Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

New relationship? 10 tips to help it last!

  1. Be honest, be yourself. Nothing erodes confidence more than trying to maintain a facade! It is exhausting and might cost you the relationship when (not if) you get caught out!
  2. Play it straight. Talk to each other and don't play games.  Speak up if something is bothering one of you - be kind and listen to each other. 
  3. Have confidence.  If you can believe in yourself you have much more chance of having a strong and confident relationship. If you are not confident then seek help - Confidence Coach at this link can help you.
  4. Together, layout the ground rules at the start. It is good to agree at the beginning how much time you plan to spend together and how you will make time to be with other friends and family.  Then stick to the agreement - no one should come back with recriminations.  
  5. Be gentle and affectionate. This is about being physically at ease with each other - no, I'm not talking about sex.  You should be able to touch each other easily and without feeling uncomfortable. If one of you cannot, then stop and think very carefully whether this relationship is right for you!
  6. Trust each other - don't snoop! Reading someone's emails or texts behind their back infringes their privacy. Taken out of context quite innocent words can cause grief.  If you think you have reason to be suspicious then have the confidence to talk about your fears
  7. Don't over analyze.  Ruminating on a relationship can kill it.  Who knows right now whether it is going to last.  Give it time to grow and flower - enjoy it for what it is.  This takes the pressure off both of you.  
  8. Don't build a world round just each other. You will be more intriguing for each other if you have a life apart and your own interests, as well as the life you share.  
  9. Think positive. If you begin to think “I don’t really deserve this wonderful person” change it immediately to “I deserve a good relationship with someone special like me!" Repeat! Repeat! This, too, will take the pressure off both of you - you can both feel good about each other!
  10. Get the major issues out there.  Don't let the relationship get too far without being honest about the important things that matter to you. Be honest about how you really feel about sex, families, religious differences etc! Much better to know where you both stand from the beginning - shocks later can be disastrous and very painful to live with! 

    Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She is passionate about her clients being fulfilled and successful in their careers and in their life out side work. She offers coaching by phone and Skype as well as face to face, particularly for those wanting to increase their confidence. If you would like to know more you can contact Wendy at  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114.  Her Skype ID is wendymason14.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Job Search for Nervous People Like Me

SAN MATEO, CA - JANUARY 28:  Job seekers atten...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
If you are looking for work, one of the biggest obstacles can be your lack of confidence.

A large part of confidence comes from what we believe about ourselves. And if you already lack confidence, losing a job can be shattering.  You can find a very honest discussion of how it can feel at this link.

If, in your heart, you really don’t believe that you have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job then it is going to be hard for you to convince an employer. But are you sure your fears are well founded?

As well as that, you need to believe that you will have the communication and presentation skills necessary to get through an interview. Well, I can help you there. So what do you do?

Believing in your gifts

At this link you will find some information about writing STAR stories. The STAR method means that for each signifcant achievement in your working life you set out the;

·         S – Situation, the background – when where, who and why
·         T – Task or tasks, you need to be specific here – exactly what were you required to do and what was the required outcome?
·         A – Action, what you did and what skills you used, how you behaved? 
·         R – Result – Outcome, what happened – what were the benefits and how could you measure them?   How did the organisation respond?

People like hearing a well told story.  And telling your stories well at interview will ensure you are memorable for the right reasons; make them not too long though and they need to remain positive and realistic! 

But, almost more importantly, preparing your STAR stories can also be a real boost to your self confidence.  It is a way of reliving your successes and that can be good for all of us when we start to feel doubts.

See if you can find some STAR stories  – things you really believe in  - at least one for each of the skills needed in the job you are applying for.  

Take pride in writing your CV

These stories can provide the foundation for the CV you tailor for this opportunity and at interview. 

You know now that you have something to be proud of!  But it does matter that you choose a job that matches what you have to offer – don’t stretch yourself, and reality, too far! Bluffing your way through rarely works and certainly not when you feel you are on very shaky ground.

Practice, practice, practice!

You want to walk into that interview knowing that you are the right person for the job. Then you will feel far less nervous and you will feel confident.  

But quite often confidence comes with practice, particularly physical practice! So practice walking into the room, sitting down and telling what you have to give. You can do this at home and, if you can get a friend with a positive and friendly attitude to help you, so much the better.

Walk in with your head held high but your shoulders relaxed – imagine yourself doing it confidently on the day.  Practice a few relaxation techniques to help you along – here is one you can use on the day. Remember body language says as much as your words, so observe the gestures you use during your practice. Practice answering the probable first question – “tell me about yourself.?”

On the day

Take a few minutes to use your relaxation techniques before you go in.  Then do what you have practiced.  Listen carefully to questions, ask for clarification if there is anything you don’t understand and take time to answer.  Remember most interviewers really are on your side.  They want you to be the one! And, as for you, well, if you have done your homework, you will know that you are truly the star they are looking for!

You will find more of tips on my Leaving the Public Sector website and the link is below.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Power of Your Smile

Eye contactEye contact (Photo credit: Gabriela Sellart)
To be happy, we need to feel recognized and acknowledged by others. This helps us to feel part of a group and we all need that for our well-being. 

If we feel unrecognized and excluded, we can feel miserable and we can go on to feel stressed.

But the recognition and acknowledgement we need can be as simple as a smile or even as little as eye contact alone.

The journal of the Association of Psychological Science, Psychological Science, has published a study that demonstrates how important a very simple acknowledgement can be.

Eric.D.Wesselmann of Purdue University carried out a study with colleagues at the University. The study tested the effect of very simple eye contact between a research assistant and people on a well-used path on the campus.

The research assistant didn't even need to smile to have a notable effect.  Those with whom the assistant made eye contact were questioned afterwards and commented that they felt less disconnected, even though the research assistat was a stranger.

We all need to feel connected to others for our happiness and our well-being.  But how often do we ourselves share the gift of our attention, as we go about our daily lives?  It is so easy for us to find ourselves totally preoccupied with our own thoughts.

We don't stay present in the moment and often we don't even notice those about us. So we don't make others feel they are people of note by acknowledging them.

Now, we have no excuse.  We know that we carry a very powerful gift - the gift of our attention.  So give someone a present - spread a litle happiness today and do a little good!  Make eye contact with those about you and share your smile.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change. She offers coaching by phone and Skype as well as face to face, particularly for those wanting to increase their confidence. If you would like to know more you can contact Wendy at  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114.  Her Skype ID is wendymason14.