Tag Archives: confidence

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions


Welcome to 2014!

Ok, so I know it’s now February…but if I didn’t get a chance to say Happy New Year to you, I’m saying it now! And for those of us with school-aged kids, you may agree that now that the school holidays are over, it feels like the new work year has really commenced after the extended break! So…did you make any resolutions? A month on, how are you going with those? Here are our top 5 resolutions for the new year… but really they are just small things we’d like to remember to do each day to make the world a better place… :o)

* Live more sustainably

I think I’m forever on a quest to live a healthier, more sustainable life. So with each new year, I think it’s a good idea to make one small change… it all helps! I recently saw a great talk by Eco-Innovator Leyla Acaroglu, who talked about our misconceptions with energy use and sustainability. Her one big message at the end of the talk, was that kettles are one of THE highest uses of electricity in our homes. And how many of us overfill the kettle? GUILTY! How many of us turn it on, and walk away, getting distracted only to come back and have to re-boil the kettle again? GUILTY! So, this is one small change that I will be making (among others!) to REALLY try and be mindful when making a cup of tea: about water-use, energy-use, and getting distracted! I recently discoverd my electric kettle has a ‘whistle’ that can be switched on – awesome!  Are you guilty of this too? 

* Practice gratitude

I keep seeing all these amazing “Gratitude” journeys that people are on (blogging a photo a day about something you’re grateful for, hand-written notes in a jar to fill up, having a dinnertime ritual with the family where everyone says what they are most thankful about from their day, etc.)… there’s so many great ideas on ways to improve our gratitude and consequently our outlook on life! I think the new year is a perfect time to begin a new habit, and its one I’d like to do with my family so the kids benefit too. Do you have any little ways you like to practice gratitude each day?  

* Follow your dreams

I used to have very linear goals such as finish high school, get into uni, live overseas, finish uni, get a job, find a soul-mate, go overseas, get a new job, start a family….but once the kids came along, I couldn’t think beyond that! This year has taught me a lot about learning to listen to my heart, use my intuition more, and follow my dreams…and when you start to do that, everything falls into place. So this resolution is more of a reminder to keep on doing that, and encouraging others to do this too! Are you following your dreams? If not, why not?

* Have more fun

Sometimes in the day-to-day routines of home/work/life – especially with kids when we’re rushing to get out the door because we’re late again, I find it difficult to be a fun-mum! I have realised that we don’t seem to get anywhere faster when I’m grumpy though! So I’m going to make a real effort to be a bit more playful and have more fun in the mornings. I think that the summer holidays and the break from normal routine is already helping!  I saw an anonymous quote the other day that said “If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.” I think it comes down to learning to slow down a bit to a child’s pace, and enjoying more play. Do you have enough fun & laughter in your life?

* Dare to do something new that makes you feel uncomfortable

Being uncomfortable and uncertain is not something I like. But I’m trying to embrace these fears, as I’m learning that when we step outside our comfort-zones, we can be rewarded. None of us like being vulnerable, but Brene Brown tells us that we must have the courage to embrace vulnerability, and to dare greatly, and our lives will be transformed. (Not seen her seminal TED talk? Watch it here.)  I’m looking forward to getting stuck into her book “Daring Greatly“.  I think even little small steps out of comfort zones are good – you don’t have to start with something big – but just trying something new, or taking a different route, or saying yes when you’d usually say no. Apparently this all helps our brains with improving how we think creatively tooAre you good at trying new things? 

So that’s it. Not so hard really is it?

So did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? How are you going with them? Be honest! Please share with us in the comments below!

Talina x

The self-doubting creative soul… sound familiar?



Recently I’ve been thinking about creativity, passions, dreams, and also about fear, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence and courage. I’m probably not alone here.

What am I afraid of? Failing. Making a mistake. But I’m human, we all make mistakes. Fear shouldn’t stand in the way of our dreams. I know I can learn from the experience, and improve, so where does this fear come from?

Is it in our nature? Is it nurture? Is it because I’m a woman? Or perhaps because I care about the consequences of my actions? Do I try too hard to be perfect?

It could be genetic; my mum is a bit of a perfectionist too, and would often say “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right”. There was never any pressure from my parents for me to succeed. I loved learning, and was diligent. I suppose I earned a reputation for being a good student, so it became expected that I would do well. But whose expectations where these? Probably mine alone. I was motivated to get high results at Secondary School so I could study Architecture at University. Although I was a confident teenager, I still remember being in shock when my VCE results came through and I was one of the top students at my school – I had seriously doubted myself.

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong” and

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do” (both gems from Eleanor Roosevelt)

I then went from being a big fish in a small pond, to being a teeny-tiny fish in a massive University ocean. I felt pressured to do well – I had a fear of failure. The subject of “Design” was so different to my high school studies. It was so subjective. There was no correct mathematical answer to get right. I was always nervous to make that first tentative line on the page that would begin the creation… what if it didn’t turn out the way it should? (There is a also whole other story here about how “Design” was ‘taught’, with many tutors giving very little in the way of helpful encouragement and guidance, but plenty of criticism which rocked the confidence of many impressionable students).



When my eldest son was just 2 years old, I noticed that when we sat down with crayons and paper, he too seemed to lack the confidence to draw. He’d ask me to draw things for him. He knew that his ability could not match what it was that he wished to see on the page, and it frustrated him enough to give up. I came across a fabulous book at the time called “The Dot”. It is described as being “for anyone who has been afraid to express themselves – from a child in art class to an adult whose fear has shut down a long-held dream, Peter H. Reynolds’ book “The Dot” is there to remind us all to “Make your mark, and see where it takes you.

My son has since become very creative with his drawings. He was just going through a phase, like we all do. He just need some time, and some gentle encouragement so he felt supported which boosted his confidence. We all need encouragement, motivation, and reminders to help us on our way, and I guess we need to learn to rely less on others to provide this guidance, and try to find it from within so we don’t forget how courageous we really are.

“Creativity takes courage” Henri Matisse

"Fail while daring greatly to never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat" Via Twitter: @CatherineDeveny Quote from Theodore Roosevelt 1910

“Fail while daring greatly to never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”
Via Twitter: @CatherineDeveny
Quote from Theodore Roosevelt 1910

I believe that by staying interested in the world around us, finding beauty in nature, being inspired by the creativity of others, nurturing ourselves and connecting with loved ones, all help keep that positive inner sparkle alive. Taking risks makes you feel alive too! Especially when you do succeed, what an enormous confidence-boost that is! We have to be prepared for the inevitable failures too, but know that they will only make us stronger. A wise woman recently told me to “fail while daring greatly“. So that’s what I plan to do! And another of my mum’s favourite sayings was “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Thanks mum, that’s good advice.

I have taken a few risks recently, and it felt good! It felt right. Things started falling into place. We packed up our family and moved from Melbourne to Ballarat for a “tree-change”, and to be closer to family. I’ve started my own Architectural Practice, no longer an employee, but having to take full responsibility. These were both big scary things, but I followed my intuition, and everything seems to be falling into place.

Joseph Campbell said it this way: “…if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s behind the next door…

Talina xo

Tell me, have you been courageous lately? If not, why? Go on, just do it! I’d love to hear your thoughts.