Fear of the Future – Why worry?

Why worry?

Why is it that we spend so much time worrying about the future?  I am as guilty as the next person.  I felt sick to my stomach every time I thought about my son sitting his GCSE’s from 1stJanuary right through to the very first day of his exams.  I made myself feel so stressed, imagining every kind of awful scenario that could potentially happen.

And where did it get me exactly?  Nowhere! Continue reading “Fear of the Future – Why worry?”

Mind the Gap! The space between who we are and who we want to be

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see someone that you love, someone that you respect, someone who you feel is living their best life?

Or do you see something less than you were looking for?

If you do, then you are just like a HUGE number of people who feel the same way….including me a few years ago.

You see, I have been trying to work out what it is I do….and yes, I know that sounds crazy but stay with me here….what it is I do to help people. I felt driven to define the work I do, beyond the catch-all term of “coach”.

Figuring it out

It has taken me weeks to work it out and it all seemed to fall into place when I stumbled across the words “mind the gap”.

This probably still isn’t making much sense so let me explain. Continue reading “Mind the Gap! The space between who we are and who we want to be”

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”

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?”

A Powerful Reminder: Choosing to Live in the Present Moment

Living in the present moment

Every morning my husband and I take our dog for a walk before breakfast.  It is our routine and allows me to clear my mind and focus my entire morning thereafter on my clients.  We always take the same route. Our dog is jumpy around other dogs.  We try and keep her to a route that is less popular with dog walkers.

We often see an older lady who walks alone, always with purpose, and we believe that she lives in the residential home along our route. She is always smiling and always wishes us a good morning and compliments us on how pretty our dog is and how nice I look (bless her!). We cross paths briefly and never stop for any kind of conversation beyond the same pleasantries.

Rain

This morning, she said her usual stuff about the dog being pretty and telling us both how nice we looked – but she also added that it was good that it wasn’t raining. We agreed, and we moved on as always.

Less than 15 minutes later, we saw her again. As we approached she complimented us on our dog and how nice we both looked and then added that it was good that it wasn’t raining.

I had often thought that she was someone who struggled with her memory.  But this morning it became clear that she has no short term memory whatsoever. Continue reading “A Powerful Reminder: Choosing to Live in the Present Moment”

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”

Self Esteem – Something our children can no longer rely on?

Childhood self esteem

Self esteem is a fragile yet essential ingredient for a happy and fulfilling life right? I realise that I may be viewed as biased on this subject. After all helping people raise their self esteem is kind of what I do!  But that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be a much happier person if I knew in my heart that my services were no longer needed.

I honestly believe that having a high level of regard for ourselves as people is our birthright. But I am also keenly aware that we live in the age of filters and airbrushing and Kardashians. The chances of our children and young people holding on to their own self esteem is getting slimmer.

Fake Perfection

Through all forms of media, we are constantly bombarded by images of perfection.  The press get excited when a brand announces that their latest model has un-airbrushed stretch marks.  But honestly, one or two teeny stretch marks does not make a model real – in my opinion anyway.

So how do we as parents ensure that our children grow up without having their minds melted by this constant onslaught of fake perfection?  What support exists for us to help our children? Continue reading “Self Esteem – Something our children can no longer rely on?”

Snapchat Dysmorphia – When a Filter is no longer enough

Has it ever occurred to you that in the world today – with all of it’s technology and “progress” – it is getting harder and harder to maintain our self esteem?  We exist in a culture of perfectionism.  Our children face a barrage of comparison and constant sharing of images.

Social media has created a culture that screams “look at me”.

For some, the pressure that this creates can lead to very real issues with body image and self esteem.

And this “look at me” culture was amplified when the concept of the selfie became popular.  Suddenly it was okay to take a picture of ourselves pouting and share it with the world.  I thought that was a bit odd in all honesty, but I couldn’t see the harm in it unless it became an obsession.

But then things got a bit more advanced and filters were introduced.  We could add bunny ears to our pictures or distort our faces in ‘hilarious’ ways.  Again, all pretty harmless right? Continue reading “Snapchat Dysmorphia – When a Filter is no longer enough”

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”