My job has recently been transferred from the UK to an Asian country. With the move from my established position to a new challenging role in a new environment, I suddenly found myself lacking my usual level of confidence...

Read more

british accent coaching
Super Speaking Video Courses
Vocal Impact: Download Francesca's DVD and eBook
Let go off Anxiety for now
Let go off Anxiety for now

Positive Voice Blog

Overcome anxiety in one simple step

Posted on Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Positivevoice

Anxiety is a state that comes from within. Yes, of course external factors play a part, but the final decision as to whether you feel anxious is yours. Anxiety can be very useful, as it acts as a warning signal; If you feel anxious about an upcoming commitment, it usually means that something needs to be changed. If you need to pack for your holiday, the anxiety serves as a reminder to finish your packing. If you have a public speaking engagement coming up, perhaps the anxiety is a reminder that you need to prepare your speech. If you have been invited to your ex's wedding, then the anxiety may just be a warning sign that you shouldn't go! Only you can decipher your anxiety. Ask yourself BOLD questions and you will receive BOLD answers.

If your anxiety relates to things outside your control or you struggle to find a rational explanation for it, then my latest hypnotherapy audio may be just what you are looking for. Let go of anxiety now is available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon music.



How to overcome anxiety

Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 by Positivevoice

Anxiety is an emotion like any other. Some people are better than dealing with it than others.

In this video, I explain how to let go of anxiety and rapidly change the way you live your life.

Please do forward this blog on to family and friends if you feel they would benefit from these insights too.



Are You a Woman Working in a MAN'S WORLD ?

Posted on Saturday, July 02, 2016 by Positivevoice

This concept of working in, what is conceived to be, a ‘man’s world’ seems to be on the minds of many of my clients at the moment. I have coached women on voice, communication style and mindset. Yet, again and again, the one thing that changes everything is confidence. This doesn’t mean that inequality is all in your mind, but it does mean that changing the way that you think and feel about it can completely transform your situation.

 

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

William Shakespeare

Are Your Beliefs a Reflection of YOUR reality?

The best way to change your mind about something is to confront your current beliefs. You can either make a mental list or take out a pen and paper (whichever works best for you) and then follow these steps:

1.       Think of something that is holding you back in your work life: For example: ‘I don’t feel confident at work’, ‘I feel inadequate’, ‘I’m not good at my job’

2.       Make a list of your beliefs around your current, undesirable situation- include positive and negative beliefs

3.       Next to each belief (positive and negative), give some solid evidence that this is true

4.       Next to each negative belief, highlight something that disproves it- perhaps you recently won a new project or received good feedback at work.

5.       Finally, remember why you were hired in the first place; someone believed in you. Who was this?

What do these answers say about you right now? (Remember that you are not your behaviour, these answers are just a reflection of your current strategies)

Now

1.       Look at the people around you at work. Do you respect them? Would you like to be like them? Are they good people?

2.       Do you respect yourself? Are you happy being you? Are you a good person?

This blog isn’t about them, it’s about YOU.

If you respect them, but not yourself or feel any unhappiness around being YOU; ask yourself this; who am I when I’m at my best? (What am I doing? Who am I with? How do people see me?) How can you be this person more of the time?

For a moment, see this person who challenges you as your greatest teacher. They may be showing you not just how to behave, but how NOT to behave. Anyone or anything that challenges you, can only serve to make you stronger.

You always have a choice, you can become the victim of your situation or you can take responsibility for your life. You will know when you are acting the role of victim because you will feel a sense of weakness and loss of control. When you rise to challenges and take positive actions to improve your situation, you will feel a sense of inner strength and empowerment.

You always have a choice; either stay in your current situation and change the way you think and feel about it, so that you can find happiness and empowerment there, or move on to greener pastures. Whatever you decide, make the more empowering of the two choices.

Remember that you can't change others, but you always have the power to change yourself. Something amazing will happen when you change the way you look at, and feel about, your situation. Some people call this 'confidence', others call it 'being positive', 'strong minded' or 'thick skinned'; it doesn't matter what you call it, only that you do it NOW.

      



The Surest Way to Happiness

Posted on Friday, March 13, 2015 by Positivevoice

Have you ever blamed other people or outside events for your state of emotional well being?

Have you ever thought, “I’ll be happy… when”?

If you’re anything like me, you will say ‘yes’ to both of the above statements.

However, perhaps, you’re also aware that your happiness needn’t be dependent on other people, places or things?

In fact, if it is, you are going to be on a constant emotional rollercoaster: “I can’t afford X” (cue very sad face), “She can’t make it to my party” (This is the END of the world), “I’ve just lost my job” (My life is over)…

BUT, it needn’t be like this! You see, with a few subtle tweaks to your belief systems, nothing will have the power to affect you in this way (well, at least not for long). Of course, we are all human, so it is normal to feel at least a little sadness or disappointment for a moment or two, but what is not ideal is to feel it ALL the time.

For instance, when I find that my little girl doesn’t want to take a nap during the afternoon, rather than focusing on all the work I can’t do (which I love, by the way), I focus on the things that we can do together. I usually say, “OK, let’s go to the park” and once we get there, I know we will run into some other lovely mummies and babies and have an absolute ball and then I can (almost always) guarantee that little Lola will sleep very well that night. You see, it’s all about being positive and solution focused. After all, negative emotions don’t change ANYTHING!

So, where do these feelings begin?

Well, thoughts, feelings and actions are intrinsically linked:

  • When we feel something, we instantly look for meaning, which comes in the form of thoughts
  • When we have a thought or say something, we instantly connect emotionally with these words or thoughts
  • When we take action, this leads to and is preceded by thoughts and feelings

So, how do we control/ modify this automatic chain of reactions:

The Solution:


Each thought can be confronted with what I call, a ‘Counter Thought’. Imagine for a moment that you are your own coach. What would someone who wants the very best for you say? As I have already mentioned, it is all about being positive and solution focused. Here are just a few possibilities:

So next time, you don’t like the thoughts going on within you, come up with a great counter thought. When you’re feeling sad and don’t know why, rather than trying to give your feelings meaning*, take action to bring more joy into your life. Go out into the sunshine, search for solutions on YouTube or read a positive blog. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to this technique- eventually, it will become a natural reflex for you to come up with a counter thought or to take action to help yourself feel better. 

* If you would like to interpret your emotions, you can also do this. Check out my blog to find out how: Read more



5 Beliefs that Will Make You Feel Happier and More Confident

Posted on Monday, February 09, 2015 by Positivevoice

 

Your beliefs shape your reality. They can affect your levels of happiness and confidence. If you believe that life is hard and that everyone is out to get you, then your behaviour is likely to invite in negative experiences. However, if you believe that we live in a friendly world full of abundance, your behaviour will reflect that and it is likely that your experiences will be different too. That is not to say that you will never encounter challenges or obstacles, but you will find that they are less prevalent in your life when your beliefs are more positive.

 

I choose my beliefs very carefully because I know that they have a big impact on how I live my life and how others respond to me.

 

My Top Beliefs!

 

  1. A positive outlook invites positive experiences

 

  1. Just because I believe one thing and you believe another, doesn’t mean we can’t both be right. There is a great saying in NLP: ‘It’s true if it’s true for you’

 

  1. ‘Being right’ will not necessarily make you happy

 

  1. Those who challenge you can be seen as your greatest teachers- they can be a wonderful catalyst for personal development if you choose to see them in this more positive light.

 

  1. If you feel challenged, it simply means there is room for you to grow. If you embrace the challenge, you will feel stronger

My Beliefs Explained:

 

I believe that the things you are passionate about, combined with your beliefs, will lead you to your life purpose. If you really believe something and are passionate about it, then follow that path.

 

However, expecting everyone to agree with you will set you up for a fall. Just because not everyone agrees, it doesn’t make you any less right or them any more wrong. This is just the nature of beliefs. The challenge here is to feel comfortable enough with your beliefs that you don’t need others to believe them too. Often, people feel the need to convert all those around them in order to really believe that they are right. Perhaps, this is because they are experiencing a tiny element of doubt regarding their beliefs that can only be quashed by converting everyone around them. The irony here is that no belief is necessarily ‘right’- it is only through believing something that you can make it true for you.

 

So, you see, it is important not to confuse beliefs with knowledge. Our beliefs 200 years ago were very different from the beliefs we hold today because we now have more knowledge. For instance, it is just 139 years since the invention of the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell 1876) and 106 years since the invention of television (1909 George Rignoux and A Fournier, Paris). Since these times, we have gone on to develop mobile phones (the first handheld device was created in1973; just 42 years ago) and the internet. I’m sure that many of these incredible inventors were seen as insane in their time because people just couldn’t ‘believe’ what they were hearing. It was too far beyond their limited understanding of the world, and who is to say that our current understanding is really that much greater? You see, we don’t know what we don’t know, do we?

 

Additionally, it has been shown that our beliefs can actually limit us. A great example of this is the ‘four minute mile’. Before 1954, no one believed it was possible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Until, that is, Roger Bannister broke the record by running a mile in:  3 minutes 59.4 seconds. Interestingly, as soon as he achieved this, lots of other people followed suit. In this case, it was a change in belief that improved ability. This is a great example of the power of the mind and how an empowering belief can improve our performance.

 

This is why being open minded is so important. Perhaps, anything is possible.

 

 

How to Hold on to Your Beliefs Whilst Respecting Those of Others:

 

  1. Listen with an open mind and remember that just because you are passionate about your beliefs, it does not make them 100% water tight. Do not let fear cause you to become a ‘preacher’. You will help many more people by leading by example (if that is your goal).
  1. Practice Compassion:

People are often fearful when others don’t share their beliefs. Not everyone understands the concept: ‘Being right won’t necessarily make you happy’. In fact, their desire to be right is often so great that they lose friends, sleep and peace of mind in order to prove themselves ‘right’. This is often done through confrontation, which of course breeds more confrontation.

How can you respond to this? 

Forgive them if they get upset or angry. Their emotions relate to fear. They are not their behaviour; their behaviour is just a reflection of their fear.

Practice compassion and forgiveness by seeing their vulnerability.

  1. Flexibility:

Just because I want one thing doesn’t mean that you have to go in that direction too. We are both individuals. It is impossible to change others, you can only change yourself- this doesn’t mean you have to do what they are doing (unless you want to), it purely means that you can choose to change the way you feel about their actions. 

How can you do this?

Again, it comes down to flexibility and forgiveness. You can practice this by changing your thoughts and you can change your thoughts more easily than you would ever believe. One way to do this is to repeat mantras (a mantra, in essence, is just a repeated thought).

Try repeating, “I am feeling more and more confident about my beliefs”.

I choose to believe all these things because they make me feel better.

 

What do you choose to believe?

 

Do your beliefs make you feel better?

 

Do they improve your relationships with others?

As always, please leave your comments in the box, below!



How to Create More Peace in Your Life: My 2 Top Tips

Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2015 by Positivevoice

“Be the Change You Wish To See In the World”

 

I used to feel that it was impossible for a person like me to incite lasting change in the world. That is until Mahatma Gandhi’s quote really hit home. I have learned that the most lasting change comes when we lead by example, when we inspire others to do as we do. How we behave as individuals is reflected in the behaviour of wider society.

 

The example that you set now and in the future, will set the tone for the next generation. This concept is particularly poignant for me right now, as I am pregnant with my second child. You don’t need to be a parent to lead by example, though. We are all teachers to someone; family, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

 

How can you make a difference?

 

My Top Tips

 

  1. Don’t take things personally:

 

Initially, this is often one of the most difficult things to do, but with practice, it will get easier and easier. All you need to do is remind yourself that when someone gets angry or upset, it is their fear that is talking and not them! (All negative emotions can be interpreted as fear) They are fearful and by responding with anger you only exacerbate the situation until one of you ‘makes peace’ or until you go your separate ways. What if I told you that by changing the way you feel about this person, the whole energy dynamic will improve?

 

When you remind yourself that all negative behaviour is just fear in disguise, you will feel so much better and will realise that there is nothing to take personally. It is all about ‘them’ and nothing to do with you at all. Eventually, all negative emotions will drop away and you will feel only compassion.

 

EXERCISE

 

Think of someone who you have had conflict with; either recently or in the past, (a small argument will do for this exercise) ask yourself:

 

‘Was this about me or them?’

 

If it is about them: Perhaps you remind them of someone or even of themselves: often the behaviour we tolerate least is the behaviour that mirrors our own weaknesses. For instance, if, in the past you had a problem with listening or your attention span was very short, you might find the same behaviour in someone else absolutely intolerable. So, often the behaviour of others is a reflection of your own behaviour (past or present).

 

If it is about you: ask yourself what you were afraid of? What action could you have taken to dissipate this fear? All emotions can be interpreted as a call to action- after all, when you’re tummy rumbles; you easily interpret that as a call to eat. What do you do when you feel sad? Do you continue to feel sad or do you interpret the emotion and find a solution?

 

What could you have done to remedy your fear?

 

  1. Change yourself first!

 

It is impossible to change others through force. In fact, the harder you try, the more they will resist. It is, therefore, much better to focus on developing yourself, as then you can shine with love and humour * and inspire others to follow your lead. Also, the more you work on yourself, the less other people’s behaviour will disrupt your peace and the less inclined you will feel to try to change them, so you see, it is an upward cycle.

 

Humour is a great tool: react with it and respond with it whenever you can. Humour can lighten the saddest and heaviest of moods. As always, practice makes perfect.

 

Final thought: All war; whether it is on the battlefield, in the boardroom or in the classroom, relates to fear. The best way to heal fear is through love, kindness and understanding.



How to stop feeling STUCK & Start feeling MOTIVATED: One simple technique

Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 by Positivevoice


I have a great remedy for anyone who has ever felt de-motivated and lack lustre. If you have ‘been there’, you will know that sinking, low, frustrated feeling I am talking about. For some people it leads to tears and for others it manifests itself in anger. Like a rabbit caught in headlamps, there is too much fear to move in any one direction.

From time to time, I feel like this too. I have a great tool that not only helps me overcome this, but makes my life better in every way as a result of its implementation. As you can imagine, I no longer fear these moments, as I know that it is simply a way of letting go of the old and bringing in the new. I believe that emotions are not meant to be ‘FELT’, but are rather intended to point us in new directions. I often use ‘thirst and hunger’ as examples because these needs are, for most people, easily satisfied. We feel them, interpret them and overcome them- usually in moments. Do other ‘feelings’ need to be any different?

For me, this month is holiday season. I have little trips away and long weekends all month (lucky me). Work wise things are quiet and Paris (where I am based) is calm. What a perfect time to relax, you may think. Initially, I couldn’t seem to take myself out of work mode and I found myself feeling this ‘stuckness’ I mentioned. So, what did I do? I took some time to really listen to myself. I asked myself how I was feeling and what was important to me right now and I very quickly felt much better.

I set myself a schedule for this year and never factored in holidays and weeks off (whoops) and that feeling was simply my motivated self feeling frustrated, so you see, I was never really de-motivated, just motivated and frustrated at the same time!

How about you?

Take an afternoon or an evening off (or as much time as you can spare) to ask yourself the following questions. Listen to yourself and find out what you really want and then ask yourself how you can achieve it? Dream big dreams and set realistic and satisfying goals.

  1. How do I feel?
  2. What do I really want?
  3. What goals have a set and not yet achieved?
  4. How can I achieve my goals?
  5. How can I change my reality?
  6. What have I been worrying about that doesn’t really matter?
  7. What is really important to me?

Maybe there are other questions that you feel the need to ask yourself. Go ahead and ask them!

Give it a try and see if it works for you too. Do leave your comments in the box, below. 



How to Find Your Passion

Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2014 by Positivevoice


I am one of the few lucky ones who found passion at a very young age. I was 8 years old when i started speech and drama lessons. At this very young age I discovered so many things about the power of the voice and all that could be achieved through subtle changes in pitch, pace and tone. This passion developed in many different directions and continues to do so today.

This post is a little longer than most, as I would like to take you through a particularly incredible process.

Many of my clients come to me in search of peace of mind, confidence or happiness. As chance would have it, we frequently end the session with the realisation that the secret to their happiness lies in a change of career. Over the years, I have developed a great process, designed to help people to find their ideal career. I have never put this into writing and have no idea whether it is a strategy that will work for everyone- all I can say is that it has worked wonders for those I have coached in the past. Give it a whirl and see what comes up for you.

  1. Take out three pieces of paper
  2. On the first piece, write ‘What am I passionate about?’ (by this I mean, what do you feel really strongly about: it could be anything from animal rights, shopping, sport or health’). Write a list of all the things that come to mind and then think again. Often the last things you think of are the very best, so take your time.
  3. On the second piece of paper, write ‘What am I good at?’ Write a list of all the things you are ‘good’ at. This does not need to be anyone else’s opinion, just yours. If you think you are good at ‘writing’, ‘dancing’ or ‘arguing’, then write it down. Keep asking yourself ‘what else?’
  4. Now, for the third list. Your heading is: ‘What acknowledgements, qualifications, experience or rewards have I received?’ (this could be media interest, a degree, a medal or a job). Look back a few years if you want too. Remember, my experience started at the age of 8 and snowballed until I found myself coaching confidence, communication and positive mindset.
  5. Once you have three lists, put an asterisk against the top 3/ 4 on each piece of paper.
  6. Create links between the three pages. We’re looking for a common thread between something in each of those categories.

The first time I did this, it was for myself. I was a graduate working in a PR agency wondering what I wanted to do with my life. Amongst other things, i wrote down three words:

  1. Communication
  2. speaking
  3. LAMDA gold medal in acting
Notice the common theme here, a link between my passion. what i am good at and what i have received recognition for. This is the ideal scenario. 

Please share your results with me in the comments, below, or via email if you prefer: fran@positivevoice.co.uk.



Be Careful What you Think

Posted on Monday, June 09, 2014 by Positivevoice

With all the negative stories flying around in the media, it is not surprising that many people find themselves thinking negative thoughts. The problem with negative thoughts is that they lead to negative feelings, which leads to more negative conversations and beliefs. For instance, i was working with an accent reduction client today, and she was doing really well, but all she could focus on was the one sound that she couldn't quite get. This is a pattern that lots of people run. They have great lives, but all they can think about is the one thing that is less than perfect. How do we go about reversing this?

1. The first step is to be aware that we are doing this (many people aren't). 

2. Gratitude. Spend sometime every day quietly acknowledging all the great things about your life (first thing in the morning and last thing at night are great times for this).

3. Replace negative thoughts, reactions and beliefs with positive ones: You can literally write these down and then practice inserting them into your conversations. It is also great to take one at a time and just reflect on them for a few minutes each day, until you start to notice changes. Make your sentences realistic for you. (for example: 'I am positive' might feel like a lie, but 'i am becoming more positive' could feel right for you). 

So, whilst i would be very happy if you were to be more careful about what you think, i would also like to add 'Be careful what you feel and say, as 'thoughts, feelings and words are all linked and constantly re-in force your beliefs. So, you can't change one without changing the other, can you?

Please add your thoughts to the comments box, below.




Be Self Aware

Posted on Sunday, August 05, 2012 by Positivevoice

There is nothing quite like standing up and making a speech. However, you can never quite anticipate how it is going to go down. You can, however, follow some simple steps to ensure that you enjoy presenting it..

 Over the next 7 weeks, i will provide you with a more indepth version of my 'Seven Secrets video'.

Secret No 1: Be Self Aware

This first secret is the one that i have covered most in my book (to be published in the next few months). It is essential that you are aware of your strategies when it comes to public speaking. I meet so many people who worry needlessly for weeks leading up to a presentation. They worry that they will forget what they want to say, they worry that they will get nervous and they worry that their audience will be hostile or that they will hate it… What a lot of negativity. If you do this, all it means is that you are planning to fail.

Wouldn’t it be much better to prepare your mind to be calm, to prepare yourself to remember what you want to say and to visualise a happy, welcoming audience?

Once you are aware of your strategies, you are one step closer to amending them. You can do this by simply replacing them with more positive thoughts.

Take every negative thought that comes into your mind and confront it:

Is this true?

How else could it be?

What would I rather believe?

Once you have come up with more positive thoughts, it is time to turn them into more positive words. Begin to talk more positively about your upcoming speech. Tell your friends, family or colleagues that ‘preparation is going well’, that you are ‘looking forward to it’ and that you ‘feel great’. If you feel a little anxiety, interpret it as excitement. After all, the two emotions are very similar.

Final thought: ‘Be aware of your strategies and make sure that you are using the most positive ones available’

 




public speaking RSS public speaking twitter public speaking facebook
public speaking blog

Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

© all rights reserved Positive Voice
Web by VMF