Do You Struggle To Say No?

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Do You Struggle To Say No?

Are your priorities constantly railroaded by everyone else's needs and your agreeing to their requests? Is this due to a lack of confidence, low self-esteem, or worries about being selfish? Does this make you feel really stressed out, resentful or taken advantage of? 

The ability to say No, gracefully and honestly, is one of the most powerful skills you can develop. It is not selfishness at all, rather honesty and self-respect. It is setting your boundaries, and communicating your wishes and capabilities. 

Start developing this life skill today with the help of my 'HOW TO SAY NO' guide.  Send me your details below to receive this free guide. 

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Are You a Perfectionist?

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Are You a Perfectionist?

  • Do you often feel that you should be doing better no matter what you do?

  • Do you repeatedly review your work and always mistakes spot even the tiniest of mistakes? 

  • When you don't reach 100%, do you feel a low mood?

  • Do you tend to focus only on the results, not the process of getting there?

  • Do you find that others just can't meet your standards, and you can't bring yourself to delegate anything?

  • Do you often feel tense?

  • Are you terrified about making mistakes?

  • Do you respond defensively to criticism?

  • Do you believe there is a right and a wrong way to do most things?

  • Do you check other people's work even when it might not be necessary?

  • Do you feel you need to be in control, because if you relinquish control things will go wrong or quality will suffer?

  • Do you have difficulty making decisions, and worry about making the wrong choice?

  • Is being below average a terrible prospect to you?

  • When you look back on your life, do you see mostly your failures?


If you answered yes to the majority of the questions above, chances are you are quite the perfectionist!

Being deemed a perfectionist can seem like a compliment; it seems as though you would be proud to reach the highest standards, and that striving for excellence would make you more effective.  In fact, studies show that perfectionism causes health risks, stress and an intense fear of failure and sense of inadequacy. Fear of not doing things perfectly can be completely immobilising, leading to procrastination and low self esteem; the higher stress levels in creates actually reduces effectiveness. 

Perfectionists are driven to to do everything to exemplary standards, and anything less will mean they have failed, or others will see them as a 'fraud'. It can stop you from accurately perceiving your successes, and interfere with flexible problem solving, decision making and fun or spontaneity. Literally, it can be exhausting and unfulfilling in equal measure. 

Perfectionism isn’t all bad. Aiming for high standards, conscientiousness, and organisational skills are often considered gold-standard traits, which we all strive towards to some degree.  However, when it starts to interfere with an individual’s health and happiness, it becomes a problem. 

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Good luck - let me know how you get on!

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Tackle your to-do's, your way!

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Tackle your to-do's, your way!

  • Do you feel you could achieve so much more if you were more organised?
  • Have you got a million ideas, multiple passions, and abundant intelligence – just not enough time?
  • Are you ready to be more productive and free to reach your potential

For some people, getting organised and managing their time seems to be a natural talent they were born with, but for many of us, it can be a daunting, near-impossible task that leaves us feeling inadequate and stressed out.  

Common time management techniques just don't suit everyone.  In my mind, the key to effective time management and organisation is about playing to your strengths, natural tendencies, ways of thinking and behaving. 

Take my free quiz to give me a bit of information about how your mind works, and I will send you an organisational style that will specifically work for you, because it is based on how your brain works!

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Tap into Your Unfound Creativity for a Breakthrough Year!

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Tap into Your Unfound Creativity for a Breakthrough Year!

As we fast approach the end of January, 2018 is already in full swing, bringing us a new year and beyond.... but don't let it kick-start full steam ahead without making sure you have reflected on the learnings from 2017.  Ask yourself, 

  • What lessons did you learn in 2017?
  • What went well for you?
  • What are you going to do differently?
  • What are your opportunities and priorities for 2018?

And what did this reflection tell you? 

Do you feel that you spent most of last year running around, chasing your goals to no real avail?  Did you at times feel overwhelmed and burnt out? Do you feel at a loss this year with how to do things differently to get different results because you feel that you tried everything and got no where? 

What if you could take a different approach... one that is based on proactivity rather than reactivity,  receiving and accepting rather than chasing, being open to what's coming rather than forcing it.... the key to this approach is CREATIVITY.  We all have it within us, even if we think we don't.  It begins with redefining the stereotypical definition we have in our minds about 'creative types'... creativity comes in many forms and we all have the one necessary ingredient.... an imagination. 

Imagination is one of the key facets that distinguishes human kind from animal kind, and we all have this ability and potential – once you have a taste of your creativity, who knows where you can take it.  Consider Albert Einstein - he reminded us that creativity is not preserved for the likes of poets and artists; all that he is famous for came from his creative mind.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”    ~ Albert Einstein

Creativity is about taking something as it is and looking for ways to improve it or do it differently.  Coming up with new processes, being able to look at something with a different mindset or bringing new ideas into existence.  We are all creative every day because we are constantly changing the ideas which we hold about the world and about ourselves. Creativity does not have to be about inventing, styling or innovating... it is more to do with developing something new within ourselves. When we change ourselves, our world changes with us.

Be the game changer...

Start by making time for creativity – put aside 30 minutes per day to be still, silent and checking in with your thoughts and feelings. You’ll find, when you get into the habit of slowing down and connecting with yourself, that you reap the finest rewards because you open your mind to its full potential.  Slowing down enough to be aware of what’s happening and how you feel about it, allows you to connect with the forces within you. You’ll be amazed where your mind wanders when you let it - successful people who meditate regularly say their best problem solving ideas and creative visions have come from meditating, or soon after, because the mind is relaxed, open and calm. 

I’m not suggesting for one second that you sit around all day and ‘wait’ for the ‘ahhh-ha’ moment or for all your problems to disappear...  but instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box altogether and be prepared to grow and stretch your mind. 

Solve your problems with creative thinking…

The secret is keeping things simple, and working away, day after day, moving forward to what you want to achieve. Be mindful of where you are, where you’ve come from and where you’re going... and take one step at a time.

By keeping it simple and straightforward and not over-complicating things, you will keep focused, and you will be able to see problems not as problems, but as opportunities. And ‘opportunities’ – because they have a positive mindset - kick-starting your creative juices. 

Beat procrastination with creativity....

Procrastination occurs when you get stuck, you don't know where to start or think the task at hand is impossible, but it just means you haven’t found the solution yet. So instead of making excuses, giving up or distracting yourself, take time to stop and focus, push through the fear or doubt and work with the energy it generates rather than against it, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve and how creative you can be. When the times of confusion and uncertainty come, the most important thing to do is to slow down and ‘allow’ – that means, work with the flow of your life and open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. 

Creativity will come to you when you put your ‘thinking brain’ away for a bit and dig deep into your unconscious and allow your imagination to activate. You can do this by meditating, journaling, taking a walk with an ‘empty’ head. It’s only when you take time to stop the mental chatter that you can hear what you are really trying to tell yourself, and this is where you will find your creative genius. 

Go forth and create the life you want with creativity! Good luck! 

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Do you hate your job?

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Do you hate your job?

So, hate is a strong word right, but how do you feel on a Sunday night knowing another week at work awaits you…. do you feel dread and a total lack of motivation to go to work? Do you feel frustrated, disillusioned or fed up with your job? If so, you’re not alone!

Research shows that up to 70% of people dislike their jobs ~ Gallup, 2013

Sometimes this feeling can go on for months, maybe even years. A lot of people stay in their job because they don’t know what else they can do, or they feel trapped by financial commitments… stuck in a sticky swamp that is slowly consuming them. If you’re one of these people, believe me, there is a whole load of hope at your reach - plenty of things you can do within your current job to improve things, or the option to build a strategy to leave your job and do something you genuinely love.

Here are two key options that can help you determine what your next step might be if you currently hate your job and want to move on.

Option One: Utilise Existing Skills or Industry Sector

What is your current skill set? What is the industry you have the most experience in? When changing jobs, continuing with a career that utilises your existing knowledge and expertise is an obvious place to start and it provides two potential avenues:

Firstly, you can continue to do the same role but in a different organisation that may well have a location, culture, values or pay rates that suit you better. Glassdoor.co.uk is an upcoming website where you can get a sense of what a company is really like to work for, with reviews being posted by current and past employees.

Secondly, if you like the company you work for but need a new challenge, look for a promotion with greater responsibility or a side step to a different department with lots of new things to learn. It is easier to shift job type, or take a step up, in the company you are already in because you are a known quantity to them. Speak to your Line Manager or HR about the potential options.

With these two avenues in mind, and thinking about your current job, consider the proverb “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” - generally speaking, things are rarely all bad. In fact, of the people who report to be unhappy at work, they claim to enjoy around 33% of the day. So if you can start by breaking down your current situation in to the good bits and the bad bits, and construct a well-considered change that incorporates the things you would like to keep, whilst discarding the bits that are making you unhappy. So, start by doing some analysis to pinpoint the specific bits that are frustrating you now, the reasons you are feeling fed up, alongside that, identify the bits you actually do enjoy. From there, you can see if there is scope to work with what you already have, or if it unsalvageable and time for total change… in which case, there are other options…

Option Two: Develop New Skills or Industry Sector

This is about taking a step in to the great unknown. A complete fresh start. It starts with a mindset shift from thinking about your current job as a place you are stuck in, but rather as a launchpad from which you have built up your skills and experience to propel you towards other options.

If you have a niggling feeling that there’s something out there that’s completely different from what you do now, that’s more in line with your desired lifestyle, interests, values, passions, and personality, then start exploring what that might be and how you could make it work. Maybe you dream of a completely different career path, or starting your own business; the options are limitless. Taking time to find out what might suit you and putting a plan to get you to where you want to be, may seem daunting, but it is possible, and career coaching can help you do this if you don’t know where to start. You can also try a self-assessment tool, such as The CliftonStrengths Assessment, which is a tool to assess your unique set of natural talents and how to use them to maximise your potential. A great place to start when considering a total career change is to identify what comes most naturally to you, when are you most in flow - feeling charged and confident and effective, just by being yourself and not having to try to hard. If you can start by assessing your natural skills and abilities and figure out how to apply them to your professional life, you will find a career that enables you to be authentically you, one that plays to your strengths and uniqueness.

Remember that if you want to re-write you career story, this will involve change, and change involves stepping out of your comfort zone, being open-minded, resourceful and brave enough to accept the risk of failure. Mistakes are opportunities for growth, and failure only occurs when you stop moving - if something doesn’t go the way you want, but you keep going with a slight change of course, then it is not failure, but rather a bump on the road, and the road to a fulfilled and happy life is rarely completely smooth.

If you would like some professional help in setting your career goals, finding new opportunities in alignment with your greatest self, then please request a free discovery call and get the ball rolling now with some career coaching. There is always a solution, always a better way. So no need to worry, no need to panic. I am here for you.

 

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Miraculous Meditation

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Miraculous Meditation

It seems that the benefits of meditation are becoming increasingly well-known and science has now caught up with ancient wisdom to provide resounding evidence that meditation profoundly affects every aspect of our lives, bodies and minds.

Among a host of other benefits, studies show that meditation can decrease stress, increase focus and performance, and even provide relief for chronic pain and illness. One study conducted by The National Institute of Health showed a 23% decrease in mortality in people who meditated compared to those who did not. Specifically, meditation can increase levels of antibodies, improve immune system function, lower pain intensity, reduce levels of anxiety and regulate blood pressure.

Meditation literally changes us at a genetic level too. According to the Harvard Medical Institute, the state of calm produced by meditation actually switches on genes related to augmenting our immune system, thus reducing inflammation and fighting a range of medical conditions.  It also physically changes our brains and has a variety of proven neurological benefits. For instance, one study by UCLA found that meditation can increase the thickness of the pre-frontal cortex region of our brain and slow the thinning which naturally occurs as we get older, impacting our cognitive functioning. Meditation changes our brain, our body, and the way in which we experience the world. 

When you consider all the benefits of meditation, with more are being found every day, it seems crazy not to at least give it a go.  However, the fact remains that meditation isn’t easy, especially for those of us who struggle to turn off the mental chatter and the buzz of our thoughts. The practice of meditation has been a goal of mine for some time now, and I can say that it has taken time and perseverance to make it a habit, but its effects are fantastic, rather additive in fact.  It is undoubtedly one of the best and easiest ways you can become healthier, happier and more balanced. If the idea of meditating feels uncomfortable to you or even a bit wacky, that's okay, exploring unknown territory is usually met by some resistance, but meditation is a gift you can give yourself and incorporate in to your daily life.

You may be wondering, what is meditation exactly? Basically, the term "meditation" can refer to any process that leads you to an inner state of relaxed awareness. There needn't be any big mystery or drama about the process itself, and there's really no right or wrong way to do it. There are simply different techniques that can be used as tools to help you focus and quieten your mind, and discover an ever-present source of inner peace and strength that can help you navigate your life from a calm and grounded place.  Regular meditation is a means of transforming your mind by developing concentration, clarity, emotional positivity and calm. It isn’t about letting your thoughts wander or about trying to empty your mind; it is about paying attention to the present moment- your thoughts, emotions and sensations - and encourage your body to release chemicals and brain signals that make your muscles and organs slow down and increase blood flow to the brain. Surely one of the most valuable things you can do in life is to spend some time every day quieting  your mind in order to create inner peace and better health. 

There are many methods to elicit deep relaxation, so if meditation really isn’t for you, then find something that is - you could try acupuncture, massage, breathing techniques, prayer, tai chi or yoga. What matters is to find a way to recharge and renew yourself, and awaken your mind to the experiences around you by removing yourself from everyday thought. For those sceptics among you who think that you don’t have time to meditate amid your plethora of work and family commitments, ask yourself at what point you decided there is a trade-off between productivity and taking care of yourself? Far from it! Through better health, focus and clarity, it’s hard to believe that you won’t easily make up those 10 or 20 minutes of the day that you dedicated to meditation, and be far happier and balanced as a result. Go on, give it a try and let me know how you get on!

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Kindness…. the key to a healthier, happier life

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Kindness…. the key to a healthier, happier life

Tomorrow is Random Acts of Kindness Day, and there are a whole host of reasons why every act of kindness is a good choice.  

So apparently Cinderella’s mother was on to something when she revealed to her daughter in her last few moments of life “a great secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer”.  She made Cinderella promise that she would "always have courage and be kind”, telling her little girl that "kindness has power". Cinderella honoured her promise even in the most difficult of circumstances, and the fable demonstrates the life lesson that when you live your life with the courage to be kind, life will be good to you.... and this isn’t just a fairy tale, it’s science! 

For decades, researchers have wondered why humans are driven to be kind to one another. We have survival instincts just like other animals, yet unlike most other creatures we happily invest our time, energy and resources in helping others when there is no obvious benefit for ourselves.  In their search to understand what fuels human compassion and altruistic behaviour, they’ve discovered that engaging in acts of kindness provides several benefits that boost our overall well-being and happiness. Being kind to others is the secret to living a fulfilling life, and numerous studies show that kindness improves health and happiness.  

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” – the Dalai Lama

Kindness is proven to raise energy levels, increase feelings of self-worth, and make you feel calmer and happier. Research shows that when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high". The hormones produced by kindness boost your mood, your immune system and actually increase your lifespan. 

Studies show that people can strengthen their 'compassion muscle’ by responding to others’ suffering with care and a desire to help. So, like all behaviours, kindness is learnable, but better yet, it's actually contagious too - the positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to perpetuate the kindness. So one good deed can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!

So why not use tomorrow as a good excuse to take every opportunity to do something kind. Whether this be buying a friend a coffee, complimenting a stranger, helping an elderly person with their shopping, writing a nice comment on Facebook, volunteering at a charity event or simply just being friendlier to work colleagues. Making a difference to people's lives is easier than you think, and through your gestures of kindness you will become healthier and happier; each one changes your world and the world around you.

And while being kind to others, remember to be kind to a very important person — YOU! Cultivate your inner advocate with positive self-talk, give yourself more recognition for your strengths and achievements, believe in and take care of yourself, show yourself compassion with forgiveness and self-acceptance. And part of being kind to yourself is accepting kindness when it's offered to you - accept gestures of kindness more readily from others, accept a compliment with a smile, allow others to help you, and don't feel awkward about it, after all, you're giving them all the lovely benefits of being kind. It's a win-win! 

Let me know how this works out for you in the comments box below. 

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Achieving Your Goals In The Year Ahead

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Achieving Your Goals In The Year Ahead

The start of the new year often brings to mind new ideas, new beginnings and the possibility for change, which is why it's the perfect time to think about your goals and what you want to achieve.

If you do any kind of goal setting, you're among the minority. It is estimated that around 80% of people give no thought whatsoever to goals. Of those that do contemplate goals, only 1% actually go so far as to write them down in a detailed plan to get them there, and those are the people by far most likely to achieve them! So if you haven't already done so, it's time to make your plans for 2017!

Goals are stepping stones to a happier life and working towards the things we want is part of being human and a part of what makes life good.  It gives us a sense of purpose, meaning, direction and motivation. Paying attention to how we set goals will make us more likely to achieve them, and achieving them makes us feel good about ourselves and our lives. So what's in store for you this year, and how can you create the changes you want in your life by setting plans and goals that you will stick to? 

Four Steps To Setting Goals You Will Achieve

1. Figure out what you really want:  Setting off full steam ahead towards goals that aren't really what you want is not the way to go! Being clear on what it is you truly want is essential to planning your goals. Even if you do feel really clear about what it is you want to achieve, ask yourself why you want it? What will it mean to you when you achieve it? Dig a bit deeper to ensure your goals are congruent with your values and your bigger reason for being. 

2. Be clear about your starting point: Before you begin any journey it’s important to know where you’re starting from in relation to your destination. A map is no use if you don’t know where you are to begin with. So think about where you are now in relation to your goal. This will help you break down the steps you need to take to get you where you want to go. 

3. Make a plan: Writing down your goals increases your chances of sticking with them, and making a detailed plan to get you there enables you to break them down in to specific, measurable steps and create your blueprint for success.  Think about how you will know when you've reached your goal, describe it in specific terms and with timescales. Particularly with bigger goals, break them down in to smaller goals to make sure you have a regular feeling off achievement to keep you going. Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so think about your first step, and then the next, and the next, and so on.  Keep focused on your destination, and you'll get there as long as you continually take those small steps towards it. 

4. Increase your accountability: Getting other people involved is a good way to increase your accountability - tell people, “go public” with your plans, let friends and family know what you’re trying to do and how you're planning to do it. This not only enables you to ask for support, it also makes you more committed. Better yet, join a group with other people who are trying to accomplish the same things you are. It’s a lot harder to let others down than it is to slack off when you’re the only one who will know about it. It’s also hugely motivating when you think about your achievements in terms of benefiting others, and this will spur you on enormously. 

If you would like step-by-step support to setting and achieving your goals this year, please contact me to find out more about my coaching programmes and how I can help you. 

 

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Life After Baby: An Opportunity For Growth

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Life After Baby: An Opportunity For Growth

Having become a mother myself two years ago, I am very well aware of the huge challenge presented by this gargantuan, life-changing transition. In my mind, possibly the biggest change any person can make in their life is becoming a parent. Along with the obvious benefits - the joy, the sense of fulfilment, the unconditional, abundant love - this event in a woman's life may also exact certain costs and is often a very difficult time.  

I have been reminded of this today when stumbling across some research to be published tomorrow by the British Red Cross, which identifies that becoming a new mum is one of the key life events that can trigger loneliness and anxiety. Findings reveal that new mums sometimes lock themselves away at home with their newborns, or actually feel most alone when they are at baby groups with other mums because they feel embarrassed that they aren't finding is as easy as they perceive others to be. Mums report to be missing their old life, missing who they were and feeling a strong loss of identity. I too remember feeling like I had to mourn my previous life and find myself once again amid this new version of my existence. This isn't an easy thing to do when you're beyond exhausted and totally consumed by your new little person. 

"It's not a difficult thing, to love someone else, but it's difficult to love yourself when you're giving so much"                  
~Jess, New Mum, Aged 23

The response by new mums to this research has been overwhelming. Clearly this is an experience faced by many, but perhaps one that too many feel ashamed to talk about, or just keep quiet and get on with it because seemingly everyone else is managing to.  To this day, when I am faced with an unreasonable, irrational, exasperated little man who is outraged that I refuse put his shoes on the wrong feet as per his demands, or when he feels that lying face down like a plank in the middle of the supermarket is how he wants to spend his afternoon, I am totally baffled by the fact that everyone is just doing this stuff and that this craziness is somehow normal.  Let me tell you, just because it's common, doesn't mean it's easy.  However, the motherhood transition can also present an amazing opportunity for huge personal growth and a time to reshape the mould of your existence and make your life everything you want it to be.  For me, having a baby was like throwing every single piece of my life up in the air, and I took the opportunity, once they all fell to the ground in a scrambled mess, to reorganise them and piece them together in a way I truly wanted them to be. 

NCT research paper, Supporting Women in the Transition to Motherhood, emphasises this opportunity to reconstruct your identity:   

"Becoming a mother involves a major transformation of self-identity, a profound reconstruction of self"                                   
~Alex Bollen, NCT Postnatal Leader

I urge new mums to see this as a great gift, turn the challenge into opportunity and harness this moment for change; scope out the life of your dreams around your family and in total congruence with who you are and what you want from your life now.  Make it happen and believe that you can. Don't feel isolated, uncertain or overwhelmed, but rather, find the time to focus on you and explore your purpose, and don't feel guilty about prioritising you and your dreams.  

"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent"    
Carl Gustav Jung

Simply put, the greatest gift any parent can bestow upon their children is to be a happy, fulfilled whole person in their own right because in doing so you simultaneously set your child free to grow up to be themselves too!  If you would like some help with this, please check out my coaching programme specifically for Mums- from new mums trying to find their feet, to returning to work mums and 'mumpreneurs' trying to forge out a new ‘reality’ and find a way to cope with all the challenges along the way. Ultimately coaching for mums is about helping you gain clarity and confidence in making and implementing the right decisions for you and your family. 

 

 

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How female entrepreneurs are changing the world

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How female entrepreneurs are changing the world

Did you know that you are already a part of the biggest shift in human history: the empowerment of women.

Women make up over 50% of the global population but it’s only really in the last 50 years that they have been stepping up into positions of power and influence – immersing themselves in to the workplace and rising up in corporate and leadership positions, alongside being more active in politics, sports and in their communities.

Women have also been starting more businesses than ever. According to research commissioned by American Express, over 1200 women per day are now starting businesses in the US, that’s four out of ten new companies being started by women, and this is a trend being echoed in most developed nations around the world including here in the UK.   The developed world is flourishing because women are becoming entrepreneurs.

There is no better way for women to become financially empowered than through businesses of their own, and through the businesses women are starting and growing, women are gaining more influence and power. This is changing the world because studies show that women use money and influence differently to men – women tend to invest in education, social programmes and community causes. In fact, studies show that the most affluent and abundant countries in the world where there is the most prosperity and peace are the countries where women have the greatest levels of influence. Conversely, those countries still plagued by civil war, poverty and starvation are those countries where women’s rights remain very limited. So there is a very compelling correlation between the roles and rights of women, the levels of influence they have, and how well countries do globally.

This isn’t so much about gender, but rather about character strengths and personal qualities. As we evolve as a species, arguably the gender lines are becoming more blurred, but it still stands that women are wired to be compassionate, nurturing, emotionally strong, and to naturally and effectively collaborate and connect with others.  Historically, to survive and flourish as a species we needed the more traditionally "masculine" qualities (aggressiveness, assertiveness, competitiveness, physical dominance, etc), but to flourish as a species in today’s world we need to be better caretakers of our environment, we need to think beyond ourselves, think globally and work together. Moving forward, prosperity in the world depends on a balance of all these qualities, both the traditionally "male" and traditionally "female" qualities. This is what is happening in the western world, and if women had more say in the developing world, it is possible that we would have more peace and prosperity globally.  This is why the UN is very interested in and focused on the empowerment of women in the developing world, and many major NGOs are putting a great deal of time and resources toward funding programmes that empower women; these organisations know that to fastest way to make real lasting change in the developing world is to empower the women. There is no greater way to do that than through female entrepreneurship.

There is no tool for global development more effective than the empowerment of women
~ Hofi Annan, UN Secretary general

Female entrepreneurs everywhere are playing a part in this massive world shift that has the potential to positively change our planet.  We are so privileged to have the opportunities that we do here in the Western world.  We are lucky to be born to a place where we don’t feel limited or disadvantaged by our gender; we can do anything we set our minds to. We can transform our own lives by following our dreams and passions and start our own businesses, and simultaneously (and unknowingly) support this global trend towards a better world.

Strong women = strong world
~ Women United For Change

If you want to join the ever-growing band of female business owners and hone your ideas, passion and capability towards a life and business you love, a life coach can help you make the first steps and establish yourself on the path to incredible things! Contact me today for more information and go in the direction of your dreams!

 

 

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To do, or not to do: that is the question

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To do, or not to do: that is the question

Nope, the real question is: why do we put off that which we know we should be getting on with, the stuff we know will propel us forward in life towards the best version of ourselves and our greatest lives? Procrastination is pretty much a form a self-sabotage really isn’t it and it doesn’t make much sense.

Or perhaps it does – the VIA Inventory of Strengths, a psychological assessment measure widely used to identify people’s character strengths, consistently finds that self-regulation, the ability to act in your own best interests, is one of the least prevalent human character strengths.  And, as Psychology Today puts it, ‘procrastination is quintessential self-regulation failure’.  Self-regulation is a skill, and like any other skill it can be learnt and improved upon, and beating the impulse to procrastinate is a good place to start.

Most of us are guilty of procrastination at times, but the true procrastinator chronically avoids tasks and deliberately looks for distractions. For the true procrastinator, procrastination isn’t optional, not something they can just decide to stop doing—it’s something they don’t know how to not do, and they must retrain their habits, behaviours and mindset in order to truly overcome it.

Procrastination is the biggest blocker to success and the biggest time-eater and its depths go far beyond simple laziness or lack of motivation. The basis of almost all chronic procrastination is fear – a fear of failing, a fear of rejection, or even a fear of success.

The next time you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself, what am I truly afraid of here? Dig deep, it won’t be obvious, but once you’ve identified the limiting beliefs buried under the surface of what appears to be illogical behaviour, you can confront the real reason why you are not getting on with it.

For my top tips on beating procrastination, click here I will send you a handy helpsheet. Go on, do it NOW, don’t put it off!!! 

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Empowering The Women Of Tomorrow

According to a recent government study into the mental wellbeing of 30,000 teenagers, girls are more than twice as likely to suffer symptoms of mental ill-health. In fact, the number of teenage girls suffering from psychological distress has surged in the past decade to now more than a third. 

The proportion of girls with anxiety or depression has risen by 10 per cent in a decade. Those from more affluent and better-educated families had worse symptoms than those from less-advantaged backgrounds - The Times, 22 August, 2016

Over the past decade, there has been a significant change in young peoples' belief that they can influence their destiny. Experts say that there is clear evidence of a "slow-growing epidemic” of mental health issues among young people and call for a new strategy to reverse the trend. So what accounts for this rising issue? Some blame the proliferation of social media, preventing young people from “switching off” from peer pressure and making them more insecure. Others suggest that the global recession put more pressure on young people to achieve, while also reducing their confidence that they could control their own destinies. And the media has long been blamed for relegating females to a role of passivity whereby they await rescue rather than taking action to determine their fate. 

Having just come across these disconcerting statistics, I am left with a strong sense of duty towards the women of tomorrow to help in any way we can towards empowering them to feel in charge of their lives and help to equip them with the skills to navigate its pressures and challenges. 

So how can we empower the next generation of women and help them feel confident and believe they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to? 

Having a young toddler myself, it seems as though when kids are really young it's almost effortless for them to feel this way - so much so, that sometimes we secretly wish they weren’t quite so eager to take the world by storm! Most toddlers are naturally self-assured and fearless in making their biggest impact on the world around them. So why, as they grow up, does this get in some way beaten out of our children, why do they then feel compelled to take life so seriously and cautiously, afraid and self-conscious of the mark they may leave? And, more importantly, what can we do to help them?

How can we all contribute to ensuring that young women hold on to and develop their natural super-girl within? Having done some research in to this, here are a few tips from what I have found:

  1. Complement her on their intellect, work ethic, attitude and personality, rather than her looks - of course, it is good to tell your daughter she is beautiful, but make 90% of those compliments about her inner beauty, and 10% on her appearance.
  2. Ask for and respect her opinion - assure her that what she thinks matters by constantly asking for her view and what she thinks about various topics. Ask her why she believes what she does, encourage her to debate and defend her stance. Make sure she knows that stating what she thinks is a good thing, that being opinionated and direct is a positive female trait. 
  3. Expose her to lots of strong female role models - point out all those women around her, both in real life and in the media, who are making a real impact on the world, who are strong, self-assured and empowered, and following their passions with absolute authenticity and unapology. 
  4. Help her keep things in perspective - encourage her to consider the bigger picture of life. It's never too early to start living consciously and developing a mindset of being in charge of your life and the choices you make every moment of each day.  Ask her what she loved about each day. Help her to set goals and challenge herself. 
  5. Encourage her to imagine her biggest, boldest dream - don't poo poo her dream to become an astronaut or create a billion-dollar app, empower her to break through her own glass ceiling and any limiting beliefs that will prop it up. 
  6. Take her hand as she steps out of her comfort zone - encourage and support her to be brave and try new things. Most of us develop confidence by experiencing mastery of a new skill that we were initially afraid to do or were simply unfamiliar with. When she is struggling with a new skill, remind her of the other times she’s learned something new. Build her confidence in this way and help her to feel capable and accomplished. 

As a society of established women, we need to band together to create an environment where young women of today are consistently reminded that they are amazing, capable, interesting and strong, and in that environment, she will be compelled to reach for the stars and know that we have got her back while she is doing so. 

Mother and Daughter Coaching Programme

Work with your daughter to empower her to stand proud as the girl she is and become the best woman she is truly capable of being!

I am offering a special coaching programme for mums and daughters, whereby you can support your daughter to better understand who she is, what her passions and dreams are, what her strengths and skills are, and equip her with the practical tools and skills to set herself goals and scope out her own pathway of life.  

This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bond with your daughter, have some high-quality mum-daughter time, and help her develop the greatest gift anyone could bestow - a strong sense of self and an assurance that it is enough. 

Contact me today for more details or book your first session.

Full details can be found at http://www.leadingladycoaching.co.uk/group-programme/mother-daughter-coaching-programme

 

 

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The rise of the 'Mumpreneur' - Mums mean business

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The rise of the 'Mumpreneur' - Mums mean business

With ever increasing childcare costs and a desire to fit work around family life, more and more enterprising women are joining the ‘mumpreneur’ movement – the stay-at-home mother who keeps one eye on the children and the other on their fledging start-up business. It has been reported that mumpreneur figures have reached a record 800,000 women this year. Could you be the next one to join them?

If you’ve got a great idea, making it as your own boss has proven a viable option for record numbers of women, and there’s nothing stopping you being one of them. My business coaching programme could help you do this, so please contact me if you would like my support. As a coach, I come across lots of women who are using their entrepreneurial spirit to turn their passions in to thriving businesses. Here are my top three tips if you are thinking of following this highly rewarding and challenging career option:

Dream Big: If you really want to be successful, you need big dreams and even bigger plans – passion fuels the rocket but vision points the rocket in the right direction. Start with your grand vision for the future, and then break it down in to smaller, achievable goals.

Play to your strengths: If you are still waiting for that billion dollar brainwave and can’t come up with any idea or product that you can market, then do things a bit differently – consider your skills, experience, know-how and strengths, and think about what you could apply them to.  Being a mumpreneur doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pioneer something new, you just need to do something better than what is already out there, so think about what you could do really well at and outshine your competitors.  Equally, there are lots of franchise opportunities that you might like to consider, so just think about what you would enjoy and what you would be good at, and start researching possibilities.

Believe in yourself: Simply put, if you don’t believe in your product or service then how is anyone else supposed to?  Henry Ford famously said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, your probably right”.  Self-doubt and fear is responsible for more unfulfilled potential than anything else. Just because you’ve never run a business before, doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes. So, follow your passions, be clear about your strengths, seek help where you need it, and go for it!

If you are thinking about becoming a mumpreneur or already are one, let us know in your comments below and share your thoughts.  

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Be the Leading Lady of your life!

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Be the Leading Lady of your life!

Being the Leading Lady of your life is about accepting responsibility for it.  We all create our own worlds - the decisions we make every day and the way we respond to situations that life throws at us, they are all our choices to make. Taking ownership of your life, taking charge and accepting responsibility, is empowering, and that’s what being a Leading Lady is all about. 

Only you can determine your achievements and success. It’s not your circumstances, it’s no one else’s fault and it’s not lack of time nor even lack of money. It’s you, plain and simple, through the choices you make and the paths you opt to take. You’re in charge of your own success, so let’s take the first steps on the journey together right now:

Re-connect with yourself

You’re always growing and changing based upon your personality and life experiences, so a healthy dose of self-reflection is always time well spent. Learning about yourself and reflecting on where you are in various aspects of your life is the starting point for understanding your current reality and setting yourself appropriate goals for the future. Set time aside to think about where you want to be, what you want to achieve and desire. Envision how you will achieve this and put plans in place to get you started. Whether it be through little tweaks or big changes, regain control of your life and steer yourself in a positive and fulfilling direction.

Define success

In order for your success to make you happy, you first need to be clear what success really means to you. Everyone has a different definition of success based on their individual ambitions, priorities, values and goals.  Identify what you would like to achieve and, most importantly, be yourself; when setting your goals and thinking about what you want from your life, it’s important to put aside peer pressure, conformity, and others’ expectations in order to be true to yourself. Ask yourself what are your passions, your priorities and your values? Only when we set goals that are true to ourselves are they really meaningful and fulfilling when we achieve them.   Become a success on your own terms.

Embrace change

The only thing any of us can really be sure of in life is that it won’t stand still; it’s constantly changing and it’s up to you to keep up with it and embrace the new opportunities it brings. We all tend to have a propensity to sameness – sticking to what we know, even if it doesn’t feel that great it’s somehow more comfortable than stepping in to the unknown. There’s a part of the human mind that is often referred to as the “lizard brain” – the part of the brain that is concerned only with survival, and it likes the tried and tested and true, flooding you with adrenaline warnings of danger as you veer off course. This was a handy function to have when deviating from the familiar path to the watering hole may have led to an encounter with a saber-toothed tiger, but in the modern world it’s more responsible for holding us back and withholding our potential than keeping us alive.  So, ignore your inner reptile and try something new and slightly scary!

Leading Lady Coaching works by supporting and encouraging women to take ownership of their lives, make positive changes, fulfill their potential and live their lives to the full, achieving life-long ambitions and goals in all aspects of their life. Become the woman you strive to be and live with intention, not regret! Contact me today to start your journey of personal growth and breakthroughs right away. 

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The benefits of life coaching

The benefits of life coaching

Having recently become a life coach myself, I’ve had the great pleasure to meet some brilliant coaches who are out there getting great fulfillment and satisfaction not only from their own successes but also from the thriving lives of their clients. Life coaches have the privilege to be a part of other people’s dreams coming true, and seeing these success stories not only reaffirms why we do what we do, it also demonstrates the power of coaching and the difference it can make to people’s lives.

If you are curious about the benefits of life coaching, below are four key ways in which it can help you to get the most from your life and to become the best person you know you are capable of being:

1. A Life Coach can help you to examine your life through a different lens

A life coach will help you unpick your life and examine it with a fresh pair of eyes.  By giving you powerful tools and dedicated support, you can begin to unravel and challenge the mental barriers that may be limiting and sabotaging you and view things in new and exciting ways. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, we don’t really know how to get out of it or why we are there, and a coach can help you move forward. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are in a rut and it can be quite a revelation when we examine our lives to find that they aren’t as fulfilled or balanced as we assumed. If you work with a coach, prepare yourselves for a shake up, you might be surprised what you find and may never be able to look back!

2. A Life Coach encourages you to make your dreams a reality

A coach will help you to acknowledge your current reality and inspire you to take action towards replacing it with your desired reality.  With your coach working alongside you to put effective plans and goals in place, you can start taking those little steps every day towards the realisation of them.  A coach will provide you with the support, encouragement and life skills to amplify your courage to take action and turn your dreams and passions in to more than just daydreams. Your coach is someone who can be patient with you, motivate you, someone who won’t take your excuses and will ultimately guide you to moving closer towards the person you want to be and the life you want to be living. 

3. A Life Coach will galvanise you in to action and keep you more motivated and focused than ever before

Working with a coach makes it virtually impossible for you to continue shying away from things and putting your dreams on the back burner. Regular coaching sessions provide the luxury of dedicated time and space to step out of the busy humdrum of life to explore what you really want and how to make it happen.  As you start moving towards your goals, you’ll feel more effective and powerful, more in control of your life and naturally motivated to do more. Once you’ve got the ball rolling and overcome the inertia and procrastination that’s been holding you back all these years, you’ll find that it’s far easier to keep going and your coach will be alongside you to keep you on track and help you to consistently maintain your motivation if you feel it dipping at any time.

4. A Life Coach will give you tools and skills that last forever

Life coaching is an investment in yourself, relative to gym membership, meals out or a weekend away – all of which bring you short term gain, whereas life coaching will benefit your entire life. Working with a coach can be a transformative journey that allows you to understand yourself on a deeper level, reconnect with who you really are and reignite your passions.  The best thing about coaching, is that the life skills you learn and the empowering realisations you have will stay with you for life. Your new levels of understanding, habits and ability to overcome limitations are skills which you can build on throughout your life because everything you have learnt during your coaching journey will remain with you.

With the level of support offered by one-to-one coaching every month for a year, alongside the tools and course materials provided, it is hard to imagine that you will not successfully achieve your goals and really change your life or business and how you operate on a daily basis. Start your exciting journey with me today and get on the pathway to your desired results, contact me now!  

Is your subconscious mind sabotaging you?

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Is your subconscious mind sabotaging you?

Did you know that up to 99% of your cognitive activity comes from your subconscious mind? In fact, the subconscious mind is actually one million times more powerful as an information processor than the conscious mind. What an incredible fact, and what a difference we can make to our lives once we recognise the subconscious mind as the powerhouse of the brain and harness it towards the achievement of our goals! 

Your subconscious mind may be sabotaging and limiting you in ways that you do not even realise, and by learning to develop mindfulness and an ability to live consciously, you can start to observe your actions and thoughts and choose to react consciously instead of out of habit. As part of my coaching programme, I show clients a practical method to do this and how to recognise the 'red flags' of their internal minds so that they can develop the ability to control their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and ultimately take charge of their lives and choices. 

The subconscious mind allows us to walk, speak, and perform other automatic tasks seamlessly and without having to think about it at all. It also stores many internal scripts that replay continuously in our minds without our conscious awareness; we all have words or thoughts in our internal dialogue and the subconscious mind has accumulated years of habitual programming that we are often oblivious to.  In fact, most of our brain programming is unconscious and a lot of it happens during early childhood when the brain is in its most malleable state. Over a lifetime we continue to encounter many inputs such as education, religion, media and our experiences, and we spend very little time examining the accuracy of the messages we pick up from the exposure to these things and how they affect our perception of others, ourselves, and of what’s true in the world. These internal scripts work in the background of our minds like a computer virus, so we don’t even know they are there or how they are holding us back. 

The good news is, there is lots of research nowadays that demonstrates the plasticity of the brain and its ability to adapt and change; once upon a time, it was believed that the brain was relatively fixed from childhood but we now know differently and there is endless evidence showing that we can alter and change our behaviours, habits and thoughts of a lifetime and that they don't have to control us anymore. 

The first step to overcoming the imprints on your subconscious mind is to know what they are. By taking a closer look at the deep-seated, inner beliefs controlling your life, you can start to access the power of your subconscious mind.  If you would like my help to do this, please contact me today for more information about my coaching programme, which will help you to free yourself from the self-sabotaging behaviours and limiting beliefs that are holding you back! 

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Do you feel that no matter how hard you try or whatever you put your mind to, somehow something just keeps holding you back? Do you think you are unwittingly falling victim to your subconscious mind? Let us know in the comments below.

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Start pursuing your dreams today!

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Start pursuing your dreams today!

As human beings, we have a wonderful goldmine between our ears, a bank of enormous potential, creativity and ability just waiting to be exercised and fully road tested. However, it can be frustrating when you have some great ideas and goals, but you just can't seem to make them happen. 

The reason people often don’t pursue their dreams isn’t due to a lack of ideas or vision; generally people can readily tell you what it is they want to achieve and exactly how they could it, we all have the know-how and we have the power, so why aren't we all blissfully living the life that we dream of and accomplishing our biggest goals? 

Here are four top tips to help you plough through the obstacles in your way and put your best foot forward in the direction of your dreams. Go on, start today! 

Tip One:   Become More Self Aware

We all have our own unique and special strengths and talents to guide us through life and empower us to become the best people that we are capable of being.  So, start with a healthy dose of soul searching and self-analysis to reconnect with yourself and discover who you truly are, what it is you stand for, believe in, feel passionate about and value in life. You need to understand yourself honestly and whole-heartedly in order to see what it is you really want to achieve and ensure that your goals are in alignment with what matters to you. 

None of us are perfect, we all have strengths and weaknesses, and we all mess up sometimes, but once you recognise and appreciate your individual talents and skills, you can harness them and put them to work in your quest to make your dreams come true.  You can also learn to dodge your weaknesses, or turn them around in to strengths!

Specific qualities don’t define our ability to succeed; it is our ability to make use of our own strengths and weaknesses that determines our outcomes. 

Tip Two: Stop Over-thinking

You should avoid constant analysing and fretting over every detail and possibility.  Whilst you don't want to recklessly or flippantly make big decisions or changes, you usually know the right course of action instinctively and shouldn't be afraid to go with your internal judgement and trust your vibes. Equally, don't be afraid to fail.  Ask yourself, what it is your would you do if you absolutely knew you couldn't fail, and then do it anyway! 

Tip Three:  Know How to Accept a Compliment  

A lot of us fall victim to putting ourselves down. Even when someone praises or compliments us, somehow we just don't believe them and we brush it off. If you're one of these people, then start teaching yourself today the beautiful skill of accepting praise gracefully, as well as making sure you are also readily giving praise where praise is due.  By focusing on and celebrating the good in our lives and of those around us, we build a positive attitude which is imperative to success. 

Tip Four:  See Obstacles as Opportunities

Often when we start something new, our initial excitement and enthusiasm soon begins to wane and give way to the onset of avoidance behaviour, fear, self-doubt and excuses.  We can start to feel overwhelmed by it all and see nothing other than the obstacles in our way. Learn to recognise when you are doing that and rather than letting those defeatist little voices in your head take centre stage, start to view those perceived obstacles as opportunities that can each take you a step closer to your goal.

Seeing a world of opportunities rather than obstacles presents an almost infinite freedom to learn and improve yourself, and you'll build self-esteem and confidence along the way. 

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What are the things that give you the confidence and motivation to follow your dreams, and what methods have you used to beat fear or procrastination? Let us know in the comments below.

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