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Ambitious Introvert?

14 Dec

Being both ambitious and introverted comes with its challenges. I sat down the other day and wrote out a few things I regularly deal with. Sometimes I feel as if I’m being pulled in opposite directions and for my own peace of mind I’m constantly having to find the balance.

For example,

I want to come forward but I also want to be in the back

I want to be spontaneous and outgoing but I spend too long analysing possible outcomes

I want to run away from business meetings because they’re usually overdone and I have work to do

I want to lead but I also want to follow

I want to be an entrepreneur but risk and uncertainty terrifies me in more ways than one

I want to receive the recognition you deserve but you don’t want to be centre of attention

I want to go to business networking events but I really can’t be bothered with the small talk

I want great success but I don’t want to be scrutinised

I realise that some of these things I deal with are essential to my personal development and the progression of my businesses. As much as I want to be recognised for my work, I don’t want it done in a way that makes me centre of attention. There’s something calming about being in the backround. But the success I’m aiming for, it’s inevitable that I will need to come forward at some point. That’s why I have to  feel the fear and do it anyway!

So even though sometimes I want to be 100% introverted and stay home all day and read a book…I can’t. My ambitious side tells me to get up, get out and chase my dreams. I never see my introversion as a hindrance. I understand it is crucial to my success! what success can I achieve without careful thought and knowledge? and equally, what success can I achieve with no action? That’s why I’m learning to find a balance between both traits.

So if you’re an ambitious introvert. You’re not alone. Would love to connect! 

Leave a comment below. How do you balance the two?

Nat x

What’s stopping you?

5 Oct

“I just need that million dollar idea” “I don’t have enough money to start a business” “I don’t have the right skills”

There are probably a million more reasons why people don’t pursue business or become an entrepreneur. We’re all waiting for the ‘right time’. We tell ourselves that we need to reach a certain level before we act. We put things off for years thinking we have all the time in the world! Some of us are probably even waiting for the stars to align and for the world to stop spinning before they decide to chase their dreams. It’s all ridiculous. There’s no right time! You can plan as much as you want but anything and everything in your life can change in an instant!

That’s why I’m asking the question “What’s stopping you?”

What’s stopping you from leaving your job that you’re so unhappy in? What’s stopping you from applying for that business start up funding? What’s stopping you from working on your passion in your spare time? What is it?

In the past I have asked myself these same questions…and yes I came up with excuses. I could’ve written you a book containing all my reasons. But when I revisited these reasons…each time the answer pointed back to me. I was the problem (still am).

I’ve been on this entrepreneurial journey for about a year and a half now. I have tried and failed at a few things including making and selling gift hampers, tutoring and setting up a concierge business. I’m not bitter about any of these because they have taught me invaluable lessons. But it dawned on me the other day that the greatest challenge I’m facing on my journey is my mind set! That’s right. It’s not my competitors. It’s not the amount of resources I have and it definitely isn’t about my skills (I have 2 degrees for goodness sake!). The common denominator was always ME. Each time I came to a hurdle or a setback I would get discouraged and give up and move on to the next task.

So I asked myself how badly do I want it?

And honestly before I had my daughter…deep down I would have answered not that much. I may not have admitted it but that would have been the true answer. I realised I didn’t want it that much because when I came up against trials I was quick to back down. I was quick to say…well maybe this isn’t for me and I would give up! But since having my daughter, everything I’m doing has so much more purpose. I look at her and I realise I’m not just living for myself anymore…in fact, this time next year I’ll be a wife AND a mother! I have responsibilities. I have to be accountable.

That’s why I’m starting to look at entrepreneurship in a different light. It is the ultimate teacher of perseverance…I thought it was a career choice for the talented and the highly skilled. But when I really started to understand it, I realised that it is just a test of mental strength and whether I’m willing to keep going right to the end!


What ideas have you never put into action? What’s stopping you from achieving them today?

Leave a comment down below!

Let’s chat

 

 

 

It’s midday, I’m in my PJs but I’ve been the most productive I’ve been in weeks

6 Jul

We all believe that to be productive we need to be dressed, ready and sat behind a desk. We take pride in our perfectly organised Instagram ready desks. We spend ages in IKEA looking for the perfect pencil holder to match our folders. We’re convinced that if our office utensils don’t match it will block our productivity and stifle creativity. Some of us may even prefer to leave the house. Sitting in Starbucks drinking overpriced coffee tends to be the most popular option… There seems to be something about a coffee shop that ensues an atmosphere of ‘productiveness’ right?

(Yeah sorry to break it to you but it’s just excellent branding and marketing)

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not criticizing anyone that works in coffee shops. I’ve been about that life (still am, occasionally). I’ve been known to drive 20 minutes to a coffee shop just to sit there for hours because I was convinced that I would be more productive there than at home. Sometimes this was true. But others…well I just wasted my time and money.

But I realised that being productive is nothing more than your mindset. It has nothing to do with the environment you’re in.

The other day I woke up early and felt inspired to write. I had this surge of creativity and I knew instantly I had to get it out my head and onto ‘paper’. I sat in my bed and got out my laptop and started tapping away at the keys. Before I knew it, it was midday and I hadn’t even stepped foot out of bed. Now, usually this would bother me. I rate my level of achievements based on how early I wake up and whether I got dressed for the day and left the house. But on this particular day I did none of that, but I still had a feeling of accomplishment. It was a strange experience. My environment was screaming laziness, un-productivity and procrastination but my actions were the opposite. That morning I managed to complete 2 blog posts, schedule a meeting and recruit another person for my business.

This is why I say productiveness is a mind set.

I realised on this particular day that my willingness to be productive was based on my mindset. I woke up feeling inspired to write and instead of disrupting that inspiration by getting out of my bed and setting up my desk, I instantaneously began to release what was inside. This free flow of creativity is what led to my productiveness. I didn’t try to confine it to ideals that I thought were necessary to produce great work. I just let my ideas and thoughts be. Creativity can strike at any moment and when it does I believe that’s when it comes in it’s most authentic and natural form.

So if you come to my house before 12 and see me in my PJs, don’t assume that I’m not working hard to achieve my goals!

Natalie

 

 

Internet OFF. Mind ON

25 May

I spend a lot of time on social media. But it’s almost become an addiction. I wake up, I check my social media accounts. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat…then repeat. I find myself feeding into this urge to know what’s going on in everyone’s life. It’s like I’m expecting to find out something revolutionary…something that will add value to my life…but that never happens. After endless minutes of mindless swiping and tapping I realise that I’ve wasted yet another morning feeding into this social media obsession many of us millennials are addicted to.

But it got to a point where my internet usage was at an all time high. I spent most of my day browsing through Instagram profiles and Twitter feeds. I could see that it was becoming a problem because although I was ‘connecting’ with other bloggers etc I felt hugely disconnected! I started to feel a range of emotions including dissatisfaction and withdrawal. So I decided to turn the internet OFF and put my mind ON!

My first attempt was to turn off the internet on my phone and put it on the other side of the room. As I sat there and looked at my phone it caused nothing but boredom and slight anxiety as I wondered what I was missing on social media. So I decided that I needed to get out the house. I went for a walk down by the lake. I left the house believing that the light physical activity coupled with the fresh air would help me refocus. But as I walked along the stoned path and observed the trees, grass and the running water I realised that this walk was much more than just the physical activity. Being outdoors provided me with a stillness and freedom that I couldn’t get from sitting inside.

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Whilst being out in the open my senses were heightened. I could hear the water trickling down the stream, smell the freshly cut grass and I could see all the beautiful greenery that surrounded me. I had walked this route many times before but this time felt like the first. I ended up wandering around the lake and surrounding areas for almost 2 hours. I stopped at a bench and sat there for a few minutes. Whilst sitting there I got out my journal and began to write. The emotions that poured out of me and onto the page could not be stopped. I wrote and wrote until I had nothing left to say and when I put the pen down I felt free. It must have been something about being outside and being ‘one’ with nature that allowed me to reconnect with my inner self and find that inner peace? To be honest I’m not sure but it was only then I was able to release the things that were troubling me and make space in my mind. Once I returned home I felt more refreshed and my creative juices started flowing again.

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The internet is an amazing place for us creatives and writers. It provides us with a space to express and connect with like minded people. But this walk reminded me that it’s still important to switch off and plug in your mind from time to time! If you’re experiencing a blockage in creativity it’s good to find a space where you can be still and reflect. Stillness, balance and alignment with your inner self is something to be valued and worked on. Try not to get too caught up in the social media world, make time for yourself and your art!

So from now on I think I’ll start making a conscious effort to switch the internet OFF and my mind ON!

How do you clear your mind? Please share any tips/experiences below!

My reality of failing

18 May

If you’re a fan of motivational speakers such as Tony Robins and Les Brown you’ll be familiar with their mantra on the importance of failing. These speakers amongst many others always stress that to be successful you must fail; because failure is a way to learn. I’ve heard it many times and I thought I believed it, I really did…but I soon realised I was lieing to myself.

Let’s talk honestly about failing. It’s a horrible feeling. Possibly one of the worst. It can create insecurity and doubt in the mind. It can make you question your actions and stop you from pursuing your dreams in an instant.The subtle reminder of past failures can become quite tormenting. It suggests to you each time that you’re inadequate, you’re the reason why you haven’t made it and you’re ultimately the FAILURE. But for those that are ambitious you need to accept that failure is inevitable! It’s something you HAVE to deal with. Working towards your goals means a lot of trials and errors along the way! But your drive and determination is what will keep you going despite the guarantee of failure.

Personally, I don’t fail well. I’ve grown up with a ‘little miss perfect’ complex. I never really stepped foot out of line at school and I minimised risks wherever possible throughout life. I thought that staying within my comfort zone meant that I would avoid failure. I went through school doing minimal work and came out with OK grades. Setting my standards low was a way to protect myself…because if I ever did fail I could justify it with the fact that I didn’t try my hardest so it didn’t matter.

But this post has come about because I recently experienced a few obstacles, setbacks and barriers. I still don’t like to fail and even though I push myself each day I’ll be honest, the thought of failing haunts me each time.

I’m currently building a business in financial education and along the way I’ve hit a few hurdles, barriers and road blocks! (to say the least) which has discouraged me on so many levels. Paperwork and admin are an essential part of every business and it must be done correctly to ensure accuracy. I was met with a task where I had to complete some paperwork in a short space of time. I wasn’t completely familiar with the processes and I felt a bit overwhelmed about having to complete it quickly. I got it wrong; a few times and I made errors. I wanted to quit. I contemplated giving up and justifying to myself that this business venture wasn’t for me. But I could see a trend and I told myself I can’t give up this time round. So I stuck at it and completed the paperwork. I put in 100%!

So it’s important that if when you fail you realise that it’s all apart of the process. If the journey to the top was easy…a lot more people would be up there. So remember to keep your mental state in check. Be honest with yourself. Give 100% and don’t make excuses! If you’re met with failure, acknowledge it and keep it moving!

[As always, I write these posts as motivation to myself. I’m still learning. I’m still developing but hopefully along my journey I can help you all too!]

How do you cope with failure? Leave a comment below or drop me an email

“Let your dreams guide you”

Nat x

Blogging Commitments; Review

4 May

So I came back the other week with a “where have I been” post after being absent for a few weeks months. Whilst I’m sure you understand why I took such a long break I still think I should address the blogging commitments I boldly made at the end of last year (2015). Blogging is something that I honestly enjoy but I don’t always make it a priority and that evidently showed at the beginning of this year. I don’t want to lose that passion that I originally had. So let me honestly review my blogging commitments. So for this post I’ll go back to each of my original commitments and I’ll see how many of these I actually stuck to!

Disclamer: Now I wouldn’t say I completely failed but I surely didn’t stick to everything on the list. Let’s have a recap.

  • Blog posts EVERY Wednesday at 2pm GMT | THIS HAPPENED FOR AT LEAST 3 MONTHS STRAIGHT BUT IT FIZZLED OUT IN JANUARY THIS YEAR
  • A round up on the last week of each month detailing what I’ve achieved and lessons learnt for that month! | FAILED ! HONESTLY THAT NEVER HAPPENED
  • To post on Instagram at least 3 times a week | FAILED! I PROBABLY DID THIS FOR ONE WEEK. INSTAGRAM IS STILL MY LEAST FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLET
  • Any guest posts or features for the month to be posted on Mondays | SORT OF ACHIEVED. I ONLY HAD ABOUT 3 GUEST POSTS BUT THEY WERE ALL POSTED ON A MONDAY
  • To dedicate 1 day a week to network with other bloggers. | THIS NEVER HAPPENED. ALTHOUGH RECENTLY I HAVE MADE AN EFFORT TO NETWORK WITH UK BLOGGERS. HOPING TO ATTEND A MEET UP REAL SOON!
  • To tweet at least once everyday | THIS DID HAPPEN BUT I WENT 6 WEEKS WITHOUT TWEETING. I’M NOW BACK TO SCHEDULING MY TWEETS AND TWEETING THROUGHOUT THE DAY

You know what…I’m not even embarrassed that I didn’t meet all my goals. This stuff happens. Life gets in the way. But now I’m looking back at them and I am going to tackle them head on again. I think my problem was that I didn’t put blogging as a priority. I’m not going to change any of these commitments, I won’t add to them or take any away. It’s important to be consistent in life right? So I’m going to stick at it and see how I get on.

I think the only way you can grow as a person is being open and honest with yourself. I’m not saying to give yourself a hard time but don’t ignore your shortcomings. Most of the time I’m not afraid to admit when I’ve done something wrong. Yes I’ll be honest pride gets in the way sometimes but for the most part I can hold my hand up and admit it when I’ve done wrong.

So yes readers, I lost my way. Yes, I didn’t stick to my blogging goals. But you know what. I’m not the first blogger that’s failed. Let’s get over it and keep it moving shall we? Lol

I think I’ll leave it there for now. Another follow up in 3 months? lol

Nat x

Reflections of a mum-to-be

6 Apr

The other day I was thinking back to the times where I would believe and follow everything my parents told me. I would willingly agree with everything they said…no questions asked. I remember my father once told me that putting petrol in a car makes it grow. I honestly believed that for a few years. I remember intently watching the other cars at the petrol station to see if they doubled in size. [They never did]. But that just shows that when we are young our parents had the power to say anything to us and in our naivety we would often accept.

But I can remember the times when I started challenging my parent’s views. It wasn’t until I was in my late teens. I guess my increased independence and growing intellect gave me the confidence to question them. I was never disrespectful but I was challenging. At times I felt rebellious and I was sometimes branded as a disobedient child. But in my defense I feel like I was just trying to develop as a person. I was exploring all the different views I had and because of my intuitive nature I couldn’t just take everything at face value.

But as I sit here this afternoon and reflect on my ‘rebellion’ I can see that there were some benefits to challenging my parents. I honestly believe that during those years I was creating the foundation for me to become a strong minded and ambitious woman. [I hope my parents can agree too]. I feel that through questioning my parents helped me to cement my beliefs even more. I learnt more. I explored my thoughts and ideas more and now I feel confident in the things I believe. 

So with this in mind and my impending motherhood I thought about the future dynamics of my relationship with my daughter. I want there to be freedom of expression between us. I want her to openly discuss things that concern her. I want her to challenge my views with logical and well formed arguments. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her to be rebellious without reason, but nor do I want her to blindly accept everything I tell her. Quite frankly, I want to raise a woman that is strong minded, driven and confident!

But to achieve this, the practice must start at home and that’s why I cannot let my pride get in the way. I must learn to put aside my emotions in times when she’ll prove me wrong. This is where I envision the challenge will be. As a mother I can imagine you feel all knowledgeable and all powerful over your offspring. I guess you feel that because you carried them for 9 months you have the right to dictate every aspect of their life. But I think we forget that we are primarily human beings; with our own goals, dreams and purpose. That’s why I believe it is important as a parent to encourage your children to fulfill each of these.

I envision that the most precious moments of motherhood will be allowing my daughter to teach me in areas where I fall short. I don’t have all the answers and yes I may get things wrong but I can only hope and pray that God gives me the wisdom and strength to be the best mother that I can be.

Are there any mothers that can relate? How do you feel when your children challenge your views? And what do you think about this kind of parenting style?

Comment below

Nat x

I wish I never knew…

27 Jan

Have you ever been enlightened on something and then wish you never knew? Like you wish you could rewind the time and unlearn some of the things you know today? For me, I feel that sometimes ignorance is bliss. I think to myself, surely it’s better to live a carefree and uneducated life right? People like that always ‘appear’ to be ‘happier’.

Due to my inquisitive nature it sometimes causes me to search for answers I may not necessarily need to know. I feel that I cannot take anything at face value and that I must find the deeper meaning to everything. I always think how can I simply sit back in life and just accept things as they are…surely life can’t be that simple? Obviously I’ve come to terms with the fact I cannot know everything but to my own frustration I still like to try.

However, there are some things in this life where with a little digging and Google searching you can unearth the answers. The truth is more accessible than you think. Everything is at your finger tips, but it’s up to you to go out there and find it. Although I wouldn’t classify myself as a conspiracy theorist I do see some truth in their claims. Their views come from a place of questioning everything and that is something I have done all my life. Whether that be why do we have to go to school? or why is there such a division between the rich and the poor. Or why has Africa been in poverty for so long despite countless aid efforts?

But in recent years I feel like that all this information I’ve accumulated has made me realise how little I actually know…and also how corrupt this game called life is. I could go on and on about all the injustices but when it comes down to it. Sometimes I wish I never knew… all this knowledge has left me with a responsibility to change it all. Its convicted me to do something about it. But as much as I want to inspire and impact people I couldn’t help but feel like the most insignificant piece on the chess board. How can I challenge systems that have been established for 100s of years? My time on this earth is limited what change can I really bring in this short space of time?

The feeling of defeat has held me back even before I’ve had a chance to go out in the world to experience it for myself. I do want to break free and live ‘outside the system’ but I know it requires unspeakable resilience, strength and passion. And if I’m brutally honest…sometimes I just don’t have the fight in me to take it all on.

I often catch myself between the two schools of thought; the “forget the 9-5 and become an entrepreneur” and the “if you can’t beat them join them”. The latter isn’t an option I ever want to take but sometimes it seems like the only option. It’s like the system is always lurking behind me waiting for me to surrender. But I know there is more. How do I know? Because there are people living it!

Although I wish I never knew about all these things it’s time for me to put my feelings aside and go out there and get what I deserve.

“Let your dreams guide you”

Nat

Finding motivation

20 Jan

Everyone likes positive feedback. There’s something about it that reaffirms who you are. It’s confirmation of the person you always thought you were meant to be. It boosts your confidence, pushes you to work harder and it can also encourage you to take more risks. Compliments, feedback and the likes are all really good things. But what do you do when you’re not receiving the recognition you want? When you’ve been working tirelessly on a project and it seems to fall flat?

Let me talk from my perspective.

I can honestly say I’m a person that doesn’t like negative feedback. Give me positive feedback and it suddenly boosts my confidence and makes me feel more confident. So yes I may be the sort of person that may back away from an idea because no one supported me in it. It’s not something I’m proud of but it is definitely a trend I’ve seen in my life. For example, I often get really excited and pleased with myself when people comment on my blog posts. When I get ‘X’ amount of likes I suddenly feel more accomplished. It encourages me to write more. I’ve had people reach out to me both old time friends and strangers who have said that my posts resonated with them or helped them through a difficult period. This instantly makes me feel accomplished. But when I get no likes…or no comments it discourages me slightly (I’m not gonna lie). I get frustrated and think…well I know my content is good why aren’t people reading my work?!

But I’m trying to learn that in the beginning I may have to work for little or no rewards. I understand that I may put my all into an idea but it may not work out the way I intended. Yes it’s frustrating. Yes it’s draining. But sometimes it’s just how it is. If I’m honest sometimes I look at other people and I think I’m way more talented than them why am I not getting the recognition I deserve? At this point I usually have to refocus…because comparing my talents to others will not get me to my goals any quicker. Sometimes the option to give up seems appealing. Why? because no one likes to feel undervalued. It’s demotivating.

But I know all this can change if I just change my mind-set.

I realised I was seeking approval from others and using their recognition as the driving force for my dreams. But I’m realising that I cannot continue like that. I have to write from the heart…regardless of recognition.

However, I realised that as much as I shouldn’t let those negative moments dictate my actions, neither should I let my happy moments control my actions. If I only write when I get positive feedback what does that say to my readers? What does that say about me as a person? It says I’m only in it for the recognition…when that’s not true. I write to inspire and impact others.

This is why I’m learning to motivate and encourage myself. I’ve chosen this path to explore things I’m passionate about and neither positive nor negative feedback should change that. I’m not saying I’ve changed over night. Please understand this is a process…and yes it is frustrating. But I’m sharing with you some of the realness that comes with stepping out of your comfort zone and pursuing your dreams.

It’s easy to take motivation from others. But it shows character if you can motivate yourself!

Natalie

 

2015 roundup

30 Dec

At the beginning of this year I wanted to buy something special to write my thoughts in. I remembered there was this company called PaperBlanks which made awesome and good quality journals. So I wandered around the stores looking for the perfect one! On Friday 30th January 2015 I found my special journal sat in John Lewis. It was quite expensive for what it was but I told myself it was an investment for the future. I wanted to get something of high quality that made me feel special whilst writing in it.

It was my life coach at the time that inspired me to start a journal as a good way to keep note of what I was doing and to see the progress in my life. If I’m honest I have had the tendency to not see things through right to the end but this journal has been one thing I kept to this year. I enjoyed it so much that it became the reason I started this online blog.

So now we’re nearing the end of 2015 and with only a day left to go I thought it would be great for me to read through my journal.

I decided to categorise each of my entries into positive, negative or neutral. Neutral entries were things such as to do lists, random notes and reminders. Positive entries were generally things that I had overcome or I was excited about. Negative entries were obviously times when I was feeling down and pessimistic about life.

I wrote a total of 68 entries this year which works out at least one journal entry a week. My longest period without writing in my journal was 6 weeks between May and June. I think this was partly because I went away during this period and didn’t take my journal with me. But otherwise I was quite regular in my writing.

Before going back to read through some of my entries I anticipated that most of it would be negative. Looking back on 2015 I could only identify a few highlights and most of it felt quite stressful. But after I went through and categorised each of my entries I realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was quite balanced. [Obviously I need to take into account the times I didn’t write in my journal for whatever reason.]

My results were as follows;

Positive: 29

Neutral: 19

Negative: 20

My top biggest decisions/challenges this year were:

  • Deciding whether to pursue a career or business
  • Moving towns
  • Continuing my business
  • Losing interest in my business idea

Triumphs this year:

  • Courageously leaving my job to pursue other things
  • Putting myself in an uncomfortable situation and learning to develop and improve as a person
  • Learning to follow my dreams and ignore what people say

Unfinished projects:

  • Healthy eating
  • My business

Looking at these results I can see that I had quite a balanced year. Although the emotion I felt during the difficult times were evidently more intense than the good times. I tended to remember the negative times more than the positives. It seemed to leave more of an imprint on my mind.However, I always forced myself to see the positives in them too. That’s why it’s good to document things throughout your life. If I just relied on my mind I would have concluded that I had quite an awful year. But my journal reminded me that I definitely did have some good days.

All in all, 2015 has been very rocky. The latter part of the year has ended in a bang and I’m excited for what will come. I’m currently working on some honest and heart felt posts but I’m waiting for the right time to release. But just know that your girl is doing good and nothing will stop her from achieving her dreams!

For next year my aim is to write in my journal more regularly. At least 2 entries every week which should bring my yearly total to just over 100! I’m going to make more of a conscious effort to write in both good and bad times.

Sending peace and love your way and I wish you a fabulous 2 0 1 6 !! Bring it on !!

Nat