Positivity & Pep Talks

Pep talks might make you think of passionate locker room speeches or hot-headed sports coaches but these motivational moments can be used in daily life – whether you’re feeling low, shy or uninspired.

In today’s unstable political climate and faced with incredibly concerning statistics about our environment, it’s understandable if we all feel a little anxious from time to time.

Then there are the worries we face everyday – health, money, work, friends and family… Thanks to technology, we live in a world which is constantly on. We hardly ever get that break to totally switch off – even going on holiday we’re snapping away for the perfect Instagram shot or stressing about the handover notes we’ll have to leave at work (or what we’ll be returning to in our inbox).

Life is tough.

Which is why I wanted to shout about the power of a simple pep talk and the importance of surrounding yourself with positive vibes.

At work recently, there have been two instances where I’ve had the chance to talk to those more senior than me about professional development and charisma. During both those talks, I asked questions, took on board feedback and listened to advice and personal stories.

I came away, in both cases, feeling inspired and my ambition was soaring.

I was given advice and told that hard work does pay off, and that I could achieve whatever I wanted to if I worked hard enough. Both chats were, in a way, a little pep talk for my career.

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In my personal life, I often read articles about wellbeing and body image. Well known faces like TV presenter Caroline Flack or DJ Maya Jama open up about body confidence.

As someone who is guilty of comparing herself to others, regardless of how different our appearance may be, it’s always inspiring and strengthening to read about others who are championing body confidence. And it’s amazing how much better you look when you’re feeling confident. Reading these articles is, in a way, like reading a little pep talk…

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If you feel like you need a pick-me-up all the time, it’s time to seek help from more professional sources, but for the odd time that you feel anxious, stressed or low, try giving yourself a little pep talk to boost your spirits. We all need to stop being so hard on ourselves and remind each other why we’re so awesome.

And remind ourselves. Self love goes a long way.

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So for those moments when you need a little boost, here are 5 techniques that I’ve tried and tested:

Mirror pep-talks
When you wake up on the day of a big presentation, exam or important meeting, give yourself a mini pep talk in the mirror.

When I was at school, my reports always said that I needed to speak out more in class. One week, having read about the idea in a magazine, I decided to tell myself in the mirror each morning that I was confident. Starting the day off with this self-assurance did seem to help. While I didn’t miraculously transform into the loudest girl in the class, I did start to vocalise my ideas more.

So why not try it? Tell yourself that ‘you got this’ and that ‘you’re confident’ while looking straight into the reflection of your eyes. Believe it.

Make a playlist 
Find things like that a little embarrassing ? No worries. Something that is perhaps less awkward is music. It’s amazing how music can make us feel angry, sad, happy or powerful. At college, I created an ‘inspiring’ playlist on my iPod to listen to whenever I had an exam. Songs like ‘I Can Be’ by Taio Cruz and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (don’t laugh) pumped energy and confidence through my earbuds. It gave me a little boost and calmed my nerves.

Over the years, this playlist has evolved to include feel-good songs for whenever I feel stressed or low. ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams is a must (obviously) but also old classics like ‘Life is a Flower’ by Ace of Base and the occasional Spice Girls track (I am a 90’s girl after all…)

Make a feel good playlist with songs that make you feel happy or energised. Can’t think of any off the top of your head? Whack your iPod/iPhone on shuffle and when a song comes up that causes a noticeable shift in mood, scribble it down or add it to your phone notes. I guarantee you’ll have a playlist before you know it.

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Make your Insta more feel-good 
Instagram can sometimes make us feel inadequate as we inevitably compare our lives to other, highly edited ones. While it’s good to have those travel bloggers and fitness figures on your feed to inspire you, it can also create an unrealistic view of life. You are YOU and that is amazing whatever you’re doing and whoever you are. So throw in some channels that are intended to make you feel happier each day and split up the enviable feeds. Personal favourites include @positiveheadspace and the hashtags #positivevibes and #surfquotes. (And remember that people only put their best selves on Instagram. Everything is highly curated and highly edited so never take it too seriously.)

Talk to a friend and have more hugs.
I seriously think hugs are underrated. They have the power to give you strength and make you feel happier, and supported. Just pick a friend… hugging your CEO before an important meeting probably isn’t a wise idea!!

Make a list
Make a list of things you are grateful for, or things you’re good at; whether that’s creativity, supporting others or making people laugh. In times of crisis or low confidence, read over this list and remind yourself what your unique skill set is. Feeling SO low you can’t even manage that? Get a friend to help – an interesting exercise as it will reveal what others see when they look at you and often, the results are pleasantly surprising.

Got any tips for a pick-me-up? Or any songs I should add to my playlist?
Pop a comment below !

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