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  1. If you lack confidence then this is for you

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    What if… you had more confidence?

    In our recent survey where we asked “What is stopping you doing what you love?” nearly half of you told us that you are held back by a lack of confidence. Sound familiar?

    We’ve all been there. It’s where the ‘What ifs’ kick in. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if my life changes too much and I can’t cope? What if I can’t sustain this in the long run? What if this is not the right choice? What if after all this it still doesn’t get better?

    Hey you! Give yourself a break. Stop being so critical towards yourself before it has even happened. Look at yourself as someone else would, as objectively as possible, thinking about all the good things you have achieved already. Be kind to yourself. That is a much better place to start.

    I remember a couple of years back seeing an article in Marie Claire Magazine launching a new mentoring programme with some of the top female entrepreneurs in the country. They were on the hunt for the next generation of exciting young female businesswomen, and were planning to pair them up with women with proven business success to help them leap forward. What an incredible opportunity! My first thought was, “I really want to do this.” My second thought was, “Why would they pick me?” My third thought was, “What if I enter and don’t get chosen?” But then I came back to my first thought, reminded myself that I really wanted to do it, and thought, “But what if I DO get picked. That would be awesome.”

    So I took a deep breath and entered. I remembered getting the call for interview at the imposing Conde Nast Publishing building in London, and getting very flustered about what to wear. Again I had a crisis of confidence – “What if there’s someone better at the interview?” “What if I don’t know what to say?” etc etc. But I came back to that other What If… “What if it goes brilliantly, and I get picked?”

    So I picked out a fabulous dress and my best heels, swished down to London, flew through the interview and got chosen as one of the 16 most exciting young female entrepreneurs in the UK. What? Little old me? And what a phenomenal opportunity it was too. I got paired up with Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards (Europe’s largest urban music festival, with Kanye West, Adele, Jay-Z and Jessie J among the artists who have taken to the MOBO stage). Kanya is one of the most inspiring and brilliant women I have ever met, and her insight and guidance was absolutely crucial in the early days of Do What You Love.

    So keep asking yourself ‘What if’, but instead of ‘What if it goes wrong?’ ask yourself ‘What if it goes right?’ Then imagine yourself in that situation, where it has all gone right, and see what that does for your confidence.

     

    Your secret weapons

    Knowing yourself better is paramount to doing what you love and it is also paramount in your quest for more confidence. That’s why it’s a big part of the Do What You Love e-course, and why I want to share a useful exercise with you today.

    The Do What You Love e-course helps you get to know who you really are, what’s important to you, what past experiences have influenced you the most, your strengths and weaknesses, and your attitude to money, time and life in general. Knowing yourself better will help you have a more rational approach to what you want to do and how while quieting your doubts and stopping you from being too emotionally overwhelmed

    There are a lot of exercises in the course that help you know yourself better, and today I’d like to share one called “Your Secret Weapons”. This exercise helps you realise you actually have much more power than you might think.

    You can download the interactive PDF here:

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    (It is called ‘Explorer’s Log 15’ as it is just one of the many exercises in the Do What You Love e-course)

    Please share your secret weapons in the comments below – I’d love to hear what they are, and how you felt about doing the exercise.

    Use those secret weapons to start on your journey and remind yourself of them often along the way too, don’t let yourself forget how strong you are

    What else can you do to build your confidence? Surround yourself with people who can support you, who give you energy and make you feel better about yourself. This is HUGE. Start seeking out those people today.

    I won’t lie, you will feel doubtful, be scared, overwhelmed, and make mistakes as you push yourself towards doing what you love, but it’s all part of the journey and you will come out of this experience stronger and more resourceful than you ever thought possible.

     

    Your confidence mantras

    In its non-spiritual form, a mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently. The purpose of which is to put yourself in a certain state of mind. When we released the survey and invited your comments, many of you hasked for phrases that would keepyou motivated and give you some food for thought. We love beautiful words and images here at Do What You Love, so here’s a little compilation of our confidence boosting thoughts for you to enjoy. Take a moment to really think about them, and how they can relate to you on your own journey towards a happier life.

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    You can get more of these inspiring words on our ‘Words to live by’ page here. And if it’s permission you need: permission granted

    - Beth

     

    PS Here are some useful resources if you want to read more into the subject of confidence and how to boost it

  2. #MakingTime Day 30

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    Just one more day to go so make the most of creating space and time for things that make you feel alive!

    Your #MakingTime Day 30 challenge:

    For 30 minutes… turn off all the technology in the house and do something alone or as a family.

    “We’ve started stopping thoughts half-way down their track. We’ll be thinking something, and then ‘beep beep’ or ‘ping’ and off we go, our almost-formed thought left discarded. Thoughts – and discussions – need to go to one place, then the next place, then the next… and finally on to an idea. It isn’t an express route. Sometimes it takes a lot of turnings to get there.”
    – Frances Booth in ‘The Distraction Trap’

    Technology can be incredibly distracting. TVs, mobiles, laptops, ipads… everywhere we look there’s some electrical device vying for our attention. If we’re not careful it can dominate our lives, interrupt all our conversations, and stop us connecting properly to those we care about. It also stands in the way of allowing our ideas to fully evolve.

    Today turn off the technology and tune into yourself, or if you have a family, the kids. Go for a walk and have a picnic in the woods, make a time capsule, go swimming, cook a three course dinner, create self-portraits – or draw each other, have a board game and jigsaw day, get outdoors and do some gardening – the possibilities are endless!

    It needn’t cost a thing and we guarantee you’ll go to bed happier for having a truly amazing, action-packed day of fun. And your brain? Rested and protected from digital distractions, it might just give you some of your best ideas yet…

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  3. Making time for your passions – a shared story

    Paula Joerling is a freelance illustrator from Atlanta, Georgia, whose designs are primarily used for the gift and tabletop industry. Paula works primarily in watercolor and collage and often incorporates fabric, stitched paper and any beautiful objects she find into her art. Here she explains why she loves working for herself and shares the secret of making time…

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    The desire to work for myself probably started in grad school. I hated that I had to be there between certain hours and on certain days, I didn’t mind the work, it was the schedule that got to me. Sub-consciously I knew that a life of regulation wasn’t for me and I better figure out how to keep my freedom. Fortunately I was creative and recognized that this was a possible outlet.

    It’s difficult to put into words what it means to get up in the morning, walk the 10 steps to my studio, and create all day. Although there are deadlines and I work pretty much seven days a week, I am in charge of my schedule. There’s no time clock, no office politics, no cubicle and no one telling me that I can’t sing out loud. It is pure heaven, it really is; just typing these words puts a smile on my face.

    Coming from a long line of creative types, I come by my abilities naturally. My grandfather taught me to paint and my grandmother taught me to sew and knit. When a holiday rolled around my sister and I were commandeered by my mother to make a plethora of decorations, cards and gifts, some of which I still have.

    I don’t think it ever occurred to be in anything but a creative field of some sort and although I have always freelanced in creative jobs; I got started rather late in life as an illustrator. Sometime around my college years I began to suffer from anxiety and had a horrible lack of confidence. Thinking back on this always saddens me and I wonder if things would have happened a little faster had this not been the case. If I could go back in time and give myself a gift it would be a big basket of confidence. Confidence and faith in yourself are really the two most important things that a person needs in this field. I am happy to report that I now possess these two gifts in abundance (perhaps at some point I did time travel).

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    The most difficult part of being a freelance artist is financial. You are never quite sure when or how much money will be coming in so you have to be pretty frugal (my husband is also an artist so neither of us has an unvarying income). Nevertheless I would choose this creative lifestyle over financial stability any day.Making time for everything now I run my own business can be challenging. Here are five things that help me make best use of my time so I stay focussed and on track…

    1. Set intentions

    At the start of each week I make a list of everything I’d like to accomplish in the week ahead. I don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t all happen but I try to stick to it as best I can. I find it helps to set goals and give myself deadlines.

    2. Make a plan 

    I always have a plan to help me achieve my goals for the week ahead. Some people might call this a “schedule” but I don’t like that word! As I blog, have an online shop and use social media for promotions, I have a time slot to do these things in so that I’m consistent.

    3. Know what is distracting and use it as a motivator

    Most creative people are easily distracted and I am no exception. I tell myself that only once I’ve accomplished x, y and z can I look at Facebook or Pintrest, or check my emails or do anything else that I know will distract me.

    4. Know when to take five

    If I’m getting frustrated because something isn’t going right, I stop and do something to clear my head. I have a swing in my studio so I’ll often jump on that to relax. Laying on the floor and staring up at the ceiling works well too.

    5. Just get going

    Sometimes starting a new project – drawing, painting, writing, whatever it is – can be daunting. Especially if fear creeps and we start to doubt ourselves . The way I beat this is by starting to research or drawing out ideas. I keep in mind that I can always start over. Works every time.

    Top tip! 

    I can’t live without the sticky notes app on my computer. I have notes that remind me what needs to get accomplished daily, weekly and longer term. There’s nothing more satisfying then deleting notes as I complete tasks.

    Everyday I learn more and get better at my craft. I hope that I can keep doing this on my own terms and that my best days lie ahead of me. My hope is that I can find a way to inspire others to take a deep breath, move beyond the fear and do what they love doing.

    [Images courtesy of Paula Joerling. To find out more about Paula visit her website here]

  4. Are you doing what you love?

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  5. Join us for seven days of PaperLove

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    Join ’7 Days of PaperLove’ to be in with the chance to win this kit and a free place on PaperLove: the e-course (starting in November) [Image: Uli Schade]

    Join us and our friends at Paperphilia for seven consecutive days of PaperLove to celebrate papery goodness and ignite your own paper passion. Challenge yourself to fold, cut, collect and see paper in a whole new way. It’s free and it starts Tuesday 7 October.  Register HERE for “7 days of Paper Love” and see below for the chance to win a free place on our upcoming online course PaperLove.

    For a chance to be featured on the Paperphilia blog and to be entered into the draw to receive a gift voucher for the next PaperLove class, please follow the instructions below to sign up.

    Here’s how to take part:

    (1) Register HERE for “7 days of Paper Love” to have the challenge posts sent directly to your inbox each morning (from Tues 7 Oct to Mon 13 Oct) and officially sign up for the challenge.

    (2) Join the challenge and share your images on facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest using the hashtag #PaperLovechallenge

    (3) If you would like to be entered into the draw to win a free place on the PaperLove e-course (including a delicious kit!), please be sure to use the hashtag in as many places as possible when you post your image. You will be entered each time you post to twitter, facebook, instagram & pinterest using hashtag #PaperLovechallenge.

    If you write a blog post about the challenge be sure to add a link to the bottom of your post and email us a link to your blog. This will also be counted as an entry to the giveaway and you can enter as many times as you wish.

    (4) We will also gather images to showcase on our blog and facebook albums once the challenge is over with a link to you/your website or blog and send this out to our subscribers.

    (5) The winner of the free place on the upcoming online course PaperLove, including a delicious kit of stationery goodies, will be announced on the Paperphilia blog on Friday 17 October.

    Please be aware that by joining Seven Days of PaperLove you give your permission to be added to the mailing lists of Paperphilia and Do What You Love. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    Any questions? Drop our friends a line at love@paperphilia.co.uk

  6. #MakingTime Day 29

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    “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” – Gore Vidal

    Your Day 29 Making Time challenge: For 29 minutes… get a haircut, paint your nails or do something else to change your appearance

    Sometimes changing the way we look can alter our outlook on life and shake up our perception of ourselves. Small changes can have a big impact when it comes to updating our appearance. Try one or more of these simple makeover tricks (some of them are more for the girls, but there are some for the guys too!) …

    - See a new you! Fashion glasses will make for a fun new work look.

    - Electrify your eyes: Swap your usual brown/black eyeliner for bright liners
    and eye shadows to make the your natural eye colour stand out, or try coloured contact lenses.

    - Lashtastic: apply a couple of individual long lashes to the outer corners of your eyes to create a bold, confident, everyday look.

    - Do your hair differently: try a new style, change the side you wear your parting, swap the hairspray for a headband or invest in some big Velcro rollers to give it extra oomph! Or for the guys, try some product in it!

    - Be bold: take a walk on the wild side and use a bold red, coral, or pink lip colour to glam up your look.

    - Unveil new nails: Instead of oval-shaped tips painted in pale-pink polish file your nails straight across and then round off the corners and paint in a colour you love.

    - Accessorise: Invest in a new pair of gloves and a matching scarf, a new belt for that little black dress. A few small updates can have a big impact on how you look.

    - Top it off: A stylish hat can instantly change your attitude – try a fab fedora or printed bucket hat to add instant chic sentiment.

    - Try a new perfume or aftershave: Switch up your scents to mimick your moods and try perfumed lotions or mists for more variation.

    - Add colour: Ban yourself from wearing black for a day and see what difference it makes.

    Ask yourself: How do you feel? Has anyone commented on your new look? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror?

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  7. #MakingTime Day 28

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    “Keeping my eye on today is all I’m capable of. And today I think I’ll go for a run.” – John Bingham

    Your Day 28 Making Time challenge:

    For 28 minutes… Go for a run*

    Running is a fantastic metaphor for life because you get out what you put in.

    Six reasons to make time to get out there and start running today…

    1. Feel slim in your skinny jeans… every mile you run burns approximately 100 calories.

    2. Save cash: no expensive gym membership required.

    3. Happy hormones: running endorphins give you a natural high.

    4. Memory boost: exercise keeps your mind sharp, help reduce symptoms ofdementia and protects against Alzheimers.

    5. Improved self-esteem: running makes you feel positive, boosts your energy levels and gets your skin glowing.

    6. Sleep better: running results in better sleep.

    *If you can’t run for some reason, why not use today’s prompt to get you doing 28 minutes of other exercise? The important thing is to move!

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  8. October’s Happy List is here!

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    On my happy list this month… a beautiful shop display in London which has inspired me to get outside and make the most of my garden. 

    Each month we share a free downloadable ‘Happy List’ as a place for you to capture the things – big and small – that have made you smile and feel inspired each day. Get yours here.

    Have an awesome October,

    Rachel


  9. #MakingTime Day 27

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    Is your closet in a mess? Is it overflowing and yet you only wear a small percentage of the clothes you have? Do you have things that you know don’t fit, that aren’t your colour or that make you look or feel older? If so, it’s time for a cull! Get ready, get set, get organised! 

    Your Day 27 Making Time challenge:

    For 27 minutes… blitz your wardrobe

    Having a good clear out means that you’ll be left with things you truly love and want to wear. And when you can actually see what you’ve got you may even find yourself mixing-and-matching more and creating outfits that look brand new. 

    Psychologically, the satisfaction we get from getting rid of the old makes total sense. Things in excess, like clothes, are burdensome and stress us out. So if you’re into fashion and see it as a means of self-expression: having a closet filled with clothes that aren’t our style is literally restraining our ability to express ourselves. It’s fine if your closet is close to bursting, as long as everything in there reflects your style.

    So today take 27 minutes and follow our three-point plan to making peace with your closet…

    1. Pile up: sort your clothes into the following piles: 1) To keep – ask yourself: do I love it? Is it flattering? Is it the image I want to project? If it’s a “yes” to all three, then it’s a keeper.  2) Sentimental: if you wore it for a special occasion or it reminds you of a good time but you know you’ll never wear it again, ie your wedding dress, fold it in tissue paper and store it. 3) Needs altering: fix any holes, add buttons, sew up hems, etc 4) To go: Sell designer or branded items on eBay or Etsy, do a car boot sale, charity shop or recycle bank the rest: knowing that your clothes are going to help others is something to feel very good about.

    2. Get organized: designate zones in your wardrobe so it’s easy to get to everything you need: sort by occasion (work clothes, weekend clothes, evening clothes) or by garment type (i.e. dress, suit, skirt, blouse). Within each section, arrange the clothes by colour. It looks neater and makes it easier to assemble outfits.

    3. Create space:

    • Invest in wooden hangers, which don’t damage your clothes.
    • Hang clothes by item with small gaps between so dresses together, trousers together etc.
    • Within these categories, group by function: work, casual, evening.
    • Use a compartment garment hanging organiser in the wardrobe for underwear, socks, vests and T-shirts.
    • Fold scarves and pashminas over a hanger so you don’t forget about them.
    • Store jumpers and fitness wear on a top shelf or in a box chest to create more space.
    • Screw a key rack on the inside of the wardrobe door to hang necklaces.

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.

  10. #MakingTime Day 26

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    “Mastering the art of slowing down doesn’t happen quickly. Learning the wisdom of slowing down, or truly living, is itself a journey. But it is also a prescription for better health.” – Arianna Huffington in Thrive

    Just a few more days to go and to celebrate we have a real treat in store…

    Your Day 26 Making Time challenge:

    For 26 minutes… bake a cake

    Who says baking is just for birthdays and Christmas? Today’s make time challenge is to bake yourself a cake, just because.

    Did you know that an afternoon spent whipping up a sweet treat won’t just makeyour kitchen smell delicious, it can reduce stress, anger and even depression?Working through the steps of a recipe helps you to focus and you forget about everything else that’s been whirring through your mind. It’s a kind of creative meditation. Plus you get to lick the spoon and the bowl at the end!Today enjoy creating something from nothing and giving yourself, and the people you love, a home-cooked treat. Of course we’re not suggesting you make a five-tiered extravaganza Choccywoccydoodah style, we’re talking about something quick, easy and fun – a single layer cake, some cupcakes, chocolate brownies, a banana loaf, a fridge tray bake – whatever you fancy!

    PS Follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for more thought-provoking inspiration

    New to Making Time? Start at the beginning anytime here.