A Thought for February

It is February. It should be cold, frosty and snowy but all over my garden are daffodils, primroses and crocus. The winter pansies are in full flower. It is glorious to watch everything waking up. I just hope that the flowers are right and we should be having an early spring. It makes so much difference to everyone’s attitude to life. A normally miserable month is doing its best to cheer us up! And soon it will be half term and that will bring even more joy.

But how many times today have you pulled your mood down by saying sorry to someone or something?

Did someone bump into you on the street? “Sorry”. Did you drop something loudly? “Sorry”. Did you ring up to complain about something and start with “Sorry”. Did you try to get into the same queue as someone else at the checkout? “Sorry”.

Our default position is to apologise. We assume we are in the wrong and we take the blame. Is it good manners or is it something deeper than that? Is it because we do not want to be seen to be arrogant? We do not want to put other people down?

Somewhere inside of each of us we want to be liked. We do not want to do anything that offends someone else, even someone we do not know yet. we are frightened to look proud, self-centred, arrogant or the word of the moment “narcissistic”.

All that is human and fine. If I apologise to the cheese I just dropped as I took it out of the fridge does it matter? Of course not and it often makes me laugh.

However, it does mean that we are not true to our emotions. Sometimes these constant little apologies build up and can lower our mood.

But there is another side to this: how good are we at celebrating? Life can be tough and we often go through rough patches, even the Queen had a bumpy year (didn’t she just). It means that times when we can celebrate are precious. Some families are very good at this. They celebrate a good day at school or at work by talking about it and praising achievements. However, we do not all come from supportive families who allow us to notice.

In my family the worst behaviour was to “show off”. This meant not telling anyone you were top in English or had an A* or this was a new dress. We were expected to play things down. Now I do understand this approach. Much of it was not about upsetting people who did not have something to enjoy and might never. However, long term it does mean that good things, important things are overlooked.

As a mentor I think this is tragic. Firstly, because I want people to learn from anything that has gone well. Why did it go well? What should I do again because it worked? And secondly, because I want someone to feel the wonderful sense of achievement, pure unadulterated joy at something going well or even more exciting getting a much better result than was ever expected. That amazing feeling should be treasured because it is amazing. However, it also creates confidence and can take someone forward into a strong, safe place.

So I encourage my clients to brag when they are with me. I want to know what they have to celebrate. I want them to feel fantastic. I want them to taste success, really savour the flavour.

It often starts by me asking them about their celebration ceremony. It might be food (understandable but not so good for the hips). It might be a celebration dance (I love those). It might be a special walk and a talk to the trees. It might be shouting out the joy when you are in the car. It might be wearing my success dress. It might be anything! The important thing is to have something that says to your subconscious – that was special and great, well done.

Then when they come to me for the regular session we celebrate all over again. It is behind closed doors so there is no need to apologise – you can be you and enjoy the wonderful feeling.

As a mentor I support, challenge and stretch you to be the best at whatever you do.

So if you like the sound of this approach and want to grow why don’t we talk? I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. Please feel free to contact me.

If this Thought has been interesting please share it and tell me about your celebration ceremony!

Life is good; let’s live it to the full, enjoy it and be the best we can be. AND may 2020 be a great year for you.

Email: [email protected]   Telephone: 01234 273644 or 07968 822275

Website: elizabethtoogood.com