A Breathing Space Report
Here is a summary of some of the key things we discussed at the Breathing Space that took place on 22nd May 2018.
Feel free to add your own comments and keep the discussion going.
A reminder to everyone that everything that was discussed was confidential, so I'm not mentioning any names or going into much detail.
For those who have not been before, be aware that no-one was forced to say or share anything they didn't want to.
The theme today was around Self-Esteem and Inner Confidence
Whilst our Highly Esteemed Cat watched on, the group broke into pairs to find out more about each other, including something impressive that they had done. Each person then shared what they had found out about the person they'd been speaking to.
As well as getting people to think about good things that they had done, they had to vocalise that themselves and then hear someone else promote it. This felt strange and even difficult for some people.
We had quite a long discussion about the importance of the language used and how the words we use can influence how we feel about what we say.
The big discussion was around the danger in comparing yourself to others, especially when you have no idea on the context or full meaning of the achievement of others. This extended to the concept of changing external circumstances and that, logically, there should be no reason why that should change your inner situation. Inner confidence and positivity is not connected to external things, but that's not what we've been brought up to believe, so we allow these things to affect us unnecessarily.
A recent post that's been on the internet was brought up about the discovery that Neil Armstrong was feeling inadequate at an event he was attending and was comparing himself negatively to the others in the room. As far as he was concerned, he'd just done the job that he was trained to do and was therefore nothing special. As well as recognising that we all have the tendency to undervalue ourselves, when you explore that concept further, it's quite easy to realise that the old adage of 'you can do anything' is genuinely true – provided that you want it enough and are prepared to do the work that goes with it.
Extraordinary is merely lots of little ordinary steps put together.
A number of people realised that they had been connecting their personal value and worth with the fluctuations of their job.
Changing the approach is like exercising underused muscles – it takes time and you need to start small. Focussing on what you think you've done of worth and appreciating it, whilst ignoring what the outside world says. Simple to say, but can take a while to make it a habit.
Other areas of discussion were around specific confidence versus general confidence. In short, I may not be able to fly a plane, so I'm not confident in that specific element. However, I do have the general confidence to know that, if I apply myself and do what needs to be done, I could do that.
When we confuse the two, we can easily end up in the position where we say “I can't...” which shuts down possibility – as opposed to “I can't yet...”
Finally, a discussion around the fact that Success and Failure are not binary options. So many things can be broken down into different stages and a different perspective achieved. It even provoked a very deep question:.
Does failure even exist at all or is it just an artificial construct?
I think we'll save that one for another time.
The theme of the next Breathing Space will be on Money Hangups and will be held on 19th June at midday at:
The Prince William Stonehouse
Essentially, J31 off the M62. Drive past the Haribo factory and it’s the next right. Plenty of parking, private room - and it’s a pub, so food and drink available to purchase at the bar at your leisure.
If you want to book onto the event then follow this link:
Alternatively, if you know you want to attend regularly, set up a direct debit by following this link:
and you only pay £10 a month.
For those in the South Yorkshire, North Notts area, there will be a Breathing Space opening in Retford on 5thJune. Go to:
for more information.