Gael's Blog

Confidence Challenge July 2015:  Use some summer sun moments for 5 star contemplation

Sunday, July 19th, 2015



My husband and I spent a lovely relaxing break yesterday in Richmond. It was a beautiful sunny day with a good breeze so an ideal climate for enjoying being outside. In the UK, when we have days like this, everyone seizes the opportunity to go out and about, so the riverside was teeming with people. But although our fantasy had been to have a quiet relaxing day, we enjoyed being amongst people having fun and chatting together.

Amidst the families and friends, I also noticed a number of individuals sitting or walking alone. Some were looking around happily, while others looked a little lonely and out of place.  As we left the town and walked further up the river to the quieter spots, my attention was drawn to a number of people. These were individuals who although they were amongst a group, did appear to be happily alone. They were either sitting or lying in a relaxed position while seemingly lost in thought. I was reminded of the great painting by Seurat which I have inserted above, The Bathers at Asniers.

When I returned home, looked at this painting again on the Internet. I could see why it had come to mind. Apart from the fact that it was a Summer riverside scene, it is full of people who seem somewhat alone amongst their group.  But, like the people I saw yesterday they appear content to be so. And of course I wondered too if their mood was contemplative.  Doing this gave me the idea for this month’s Confidence Challenge.

One of the traits of confident people is that they do contemplate. They are good at taking regular time-out to reflect.  They use relaxing  ‘alone moments’ to think about themselves, their relationships and their life in general.  As a result, they will often also set some resolutions and new goals. In doing this they are actively topping up  their inner confidence.  Most will not have a clue that this is what they are doing. Their behavioural habit may even be one that they don’t realise they have. So if you asked them if they were topping up their inner confidence, they would probably laugh you out of the room!

But I know this is not a habit unconfident people tend to have. If they do have similar ‘alone moments’ , they would use them very differently.  They would, most likely be worrying about what others were thinking, worrying about what they were  wearing or worrying about whether they should or should not talk to someone. It is almost certain that they wouldn’t be looking relaxed and content like Seurat’s bathers.

When we are relaxing at a weekend or on holiday, it is of course also important to give ourselves time to think frivolously and freely. And we should also let go enough to see our minds going ‘blank’. But as we emerge from this state of bliss, we should from time to time remind ourselves that our creative brain works  at its best when we are relaxed. It is then that we are most likely to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems.

So in the next few weeks your Confidence Challenge is:

  •  Towards the end of any break from your routine life, try to reserve about 15 minutes for reflective contemplation
  • After relaxing into your chair or sun lounger, note what you have specifically enjoyed about having your break (e.g. spending time with people I love/ getting up late/ good food/ lovely scenery etc)
  • Rate your current lifestyle in terms of the satisfaction it gives you  (using a scale of 1-10)
  • Rate your overall sense of well-being during the last year or month using the same scale
  • Rate your inner and outer confidence separately, using the same scale.
  • Ask yourself if there is any way you could give yourself some of what you have appreciated during your break in your normal everyday life. (This is particularly important to do if your ratings have been on the low side)

Enjoy your holiday if you are having one. If not, look forward to the next one and remember this blog

Best wishes


ps I am loving reading your comments. Many thanks if you have posted one.

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2 Responses to “Confidence Challenge July 2015:  Use some summer sun moments for 5 star contemplation”

  1. gerry says:

    hi Gael hope you are well great blog and confidence boosters and very nice picture

  2. Marvon says:

    I just discovered you, Heather, and you’re a bad ass. This video is ralely cool. I’m thinking I can use this exercise when I get home from school bc that’s when I tend to want to rip into lots of food. I can also use the tranquilizer during the day when I feel overwhelmed by schoolwork/academic commitments. Also, I can use this right before I go to bed, instead of just shutting off my laptop and trying to sleep. Thanks!

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