Looking for a little more guidance in your life? SHESAID has teamed up with author, Domonique Bertolucci, to provide a few tips from her new book, The Kindness Pact. If you can’t get your hands on her novel, head over to Domonique’s official website for free video training on how to break the exhaustion/dissatisfaction cycle once and for all and get rid of that nagging guilty feeling forever.
Congratulations on the new book! What inspired you to write The Kindness Pact?
Thank you! The first seeds for The Kindness Pact: 8 promises to make you feel good about who you are and the life you live were planted a few years ago when I was walking in the park and observed a scene that left me feeling quite uncomfortable. A young boy of perhaps six or seven had climbed a tree and gone beyond the height he was confident to get back down from and I could hear his mother berating him for his lack of courage: “‘Don’t be so pathetic.’ ‘You really are being stupid.’ ‘What a wimp you’re being.’ ‘You really are useless.’”
It was awful to hear, but at the same time the words this used were the very same words I had heard countless people, both in my professional and personal life, use to berate or belittle their own efforts. You see, most people are terribly unkind to themselves. They make harsh judgements, engage in endless self-criticism and are unforgiving of even the smallest of failings. At the same time these people are often loving and kind parents, generous and encouraging friends, and supportive and committed colleagues. They give everyone else their best, only to give themselves their worst.
The Kindness Pact is about learning to treat yourself with the same kindness, love and respect you give the other important people in your life. When you keep the pact, you will build your self-confidence, nurture your self-esteem and have more energy to do what you want to do and be who you want to be.
What are some of the main ways to stay positive in this day and age?
The three best pieces of advice I have for staying positive and feeling happy are to:
- Be present: Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the moment. Focus your energy on making today the best day possible and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
- Express your gratitude: Regardless of what you want or still want to achieve, appreciate all the wealth and abundance already in your life.
- Be generous: Give willingly and not just with your money. Be with your time and energy too. The more you give the more you receive.
Could you list a few different ways to turn an I can’t into I can?
The three most effective ways to turn an I can’t into an I can are:
- Reframe your ideas with logical thought based on facts. “If I follow a training plan I will build my endurance and be able to run a marathon.”
- Reform your thinking with affirmations: positive, present tense, personal statements. “I have run a marathon and I couldn’t be prouder of myself”
- Take action and prove yourself wrong! Start running, feel yourself getting fitter and stronger and realise that your goal is in reach.
How can our readers use these tips to change their outlook in the workplace?
- Reframe: The key to reframing most experiences in the workplace is not to personalise them.
If things aren’t going the way you want them to, don’t be a victim and think, “why is this happening to me?” Instead, acknowledge that it is happening and focus your energy on what you are going to do about it.
- Reform: Believe in yourself, your abilities and your potential to do well in the workplace.
The more authentically confident you are in the workplace, the better you will be treated and the faster you will progress. People want to work with people they can put their faith in and the fastest way to show them that they can believe in you is to believe in yourself.
- Take action: Be proactive about your career and the experience you want to have at work.
Seek out mentors and create your own learning agenda based on the path you want your career to follow. Learn to accept constructive feedback for what it is, feedback about the work you’ve done, not the person you are.
Many people find it difficult to say they’re happy. Why do you think these feelings are hard to vocalise?
A lot of happy people prefer to keep quiet about their happiness. They’re tired of being misunderstood and having people think that by saying “I’m happy,” they mean “my life is perfect” and that they are big-noting themselves in some way.
You see, most people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. They think they’ll be happy when they’ve done this or got that; a promotion, a pay rise, a partner, a perfect figure, perfect kids, the perfect home. But true happiness is not a state of doing or having, it’s a state of being. Truly happy people know this and are happy regardless of the size of their house, bank balance or on label of the clothes they wear.
How can readers stay in touch with your tips when they’re constantly on-the-go?
Happiness is a choice, but you can’t just make it once. You can’t say: “Happiness… I think I’ll give that a try next Tuesday.” You need to choose to be happy every day and then continually and consistently make decisions that support that intention.
Before you go to bed each night, take a minute to express your gratitude for today and set your intention for tomorrow. When you wake up in the morning, before you leap out of bed and race around doing a million and one things, reconnect with your intention for the day and use this to anchor your day in positive way.
I also have a whole range of free resources at domoniquebertolucci.com, to help people get the life they want while loving the life they’ve got. These include downloadable workbooks, my free video course Life: Make the Most of Yours and the 100 Days Happier iPhone app which will send you an inspiring thought to help you to maintain your happiness each and every day.