Breathe Issue 18

Get out more, set ambitious intentions, ditch the morning muffin – advice (wanted or otherwise) comes thick and fast at the start of a New Year. But who really needs to be told what to do (at any time), especially when the person who knows what’s best for you is, well, you?

It might not always be obvious. A negative inner commentary can place fear and doubt centre stage and keep confidence and certainty in the wings. But that voice can change. It can become supportive, reassuring and positive. An inner coach rather than critic. And, if you nurture it and listen carefully, it will ask the right questions to get you to the place in life where you feel comfortably challenged, fulfilled and happy.

Where that might be is personal and the routes toward it will differ. They might involve exploring ever more cultures, be that through travel or by sampling one of the myriad pop-up restaurants and supper clubs hosted by people who have come to the UK and made it their home; a period of self-reflection that acknowledges goals already achieved; or a reassessment of the hours that really need to be spent at work.

Along the way, people might try to undermine your efforts and even suggest self-interest in kind, open gestures. Try to ignore them. If reinforcements are needed, contact that inner coach. Because with this coach onside the world opens up; opportunities can be seen (and taken); and you get the leading role.

Happy New Year.