I am regular reader of psychologies magazine, have been since I was 17. Admittedly it is what my psychology teacher called ‘pop-psychology’ but I find it good reading and also a chance to indulge a little in the art of self-awareness! Getting to know oneself and one’s personality, strengths, weaknesses inconsistencies and everything in between is a very important part of becoming a rounded, grounded, happy and stable human being. I believe it is essential to mental well-being.
This little thing is one the freebies that came with the magazine which has carved itself a seemingly permanent place on my bed side table. I love the little insights, anecdotes, thoughts and life lessons offered by some of the world’s most influential people including – the Dalai Lama, Sharon Osborne, Jacqueline Wilson and more. I don’t necessarily think these people are inspiring or even knowledgeable because they’re famous. They are people with a talent like all of us. However, undoubtedly they have been through the motions and inevitably they will have things to share that we can learn from. So, in the spirit of treating every person you come across as a teacher, I’m sharing with you a little insight that really stood out to me and that I think you might find useful.
Hilary Mantel, 57, Author
“Arm yourself in advance against the set-backs every life contains. Scan your whole life and list 100 good things: compliments, achievements major and minor. It doesn’t matter if they are things no one else would see as important; they are the things that matter to you. If you meet an obstacle, sit down, take a breath, and read your list. Two things happen. Instantly, you feel better; and the problem, now set in the context of your whole life, seems smaller.”
Would you like me to elaborate? I can, though I will do so briefly as I realise this is a blog not an essay. Hilary Mantel, don’t know who she is or what she writes but I love what she’s said here. Isn’t it so true?! There are so many setbacks in life, people are more than happy to take the opportunity to criticise us and tell us were not good enough. We’re often more than happy to do it to ourselves! I love the idea of walking around with 100 compliments and achievements, a quick intervention in times of crisis. I’m going to write mine now and stick it to the inside of my diary so I never forget that, in the midst of setbacks, failures, lack of self-belief, fear and when I feel like I just have no idea who I am and what my purpose is, my better self can pat me on the back and say ‘hang on a minute, you know that’s not quite true!’
It won’t solve all of our problems but if we can train our minds to focus on the great things about us, then I think it would benefit our well-being endlessly! I hope you’ll join me in getting out the pen and listing 100 great things about YOU!
Nayo Hunt – volunteer