Faye Edwardes, Author of The Little Book of Positivity
Faye Edwardes, Author of The Little Book of Positivity, positive mindset expert, Founder and CEO of the Positive Mindset Academy
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
After working for 15 years in Westminster writing international sustainability standardisation, I bought a forest in Cornwall and moved with my husband and children. It was a difficult transition and this lead me to start my own self development journey to better understand who I was and what my values were. I came across positive psychology in 2017 and now have a masters positive psychology coaching having studied it for the past 6 years. I made a commitment to sharing this with as many people as possible particularly post covid when the general level of mental health is at an all time low. I share such simple things that anyone can incorporate easily into their lives. My book is intended to reach thousands of people The Little Book of Positivity: a First_Aid Kit to your Well-Being
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
I would not have achieved any of my business, financial or personal success without self-belief. I believe that our relationship with self-belief is a life long journey and we can keep adding to the techniques that we know support us at various times and when we need it most. I work on my own self-belief every single day and the most effective area to focus on for me is self-compassion. We focus on radical self-compassion which such an effective tool to being able to move forward into success inspire of hold ups and set backs. There have been times when I have lacked self belief and it has held me back so I specifically remind myself os those times and support myself through doubt into self belief. I now have absolute faith in my decisions and know that I have positioned myself to crate the best business and personal outcomes.
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
I had refinanced a property to purchase another which is standard strategy in property development. However, there had been an unexpected error on the Land Registry which meant that the mortgage was not going to be ready in time to satisfy the development finance. I came very close to losing a £600,000 property. It was sorted in the end but those weeks of not knowing nearly killed me and I had a massive breakdown. This lead to my epiphany and I realised that my entire self worth was based on what I had achieved and what I owned, not who I was on the inside. This was the springboard for my own personal development and made me go deep within to find out what my own values were (I didn't know!) and how I could align what I did exactly with those values.That is how I have created such successful businesses. It is possible for us all.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
Life always has ups and downs and to deny that is crazy. Those of us working in the positivity space embrace the down times, the challenges and the difficult situations because as humans, we need variety.
We cannot control what happens to us but we can choose how we respond to those things. That is the beauty of self-belief.
When we know that we can support ourselves no matter what happens, we can let go of fear of bad things happening because we have faith in ourselves to have the systems, tools and techniques in place to support ourself.
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
We have an amazing intervention called What's your Story. This spilts our life into decades and focuses on the specific achievements and triumphs we have achieved in each decade. Focusing on our past success brings us back to ourselves and reminds us of how we felt when we were successful and that is a driver in itself to lean into self confidence. Accomplishment is a great confidence booster.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
Self doubt and negative self talk are vital parts of being human and we don't ever have to feel ashamed when they do creep in. We need to honour the feelings and respect why they have shown up for us - often it is because we feel that we are pushing into a next level step and the negative self talk steps in to keep us safe. A great exercise for reframing is to do a silver linings exercise which highlights what might happen that is a good thing even if things don't go to plan.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
A regular strong routine of affirmations and visualisations with a best possible self is key. This needs to happen consistently which is not difficult. My clients often do it while brushing their teeth for example.
Really integrating gratitude into your life is also a guarantee.
Stop scrolling! Wasting time 'researching' others on socials will only ever success in making you dou9bt yourself so literally stop. Use socials as a CREATOR only and not a consumer. No more comparing. It is proven that any comparing (even when we compare ourselves favourably) only ever makes us feel worse so stop immediately. Find something you like doing (such as a walk or playing an instrument) and whenever you feel yourself comparing, stop immediately and take 5 mins of your favourite thing to do instead.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
Yes! Often. The main one is 'you are so busy' which I get a lot. Other people often feel threatened by people who are doing a lot because it makes them feel inferior in comparison. Instead of acknowledging this, it is very common to project this onto the other person as a criticism that they are too busy.
I stay grounded by having a walk every morning from 5.30-6.15 where I am still with my thoughts. This gives me space to process what I have going on and is very grounding.Being in nature is a well-being intervention in itself so that compounds the effects. Role modelling is the most effective way of changing people's opinions so I focus on that :)
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
The Little Book of Positivity: a First-Aid Kit for Your Well-Being by Faye Edwardes - paperback and audiobook
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
Three good things - a simple exercise t do each night that highlights 3 good things that happened that day Never scrimp on the non-negotiables - water, exercise, time outdoors (preferably in nature), connection and gratitude every days Really work out what YOUR values are and make sure that everything in your life is supporting them Identify negative energisers in your life and spend less time with them where possible. Spend more time with your positive energisers