Are you _____ Enough?

Are you _____ enough?Everyone has at least one.
Most people have more than one.
Several people have a lot.
A lot of what?The blanks.

The blanks that complete the following sentences:

I’m not _________ enough

I wish I was __________ enough

Will I ever be ________ enough

Why aren’t I ________ enough

If only I could be _______ enough

When will I be __________ enough

…and what are the blanks?  Take your pick, there’s plenty to choose from:

I’m not pretty enough

I’m not smart enough

I’m not thin enough

I’m not feminine enough

I’m not funny enough

I’m not good enough

I’m not desirable enough

I’m not successful enough

I’m not adventurous enough

I’m not giving enough

I’m not doing enough

I’m not happy enough

I’m not sexy enough

I’m not strong enough

I could easily fill this whole page and still not run out of words.But the blanks aren’t the problem.The blanks seem like the problem, but in reality the problem comes from the end of the sentence.  Enough.The question that no-one ever asks themselves is “What is ‘enough’ anyway?”How will we know when we’re enough? How will we feel when we’re enough?  What will enough look like?

Enough compared to….

When we use this dangerous term (enough should be the new four letter word if you ask me), we are subconsciously comparing ourselves.

We’re not enough compared to what?

Well often the first thought here is ‘other people’

People often compare themselves to friends, family or celebrities. They think “I’m not skinny enough compared to <<name the latest size zero celeb>>” or I’m not pretty enough compared to <<name friend / family member or colleague>>”, or “I’m not successful enough compared to <<name colleague, friend or the latest billionaire entrepreneur>>”.

At least when you do it this way, you stand a chance.  Because if they’re real people, they also have real problems, real challenges and real flaws the same as everyone else.

But for most people they’re not comparing themselves to others.

Oh no, they go one better.

They compare themselves to this picture perfect idealised version of themselves that is humanly impossible to achieve.  Expecting themselves to be absolutely perfect, and describing themselves as ‘not enough’ when they don’t measure up.

This version of themselves looks perfect, has the perfect career, the perfect relationship, the perfect car, the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect lifestyle, and always does, says and behaves in a perfect way.

It was exhausting even writing that!!

But comparing yourself to it on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis is completely and totally debilitating.

You’re setting yourself up to feel bad, before you’ve even begun.

The question is, what is enough?

What does the word even mean?  Well, to put it succinctly it means adequate.

…and so every time we question whether we are ________ enough, we are telling ourselves that we are inadequate.

I challenge you to show me any woman anywhere who isn’t adequate, who isn’t enough exactly as she is.

You won’t find one.

Why?

Because we’re born enough….we just spend the next however many years we get to hang out on this planet convincing ourselves that we’re not.

…and it’s bullshit.

Because we are enough, just as we are.

Enough is Enough with Enough

If you ask me, you’re more than enough.

You’re everything you need to be and more.

You see if enough is all about achieving a standard of perfection, you’re already there.

Because you’re perfectly imperfect, just like me.

Which means that you are enough, right here, right now, just as you are.

So I invite you this week to notice all of the places where you use the word enough, out loud, in your own mind….and even all of the places where it hangs silently, not being said explicitly but hovering nonetheless in the back of your mind.

..and every time this new expletive appears, I would like you to find the nearest reflective surface, look yourself in the eye, smile and say 7 simple words, and mean them from the heart…

 

“I am enough, just as I am”
Then allow yourself to absorb it.
Simple.  To the point.  True.
…and any time you hear your inner voice starting to argue back with bullshit stories or made up ‘reasons’ why that’s not true, you get to add another 3 words to the sentence.
“Thanks for sharing.
I am enough, just as I am”
…and notice the difference it makes in how you feel.Because you know you arrived in this world as a gorgeous diamond….beautiful and full of sparkle.
You’ve just allowed your inner critic and the rest of the world to dull your shine a little bit…so it’s time to get out the polishing cloth and realise that the beautiful, flawless, sparkling diamond is still there, and by you seeing it’s value it can shine even brighter.
Be gentle with yourself, and recognise how brightly your diamond still shines…especially when you see and appreciate its value.Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you have someone that you need to forgive? Are you aware that person is probably you?

Do you have someone you need to forgive?Most people have someone they need to forgive…

Generally speaking, we all tend to agree that forgiveness is a good thing.

…and as we go through this rollercoaster called life, the chances are that we will have reason to forgive one or two people along the way.

Maybe they’ve hurt our feelings.

Maybe they let us down.

Maybe they said something that upset us.

Maybe they took something from us.

Maybe they didn’t behave the way we wanted or expected them to.

Maybe they weren’t there when we ‘needed them’.

Whether it’s friends, family, work colleagues or a significant other, the chances are that you’ll come across the ‘forgiveness thing’ at some point or another.

So who is it you need to forgive?

The question I have for you though is “Are you forgiving the right person?”

In these kinds of situations, you might think that the answer is obvious.

If someone said something that upset us, then the person who needs forgiving is them, right?

If someone took something from us, then the person who needs forgiving is them…no?

If someone hurt our feelings, then the person who needs forgiving is them, is it not?

If someone let us down, then the person who needs forgiving is them…

…or is it?

You see, I had an experience with this during which I had a bit of an epiphany.

When I used to think about my ex-boyfriend, a lot of ‘stuff’ came up.

I was angry, hurt and embarrassed about what happened.

He dumped me the day before Valentine’s day, he left me broken hearted, he ‘borrowed’ the majority of my savings account and he lied to me.

He did this.

He did that.

Because when you’re hurt it’s so much easier to put the blame somewhere else.

It was his fault.

He was awful to me.

He was a bad person.

I knew I didn’t want to carry all this baggage around about the experiences that I’d had…so I knew it was time to forgive.

It felt like a tall order to forgive him…but I knew it was something I was doing for me, not him.

One morning I was journaling about this when it suddenly hit me.

It would have been so easy to stay in the role of victim.

You see, the victim role can be comforting….it wasn’t my fault. It was all them.

When you’re in the victim role you get people sympathising and empathising with you. You get comforted, and reassured that this wasn’t your fault, and you weren’t to blame. You get compassion and kindness.

But I didn’t want to be a victim…and in reality, I wasn’t.

I made choices along the way that contributed to the situation I found myself in.

I chose to lend money to him, when I could see that he wasn’t making any of his own. I chose to believe what he told me, when his promises hadn’t been kept before. I chose to give my heart.

Who did I need to forgive?

It suddenly became clear.

The person who I needed to forgive wasn’t him.

It was me.

I needed to forgive myself for giving money, with the best of intentions.

I needed to forgive myself for trusting in a promise…because I wanted it to be true.

I needed to forgive myself for giving my heart to someone who wasn’t in a position to keep it safe.

I needed to forgive myself for not being a better judge of character.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said “No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”….well in reality no-one can make you feel anything without your consent.

I needed to forgive myself for giving that consent.

This was not about making myself wrong for the choices I took, as I thought they were the right choices at the time. This was simply about forgiving myself for taking them.

The funny thing is that there was a lot of good that came out of our relationship too…for a start the very website through which you found this article was something that he originally helped me to create.

But feeling so hurt by what had happened, I didn’t even want to acknowledge that at first.

What’s interesting about this is that by perceiving him to be far worse in my mind than he really was, by ignoring the good and focusing only on the bad…I was actually hurting myself more.

As I had chosen to be with him, if he was this terrible person, then I was a terrible judge of character. The more terrible I perceived him to be, the worse judge of character I was…and the more I needed to forgive myself for!

Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that he didn’t make some bad choices. He did.

But for me…forgiving myself for the choices I made was where I needed to begin.

Because in forgiving myself I got to take responsibility for my situation.

In forgiving myself I got to take back the personal power I relinquished by being a ‘victim’.

In forgiving myself I was able to begin to let it go.

In forgiving myself I felt lighter, more peaceful, and much freer.

As Bryant H McGill said “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”

So forgiving yourself is a beautiful way of demonstrating self-love, in a deep, real and profound way.

As we know, emotionally connecting with ourselves is a key aspect of femininity…and learning to forgive yourself is an important step in learning to F.L.Y. – First Love Yourself.

AND it’s important to remember if it hadn’t been for that relationship, the path it set me on, and the lessons I learned, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Using my gifts to help women and men around the world to find love…and enjoying life with a man who is everything I could have wished for and more.

So when you think about forgiving anyone…start first with yourself, it makes the rest of the journey a lot lighter.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

How often do you thank YOU?

How often do you thank you?So it’s that time of year when whether you’re in the United States or not, you can’t help but notice a focus on gratitude spreading throughout the online and offline world….as people take the time to say Thank you.

Yes, unless you’re a turkey it’s all been about giving thanks as our friends in the US celebrated thanks giving last week.

This time last year I shared all about the attitude of gratitude and how important it is to our daily lives.

We say thank you about so many things in our lives….

When we think about the things that we’re grateful and say thank you for we usually have quite a significant list.

Our family, our friends, our health, our fortune to live in an area of the world where freedom and basic civil liberties aren’t in question.  Something we’ve done, somewhere we’ve been, someone we know.  Nature, music, dance, smiles, hugs, rainbows….or something as simple as being alive.

I’m lucky to spend a lot of my time around a fantastic collection of people (something I’m very grateful for) who talk about gratitude on a regular basis…it’s a regular topic of conversation and we often share the things that we say thank you for.

But today something occurred to me; in all of the times I’ve heard people share about gratitude and in particular what they want to say thank you for…I don’t think they’ve ever simply said “Me”.

How many times a day do we say Thank you?  To friends, family even people we don’t know.

In 2011, the Mail Online reported that the Brits say thank you about 5, 000 times per year, which equates to between 13 and 14 times a day.

So between thirteen and fourteen times every single day we take the time to thank someone else.

But how often do you take the time to actually thank YOU?

Think about it.

You do so much for yourself….without you, you’d never do anything, go anywhere, meet anyone or have any of the fantastic experiences that you’re grateful for.

You’re the reason you get up in the morning, and the person responsible for every achievement you’ve ever had.

You’re amazing….and if I was a betting person, I’d put money on the fact that you don’t take the time very often to just stop and acknowledge that by saying thank you to yourself.

So today I want to share with you 8 things to say thank you to yourself for, to inspire you to get started with thanking yourself:

 

  1. Say thank you for an achievement – Think of an achievement you’re really proud of…something that took some real effort to do…without you being committed to it and putting in your time and focus you’d never have achieved it!
  2. Say thank you for a relationship with someone you care about – Contrary to popular belief, relationships aren’t easy.  They take hard work, effort, time and thought in order to work.  If you have a relationship with anyone that you care about, then you can thank yourself for putting in the effort to cultivate that relationship in whichever way you do.  It could be with a family member, a friend, an intimate partner, even a pet.  They all take effort and you’re the reason that you have that relationship.
  3. Say thank you for something you have – If you have something that you have treated yourself to that you are grateful for…whether that be a little token that makes you laugh, something that makes you smile, or something that you have worked hard to be able to afford.
  4. Say thank you for an experience – If you have ever had an experience that you’ve enjoyed…then you’re the one to thank for it…after all, if it wasn’t for you, you’d never have had it!
  5. Say thank you for something you do – Everything you do is completely and totally down to you…so whether you’re grateful for something that you do for yourself like having a bit of a pamper, taking a walk or making time to read…or doing something for others, take the time to say thank YOU for doing it.
  6. Say thank you for going somewhere you enjoy – If you’ve ever been to a place that you really liked, whether that’s a park, a beach, a city, a country or an event, then you’ve guessed it, you’re the one to thank! Without you, going there wouldn’t have been possible.
  7. Say thank you for reading this blog – This blog is all about helping women (primarily, though I know we have a few regular male readers too!) to get the most out of life, to enjoy themselves, look after themselves, and to generally feel more fulfilled….so if you’re reading it now, that’s definitely something to thank yourself for.
  8. Say thank you for being you – Quite simply, thank you for being you.  You’re completely unique, totally amazing and perfectly imperfect…all great reasons to be grateful to you.

This list is by no means exhaustive…but it’s definitely a good place to start.

Maybe you’ll choose one of these, maybe you’ll choose them all….but either way I encourage you to think of at least one thing today that you can say thank you to yourself for, and take a moment to acknowledge that in some way.

You can write yourself a short note to say how much you appreciate yourself, tell yourself face to face in the mirror, or just take a quiet moment to close your eyes, stop and say thank you.

Whichever way you choose to say thank you, allow yourself to enjoy it, allow yourself to receive it, and remember to do it again whenever you get the chance.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

How important it is to be your own best friend…?

Best friends are amazing.

They are your biggest cheerleaders.

They will tell you if you’ve got lipstick on your teeth.

They will be there to support you if your heart gets broken.

They know instinctively whether the situation at hand requires a bar of chocolate, a large glass of wine or a trip to the nearest shoe store.

They immediately provide you with either a bar of chocolate, a large glass of wine or a trip to the nearest shoe store…or all of the above.

You know that they ALWAYS have your back.

You know that you can call them anytime.

You know that they will know exactly what to say.

They always have your best interests at heart.

Every woman should have someone like this in her life.

I am truly blessed, because I have several incredible women in my life who tick most, if not all of these boxes.

I am also lucky enough to have a couple of women around me who tick all of these boxes and so many more as well…and one very special woman who is as close as you can get to family without blood ties.

We all know how to be this kind of friend.

Most of us ARE this kind of friend to at least one other person.

We know what support another woman needs.

We know how to read their words and body language.

We can tell if they need a hug or to vent…or a combination of the two.

We listen when they need to talk.

We encourage them.

We support them.

We cheer them on.

We give them hugs.

We laugh with them.

We cry with them.

We share their highs…and their lows.

We like to make them laugh.

We want to see them happy.

We love them unconditionally.

We know how to do be this kind of friend…and we know how much it means to have someone in your life that will do this for us.

But the question I want to ask you is…are you this kind of friend to yourself?

Because you spend more time with yourself than you do with any other person on the planet (no matter how close your friendship is!)

You hear your own words more than anyone else.

So what words do you use about yourself?

Are you your biggest cheerleader? …or your biggest critic?

In my experience, more women fall into the second category than the first.

How often do you say things like this to yourself?

“I really shouldn’t have done that”

“I need to lose weight”

“That was stupid”

“I should have done more…”

“I should have done that quicker”

“I really don’t like my legs / bum / stomach etc”

“I feel fat today”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“I can’t do that?”

You can have the best friend in the world who spends a few hours a week telling you how great you are….but if you spend the rest of the time criticizing yourself…which do you think will have the biggest impact?

So I would like to invite you to choose to become your own best friend, from this point forward. There’s no better time to start.

I love me

That way, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’ll always have your best friend there cheering you on.

Come back on Wednesday to discover the 10 rules for being your own best friend…you won’t want to miss it!

Stay fabulous,

Claire x

you time 2

‘You’ Time – Part One

you time 2As women we are only too good at looking after everyone else, listening to their problems, meeting their needs and helping them out.

Our nurturing nature means that we can sometimes be so focused on looking after others, that we end up at the bottom of the pile.

Put simply, our needs are met last.

Now, we can keep going like this for a while…but sooner or later it will catch up with us.

There’s a great example that I always like to use when I’m talking about this.

When you get on an airplane, they always have some sort of safety demonstration. They tell you how to find the nearest exits, show you how to fasten the oh-so-sexy yellow life jackets and remind you to take off your Blahniks before taking a ride on the inflatable slides from the emergency doors.

They then tell you the procedure to follow should the cabin lose air pressure.

“In the event of a change of cabin pressure, panels above your head will open revealing oxygen masks.

To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally.

If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.”

This last statement makes perfect sense. I mean, it’s going to be a little challenging to help anyone else out if you’re passed out on the floor due to lack of oxygen!

So why do we think it’s any different for the rest of life? If we give and give and never take the time to receive or replenish ourselves, it makes sense that at some point our well will run dry.

I’d like to ask you to try something.

(N.B. If you have any heart, respiratory or general health problems then please don’t actually do this, just read the text…you’ll get the idea! 😉 )

Take a really full deep breath in.

Now breathe out completely.

Now try breathing out again, without taking a breath in.

…now breathe out again, still without taking a breath.

…and again.

…and again.

You might have a little bit in reserve the first time you breathe out…you might even have a tiny bit left after the second time…but sooner rather than later your body will force you to take a breath in.

Why?

Because your body instinctively knows that it needs to replenish its stocks of air.

There are only so many out-breaths it can manage before it absolutely, positively HAS to take a breath in.

This might be a simple example, but it demonstrates that we need to replenish ourselves.

A key part of being a feminine woman is to be “in flow”. That flow needs to go two ways…both in and out.

It’s so important to take time for you. To rest, to recuperate, to replenish yourself, in order that you can continue to help and nurture those around you.

So next week I’m going to be giving you a list of ten top ways to replenish yourself. Some ideas for you to try to start giving back to yourself and putting yourself first…for a short while every day or every week.

But in the meantime I want you to think about ways in which you can replenish yourself.

What would be the best ‘you time’ for you?

If you would like to have some ‘you’ time and helping raise money for breakthrough breast cancer in the process then check out the All Woman Workshop: http://www.allwomanworkshop.com.  A day to indulge, have fun and to put the ‘you’ back into your life, all while raising money for a great cause.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x