The Art of Combining Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness

The Art of Combining Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness

Can emotional intelligence and mindfulness help us to appreciate life and create valued relationships? Our careers place so many demands on our time and attention. This can leave us to sometimes feel that we are not truly connecting with ourselves, our emotions or allow us to be mindful in different work situations. This can also be true in our personal lives.

Has life got so busy that we can’t stop to press the pause button and allow us to touch into our positive emotions and be mindful? To allow ourselves to take a deep breath, smell the roses or express appreciation for the great work that employees achieved on bringing a job in before its deadline? Connecting with self and others is an on-going responsibility in both our work and personal life. Without this connection tasks can become mundane and less rewarding, for all concerned. It can also lead to decreased production and higher turnover of staff in an organisation.

Taking a step back from the busyness of a day, to truly acknowledge and appreciate the work or ourselves and others, is the first step in being mindful. Displaying acts of praise can combine our emotional intelligence to mindfulness and can lift the heart of any soul. Showing gratitude can also have a positive effect that can inspire colleagues to improve their performance on the next task.

Until we become more mindful and combine it with an act of emotional intelligence, we may miss out on truly appreciating our work life. It can make for a happier and healthier work environment, creating positive collaboration, improved communication and integration of work between all departments. We are all responsible for connecting these two vital elements that can pave the way for success in relationships and businesses. Its effects can have the added benefit of filtering into our personal lives and creating a positive change there also.

Click here to find out more about emotional intelligence – Daniel Goleman.

Get Back to Enjoying the Basic Things in Life

Get Back to Enjoying the Basic Things in Life

Do you ever feel that the harder the work, the more stressed and less happier life can be sometimes? Trying to figure out what a good lifestyle is and how to achieve it can leave most of us searching for it, without actually achieving it. Have we become so consumed by the modern life, that we have forgotten that the simple things really do give us the most pleasure and a sense of real satisfaction. Have we replaced one bad habit for another, only to realise it too late, when we are burnt-out. Are we missing out on enjoying the basic common sense activities, which can fulfil our need to connect more, or striving to accomplish too much into our daily routines?

When was the last time that free-time offered an opportunity to walk carefree in a tree lined woods, balmy air beach or provided a chance to invite a friend over for a long lunch, that flowed with good honest conversation and a belly of laughter that left tears running down your cheeks?

Modern living has rapidly moved into a state of frenzy, leaving us to question where our time went and what are we really achieving. One example that comes to mind, the trendy fashion accessory smart phones, the must have gadget, which are now viewed as an extension of our hand. While they have many benefits, including connecting us to family and friends, especially those living away from home, they also seem to have replaced the personal connection of meeting with people. Couple this with the ever increasing use of online technology, namely social media, and a whirlwind of personal disconnection has emanated into our lives. The act of sending a hand-written letter to loved ones has almost become obsolete.

Think about it and compare corresponding by phone and in person. The connection of actually meeting with family and friends really leaves us with a sense of personal touch and truer connection. What if we left our phones at home when we go out for a walk, for a breath of fresh air in the country side or beach? What if we turned our phones on silent when family and friends called over to visit, while resisting the urge to look at it during their visit? Isn’t it time to cherish these and many more simple joys in life, which can reward us with deeper pleasure than technology or money could ever do?

Being aware of unhealthy distractions is the first step in reclaiming our life and valuable time. It can also reduce any feelings of anxiety and stress levels. Creating healthy boundaries is the next step, and it is a powerful choice to changing to a new way of being for the better, and restoring the soul. It doesn’t mean that we have to stop using phones or technology, as they do have many benefits. It simply means striking a balance and creating an opportunity to really connect with life and nature, which can contribute to more positive mental health.

Sometimes, we just need to realise that we need to slow down. We can’t keep demanding of ourselves to move at a fast pace all the time. Just as mother-earth requires farmers to rest their land one out of every seven years, we too need to rest at different paces during our lives.

Give it a try sometime. Enjoy the simple things in life. Get back to slowing down and living a good life. Share any success stories with family and friends, over a good cuppa or long lunch. This might be their inspiration to enjoy the simple things and breathe in life once again.

Click here for some more tips to enjoy life.

How to Improve Self Confidence to Approach the Task of Applying for Jobs

How to Improve Self Confidence to Approach the Task of Applying for Jobs

Even confident people can face low levels of self confidence at different stages of their lives. This is particularly true when making a career change or applying for jobs. College graduates, returners and individuals looking for change can all suffer the same fate, when transitioning in their life. This can leave us with a feeling of not being able to move forward to live out our fullest potential.

Regardless of who we are, facing this challenge can reap many rewards to anyone who is willing to risk and venture into the unknown. Listed below are some tips to increase self-confidence levels, explore which one(s) boost your morale:

  • –  Understanding what we truly want in life, in the areas of our work and personal life, is a journey of discovery – take time to ask: “What do I want?”
  • –  Invest in self-development and undertake the right activities to improve self. This can significantly boost confidence levels.
  • –  Check out some online platforms, like TEDX and YouTube, to seek out speakers on the area specific areas of improving confidence levels.
  • –  Set timely goals that can help to overcome procrastination, which can result in not accomplishing a task due to low morale or disbelief that the task can be achieved.
  • –  Start with self-belief and understand personal abilities. Others are more likely to believe in us, if we first believe in ourselves. Start by placing positive notes around our home. For example, “I am capable and excited to try new things”. Read them aloud first thing in the morning and at night, while breathing in our own truth.
  • –  Build new support networks and develop trusting relationships with positive people. Their feedback can be invaluable to boost self-belief.
  • –  List strengths and weaknesses. Flip both lists into positive solutions. For example, if confidence is low when delivering presentations, list options to improve presentation skills.
  • –  Take a risk and step outside the comfort zone, by starting with small steps first. It is important to celebrate each small achievement before progressing to the bigger ones.
  • –  Learn and practice to be assertive in different situations. Take a course or do some online research to improve assertiveness levels.
  • –  Reduce stress levels to boost confidence, by eliminating the stressors, with the on-going support of family or friends.
  • –  Try not to take knock-backs personally. Share any emotional ties to the recent situation with a trusted individual. This can increase self-awareness and help with overcoming similar future set-backs, by developing new coping mechanisms.
  • –  Strengthen body posture with regular exercise. Exercise can also release endorphins and a feel-good factor, and contribute to increased confidence.
  • –  Eat healthy to ensure that the metabolism is functioning correctly. A healthy body can boost brain power and work wonders on confidence levels.
  • –  Visualise outcomes to new starts in life.
  • –  Change old attitudes, to a ‘can-do’ attitude. This can help with progressing on the new journey, and reduce the risk of negative internal messages.

There is an old saying: “Fake it ‘til you make it”. To apply this concept, all that is needed is to call on our courage and motivation, believe in ourselves, and step out of our comfort zone. Finally, believe that all is possible if life, only when we are willing to make the change. We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment and share with us your tip for increasing self confidence

Click here for more tips to improve your self confidence levels.

Invest in Successful Networking – The People You Know

Invest in Successful Networking – The People You Know

Successful networking is an on-going long-term process to build up mutually supportive relationships. Supportive networks can include; family, friends, work colleagues, supervisors/managers and professionals. The key to fostering connections is to be respectful, genuine, trusting, considerate and consistent on all interactions, while appreciating the value of investing in a balanced and healthy give-and-take relationship.

Author a famous quote, Maya Angelou, states: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. On reflection, this statement reveals that emotions have a huge part to play in developing solid and potentially life-long connections with people that possess similar and diverse interests to us.

Understanding that the right support networks can take us out of our comfort zone, and help propel us to the next level of our career, which is important for constructive change. People can motivate us further than we could ever achieve when operating solo.

Effective listening can produce positive insights on the feedback that is freely given, only when the receiver is open to hearing the reflective conversation. Honest assessments in relationships can provide us with a mirror that potentially reflects our positive and negative attributes. Sincerity through constructive and mutual non-judgemental analysis is vital for beneficial insights to flow both ways in the friendship.

At times some feedback may hit a raw nerve and push us back to reach for our comfort-blanket. One way to overcome this is to look at the comments without the attachment of old emotions, by recognising that we can accept or store the comment for additional insights at a later date, to confirm if it is true or false. The answer will come when we are ready for it, and will resonate with us.

Evaluation of supportive networking connections is important to help realise if there is value for both people in the on-going relationship. Asking the right questions can provide clarity on future endeavours, such as: is this right job for me. For example, asking: if a job in nursing would suit my personality and do I have the required skills, can provide such clarity before investing time and effort in making the application. 

Healthy and constructive feedback is a sure sign that the connection between both parties is built on openness, mutual trust and good-will for prosperity in the other halves life. Whether in our work and personal lives, we all need people who have our best interests at heart. While they can be rare to find, it is worth exploring different avenues to acquire varied opinions in collaborative relationships that can help us find our true north.

Click here to find out more why networking is important for your career.

Procrastination: Our Biggest Nemesis!

Procrastination: Our Biggest Nemesis!

Is procrastination your biggest nemesis? Have you ever made a plan for the week ahead, only to realise at the end of the week that only 70% of tasks have been achieved? The project that was due on Monday is now delayed, due to other tasks taking valuable time. The dentist appointment was cancelled again, postponing it for another month. These examples can leave us with longer ‘to-do’ lists, than we started out with, for our next week’s schedule. We can start to feel overwhelmed with the thought of the impending tasks, which can leave us feeling a demotivated, deflated and frustrated.

Thesaurus defines the word procrastination as ‘defer, delay, postpone, stall, adjourn and putting off’. When we decide on any of these nouns for any activity, are we fooling ourselves? Is it that we initially planned too much into our week or have distractions sabotaged our best plans? Do we play super-hero in our lives, thinking that we are proficient at multi-tasking and need to be busy all the time?

We need to ask ourselves what is the pay-off for procrastination?  Putting jobs on the long finger, in both our careers and personal life, only serves to increase the pressure of an already busy life. Allowing distractions to consume and interrupt our flow of a prescheduled plan for the week and months ahead can be the biggest reason of why we procrastination. We may find ourselves being incapable of pulling up our reserves to finish those jobs because our stores of energy are at an all-time low and we don’t have the mental capacity to think clearly.

The solution can be simple. Go back to the drawing board and check:

  • –  Do we need to stop being a ‘people-pleaser’ person, and start saying ‘no’ more often?
  • –  Recognise that we have limits on our time and capability, and ask can we delegate jobs to colleagues or partners?
  • –  Can we switch off and restore the body and mind to help us increase our performance, and succeed at attaining a well-balanced ‘to-do’ list?
  • –  Do we need to ask: are some of our plans or jobs ready to be started yet? Have we been overenthusiastic to accomplish tasks ahead of time?
  • –  Are we being a ‘martyr’ in our career and work lives?
  • –  Do we need to take a relaxing holiday really soon, to recharge the batteries of our soul?
  • –  Can we change for the better?

Self-understanding and investing in our personal development is our first step to change in dealing with procrastination. Realising that it’s ok to fail in accomplishing what we initially set out to achieve is important. After all, we are only human. Reinvesting in our health and mental well-being, and family needs to be a priority in our lives. Allowing ourselves to be human and not a super-hero is ok too.

Starting with the important stuff first and taking it bit-by-bit, one day at a time, can make the whole process of work and life a lot easier. Eliminating non-essential activities can lessen the pressure, and even allow time to inhale the luxurious quiet moments of life again. Is it possible to seek an extended deadline on that project to allow for rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit to complete the job? Sometimes that we need to realise that in life we need to ask for a little compassion and seek the support of family, friends and professionals to help us when we are struggling to maintain balance.

Click here for more tips to help stop procrastination.

Feeling Stuck In Your Career?

Feeling Stuck In Your Career?

Do you feel happy in your current job or are you feeling stuck in your career? This is a positive question to ask; especially when we feel that our career has reached its full maturity. It can open the door to help identify if it is time for a change. The right change can come in many forms, including promotion within existing employment or change to a new employer.

This leads to the next step in asking another set of questions, including:

  • –  Do current skills need to be updated for an opportunity to seek a promotion?
  • –  Is there an opportunity to progress with the current organisation?
  • –  Does the job interfere with personal life activities, leaving little quality time in personal life?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then reassessing our life and current skills can be essential to identifying our next option. Assessing where we are at right now and where we would like to be in five years can provide the first insights on this process. Planning for both short-term and long-term career changes can help with the process, by breaking the changes into manageable bite-sizes. 

Many people go about their lives without fulfilling their fullest potential. Some may feel that they are at a crossroads in their life. There are many support networks available to help with any transition. This can include consulting with a Career Coach. The insights gained from this option can unlock hidden potential within, which can propel us on a new course for any future career. For example, their insights may identify that a natural leader is our top ability and that the job we are currently in is not fulfilling our true potential.

Other support networks can include family and friends. People that we have regular contact with in our lives can sometimes provide fresh insights and new opportunities, if we are brave enough to ask. Their feedback to the right questions can provide insight into unique talents that have yet to be explored. For instance asking how other people see us in both our work and personal life, can provide clarity on our next step. Asking for honest evaluation of our personal strengths and weaknesses can also provide insight to deepen our self-understanding.

It is important to ask the right people, the right questions. Truly supportive relationships will reciprocate positive feedback to help with becoming motivated on our journey. We need to remember, that in life, there are many options and it is never too late to alter the direction of our career. Sometimes all it takes is a little courage to change, resilience and clarity of focus to make the first step. Be the campaigner of your own destiny!

For some more tips, click here.

Wellbeing: Time to Relax

Wellbeing: Time to Relax

Is wellbeing important to you? Have you ever felt exhausted after a hard day’s work? Coming home to face another round of tasks in our personal life, and its demands, can leave us feeling a little overwhelmed. Wanting to be totally present to loved ones, but honestly feeling depleted of any energy, to truly give our very best. Knowing that the tiredness is really draining any stores of energy can affect our desire to give ourselves and others, in essence the love and support that is needed in family life.


Sometimes we may feel so passionate about our work, giving our total energy to it and not taking care of ourselves in the process that we are only fit to find comfort on the couch for the rest of the evening. We decide to leave household chores for another day. Then the laundry and cleaning starts to pile up, and we wonder why our weekend goes by so quick.  If this is has ever provoked the thought that something needs to change in order to experience a more rewarding balance of a work-life kind of living, then maybe this advice may inspire into an action of change –for the better.

What advice would our better self, give to a friend going through a similar situation? Would we recommend any of the following pieces of advice to improve theirs and our wellbeing?

  • –  Set a little me-time in between finishing work and going home to recharge the soul.
  • –  Have a home spa treatment by have a long soak in the bath with loads of bubbles and a lovely cuppa tea.
  • –  Create a treat night at home, by ordering our favourite take-away rounded up with a movie, game of cards or have fun with a board game.
  • –  Enjoy a little me-time when we get in the door, by putting on our fluffy slippers and reading a good hearty book.
  • –  Go for a short walk
  • –  Phone a friend, an open and honest discussion that can heal the soul.

We may have all experienced that the demands that we face at work can leave us feeling depleted and less than motivated when we go home. The solution can be as simple as planning to go home and nourish our soul with healthy comforts, which are good for the soul. Simple acts can also relax weary bones after any demanding day at work. Reconnecting with loved ones can create a feeling of love and support that inspires us to get up again. This is why it is so important to remind ourselves to take care of ourselves by practicing acts of love, kindness and gratitude to ourselves, and those we love.

Small acts of self-care can really make a big difference in creating a healthier work-life balance, and bringing restoration of wellbeing and peace back into our lives. It’s worth trying and watching for the rewards in the results that follow, those we anticipated and also the unexpected ones too.

Dealing With Failure

Dealing With Failure

At some point in our lives we have all experienced a sense of failure. Failure on getting a call for that interview, securing a job that will provide a much needed income, exams, performance targets, diet and fitness goals etc. It can be extremely painful and take us a long time to recover. It can be like somebody whips off a really stuck plaster on a wound, which can hurt even more than the first wound.

We all know that there are many bumps in the road, mountains to climb and hurdles to overcome. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. We may even think; why me? We may look at our friends or neighbours and think they are so lucky, but remember ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. Nobody gets away scot-free!

So, is there a secret cure to recovery quickly after failure? There are many ways to handle the feeling better and seeking out approaches that work is a good start to help with moving on or re-frame an experience beyond calling it or ourselves a failure.  There are many approaches and as we are all different and recover at different paces finding one that fits is a process of self-discovery.  We all handle setbacks or failures differently. We must remember that we have survived many failures in the past, and rebounded from them, and we will deal with and recover from this one too. All that is needed is a little time to reflect and a chance to lick our wounds. Some tips to soothe the soul and restore our faith could include:

  • –  The key is to be gentle with ourselves.
  • –  Don’t take it personally. The incident/result did not pan out the way we thought it would.
  • –  Seek supportive networks to help heal the mental and emotional pain, to restore our spirit. Take any valuable insights during this phase to help in future endeavours.
  • –  If needed, get mad and release any frustrations – in a safe way. Workout the pain through physical exercise, such as walking, running, boxing, etc.
  • –  Accept the situation, and then move forward one step at a time.
  • –  Push outside the ‘safety-blanket’ in gradual steps at first, until life once again springs a step back in our walk to leap again.
  • –  Count the blessings that we currently behold, and be appreciative of them.
  • –  Acknowledge that there are plenty of other opportunities, when we are ready to get up and try again.

Sometimes our failures can teach us a lesson. (Though at the time we may just have wanted the results) They can also show us that maybe this opportunity just wasn’t for us. Although, it is only when we are much further down the road in life that we recognise this insight, and then we are thankful. Our personal failures can also be instrumental in helping others on their journey too. Sharing our story and experience, at a later date, with others who face a similar dilemma of failure can help them to overcome their hurdles and climb their mountains.

For more tips, click here.

#failure #motivation #career

What Advice Would You Give to Your Teenage Self?

What Advice Would You Give to Your Teenage Self?

Trying to answer this question can be liberating and inspire some or many changes in our career and personal life. The advice that we would give to our teenage self is similar to advice that we would give to a good friend or colleague. This may be true if we find that they are struggling on their own journey to discover their true potential.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A well-known piece of advice that most authors, parents and colleagues might suggest would be to take more risks. What is there to lose? What is the worst thing that can possibly happen? Maybe that job interview won’t happen. Maybe performance levels in a recent interview were less than satisfactory. Maybe pride might have been dented somewhat. Maybe failure to secure a much needed income to support the family might happen. There are a lot of maybes. But sometimes, life may throw us an opportunity to succeed! Just maybe, that phone-call will happen for that job interview, or maybe the dream job might actually materialise.

Those who have dared to risk, or taken a leap out of their comfort zone can recount their success stories to that all important pivotal moment of risk. It may have changed their lives and careers. Look to the achievements of:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Mother Teresa
  • Richard Branson
  • Rosa Parks
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Mary Robinson
  • Mark Pollock
  • Father Peter McVerry


They dared to dream and go beyond the common self-limiting belief that they might fail. Self-belief probably played a major role in driving them toward fulfilling their destiny. Think about it, if they did not achieve what they set out to accomplish, then maybe we wouldn’t have the benefit of enjoying their victorious products and services. Their contribution to humanity radically changed many lives. There may even be an inspiring role-model in our life that we admire. Connect with them for inspiration, support and motivation. We all need the best support we can get when facing what we think is an insurmountable mountain.

It is only when we put ourselves out there, step out of our comfort zone, and explore new possibilities that we can then realise there can be so much more to life. Our happiness depends on it! So too does our career and personal life.

Get motivated. Never give up, keep going, and push through those negative self-limiting beliefs. Pose the question, ‘What if …?’ Ask colleagues what potential they see. Find life’s true purpose. There are plenty of opportunities waiting, if only we dare to dream and believe. Reach out today and grasp what is probably in the making to make life a great journey. Above all, have no regrets!

How to Effectively Negotiate During a Job Interview

How to Effectively Negotiate During a Job Interview

The very thought of an interview is unnerving, not to mind negotiating with HR recruiters around the salary or terms for the impending job. The interview itself can be demanding enough on mental capability when considering the rigorous questions that may be asked throughout the interview.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Typically the conversation of salary, holiday days, terms and non-financial package will be talked about toward the end of the final interview. By this stage, fatigue may have set in which can impact mental capacity to negotiate more assertively. At this stage of the process the assistance of experts in negotiation can be the ideal solution to achieving satisfactory results.

Recruitment Agency professionals can be more adept with negotiating terms on behalf of the potential candidate for the job. They practice this technique regularly for their client base, which can involve a lot of ‘toing-and-froing’ in the consultations between the HR recruiter and the Recruitment Agency. Enlisting the expertise of this profession can be invaluable. If dialogue with the recruiter is clear and terms are confirmed in advance, then it can mean the difference between securing a satisfactory job contract and terms versus taking what was offered.  Some people turn down jobs they have really wanted because they did not negotiate the right salary and package.  

The terms and conditions being sought need to be discussed and agreed in consultation with the agency recruiter, prior to the interview. This can provide the jobseeker with increased confidence that the package being offered will be in line with personal expectations.  It can also save time and money, by choosing not to attend an interview if the salary is inadequate.

It must be said that since the day we started talking, we were learning the art of negotiating with our parents. Without realising it we were skilfully crafting favourable outcomes for ourselves – as toddlers, tweenies’ and teenagers. We might have said to our parents: if I eat all of my dinner can I have some treats after.

The ideal situation of any negotiation is to create a ‘win-win’ scenario, resulting in a favourable outcome for both parties involved. Of course it has to be realistic and fair. Investing in our self-development is important in this area, if we prefer to act on our own behalf. Improving these skills can significantly help us to negotiate salary and terms of employment or in any other endeavour in life.