Is Your ‘But’ Bigger Than You Think

A while back now I watched an Australian film called; The Dressmaker starring Kate Winslet. There was a particular scene that sparked an interesting thought about how a person’s own ability to find an alternative to problems that they face, by using the word ‘but’.

In this scene, Winslet’s character Myrtle is upset with the townspeople’s treatment towards her and in a rage wanted to leave the town along with her reluctant mother. Myrtle debates with her mother Molly (played by Judy Davis) all the reasons they should leave the town, giving in to those around her. However with every reason, Molly rebuffs her with each statement beginning with ‘but…’

It’s a simple contrasting word that is often used in a negative context. I want to be an artist BUT I can’t draw. I want to get fit BUT I don’t have time to exercise. It’s an easy way to excuse yourself from facing a difficult problem and nowadays we do it almost subconsciously. What I found during this scene was the strength of this seemingly insignificant word being used in a positive way, to reason and reinforce…

So how about when you’re feeling like giving up or giving in to a problem that you face, turn this word into your own power tool to combat difficult situations and times of uncertainty, instead of letting them win.

For example, I’ve recently started a YouTube channel (The Gracious Life) and I’m sure most people can understand putting yourself out there in such a public light is no easy feat. I had wanted to create this channel for a while, however I kept using negative ‘BUTS’ to question my own insecurities. From the way I look and sound on camera to the negative feedback and reactions I might receive, there were just so many ‘buts’. What I realised overtime and with the support of friends, is that yes, I have these insecurities BUT if I give into them, I would never move forward and achieve my goals, which holds a greater importance than my insecurities. And now that I have created my channel, this has proven to be true.

So when you’re thinking about what you want to do in life, whether it’s on a day-to-day basis or long-term goals you want to achieve, and you start having those thoughts that are telling you to run in the opposite direction, think about your BUT. Ask yourself is your BUT bigger than those thoughts that are causing confusion. Start with ‘but…’ and finish with a positive statement. You might just realise that the outcome holds a greater importance to the negative thoughts that are holding you back.

Originally published on Glam Adelaide

How Breathing the Right Way can Change Your Life

Breathing. It is something that most of us do without really thinking about it. It keeps us alive (we know, stating the obvious) but have you ever thought about how breathing can assist us in certain situations?

In today’s fast paced and ever changing society it is no wonder that we can often find ourselves anxious, stressed and/or worried. We have all seen that scene in a movie where someone is stressing out and to try and calm down, they breathe into a paper bag. While this may help some people (there is actually method behind the seemingly mad action), there are other simple breathing techniques that can be used to create calmness within.

Those who practice yoga or other forms of meditation will recognise the use of breathing practices as a way to create internal calmness and relaxation. Bringing these techniques into your every day life or maybe just when you are feeling that anxiety/stress/worry come on, could make a huge difference to the way that you are feeling and how you cope with certain situations.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re anxious or stressed that we tend to take short shallow breaths from the upper chest? Instead try to concentrate your breathing all the way down into your abdomen. Deep and slow belly breathing is known for creating a sense of calm. Your body actually reacts to this slow type of breathing and responds more rationally. Gosh our body is clever!

Breathing is something we have the power to control and change. So if you find yourself becoming anxious, stress or worried, try using this ‘super’ power of yours and change the way you breathe. You might just find the ability to calm yourself down and tackle any situation head on.

I would love to hear how breathing has helped you in a stressful situation, so let me know at mayanthi@thegraciouslife.com.au

Originally published on Glam Adelaide

Throw That ‘Too Hard Basket’ Out and Start Achieving Your Goals

So that famous too hard basket, have you heard the saying? Well i reckon I hadn’t heard of it till I joined the workforce. And it’s made me think, why have we made it so easy to just throw something in the too hard basket, why should this be allowed, because really throwing something in the too hard basket actually means giving up or not doing something about something that needs doing.
I know for me I don’t really think about the too hard basket very often and I think there are 3 reasons for this:
1. I’m usually passionate about the things I think about doing so I’ll do whatever I can to not make it so hard to do.
2. I work on it slowly, do abit here and abit there so it doesn’t feel like I’m taking on a massive task all at once.
3. I don’t think of it as too hard. Our brains have so much power that the more we think something the more real it feels and the more we believe it.
So my lessons here are firstly if you really are passionate about doing something then take it on as a challenge, it’s not going to be easy but it doesn’t mean the idea needs to go in the too hard basket, it just needs a little TLC. Secondly, break your idea down into doable steps (Rome wasn’t built in a day..hey hey hey). And thirdly, I think this point is so important; don’t think of something as too hard, if you really want to do something, and it’s physically possible, then just put a little bit of time and work into it. Once you start working on it, it will become easier and easier!

Gracious Thoughts: Creating Your Reality

Creating your reality is all about living a life which is completely controlled by yourself, others (family/friends/acquaintances/colleagues) may be involved in this life, but the choices you make lead to positive outcomes for yourself. I want to share with you the story of how I have created my reality so far….

I am a thinker and a dreamer. I’m always thinking about the future and what I want to do with my life, the things/places I want to see, the people I want to meet, the person I want to become. I tend to ‘dream big’, not to sound cheesy, but I actually think about achieving great things in my life and I try to figure out ways of achieving these things. I also have a tendency to decide to do something (such as wanting to start a magazine), I get all excited and start telling my family and friends about the ideas I have, and then I don’t turn my words into actions or I do, but only go halfway. This is the disappointing moment for me, because I put so much thought into it, I come up with all these ideas and I’m so excited about seeing it come to life, and when it doesn’t happen I feel like what’s the point in doing all of these things and trying to make something of myself, I should just get a job and work for someone else. But being the stubborn dreamer that I am, I will never let myself believe that I will spend the rest of my life working for someone and not pursuing my dreams, and I keep thinking of new ideas of things I can do in my life.

 

During the latter years of high school I decided that I wanted to become a Psychologist. I wanted to be a Psychologist, because I would watch talk shows such as Oprah and The Tyra Show, and you know how they always tend to have a Psychologist in the audience who would share their ‘expert opinion’, well I wanted to be that person. So from then on I decided that I would go to Uni, study Psychology and become a Psychologist. While studying psychology at Uni, I realised that what I was learning was not what I was interested in and I really didn’t like it. Also to become a practicing Psychologist you have to complete the 3 year Bachelor degree, 1 year of Honours and a Master or Phd, this process put me off, because not only was it very competitive, I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it. So during my final year of the Bachelor Degree, I found out about another course being offered, which was a Masters degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. After graduating from Psychology I ended up getting into this Masters degree, and was on my way to becoming a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. I really enjoyed this course because it was so much more practical and I felt like I could actually use what I was learning, in real life.

So while I was at Uni, I had an idea of starting a magazine. I researched it and I even went as far as to having a first issue put together by two graphic designer friends. But due to funding and timing issues I wasn’t able to get it printed. In the mean time a friend of mine said why not start it as a blog, gain an audience and then look into creating a print magazine. But I was stubborn and said no I don’t want it online, i want something in print. Since it wasn’t working out I gave in and started Gracious Magazine as an online blog.

After completing my Masters degree and running my blog, I realised that I can combine my interests and create a business which is based around Lifestyle consulting (helping people realise what they want to do with their lives) and Lifestyle coaching (helping people make positive changes in their lives). This is how The Gracious Life was born.

For me, I have found that even though I have all of these ideas it doesn’t mean I have to make them a reality, it just means I know I want to create something and coming up with ideas is just apart of that journey. As I go about creating my reality I stumble across many speed bumps, road-blocks, and dead ends. But it’s all about following the road and seeing where it leads, there’s not much point in stopping because that is when you know you have stopped dreaming and given up in creating your own reality. Remember that ‘creating’ is the key word, there’s no end to creating, set goals, and do whatever you need to do to create the life that you want to live.

 

Sarah-Jane Hook: The life of a Marketing Manager

What is your role?

I am the Marketing Manager for The Myer Centre AdelaideI provide an integrated and strategic approach to the Myer Centre’s marketing to drive customer traffic and sales for the retailers within the shopping centre.  This includes being responsible for all customer facing communication channels in the local market and rolling out targeted promotions to drive sales for key categories. Eg, fashion.

What would your average working day look like?

7am, alarm goes off, hit snooze. Sometime between 7am – 8.30am work out what to wear with the added challenge these days of a) styling a fashionable outfit and b) what will work cycling to work without requiring a drastic wardrobe change. 8.30am cycle to work and park bicycle in the Myer Centre’s Pedal, Prep and Go storage room. 9am, coffee time! I always start my day with a quality coffee.  9.30am, attend to emails, review overnight communications on the centre’s social channels and review the day’s schedule.10am management team meeting communicating workflow of other departments amongst team heads. 10.30am on site meeting with event suppliers – stylist, audio visual technician and equipment hire specialist to discuss logistical requirements for upcoming fashion parade.  12pm work in progress meeting with Visual Merchandiser/Social Media coordinator, going over strategy for digital content creation and briefing in centre presentation projects. 1pm (if schedule permits) head to the gym for a quick lunchtime workout. 2pm conference call with creative agencies (media buyer, advertising agency, PR agency) directing a briefing on upcoming targeted promotions. 2.30pm following up on conference call with submission of briefing documents with action deadlines and budget allocations. 3pm catch up on emails and reading of industry trends / case studies / news. 3.30pm analyse results from previous targeted promotion / last month / last period and prepare post campaign debrief reports and presentations. 5pm prepare briefing memo and distribute to centre retailers on an upcoming promotional opportunity relevant to their business.  6pm head off to the Nike Run Club before cycling home or cycle home and head to a Bikram Yoga class to switch off and sweat out the day. Once home find something to eat. 10pm check activity on the centre’s social channels before catching up on reading and heading to bed.

How did you get to your position of being a Marketing Manager?

I started my career working in real estate in a marketing support function. I realized it was the marketing aspect of the industry that really interested me and began to research how to progress with a career in Marketing. I completed a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) while working part time in the real estate industry continuously.  This was invaluable as by the time I graduated from my degree I had six years marketing experience behind me.  I then moved on to a marketing assistant role on a large residential land release.  An opportunity came up with a maternity leave contract as Marketing Manager at Harbour Town (a brand direct outlet shopping centre) and this was my stepping stone into the retail / shopping centre industry. I have since honed my experiences within the industry with marketing roles for Westfield and now in my current role as Marketing Manager for the Myer Centre Adelaide.

Have you always wanted to work in the Marketing area?

Yes, consumer behaviour theories fascinate me as well as blending a love of visual communication and creativity with numbers and statistics.  Marketing is a social science.

What do you love about your role? 

I love that no two days are the same.  The marketing of a physical location which is a busy, public place results in working amongst a dynamic environment with many, many stakeholders.

In your current role, what has been your biggest achievement?

 I’m pleased to have rolled out a rebranding project and multiple launch projects with the centre as well as receiving industry recognition awards for several tactical promotions.

Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment? 

 I love that a career in retail marketing enables you to work in a sphere with very talented and creative people.  The styling advice and exposure to a myriad of fashion can be a girl’s dream!

Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the Marketing / Fashion industry?

Never lose sight of return on investment and always focus on surprising and delighting the customer.