How Successful People Banish Negative Beliefs and Why You Need To Do This Now

Negative or limiting beliefs are what we believe about ourselves that holds us back. Beliefs like, I’m not good enough, not educated enough, I get everything wrong, I’m not likeable… These beliefs stop you feeling good about yourself, cause time-wasting, angst and unhappiness.

Your personal belief system is what it is, as a result of your previous knowledge & experiences. Beliefs develop from an early age and are often acquired from parents, teachers and other influential people in our lives. Having strong beliefs gives us a sense of why we exist and where we are going in life – our beliefs underpin our sense of purpose and influence our values and behaviours. Some beliefs we hold about ourselves may not actually be true but because we believe them, they are our reality.

For instance, one client of mine who was told ‘once’ when she was a child that she was stupid and that she’d never “amount to anything”, has always deep-down, believed this even though there is absolutely no evidence to prove this. She owns and manages a very successful business. Yet, believing deep-inside that she was stupid meant that she was always pessimistic about the future prospects of her business and she worried all the time that her business would fail. This belief adversely affected her decision-making abilities and, all that worry became a habit that started to affect her relationships and her own happiness.

After working on this negative belief and finding the evidence that it was NOT true, then changing her self-talk to the positive “I am intelligent and make wise choices”, she was able to make certain decisions she had been putting off for a long time. She repeated to herself at least three times every day the following phrase: “I am intelligent and make wise choices”. This helped her well-being and her life enormously.

She said that that this was like a weight being lifted from her shoulders. She felt able to take action on the stuff she had been afraid of.

  1. She promoted one particular employee to be her #2, thus giving herself more family time and crucially – time to take action on a long-held dream of hers, to visit India.
  2. She dealt with some health issues that she’d been putting off for some time as she always chose work first. A wise choice, by an intelligent lady.
  3. She went on a long overdue trip to climb in the Himalayas, spent some time exploring that part of the world, finishing up in a yoga retreat in India.

And all because she banished one single negative belief.

I wrote this blog because I have seen time and time again the huge benefits that come from banishing negative beliefs. It seems so simple that you may wonder if this can really work. Well, it has worked for me and I see it working with clients on a daily basis. Why live life with those negative niggles going round in your head, causing you stress and driving you crazy. These negative beliefs can be banished with just a little effort – boy, it is worth it.

You are not alone in having negative beliefs. Most, if not all of us have experience of negative beliefs that worm their way into our psyche and cause us stress. We must get rid of these beliefs to get things done and to succeed in life. Good news is that there is one very simple tool that you can use, starting RIGHT NOW to banish your negative beliefs.

If you take one thing from this blog, it is the power of positive affirmations. You must design the right ones for you and you must use them daily – it doesn’t take time from your day. Find the one that works for you, then it’s just a matter of repeating this daily until you believe it. Your beliefs have been yours for a very long time, it will take discipline and positive reinforcement to change negative for positive beliefs.

So, how do you change the way you have always thought about yourself—your long-held beliefs?

Firstly, acknowledge what you believe. Name the biggest culprit here – the single most powerful negative belief that holds you back. Is it that you’re:

  • not likeable, so you’re afraid to socialise and meet new people?
  • that you believe you won’t cope if you fail, therefore don’t try stuff?
  • Could it be that you believe it’s weak to ask for help so become overwhelmed trying to do everything yourself?

Be honest with yourself, as this is the quickest way to change those beliefs that aren’t working for you. And, realise this — very small changes can deliver big results. Changing your beliefs about reality is a powerful way to change the reality that you experience, because what you believe to be true is what you create to be true.
Below are some questions which will help you determine your biggest limiting beliefs and replace them with positive ones. Answer these to find out

What are the biggest problems face in achieving your goals and desires?

  1. Identify three long-held beliefs that may be limiting you, that is, that contribute most to the issues. For example, do you believe you don’t deserve love, happiness, or success? Do you believe you’re not likeable? Do you believe that unless you work longer than everyone else you don’t deserve to succeed? Writing down the answers can be helpful.
  2. What’s the implication of having these beliefs? If you’re self-limiting belief is that you’re not good enough – write down how this serves you, what is this belief stopping you from achieving? If you believe you can’t ever win an argument, what effect has this on your relationships and your life in general? Write down the effects on your life for each negative belief that you hold.
  3. We all choose how we behave and are also free to choose what we believe about ourselves and the world. For each of your three negative beliefs listed above, next, identify what you would need to believe to be true for each one, for you to change them from holding you back to helping you get what you want? For example, if you believe that failure is only bad, substituting that belief with, “Failure is a learning experience and makes me stronger” or even “Failure gives me funny stories to tell” is much more useful and can help you make that essential change to get what you want. I’m guessing that if you believe you must work harder than everyone else to succeed, you probably spend more time in the office than everyone else, to the detriment of other areas of your life—right? Swapping this belief for something like, “I am productive and deliver my work on time” can actually help you do just that. They’re your beliefs, so use your own words to formulate your new set of positive ones. If you’re finding it difficult to replace long-held negative beliefs with positive ones, try this:
  4. Search for the evidence. When we look for evidence for those negative beliefs, there rarely is any to be found. In swapping your negative belief for a positive one that’s meaningful to you, search for the evidence. An example would be if you believe you’re not good enough to go for a promotion in work, remind yourself how you succeeded when you got your job in the first place. What did you do well? What belief did you hold that got you to that interview? There’s the evidence that you can do it. If you don’t believe you have what it takes to scale your business – what beliefs did you hold about yourself that gave you the confidence to set up your business in the first place. Recapture how you felt, what you believed back then – this is your evidence.

To embed the new beliefs in your being, to really feel that new belief, it’s crucial that you actually believe it. The benefit of answering the questions above is that you identify the belief that’s holding you back, find evidence in your life for the opposite to be true then you’re perfectly positioned to swap the negative belief for the positive.

How to make your new, positive beliefs stick:

There are a number of ways that help to embed the new positive beliefs in your psyche so that the positive becomes your new reality.

  1. Focus on these positive beliefs daily. Repeat them every day as positive affirmations. For example, “I am great at interviews” and “I am kind and loveable.”
  2. Many find it helpful to write them down every day – then read them to yourself.
  3. Visualise yourself as whatever you believe. For example, if you would like to be a powerful public speaker, imagine yourself on that stage, speaking to an enthralled crowd, to huge applause.
  4. Test the new beliefs. For example, if you now believe you’re productive at work, give yourself the task of getting your work finished by 5:00 p.m., feeling good about it, and getting out of your workplace to have some fun.

Choose the method of embedding these beliefs that works best for you. You may choose more than one.

Final tip,

So, you have your new positive beliefs now right? But you forgot to say them today, forgot to read them. Hmm… They’re not going to stick are they? The single best way to remember is to give yourself a trigger – for example, if you drive to work, why not say your positive affirmation each time you close your car door. Use the door banging shut as your reminder. You could say it each time you open or close your front door at home – or every time you drink a coffee. You may like to set a daily reminder on your phone. Choose the trigger that works best for you. If you like to look in the mirror a lot – what better trigger than that! Have a look at yourself in the mirror and say “I am good enough!” or whatever affirmation you have chosen that will work best for you.
Wishing you confidence and success with your new positive beliefs.

A Powerful Question to Help Get to Those Things You’ve Been Putting Off For A While…

One Powerful Question to help Quick-Start Positive Change in your Life

When I was first asked this question, I found it instantly helped me to think differently about certain aspects of my life. As I wrote down the answers, it very quickly became clear to me that if I acted to sort out the parts of my life that I was just putting up with, life would be better, certain relationships would improve, I’d have increased focus, less stress… Ask yourself this one question:

What am I tolerating in my life right now?

What is a toleration? Quite simply it’s stuff you’re putting up with that bothers you – this can be something seemingly minor like a cluttered corner of your house or office that you know needs to get sorted, and it can be something rather large, such as a colleague who is so negative, they drain your energy. Tolerations are things that without which, your life would be better. These can be eliminated with huge benefits to you such as decreased frustration and stress, clearer thinking, more time, better health and energy – a better life.

The first step in eliminating tolerations is to name them. Ask yourself now: What am I tolerating in my life right now?

See listed below some examples of tolerations to help start your thinking process – everyone’s tolerations will be different as everyone’s view of life is unique.

Examples of tolerations include:

  1. A long commute to and from work
  2. The milk being left out of the fridge after being used
  3. The clutter under your stairs or on your desk
  4. The shoes you trip over every time you enter a certain room
  5. A colleague who moans and never ever says something positive
  6. Another colleague who presents you with problems – never solutions
  7. Missing your exercise class for various reasons
  8. Your family member who depends on you for absolutely everything
  9. Your friend who always cancels at the last minute
  10. Your wardrobe that needs a clear out
  11. Your coffee habit that adversely affects your skin – and maybe your sleep
  12. Your boss who constantly puts you down or overloads you with work
  13. That stack of personal paperwork that’s on your mind yet you’ve done nothing about it
  14. Your employee who doesn’t pull their weight
  15. Drama and gossip
  16. A nagging family member
  17. Your lack of confidence
  18. Being too busy
  19. Poor sales results from your team
  20. Your perfectionism
  21. Someone else’s perfectionism
  22. Lack of personal responsibility
  23. Guilt
  24. Sadness
  25. Worry about “what might happen”
  26. Not making time to meet your friends
  27. Dishonesty
  28. Poor habits like always being late, biting your nails, eating too many cookies
  29. Excuses
  30. Boredom
  31. Too many social commitments
  32. Unhealthy relationships
  33. Staying up so late, you’re always tired the next day
  34. Inaction
  35. Procrastination
  36. A “to do” list that never gets finished
  37. Fear of speaking up
  38. No time to think
  39. Too much debt
  40. Lack of fun and laughter in your life
  41. The neighbours dog barking all night
  42. The printer that keeps breaking down
  43. The employee who always misses deadlines
  44. The pile of books you really want to read but haven’t
  45. That friends weekend away that has been planned for years but hasn’t happened yet
  46. Your hairstyle that needs updating
  47. Your car that needs washing
  48. Your garden that’s a mess
  49. That unwritten book you know you want to write
  50. Those “thank you” cards you need to send

When making your Tolerations List, aim for as many as you can. Try for a minimum of 10 and up to 20 for a more complete picture of what you need to eliminate from your life.

When you have completed your list, I suggest eliminating the easiest ones first. Some people like to tackle the biggest tolerations but I have always found that de-cluttering the actual tolerations list gives me a great sense of satisfaction and motivates me to tackle bigger issues. You can look forward to your clearer, less-frustrated life where you have more time, energy and joy. You can use a page and plot it out like the example below.

My Tolerations What am I going to do about them?
1.     My office is a mess I will tidy my office this coming Friday from 9-11am
2.     Too many social commitments I will prioritise and cancel the least important/enjoyable. I will consider all invitations more carefully in future and will accept only those that are fun/important.
3.     etc




5 “Must Do’s” When Launching Your Beauty Brand Into Retail

Recently I’ve been writing blogs about beliefs, confidence, purpose and focus. All really important to build your foundation for personal and business success. Today’s blog has a business theme – I’m writing this really because, I was chatting with Samantha Kelly earlier this week and she suggested that as I know (and love) the beauty business so well, I should share my tips. I hope you find them useful.

As a retail pharmacist, pharmacy owner and later a wholesale distributor in the health and beauty sector, over the past 20 years I have worked with quite a number of beauty brands. Successful brands like St Tropez, Neal’s Yard Remedies, OPI, Proactiv, Sanctuary Spa, Smashbox Cosmetics – and many others. Also, with some not so successful brands, which even though they didn’t work out at the time, provided hugely useful learning experiences.

One of my favourite success examples is about when I was running my wholesale sales and marketing business. With every brand we worked with I always wanted to do the very best we could. I tell this story as it covers all 5 “To Do’s” when launching a beauty brand into retail.  This all started with a feeling of connection—on my part. We imported many leading (sometimes not-so-leading) health and beauty brands from all over the world into Ireland, selling into pharmacies, department stores, beauty salons, travel retail, online stores and grocery. My company looked after all the warehousing and distribution, sales and marketing. It was a challenging business (as all businesses are), yet really exciting. The part I enjoyed the most was travelling to conferences and meetings around the world, looking for new “wow” brands, meeting people I wouldn’t normally meet, and being in places I wouldn’t otherwise be. Also, I just loved when a sales pitch went well – you know that feeling?

Early in 2007, I attended a conference in Monaco and came across a new natural face and body personal care brand called Yes to Carrots. I hadn’t heard of it before. I only discovered the brand on the afternoon of the very last day when they were getting ready to pack up and leave. I didn’t have an appointment to see them, and they didn’t have any availability to make time for me. But I just knew our company would make this brand a success in Ireland. I wanted to do this. This brand had instant high-impact and, initially, seemed to tick the boxes of my company’s requirements for a new launch. We had identified a gap in our portfolio for a natural, well-priced, impactful skincare range that had mass-market potential. All that remained, from my point of view, was to meet the people behind Yes to Carrots to see if we connected well and could work together. I’ve never succeeded with a brand or project where the people involved didn’t connect and engage well with one another.

I’m decisive by nature—some would say impulsive—and I made a decision there and then that I would not let this opportunity pass me by. I didn’t even have the opportunity – yet, but I still wasn’t going to let it pass me by. I mentioned Yes to Carrots to an American colleague at the conference, who had actually met one of the founders of the company at a previous event. I pestered her to introduce me and managed to get a very quick meeting with him and their team just as they were packing up to leave on the final day. I told them about my company, said we’d be a perfect fit, and let them know I really wanted to work with them in Ireland. I remember being so excited about the brand, the products, and the potential for huge success in our market. I later found out that Ireland, where I operated from, wasn’t actually on their radar as a launch market—too small.

It took seven months to get them to agree to work with us in Ireland, the longest time it had ever taken my company to reach a deal. I phoned every two to three weeks and emailed in-between calls. After a couple of months, their international representative (reluctantly) agreed to meet with me. I planned for this meeting like never before. The more I worked on the detail of an Irish launch and strategy, the more I believed that this brand would be hugely successful in the market.

The planning was worth it. Because of their timeline (which was slower than my ideal timeline at the time, but which turned out to be for the best), we had time to plan our launch and sales strategy in detail. I invested in quite a lot of inventory, more than ever before with an unknown brand. We immediately made a huge impact with this already impressive brand. Our sales strategy was perfect; PR and promotion worked really well. We even sponsored a big horse racing event and gave the horse a prize of a carrots hamper! We had fun with it. The brand won lots of awards. The result? Net wholesale sales of more than €1.25 million in the first year of working with a previously unknown brand in a small market. The best part was, this really was a job well done. It wasn’t easy, yet the goal was clear, because the brand (and products) was a great one. This gave us the confidence to take action. Interesting, also, was the fact that this success and the learnings from it gave me and my team further confidence in other areas of our work and business. Result!

So, to sum up the 5 “Must-Do’s” when launching a beauty brand into retail:

  1. Your product/product range must be the best it can be. It’s a good fit with your current company portfolio and your personal/company vision. Also, all cosmetics and beauty products must be registered for sale in accordance with EU regulations.
  2. You know your target customer inside out – both your retail and your end-user customer. You have done your research and you know your product will benefit them & how.
  3. You’re clear on your numbers. Your profit margins work – for you and the retailer and you have prepared a straightforward, accurate cashflow. This is key.
  4. You plan in advance:
  5. Pre-selling in advance for maximum impact is an under-utilised yet really effective tool. Pick a launch date and start to sell to retailers at least 3 months beforehand. It often takes more than one meeting for the retailer to say yes and to agree elements like margins, positioning, marketing plans, window display…
  6. Your PR and marketing land at the same time as your products hit the shelves. Use social media to build awareness & interest beforehand as well at launch, along with using other relevant media channels. Enter your products into every beauty award competition.
  7. Your retail point of sale lands with the stock so your brand makes a big splash in-store.
  8. You have a detailed sales plan with targets which you monitor daily, weekly & monthly. Crucially you are clear on who will deliver these targets and how.

The beauty business is a lovely business to be in – that doesn’t mean it’s easy however. But if you implement the 5 tips above you’re off to a great start.