The One Thing You Need To Do To Improve Your Life Instantly

Boxing Gloves

Give a man a fish and he’ll feed himself for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll feed himself forever. Or so the saying goes. It’s probably true, but who really knows? Fish can be damned smart. Particularly the ones that have been caught before.

Here’s a saying which I know is absolutely true:

Give someone five minutes with nothing to do but think and they’ll find a way to beat themselves up about something, no matter how small or trivial.

It’s a sentence or thought that starts with the words If only I hadn’t

… said that, done the other, been mean about Rachel’s new hairstyle, bought that dress, maxed out my credit card, asked out the guy/girl in the Costa queue on an irrational impulse, inhaled an entire packet of Hobnobs in a single sitting, been quite so unkind to my mother, jumped to that conclusion about Dawn Smith when we were ten, poked the cat with a stick, got back with her / him for the 30th time, thought bad things about that woman before I knew she had cancer, turned down that job promotion, frittered away my teens … the list is endlessly long.

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It’s Not About Belief, It’s About Willingness


We hear a lot about self-belief in relation to ambition and achievement these days, don’t we? It’s almost as if willing ourselves to succeed is the only ingredient we need to not just reach for the stars but also grab and keep them.

This is especially true when it comes to business. There isn’t an entrepreneur alive who hasn’t either read or been told at some stage that all he or she needs to do is believe in themselves.

If only it were that simple, right?

A healthy dose of self-belief and rhino-thick hide certainly go a long way to helping people achieve their goals, whether in business or in life.

If you started a healthy eating programme believing you were never going to succeed, you’d simply order in another pizza and veg out on the sofa. If you didn’t believe you could pass your driving test, you’d simply shrug resignedly and renew your Oyster card.

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Have We Forgotten How To Be Cool?

Have We Forgotten How To Be Cool?

Have we forgotten how to be cool?  And no, I’m not talking about being able to wear a beard, an ear stud and a mandigan all at the same time without appearing to be the unsuspecting victim of some sort of haute couture drive-by shooting.

I’m talking about the ability to hide razor-sharp elbows behind a winning smile and effortless charm and appear sufficiently interested to be engaging, yet aloof enough to not be threatening.

Think Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. Cooler King cool.

The reason I’m banging on about this comes hot on the heels of a conversation with a good friend of mine after we’d both been on the receiving end of a particularly brutal hard-sell.  

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What’s Your Definition Of Power?

What's Your Definition Of Power?

Power is often a misrepresented word. A powerful person is usually defined as someone with money and status who can exert his will and control over others; considered smart, strong, lucky and perhaps more than a little ruthless.

But you can think of Power in two ways: Positional Power & Personal Power.

Positional Power is the authority you wield by virtue of position in an organisation’s structure and hierarchy.

This notion of power is more about what you ‘do’ rather than who you ‘are’. And it’s much more about your perceived power over others than the power you have over yourself.

Personally I’m much more interested in the concept of ‘Personal Power’, which I consider as power over yourself, your actions, your thoughts and your responses.

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Do You Want To Be More Magnetic?

Do You Want To Be More Magnetic?

Magnetism; that tangible yet often indefinable something that certain people possess.

They may not be the best looking person in the room nor the most powerful, rich or influential but there is just a certain something about this person that is especially engaging.

Think about the most magnetic person you know. Our guess is they’re charming, interesting and they make you feel special; wouldn’t we all want to be perceived that way?

So how then do we become more magnetic?

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If You Can’t Ace It, Face It

If You Can't Ace It, Face It

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be ace-ing all areas of your life?   What would that look like?   What would it feel like?   Most importantly, does it seem possible to you?

I write this because of the enormous amount of conversations I’ve had over the years: many people making statements along the lines of ‘I always have great friendships but I really struggle with romantic relationships, I’m just not meant to meet someone’, or ‘I’d love to move forward with my career but I don’t have what it takes to get up and present to a room’ or ‘I’m awful with money, I’m not the sort of person that is any good at business, I can’t ask for it’   These sort of statements are often delivered as ‘facts’, there is a certain resignation that this is ‘just how things are’.   These statements are extremely limiting to personal growth and expansion.   Said enough times, with enough conviction they become self-fulfilling prophecies, a belief after all is simply a chronic thought.   These kind of statements are the antithesis of magnetic, indeed they are repellent to you attracting your hearts desires.

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It’s Alright For Them……

It's Alright For Them......

“It’s alright for them”.

How many times have you thought that? Whilst resentfully side-eying someone’s career / body / relationship / financial situation / life?

More importantly how’s that working out for you?

The truth is whenever you compare yourself to anyone you are doing yourself a massive disservice as well as making an enormous assumption on his or her behalf.

The truth is, unless we know them intimately, we just don’t know what battles other people are fighting, no matter how glorious and glossy their lives appear from the outside.

I’m not saying, however, that envy is devoid of any usefulness, in fact envy can be an excellent window into desire and an opportunity to think ‘that’s inspiring, how could I inject more of that freedom / success / joy / love into my world?’ What I do hold contention with, however, is when envy is regularly presented as internal evidence that because they have what you want, you can’t have it too.

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Whatever The Mind Can Conceive, The Mind Can Achieve

Whatever The Mind Can Conceive, The Mind Can Achieve

“Whatever the Mind Can Conceive, it Can Achieve.” Napoleon Hill

This is a wonderful quote, and one that might ring true for some and not others. Many of us may want to believe that we can achieve our dreams, but after years of concerted effort could well be airing on the side of despondency, frustration and disappointment. We all have dreams, often big dreams, but may feel deep inside that we don’t have what it takes to reach them, that we lack that magic ingredient that successful people have naturally cultivated.

How many of us have been taught in our younger years to dream big, to go for what we want, to fulfill our deepest desires? Not many. Some of us may have been fortunate enough to have very positive parents, but sadly most of us didn’t, for some this has created more of a legacy, than a life. This is not to caste blame, merely to recognize that our parents were doing the best they could, with what they had been taught. How could it be otherwise? However, that awareness didn’t stop us internalizing everything we experienced at a subconscious level, every word, abusive action, and put down. But the most devastating outcome was that as our mind soaked up all the negativity, this is what ultimately determined our level of self esteem, self worth and self belief. We became a product of our past, now merely existing in this present moment rather than living to the fullness of our true potential. From this place of existing, trying to create a happier and more abundant future will prove very challenging, if not impossible. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” Using our conscious mind to move forward in life, as we hold deep seated negative self beliefs, is like having your foot pressed firmly on the accelerator of a fast car and the other one on the brake at the same time. Yes, we may have big dreams, but our past experiences will directly determine if we believe in ourselves enough to actually achieve them. In reality, all that really stands between us and our dreams, is us. It has nothing to do with intelligence, education or talent. There are hundreds of inspiring stories of people achieving incredible success in spite of immense odds, simply because they believed they could do it, they were determined and steadfast and refused to let anyone ‘steal their dream.’ They utilised the power of their minds, rather than let their mind and beliefs run their lives by default.

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How To Reclaim Your Confidence

How To Reclaim Your Confidence

Most of us desire to be more confident in a certain area or areas of our lives. Many clients that walk into Zoë Clews & Associates, looking for freedom and resolution from their problems in life, are confident in some areas but lack it in others: they may be confident in relationships but will do anything they can to wriggle out of public speaking, or they may find it relatively easy to excel at work but are riddled with self doubt when it comes to intimate relationships. Saying that, we also see clients who are lacking confidence in all areas and that’s when life really does get pretty painful.

Because self confidence is such a natural and basic resource, lack of self confidence is often one of the reasons for lots of other presenting problems and difficulties, therefore when I see clients for phobias, weight loss, anxiety etc I will often start by working with their confidence.

Confidence is not only essential in life in helping you survive and manage daily challenges, but it also means you’ll have a better relationship with yourself. Life is considerably easier if you like and accept yourself. Let’s face it we’re pretty much stuck with ourselves so we may as well learn to be our own best friend…and you’d want a best friend that championed you right?

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Additional Credits

Video by Weeks360.

Photography by Liz Bishop Photography.

Production by Mark Norman at Little Joe Media and Joanne Brooks.

Hair by Jonny Albutt.

Make up by Olly Fisk and Nabeel Hussain.