Inspirational Speaking… and All That Jazz!

So yesterday I joined 6 other entrepreneurs who were all speaking at City College Norwich to a group of 100+ students, as part of the ‘Positive Image‘ campaign, created by Sarah Harding to help empower young people.

We each had a 30 minute slot to speak and in total over 550 students attended talks during the day and gave fantastic feedback afterwards.

So what did I speak about?

Well I shared with my journey from teendom through to where I am today, including lots of the good and bad times that got me here. I then went on to speak about values and how important it is to live your life in line with your values, those instinctive ideas that tell you what is good, bad, right or wrong in your life and the essence of who we are. These are pretty much hard-wired into us and if you’re not working in line with them you’re going to end up pretty miserable!

Then I went on to speak about beliefs and how we create so many beliefs all the time that we think are true. That we believe are part of who we are. That in reality are nothing but generalisations about experiences that we’ve had, that we’ve chosen to make into a belief (consciously or unconsciously).

I gave an example of being bitten by a dog as a small child and how that child might then create a belief that all dogs are bad and carry this belief through their whole life. This belief then may morph into a strong phobia of dogs that has a huge impact on their life, until death.

Now, most of us know, rationally, that the majority of dogs are lovely and it’s just a few you need to be careful of. Yet fear and phobias don’t work on a rational level and if we create a negative belief and we then build on that it can have far reaching consequences.

Then we flipped it and looked at positive beliefs and how we are in control of what we believe, whether we believe it or not! That we have the power to pick up or let go of beliefs as and when we choose. We just need to make that choice and take action towards achieving it (i.e. see an NLP/life coach/hypnotherapist etc or make small stepping stone changes daily yourself).

So how great would it be to choose positive beliefs instead of negative ones?

How great would it feel if you truly loved yourself and whenever you were faced with a decision, you chose the positive belief over the negative?

Just imagine how such positive choices could affect your life and not only your own life, but the lives of the people around you too.

So what can you choose to believe today that is positive?

After beliefs I spoke about Law of Attraction (LOA) and that by giving off positivity we attract it back to us.

Now I was pretty amazed when I asked the room who had heard of LOA and not one hand went up. So this was potentially the first time the these 100+ students had heard about this powerful mindset.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a great believer in LOA and have seen it in action time and time again. So I was in my element explaining how it can be used to benefit life.

I gave a few hints and tips about choosing to be nice to people. To compliment instead of insult. To remember that you do not have any idea what is going on in someone else’s’ life or mind and that your words might have a massive impact on their day, week, month, year, or even life! It is that important. Your snide remark may stay with that person for their whole life (see beliefs above!). You just don’t know. The world has enough problems and we need to be empowering others, not dragging them down. So choose your words carefully and empower rather than degrade whenever you can.


Is it true?
Is it helpful?
Is it inspiring?
Is it necessary?
Is it kind?

If it is none of the above then why say it? Think what your agenda is by saying something that could hurt. What is happening inside you that makes you want to make others feel pain?

They say that perception is projection, in other words, what we see in others is what we dislike/want to change about ourselves. Perhaps next time you feel the urge to say something less than positive, take the time to ask yourself what it is in you that makes you feel that way about the person you are speaking to. It can be very enlightening, if a little uncomfortable at times!

And it didn’t end there (yes they were still engaged with me, for which I am hugely thankful).

I then moved on to goals and goal setting. One of the teachers said they had ‘tasks’ they were used to setting but not SMART goals.

I wanted them to think outside of the school box and look at long term goals that were in line with their values – and of course a little Law of Attraction doesn’t go amiss in this potent mix either!

So we looked at powerful goal setting:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = As if now
R = Realistic / Relevant / Responsible
T = Timed

and how they could use this for when they’re job hunting, planning grades etc.

Of course I had to mention that it’s all very well using these techniques and thinking, for example, I’ve set a goal to get a great job, and then doing nothing and thinking it will manifest. With the best will in the world that just ain’t gonna work! Or at least the likelihood of it is greatly reduced.

If you set a goal you then have to take MASSIVE action towards achieving it. You want that great job? Set your goal and then get out there. Network, send off applications, get on LinkedIn, JobHop and other online agencies. Take action and you will active your goal. I’ve seen it happen many times and it is always an amazing feeling when you get it!

So we had to wrap it up at this point and I kept thinking on the way home how many things I could’ve, should’ve said but there just wasn’t time – I spoke for 35 minutes in the end and it’s amazing how short a time that really is.

It was so lovely to have some of the students come up to me afterwards and say that they found it inspiring (what is a better compliment than that from a 16-18 year old!). We even had a lull between me and the next speaker and a few said I could continue as they were enjoying it – it’s so nice to be wanted! 😉

There is something quite magical about working to empower other people, especially the next generation. If we can empower them when they’re still young, just think what they could achieve!

Life is too short to be riddled with negative beliefs and surrounding yourself with negative people.

Get out there and LIVE!

Be around people who support and empower you and you you can in return support and empower them too.

Enjoy life – it’s there to be lived and enjoyed.

Climb out of the box and inject some serious positivity into your life – you just never know where it may lead you!

I could get used to this inspirational speaker malarkey!

You can find out more about the Positive Image campaign here:

Author: Sophie Jewry


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