. Push the negative self-talk further to the back of your mind.

It might still be there but the more accepting and aware you become, the quieter those comments become until they are a mere whisper.

Shout your self-appreciation louder. Drown out the crap and retune your focus. It’s okay to not be ok all the time, it’s just not ok to treat yourself like an enemy.

Write on your mirror – You are beautiful. Write in a journal what you love about your life and yourself. Gratitude and self-love will simply mean your mind is better shape to deal with life’s challenges, to build on your confidence and cultivate the life you really want.

My old favourite is always if you wouldn’t say it to your best friend or your child then don’t say it to yourself!

When you next look in the mirror please… smile. Tell yourself how bloody gorgeous you are. Remind yourself how strong and capable you are. Remind yourself that your health and life is a gift not to waste on negativity. Notice everything about yourself that makes you unique and allow yourself to feel good.

This is not arrogance. This is empowerment. This is seeing yourself how you really are.. beautiful.

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