The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 29th January, 2018 – Always Do Your Best

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 29th January, 2018 – Always Do Your Best

Happy Monday!  I hope you have had a good week and managed not to make too many assumptions.

This week we turn our attention to Don Miguel Ruiz’s fourth and final ‘agreement,’ ‘Always Do Your Best’.  I love this one! Yes, I realize I say this about each one but, in my opinion, each ‘agreement’ contains a lot of wisdom that can be applied to our lives to great effect.

When I was at school and worried about an exam my mum would always say “just do your best.” While her words were well intentioned, I often felt under pressure; what if my best was simply not good enough?!  What then? Many of us, can relate to this, I’m sure.

As a teenager I didn’t have the insight to know that your best can change depending on your inner resources at the time and also your external circumstances. For example, studying for an exam in the morning after a good night’s sleep will usually result in a ‘better’ result than cramming last minute and late at night, for obvious reasons. Ruiz’s ‘Fourth Agreement,’ also illustrates that your best is better when you practise self-love and self-care rather than being self-critical.

When we are affected by ‘mental noise’ it is, in fact, impossible to do our best as we are battling the inner critic whose voice can drown out all of our ‘best’ attempts to do well.

When you practise true self-love your best is always good enough and it is not dependent on the result but on the effort that you made with the energy that you had at that point in time.

According to Ruiz, “when you do your best you learn to accept yourself” and this allows you to soften the internal critic. If you can put your hand on your heart and say to yourself “I did my best,” the invisible self-judge has no choice but to back down.

‘Always doing your best’ summarizes the ‘Four Agreements,’ as it allows us to discover that we are not perfect and that although our best may not yield ‘perfect’ results it is good enough! Looking back on the previous three Agreements’, Ruiz helps ease any pressure to always achieve them by stating:

“Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word.  Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind. But you can do your best. Don’t expect that you will never take anything personally; just do your best.  Don’t expect that you will never make another assumption, but you can certainly do your best.”

This makes so much sense and the beauty of it is that when you take the pressure off yourself your best will come much more easily.

Have a great week and as always please do your best to share  The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit. I am also always so happy to get your feedback.

Always Do Your Best

Sleep Better Tonight?

Anxiety is one of the most common causes of a poor night’s sleep.

Research in sleep science tells us that we need a least 8 hours of quality sleep for our mind and bodies to function properly.

The Positive Habit by Fiona Brennan is a five-star rated online, program that helps people all over the globe to sleep better each night and as they sleep it programs their subconscious minds to feel calm and confident.

Take the anxiety test to help you understand what might be causing you to lie awake at night.

Anxiety/Self-EsteemTest

To register for a 30-day, risk free, trial please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme. Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

Always Do Your Best

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

Always Do Your Best

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 22nd January, 2018 – Don’t Make Assumptions

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 22nd January, 2018 – Don’t Make Assumptions

Happy Monday!

Last Tuesday evening was freezing cold and so I felt very lucky that the cozy, yoga studio I go to is only a few doors away. As I was in the middle of my first ‘downward dog’, I glanced out at the illuminated garden and saw the most beautiful snowflakes falling. It was quite windy so each snowflake danced and moved independently, following its own unique path. To me, it seemed like each had a mind of its own and moved with a determination that its way was the best and most beautiful,

This week we look at the ‘Third Agreement’ by Don Miguel Ruiz:  ‘Don’t Make Assumptions.’

“Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

Making assumptions, according to Ruiz, is the single most destructive force to clear, human communication.  Just as it seemed with the snowflakes, we assume that our path and opinion is the right one and we will go to great lengths to justify ourselves and our actions in this regard.  Consider, for a moment, any conflicts you have had in your life, either on a personal or professional level. Often such unfortunate disputes stem from a misunderstanding  rather than from bad intentions or malice.

We all see the world so uniquely that we forget our perceptions are different to everyone else, even those we believe know us best.

You know that feeling of hurt that arises when a person you are close to says something that upsets you and you assumed they would know not to say it? Feelings of hurt, disappointment and even betrayal can spring up because of the assumption you have made.

When we make assumptions about anything in life we are taking a risk.

We cannot know for sure know what another person is thinking and so in order to avoid making assumptions we must ask, verify and communicate clearly and unambiguously.

For many people, the root of deep unhappiness and low self-esteem is the fear of what other people will think of them.  The ‘Third Agreement’ frees us from that inner torture. As with the snowflakes, most people are not thinking about us at all and are more concerned with their own issues.

I am training myself to be as clear as possible in my communication with clients and family and friends. If I don’t understand something, rather than making assumptions and jumping to a conclusion that could be a million miles away from what was intended, I stop and ask, “have I understood you correctly?” Stephen R. Covey in his celebrated book ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,’ advises, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood,” and I am sure we can all learn from this.

This week, please don’t make assumptions and instead always try to seek clarity. When you add the ‘Third Agreement’ to  first two (‘Be Impeccable with your word’ and ‘Don’t take things personally’) you are building a wonderful foundation for the relationships in your life to flourish. Most importantly, the relationship you have with yourself will be open, honest and full.

Next week we look at the ‘Fourth Agreement,’ ‘Always Do Your Best.’  No pressure there then!

Have a great week and as always please do share  The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit. I’m always so happy to get your feedback – good, bad or indifferent, I don’t take it personally!!!

don't make assumptions

Sleep Better Tonight?

Anxiety is one of the most common causes of a poor night’s sleep.

Research in sleep science tells us that we need a least 8 hours of quality sleep for our mind and bodies to function properly.

The Positive Habit by Fiona Brennan is a five-star rated online, program that helps people all over the globe to sleep better each night and as they sleep it programs their subconscious minds to feel calm and confident.

Take the anxiety test to help you understand what might be causing you to lie awake at night.

Anxiety/Self-EsteemTest

To register for a 30-day, risk free, trial please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme. Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

don't make assumptions

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

don't make assumptions

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 15th January, 2018 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 15th January, 2018 – Don’t Take Anything Personally

DearHappy Monday!  I hope this email finds you in good form and ready to start the week on a positive note.

I’m excited to hear about how you got on last week with Don Miguel Ruiz’s First Agreement, ‘Be Impeccable With Your Word’.  I found I did have a few moments where some words were almost out of my mouth and then I paused and thought is this the best way I can express myself? What impact will this have on the person I am talking to? I think that it is not only the words we choose but the way that we use the words that matters.

We may use lovely words but if there is aggression behind the words they are far from lovely.

This leads me to the Second Agreement, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally,‘ which Ruiz’ describes as:

“Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Boy oh boy, is this something I see a lot of in my work! If everyone immediately became immune to the opinions of others my waiting list would decrease drastically! This is one of the most common problems I help people with. “What will people think?” is a phrase I hear too often. I sense the intense suffering many clients have as they ponder and project what others will think about them if they seem them in any way weak or vulnerable. This can include issues with blushing to having an unsteady or nervous voice during a presentation.  The root of this fear often stems from the need to be accepted and approved of.

In order to reach the enlightened state of being where we are genuinely not affected by what we perceive other people think about us (because the truth is that we can’t read minds and don’t really know what other people think) requires a lot of deep inner work on security and confidence.  The world would be transformed for the better if no one took anything personally; there would be significant decreases in levels of crime, murders, and wars.  The ego and fear of what other people think leads humanity to behave in very inhumane ways.

Put ‘Don’t Take Things Personally’ into practice:

1. If someone insults you remember that this represents more how that person feels about themself and they are projecting their poison onto you. If you accept those words you also accept their poison which Ruiz describes as ‘black magic’. I find that empathy is a quick and effective way of removing the feelings of hurt or anger that an insult can evoke.

2. Let go of the need to be accepted and approved of. This really means that you are not flattered by a compliment or insulted by an slight.  The only opinion that matters to you on an inner level is your own. This one takes a lot of practice…

3. Practising the First Agreement of ‘being impeccable with your word’ will give you the inner confidence to stand over anything that you say or do.  You have nothing to hide or fear.

4. Learn to not ever take things personally and make this a habit that you practise every day (from the car that cuts you off in traffic to a loved one taking out their bad day on you). Like any other habit, it becomes automatic over time and great freedom will come from that.

I wish you the best of luck with incorporating this agreement into your life. It can take a lot of effort but that effort will help you to live and love from a place of peace.

Next week we will consider the Third Agreement which is ‘Don’t Make Assumptions.’ One of the things I really love about these ‘Agreements’ is that they really help our relationships to flourish.

Have a great week and as always please do share The Positive Habit blog with anyone you think could benefit.

I will be creating a series of free videos throughout 2018, “Anxiety Free, Stress-Free, Choose The Positive Habit” and I will be sure to send them to you as they will be packed with sound advice, insights and practical tips to keep you mentally and emotionally fit.

don't take anything personally

‘Mind Yourself Now!’ – Listen to the podcast from last Monday’s show (8th January). Click on image above.

To register for the full Positive Habit program please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme.  Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

Please take the time to take a look at Aoife McElwain’s book ‘Slow at Work’ which really captures how to cultivate a slow, more sustainable approach to work which will allow you to be productive AND avoid burnout. Please see here. I thoroughly recommend this book; Elsa Jones and I were honored to contribute to the research for this important book.

don't take anything personally
don't take anything personally

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

don't take anything personally

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 8th January, 2018 – The Four Agreements

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 8th January, 2018 – The Four Agreements

I hope that you are well and welcome, as always, to any new readers – it’s a pleasure to have you with me.One of the books I got for Christmas was Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying,’ which after reading led me to become a little fixated with tidying and decluttering my wardrobe; I have always loved tidying but this book takes things to a new level!  In particular, folding clothes is turned into an art form and if you follow Condo’s advice then never again will your wardrobe be a chaotic mess. Instead your closet will look more like a display in a posh department store where each item is clearly visible and accessible!  After offloading about ten sacks to the charity shop, I am beginning to feel the therapeutic magic that Condo writes about.

A calm and decluttered space supports a calm and decluttered mind.

This brings me to another book that my ever loving husband bought me called ‘The Four Agreements,’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. Some of you may have heard of it or indeed Marie Kondo’s book as they are both international bestsellers. In hindsight, I wonder were these gifts a subtle message from my husband who is known for his tidiness and honesty?!

Like Deepak Chopra, Don Miguel Ruiz, a Mexican surgeon and author, turned his back on Western, conventional medicine to look at the healing powers of more holistic and ancient practices. In ‘The Four Agreements’ he focuses on the Toltec spiritual ethos which originates in Mexico.

Over the next four weeks of the blog I will deconstruct each agreement and suggest that you put the insights into practice for that week. The first agreement as you will see from the image above is:

“Agreement # 1 – Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”

I really respect and admire this maxim which is actually the foundation of the remaining three agreements. The word is our most powerful tool in creating heaven or hell on earth, so that when we apply this agreement we are choosing to carefully consider what we say before we say it.  We choose to speak honestly and openly and always operate from a place of love.

One of the things I often notice with clients, friends and family is how quick they are to use negative language about themselves. Frequently this is a flippant comment and not intended in a serious way. However, the power of language is such that it leaves an imprint on our subconscious, so saying “stupid me” or “I’m so fat” is really not helpful to our image of ourselves or our self-esteem. Indeed, many of these beliefs are in fact subconscious agreements that we may have been carting around since  childhood. The bottom line is that they weigh us down, diminish us and keep us stuck.

When we use the word badly about ourselves the chances are that we will also do this about others. Again, the intention may not be serious or harmful but it leads to the rampant, toxic poison that is gossip.  While being on the receiving end of gossip may be unpleasant to say the least, the person who ultimately suffers most from it is the person who does the gossiping.

This week, listen to the conversations around you and notice how people talk about themselves and others.  The challenge for you is not to slip unintentionally into using the word negatively about yourself or others.  Awareness is the key to practising this and all of the agreements. Think carefully about the words you use and the impact they have on you and the people around you. The word ‘impeccable’ comes from the  Latin ‘pecatus’ which means ‘sin.’ When we are ‘impeccable’ with our word we therefore speak without sin about ourselves or about others.

In ‘The Four Agreements,’ Ruiz refers to the word as having the power of either white or black magic depending on how you use it. The word remains the most important tool of communication we have and our ability to be able to speak to each other is a gift that can be used for our greater good or for our downfall. Ruiz says:

“Use white magic, beginning with yourself, tell yourself how wonderful you are, how great you are. Tell yourself how much you love yourself.”

Next week we will consider the second agreement, ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’. Imagine how this might help create a world of peace and harmony!

Have a great week and as always please do share The Positive Habit with anyone you think could benefit.

I will be creating a series of free videos throughout 2018, “Anxiety Free, Stress-Free, Choose The Positive Habit” and I will be sure to send them to you as they will be packed with sound advice, insights and practical tips to keep you mentally and emotionally fit.

the four agreements

‘Mind Yourself Now!’ – tune in to Today FM today, Monday 8th January at 10.30.am where I will be discussing taking the pressure off New Year’s goals and how to avoid feeling low around Blue Monday. You can also podcast the show if you miss it live.

To register for the full Positive Habit program please click below.

If you are in financial difficulties then please consider the bursary scheme.  Our goal to help as many people as we can to feel calm,confident and in control.

the four agreements

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Early Bird until January 6th 2018 is only €115.00
Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

the four agreements

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 1st January, 2017 – 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

The Positive Habit Weekly Blog – 1st January, 2017 – 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

Dear Positive Habit Blog subscribers,

Happy New Year!

I’m so happy to be writing to you on the first day of 2018 – a new day, a new week, a new month and a beautiful new year full of possibilities for you to create the life you deserve.

Many of us will be reflecting on some personal and professional New Year’s resolutions.  Personally, I embrace new year as an opportunity to clarify where I am and where I am going.  Right now, I am in the beautiful city of Verona, the home of Romeo and Juliet and this quote serves as a good reminder to cultivate patience and balance when it comes to New Year’s goals.

“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

The excitement and excesses of the holiday season leave many feeling emotionally and mentally vulnerable.  When our energy is depleted we tend to give ourselves a harder time and leave the door wide open for our inner critic to judge all of our ‘shortcomings.’  This often results in pressure and the setting of harsh and unrealistic goals such as:

  • “I’m never drinking again!”
  • “I’m going to lose a stone in a week.”
  • “I need to get a new job and do a Masters at the same time.”

While these goals express positive intentions and may have some worth, the approach needs to be more measured and balanced. When we put pressure on ourselves to quickly change habits that have been ingrained for a long time, we end up feeling worse about ourselves than we did in the beginning. Often the resolutions we made on 31st December have faded by the second week in January and the inner critic now has a fresh mental stick to beat us with! Examples include,

  • “See, I told you, you are no good.”
  • “You never achieve anything you set out to do.’’
  • “You can’t stick to anything – just give up!”
  • How can you make goals that stand the test of time?

Whether it is January or June, truly achieving your goals is a matter of both perspective and patience.  We have become so conditioned to believe that external events will lead to the internal state we crave and that this is always in the future and difficult to attain. Examples include:

  • “When I lose weight then I will feel attractive.”
  • “When I get a new job then I will feel confident.”
  • “When I am fit then I will feel healthy.”
  • “When I am in a relationship then I will feel lovable.”
  • “When I get my degree then I will feel intelligent.”

Behind all of these thoughts is the belief that you are only good enough if something or someone external validates it. However, by putting the internal state first as the goal (in the present tense) then the external goal becomes the consequence of the internal feeling.

Read these sentences again and focus on the difference.

  • “I feel attractive and then I will lose weight.”
  • “I feel confident then I will get the new job.”
  • “I feel healthy then I will be fit.”
  • “I feel lovable and then I will be in a relationship.”
  • “I feel intelligent and then will I get my degree.”

It is the internal state that drives us to take positive action.


For example, we first need to feel confident (internal state) in order to perform well at an interview to get a new job (external goal). Ultimately it is not complex and comes down to where you put your attention.  If you focus on feeling confident, healthy, intelligent, loveable and attractive NOW, not at some point in the future, you will have the energy it takes to achieve more than you may ever have imagined.

Success doesn’t make us happy, happiness makes us successful.

Ask yourself these three questions to help you find out what it is that you need to truly cultivate for 2018.

  1. How do I want to feel when I rise in the morning?
  2. How do I want to feel as I go through my day?
  3. What three external goals support these feelings in 2018?

Write down the feeling or feelings that you want to feel – this internal state is now your main goal for 2018 and allow everything to flow from this place.

Remove the pressure and replace it with patience and self-compassion.

Your subconscious mind will automatically look for opportunities that back up the goal of your internal state. When we feel good about ourselves good things happen as we exude a positive energy that draws people and opportunities to us.  Remember to be balanced, patient and kind and your best self will flourish in 2018.

Thanks for reading. If you found this blog useful, please do share it and encourage your friends and family to sign up so that they too can reach their full positive potential in 2018.

FINAL, last ever discount promotion for The Positive Habit program: 20% off! (€79.95 as opposed to €99.95)

Please note that we won’t be offering this again!

Why is this our final discount promotion?  
We value the program and feel that the price is very reasonable given the benefits it brings to people from all around the world who have suffered from stress and anxiety. For success rates see here. We also want you to value it; when you make an investment in yourself you, in turn, value yourself and build confidence.

For anyone who cannot afford the program, we frequently provide bursaries, in line with our ethos of helping as many people as we possibly can.

So for the LAST discount promotion ever please use the code 2018 at checkout.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Today

2018 Workshops

Dublin – 17th February 2018
Cork – 3rd March 2018

Early Bird until January 6th 2018 is only €115.00
Full Price Ticket is €130.00

Presented by Nutritional Therapist Elsa Jones & Clinical Hypnotherapist Fiona Brennan, ‘Love Yourself Well’ is a unique mind-body weight management program that deals with both the physical and psychological components of weight management, providing you with tools that will lead to lasting weight loss success.

At Love Yourself Well, we invite you to attend a one-day masterclass workshop where you will be given a set of uniquely effective tools help you manage your weight & health for life. You will then have the option to become a Love Yourself Well member where you will have access to a private online support group and have monthly live webinar sessions with Fiona & Elsa (inc. Q&A) to help you stay on track & reach your health goals.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Today