In my work as a TV Confidence Expert, award winning Life Coach and Cruise Ship speaker,  I often refer to a philosophy of your ‘Personal Stream of Happiness’.

If you are familiar with my work, you will know I often compare  Life as being like a canoe on a flowing stream.    Each one of us has our own canoe floating on a stream.   It is our unique feelings, thoughts and beliefs that impact the direction our canoe goes every day.

Upstream or Downstream?

You can decide to take your canoe ( or life!) upstream every day.  However, if you do this,  life will feel just like a struggle, hard work and exhausting.

Or….you can choose to take your canoe  downstream, which feels  easier  ‘ in the flow’ and fun.  The final option is to do nothing and don’t move your canoe at all.

Most of us live our lives Upstream!

The truth is, most of us unconsciously spend our lives upstream. As a result, our lives just feel like a struggle.  The more time we spend upstream, the more likely it is that we end up feeling frustrated, anxious and depressed.     The truth is we are focussing our canoe / life in the wrong direction!

The Stream represents your emotions.

When we unconsciously allow our canoe to go upstream, by beating ourselves up, feeling bad and buying into our  negative thoughts, it simply does not FEEL GOOD.   As a result, our body gives us feedback on this and we experience a wide range of negative emotions.   Life just feels like hard work and a struggle!

However, when  we choose to heal and consciously focus our thoughts and feelings downstream, we feel lots of positive emotion in our body! We can take our canoe downstream by being kind to ourselves, being our own best friend, and tuning into our authentic self.

Here are a few examples of Upstream and Downstream Emotions on our Personal Stream:


  • Beating yourself up 
  • Not being authentic to yourself 
  • Feel disempowered 
  • Feel helpless / Stressed 
  • Worry 
  • Frustrated 
  • Struggle 


  • In the flow 
  • Feel Empowered 
  • Fun, Joy, Compassion
  • Being authentic
  • Praising yourself 
  • Looking after your wellbeing
  • Kind and Patient with yourself
  • Expectation of good things  

Think about your week so far – how has it felt?  Upstream or downstream?

How about when you got up this morning or while you were at work? Did your personal stream feel upstream or downstream?

Each day we have a choice – we have a choice to deliberately focus our thoughts in a downstream way, or struggle with life in an upstream way.

However, the key to this is caring how you feel.

Tune in to next weeks blog for more information on the way to live a ‘ good feeling’ downstream life!

Award Winning Life Coach Lisa Phillips

Previously based in Sydney, Australia,   Lisa Phillips is an  award winning Life Coach, Confidence expert and Motivational Speaker.  The leading life coach is also the author of the ‘The Confidence Coach’ book.  

Lisa provides face to face Life Coaching, Group Coaching and online Coaching around the world.  Due to her 22 years expertise, her work is regularly featured in the media. 

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