The Guy on “First Dates”

Can you remember some of your first dates?  Maybe you were lucky and they all went really smoothly but I imagine you can remember some feeling awkward and you were unsure about what to talk about or do?  Channel 4 has a tv programme which films couples meeting on completely blind "First Dates" and I was tuned in on the first night that Louis, a charmingly gauche young man, met a woman for dinner.

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Does comparing yourself affect your confidence?

I was at Swiss Ball class this week in an effort to keep fit. I've been doing this class for nearly 2 years now and, although we change our exercises on a weekly basis, I've got to know most of the exercises over that time. I don't think it's an easy class: I'm huffing and puffing, and usually the day afterwards my core stomach muscles are aching from the work I've put in (and that makes me feel all virtuous and like I can eat cakes for the rest of the week :-D).

Are you holding a distorted view of yourself?

​I've been remarkably quiet over the summer for a number of reasons, but school holidays are over now so back into gear!

Last week, we were up in Alston and went to visit the Killhope Lead Mine in Upper Weardale.  The museum have created an exhibition with a number of original items to show how the mine worked in the second half of the 19th century and the home lives of the workers and their families in this remote part of the country.  Beautiful though it is in summer and with a car, I can't imagine it was much fun​ through the middle of winter 150 years ago!

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Imperfections? What Imperfections?

Have you ever been part of a group photo, and looked at the result only to groan because you look so terrible but all of your friends look fabulous?  Although you've probably only vaguely registered that they are in the photo because you're too intent looking at what you think are your imperfections.  Then your friends say "What a hideous photo of me" and you think they must be saying that to make you feel better?

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A Surreal Conversation about being a Life Coach

Have you ever held a conversation which you later look back on and think "well that was surreal"?  Now, it could be the content of the conversation was surreal, or it could be that the circumstances of where you held the conversation were surreal.  I have.  Several times.  Both types, but I think the conversation I had a recently might just have taken the biscuit.

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Going for a job interview? What first impression do you make?

If you've read my blog for any length of time, or heard me speak at an event, I'll frequently talk about what impression you make when you meet somebody for the first time.  With job interviews, the stakes are raised.  You are being assessed for suitability for a job against a number of other people who all want to make a good impression too so it's essential that you're aware of how important first impressions are.

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How old am I?

If I knew more about Google Analytics, I might know whether the search term I saw pop up on this website from a visitor was because somebody was trying to find out about me, or whether it was about another Gillian Lewis (maybe Gillian Lewis, the English Character actress who I think may have been the inspiration for me being called Gillian): "How old is Gillian Lewis".

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Lucky Pants – does your underwear give you confidence?

I recently attended a workshop with the irrepressible Steve Thompson at Teesside University (www.steve-thompson.org.uk).  We were discussing confidence and how, if you employ a "fake it till you make it" approach, you will constantly nudge at the edges of your comfort zone before finally realising that you do have confidence in a particular field.  

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Big Sky Thinking

I'm just back from the new Mackenzie Thorpe exhibition of Station Posters in Middlesbrough.  I love Mackenzie Thorpe's work, and find I am always drawn to his paintings with really beautiful big skylines with puffy clouds - although the ones with shepherds and sheep come a close second (and when he paints both together, I'm in heaven! :-D).  I once spoke to him about how much I loved the cloud filled scenes he painted and he told me he got the best results when he turned the painting upside down so he could gain a different perspective on the work.  Reflecting on that on the way home, I started to think of this as being "Big Sky Thinking" (rather than Blue Sky Thinking) and how that would be a pretty good way to help you achieve the best results too. 

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Replay: Inspiring Change – International Women’s Day 2014

Yesterday was International Women's Day and I wrote a blog post inspired by the theme: #MakeItHappen.  Today I'm going to replay a post I wrote last year for the same event: Inspiring Change - International Women's Day 2014.

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