My search for the right quotation led me to the one above by Laozi. I had to find out who he was - a 6th century contemporary of Confucius! What wisdom there was in the ancients!

The theme for this newsletter fits with being clearer with my Purpose - my Why - and really emerged from my re-branding process with my coach.

Stay tuned for big changes in my website. Content and themes won’t change hugely, but should be sharper and clearer. I guess it’s taken me a while to 'truly believe’ and recognise the impact I’m having in my coaching.

The changes will include using my name in my brand! It’s funny how using my name feels like such big step - but it is, and it feels great!

In this issue I’m staying with the theme of Self-Belief and challenging you with the phrase - It’s Time to Believe!

All the best!

Kathleen Fanning

Questions? Concerns? Curious?
Click here to schedule a complimentary call to talk about what’s challenging you currently and gain a strategy to move forward!



I always love to begin with the meaning of words...

Collins dictionary says Self Belief is ‘Confidence in oneself and one’s ability.'

Cambridge dictionary describes it as ‘Trust in your own abilities.'

Its meaning in the Psychology Dictionary is 'Our self-assurance in trusting our abilities, capacities, and judgments; the belief that we can meet the demands of a task.'

Blameless Discernment

It’s human to doubt ourselves - and is likely a self protection trait from evolution to keep us from taking too many risks. It can - and does - often hold us back though.

There is a difference in what Shirzad Chamine calls ‘Blameless Discernment’ and what we can experience as fear and self judgment.

Blameless Discernment looks back at our actions - or inaction - with compassion and understanding. It helps us learn from mistakes and can motivate us to 'do better’ in turn building our self belief.

In contrast, our inner critic or The Judge feeds our limiting beliefs and often keeps us from moving forward. As is described in Positive Intelligence® the Judge was developed early in life to help us  ’survive':

“We have a powerful psychological need for a mental construct that makes sense of our experience of life...The Judge’s interpretation is always full of flaws and negative biases, but in early life it is still helpful in sorting out the world around us to create a coherent mental construct of our experience.” 

Of course, that was then and now is now! A child’s view was helpful then (perhaps) but is it helpful now? Instead, isn't it Time to Believe™ in yourself??

First Step

A first step could be to reduce the strength of your Judge. This self assessment from PQ (Positive Intelligence) could be a good first step!

Description Finds fault with self, others, and circumstances. Causes much of our disappointment, anger, regret, guilt, shame, and anxiety.
Activates accomplice Saboteurs.


Self: badgers self for past mistakes or current shortcomings.

Others: Focuses on what is wrong with others rather than appreciating the good things about them. Gets into inferior/superior comparisons.

Circumstances: Insists a circumstance or outcome is ‘bad’ rather than seeing it as a gift and opportunity.


What is wrong with me?

What is wrong with you?

What is wrong with this circumstance or the outcome?


All guilt, regret, shame and disappointment are from the Judge.

Much of anger and anxiety is instigated by the Judge.

Justification Lies

Without me pushing you, you will get lazy and complacent.

Without me punishing you for mistakes, you will not learn from them, and you’ll then repeat them.

Without me scaring you about bad future outcomes, you will not work hard to prevent them.

Without me judging others, you will lose your objectivity and not protect your self-interest.

Without me making you feel bad about negative outcomes, you won’t do anything to change them.

Impact on Self and Others

The Judge is the Master Saboteur and the original cause of much of our anxiety, distress, and suffering. It is also the cause of many relationship conflicts.

Strength 0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Rate the impact of your Judge here - with Blameless Discernment, recognising this is normal, yet can be changed! 

Simply put, we need to call the Judge out “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”!!!  (would you know I used to be a preschool teacher?? 🤣)

How can we believe more and reduce the influence of that Judge??

Awareness is the first stage always. The NHS (National Health Service in the UK) suggests the following steps to boost our self belief.

  1. Recognise what you're good at. We're all good at something, whether it's cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. ...
  2. Build positive relationships. ...
  3. Be kind to yourself. ...
  4. Learn to be assertive. ...
  5. Start saying "no" ...
  6. Give yourself a challenge.

And I’ll add a no 7 - Get out of your head!!

The judge resides in our thoughts and the hamster wheel of over thinking, worrying, fretfulness and angst! It’s not a nice space to be in and definitely does not boost our self belief.

The term ‘change of state’ is exactly what’s needed! Get up and move, dance, focus on your breath, go out in nature - anything that brings you out of your head and into your body. Stress lives in our heads though we feel it in our bodies. Thoughts are leading so divert them with movement etc.and you’ll feel different.

Building up our Mental Fitness is also crucial. It has been life changing for me and for many others. As the Judge reduces in impact, we become more empathetic, optimistic and productive. As one recent participant said:

"Prior to taking this course, I would waste valuable and precious time ruminating on the 'what ifs' and projecting into the future. My Saboteurs would all gang up and tell me why my situation wasn't going to improve, rather than listening to the Sage in my head. This course has taught me that the rubbish I was told as a child is just that - rubbish - and it belongs in the trash bin. We all experience setbacks during the course of our lives; it's up to us to turn these setbacks into gifts and opportunities. Thank you, Kathleen, for guiding me towards the light of opportunity, happiness and success!" KM

Would you like to learn more, and perhaps join my  next Mental Fitness Bootcamp?

If yes, click here to get more details about the program. You can also take a Free Assessment to discover the 9 Ways We Self Sabotage! Be sure to sign up at the bottom of the page to receive updates about upcoming programs

Connect with me

Click here to find helpful resources including podcasts, articles and more!

To learn more, visit my website, Invest in Yourself here:

You can also email me directly here:

Social Media

Click here to subscribe to my newsletter


Kathleen Fanning
Kathleen Fanning Coaching