Why and question marks

Learning language skills can be so powerful. I can’t over-emphasise the importance of using the right word in the right situation. Asking the right questions, giving feedback, maintaining rapport – these are all incredibly valuable skills that will just make day-to-day interactions smoother, more amicable and more effective.

There is so much to learn and so many things to think about that nobody is ever going to be a perfect communicator. I am still learning new language skills myself, and just knowing them isn’t enough. You have to develop the habits to use them.

Take the question ‘why’, for example…

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social situation women chatting
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Social anxiety can be a subtle beast. There are a great many sufferers out there who may not even realise what is going on. When you are struggling with issues such as lack of confidence, low self-esteem, shyness and social awkwardness it is natural that you are going to be anxious in social situations. There can be various causes for this and there may often be several reasons why you are worried about interacting with others. But whatever your situation, there are things that you can do to help yourself deal with social situations better. Below, I suggest some specific social anxiety techniques that can help

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windy beach

It’s the start of Summer, right now and I’d love to go down to the beach. The temperature isn’t exactly balmy though, and down on the coast, with a stiff breeze, the wind chill factor will make it will feel even colder. I’m better off staying put in my back garden.

The wind-chill factor is the bane of my life sometimes. On a recent trip to Mallorca, even though the temperature was around 20 degrees. I would normally be sunbathing on the beach at that temperature but the wind chill meant that I was actually too cold. I couldn’t stay on the sand for any length of time.

Why does it feel colder when it’s windy?

Apparently, when there is no wind, our bodies create a protective layer of warmth around the skin. When the wind blows across our skin, this protective layer is stripped away and we feel cooler than it actually is. The greater the difference in temperature between the wind and the air around us, the greater the loss of heat.

Reading this fact put me in mind of a similar effect. When something unexpected happens – a negative event, it naturally knocks us back. It may take time to recover, but if other aspects of life are going okay we can often regain our balance, take action where possible, and recover.

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epiphany

When you have been living your life in the same way, sometimes you need an epiphany to overcome it. An epiphany is defined in the dictionary as ‘a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization’. It is a moment in time when one incident – a thought, an experience – changes everything for good.

There are many stories in history of people who have made sudden realisations that changed everything. The classic epiphany would be the story of Archimedes, leaping from his bath, shouting ‘Eureka’ as he came to understand water displacement. Sir Isaac Newton is said to have had an epiphany when an apple fell on his head – illustrating gravity.

These events, if true, were significant enough to change the course of science and mathematics. An epiphany can also be experienced at the personal level too. Any experience that results in a major shift in thinking or a new way of experiencing the world is an epiphany. In his classic book The Dubliners, James Joyce explored personal epiphanies through his short stories.

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Hereward Kaye

In this second ‘Inpiring Success‘ interview with Hereward Kaye, composer and musician, we talk about the elusive nature of success. Hereward explains how, in his modest opinion, the success he has had as a ‘jobbing musician’ is more manageable than that found by the young stars who shoot to fame. He talks about his love of the work he does and the joy he has from the fact that his passion is his job.

We also get to hear about Hereward’s experience at a Beatles concert and learn about his current projects.

Hereward is a past member of the Flying Pickets. He wrote a West End Musical, called ‘Moby Dick’ and founded Rok Skool Sussex.

Hereward has met and worked with some of the greatest names in music. Names such as Rick Wakeman, Tom Robinson and Cameron Mackintosh. He currently runs Rok Skool Sussex where he teaches bands and individuals to develop their skills and experience in performance.

In the previous exerpt Hereward talked about dealing with big personalities, and preparing to perform. Part three will be a delightful story about launching a Westend Musical.

For further information on Hereward and his work, visit these sites.

www.herewardkaye.co.uk

www.rokskool.co.uk

If Hereward’s story has piqued your interest then why not get involved in his crowdfunding project to publish the full lockdown memoir – ‘The Ship Hits the Fans’, which gives the full inside story of the Moby Dick musical, along with stories of his time working with Rick Wakeman, the Flying Pickets and many others.

Hereward’s campaign, which offers incentives of first editions and invites to the book launch, can be accessed on his crowdfunding page.

The earth in our hands

Some time ago I wrote a blog on metaprograms and the value of ‘chunking’. In a nutshell, when dealing with issues it can be useful to change ‘chunk size’. You can look at things in more detail – chunk down – or you can consider the bigger picture. Both approaches have their value, and there are multiple levels of thinking.

As I write this, the world’s attention is on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and although I am not following it in detail, I definitely think this is a time for chunking up.

At all levels of society there is attention on what we can do to save the planet and our environment. From recycling waste to buying electric cars, many of us are trying to ‘do our bit’. There is plenty of evidence, sadly, that ‘our bit’ is not enough. Every little helps, but a lot helps more, and to do a lot, we are going to have to look at a bigger picture.

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woman thinking styles

Whether in a relationship, your career, financially or personally, bad thinking habits can really slow your progress, create conflict or knock your confidence. So, I thought I would present a list of my top 7 deadly thinking styles. I’ll explain a little about each, and give some suggestions to help avoid them.

Thinking styles

1: Think the worst

When making decisions or wondering about an event in the future. Many people naturally worry that things won’t turn out well. Focusing on bad outcomes, however, is a recipe for increasing your anxiety.

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smoking, drinking and partying bad habits

You have to wonder if a little NLP might help with Ed Sheeran’s bad habits. In his latest hit song, the singer, songwriter focusses on the bad habits he has later in the day. Some might interpret this as a reference to drink and drugs, and others to partying and one-night stands. As with all songs, the interpretation lies with the listener to a certain extent.

What is a bad habit?

Before you can resolve a problem, you need to be aware that it exists. Often we find ourselves experiencing repeating patterns in our careers, personal life and relationships that we find difficult to explain. Maybe we typically begin a relationship with passion and commitment and then start to develop jealous behaviours or possesiveness that destroys what we have. In a career we might start by loving the job but then get into a loop of complaining and politicising and end up leaving.

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Spilt milk

Sometimes a person will reach a point in life where they come to a devastating realisation. ‘It’s all my fault’. In any aspect of our lives we may spend a considerable amount of time feeling that we are the victim and blaming others for our bad experiences, and then suddenly we reach a certain breaking point and it hits us that we are the cause of everything we are experiencing.

It often happens after things have been piling up over a long period of time. You gradually become overwhelmed with all the choices you have made and the path you have found yourself going down.

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freedom - represented by a barbed wire fence and a plan in the background

As I write this I’m stuck in a prison – the prison of the mind. A lot of people run aground in their lives and stay in that place most of the time. I am determined to break free and live a life of freedom. Sure, things, or should I say, circumstances, happen in one’s life but the most important emotion is our reactions to these. We can be negative and feel sorry for ourselves or get into a positive state of mind and ‘tighten our belts’ and move on to the next chapter. The most important piont in your life is to not compare yourself with others.

You have been given a blank canvas and it’s up to you what you’re going to paint on it. My own life has had its ups and downs and most of my life I’ve let the downs keep me from experiencing the joys that life has to offer: low in confidence; feeling worthless; lack of self-esteem and hiding away. My aim is to break free and break these chains, start a new journey and use every part of the canvas to paint my picture.

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