Posts

Does your help sometimes hinder?

Does your ‘ help ’ sometimes actually hinder?

Does your help sometimes hinder?I know what it’s like when you have someone reach out to you to share about a problem or challenge that they’re having. You want to be there for them, you want to be the best friend you can, you want to help them.

You know exactly what to do.

You listen to their problems. You know how they feel, you’ve been there yourself.

You want to help, support, nurture.

You want them to feel better.

You want to have helped them in some way.

So you dive in and do everything you can to help them get out of where they’re at and into a better place.

They feel better, you feel better…everyone is happier.

That makes you the best friend in the world, right?

Well, maybe.

The thing is that sometimes we’re so eager to help a friend to move out of her pain…that we don’t allow her to really feel it.

As we know, in order to fully release emotions, and to let them go, we need to fully feel them.

So sometime by trying to help someone ‘feel better’ we actually deny them the very thing they need to be able to process their emotions and move on.

So how can you help?

Well the first thing you can do to help a friend who is going through a tough time is allow them to be where they are.

Rather than trying to pick them up and help them feel better…allow them to be where they’re at, allow them to feel how they feel, and to express it. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to just allow them to fully express how they’re feeling, and ‘get it all out’.

By doing this, we’re not just allowing them to go through their process, but you’re actually helping them to do it by fully feeling their emotions in order to move through them.

If they’re wallowing as opposed to processing (if you’re not sure the difference between wallowing in your emotions and processing them then check out this post here: http://feminine1st.com/emotions/whats-difference-feeling-emotions-wallowing/) then by all means feel free to give them a nudge so that they don’t stay somewhere that isn’t serving them, but if they’re just being in their emotions so that they can process them then sometimes the best thing you can do is just allow them to be there.

Allow them to be in their yucky stuff…allow them to be in their pain….and just be there with them.

When one of my closest female friends was going through a tough time a few months ago the hardest thing was the fact that we don’t live in the same country. We both said the same thing…if we’d been in the same town, we’d have spent a weekend curled up on a sofa under a duvet allowing her to be in her stuff, but having me there to support her while she needed to go through it. Not to do anything, or say anything….just to be there.

When we’re going through a tough time, the hardest thing can be feeling like you’re doing it ‘alone’…so having someone to be there with you when you’re going through the toughest times can make all the difference.

I was visiting another friend about 18 months ago, when she was going through a very difficult time. In spite of the difficult time, she was feeling the need to put a ‘brave face’ on things, and not to give in to how she was feeling. One afternoon while I was sorting out a few things in my room she came to the door and simply asked, “Can I talk to you?”

We sat crossed legged opposite each other on the bed and over the next half an hour I sat and listened and held her hands as she crumbled in front of me. I barely said anything, I just sat and held space for her. I listened. I reached out to her. I let her be exactly where she needed to be…in order to choose to deal with her situation differently.

Rather than running around all evening meeting up with people and doing stuff to keep the people around her happy…she realised that she needed to take care of herself. The two of us went to a restorative yoga class that afternoon followed by a mediation centre in the evening. The difference in her was amazing, and it was all because she’d been allowed to just go through her process.

So when you find yourself in a situation like this I encourage you to ask just one of two simple questions: “How can I best help you right now?” or “What do you need from me right now?”. Maybe even offering “I can just listen, or just be here if that’s what you need”.

…and the key with answering those questions is to not be attached to them answering in any particular way…allow them to tell you what they want and need, and then be there to give it to them.

Sometimes the best help doesn’t look like help at all. It’s just a friend standing by another friend, being there for them.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Thursday thought quote: A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

This Week’s Thursday Thought: A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

This week’s Thursday Thought:

A friend is the person with whom you can be completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself & know you will always be accepted

Thursday thought quote: A friend is the person  with whom you can be  completely, unreservedly, unapologetically yourself &  know you will always be accepted

How can you create sisterhood with the women in your life?

How can you create sisterhood with the women in your life?So last week I began to share the 25 ways I’ve discovered to create sisterhood with the women in your life…and today I finally get to share the rest with you!

25 ways to create sisterhood with the women in your life

14. Reach out, even when you don’t want to – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve learned that a friend was going through a tough time and when I’ve asked why they didn’t call they’ve said “I didn’t want to be a bother” or words to that effect. The most important thing to remember is that your sisters WANT to be there for you…not when you’ve started to get it together, or begun to figure it out. When it’s at it’s worst. When you need the most support. When you can’t make sense of it. When you want to cry / shout / scream. When you feel numb. It’s at those times that it’s hardest to reach out…and it’s at those times that it’s most important to do so. The deepest connections I have with the women in my life are with the ones who are my first call when I’m in a puddle on the floor…and for whom I am the same for them in return.

15. Be there when they reach out – When one of them reaches out a hand to you…be there to take it. Even if you can’t speak at that precise moment, let them know you’re here for them, that you want to speak to them and give them your full attention and arrange a time when you can speak. If you’re there for them when they need you, they want to be there for you when you need them even more.

16. Gently, and with compassion, be prepared to challenge your sisters – Sisters are your mirrors. They are the ones who will show you your reflection, in all it’s full Technicolor glory, and with love they will challenge you to see things that you might not want to, to see things from a different perspective. Be prepared to gently and respectfully challenge their perspectives if it feels right to do so. Not in a “Your wrong!! It’s this way!” kind of approach, but in a “I’m curious, have you considered this point of view?” way. We’re in this to grow together, being able to offer alternative ideas is how we grow.

17. Be open to help in a different way – It’s important to ask for what you want and need…it’s also OK to trust when it shows up in a different form. Sometimes your sisters will do things in a way that in the moment feels uncomfortable, but done with love and compassion can really help. I had a sister who we joked like to go into ‘probe mode’…when I was sharing, sometimes I wasn’t even aware that there was something underneath until she began with the probing questions. At the time, it felt uncomfortable, but I trusted her and knew it was all being done with love….and it always helped me in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.

18. Take down your defences – We’ve got very used to many women in life being our competition, and being ready to defend ourselves should someone say something we feel is an attack. In sisterhood remember that these women are on your side. They are there with you, to support you. There’s no need to have the battlements armed.

19. Trust – Trust. Trust that these women want to be in this with you. Trust that they want the best for you. Trust that they always have your best interests at heart. Trust that they are right there behind you, in your corner. Trust that they are doing the best they can, and that they know that you are too.

20. Say the thing you don’t want to say – I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself talking to a soul sister, or soul sisters and I’ve heard myself say “I really don’t want to say this…so I know this is what I need to say”. The stuff we try and deny…the stuff we don’t want to share is the stuff that we often NEED to share. Because we have a belief, an idea, a story around it that sharing it can dispel. If you’re open about the fact that it’s difficult for you, it allows your sisters to be even more kind and gentle with you while you’re having the courage to share it.

21. Ask Questions – Be curious about your sisters, ask questions to learn more about them…take an interest. When you want to challenge, do it by asking a question that will get them to consider a different point of view. Ask them what they want. Ask them how you can support them. Ask them questions that will help them go deeper, and understand themselves better.

22. Be prepared to set boundaries if you need them – Sisterhood is about trust…and being able to say “This is my boundary, I’m asking you not to cross it” and trusting that they will respect you for it is incredibly empowering. Now I’m going to put a little caveat in here…be sure when setting boundaries you’re doing it with your best interests in mind and heart…rather than doing it to protect yourself from being ‘too vulnerable’ or going ‘too deep’. You need to feel comfortable in asking for what you need…but also be open to your sisters questioning if it really is what’s best for you, and allow yourself to respond honestly.

23. Be Gentle and compassionate – Be gentle with yourself and with your sisters…sisterhood is a very vulnerable place to be, and being gentle can make it so much easier. Compassion for yourself and your sisters will allow you to open even further, trust even more and deepen the connections between you.

24. Spend time together just being – Spend time with these women just enjoying yourselves and being. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught in a pattern of the ‘deep stuff’ with your sisters…where you’re always dealing with challenges or working through something…and it’s just as important to make regular dates to go out for a meal together, go and pamper yourselves or just have a girly movie night with a bowl of popcorn!

25. Go First – I know I mentioned this in the article about finding the women who will become your soul sisters, but it isn’t something you do once and it’s done…it’s a choice to continue going first. If you go first, and go deep you give them permission to do the same. You create the space, you set the bar, you open up the conversation and therefore allow the connection to go deeper. In doing so you open yourself up to a depth relationship that otherwise wouldn’t have been open to you. You create the depth of relationship you want, by having the courage to share deeply yourself first.

If you really open yourself up to it, sisterhood will change you.

It will connect you to what it means to be a woman in a way you never realised possible.

Your concept of friendship increases in breadth and depth…the possibilities are endless, and you begin to understand that true friendship is limitless.

Your soul sisters will become your cheerleaders, our safety net, your guides, your teachers, your sages, your mirrors, your soul mates, your family and your sanctuary.

My soul sisters are a vital part of my life and I’m grateful for them every single day.

They make life easier, they make life more enjoyable.

They will hold a special place in your heart that cannot be filled by anyone or anything else, and I wish for you to create these amazing, life altering relationships for yourself.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you know how to create sisterhood with other women?

How do you create sisterhood with other women?The last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about sisterhood and the importance, value and power of really deep, mutually fulfilling relationships with other women.

We began by looking at the difference between acquaintances, friendship and sisterhood and understanding the reasons why sisterhood is so different and so important. Then last week we looked at how you can find the women who could become your soul sisters.

So you know you want to create sisterhood with women in your life, and you’ve found the women with whom you want to develop a deeper connection and relationship…so the next question is, “How do you create sisterhood?”

What does sisterhood look like? How does it grow and develop?

What makes women who are soul sisters different? What to they do differently? What do they say differently? How do they behave differently?

The path to sisterhood is simple…but not always easy.

To create sisterhood with other women means removing any and all masks, letting down your barriers, and opening your heart to another woman with no conditions. Accepting everything you are, being everything you are, showing everything you are and allowing them to be everything they are too.

Oh is that all? No Problem!

The more of the real, whole you that you allow them to see, the deeper the connection will be.

So what does that really mean? What does it look like in your real life, day-to-day interactions?

Well I’ve identified 25 ways to help you to create sisterhood with the women in your life, and today I want to share the first of these with you:

  1. Accept them exactly as they are – Sisterhood is all about finding people who will accept you, love you as you are, and allow you to be everything that you are, and for whom you are prepared to do the same. As I mentioned in last week’s article, the key is being prepared to ‘go first’ – accept them as they are, show them that it’s safe…invite them to do the same for you in return.
  2. Be open and honest – Speak the truth, speak what’s there, share how you’re feeling, be open with what’s going on in your life. Sometimes we can feel a resistance to saying something because we’re worried how someone else might feel, how they might react… Will they not like us? Will they judge us? The thing is that not saying something doesn’t stop it from being there…and it will affect the relationship. Not saying stuff will create blocks and boundaries. Saying it, whatever it is, with kindness and compassion (for yourself and others) and with the intention to deepen your relationship and connection means you can talk it out, hear what each other has to say…and really support each other at a real level.
  3. Allow them to see all of you, even the bits you don’t want to admit to yourself – Have the courage to be vulnerable and allow them to see all of you. As women we have a habit of trying to deny parts of ourselves, making them ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’…without realising that they are all a part of us. When we allow other women to see those parts we get the opportunity for them to say “me too!” or to share the parts that they don’t really want to admit to too.
  4. Really listen – Give your full presence to your sisters…and really listen to what they have to say. Listen to learn more about them, to understand them, to know how to support them…and really hear them. Feeling seen and heard is the basis for creating real connection.
  5. Dive in at the right depth for you…and be prepared to venture into the deep end! – In sisterhood we have the ability to go deep. I mean really deep. In sisterhood there is a safe space that allows us to deal with anything and everything. We have the opportunity to get supported when dealing with the toughest experiences in our lives, we have the opportunity to be really seen and heart…to discover who we really are. That doesn’t mean you have to jump in at the deep end right from the start…but the deeper you’re prepared to go, the deeper the connection you will feel and the more you will all get out of the relationship.
  6. Leave any pretence at the door – We’ve all done the “I’m fine” thing at times, or chosen to ‘focus on the bright side’ rather than face what’s really there. In sisterhood it’s about telling it how it is…as challenging as that can be at times, it means the connection and the conversation is always authentic and real.
  7. Let go of judgements – Of yourself and them. Judgements put barriers between people, and they get in the way of us seeing what is really there. Replace judgement with curiosity and a desire to understand the other person…it will bring you closer and open your mind up to new possibilities and ideas.
  8. Allow them to be where they’re at – Often in our desire to ‘help’ someone out, we seek to move them from where they’re at to a better state. If someone’s upset, we want to cheer them up, make them feel better, when in reality they might need to just feel upset for a bit, so they can process the emotion and then let it go. Just being with them where they are and holding a space for them to be there is incredibly powerful.
  9. Support them in the way they want or need support – When we support others we often do it in ‘our way’ without realising that they might need support in a different way. Learning to support them ‘their’ way will transform your relationship completely.
  10. Ask them what they want and need – How do you support them in the way they want and need? Simple, ask. When someone is in a challenging situation or state, actually just having someone saying “What do you need?”, “What do you want?” or “How can I help?” can be the most comforting thing in the world and gives them permission to ask for what would help them most.
  11. Ask for what you want and need – One of the best ways to ensure that you sisters really do ask for what they want and need, is to show them how by asking for exactly what you want and need yourself. This way you help them to be there for you in the way that will mean the most to you, and you show them that you really want to know what will work for them too.
  12. Allow them to be there for you – As women we tend to go into ‘helper’ mode…we want to be there for everyone else, but we aren’t so good at receiving help ourselves. Sisterhood is a two-way thing…if it isn’t, it doesn’t work. Allow your sisters to help you…allow yourself to receive their support as much as you want them to receive yours.
  13. Celebrate with each other – Sisterhood is as much about celebration as it is about being there when things aren’t going so well. If one of your sisters has reason to celebrate allow yourself to celebrate her successes as much as your own…and she will be only too willing to do the same. Soul sisters are your biggest cheerleaders in life…remember to share your celebrations with them along the way!

Number 13 seems to be the perfect place to pause, being how relevant the number 13 is for us women (if you have any concerns about 13 being unlucky…I know how you feel, I used to be the same….but pop over here to find out how powerful the number 13 is for us ladies!)

So I’ll leave you with a couple of questions to consider…how do you create sisterhood? What are your thoughts on the first 13 ways to create sisterhood? Do you have any questions about sisterhood? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please drop me an email Claire@feminine1st.com and let me know what you think.

I’d like to invite you to have a play with these this week, try some of them on and see how they feel…and be sure to pop back next week to see the rest of the 25 ways you can create sisterhood with other women.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

This Week’s Thursday Thought: The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

This week’s Thursday Thought:

The Best Friends in Life Are Like The Best Bras – Uplifting, Supportive and Always Close to Your Heart

Do You Agree?

Thursday Thought Quote: The Best friends in life are like the best bras, uplifting, supportive and always close to your heart

This Week’s Thursday Thought: When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

This week’s Thursday Thought:

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, you open up the door to a depth of connection, friendship & sisterhood that could never exist without taking that first brave step

– Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

When you have the courage to take off all your masks, let down your barriers and show absolutely everything you are to another woman, friendship

Do you know the 6 friends every woman needs in times of crisis?

The 6 friends every woman needs in a crisisWe’ve all had those times.

The ones where everything seems to hit all at once.

Where just as you begin to catch your breath and find your feet, the next wave hits you, then the next, then the next, then the next.

Well the last month or two have been a bit like that for me…there have been a plethora of events and situations that have hit one after the other.

I’m sure sometime soon I’ll share more about what’s been happening, but to give you an idea included in this time period has been major surgery for my Mum, my Grandmother spending two weeks (and still counting at time of writing) in hospital and one of my dearest friends going in for yet another surgery which has not been a smooth as we would have hoped.

So over the last couple of months there have been highs, there have been a lot of lows, there have been intense emotions and there have been moments of numbness.

It’s at times like this that you need support.

Do you allow your friends to support you?

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times that I’ve been running around trying to help everyone else out and I’ve committed the cardinal sin of losing focus on my own self-care.

(Side note…this lack of self-care has now been addressed and a much more calm and peaceful Claire has emerged…balance is being restored gradually…)

But in addition to self-care times like this are the times that you need good friends.

…in fact, it’s not just good friends you need, it’s great friends.

Amazing friends.

Wonderful friends.

Friends who know you, your heart and soul so well that they instinctively give you exactly what you need.

So what are the 6 types of friend every woman needs in times of crisis?

…and over this slightly challenging period of time that I’ve been experiencing I’ve identified the 6 types of friend that every woman needs to help get her through, and today I want to share them with you:

  1. The Venting Friend – When things aren’t exactly going the way that you’d like them to it’s great to have a friend with whom you can just vent. Even those of us who have been treading the path of personal development for some time now aren’t immune to the feelings of frustration and general annoyance that sometimes bubble up to the surface. Now I’m not suggesting for a second that this is where you want to live, but I also believe that it’s not health to deny or distract yourself from these feelings when they do appear. Emotions serve a reason, the only way to release them is to allow yourself to feel them so that you can then let them go. So it’s great to have a friend with whom you don’t need to be aware, or conscious, or reasonable…someone you can have a good rant to and get it all out of your system.
  2. The Love Bug – When things are a bit crappy you can end up feeling a little low and there’s nothing better than having a friend who makes you feel nothing but pure unconditional love. Someone with whom you can totally be yourself, who you know accepts you totally exactly as you are, who listens without judgment, and whose energy lifts you up when it feels like nothing short of a fork lift will do. These friends are like rays of sunshine, making you feel warm and enveloped, reminding you that you’re never alone and that there’s always someone there walking by your side.
  3. The Question Master – When you’re struggling a bit sometimes the last thing you need is someone telling you what to do. But one of the best types of friend knows this, and rather than telling you the answers, asks you the questions that will help you come to them yourself. The best thing about this friend is that they normally don’t have the answers themselves…and they know they don’t…but they help you to find them through simply being present and listening when you speak and then asking the questions that help you pick through the muddle that your mind is in….and show the clear blue skies on the other side.
  4. The Mirror – Every woman needs a mirror she can rely on…and I’m not speaking about the glass kind. The mirror friend is the one who listens patiently while you speak, holds space for whatever you’re feeling and sharing, and then simply reflects back to you when it’s helpful. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own ‘stuff’ that having someone who can see it clearly to reflect it back to us can make all the difference. They have the emotional distance from what you’re experiencing to be able to see things that sometimes our haze of emotions can obscure.
  5. The Jester – Sometimes when all is a little bit rubbish, it’s good to have someone who can just make you smile, make you laugh, remind you that in spite of all the clouds around, there is a little sunshine too. Someone who can be there to lighten the mood, to lift your spirits and to make you realise that everything will be alright…eventually 🙂
  6. The Friend Who Knows – These friends are the best. They are a little bit spooky, in the best possible way. These are the people who just KNOW when you need them. Maybe you don’t speak very often, maybe you’ve been out of touch for a while, but for some reason at the time that you need them most, they’re just there. They send you a message, pop a photo on your facebook wall, or call out of the blue saying “You kept popping into my head and I just wanted to check that everything was OK?” They know you, they sense when things aren’t quite right, and they’re right there just when you need them.

The beauty of these 6 types of friends is that they’re not mutually exclusive, but they also can be. You can have 6 different people who fill each of the 6 roles, or you can have one person who covers them all.

So how do you find friends like this?

I’m lucky…I have a number of friends who cover more than one of these types, and some who cover them all.

Most importantly I have a core of very close people, my soul family, who know me, love me and accept me, completely unconditionally, exactly as I am. I wish for you to find and cultivate friendships like these in your life.

…and how do you find friends like this? It’s simple. You be a friend like this.

It doesn’t mean that everyone you meet will instantly become this kind of friend, but it does mean that when you meet the ones who could…you’ll create an instantaneous, deep and mutually fulfilling connection…the likes of which you can’t imagine until you’ve experienced it firsthand.

Oh, and the last thing to mention? Having these types of friends is great. But they can only do their thang if you reach out and let them.

So being this kind of friend is important. Equally important is allowing these amazing people to be this kind of friend to you.

Reach out.

Call them.

Let them know you need their support.

…and then allow yourself to receive, and show your gratitude when you do.

Friends like this are worth their weight in gold….and I’m lucky enough to have my very own personal goldrush. I hope you are too…

…and today I’m dedicating this article to the phenomenal friends in my life. I love each and every one of your deeply, from the bottom of my heart.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the lovely Jessica Libbey!

Fabulous Friday Female Jessica Libbey

Today’s Fabulous Friday Female is the lovely Jessica Libbey…because this week she has touched my life in a very special way.

Jessica believes that in order to show up and truly shine in your business and your life, you must be willing to embrace ALL parts of you. That is what enables you to show up authentically as the beautiful, whole and complete being you truly are, inside and out.

She passionately supports women to go from hiding in the shadows to really showing up and shining in their full truth and wholeness, by embracing all parts of themselves because ALL of you matters!

Jess loves creating a safe space for women to open up and share their real selves, supporting them in revealing the parts they’ve been hiding, while also challenging them to step out of the familiar… because that’s where the MAGIC of liberation happens.

You see, Jess knows what it’s like to live as if you’re hiding… staying hidden from the things that scare you and avoiding allowing yourself to be truly seen and heard because deep down, you believe you won’t be accepted or loved if people knew who you REALLY are.

She has been there. For most of her life, she was afraid to reveal the true ‘Jess’. After graduating college, She got a job in the corporate world and did her best to blend in and do what she was told….and she was really good at it, too.

After a couple of years, she received a wake-up call when her position in the company was cut in a mass layoff, and she was pushed out into the world to fend for herself!

Rather than jump back into the corporate world where she felt like a small fish in a huge pond, Jess’s gut told her there was a different path for her. And in order to discover where that path led, she decided something had to change.

She realized that blending in and hiding had gotten her nowhere. She wasn’t happy. And it continued to get her nowhere as she tried to build her own coaching practice. Business was stagnant. Her relationships were surface level and unfulfilling. And her life just felt “blah”.

So, Jess began to step out of her comfort zone. AND she got support so that she felt safe enough to take risks, feel her discomfort and allow herself to be seen and heard in ways she never thought she could.

As a result, Jessica now loves to support women on their journeys of transformation so that they too can fully show up, share their truth and SHINE.

On her website she uses the words “I’m totally here for you”…and I know from personal experience that is true.

You see Jessica and I are both part of a community of women called “Tribal Truth”…and although we’ve never met (as she leads the tribe in San Francisco and I lead the tribe here in London), Jess has provided so much love, support and inspiration to me in the short time that we’ve known each other.

For me, it shows the power of a real community when two people from different continents can connect and share at such a deep level without ever having met.

Just this week when I was facing a challenge that I didn’t know quite how to overcome, Jess took the time to reach out to me, and hold space for me to share what was going on and supported me so beautifully through it.  She is a true example of a feminine leader and I feel lucky to be able call her my friend.

So I would like for you to join me today in acknowledging and celebrating Jessica, both for the work that she does and for just being an amazing women who helps others.

…and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to spend some time with Jessica to do so, she is a beautiful woman, inside and out and she genuinely touches people’s lives.  So if you’re in the San Francisco area (or even if you’re not!) be sure to get in touch with her…you’ll be glad you did!

To connect with Jess you can find her at http://www.jessicalibbey.com or at the San Francisco Tribal Truth gatherings http://www.tribal-truth.com/eastbay/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female, then send me an email (claire@feminine1st.com) with 3 simple details:

  • Who is your Fabulous Friday Female? (Her name and location in the world)
  • Why is she a Fabulous Friday Female to YOU? (How do you know her? What does she do? In what way is she inspiring?)
  • A photo or link to a picture of her online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)

So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women who inspire YOU.

…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!

Claire x

10 simple rules for being your own best friend

Self HugOn Monday we talked about how important it is to be your own best friend.  So the question now is…how do you do that?

Well, to make it easy for you I’ve created 10 simple rules to follow in order to make yourself your bestist friend ever!

  1. Look for what you LOVE – As women, we have a very bad habit of focusing on our flaws.  In the mirror our eyes often go to the things we wish we could minimise, reduce or change, which means that this is what we’re focusing on when we look at ourselves.  If you were to actively look for the things that you love about yourself, how would this change how you feel about yourself?
  2. Accept yourself as you are – Our best friends don’t try to change us…they love us just as we are…warts and all.  Accept that you’re not perfect, and LOVE that about yourself.  Your imperfections are often what make you interesting.  If we were all the same, identical, ‘perfect’ – how boring would that be?  Love your imperfections…they are what make you unique…they are what make you who you are.
  3. Make time for yourself – As women we spend a lot of time thinking about everyone else, and their needs.  But in order to be your own best friend, you need to make time and space in your life that is just about you.  So make sure you make time every week, and if possible every day, which is yours to do with exactly as you want.
  4. Do things you love – When you take time for you, spend it doing things that you love.  When you do things that you love, it feeds your soul.  It lights you up from the inside out.  So as well as doing things that you enjoy now….think about the things that you loved to do when you were a child.  Did you like going to the beach and jumping the waves?  Did you like spending time with animals? Did you like to dance?  When you get back to doing what you loved as a child it will bring a sparkle to you like nothing else.
  5. Talk yourself up – I’m not talking about telling the world about how great you are here…I’m talking about telling yourself! 🙂 Our ‘self talk’ (the things we say to ourselves, whether that is out loud or just in our own minds) has a HUGE impact on how we feel.  What’s scary is that we’re so used to our self-talk that it’s easy to forget that it’s even there….but that doesn’t stop it affecting us.  So the first step is to be conscious of what you’re saying to yourself, and how.  The second is to realise when your self-talk isn’t serving you, and the third is to adjust what you’re saying to what you would say to your best friend in the same situation.  Tell yourself how great you’re doing, recognise the good in yourself and celebrate the person that you are.
  6. Remember your achievements – As women we’re very good at recognising when we believe we should have done something differently.  We are continually picking up things that should have been done faster, better, bigger.  But in order to be our own best friend, we need to recognise, remember and celebrate our achievements.  When you have accomplished something, no matter how big or small, focus on what you HAVE done…not what you haven’t. So when you complete something, achieve something or do something, take a moment to stop and recognise it.  Give yourself permission to feel good about it, and make the most of that moment.
  7. Be kind to yourself – As women we can often be our biggest critic rather than our number 1 fan.  The most important thing to remember and to keep front of mind is to always be kind to yourself.  Stop expecting perfection.  Give yourself a break. Show yourself compassion.  Show yourself love.
  8. Become your biggest cheerleader – Encourage yourself in the things that you want to do in life.  Cheer yourself on mentally.  Think about what you would say to a dear friend if they were shooting for something special.  Encourage yourself to shoot for the stars, to go for your dreams, and cheer yourself on along the way!  At the end of each day think of 3 things you’ve done well and congratulate yourself on them 🙂
  9. Look after your needs – Do you know what your needs are?  Are you making sure that they are met?  Do you need relaxation?  Do you need an injection of passion?  Do you need peace and quiet?  Do you need fun and excitement? Do you need security?  Do you want some variety?  Work out what your needs are…and make sure that they’re being met.
  10. Don’t let anyone else talk badly about your best friend – Would you let anyone speak badly about your best friend?  Of course not!  So if anyone says something about you that you don’t agree with, politely correct them.  You don’t have to be rude, or confrontational, just be calm and polite and suggest an alternative way to view the situation.

So there you have it, 10 simple and easy rules for being your own best friend.

What are YOU going to do differently to befriend yourself and make yourself the bestist friend you could imagine?

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