5 Tips On Letting Go Of Friendships

If-you-make-friends-with-yourself-Friendship-QuotesThis year I turned forty one. When I look back on my life so far, I can acknowledge and accept that I have grown and changed significantly as a person over the years. I would hope others would say I have become more grounded, open-hearted and wiser, but I am also aware that I have become less tolerant of nurturing friendships that no longer serve me well.

I think in my twenties I was keen to be liked, I wanted to be popular, have lots of friends around me and be accepted.  In my thirties I began to get to know myself on a deeper level, I began to realise what was truly important to me, and felt more comfortable in being open and honest about who I really was to others. When I hit forty, I began to look back at my life and all of the friendships I have had, the ones which have nurtured my soul and  helped me grow in different ways.  Fondly remembering the friends that have truly accepted me for who I am as a human being and have loved me unconditionally, through the good times and the difficult ones. And then there are the friendships that have been challenging, the ones that have made me question decisions I have made for myself, who I was, and sometimes those kind of friendships have even been incredibly stressful.

What this life experience has taught me, is that I no longer feel the need to try to be someone I am not, in an attempt to conform to how someone else feels I should be, or how they want me to be. It’s taken me years to really understand who I am, and to have a  acceptance of all my positive and negative aspects of what makes me uniquely me.

Accept that friendships will come and go, and this isn’t a negative thing –  Friendships serve us, in what ever way they are meant to, for however long we are meant to be experiencing them. It is my belief that every person we come into contact with can actually teach us something. They may be teaching us something about ourselves, them, or even situation we maybe experiencing. When we are open to that lesson, and we acknowledge it, it makes it easier to understand why maybe sometimes the dynamics of a friendship change, or maybe why it didn’t last as long as we expected it to, or why it didn’t evolve how we envisaged. When you look at the relationship from this higher perspective, it shows us how every friendship, no matter how it worked out, can enable us to grow on some level.

Do not feel guilty about distancing yourself from something that no longer serves you well –  During my twenties and early thirties, I had a wonderful friend who I spent a lot of time with. She was funny, kind and fun to be around. As we both got older our paths led us in different directions, I was career minded and she longed to nurture a family. Over time, the dynamics of our friendship changed. I had my own business, and was working every hour God sent. The global recession had hit, and I was desperately trying to make ends meet. Like many other small businesses at that time, it was simply a matter of survival. I had the responsibility of staff, as well as bills at work, and bills at home to pay. At the same time she had her first child, and was spending her time enjoying being a first time mum at home, caring for and raising her family.

One day, myself and this friend met her for lunch, and suddenly out of the blue, she announced she no longer felt the same about meeting up with me or our friendship. Our life path indeed had been very different to the one we walked in our twenties, and yes, we had gone off and done completely different things, but to me, we were still the same people underneath all the drama of life.  At the time, I remember I was incredibly hurt but her comment, it came out of nowhere and looking back, it was at a time I really needed support and encouragement from my friends. Feeling totally confused and off guard, I immediately launched into a list of reasons why I was working so hard, almost as if I was trying to justify the personal life choices I had made. It was incredibly soul-destroying, and I left the restaurant close to tears.

Looking back, what this experience taught me, was my friend was judging me, for whatever reason, for the life choices I had made. My vision of what I wanted in life, was in fact very different to what she wanted, and for whatever reason, she therefore felt our friendship must be different too. The truth was, our friendship wasn’t different at’ll, but her expectations of what our friendship should be, in her mind, had in fact changed.

In any friendship, the moment you are unable to completely be yourself, in your own truest essence, unconditionally, in someone else’s company, than in truth that friendship may not serve you well.  You should never be made to feel unworthy, different, unkind, or even selfish, simply on the grounds of the fact you have made different life choices to your friends. Your most valuable friends should love you, nurture you, respect you and be happy for you, even if your day-to-day life is very different from theirs.

Accept that you may not always be in someone’s life either, even if you want to be – Friendships have to be a two-way agreement. And sometimes we change too.  Don’t take things personally, or over analyse the situation, if you find someone isn’t in contact with you as much as they once were. Remember, we are in an age where people’s lives are super busy. Family, work, hobbies and well life, can just take over. Our priorities may shift during certain stages in our lives, and often we find those who once inspired us, or motivated us, or simply made us feel good about ourselves, no longer serve that purpose.

Do not harbour prolonged feelings of anger, disappointment or sadness when friendships move on – Friendships come on many levels. We have friends who we may simply meet for lunch or down the pub for a chat, and then we have the friends that we have bared our souls to. The ones who know everything about us, all our victories and all our failures. So it’s not surprising that we sometimes feel the similar kind of emotions we may experience when we break up with a partner. Feelings of hurt, confusion, anger, bitterness, sadness, loneliness can often consume us, and this is fine. We need to truly experience whatever emotion comes up. Just remember not to get bogged down in these thoughts. Remind yourself it isn’t beneficial to cling to something that is no longer what it used to be, acknowledge that the relationship has moved on, for whatever reason, and it’s actually o.k that you and your friend, are no longer spending so much time together. Your expectations of one another may have changed, and ultimately, we all make choices based around our own desire to experience happiness. I always try to look at friendships from a higher perspective, and try to remain focused on all that was good, and everything productive that relationship taught me.

Always be grateful for the friendship, no matter how it worked out – Our life is made up from millions of experiences, day in, day out. The people we meet and bond with, help to create an important part of those experiences. Never regret a friendship that maybe didn’t evolve in a way you had hoped, even if it caused you pain or sadness. I believe, we can either look at our past friendships in a way that can hinder us or help us. Always remember, the pair of you did have a connection on some level, otherwise you wouldn’t have considered that person as your friend. Always try to remain grateful for the good experiences you shared, as this places your thoughts and personal energy in a more positive vibration, which will help aid the healing process and enable you both to move on.

     

10 Mindful Tips On Being a Great Boss.

keep-calm-and-lead-the-way“To become truly great, one has to stand with people not above them” – 

When I first became a manager at the tender age of eighteen, I found the whole experiencing very exciting but also extremely daunting. What I lacked in life experience I certainly made up for with enthusiasm, and as I grew and improved as a person, so did my managerial skills.

For some,  leadership comes very naturally but for others it proves to be quite challenging.  Over the past 20 years of being in a managerial role of some form or another,I have done some things well and others not so well. The stress of meeting targets, working very long hours, having responsibilities and managing staff with an array of different personalities, strengths and weakness, can often prove exhausting but also very exhilarating. The biggest lesson I have learned over the years, is that a good manager always continue to keep learning themselves. It doesn’t matter how many years experience you have, things will continue to be sent your way to teach you and help you hone your leadership skills even more.

For me, a good leader should be knowledgeable at their skill, confident, a fantastic communicator, hardworking and above all, they should be kind, compassionate and supportive of their team. As a leader you set the example to your staff, respect should be gained through your interaction with your colleagues, not simply through the job title you hold.

Always be mindful of the fact that being skilled and knowledgeable at your trade, doesn’t automatically make you a good manager – I am very lucky in the fact that in my job role I get invited into other people’s beauty businesses, to asses and offer advice on how to improve the business’s performance as a whole.  One of the first things I always do is assess how strong a manager the business owner is.  In our careers we have all been managed by some good leaders, one’s that have inspired us and made us want to work harder simply through our respect for them. And then there have been others that we have considered to be weak leaders, or aggressive and domineering, or just plan lazy and uninterested in what we do or what we have to offer.  Yes, of course good managers should be good at what they do on a technical level, but managing a business or team, goes so much further than that.  Once we acknowledge and accept this is an integral part of how we perform on a managerial level, we can begin to start looking honestly at our own strengths and weaknesses and see where we can improve and learn from them.

Acknowledge the fact your business is as much about your staff as it is about you – The more we focus on helping our staff grow and develop, the more we grow and develop alongside them. It’s very easy to get bogged down with what we want to achieve in our  own career path and in our own business, that sometimes we forget, as managers, part of our role is to actually help others grow and progress too.

Always be truly present – it’s so easy to get distracted with all the responsibilities a managerial role entails. We have emails to answer, phone calls to take, business meetings to attend, targets to reach and clients to see.  Ensure you take regular moments out throughout the day to remind yourself to be truly present. For me, I like to get outside in my lunch break and sit by the local river near my spa. I take time to focus on my breathing and tune in to the sounds of nature around me. This helps to keep me grounded, connected and truly present.

Find out what motivates your staff – People are motivated by very different things. For some its money, a good financial reward or goal will keep them happily plodding along each day, working at their best. For others it could be recognition, or their own personal career development. Some may find motivation by being given responsibility or even having the opportunity to teach others.  Don’t assume that everybody is motivated by the same things as you.  Once you have discovered what motivates each and every member of your team, you can then set tasks, goals and rewards to keep everyone working towards something that is actually important to them.

Always be kind and compassionate – This may sound like the obvious, but at times, some find that remaining calm and compassionate in challenging situations at work, can actually be very difficult. As a manager, you will no doubt sometimes come across staff who you may deem as being difficult or challenging.  How many of us have seen those hot-headed type bosses, the ones that raise their voices a lot, and feel like there is nothing wrong in being openly irritated in certain people’s company?  When ever you find yourself in a challenging situation, remind yourself you should be setting an example to other members of your team.  Take a moment to step back from the situation and view it from all angles. Why does this staff member behave like he or she does?  Is it a regular occurrence or fairly rare?  How will your handling of the situation affect everyone else in the office? Easier said than done sometimes I know. But possessing the ability to always be calm, collected and compassionate, no matter what is thrown at you, is a great attribute to bring to the table.

Don’t take the actions and wants of others too personally – When I first started out as a manager, this was something I found really hard not to do. I wanted everyone to be as passionate and enthusiastic as I was. I longed to create a working environment for my colleges that would help them want to achieve the best they could in the company, and help obtain the same motivation and drive that I had. Obviously, this would often leave me feeling frustrated and disappointed.  The fact is a good manager has to be respectful of the fact that everyone is on a different journey and everyone has different goals, motivations and ambitions to where their life should be going.  As a business owner, it can be difficult to see staff come and go, especially when you feel you have worked so hard to create something that you think is truly special and you believe to treat your staff well.  But life is life, things and circumstances change, and what once suited your employee’s one day, may actually change the next.  I always tell my staff the same thing, that they will be with me as long as we still both need to learn something from one another, and we can continue to grow from that knowledge and our relationship.  And at the time someone decides they want to leave my spa, I will wholeheartedly respect and support their decision, because it is obviously the right decision for them and it is at that point, our mutual lesson has been learned.

Be aware of your personal energy – Happy, enthusiastic and joyful leaders, in general, promote the same kind of feelings of happiness and joyousness to their staff.  How hard is it to be grumpy and unmotivated by someone who can continually make you smile or even laugh?  It’s in our nature to want to seek and experience happiness, it is a natural human desire.  So every time you walk into your office or working environment, no matter what is going on in your personal life, try to exude the same positive, happy attitude you would love your staff to reflect back at you.

Always make time to listen to your staff – Many of my staff have been with me for years and no matter how well I think I know them, I always schedule in personal one on one time throughout the year, to give them the opportunity to simply talk to me and for me to simply listen. It may be in my office, over coffee or lunch, or even in the pub (if they are lucky enough!). Letting your staff know you have time for them, and that you truly do care about their happiness within the work place, goes a long way. It’s simple, happy staff are more productive and more loyal staff.

Give praise when praise is due – When my staff have done well, or have gone above and beyond the call of duty, I will always ensure it is acknowledged and let them know that I am grateful for it. It may be a simple thank you suffices, or a small gesture like a box of chocolates or bottle of wine shows an extra element of appreciation.  We are now in an age, where too many people are working longer hours, with more responsibilities and are receiving very little thanks in return. The global recession has left many  people fearful of losing their jobs, and it has most definitely increased the pressures that we have all experienced at some time in our working careers.  It doesn’t take much to let your staff know you have taken on board how hard they are working, or that you have noticed that they have stayed late a few nights to get a job done.  People need to know when their efforts have been noted, a heartfelt thank you can mean a lot to someone sometimes.

Be the inspiration – Great leaders inspire people. Be passionate, be ethical and be kind.  Share your knowledge to the best of your ability and have a deep-rooted desire to help everyone that wants your help, to be the best they possibly can in life. A great leader teaches the pupil, with the hope that one day, that pupil will go out and far surpass everything he has been taught. Support, motivate, encourage and then sit back and with joy, watch them spread their wings.

12 Tips On Letting Go Of Love

letting-go-quotes-13“Sometimes love means letting go, when you want to hold on tighter” – unknown

Learning to let go of someone we love can be one of the most difficult and challenging experiences we may face in life, especially if we believe that person is our soul mate.  It can send us into a spiral of different emotions, ones of pain, grief, frustration and unhappiness.  Sometimes it is even harder to accept that someone doesn’t love you as you love them, or that they have decided their life would be a happier place without you in it.  The most challenging thing we need to remember, is that we should never lose ourself, just because someone is prepared to you lose us. Life will never be simple, and learning to love even when the outcome may not be what we had hoped for, is simply another lesson for us to embrace, learn and grow from.

1. Accept and embrace the moment fully – Feeling and accepting pain is hard, but to truly work through something we have to feel it fully. Don’t fight it, the more we try to fight and stifle our emotions, the more we can unintentionally prolong our feelings of negativity and sadness, this in turn can cause us much unnecessary stress. Suppressing grief and anxiety can also eventually start to manifest in our physical bodies and in time, this can in fact make us quiet poorly.

2. Don’t continue to dwell on ‘what might have been’ – simply because it isn’t. You are not serving yourself well, the more you play scenarios in your head about how a relationship may have turned out. Remind yourself you are no longer with that person for a reason, and continuing to romanticize about something from the past, is preventing you from living in the present moment.

3. Remind yourself how awesome you were before the relationship – a breakup can often leave you with feelings of self-doubt and insecurities.  Take a moment to remind yourself of the person you were before the relationship occurred. This can help refocus your attention to the positive things, about you and your newly single identity.

4.Don’t compare yourself to someone else – If your relationship has ended because your partner has found someone new, refrain yourself from making comparisons to that person. You may believe you are a better person, a kinder person, a funnier person, or a more suitable partner, but constantly making comparisons to someone else, someone who your ex is now happier with, will only leave you with feelings of frustration, anger and sadness. Stop trying to walk in your ex’s shoes, remind yourself their life isn’t yours to control.

5.Allow the tears to flow – Crying is an integral part of the healing process, it releases feelings of fear, unhappiness and grief. Don’t be angry at yourself for wanting to have a good sob. Embrace the feelings of sadness, and ride gently on the waves of your tears.

6.Be safe in the knowledge you will experience love again – When we lose someone we loved with all our heart and soul, often we are overwhelmed with the fear we will never love again. When these negative thoughts engulf you go and sit somewhere quietly and write in a journal everything you know that is good and positive about yourself. Do you think you are a kind person, hard-working, understanding and compassionate?  You can try calling a friend to see if they can help you out, if you find it a hard task to do on your own.  Switching our focus to our positive qualities, can in turn help negative feelings into more hopeful ones.  Everyone has unique and beautiful qualities, we sometimes just need to take the time to remind ourselves of our own.

7.Identify what the relationship taught you – this can be hard to do early on, but once we have had a little time to heal, often we can look back on a relationship and see what that union taught us. I strongly believe everyone we come into contact with in our life time has been sent to teach us something, and in turn in some way they will help our soul grow. Years a go, I was in a very controlling and negative relationship. My partner at the time was a very insecure and aggressive man.  Years on I can now look back and see that relationship taught me patience, how insecurities can effect others and how I should only be in relationships that serve me well, because I deserve nothing less. At the time, it was a very painful experience, but now I realise it had great value to the person I am now, and also how I now treat others.

8.Don’t cling on to something you didn’t own in the first place – We experience love, but we do not own it. People fall in and out of love all the time, sometimes we change or our partner changes. Sometimes our circumstances alter and this affects how we feel. It may be we still love one another, but in life we want different things. Love is a wonderful emotion, it is the foundation of our soul, but remind yourself love isn’t ours to own like a nice car or a big house, it isn’t a possession. Love comes and goes as it pleases, it cannot be forced or locked away so it can never escape.  Don’t turn love into an attachment, embrace it wholeheartedly when it’s appears, but also let it go freely when it asks to leave.

9. Don’t view your entire identity on being loved – You are you, in your truest form. You don’t need to be in a relationship to have your own identity. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you who you are. Remind yourself of this every time you start to feel negative or sad about being on your own.  Once we let go of the notion we need a partner to make us whole, being on our own becomes a little easier. You are complete simply as you are, just as you were the day you were born.

10.Create and embrace your single identity – Start to empower your single status. Go to the gym to feel good about yourself. Spend quality time with your friends and family. Delete any emails or texts from your ex and stop stalking them on social media sites, just to see what they are ‘up to’. The less time you spend in the past, the more room you give to your future.

11. Do not have regrets – You cannot change your past. So stop living like you can. Regrets never serve you well, we don’t have the option to turn back time and do things differently, we can only learn from our past experiences and move on from them.

12. Acknowledge the experience and bless them on their journey – even if a break up has been a very painful one, after a period of healing, I always take the time to meditate and explore what the relationship taught me. I then visualise that person in my mind, I surround them with love and bless them wholeheartedly on their journey. They may have only been with me a while, and at times it may not have been a very beneficial relationship (after all we broke up for a reason), but for me it’s a point of closure.  We served each other in what ever way we needed to at the time, and taking a moment to acknowledge, honour and respect that fact, helps me process the experience and move on from it.

Six Tips on Dealing With Insecure People

“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” – Lazurus Long

Feelings of insecurity, we have all experienced them at some point in our lives.  A jealous feeling deep within our being due to an experience we felt was out of our control.  A moment of fear when we believed someone may have been talking negatively about us. A deep-rooted worry that a partner may no longer love us.  Look back, we have all been there and it is never a nice place to be.

Feelings of constant insecurity and doubt about our worth and value, is nothing short of destructive to our peace of mind and ultimate happiness in life.  Being in a relationship of some sort with someone who is very insecure can also be draining and challenging for everyone involved.

In my career as a manager and business owner, I have had the challenge but also pleasure of managing some very insecure people. In my early years I would find peoples insecurities frustrating and even tiresome. Now I try to take pleasure in helping these type of people acknowledge their insecurities and then try to help them to embrace these feelings, with the view of growing and reaching a new-found wisdom.

The need to control. Insecure people can often have an over whelming desire to control the relationships around them and situations that are be presented to them. Insecurities can make a person feel as if they are constantly walking outside of their comfort zone, and we all know how that feels. Because of this, they will often desperately try to control the views, opinions and actions of others.  Try to acknowledge this when you see it happening, and rather than become frustrated with the other person, empathise, but do not let feelings of sympathy allow the controlling action to continue.  What you don’t want to do is encourage controlling behaviour, because if you do, their behaviour will never alter and ultimately you will be helping to feed your friends/partner insecurities even more.

I was once in a relationship with a really insecure partner. He didn’t like me going out on my own with my friends, dressing in a certain way or even meeting new people. It was the most suffocating relationship I have ever been in, and when I realised I was changing who I was to please him, it finally dawned on me that it was time to move on.

The need to always be right and never wrong .  Insecure people will often need to have the last word and will sometimes find it hard to accept others views or opinions, often believing their view is the only ‘right’ view point. They will also often get very frustrated if you express a different opinion or even challenge their own beliefs. Again be mindful if this kind of situation arises, there is no point becoming angry or frustrated. I will gently challenge someone’s opinion if I disagree with it, yes, but would never get into a heated discussion.  If someone really isn’t listening to you and you are finding yourself with feelings of frustration, you can gently divert the conversation in another direction, or even take a moment to be silent.

Finger pointing and fault-finding.  Insecure people will often blame others for their own unhappiness and insecurities. Secure, happy and confident people, may not always be happy with a certain situation but they won’t always be looking to point the blame at everyone else.  This is something I have dealt with on many, many occasions as a manager.  The classic excuse of  “It’s so an so’s fault I’m unhappy because he/she didn’t do this or that”.  Again, I do not tolerate this kind of excuse finding behaviour if it is unwarranted. I will always point out gently and with kindness and compassion, why that clearly isn’t the case and offer a positive solution of how that person can start to take responsibility for their own actions and happiness.

Not wanting to share your happiness or success. This is a common cause for friendships and partnerships to breakdown, when one persons insecurities inhibits their ability to be happy for someone else’s good fortune or success.  You may have been friends with someone for a while, or in a relationship that was ticking along nicely, and then suddenly your situation changes, and your partner or friend begins to find it difficult to share your happiness. You may get a new job, find a new boyfriend, buy your dream home and before you know it your friend, for no ‘obvious’ reasons no longer wants to spend time with you.

This can be hurtful and confusing for all of those involved. Your partner/friend may be struggling with such feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness and jealousy, that she finds it really difficult to see you spending time with your new man, enjoying your new job etc. For you, it can leave you feeling really hurt and confused that your friend, who you valued, suddenly can’t be happy for you.  Insecure people can feel threatened very easily, and will often struggle to keep the upper hand when it comes to their careers, relationships and personal life as this gives them a sense of worth. Insecure people can also often ‘shut down’ and appear to ‘turn on you’ for no real valid reason. Finding it increasingly challenging and difficult to deal with their negative feelings and emotions.

A few years ago,  I had a female colleague that I truly cared for as a friend. I had worked with her on a professional level for some years, and really valued her talents. We worked really well together, until I suddenly noticed that she was beginning to show signs of insecure behaviour. She became almost paranoid about other professional women in our field, and she truly thought that people were ‘against’ her in some way. Everything was becoming a bit of a drama.  The more successful she became the more irrational her behaviour grew, until one day, she actually turned on me. It was unexpected, unnecessary and quite honestly it was unkind.  Her insecurities had caused her to become over analytical and judgemental of people and situations.  This in turn caused her much internal unhappiness and anger.   At the time, it was a situation that caused me a great deal of angst and sadness. Years later, I can see the value of the lesson through much wiser eyes and a more open heart.   Deep inside she was hurting, and was desperate to find a deeper sense of happiness. Her problem was she was looking at recognition from her career path to do this, rather than from deep within her soul.

Bouts of Anger or Frustration: In all my years as a manager I have seen that many insecure people carry a lot of anger and frustration. Ultimately insecurities are formed from our childhood experiences and situations that we have faced in our younger years, experiences that we are still holding onto which are affecting how we interact in the world as adults. Because of our insecurities we may find it difficult to extend love, and instead we choose to extend anger and frustration.  We return to child mode.  In these types of situations,  ensure you don’t return the persons behaviour with your own anger, instead you should act with compassion and an open heart. Of course this may be a challenge to you, especially if someone has been rude or hurtful towards you. The fact is, you can still be firm and get your view-point across but you can do it in a way that diffuses the situation completely and actually deflects the anger away from both of you.  More often than not, when you respond in such a way, the other person involved can start to see that their own angry outburst was wrong and totally unnecessary.

Encrypted Social Media Rants.  I suppose I am not surprised at the amount of people who turn to their social media sites to post encrypted rants about things they are unhappy with, but I really don’t see how it benefits anyone.  Other than getting a few things off of your chest in a public forum, for the world to see, how does that serve anyone well?  I personally feel, if you have a friend or partner that feels the need to do this, do not get into a conversation with them about it online, or comment on their post. Encouraging such negativity in fact just feeds their negativity, and in turn empowers it even more.  Secure, confident people, who value your friendship, will have the decency to talk to you face to face about something you may or may not done that has caused them upset.  Not feel the need to write some random coded status update on Facebook or such like.  Random ranty posts are just screaming for attention. Ignore them.

Secure, confident and happy people will generally be unfazed by others insecurities, approaching them with an open heart and a wise mind.  Secure people also rarely experience feelings of jealously or anger due to someone else’s good fortune. Instead they will wholeheartedly embrace the happiness of others and look within to be grateful for their own.

Stop Worrying About What People Think Of You

“What other people think of me is none of my business.” ~Wayne Dyer

2012 started with a great deal of reflection for me. This is the year I have decided I am going to find more of a work and life balance, as well as concentrate wholeheartedly on the people who love me for me.  Even with all my quirkiness, faults and flaws.

I have contemplated writing this post for some time, mainly because it’s content is drawn from the experience of someone not liking a piece that I previously wrote on another blog. On reflection, I have decided the whole experience taught me much, and in sharing what I have learned from the experience, may help someone else deal with negativity shown from others and understand how peoples insecurities can in fact effect their actions.

Some years ago I opened a salon in North Kent, and before I launched the new business I imparted much time and effort into researching what all the other beauty businesses around me already offered.  During this same period I was under taking sessions with a salon business coach.  She was just fabulous. Janice had over 25 years experience in the industry, she was knowledgable, confident and knew a great deal about promoting and growing new businesses within my sector.  During my spare time I was writing a blog, a blog which was connected to my mobile beauty business.  It was just made up of mindless chit chat, my thoughts and details of the services I offered.  Without my knowledge, my business coach had read my blog and during my next session with her, she had mentioned how she thought I had a talent for writing and that she felt I should utilise this talent to support and help expand the new business.

So over the next few weeks I started to write more regular posts, and to my surprise more and more people started reading my blog.  About two months before my new salon was due to open, Janice told me to write a blog post focusing on what the new salon would be offering.  Most importantly she wanted me to focus on what made my new salon different to all the others that were already established businesses. She advised me to be honest, not airy fairy and to say exactly why I had chosen the theme I had and why I had selected certain the products over others. In short she was telling me to shout about my USP, making it clear what made us different.

I thought long and hard about this, and decided what made my salon unique, was it’s very holistic approach, coupled with the fact I had tried to source products and services that no other salons in the area offered.  Over ten beauty establishment within a 5 mile radius of our new salon, offered the exact same product line.  Purposely selecting a different product brand from everyone else, in fact made our services very different from the offset.

A few days later I wrote my post.  I did exactly what Janice had told me to do, and asked her to read it before it was published. I purposely hadn’t mentioned any other businesses (there were many beauty establishments close by), but had basically highlighted what was already on offer on the High Street in the UK and what made us so different.  Janice was delighted with the post.  She told me it was informative, professional and did in fact reflect exactly what most salons already offered in the UK and what made us unique.

About three months later, I logged onto my computer to be met with an email from an anonymous person who had quite clearly read the post in question. I can only describe the email as a total angry rant.  I was astounded. From what I could establish the lady concerned owned a beauty business nearby and for whatever reason, she had read my post and decided, I had nothing better to do with my time, then write the entire piece with the intention of taking a personal swipe against her.  In truth, I was completely amazed.

I forwarded the rather unpleasant email to Janice, as I was truly confused how this lady could have come to the exact conclusion that she had. Janice’s reply read simply this…

“As and when you become more successful in life, certain people will start to pay more attention to what you do and say. Unfortunately some of those will spend more of their energy dissecting your thoughts and actions, than they will their own” 

It all became clear.  The poor woman in question, had such insecurities of her own, that she had read the post and truly believed the entire piece was directed at her.  In turn this had made her angry as she was of the opinion that the thoughts, actions or decisions of others, could directly or indirectly effect her business. Let’s be honest, some time in our lives, we have all been there.  We have found ourselves feeling insecure enough to be subject to that very uncomfortable, is he or she talking about me moment?  We may have overheard a conversation, or read something on a social networking site and for a split second wondered, is that directed at me?

At this point, I actually felt a little sorry for her.  She obviously didn’t know anything about me, and to actually think someone would go out of their way to publicly try and bad mouth one of their competitors, on the internet, for all and sundry to read, (which is basically what she was accusing me of), is a sure stark way for your business to fail from the offset. It isn’t rocket science after all.

This event propelled me into reflecting on the subject of peoples insecurities, and how in turn insecurities can effect the judgement’s that we make about others.   I have previously written posts on how judging another, is actually more of a reflection of ones self, than it is of the person you are judging. There is that old saying, when you point your finger at someone, there are always three fingers pointing back at you.

The fact is, most people that aren’t within our own social circles, aren’t paying us that much attention. They have enough going on within their own lives to be worrying about what we are doing.  And secondly, those who are paying us attention, and are then subsequently judging or speaking badly about us, aren’t the kind of people you want to be around you anyway.  It’s usually their own insecurities or feelings of jealously that causes them to monitor, dissect and judge your actions in the first place.  The issue is in their head or heart, not yours.

We are social creatures, and our need to socialise and be popular with others is deeply rooted within our make up.  We constantly seek love and approval, even if we don’t realise we are doing it. It’s simply a natural human trait.

In my twenties, I was the kind of person who wanted to be liked.  I absolutely hated it if someone didn’t ‘understand me’ or thought I was something I wasn’t. Spending this amount of energy worrying about their opinions of me was in fact a total waste of time. In my thirties, I learned the only opinions that really count, are those of the people that love and care about me for who I really am.

I am not perfect by any means, but I do always try and walk with an open and compassionate heart, however when I find myself on the receiving end of someones unfair judgements, I will endeavour to bless that person on their journey and continue on with mine. There is never any point dwelling on those judgements, those judgements are there in the first place because the other person involved isn’t able to open their heart a little further, and show a little compassion or a better understanding of the given situation.   I will  no longer allow someones misguided thoughts and opinions to effect me in a negative way. In short,  I no longer possess the need to be liked by someone who clearly judges or doesn’t like me.

As we walk through this journey of life, not everyone is always going to like you, and that’s O.K.  In truth, if you look at the bigger picture, does it really matter?  Stop paying attention to the thoughts in your head that people may be talking about you, or judging you, they probably aren’t, and if they are, simply try your hardest to make it your intention not to judge them back.

People will be brought to us during this life time to teach us lessons, the negative or judgmental people can in fact be our greatest teachers.