How to get over a crisis of faith

How to get over a crisis of faith

A personal development article

Let’s all be honest, sometimes positivity fails. Sometimes the bright new future that was being worked towards seems like a sham born out of optimism and foolishness and worse, entirely unobtainable.

So what can you do when you are overwhelmed and your faith falters? Here are some thoughts:

Talk to someone

This can perhaps be the hardest step to take, because it can feel like an admission of failure, yet I think in many ways it might be the most important and powerful step you can take. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be someone who you feel has answers or even someone who knows you that well. The powerful part of this sharing is being able to voice your fears, your mistakes and your anxieties.

Faith tends to wither in isolation and people, especially males, are too inclined when doubts arise to keep them to themselves. Sadly this just results in the doubts growing and building often far beyond their true stature.

The person you chose should ideally have three characteristics –

  1. be willing to listen to everything you have to say,
  2. be absolutely confidential (so you can share everything),
  3. be someone who cares.

Now with that last point they don’t have to care for you on an emotional level but they do need to care that a person is suffering and want to help. Which is why a stranger can fulfil this role – and that could be anything from a stranger in a bar to a professional business coach!

You might be thinking that actually the best  person would be someone who does know you emotionally – a partner or spouse but they might be too emotionally invested to listen clearly to everything you need to share and also you may not feel free to talk to them if you feel your doubts and concerns are going to upset them.

Take a break

There is that beautiful poem Leisure by William Davies which ends with the lines

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

He’s absolutely right of course and it’s also a message for the moments when your faith has been lost and all seems too much. Take time out to ‘stand and stare’. Go to a coffee house or out for a walk. Do something that relaxes you and is entirely unconnected with your situation.

Yes your situation will still be there when you get back and you won’t have done anything to change it – expect – you might just come back a little calmer and a little more relaxed. Also whatever has caused you to lose faith will not get that much worse in the space of a few hours (if it will then we are talking crisis management and that’s a different situation!) so realistically you can take some time to collect yourself.

Check your diet

The more stressed or hectic we get often the worse our diet becomes. We live off a diet of rushed meals or junk food. The problem with that is cumulatively it can literally alter your blood chemistry which in turn can affect your mood and mindset.

Make sure you are eating healthy food and enough of it. As Zig Ziglar brilliant puts it in one of his early books you wouldn’t own a million dollar race horse and feed it on rough grass. You’d ensure it had the best nutrition and diet possible. You are that million dollar race horse and if you don’t fuel yourself properly you will struggle.

 Plan and take action

So now you’ve talked to someone, taken an evening off and eaten a few health meals that means you’re in a stronger position to take some steps to change your situation. You see sometimes you have to continue your struggles even when you feel low. You don’t always have the luxury of getting your head back together first. 

So look at your situation and think about what practical steps you can take to change it. Five quick questions to consider are

  • What could you do more of?
  • What could you do that you are not doing?
  • What could you stop doing that isn’t really helping?
  • What has worked in the past?
  • What are other people doing in your situation that is working?

For example a young recruitment consultant, who was rapidly losing faith in his new role, expressed some doubts to me recently over how he was doing and also how his company was performing. We talked about some of the above points and the action advice I gave him was very direct and  focused – identify core prospects, approach them through multiple means, approach more prospects than he’d been doing, establish a firm sales contact pipeline etc.

I also said that such actions were what the rest of his company should be doing. If he consistently puts those ideas into practice then he should do fine. The challenge for this chap, and for anyone who has lost their faith, is to take those actions without visible results and keep taking them until the results come. Action will save him.


Loss of faith isn’t always a passing thing. Indeed the opposite of faith is despair and that’s a condition that can last for a while. If you are in that place then I do believe that the steps above should start you on the path back to a more positive place.

And a final thought, there is nothing wrong with suffering a crisis of faith, it happens to everyone at some point or other and as Hermann Hesse wrote

“Faith and doubt go hand in hand, they are complementaries. One who never doubts will never truly believe”

Until next time; have faith!


Consulting and Training

We blog to be helpful but consult and train for a living so if you like our style and feel we might be able to help you or your organisation more formally then do get in touch via phone or email and we can discuss your situation. We look forward to hearing from you.



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A Bold New You

A Bold New You

A personal development article

Normally I write these blogs in one sitting. Sometimes I sketch them out in a notebook first but the typing is done in one run through and tends to flow.

For some reason this one isn’t flowing. I know what to say but not how to say it. This is the eighth attempt so far. So I think I’ll listen to the advice I give to people on my communication training courses – when you are struggling to say something, take a moment and think to yourself, in your normal words what it is you want to say and then just say it, or write it out, in those same normal words:

So here’s the thing –

You’ll live a richer, happier life if you go out and push the boundaries of what you think you are capable of. And you’ll be a much more contented person for doing it. There’s a wonderfully satisfied feeling waiting for the person who tries something they are scared of and keeps trying until they succeed. It’s not about pride, ego or even the banishment of fear. It feels more like satisfaction. Satisfaction based on the simple pleasure of experiencing new things that were not experienced before because they were behind a self imposed limit. 

Let me tell a personal story to illustrate my recent experience of the above

About two months ago I got back into a swimming pool for the first time in almost twenty years. After a near panic attack and quite a lot of hyperventilating I spent the next two hours floundering around in the shallow end. Children younger than my youngest child were happily zooming past me like dolphins. But at the end of the session I had managed eight crossings of the pool – side to side. Twenty years ago I had managed about the same at the ‘height’ of my swimming powers but a real fear of the water had always stopped me doing more. And resulted in avoiding swimming for twenty years.

On the second visit I again had near panic and considerable hyperventilation when I first got into the pool but that time by the end of the session I had swam into the deep end from the midway point and made it to the end. (Which was good because it’s deeper than my head at the deep end so if I hadn’t made it I was going to be in trouble!)

On the third I managed a length and experienced only mild anxiety when I got into the pool.

On the fifth visit I found myself laughing ridiculously as I experienced, for the first time in my life, pleasure in entering a swimming pool.

Since then in more recent visits I’ve gone down the ceiling to pool slide, dived (sort of) into the pool and had a truly pleasant few hours when I took my youngest son swimming and we spent two hours racing each other back and forth across the pool whilst pretending to be superheroes. (And yes he won most of those races!)

So what’s my point in sharing this story? Nothing beyond illustrating my personal experience of being bolder in life. I deliberately intended on every visit to the swimming pool to do something new. I was going to make it work, get through my fear and be able to join my wife and children in the pool. An activity I’ve never been able to join them with before.

So I had my motivation and I made my choice. A series of choices really. What I never expected was the feeling of satisfaction and well being I have gained from being a little bolder in my choices. Staying at home and not going swimming was an easy choice but a weak one and I’d been making it for years.

So let me turn to you – is there  anything you don’t do because of fear or hesitation? Any sport, activity or hobby that you feel you aren’t up to doing because of some self imposed limit? If there is then I can assure you that it is possible to get through that fear and to enjoy that activity. The path through is to make a series of bold choices.

Chose to do what you fear. Chose to accept your fear. Chose to act directly in the opposite direction that your fear would have you go and finally chose to keep pushing through the fear until it shrinks and disappears.

Make those choices boldly and your life will never be the same.

 Until next time; be bold!

Stephen Hart

 PS Yes I know I have a picture of someone bungee jumping and then tell a story about swimming but a swimming pool shot wouldn’t have had quite the right visual impact! Also it’s a true story and the other truth is I’ve never been bungee jumping – if I ever do I promise to blog about it!

 Consulting and Training

We blog to be helpful but consult and train for a living so if you like our style and feel we might be able to help you or your organisation more formally then do get in touch via phone or email and we can discuss your situation.We look forward to hearing from you.



Corporate trainers and consultants  ♦  0333 121 4212  ♦

Based in the UK and working world wide


Recruitment  ♦  Sales  ♦  Management  ♦  NLP and Communication  ♦  LinkedIn

Brian Tracy vs Zig Ziglar vs Napoleon Hill

Brian Tracy vs Zig Ziglar vs Napoleon Hill

So let’s say you are interested in developing yourself and the idea of reading some of the specialist literature on the topic appeals the big question is;

Who do you read?

It’s a big question and I can’t really answer it for you. What I can do for you however is review three of the most popular authors. It’s less about one vs the other and more about which one is going to be right for you. Although that said I will compare and contrast them a little!


My first introduction to his work was via his sales book Advanced Selling Strategies which I know I mentioned in my sales blog on Wednesday. It’s a great sales book and covers a range of personal development tips – after all if you develop yourself you develop the sales person inside you!

After writing that and a number of other business related books Brian moved more fully into the personal development field. I used to love his material. It was clearly laid out and had lots of ‘golden tips’ and ‘rules’ – such as the ‘rule of attraction’ which pretty much states that whatever you have in your life at the moment you have attracted to yourself. Consequently by aiming to attract better and more positive things into your life your life will improve.

It’s a great principle and a good example of the positive mindset style that Brian has. As one of the first authors to really help me change my life I have a lot of good feelings towards Brian however the more I researched and read in the field of personal development the more I disappointed I became. 

What I discovered with his work was that a lot of it had been said before. Now I realise that self development authors are influenced by other authors in the field but over time I found less and less of Brian’s material to be new and fresh. I kept having the feeling that I had read something like it in the earlier authors – W.Clement Stone or Napoleon Hill for example.

Had I not read so much I would have recommended him almost without reservation although he does also have the habit of saying that ‘this is the most important’ or ‘one of the most important’ rules/principles etc quite a lot; until everything seems to be the most important!

PRO’S Lots of ‘rules’ that you can take out and apply immediately; material clearly outlined

CON’S Not as original as he first seems 

RECOMMENDED WORKS Advanced Selling Strategies (if you are in sales)

BEST WAY TO ENJOY Reading his material


Zig Ziglar speaks at the Get Motivated Seminar...

Ziglar, like Brian Tracy, started out as a sales trainer and moved across to pure personal development. The topics of personal and career development are obviously intertwined and both authors have simply developed their work in a natural way.

Ziglar tells the best stories and the thing I really like about his work is that it’s based on things he’s seen or people he has directly talked to. He speaks about himself and his wife (the red-head) and he speaks from the heart. I know several people who will listen to Zig simply for the entertainment value. He might repeat his stories a few times over his different books and CD’s but you don’t begrudge him that given the quality of the stories.

Where he falls down a little is that his material can cover a wide range of topics and often in a conversation manner. Brian Tracy has a firm structure that he works to whilst Ziglar roams over his topics. When I put a Zig CD on in the car I often don’t know exactly what I’m going to be listening to – other than the broad topic heading and I find it hard to remember on which CD he gives specific advice. Which clearly makes it harder to look up afterwards.

Another challenge that some people have, although not myself personally, is that he has a strong Texan accent and I know some folks in Britain who just can’t get past it. Also his recent work has become very religiously based and, whilst I don’t have an objection to it, I know it can be off-putting to some people. The more personal the work the more you find him referring to religion. His autobiography was particularly strong with religious references. I respect that he feels that way but it won’t work for everyone.

For all that if you were to strand me on a desert island and make me pick an author to listen to I’d pick Zig without a moment hesitation – and if I had to pick only one story it would be his house buying story – although the alligators in the swimming pool story always makes me laugh as well!

PRO’S As entertaining as anyone could possibly be; memorable stories help his points stay with you

CON’S Very religious particularly in his later works; accent bothers some people; not as structured as he could be 

RECOMMENDED WORKS See You At The Top; any of his sales CD’s (if you are in sales)

BEST WAY TO ENJOY Listening to his material


English: American self-help writer Napoleon Hi...

Napoleon Hill is most famous for his book Think and Grow Rich which was the first of his books that I read. It is truly worthy of the accolade of a classic (although not my favourite of his works).

Napoleon had the almost unique advantage when he wrote his work of being hired to travel the world and interview successful people to try to identify what attributes or qualities had helped them become successful. As a result his work is full of references to long dead successful business people – some famous, some less so.

I absolutely love Hill’s work and despite its age I feel most of it is relevant to us nowadays. I do accept that some of his ideas and comments have not aged well and the fact that Hill was writing in the 1930’s does show through in places.

I mentioned above that I find Brian Tracy less original now than I first did and largely that’s down to the writings of Napoleon Hill. For me when I read Brian Tracy it is like reading an updated, rewrite of Hill’s work. Not all of it but enough that it makes me want to put Brian down and pick up Napoleon Hill.

The age of Hill’s work doesn’t bother me and that might indeed be the deciding factor for you. If you want something more up-to-date then Brian Tracy would be a better choice for you. If you can live with some almost naive 1930’s comments about business and technology then I’d recommending going with Hill.

PRO’S Original work and thoroughly researched; well structured and laid out

CON’S The material has aged and some appears out of date 

RECOMMENDED WORKS Napoleon Hill The Golden Rules, Lost Work; Think and Grow Rich

BEST WAY TO ENJOY Reading his material


Reading any self development author is better than reading none. Each author has their strengths and their weaknesses. My recommendation would be hire a couple of books from the library and see who you click with.

I still read, or listen to, all three of the above authors regularly regardless of any of their flaws. They are wise, dedicated individuals who set out to share their knowledge for the betterment of all. I respect that a lot and would encourage all of you to try them out.

Until next time;

Stephen Hart 

Motivational Monday #10 A conversation with the finest individuals

A conversation with the finest individuals…

“The read of good books is like a conversation with the finest individuals of the past.”


There are so many great quotes about learning and reading that I struggled to pick a single favourite. For myself reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies and its the only hobby that I’ve been totally consistent with – I can’t remember a time I wasn’t reading!

Nowadays I read a lot of material for work purposes. Whilst I’m experienced in the fields I train in there are far greater minds than I out there and some of them have written great books! I take the view that the moment I assume I know everything is the moment I cease to learn. And I will never cease to learn!

So I happily and regularly read books and other literature on marketing, sales, recruitment, management, social media and all the other areas I get involved in.

There have been, and there are, brilliant people in the world and by reading their work I get to share their considered thoughts and experiences. I believe as a result I can fast track my career and personal life. So for you reading this now I would say today is a great time to either continue that journey (if you are reading books in your field currently) or a great place start it. 

Personally I’m a great fan of the library for two reasons a) it’s free (that has to be a good thing right!) and b) many of these books will only contain one or two ideas that you will want to take and use. Being able to borrow as many as you like and just pull out a few pertinent facts is very effective. Also there is nothing stopping you subsequently buying a particularly book if you find it really useful. The library is a plan with no draw backs in my book!

The theme of the blogs this week is learning – and to that end I will cover the following topics this week:

  •  Tuesday – A step by step guide to sharing your own material via your LinkedIn profile
  • Wednesday – Three sales tips I learnt from books
  • Thursday – A management exercise (with management books)
  • Friday  – Some personal development authors reviewed
I’d like to end with two more book related quotes

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”


“It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little.”

Denis Parsons Burkitt

Until next time; happy reading!
Stephen Hart
Photo curtesy of the talented Karolina – more of her work here

Flashpoint One – Keep the Faith

The Flashpoint series is a new idea from Edenchanges. Accepting that not everyone has the time or inclination to read an 800 word blog Flashpoint blogs from Edenchanges will be brief and succinct.

Like a silver tipped bullet carefully weighted for that special shot the Flashpoint blogs will strike hard, deep and powerfully. And fear not, the heavy artillery will still be firing off and 800 word in-depth blogs will appear regularly.

So enough pre-amble time to fire off the first Flashpoint Blog!(Apologies for the gun analogies – I blame too many Tom Cruise movies – Ed.)

Keep the Faith

There are always two ways to view things – positively or negatively. For me keeping the faith is all about faith in yourself, faith in the universe that ultimately does reward hard work and faith that by being just stubborn enough to keep trying you’ll get somewhere.

So in these challenging times keep the faith. Focus on being mentally and verbally positive. When you walk into the office in the morning make the effort to be publically positive. Wish people well, say good morning and most of all mean it. Have the faith that by doing so it will make things a little better and that it might be reciprocated.

When you consider your tasks for the day focus on what needs to be done, not what might go wrong. Have faith that by working positively it will all turn out well. If you have a role where you can determine your own success – such as being in sales or recruitment then focus on activities. The universe isn’t simply going to provide you with leads and sales but if you proactively make the calls and seek out the leads you will find them.

Networking events in business unsettle a lot of people so when networking keep the faith that actually you are a competent business professional representing a good company and that it will go okay. By having that faith yourself and gaining some confidence from it you might just put other people at ease.

So no matter what your situation or challenge in business or life; keep the faith.

Until next time; be successful.

Stephen Hart

Owner, Edenchanges

Photo courtesy of the talented Idolhands with thanks.


Open Course 3 June 2010, York Science Park, “NLP for Business Professionals”

Open Course 30 June 2010, Leeds,  “Using Linkedin Commercially”

Details of the courses available here


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Fight Club – Round Two

Fight Club is an interesting film for a number of reasons. If for no other than it gets the audience to think rather than passively accept what is happening to the characters.

One of the things it gets me thinking about is the importance of individuality.

Whilst I primarily do corporate training and coaching with adults Edenchanges also runs personal development programs for both adults and children.

One thing that came up from speaking with some 8-14 year children recently was that they felt you had to become a corporate drone to be successful in business. They really felt that conformity was the way to go to be successful in business.

I do believe that conforming to certain expectations and customs within a company or business generally can be advantageous but I am also a great believer in being your own person.

Individuality is something to be praised. Admittedly individuality within limits. The wide eyed maverick who knows no law but his own has little place in a team organisation.

Although as an aside in some cases, (and certain roles lend themselves more to this than others), if you can harness that maverick energy and minimise the fall out you can have a creative edge that your rivals might lack.

So individuality within limits is my recommendation. I have long argued that a sales professional should bring something of themselves to the negotiating table. Clients want to trade and do business with people not simply companies.

That’s why account controllers or managers need to be so good at communication and rapport building. Retention of clients is really about individuals in companies getting to know each other.

With regards to management a common complaint of management is that they take no interest in the people underneath them. Disgruntled employees will often bemoan the fact that management do not take care who they are simply what they do.These feelings of detachment are increased when the senior managers are cyphers and only known through their job title.

If you want to lead a happy team or division then get to know the people under you as individuals and show them something of your individuality, whether that is through sharing opinions and beliefs that you hold or simply the hobbies that you enjoy.

Celebrate your individuality and that of your colleagues and use this individuality to cultivate a creative, dynamic and personable environment to work in.

It might just give you the commercial edge you are looking for in business.

Until next time be successful!


Stephen Hart



PS And talking about individuality the boxing gloves in the photo belong to my beautiful and talented wife – yes she can cook and kick box – that’s individuality!


Coming next on – Closing Errors – a run down of common errors sales people make when closing for business


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Fight Club


Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge Picture: Cpl Adrian Harlen

Last week I saw, for the first time, Fight Club with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. And yes I recognise that I’m about ten years behind everyone else on that score!

Anyway I was planning a blog about some of the ideas in that film when I learn that Katrina Hodge, a serving solder in HM Armed Forces  is now Miss England and will represent England at the Miss World competition later this year.

It’s the type of event that I really thinks applauding and ironically it fits into one of the thoughts I had from Fight Club.

Fight Club provoked some real thinking and one of the themes I really liked in the film was the idea that we are all so much more than our business card or bank balance. It’s an idea I am familiar with indeed I had just a few weeks earlier ripped up a client’s business card in front of them telling them most earnestly that ‘You are not your business card…’

To then have Brad Pitt utter a similar speech was quite shocking – most of all because I would hate the client to think I’d copied my opener for that training session!

Anyway what I love about the concept is that it is absolutely true. We are all so much more than the labels we are given by employers, friends or family. Recognising ourselves as more than the label of ‘dad’, ‘manager’, director’ or whatever is a freeing experience.

So what does this have to do with Katrina Hodge?

Katrina Modelling

Modelling for La Senza Retail Chain

Well to have a career in the military and at the same time be a model speaks of a person who is confident in their goals and free of the limitations people would normally assign to work or hobbies. How many people have laughed at her or poured scorn on her doing both those activities? Yet there she is doing both successfully.

Whether you approve of beauty pageants or not I’d hope you’d see that Katrina is a great example of someone who has broken out of the confines of expectations and is living a life of her own choosing.

So from a fictional film to the world of reality one idea blends together so to you I would ask this question – how great it would be to live past the confines of your labels?

Until next time; be successful


Trainer, Coach, Public Speaker

Photo’s – I believe the photo’s are in the public domain however if you are the copyright holder and want me to remove them then let me know.


Coming next on – Communication Tips


We would be delighted to discuss your corporate training or coaching needs so call us, or email us, today to discuss:

International: +44 1757 249 380 UK: 01757 249 390