Are you willing to stand alone?


Malcolm X quoted:

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”

Often in life we will find ourselves standing alone and perhaps somewhat segregated from others. As individuals we have differing views and opinions which derive from our upbringing, experiences, morals and values.
Some are vastly more passionate than others and will try in whichever way to influence another person’s thinking. Whilst others know their mind, their reasons and are happy to accept not everyone will feel the same way.

Throughout life our beliefs and reasoning are constantly put to the test by family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, though not always consciously done. People are able to form an idea about us by identifying our way of thinking and our understanding. It is very much a part of us – rarely can one hide this. Perhaps one can take on a fake identity for a while but the real you will pour out sooner or later.

People tend to gravitate to those who have similar beliefs and pull back when they do not share the same belief as others, especially if it is offensive in some way.

We should know our own minds and be willing to follow through when we believe strongly about an issue. We should be stable as individuals, mature enough to handle and accept others may not share our viewpoints. We should not live to manipulate others into seeing life in the way we do.

I will be the first to admit, it is refreshing when another person is just as passionate about you on an issue as you can banter, debate and bounce ideas off of each other. However, my standing remains the same whether 80 people support me or just the one person. This is where the “why” comes into play. One must know why they have this belief and passion. It must come from deep within and not simply be the viewpoint which you have adopted from someone close to you. I do not live to persuade others to adopt my way of thinking but I will make my standing known whether they will agree with me or not.

Do you stand firm in what you believe even when no-one will stand with you?
Is your need to be accepted greater than having integrity and standing for what is right?


Are you confident?


Peter T Mcyintre quoted:
“If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”

You must value and accept yourself before others will. More often than not, people will treat you how you allow them to. Some if that way inclined will test the waters identifying just how far they can push you. Your confidence or lack of it in some cases will show no matter how you attempt to hide it.

Whilst I am no child psychologist, I truly believe all children have an element of confidence, some presenting as more shy than others. When the child comes up against any threat, fear or intimidation, their confidence is rattled and begins to disappear. I can guarantee that any adult with an insecurity can recall circumstances in which their beauty, skills, expertise or other was questioned by another.

Can one develop their confidence over time?
If one does not have confidence in their ability to carry out a task using unfamiliar technology, it is their responsibility to request appropriate training and practice in their spare time. There is no reason why this skill cannot be developed.

On a more personal level, if one is not confident in their appearance or personality can they work towards liking themselves?
We can endeavour to change our way of thinking, our dress size, our attitude but besides all of this, we need to love ourselves as we are right now. We need to tell ourselves “I am enough.”

For years I believed I was not enough no matter what I achieved. I set high standards and was critical when I did not hit them. I lived a life of proving myself to myself which is strange when written in black and white. I did not like me at all – I pretended to of course – I was probably convincing too.

I am glad I am no longer in that place. I still have my moments (ask my husband) but am far more grounded in who I am and what I stand for. I can stand alone if this is required of me.

How confident are you?
Has this increased/decreased over the years.
Do you link who you are to what you do?

Are you easily intimidated?


I have been thinking about intimidation for a while and wonder why it is felt by some so much more than others. Does it derive from bullying and criticism in your childhood years; perhaps a peer at school, your parents or a teacher that enjoyed making you feel awkward/humiliated/confused?

Those same children grow into adults who appear to carry the stamp of intimidation. They do not feel at ease to put forward their opinion and shy away from any form of confrontation even when it is to their own detriment.

Feelings of intimidation can be rather crippling if it becomes a hindrance in your life. It can prevent you from taking opportunities when they are presented to you for fear of failing, having to associate with others more senior/academic/ respected than you.

Can a person truly learn to remove intimidation from their life or at the very least, minimise it?

I can touch on one experience. In my second full-time job, around 15 years ago, I worked with a Finance Director. He was a stern “no nonsense” type. He would walk into my office which I shared with a few colleagues, stand over my desk and expect me to end my face to face or telephone conversation there and then. I remember feeling utterly intimidated by his presence and I struggled to give him eye contact – in fact I did not give him eye contact! In my eyes, he was ultra senior and I was a recent graduate in a junior role. My line manager who I cannot sing her praises enough, told me as a matter of fact;

“Phoenicia, you need to give the directors eye contact. Failure to do this will result in them not respecting you.”

Ooh it was harsh but I needed to hear it. With time (I am talking years), I forced myself to look people in the eye – no matter who they were. Every part of my body flinched as I did it but it became like a second nature. It was my manager’s advice that led me to take action. I did not want to be “that” person who gave off an air of timidity, over sensitivity, fragility whenever people met me. My feelings still exist now as they did then but now I own them.

Intimidation does not need to continue to have a hold over your life. You can identify where the intimidation derived from and work on improving confidence in yourself and your abilities. Only then will you feel on par with others. Only then will you acknowledge you have something to offer this world.

If you suffer from intimidation, have you pinpointed why and are you working towards conquering this area in your life?
Do you feel you can change or even want to?



I had always assumed waiting meant you were a patient person. Then I realised that often we have no choice but to wait; no matter how hard we push and fight it will not bring us any closer to what we are waiting for.

Patience is not merely waiting but waiting with a good attitude. Patience is knowing you do not yet have all you desire but have made a conscious choice to be joyful each day. Easier said than done – certainly for me as this is an area in which I have struggled in.

There were particular periods in my life when I have had to wait for years and in some cases am still waiting. You know when you truly desire a thing and you do everything within your power to receive it but this is not enough? A part of me just would not accept I had to wait. I did not want to wait and felt (for some absurd) reason I should not have to.

It began to affect my outlook on life and took the little joy I had. It was all too consuming. What I am about to share may come across as strange but I recall thinking “I cannot appear too joyful as God may assume I no longer require this as urgently and I may have to wait longer”. Absolutely bizarre thought pattern but I can assure you this ran through my mind.

We will always be working towards the next stage in life which will involve an element of waiting. We cannot escape it therefore why not wait with a good and upbeat attitude?

I have identified two tips that can assist you with working towards waiting patiently:

1. Look back at your goals/journal from the previous year and identify what you have achieved. No matter how big or small, it is all relevant. This will serve as a good reminder.

2. Be thankful for what you do have on a daily basis. Remember there are people less fortunate than you are.

How do you deal with waiting?
Have you put mechanisms in place?
What impact does it have on those closest to you?

Perhaps you can add some of your tips.