Failure and rejection doesn’t have to mean that you have failed as a person

Failure doesn’t have to mean failure by Sarah Keeping- guest blogger.

Ever failed a driving test? Yep, I have. Twice. But I’m not talking about things you can easily re-take. I’m talking about things you invest a lot of time and effort in for it to come to nothing.

I started at university the first year tuition loans came in – so for anyone who went to university before this, my degree cost a lot of money. For any current students, my degree cost peanuts. But I was told in my second year that now ‘everyone’ has a degree, you should do a Masters to make sure you get a job over other candidates. I believed this to be the case and so in my final year I applied to do a Masters course and was accepted. I remember someone on my course saying how they were done with studying and couldn’t believe that I wanted to do more. But I did. I didn’t know what else to do so studying more would surely be the best thing?

I really enjoyed my Masters year, but when it came to doing my dissertation, I had lost all motivation for it. Maybe it was the topic, maybe it was because I still didn’t know what I was going to do after graduating.

One October morning, I was just about to leave for work (a retail job near my home) and my friend text me to say our grades had been released and were on the university system. I had a few minutes before I really had to leave so I thought I’d quickly check. Under the ‘dissertation’ column it said ‘F’. I thought, what does ‘F’ mean? It meant FAIL. I walked to work in a daze.

I’d never failed a subject in my life. I was so disappointed. I had the option to re-submit but I couldn’t face the prospect of re-doing a dissertation and not graduating with my friends. I decided to take the lower grade award and reassess.

For three years, I stayed in my retail job just wondering what I should do. At 18, I had naively thought that Psychology was all about the brain and therefore very science focused (I hated science at school) so I didn’t choose to study that at university. I got to 25 and thought, what have I got to lose? I applied to do a Psychology conversion course and was accepted. Two years later I was receiving my certificate at my graduation. Brilliant. What’s next? A Masters?

I applied to do a Masters course again and was accepted. For one year, if I wasn’t working I was reading for or writing an assignment. Then came the dissertation. I chose a subject that I was passionate about and really cared about. That was the difference. I was also extremely focused on history not repeating itself. In many ways, this course was also a righting a wrong. I don’t give up, I never fail (in the long run, anyway).

It’s easy to say this now, but I do think that it’s good to experience failure. Whatever you fail at, it spurs you on to try and never go through that feeling again. It definitely helped me – I was very happy walking across the stage as my name was read out at my graduation, having passed my Masters. With Distinction.

*Sarah Keeping is currently undertaking a Counselling Skills course in London and is looking to change her professional subject area to Counselling Psychology. Previous qualifications are in Investigative Psychology, Psychology, Applied Criminology, and Criminology and Sociology.

Follow Sarah on twitter at @SKeeping_Psych

Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton

Letter for a girl.

Dear little girl:

I am writing to you because I have been thinking about you for a while. You know, things are not that good in the world, there are many things about it you should know, but probably because of your age you do not know them yet. Maybe your daily activities are going to the school, playing in the afternoons, or maybe other things. Regardless, today I would like to talk to you about violence against women. Maybe you have heard about it on TV; maybe you have a small idea about what it is; maybe you have witnessed it at home or on the street; or maybe you have never heard about it; that is way I am writing to you, because I need you to know what is happening regarding violence.

First of all, please, believe in yourself, always! It does not matter what people tell you, what they say about your behaviour, how you should act, what you should say, what is permitted and what not or how you have to behave “as a girl”. There are millions of people in the world, can you imagine it? Millions! And each person has their own way of thinking, thousands and thousands of different thoughts and believes. Can I tell you a secret? Nobody is right. Find your own way, the one that goes with your dreams, those that are faithful to you. The world is not an easy place, and it is worst when you are a woman. You are a child now, but in some years you will be a woman. Beautiful certainly, no matter what beauty standards say, do you remember what I told you before about believes? It does not matter what people say about beauty, you will be beautiful. And surely, you will have other qualities, now as a child you have them, I cannot imagine in a few years, when you have more experiences in your life. As I told you before, to be a woman is not easy, it doesn’t matter from which part of the world you are reading this, and for now, you have to deal with that. You have to deal with that, I hate myself for writing this, this is not something that women should have to deal with, and it is not something that women have to live, but of those millions of people in the world, some of them really believe they do. Above, I wrote “for now”, because at the same time, there are many women (and men) on a way to change this situation; this is encouraging, the world is changing, although sometimes it does not seem like that.

I want you to know this now, you are a girl, and probably asking yourself why I am telling you these things, but I am doing this because I want you to keep it in mind, from this moment, while you are reading this, that to be a women is a good thing, although sometimes people make us feel the opposite.

I am writing to you from the future, a 30 years old woman, who, of course, has lived more experiences than you. From here, I want to tell you that you are strong, that we are not fighting against men, we are friends of women and men and, mainly, I would love for you to be your best friend, the one that you care the most about, the one that you worry for the most, the one that you respect the most, and the one that you love the most. Many people love you, I am sure that you love many people as well, but the most important one, the one that should love you the most is you. Love yourself very much, no matter the circumstances!

Another thing: Yes! You will fall in love, and you cannot imagine how amazing it is! Falling in love is a beautiful stage, everything is sweet and pretty. You will also have a broken heart, I would like it if you did not live that, but seriously, it is very necessary to do it. It makes you grow and it gives you great knowledge. Do you want to know another secret? You will learn to live with that experience as well, as tragic as it seems, trust me, you will survive. In the end, without revealing too much, everything is alright and things go back to normal; just with a plus: You will have a story to tell and it will have given you a huge knowledge about life, love and yourself. I also wish you know love, true love, because if falling in love and having a broken heart are amazing, to love, wooh! It is really wonderful! In this case I will not tell you more, trust me, you will know it when you feel and live it.

Although I do not want to give you more information about love, it is fundamental for me to tell you a very important thing, because I am pretty sure that you will hear about it through your life and probably you will grow up with this wrong belief. Please pay attention: Love does not hurt. No, love has many properties and many ways to prove it, but not one of them includes pain. Always keep it in mind.

I am sorry, dear girl, because I am telling you this so repeatedly, but I really want you to understand it, because I am sure that other women, old and young around the world, grew up with this idea, but it is a huge lie!, and then, what happens? With this idea women get confused about love, and think that is it when it is not. When they believe this, they stop taking care of themselves, because they are confused. I want you to keep it in mind always, and live your life with your head up, hugging yourself, trusting in you, and knowing who you are.

You have a universe full of opportunities and ways to live your life, just be coherent with yourself, with what you want and what you need. Be free, live your life as you want. Something that I want you to keep in mind as well and to apply as often as necessary, is to say NO. You can say NO whenever you want, and NO means NO. Do not believe that false idea that women have a different communication code and that we are hard to understand. When we want something, we say it, when we do not, we say it too. That easy. In this coherence with yourself, practice to say what you want and what do not, and always, in this exercise, make sure to respect your answer.

These are many ideas, I know, but do not be worried, take your time to assimilate the information, you can also doubt what I am writing, I am not right about everything and I may be wrong in some words. If you criticise me, you will be using your great ability to question and create your own points of view, it is very useful. This letter is a little gift for you, I would like you to take this message and keep it present.

Dear girl, you are a child yet, and you will be a great woman. I love you.

The woman from the future, 30 years old, to the girl, to all the girls.

Citlalli Degollado is Gestalt Psychotherapist. She works with adults and couples. Currently she lives in Brighton, and she is a psychotherapist to Spanish people.

Citlalli Degollado es Psicoterapeuta Gestalt. Trabaja con adultos y parejas. Actualmente vive en Brighton y brinda terapia a hispanohablantes.

Bullying in the British Culture: Learn to stand up for yourself and your friends

I believe there is an underlying manner of bullying within the United Kingdom.  Through my experience, many Brits do not express themselves- they can either be quite passive-aggressive or just repress many emotions. I think many of them especially within the school systems are too scared to stand up and teach that bullying is not acceptable. In America, even though bullying does happen everywhere around the world we have a zero tolerance to bullying and ill-behavior.  Let’s see what Georgia Farrugia The Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre’s April’s Guest Blogger has to say about bulling. It’s always great to get new perspectives on things. After all, we only know what we experience in our lives.
LIKEABILITY
So here is the thing, we all want to be liked right. We compare ourselves to our neighbour in class, our friend or colleague – and most of all, the person we wish we could be like. See God made us unique. Every single one of us has a purpose, and every single one of us has a passion. I will start this with, it is OK TO BE YOU – You are perfect as you are. 
BULLYING
I know what this is like, to be left out, to not fit in. I went through it, with a total of five school moves and hating who I was and questioning why I was going through it.
However, look back at what I just said– that every single one of us has a purpose, and every single one of us has a passion. Even when I was going through some of my HARDEST times imaginable, I knew there must have been a reason. To help people possibly? And the passion – it is the very reason I have written this blog for you. To tell you that with your own inner strength you WILL get through the tournament. And so it is ok to not fit in the box of those who are doing the bullying – because you were put on this earth to create your own box. 
 
School bullying (or can be applied to any one aspect of life): SCHOOL IS NOT YOUR LIFE. The same way that your gender, religion, hair style or family background does not entirely define you, school is not your life (or your job/bullying in work). It may be what you know up to now or take up the majority of your time, but the same as when you were 7 you didn’t know what you’d achieve or how great you’d be at 17, great times will come and there will be triumphs that you just don’t know yet. 
 
You are going to reach milestones and your experience of life is going to evolve and once this period in your life has passed, you will have memories, but school itself, or the adversity you are facing, will not define you and eventually those memories will become the distant past. You are free to choose how to live your life and WHO YOU WANT TO BE. Make that decision count, not what the tormentors say. 
 
One day, life will revolve around new relationships and jobs, college or university, there may be friends, holidays or religion or a faith that may come into your life – what I am showing you is that your life will have other meaning and the nugget in this is, do not let your current or past experiences define who you are, how you believe in yourself or who you will become. 
 

It is that the hardest times in our lives that will make us the strongest people and enable us to achieve our best. I wish you the best. 

Would you like to get in touch with Georgia? Tweet her here: @mcrgeorgia https://twitter.com/mcrgeorgia

Have you ever been bullied? Do you need help establishing stronger boundaries within your own relationships? Please get in touch with the centre today! www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk.

Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton

Learn mindfulness in 5 easy steps through using your senses: the five senses exercise

This exercise is called “five senses”, and provides guidelines on practising mindfulness quickly in nearly any situation.  All that is needed is to notice something you are experiencing with each of the five senses.

Follow this order to practice the five senses exercise:

  • Notice five things that you can see.

Look around you and bring your attention to five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a shadow or a small crack in the concrete.

  • Notice four things that you can feel.

Bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of a table you are resting your hands on.

  • Notice three things you can hear.

Take a moment to listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of traffic from a nearby road.

  • Notice two things you can smell.

Bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast food restaurant across the street.

  • Notice one thing you can taste.

Focus on one thing that you can taste right now, in this moment. You can take a sip of a drink, chew a piece of gum, eat something, or just notice the current taste in your mouth or open your mouth to search the air for a taste.

This is a quick and relatively easy exercise to bring you to a mindful state quickly.

 

If you would like to learn more about managing your anxiety get in touch with The Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre.

Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton

Are you looking for a life coach or mentor? Let the Brighton Mental Health and Wellness Centre help.

Have you ever wanted to know what a mentor or life coach is supposed to do? There are many people out there that call themselves life coaches and mentors, but how do you know which one suits you and your personality?  Here at The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre we offer fully trained and qualified therapists who can support you.

I am a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with a background of career counselling, education and teaching, as well as having over 25 years experience having worked in various locations and professions. By applying my educational background, work experience and practical skills I can help support you, coach you and mentor you by coming up with some basic key points that will ensure you that you’re heading on the right path. Often by talking with someone who isn’t involved emotionally or personally with your career or work related issues eases the pressure and often clients automatically come up with their own solutions which is very empowering.

HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MENTOR AND LIFE COACH IS?

A mentor has a deep personal interest about you and your long term development and a coach develops specific skills for the task, challenges and performance expectations at work. Mentoring is a power free, two-way mutually beneficial relationship.

Do you feel your life is affected by stress and anxiety, low self esteem and a lack of direction? Do you wish you could move forward and feel positive again? If you feel ready to make some changes in your life and need guidance and support, The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre is here for you.

We provide tailor made coaching and mentoring programmes for both individuals and businesses using Life & Business Coaching techniques, Counselling, and practical support and advice. Our private practice specialises in programmes to help with:

  • stress induced anxiety and depression
  • executive stress
  • career advice
  • lack of confidence
  • low self esteem
  • panic attacks
  • work/life balance issues
  • insomnia
  • relationship problems

But, it doesn’t need to be tailor made if you don’t want it to be. Here at The Brighton Mental Health & Wellness Centre we offer flexibility.

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

Our first session will consist of a 60 minute assessment.  We will initially have a chat and try to uncover what a few of the underlying issues are and what can be done to solve those issues. During that assessment we will also come up with some short term goals and long terms goals that will direct you to a more relaxed, more relieved, more comfortable and happy you.

Please get in contact to book your initial assessment now. Initial assessment fee is £60 and if you book in three sessions/ Premier Package there is a reduced rate.

Contact me now!

 

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Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton

How to overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life

Growing up in America we were taught by my parents to work hard and to play hard. My sister, brother and myself grew up having that mentality especially. No matter what obstacles or challenges we faced, we overcame them with our heads’ held high. We worked hard in school and through out our lives while exploring careers. We established social circles that began developing in primary school, continued through out secondary school, university and so on. We are a very social family who isn’t afraid to push up our sleeves, put our heads down and get to work.

Now, some psychologists would explain the causes to such dexterity as a) environmental causes b) personality and/or c) upbringing. I would like to say in my instance it was a little bit of all three. My mother worked two jobs to be able to send us to a really good private school where I met mates that I am still friends with today. Even though I found understanding my emotions difficult while I was growing up and felt isolated from who I was as a person unable to be my authentic self, my personality was strong and stubborn.  My mother once said to me that I had a solid, strong backbone. I remember that compliment bringing tears to my eyes.

Being surrounded by like-minded people, being taught a strong work ethic and having the specific DNA or innate personality has made me who I am today. I am someone who has (no matter what) always been positive and react gracefully when difficulty arises. Now, I am not saying I am perfect. I am only human. I have my ups and my downs as well. However, my innate personality has always been one that of a positive person.

That is why I am going to share with you ways that I have over come challenges and negative thinking and turned them into positive thoughts. I am going to teach you how to overcome negative thoughts and manifest them into positive thoughts in your life.

  • Do you find yourself carrying a dark cloud over your head?
  • Do you get angry and frustrated easily?
  • Do you always look at the glass half empty?

I am going to give you 5 tips on how to flip that thinking and manifest positive thoughts in your head. Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and easy worksheets you can change your negative thinking and manifest positive thoughts that will not only change your life, but increase happiness which will bring much more pleasure to your life.

I will give you one tip right now. 

If you find yourself thinking a negative thought take that thought and finish it with a positive statement.  I will give you an example.

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation.

You change it like this…

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation. However, if I do make a mistake I will correct myself.

or

  • I can’t speak in front of my colleagues because I might make a mistake when giving my presentation. However, if I do make a mistake I will correct myself and jokingly say that I am nervous when I give presentations.

After all, everyone is nervous when having to stand up in front of people talking.

By taking a negative thought and changing it into a positive one can enable you to manifest more positive thoughts giving you one personal solution so that you can live better.

Follow The Brighton Wellness Centre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more about how you can overcome negativity and manifest positivity in your life.

Sign up to Empowering Women’s Network to learn more or get in touch with The Brighton Wellness Centre.

It’s never too late to turn your life around!

www.brightonwellnesscentre.co.uk

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Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton