Back to ALL Mindfulness and Wellbeing Articles

Take responsibility for your future - a Mindful look at how we think

01 Apr 2024

Last summer at Conference, a number of Exam Officers spoke to me about being overwhelmed by their responsibilities and unappreciated by their colleagues. Feeling in control of our self-esteem and how we feel we are progressing – (personally and professionally) is key to our sense of self-worth. We need to feel comfortable with who we are and what we bring to feel confident about our future potential.

It is something I plan to be talking about at Conference this year.

Many of us are used to feeling at the mercy of others’ opinions. We allow those we do not value or respect, to squash our sense of self.  My question is – “why would you?”

It is never beneficial to let someone you do not rate have a vote on how you think about yourself.  Why? Because if we let it, a single comment, can undermine our whole integral structure. It can stop us feeling good about ourselves, and it can de-rail our good intentions for the day.

I know this because I have allowed it to happen to me on occasion..

Here is what I have learned about Self Talk and Mind Chatter – (our prisoners excel at negative thinking)!

When we are triggered by dismissive comments, our brain brings us a smorgasbord of those occasions when we have previously been floored by ridicule.  Whilst the incident or words themselves may have been minimal, we often LET them inveigle our thinking so THAT is why they are a problem. And when we get served this mush of “all those other times HE/SHE said”, we rush headlong into our personal panic pattern.

The answer? Building our sense of self to a level where we can interrupt this pattern with good thinking that KNOWS we are ok and doing are bit and doing our best.

When we are solid on What We Bring to our workplace, these little ripples no longer have the power to scupper us.  We can turn back to our “I know who I am and what I do” thinking, that takes no prisoners!

I look on this as us Taking Responsibility for Our Future.

  • We know where we are going (in our job)
  • We know what we bring (masses, thank you!)
  • We know who we are (Mrs/Mr Marvellous don’t you know)

and we know we will not allow ourselves to be rattled anymore by casual caustic comments.

Now that would be a great place to sit – us being in charge of how our day unfolds! I am not talking about the practical tasks that keep coming at us, but our mental preparation that refuses to find anything or anyone upset it. We have decided to set our Barometer for the day, and we are in no mood for a temperature change!

Taking Responsibility is not talking about the Big Future Picture but The Day.  If we can get our response to the day under control, then the rest falls into place.

So now a set of Daily Do’s – how to set yourself up to be responsible for how you manage your day to day thinking.

Step 1

Decide on your own set of Standards on how you choose to think and act as your
day rolls forward.

  • What kind of thinking and acting will set you up for success?
  • How can you create your own healing hug to give you needed protection from those who might steal your sensibilities?

Step 2

Once you have decided HOW to take responsibility for your day and the bar you have set for your own equilibrium, start the morning with your own Mindful Matrix or strategy of how to manage what comes..

  • Try a morning visualisation to ‘see’ your day unfolding with the least irritation possible
  • Add in some Affirmations or Neutral Self Talk to remind yourself you are on track
  • Include a regular ‘Take 5’ to give yourself the opportunity for time out when someone or something threatens to un-balance you

Step 3

Review how you are doing every now and them, to check if you are still in charge of your future well-being.

  • Are you letting anyone infiltrate your protection?
  • How are your personal expectations of yourself holding up?
  • Do you still feel in control of your future emotional mental health?
  • Are you taking full responsibility for how the day leaves its traces on you?

Keep your responses to the day front and centre. How YOU think about what comes at you is largely down to your own perspective.

When you choose to be responsible for how you manage the fallout of your day, it rolls on into your future.  This is important – so please don’t delegate this responsibility to anyone but you!

As Gandhi said –

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values and your values become your destiny”

 You can control how you feel moment by moment with how you think. Once you master that, nothing can unsettle you again. 

Love and Light,


Want to share Mindfulness with your Exam Students? I’ve 2 Exam Resilience day workshops – a Thought Leader workshop for Teachers and an Personal Exam Reaction Plan workshop for Students

Do you have a CPD session, a Conference or Events Day coming up? My time at an HMP Establishment may offer you new insights in thinking. Download my Speaker Pack at