A French woman and personal life coach's outlook on self-confidence, communication and relationships. How to gain and manage them to get what and who you deserve.

Archive for December, 2010

Want to brighten up your world? REFORMULATE

reformulate !

“Your thoughts create your reality”, “True beauty comes from within”, “You are what you think”… Who has never read or heard those assertions ?

In other words, if you want to change your current life, you must change who you are inside first. Easier said than done. Where to begin with ?

The good news is you can change from the outside and get the same result. :)

Ever noticed how a new haircut, a new dress, good news, being in love can improve your mood and outlook on life? All of a sudden, the world looks bright, you feel good. Because you feel good, you smile, hold your head up and feel like hugging everybody. Consequently, you look more self-confident, people are attracted to you and you would answer positively.

Do you go to the hair stylist’s everyday ? Do you buy new dresses every day ? Do you hear only good news all the time ? Are you in love and floating on a pink cloud 24/7 ? Here again easier said than done. :)

But there is something you can do 24/7, 365 days /year, which is always available, costs nothing and proves very effective: REFORMULATE.

Of course, you know the classical story of the half-full, half-empty cup. The cup itself is just a cup. It is the way you see it which gives it its meaning.
You can always see anything as positive or negative. Both are equally true, they describe the same thing. A difference in your outlook can drastically change the outcome though.

One effective way to see the cup half-full and the brighter and more positive side of things is to watch your words.
Ban “not” from your vocabulary. Use positive, affirmative expressions. Any negative sentence has a positive equivalent.

Try it, it’s easy. When something upsets you or puts you down, take a sheet of paper and write your thoughts down.
Then reread your text and reformulate it using only positive assertions.

“I can’t do that” becomes “I will do that”
“I’m stuck in the traffic jams again” becomes “Wonderful ! I’m offered an opportunity to finish this book now and know who the murderer is !”
“Things like this happen to me only, I can’t believe how unlucky I am !” becomes “Yet another experience. Great, I’ve learned something today. Next time, I shall know how to handle it”

The list is endless, you get the idea though.
Don’t let your thoughts wander in the future, focus on the now and on the reformulation. Progressively, as you write, your stress will fade away, you’ll feel more optimistic and confident, thus more able to turn what comes next into something positive for you.
Only because reformulation will have helped you focus on the half-full cup. This will impact your mood, thus your behaviour and even your look. It will impact the way people see and perceive you and your response to upcoming events. All in a positive way, of course. :)

You may have to think a bit at first. But, sooner than you believe, it will become a second nature, you will realize the switch in your thoughts has become automatic.

Your world will become a fairy tale overnight but your attitude will change, and your attitude impacts others’. A positive attitude has a positive impact and attracts positive people. It is a virtuous circle. :)

The method may sound so simple it is silly. I’ve used it with many clients though. Sceptical at first, since they were coming from a place of negativity, they eventually couldn’t believe how quickly that little “trick” could effectively work.

Just try it and let me know what happened. ;)


To look your best, focus on your best !

Too often complexes women (and men!) carry about their physical appearance shatter their self-confidence. How sad, when it could so easily be otherwise!
We all have something about it we don’t like or would like different. Nobody’s perfect, right ?
I could make a whole lecture on self-acceptance, etc… to solve that issue. All good pieces of advice.
But there is a truth that works better and every time : what you focus on about yourself, others notice. What you forget about, they overlook. So basically simple! :)

Most of the time we wrongly assume that others see us with our eyes. Of course, it is not true. They are not us and come from another place. They don’t think with our mind, but theirs, their tastes, priorities and criteria are different.

I shall write another article about projections, because projections are a key issue.
Once you will have understood how they work and why they are so effective, you will see how easily you can improve your life, relationships and communication in many ways.

But for now, a few simple tips :
– Remember you are not a matter of only one or two physical features, you’re much more than that. What may look a big thing to you often appears as a detail to others.
– Never mention what you consider a flaw of yours when you seek to charm someone. Why deliberately bring his (her) attention to anything you would like him (her) to forget about unless you seek to self-sabotage.
– Focus on what you like instead. Yes, there is something in your appearance which you like. :) Think again… Your smile? Your eyes? Your hair? Your hands? Your feet? :D OK. So, from now on, think: “I am my smile”, “I am my eyes”, etc…. This is magic. Because it will change your own perception of yourself, thus the others’ perception of you.
– Of course, you’re not a matter of that only either. But if you catch somebody’s attention, better it be on what you consider the best part of you because it is what they will remember. ;)

When you focus on just one or two things in your anatomy which bother you, you implicitly send out the message that this is what you are. Deep inside, you know this is not true, don’t you? So, why not focus on what you like instead and send out the message you’re the best part of yourself? :)

It may require a bit of conscious thinking before it becomes a reflex and a second nature. It will happen sooner than you may believe though. Particularly when you can see the outcome of this simple switch in your thinking and perception.

You will seldom get a second chance to make a first good impression, so why not try this right away ? :)

Want to be treated like a lady ? Behave like one !

Audrey Hepburn & Grace Kelly

I guess we all, women, appreciate men to treat us like ladies. Actually most, particularly in the USA, from what I’ve seen, simply expect it as a given.
While French women too like it, most believe to get it, they must behave ladylike first. Plus, they know it is an efficient way to attract men and win them over.
This, too, is part of the “je ne sais quoi”. :)

Please, carefully listen to the lyrics of the famous song below. A man tells you who he considers a lady and how she makes him feel. :)

A lady is clearly conscious of her self-worth, so doesn’t need to throw who she is at everybody’s face nor to flaunt any of her qualities, physical assets or achievements. This could only show latent insecurities or presumptuousness, both are not of a lady. A lady is humble and discrete because she can afford it. No risk for her to go unnoticed and she knows it. ;)

She is genuinely respectful, caring and well-mannered. Well-mannered means she knows how to appropriately behave and react under any circumstance.
It is easy, provided you keep in mind to put others’ comfort before yours.

Show equal consideration to everybody, regardless of their social status, appearance, intelligence and culture, etc…
Manage for the other person to feel great and valuable, comfortable and at ease and don’t embarrass him in any way, even less make him feel inadequate.
Don’t criticize, despise or even only look annoyed, particularly in public. Compliments and appreciation will lead you further than criticism and complaints so subtly and discretely help if needed, just to show you care, not more.

Should you wish something specific, don’t demand. Suggest or graciously ask. Take no service for granted, thus never forget to give smiling thanks for whatever is done for you, even minor things.

Remains calm, unruffled and pleasant whatever the circumstances. Not because you’re a wallflower, but because you can adapt with ease and without complaining. Don’t sound harsh, and weight your words up before you speak.
A true lady is also a positive, indulgent person who can see humor in the worst situations, avoid dramas and knows how to lighten up the mood.

Others, particularly men, highly appreciate that. It is not that common they would take it for granted. What a refreshing change from what they too often experience! :D
An easy way for you to score points and attract them even more. ;)
They won’t consider you less than who you are: it will be the opposite. Your attitude will give them room to be themselves and boost their self-confidence. It will take nothing off of you, will bring a lot to them though, consequently to you, for they will feel like pleasing you and up to it.

A true lady doesn’t compete with men on their ground. She has her own specific assets and uses them. Therefore men feel safe with her because neither do they feel belittled nor threatened.
To behave like a real lady will bring you gratefulness, respect, appreciation and even admiration from them. This will make you utmost attractive in the eyes of many and, even better, they will like you for who you are, not only for what you look. And, who knows… even love you ? :)
For, as the song says : “What she’s got is hard to find, and I don’t want to lose her”. :)

How photos can sabotage your on line dating profile

Depending on your target, you may personalize the following advice a bit. I assume in that post that you’re looking for a serious relationship and to attract quality people. Yet most rules apply to any profile, should you be a man or a woman.
Profiles with photos get more answers than others. Resist the urge to post any picture at hand that could go against your purpose though. Better post none right away than any which wouldn’t fit. A judicious choice of photos is paramount. Most, particularly men, will skip your profile if your image doesn’t appeal to them. So, to take photos especially for your profile is well worth the (little) effort.

Wear clothes you feel comfortable in, which will enhance your physical assets and skilfully hide your flaws. I don’t mean “cheat”. I mean “be smart”. :)
Gentlemen, look neat. Women have an eye for details. :D Bare chests, big golden chains, sunglasses, hats, open shirts, anything looking mannish in the old-fashioned way can be fatal. Photos of you in the mirror are of poor quality and poor taste. Better ban them absolutely ! A fashionably casual look is probably the safest choice. :)
Ladies, keep those sexy pics for your man when you’ve got one. No doubt they will attract the men’s eyes. Should they seek a long-term or serious relationship though, they may not appreciate half of the planet could have used a photo of you in your bikini as a screen saver. Be subtle. Suggest, don’t show. It is much more effective ! ;) Avoid overdressed attire, big jewels and heavy make up. Keep it simple and as natural as possible.
For God’s sake, don’t stereotype yourself ! People seek to get an as accurate as possible idea of what you look like in real life. Better be a good surprise than a disappointment when you eventually meet them in the flesh. ;)
Look lively. Standing like a picket fence in front of your garage door is not the most appealing. Shoot a lot of photos. If you’re not familiar with pausing, you will relax as the shooting goes and get better and more natural snapshots and have plenty to select from in the end. A natural daylight on a nice day, in the morning or end of the afternoon, is the best. The noon sun flattens the image. Flashlights harden the expression. Beware of unwanted shadows! Hire a friend or use a timer or a remote.
Eventually choose the photos which show your personality the best. The purpose is not for him (her) to mistake you for a fashion model. You should eventually look like a NATURALLY attractive REAL person.
When it comes to the selection, step back, ask for trusted friends’ advice, preferably of the other gender, and use your common sense. Think of what turns you off in others’ profiles and don’t make the same mistakes !

The viewer rightly expects:
Recent good quality pictures If you’ve got no decent camera, better borrow one. Cell phones and 5 minutes photo machines usually give poor results.
You may regularly update your photos, by the way. They will attract new people, plus those who may not have noticed your first ones, may have a second thought and check your profile again. The photos don’t need to be professional, though ruthlessly discard any over or underexposed, blurred, out of focus or centring ones.
Ideally, you would display: a portrait, a full-length picture and, though optional, a few ones of you enjoying any activity you’ve mentioned in your text.

dot steven

The portrait : usually and logically, your main photo. That little thumbnail people will see when browsing profiles is what will make them “click”…or not. You seldom get a second chance to make a first good impression, so carefully choose this one. :)
The viewer should feel you’re looking at him (her) and speaking to him personally. The most efficient is to look at the camera and smile. Attractiveness doesn’t lie in made up perfection, but in what I call “the twinkle in the eye”. Picture the man (woman) of your dreams standing right there in front of you and seduce him. It will show through the photo, just like you can hear a smile on the phone. :)

The full-length picture : pay attention to the background. You may slightly touch it up to remove something unwanted. Make sure though you’re skilled enough to smartly and properly do it. If you’re not, ask someone more competent or pick another photo.
Carefully mind obvious mistakes like somebody else’s hand on your shoulder, around your waist, or a bit of somebody else’s hair or foot on the edge. Cropped pictures are seldom a good option, unless it is to improve the centring and even though, be cautious if you’re not an expert.
If you take the photo inside, particularly in your home, choose a somewhat neutral background. Your interior decoration can tell a lot about you and not always for the best! A bit of greenery can’t hurt, or an open background, in your garden or some not too crowded place. A cluttered background will compete with the main figure. It will distract the viewer from what you want him to focus on : you.

Other pictures : You can display several photos of you enjoying activities. This is where you can show different facets of you. Beware though, it can be tricky! Better make them match your profile assertions. Beware of inconsistencies and mixed messages.
In my opinion, to display photos of you with your children is not a brilliant idea. You never know where they will end and you may save them for the persons you’ve already connected with.
Gentlemen, regardless of how much you can cherish your car, mansion, motorbike, yacht, truck, know that they will not convince many women to contact you. Such a display looks fishy to most, as if you had to make up for a lack of anything they consider more important than your social status. It may well be interpreted as narcissism, beside by gold-diggers. If this is who you seek, then, perfect. :) To the others though, it is a total turn off more often than not.
Ladies and gentlemen, photos with persons of the other gender usually puts off any potential partner. If your other photos show your attractiveness, your contacts will soon assume you can pick your choice any time among all your suitors. No need to hit it on the nail! :D

The key word is, as always: balance. Don’t show too much, only what makes you different in a positive way and is the most representative of who you are in real life.
If you can find nothing definitely positive and representative to show in the last category, abstain.
Too many photos are not always a plus, in my opinion. Better three or even only one very good portrait of you, than half a dozen of so so pictures. Remember people will be able to watch them closely, at leisure and every bit of them can reveal something you’d rather not display for all to see.

Wouldn’t it be handy to have photo-checkers, like we have spell-checkers ? :D

What does to be “pretty” mean exactly?

Anglo-Saxon women and American women in particular seem to assume these issues are universal when they are not. For a French and many Europeans, that video makes no sense at all. We have another definition of “pretty”.
And, from my experience, American men seek nothing different in a woman than French or European men in general. It is all a huge misunderstanding making American (Canadian, Australian, British) women’s life unduly complicated and even sometimes miserable when it hasn’t to be so, in my opinion.

What makes a woman pretty for us then ?


A pretty woman is self-confident. If she’s not quite yet, at any rate, she wants to be loved and appreciated for who she is, not because she will meet specific standards.
She is her main referent
She doesn’t spend her time comparing herself to others, she doesn’t feel she’s in a constant competition
She feels good with who she is, despite not everybody may like it
She has a sense of humor and can also afford to laugh at herself, should the case arise.
Therefore she’s usually smiling, open and more tolerant than most
She’s not afraid to express herself. If she’s shy, she makes it cute (another asset).
She doesn’t wonder how good she is in bed. She’s spontaneous and natural. After all, guys don’t go for girls they’re not attracted to, are they ?


She cherishes her small flaws and knows how to turn them into assets
Like many, she’d rather be slim, have a smooth skin and beautiful teeth. It is as much, if not more, a matter of health as of appearance though.
She carries herself and her differences naturally and with ease
She doesn’t have to be classically beautiful, she’s got charm. Much more powerful !
Whatever she wears, says or does is yet another occasion for her to show her personality and stress her uniqueness
She considers fashion as a source of inspiration. She wouldn’t copy though, she would create her own look, picking ideas here and there and improving them her own way. Nothing worse than to look like your neighbor or any movie star’s clone ! :(
She wears what she likes and fits her.
She doesn’t need to wear sexy clothes to feel sexy. If she does, it is because she’s in the mood for that.
She doesn’t need a lot of make up. Actually, she could wear none at all at times (no bad surprise in the morning, guys!). When she does, it is because she likes it this way or because the fancy strikes her and she wants to have fun.

Pretty rhymes with personality and self-acceptance.

It doesn’t mean though, a pretty woman would seek no self-improvement. Only she would do it for herself first and foremost. And she would at all cost preserve what makes her unique and special.
Polls show that French women score higher than American women on having a positive self-identity, and culture is a big factor. American women too can take charge of the woman in the mirror, rather than leaving her to everyone else for fixing.
Fortunately, this is something you can learn and I offer to help. :)

Have you ever faced that issue ? Which definition of “pretty” does appeal to you the most?

The 3 keys to make him treat you like a lady

OK, you’re a self-confident, self-sufficient, successful woman. Yet you would really like men to treat you like the lady you are and be more considerate at times, wouldn’t you?
Good news, this is not that difficult. :)
You just need to understand a few simple rules and apply them. You’ll be surprised to see that not only do they work, but they will also lead the man to give you more than you expected.

kiss on the hand

Let him come to you and take the main initiatives.
Because you know what you want and can see the solution long before it comes to his mind, you may be very tempted to take the first step, give unwanted advice or even worse, do things yourself. Don’t !!
Show your openness, give hints about what you would like, make suggestions, but let him act. Be patient. :)
Leave him enough room to show what he’s capable of before you intervene. He must feel HE took every step and is in control, not you.
I don’t mean : “be a doormat” :D Take initiatives, just the right ones at the right moment, which will help him and show him you’re not stupid and can be resourceful when needed.

Let him subtly understand what you expect from him.
On that purpose, behave like a lady. :) Give him opportunities and don’t cut the ground from down his feet. You want an attentive escort, so let him serve you.
I’ve never dated any man who wouldn’t open doors and car doors for me, spontaneously lend me his jacket when I was cold, go and get me something I needed, make compliments, and not only on my appearance, etc… Simply, don’t do it before he does and you’ll get it. :D

Act simply and naturally, be sincerely nice, feminine, fun, show your appreciation with a gracious smile, thank him and that’s all.
Why try to impress him anyway ? He will be enough. Self-confidence and personality show through no matter what. He will appreciate you didn’t throw your outstanding skills and achievements right to his face on top. :)

Never give him more than he has given you.
Of course, be nice and reasonably considerate, subtly entice him, show genuine interest by listening and asking intelligent questions. Don’t talk too much about yourself though. He will realize soon enough what an amazing woman you are and will then appreciate your discretion. Plus your reserve will tickle his curiosity, you will entertain that essential part of mystery which will keep him interested in you.
You deserve consideration, you’ve given him your attention, his turn now.
You may expect your thoughtful remarks and gestures will eventually touch him and he will realize how lucky he is to have met you. That would be a mistake. he would think you’re satisfied, when you aren’t. Therefore, as long as he has actually done nothing specific for you, you shouldn’t do too much, if ever, for him.
If he doesn’t respond or give back, send him straight to the discard pile : either he totally lacks empathy or he doesn’t care about you enough. At any rate, he’s not a good catch. His loss, not yours…

All that may sound awfully old-fashioned, you must remember though that most men actually ARE old-fashioned on that matter. :D
They struggle enough with feminism, they’ve lost their marks and are not sure any more of how to behave and what to do. Don’t compete, give him a chance to take care of you instead.
In that context is the old-fashioned way is the most efficient : make him feel like a gentleman so that he can treat you like a lady. :)

4 questions you should ask before filling out a dating profile on line

How to set an attractive dating online profile ?

As a women, you’ll probably get many answers whatsoever. How does it sound though to waste your time hitting the delete button, or, worse, discuss with somebody who doesn’t match what you look for ?
As a man, you will probably seek to get answers to your email and messages and make a point in not systematically ending on the discard pile, right ?

There are steps to follow and mistakes not to make to fill out an attractive and efficient profile. An efficient profile is the one which will incite quality people matching your requirements to contact you.

Browse and read a few profiles first. Of both men and women. It will help you see where you stand and what those you’re attracted to are looking for. Plus you can always pick a few good ideas along the way.

To set an efficient profile, you may :
#1 precisely define and know who you want to attract
#2 know what may attract those persons, what they seek
#3 be aware of your assets and flaws to be able to keep your expectations realistic, enhance the positive, minor the negative (I don’t mean “lie”, OK ? ;))
#4 put yourself in your target’s shoes, so that you can use convincing and appealing arguments to him (her), in other words talk a talk they will understand and appreciate (this is worth for photos as well).

There is more, but these are the basics.

I shall post more tips as the blog goes. Stay tuned ! ;)

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