GCSE Stress – Tips for Exam Success

Every couple of weeks I go to a local school and talk to the students about what I do.  They get to ask me questions about my role as a coach and find out about the profession.  I love it. It is a real highlight for me.

I love finding out about how kids think, what their priorities are and what they worry about.  So far this year, I have only met year 11 students (15/16 year olds) and their biggest focus is their GCSE exams and how to prepare for them.

I tell each group that I meet the same exact thing, and it occurred to me that maybe a blog post about it might help others too.

The advice I give is pretty simple – there is no science behind it.  But sometimes, the most important messages are the simplest ones.

So here it is – my guide to managing stress as you work towards your GCSE’s. Continue reading “GCSE Stress – Tips for Exam Success”

20 Seconds of Insane Courage

20 Seconds of Insane Courage

In 2011 a film was released called “We Bought a Zoo”.  It was a lovely film but not one that stands out in the memory against some of the bigger blockbusters that followed it.

What does stand out though is a single line of dialogue.  A line that has become famous in its own right.

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

20 seconds of insane courage.  It doesn’t sound like much does it?  And when you think about it, how much more courage do we honestly need when it comes to the big stuff? Continue reading “20 Seconds of Insane Courage”

Strictly Empowering Women – I am no Victim

The Strictly Curse

I love Strictly Come Dancing.  Seriously. I have the ringtone, my dog has a sequinned collar, Saturday nights are sacred.  I. Love. Strictly.

What I love less is the rumoured “Strictly Curse”.  The nonsensical theory that if you go on Strictly your relationship / marriage will die a grisly death.  The absolute certainty that you will surely have an ill-fated relationship with your celebrity dance partner.

A Sequin-Covered Bubble

There is clearly provenance here.  There have been many relationships forged through the hours of intense training that Strictly requires.  And hey, I get that.  It must be a very strange environment to exist in – like a sequin-covered bubble of glitter and sparkle and terror.

But the events of this week have surpassed anything I have ever seen in the 15 previous years of Strictly.

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Self Employment – Living the Dream or a Total Nightmare?

Self employment dream or nightmare

Having been away for a few days, I think it is fair to say that I am struggling to catch up with things at work. Self employment is by no means a fairytale of time freedom and a carefree existence. There is so much that you need to think about and it extends far beyond the things that might feel obvious for a coach to worry about.  

For example, to run a business these days, you need to have a strong social media presence. That means you have to have a strategy…yep….an actual strategy about what to post and when!

You need to keep on top of what you are spending, who you are talking to, building your network, developing your products. And for me, this is all on top of talking to clients and planning sessions!

Being your own boss is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. And if I am being honest, sometimes it is just plain exhausting! Continue reading “Self Employment – Living the Dream or a Total Nightmare?”

Back to School Anxiety – What can we do to help our kids

Back to School AnxietyAnxiety – we all experience it to some degree.  Some of us are aware of it, others don’t notice it and for a growing number of people, it becomes life limiting and restrictive.

Back to School

We are now coming to the end of of the school summer holidays in England and I know that there are many children and young people out there who are feeling anxious about what lies ahead for them in September.   Continue reading “Back to School Anxiety – What can we do to help our kids”

The Power of Doing Nothing – Why being still is so good for your health

power of doing nothingI have noticed something rather disturbing about myself recently.  I have become a person who cannot just sit and be still.  No longer am I able to settle into doing nothing.

If I sit down, then I reach for a device – a phone, my iPad – whatever is nearest to me.  Then I surf, check social media, play a few games of mahjong…..and there goes an hour of my life I’ll never get back!

I tell myself that as an online coach, I have good reason to be no further than six inches from the internet at any given moment of my life.  But in all honesty, is that good for me?  Nope.

And now I notice that my 15 year old son is unable to be anywhere without his earbuds in.  Constantly streaming music or chatting to his friends on Skype, FaceTime or whatever the latest and greatest app is.

So my question is, when did we lose the ability to just be still and comfortable doing nothing?  Continue reading “The Power of Doing Nothing – Why being still is so good for your health”

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Living in your comfort zone

Imagine spending thousands of pounds to build a beautiful home, that is everything your dreamed it could be….and then not living in it.  Crazy right? Now imagine the investment of time, effort and achievement that has gone into making you the person that you are today.  Are you maximising that?  Are you relaxing in your dream home?  Or are you dwelling in the safety of your comfort zone?

It’s an interesting question, and somewhat ironically, it’s one which I was required to pose to myself, when writing this (and every) article.  Writing is not my trade.  It is not something that I would list as one of my key strengths.  Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) always feels like a pretty big risk.  Would I be good enough, could I write something worth reading?

The Comfort Zone is defined as a behavioural space where your activities and behaviours minimise stress and risk.  This is something that we should all recognise as being pertinent to at least one area of our life.  And this is because the creation of a comfort zone is a necessary choice for much of our daily lives.

But is it healthy in all aspects of life?   Continue reading “Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone”

Top Ten Tips for Managing Stress

manage stress

Life in 2018 is frantic – so much stress!  We are all in a hurry to get somewhere, do something, be someone.  But at what cost?  How do we go about managing stress in today’s busy world?

Feeling under pressure is often a permanent state for many women.  From the business woman with the fabulous career to the stay at home Mum who has devoted her present to looking after her children.  None of us is safe from feeling stress.

But the great news is that there are things you can do that will increase your ability to cope.  Practical solutions that help you re-focus, manage your stress and help you regain control of your life, health and wellbeing.

Here are ten things you can do to kick your stress to the kerb and move on. Continue reading “Top Ten Tips for Managing Stress”

Negative Self Talk – The critical voice within and how to silence it

negative self talkSelf Talk.  We all have it.  That persistent inner voice that narrates our existence and tells us what to think and what to feel.   It can be a useful guide and motivator.  It can help us navigate a difficult path or reinforce the joy of a positive experience.  Like having your own personal cheerleader.  But what happens when that inner voice decides to turn against you?  What happens if your cheerleader decides to change team?  It’s time to learn about Negative Self Talk. Continue reading “Negative Self Talk – The critical voice within and how to silence it”

Indecision – Free yourself from procrastination and feel the joy!

indecision and procrastination I speak to a lot of people who suffer from the inability to take action.  Known as indecision or procrastination, you may recognise it as an overwhelming inability to get something done.  This is because every time you think you might do it, your mind tells you not to.

It can be subtle and you might not even realise it, but there is something holding you back from getting a decision made, doing something that needs doing etc.

I have a tendency to procrastinate but I am making an effort to be more decisive and determined – and its making a big difference to my life!  Making lists and working through them means that things get done and I feel far less burdened by “stuff”.

I was talking to a client last week and the perfect analogy occurred to me and since then, I have used it a few times on  different, indecision-suffering clients (and my husband!) and with a good response.  So I thought I would share it with you…. Continue reading “Indecision – Free yourself from procrastination and feel the joy!”