• Have you been in the dark for too long?

    ‘It's not the light that's the problem; it’s that you have been in the dark too long.’ You know when you've had the lights off for a while and they suddenly come on again that it takes a while for your eyes to adjust - what's the real cause of that? Is it really because the light has come on, or is it actually that you've been in the dark for too long? On one level, that might seem like a pointless philosophical question. You could argue the case for both positions or you could conclude that it's a combination of the two that causes the discomfort. How might it be useful to ...

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    Who makes you feel inferior?

    No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Eleanor Roosevelt.  What are your thoughts on this comment? Have you ever let anyone make you feel inferior? How did they do that? More importantly, how did you let them do that?  If we explore some different scenarios where someone is apparently ‘making’ you feel inferior, maybe you can decide how much it was a case of you letting them do that and in some way giving them permission.  In an extreme case, the other person might be a bully. They might actually be using language that directly implies that ...

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    Cracked or broken?

    ‘One small crack doesn't mean you're broken. It means you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart.’ Anon.  Which way do you tend to see it when a crack appears? Do you see it as the beginning of the end or do you see it as an area for learning and/or fixing?  If we follow the analogy of a crack in a wall, it could go either way. A crack can of course mean a problem with the foundation or even the structure itself. If so, then it's time to examine the cause and put it right.  Alternatively a crack in the wall can simply mean that the building has now settled...

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    If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door

    Have you ever wished or waited for an opportunity to present itself for you to do something you've always wanted to do ? How fixed was that idea as to what that opportunity should be or look like? We hear a lot about waiting for opportunities to arise, and of course they sometimes do, but what if it's more about you creating your own opportunities and being open to recognising them when they do arise? More often than not, when you have a firmly fixed idea of what you want to happen, there's a high chance of being disappointed. The more fixed your idea, the more likely your ...

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    There’s nowt so queer as folk

    This was one of my Dad's favourite sayings. He used it whenever someone did or said something that seemed odd to him. It’s another way of saying ‘people are endlessly interesting’, which is a phrase I use a lot. What makes us all interesting are our differences. If everyone behaved and thought the same, there would be no surprises but also perhaps little growth or development. Perhaps there would be little cause for friction too, but some friction can be a good thing if it makes us look at different options and ideally work towards a collaborative outcome. There are so many factors...

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    Not this time

    How do you deal with the disappointment when you don't achieve what you set out to? Perhaps you didn't get a job you wanted, or secure the new business you were hoping for, or make it into a sports team you tried for. How many times does that have to happen before you give up? Or do you keep going and follow your dream? It’s easy to start telling yourself that you're not good enough, that it’s a waste of time or that you're never going to make it. It’ so much harder to find the resilience to keep going. The language you use can influence that more powerfully than you might think....

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    What is your greatest asset?

    When you’re asked that question, do you start thinking about your material assets, such as your house, your business or your money? Or do you do you think about your skills and attributes? Maybe you have a particular talent that is valuable to you. There are so many ways of answering and there is no one right answer. What if your greatest asset is simply you? What is the value of all those other things without you? We spend a lot of our lives accruing material or financial assets, pushing ourselves to the limit to develop a talent we might have to its greatest potential. Sometimes ...

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    Do you dress to impress ?  What do you take that question to mean?  Is it asking whether you dress smartly, colourfully or outrageously?   Dressing to impress is normally said in relation to a job interview or another situation where the spotlight might be on you.  Whatever you take it to mean, the answer is ‘Yes, you do dress to impress’, however unconsciously that may be. However you dress you will make an impression.  We all form an opinion of someone we meet for the first time within seconds. What you’re wearing and how well you're wearing ...

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    How do you define personal branding?

    There can be a lot of confusion around what constitutes personal branding so perhaps a useful place to start is by saying what it’s not. It’s not about logos and letterheads. Logos and letterheads are part of your business branding. While of course there’s a connection between the two, i.e. a good business brand for a solo entrepreneur should reflect their personal brand, they are absolutely not the same thing. Branding is about your business (which of course, if you’re a solo entrepreneur includes you), personal branding is all about you. It’s about how you represent yourself, and ...

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    How big a risk will you take?

    How much of a risk taker are you? How safe do you like to feel? There’s a matrix that you can apply to risk taking with 3 key issues to be balanced against each other. These are: the likelihood of the worst outcome occurring, the level of seriousness of that worst outcome and your own competency or skill level. The idea of this matrix came to me when I was on a paddleboard, considering whether to venture out onto quite deep water. The worst outcome was to fall off. At that time, I had never fallen off a paddle board (I have now!), so the likelihood was in one way fairly low. However, ...

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