Just About You – A look back at our day of self-development: Event Review (This blog post is approximately a ten minute read)
What better way is there to embrace a New Year than to take a day out of your busy schedule for self-development? As small business owners we tend to concentrate all our efforts on working in or on our business goals, but when do we take a step back and look after ourselves? After all, if we were not fit and healthy in mind, body, and spirit, we wouldn’t be capable of doing the amazing things we do every day.
When the Socially Shared Business Support Network announced their new events for 2018 I was immediately drawn to the Just About You event; a day dedicated to looking at your mindset, wellbeing, and wardrobe. The excitement grew as the day approached and I was delighted to see the large number of ladies who had taken a day out of their diary to attend this event on January 17th.
Before I share the wonderful insights from the day, I must first of all mention the fabulous venue. St Michael’s Centre on Church Lane in Budbrooke, Warwickshire is an absolute gem. Nestled in the corner of a beautiful churchyard and surrounded by open countryside this is one of the most tranquil conference venue’s I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. The ladies from the centre joined us for the day, and I was able to find out more about the site. The centre was built in 1992 and is part of St Michael’s Church campus. The facilities are fresh and modern with a beautiful energy (and views) and with a choice of meeting rooms can be hired for a variety of events or ad-hoc meetings. There was plenty of parking, free Wi-Fi, kitchen facilities, and wheelchair access to the ground floor meeting room. With extensive grounds, St Michael’s Centre can also be used for team buildings, outdoor events, and weddings. Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at their website www.stmichaels-budbrooke.org.uk
“Today is all about you.”
Suitably refreshed with tea, coffee, and pastries we took our seats in eagerness to start our day of self-reflection. First to the podium was Stephanie Rix from Life’s Work Consulting.
Stephanie is a career coach and professional development consultant who is committed to unlocking women’s potential. She has worked with global beauty brands such as Avon and L’Oreal. With a passion for working with the marketing teams, she developed a love of people power. This was the catalyst for setting up her own coaching business enabling her to work with inspiring women in business from across the globe.
Her talk took us on a journey of self-discovery as we unlocked out confidence, connections, and commerciality. Using an NLP technique, Stephanie guided us through the process of influencing our brain behaviour and tapping into our confidence. For most of us, it was quite a struggle to pinpoint when we felt truly confident. Stephanie was ready for this and shared a powerful visualisation with the group. Using an imaginary grain of rice between our thumb and index finger she taught us how to ‘dial-up’ our confidence levels by simultaneously thinking about just one moment in time when we did feel that surge of confidence. I had to dig deep for mine, but once I found it, I could picture the scene and dial up my feelings by turning the imaginary grain of rice in my hand.
Once we had dialed up our feelings, we were prompted to picture a circle of confidence in front of where we stood. Mine was a ring of fire. Upon Stephanie’s instructions, we all stepped into our individual circles. Standing in that circle was where we felt strong and influential and could claim our inner confidence. It was a powerful visualisation and so simple to recreate in any circumstance. Although one might not physically jump into an imaginary circle if standing in front of a boardroom full of potential clients, you could certainly visualise this exercise to dial up your confidence ahead of an event, presentation, or interview.
Stephanie’s aim for her talk was to give us the tools to unlock the gates of our inner power. She likened our path to Hatton Locks, and this visual tool certainly helped me to picture my own journey of discovery. ‘You never stop learning,’ says Stephanie. Something I wholeheartedly agree with, and every lesson learned provides the key to the next lock along our pathway.
That path to inner confidence isn’t always easy, and according to Stephanie we often sabotage our own voyage with self-doubt. She went on to explain how two little words could harm our plans – What If?
I know I’m guilty of using the ‘what if…’ phrase a few too many times but turning what could be a negative statement into a positive fact is relatively easy according to Stephanie.
‘Try saying, what if I won that award, or what if I got that big contract?’ She told us. ‘Help yourself with what-iffing.’
It was then the audiences turn to share our personal tips for unlocking our confidence:
- Know your strengths.
- Use positive ‘I am’ statements.
- Wear lucky clothes/underwear.
- Self-talk – ‘I’m going to have a good day.’
- Using the power pose.
- Scripting what you want to say before a meeting/talk/presentation.
- Knowing your stuff and feeling confident in sharing this knowledge.
- 20 seconds of brave (from the film We Bought a Zoo)
- Visualisation techniques.
- We have to learn new things before they become our normal.
The participation was engaging and interesting. Everyone had a useful tool to share with the group. Which led Stephanie on to her other topics of connections and collaborations.
‘Having a connection focused mindset is important for our self-development,’ she said. ‘When people trust you they want to work with you. It’s important to be one-hundred percent authentic.’
We could all relate to this as being a part of the Socially Shared network is what brought us all together for this event. Collaborating with like-minded women, and engaging positively with your competition helps to identify your strengths, niche, and self-awareness.
“Focus on being interested rather than interesting.”
Jacqui Jagger. Beyond Boundaries Coaching
To finish her session, Stephanie asked us to think about one simple question. What’s the one thing you will do as a result of this session today? For me, it was to work on my positive self-talk as well as practice the circle of confidence exercise. As everyone was busy scribbling in their notebooks, I realised we’d all learned something from Stephanie’s talk and each had a goal to work on.
Stephanie is running a workshop on 14th February at St Michael’s Centre 10am – 2.30pm on the topic of ‘Revealing the You in Your Business.’ It’s a workshop that will stretch you, help you build your confidence, and offer you a fresh perspective on your business. You’ll learn why building self-awareness can lead to better business results, how to identify your top personal strengths and values and how to make the most of these, how to attract more clients, how to move from setbacks, and self-doubt to success and self-coaching tips to support you with your personal and business challenges. For further details and to book on this workshop click HERE (limited numbers so don’t delay in booking).
After strengthening our mind muscle, we then turned our attention to our body with help from the second expert of the day, Andrea Bayles.
Andrea runs Nourish Life Clinics and is a fully qualified and experienced Nutritional Therapist. She aims to help women live healthier, happier, and longer lives using nutrition. She found her way to nutrition after her son was born with a rare condition which the doctors couldn’t address. Andrea felt that nobody was listening to her and so set off on her quest to learn as much as she could and to put her findings into practice. Nutrition saved her son’s life and set Andrea on the path to supporting clients with a variety of health complaints, weight management, and diabetes, chronic health conditions and autoimmune disease.
She began her talk by telling us that the number one reason people visit their doctor is fatigue. 1 in 3 of us complains of being constantly tired with low energy.
10 Ways to Sky-Rocket Your Energy Levels.
#1 Green Veg Juice
Andrea suggested that we enjoy a green juice every day as this will help cleanse the toxins that deplete our energy. She suggested throwing some rocket, cucumber, celery, Swiss chard, apple and spinach into a juicer. There are plenty of good recipes available online.
Getting a good night’s sleep is more important the older you get. Andrea suggested 8 hours as a minimum and recommended reducing caffeine intake especially after lunch. Keeping a journal can help to see any patterns of insomnia that could be addressed, but more importantly, Andrea’s top tip was to stay off your phone at night – something else I’ll be adding to my goal list from these sessions.
#3 Reduce Consumption of Carbs
Carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, cakes, and pastries are the cause of those energy slumps and storing fat around our middle. It’s also linked to diabetes. All of these foods are converted into sugar which then converts into energy in the liver, but then it creates a layer of fat. Switching to whole grains (wild rice, whole oats, and quinoa) and root vegetables will help.
#4 Stay Hydrated
To calculate how much water your body needs you can use the following calculation:
Take your body weight and divide in half. For example; weight is 140lbs divided by 2 = 70 fl oz = 3.5 pints of water. Having a Brita filter is beneficial, as is drinking coconut water post exercise.
#5 Chia Seeds
Including chia seeds in your diet can help fight adrenal fatigue and combat inflammation. Soak a spoonful of seeds in a tablespoon of water and then add to your breakfast porridge.
#6 Vitamin B12
This is your energy vitamin which supports your thyroid. It can be found in beef, fish, cheese, eggs, and liver.
#7 Adaptogenic Herbs
Using adaptogenic herbs supports the adrenals. Ginseng, for example, helps control stress and anxiety. A qualified herbalist can provide these herbs as a tablet or tincture.
Research shows that a 10-minute walk every day has more health benefits as a pick-me-up than a quick snack. Aiming to get out and move more should be a top priority.
#9 Eat Fats (The Good Ones!)
Andrea stressed the importance of not being afraid of fats. Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds are beneficial to our body. We should aim for a minimum of 3 tablespoons of oil a day. Coconut oil is best for weight loss and energy production, whereas full-fat yogurt alongside protein can help stop carb cravings.
Andrea suggested these as suitable breakfast dishes:
Two eggs, sourdough bread, avocado.
Full fat yogurt, berries, chia seeds, a drizzle of oil.
The brain is made up of 70% fat, and Andrea was eager to share that when a lion kills its prey in the wild, they will eat the brains first! Sorry for the image!
#10 Avoid Alcohol
As I’ve been tee-total for four years, I can fully understand the benefits of avoiding alcohol. Apart from the obvious weight gain you get when drinking often or to excess, you are also at risk of overloading your liver.
There was much discussion amongst the group about various ailments and health issues that Andrea could easily identify with. She offered us useful advice such as steaming our vegetables, using apple cider vinegar for digestion, adding turmeric to help with joint paint and having a bath with Dead Sea salt.
It was a hugely informative and interesting talk, and I’ve already booked a 1:1 session with Andrea to help me get to grips with a few health niggles I have. If you’re interested in learning more, Andrea is running a workshop on 20th April at St Michael’s Centre 10am – 2.30pm on the topic of ‘Women’s Health Workshop.’ It’s a perfect workshop if you suffer from monthly symptoms or low mood, irritability, bloating, sugar cravings or you suffer from irregular cycles, heavy periods, fibroids, and endometriosis or there is a history of female cancers in your family. You’ll learn how to cope with hormones, nutrition and lifestyle support, natural approaches to PMS and the menopause, hormone balancing diet, practical hands-on nutrient advice, and a BONUS OFFER where you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a 28-day hormone challenge program. For further details or to book on the workshop click HERE (limited spaces so don’t delay in booking).
Quite fittingly we broke for lunch after Andrea’s session, and everyone made a beeline for the vegetarian wraps, vegetables, fruit platter, and root veg crisps. The platter of biscuits was overlooked so we must have all taken something of value from Andrea’s talk.
Once we had re-fuelled and done a spot of networking, we took our seats again for the final expert of the day, Sarah Gray.
Sarah runs Sarah Gray Image and is a personal stylist working with people to build their inner confidence and outer style. After many years in the corporate world, Sarah chose to retrain as a personal stylist. She believes that lost confidence can be regained by revising our appearance and how we dress.
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”
Sarah started her session by asking us whose style we admired. The audience offered a variety of suggestions from Kate Middleton, and Audrey Hepburn, to fellow Socially Shared members. Each of us could pick at least one friend or celebrity who we admired for the way they looked.
‘Why do we admire them?’ A simple question but pinning down the reasons was slightly harder. Again, Sarah asked for our input.
- Dressing to body shape.
- Right outfit for the occasion.
- Outfits well put together.
It seems to be the whole package that appeals to us when we admire others, and according to Sarah our ‘style’ includes hair, makeup, clothing, colours, accessories, and footwear.
She then went on to introduce us to Audrey (a tailor’s dummy) who wore a simple white top under a plain black jacket. Before our eyes, Sarah transformed Audrey using six alternative styles and left it up to us to see if we could spot our own individuality.
Creative – Totally random, mix and match of fabrics, colours, and accessories. Think Helena Bonham Carter.
Dramatic – Spending all income of the latest fashion and makeup trends. Think Victoria Beckham.
Romantic – Dainty, floral fabric, pretty dresses. Think Kylie Minogue.
Classic – Understated, simple, and well-coordinated. An investment buyer with coordinated accessories. Think Kate Middleton.
Chic – Coordinated but updates every season. Normally has one statement piece such as a handbag, or piece of jewellery. Think Megan Markle.
Natural – Prefers jumpers, cardigans, flat boots or shoes, simple accessories. Think Kate Winslet (and me!)
Some of us knew instinctively which group we fit into, and some could relate to a mix of style personalities. Others knew they belonged to one group but longed to be in another. Sarah’s advice was to embrace your style and be 100% authentic to who you are. I’m perfectly happy to embrace my natural style personality but could dip my toe into the classic if the occasion called for it (presentation, wedding, and event).
Sarah then asked us to get our phones out and lift them above our heads. No, we weren’t doing a group selfie, it was a much more interesting exercise. The colour and style of our phone cases spoke volumes about our personalities. Try it for yourself the next time you’re in a coffee shop. Look at the clothes, colours, bags, shoes, and make-up of everyone around you and see if you can spot the style personality.
Still unsure which category you fall under? Sarah is running a workshop on 16th March at St Michael’s Centre 10am – 2.30pm on the topic of ‘Be the Best You.’ Learn how to select clothes based on your personality, choose clothes which suit your colouring, spot the right clothing for your body shape, and accessories to complement your look. For further details or to book on the workshop click HERE (limited spaces so don’t delay in booking).
The Just About You event came to an end, and the excited buzz and positive energy in the room was a testament to a fabulous day. Everyone enjoyed the sessions and was able to take something important away with them be it about their mindset, wellbeing, or wardrobe.
I’d like to thank Sarah Gray, Stephanie Rix, Andrea Bayles and the Socially Shared Team for putting together an outstanding event.
I’ll leave you with the testimonials from the ladies who attended.
“Had a great personal development day. Thank you to all the speakers and the attendees. I left feeling inspired.” Nishi Mehta.
“Well, what a fab day, how lucky to have such lovely talented ladies in our group. Plenty of girl power in the room xx.” Diane Wilson.
“A great day. Learnt so much and felt totally inspired.” Kate Hunter.
“Great day (thanks ladies).” Beth Taylor.
“What a wonderful day we’ve all had at Socially Shared. I’ve ordered everything green, chia seeds, and coconut water.” Christine Cooper.
“Loved my day! Thank you to all the speakers and Socially Shared for organising a very informative, friendly event and together with amazing people that came. In 35yrs of being in business, yours IS the only group where I have overcome being socially scared.” Daxa Panchal.
“It was fab – a really good use of time, and there’s no higher compliment from a sole trader! I hope you were all buzzing afterwards. I certainly was!” Kathryn Driffield.
If you’d like to know about future events that Socially Shared Business Support Network are holding then take a look at their website.