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Yearly Archives:2016

She shoots, she scores……

Football, soccer match. A player shooting on goal. Lights on the stadium at night.

She shoots , she scores……….


Humans need goals, we are all goal driven to an extent, some more than others. As coaches a lot of our work is about helping people with their goals, both personal and business. Whether it be helping working out what your goals are, where you want to be in life and how to set and keep goals, we can help you.  So, as they are so important, I thought I’d go through a few pointers on goals particularly setting them and getting started on them.


Our subconscious mind works in a very simple and literal way. It is important to remember this when you are working with it, especially in setting goals.  The subconscious does not process the negative. For example, if I asked you not to think about a blue cat sitting in the corner, where does your mind automatically go? Yes, the blue cat. So, when setting goals it is vitally important to frame them in positive. For example, instead of saying ‘I  don’t want to be so negative with my staff’, you would say  ‘I going to be more positive with my staff’ or ‘ I don’t want to stutter when giving my speech’ it would be better to say ‘I will speak clearly and flow well when speaking.’


Goals can also be set as moving away from and moving towards a direction. Unless you are in some physical or mental danger, a goal is always best to be a moving towards goal. A moving away from goal does not give the subconscious guidance as to what you want so it is left to its own devices. An extreme example of this is if you still lived a home and wanted to move out. If you just set the goal of ‘I don’t want to live with my parents anymore’ your subconscious would believe it had succeeded even if you ended up living in a cardboard box on the streets! A towards goal, where you have an actual outcome is more motivational and achievable. This helps your subconscious make a path in the right direction and you actually start to become aware of things that before you may have missed.


Put your attention on what is in your control. Don’t worry about other people, remember when setting goals that you are the only person you can influence. To change anything in life one of two things can happen. You can make a change in you or you can wait for someone else to change. Guess which one gives you more control and will give you a better outcome! But you attitude will influence other people


Finally, it is important to visualize your goals and how they look when you achieve them. Think about what you want to do and what your life will look like when you achieve your goals. Actually create a vision of what it looks like, sounds like and feels like. Again, this is all about helping your unconscious mind have a definite direction to go to. This helps it create the best pathway there.


So, now you have an idea of how to set your goals. Think through all of these processes and actually write them down. It has been proven that you are eight times more likely to achieve goals if they are written down. Get that list down and start visualizing. In a later blog we will talk about getting started and achieving your goals. But just getting them clear and written is the best way of all to get started.


Off you go, have a shot…….


Just do the Washing up…….

Vaisselle en cramique

Just do the washing up…..




One of the most inspirational things I have ever read was “Just do the dishes”.  Surprisingly it wasn’t about encouraging me to buy a certain brand of washing up liquid, but it did introduce me to a wonderful metaphor for life.


I can see you’ll take some convincing.


Well this quote came from a woman called Byron Katie.  She is an American speaker and author who has changed the lives of millions of people using a self inquiry technique called ‘The Work’.  And one aspect of this is her belief that we should “just do the dishes”.  Now before you worry about ever accepting a dinner invitation to her house for fear that you will spend the entire time at the kitchen sink – fear not.


Because while it could apply to the everyday mundane house tasks that we all have to do – it can just as well refer to anything in our lives.


How many times have you had an internal list in your head of everything you have to do and how does it make you feel physically and mentally.  I’ll hazard a guess that the answer is somewhere along the lines of “not great”.  And that’s the point.  The more time we spend worrying about what we need to do, imagining how long it’s going to take and pondering the possible outcomes, the more mental and even physical energy we use.  But what if we’d just got on with it?  What if we’d just seen the pile of dishes for what they are – stuff to get through – and got on and done it.  Then how would we feel?  I’ll hazard a guess that the answer is somewhere along the lines of “better”.


And this is Byron Katie’s point.  You can waste so much of your life worrying about what you need to do, when you could get on  – and as an earlier Wavelength blog encouraged – “just do it.”


This is a key theme of NLP and coaching.  Why worry about could happen when you could just try it out.  And if you smash some dishes along the way – well what’s the harm?


I really do love Byron Katie’s analogy and it has made a huge difference to her personally.  She suffered from depression on and off for years.  For some time it was so bad she couldn’t get out of bed, she saw no point in life.  Then one day she realised it wasn’t the world making her unhappy, it was the way she viewed the world.  So what if she chose to view the world differently?  What if instead of seeing pain and misery, she chose to seek out the hope and opportunity?  What if instead of imagining people were out to make her feel bad, she chose to accept that they were fighting their own battles and their behaviour very often had nothing to do with her?

In a nutshell – what if she just accepted everything was the way it was and decided she would embrace that?  She did, and she wrote the first of many books called “Loving What is”.


And while we won’t ever love every second of every day, by just occasionally pausing and accepting it – we place ourselves in a much stronger position mentally and emotionally.  And just getting on with doing what needs to be done can play a massive part in that process. 


Which reminds me….still haven’t cleared up after breakfast….


Go on, get your head down…..

bed in forest - concept of good sleep

Go on, put your head down….

How often have you heard someone say “Oh, I only need three to four hours sleep a night!’ And does it annoy you as much as it does me?  Because if I don’t get a decent night’s sleep I am fit for nothing, I’m grumpy and I can think of nothing other than when I can next grab some sleep.  So why do some people seem to do so well on such little sleep?   The truth is they don’t.  It is very very rare that someone only needs a few hours a night.  The important word often associated with this sleeping pattern is ‘survive’.  Think about what the marines will do in their training, they will survive for 3-4 days with very little sleep in very extreme circumstances.  But that’s all it is, surviving.  Before long their body would begin to crash if they continued in that situation.

              Research has now shown that we really do need seven to eight hours sleep night.  Yes, you read that correctly.  In 1879 the average length of sleep was actually 10 hours, it is now 6.7.  What happened in 1879?  The light bulb was invented.  And thousands of people suddenly found themselves engrossed in a Charles Dickens novel rather than counting sheep.

So, why do we need sleep at all?  Well, while we are asleep the neurons or connections in our brain are repaired and the nervous system does all its housekeeping.  Toxins are flushed from the brain and body, neuronal connections are exercised, our memories and thoughts are all organised and filed.  In children and young adults growth hormones are released and important protein metabolism takes place.  Poor sleep or sleep deprivation has been shown now to reduce life span and disrupt emotional stability.  We all know how much worse we are at dealing with issues, especially emotional ones, when we are lacking sleep.  Problems seem much worse.

              So that’s’ the science behind why we need enough sleep but now you may want to know how to get enough and of good quality.  Routine is vital.  Always try to have the same routine every night.  Bookending your day with habits will help this. For example have a bath every night before bed.  Meditate when you get up in the morning.  It doesn’t matter what, just do it regularly.  Light is very important in regulating our sleep, just look at the effect the light bulb had!  Therefore try to avoid screens for an hour before bed.  Yes, this means no last minute checks of email before falling asleep!  Regular exercise, ideally every day – even a walk – will help encourage sleep.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime too, as both can have a negative effect.  If you don’t manage your 7-8 hours, try fit in a nap the next day, or just some meditation.  Anything to help catch up.

              The rules then are Get Enough; Regular Schedule; Make up for lost sleep.  At first glance this may all look a little daunting, and difficult to achieve. But I promise you, if you get a regular sleep pattern your life will change for ever and you will achieve so much more with your waking hours. Yes, sometimes life gets in the way, but always be aware of these simple rules and you are well on your way!  Sleep needs to be one of, if not the most important part of your life. Of course, if you do have a serious issue with sleeping and it is seriously disrupting your life you should seek professional advice.  And if you’re struggling to nod off – try re-reading this again…..


Coaching – What’s that all about then?

Untersttzung, Nachhilfe, Coaching

Coaching – what’s that all about then?



What do you immediately think about when you think about the word coach?  I’ll hazard a guess that for most people there will be some sort of sporting connotation – and you would be right.


But before you worry that going to a Life Coach will be all about press ups and deep lunges, let me put your mind at ease straight away.  The similarity lies in the idea of getting the best out of people.  Just as the sports coach encourages athletes in their chosen field towards their performance goal, a Life Coach’s aim is to take their client towards their life goal.


The difference is there tends to be a lot less shouting and sweat. (Usually).  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t at times challenging and at others downright painful.  Once someone has decided they want life coaching, they have decided that something needs to change.  And change is painful.  It is obviously much easier to keep doing what you have always done, getting the results you have always got.  But by opening up to the possibility of change you can invite hugely positive things into your life.


Once you have decided that you want to change career, improve your relationships or work out your finances, you are on the road to improvement.  And a Life Coach will keep you going on that journey.  Once you have made that commitment, the coach’s role is to keep you focused on the end goal.  But the solutions are all yours, you come up with up with them, you find what will work for you – the coach helps you stick to them.


Typical coaching sessions run over a course of five weeks, but that is a completely flexible process.  Coaching recognises that people are individuals and everybody’s needs are different because our life experiences are different.


So coaching is largely about having focused conversations about you.  What do you really want and how are you going to get it.  Your goal could be physical – a new job, it could be mental – more self-confidence or it could be emotional – more enjoyment of life.  Whatever you want is within your reach, you just sometimes need guidance to get there.  But you definitely don’t have to wear lycra.


What is NLP?

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) sign on colorful wooden cubes

NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming has been around since the 1970’s but it is only recently that is has started to gain more recognition and popularity. From beginnings in modelling therapists, it has turned into a powerful field which can help you in many areas of your life. But what exactly is it and how can you use it in your day to day life? Hundreds of books have been written on the subject, so I will just give you a flavour of it and some pointers of where to look for more information.


Personally I like to think of NLP as ‘Applied Psychology’. It started off as a study in modelling how experts in their field achieved their expertise and looking at their psychology, but rapidly grew to a study of how the subconscious mind works. NLP includes a varied selection of techniques and methodologies that enable us to approach problems both directly and indirectly, sometimes giving us the empowering ability to change our perceptions and hence our lives.


In practising NLP, we assume a number of truths about how the subconscious mind works and live out our life on this basis. This gives us the tools and the mindset to approach our life in a much more positive way, dealing with problems more clearly. NLP teaches us to view problems in a different way, showing us that all the resources we need are available to us to solve them. Who doesn’t want that power in their life? There are 12 or more presuppositions which teach us about how we view the world and by focusing on these we will see life in a different and more understandable way. A simple study of these alone can make a marked difference to your life and that’s before we even start looking at communication and how different types of people communicate; how to set your goals in a positive and achievable way; engaging fully in life and the art of mindfulness.


Working one-to-one with a client can focus on issues that may be holding you back. NLP can help discover which emotions are causing blockages in your life or preventing you from seeing your true potential. It can remove any negative emotions from your life that have built up over time and clearing these stale emotions will make life a lot clearer allowing you to make decisions without the baggage from the past. It can also look at limiting beliefs and how they can affect self-image. These beliefs, usually placed in us during childhood, stay with us and prevent us from reaching our true potential and often keep us stuck in unpleasant or even unsafe places.


NLP is more than just techniques, it is a way of changing your thinking and therefore your life through a practitioner who is a facilitator for the client’s subconscious. By letting the client use their own resources and subconscious, they have a much better outcome than if just given the answer.

Contact us if you feel we can help you with NLP


Making the Break!

Young happy businessman flying in sky on colorful windmill

Making the break:



There are some relationships which you need to recognise are detrimental to your emotional health and well being, and sometimes you just need to make the break.

It’s not easy, it’s usually not painless and it’s not without repercussions.

I have recently had to go through such an ordeal.  With my mobile phone.


Now I don’t know about you, but I found my relationship with my mobile grew steadily without me even noticing.  A ping – oh a text.  A chirp – oh a tweet.  I’m not sure how you describe my email tone, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Then before I knew it I was a mobile psychic.  I didn’t need it to buzz to let me know someone was trying to connect with me, I could sense it.  Which explains why I found myself checking it roughly every six seconds just to see who had liked my beautifully crafted Facebook post.  Or picture of my dinner.

Then, and this is quite strange, people started commenting on how addicted I was to my phone.  Me?  I mean, I ask you.  Or rather I immediately whatsapped one of my friends to ask them.

And that’s when the reality hit.  I was in a toxic relationship with my mobile.  Checking it had become as habitual as blinking.  I went nowhere without it, the thought of being uncontactable made me break out in a sweat.  What on earth did they do before mobiles when a child was ill at school?

I remember reading an article once about not judging the young mother who was engrossed in her phone while her little one played in the park.  She might have had the night from hell it said, she could just be grasping five minutes peace after a morning of pulling cornflakes out of the curtains and cleaning unmentionable things off the walls.


However, I now have a horrible feeling that young mother might have been me, and I was probably just nominating someone for the ice bucket challenge.


So I forced myself to re-evaluate the relationship and think about what I really wanted from it.  And the the truth became clear.  I wanted it to be an addition to my life and not my whole life.  I didn’t want to look back and think I missed so many real life moments because I had a screen in front of my face.  I didn’t want to be lecturing my kids about too much time spent on gadgets while holding a phone surreptitiously behind my back.


Yes I want my life back.


My addiction to my mobile is undoubtedly impacting on my personal relationships, my enjoyment of life and my self esteem.


So I’m taking small steps to break the habit, starting with a block of time every day that is completely phone free.  Three hours when my children will get the attention they deserve.  Or at least a telling off where I am completely and utterly focused on what they have done wrong.


I’m going to post this declaration on Facebook, because then it definitely will be true.  And I can count the likes when I switch the phone back on……



Be Gentle to yourself

Gentle Waves Around a Rock

Be Gentle to Yourself.


Are you one of those people, who when you get something wrong or when things don’t go as planned, beat yourself up. Not physically I mean, but in your head. You give yourself a good talking to. Now, having a chat with yourself is fine and when things don’t go to plan it’s often a good idea. But do we use the right words?

I used to be the sort of person who would really get stuck into me. Call me stupid and worse. Question my ability to do anything, never mind the task, simple or otherwise, that I was currently attempting. Do you think this helped? Did it encourage me to continue or give up? Did I even learn anything from my internal tirade? Of course not. It was then I thought, would I speak to my children like that if they got something wrong, would I speak to a member of my staff like that? In fact, would I speak to anyone in the way I often spoke to myself? Personally I would be horrified if I did!

So what do I do now? Well, I still get annoyed with myself, and that is allowed if I have done something silly, and who doesn’t from time to time. But generally, I quickly get over that and start to look and see what actually went wrong, what can I learn from it and how I ensure the next time is different. Or even, if the next time I do the same thing or take a different course. There is a famous story about Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb. Apparently it took him 1000 goes before he came up with the perfect combination to make it all work. When asked how he felt about failing 999 times he simply answered, ‘Oh, I didn’t fail, I just found 999 ways not to make a light bulb!’  The way I look at it is ‘There is no such thing as failure, only feedback’. Think about how accepting that statement will change your outlook on life. When you do something that doesn’t work don’t view it as failure, see it as a learning process. Do you think all the successful people in the world succeeded the first time they did something? Of course not! But they viewed it all as something to learn from and took those learnings to their next attempt. And the next, and the next. And then they became successful. Do you know what they do then? They silently congratulate themselves, pat themselves on the back and say well done. Because if you are prepared to talk to yourself when it doesn’t quite work out why shouldn’t you say well done when you do. There is nothing wrong with that. If fact, it really helps to drive you on to the next stage of what you are trying to achieve!

So,  the next time something doesn’t go to plan, listen to what you are saying to yourself and ask if it’s fair, would you talk to anyone else like that. If the answer is no then stop, be gentle with yourself and look for the learnings and go again. Then, when you get it right, give yourself a pat on the back and say well done. You’ll be surprised at how good it feels! Remember, There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.


How to Pee in the Woods!

Step Trail In Woods

How to pee in the woods.



I realise I might have thrown you with the title of this blog – but just bear with me and hopefully all will become clear.


A few years ago I was having a pretty frank discussion with a very dear friend of mine about how I couldn’t even contemplate the thought of going for a wee in the great outdoors.  She was completely incredulous and wondered what on earth happened when I was out for a walk and got caught short.


This was clearly in my pre-children days as I proudly told her that I just held on, for as long as necessary.  But what about the discomfort she wanted to know?  But I was adamant that nothing, for me could be worse than the discomfort of doing something like that outside when there was a possibility that someone might see me.  So I either put up with it, or I cut short whatever excursion I was on – going for whichever was the most attractive option at the time.


Now before you worry that this is going to turn into a long drawn out description of my bladder habits, let me put your mind at rest right now.  Because my friend, who was one of the most deeply spiritual and self-aware people I have ever known, soon sussed out that my inability to pee outside reflected a deep rooted fear of taking a step into the unknown.  Of challenging myself.  Of stepping outside my comfort zone.  And do you know what?  She was right.


I would rather have put up with any horrible, strained situation rather than do something where the outcome might have been a little unpredictable.  Now there is nothing wrong with that per se, but as a life choice it is pretty limiting.  It can lead to you drifting along waiting for opportunities to present themselves to you-  rather than going out to look for what life may have to offer.  Or, even worse, you can find yourself always working to someone else’s agenda.


Where this attitude had come from was difficult to say, but what it had doubtless done over the years was blinded to me to potential.  My own potential.  And it’s not uncommon.  Every day I bet you’ll hear someone allude to something that they want to do but believe “it could never happen” or that they’re “not the sort of person to risk it”.  But what are we all really risking when we think like that?  Missing out on something that could be truly incredible. Or just slightly better or even just different.  We limit ourselves to thinking that we can only do what we’ve always done.


And here’s where my weeing in the woods analogy comes in. (I bet you were wondering).  By not being able to take the risk of going for a quick wee when I needed to I very often missed out on what I was actually meant to be doing.  I was so focussed on making sure it didn’t happen I cut short potentially amazing walks, missed out on potentially fantastic conversations with friends because I was distracted with the sensation of being so uncomfortable and I was doing what I had always done.  Which was ignoring the opportunities around me to sort it out.


My friend and I joked that our first self help book would be called ‘How to wee in the woods’ – a way of encouraging other people to let go of their fears and just go for it. Don’t get me started on the sequel…..


So this is for her, the person who truly inspired me to take a leap into the unknown, challenge myself and realise just how many opportunities there are open to me.  I only wish she was here to see it.  (And yes, I can go on much longer walks these days…..)






Just Do It!

Steinturm Strand

No, I’m not talking about the famous trainers, but they do have a point! How many times have you heard someone say ‘Oh, I definitely have a book in me!’ or ‘I am so going to learn to dance soon’ or a myriad of other such statements.  How many times have you said you going to do something and you haven’t.  You’re waiting for the right moment or waiting to be inspired.  Well, guess what, that’s not how it works.  All those great entrepreneurs, those amazing creatives, they don’t get there by waiting for inspiration, they just get on and do it.  And when distracted or stop, they just start again, and again and again.

The longer we think about something, the less likely we are to do it because our mind comes up with another excuse , or another distraction.  So although we think we are working ‘on it’, we are actually working away from it. So how do we fix it?  Well there are a some things you can do which will help.

Small Steps – When we have a big task to do, we often see the end goal and try to work it all out.  Now, it is important for goal setting to know where you are going, but once you work that out the best thing to do is break it down into small steps. And take the first one. So, if you have a big job to do don’t say  ‘I have to get started on this big essay / project’ , say, I am now going to spend 20 minutes working on this task. It is easier for our minds to manage that and see us succeeding.

Small Failures – Be prepared for not everything to go right .  When Pixar made Wall-E, they produced over 98,000 story boards to get what they wanted. They didn’t see each previous one as a failure, it was something to learn from and move on. Feedback not failure, something we will cover in another blog.

Do the least desirable first – I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but by getting it out of the way, you are creating a more positive route forward. Your mind is not always concentrating on the dreaded next task!

Our mind is very good at creating movies about what might happen, how it will work out.  But we don’t know what will happen next at all so just get on with it. The fear of something is generally much worse than the actual thing itself. Start to apply just these three simple steps to what you need to do and you should find yourself getting things started that bit easier.




Adorable Infant Boy and Young Military Parents Play Together in the Park.

Becoming a parent is the one thing that is guaranteed to turn your life and your emotions upside down. The saying goes that when a baby is born so is a mother (and father) – but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that when a baby is born – so is a huge bucket load of guilt.


Where does it come from?  Who thought that would be an ideal present?  I’ll just have the flowers and baby clothes please…..


And actually for many this guilt has been present almost from the moment of conception.   I drank too much before I found out I was pregnant, I’m not eating right, I’ve put on too much weight – I haven’t put on enough weight, my bump is too big, small, square….


And that’s before you start on the advice other people have you about what you should or shouldn’t be doing.


The only reality about becoming a parent is that every experience is individual.  We will never react to something in exactly the same way as our mother or close friend and you know what?  It’s ok.  It’s ok to find it overwhelming and disorientating. It’s brilliant if you love every moment.  It’s ok if you don’t feel any different.  None of these things make you a bad parent – it makes you a normal person going through a period of huge change, and we all react to change differently.


The normal parent however is not the one we tend to see all around us.  Films and magazines are typically filled with images of mothers overcome with love for their baby from the moment of birth – sometimes even earlier.  All the pregnancy books talk about this rush of love you will feel. And for some people that does happen.  But for the vast majority of people I have spoken to over the years it doesn’t.  The reality of most births is that it is an unrelenting battle to get through as quickly as possible with the hope of tea and toast at the end.  And the love and the bonding is something that needs to grow and develop, given time, care and patience.  And by that I mean time, care and patience for yourself.


The best thing I was ever told when I found myself feeling like a failure because I hadn’t yet experienced all the emotions and feelings I thought I should was this.  A baby is a stranger who comes to live in your home.  Some strangers you take to straight away, others you take more time to warm to and get to know.


It may not be the bed of roses you were promised in the films, but the chances are it will get better.  Despite your worrying, analysing and self-criticism the chances are your child will grow to be a normal well rounded human being.


Trust your instincts and accept that however you feel, however you act, it’s ok.  You may love it from the word go, you might take longer to ease into it.  It’s ok.


If you need help and support ask for it on the understanding that every parent has been there.  Everyone has questioned whether they are doing it well enough, whether their child really loves them and whether life will ever seem normal again.  (The answer in most cases you all those questions is yes. If normal is walking out of the house with one shoe missing or napping into your coffee at work…..)


And what about the guilt?  I’ll be honest, it’s  probably going to be a permanent member of your family from now on.  It’ll join you for mealtimes, parties and holidays.  But you don’t have to feed, clothe or entertain it.


Instead park it where it belongs – in the back of your mind.  Be the best parent you can be for you.  Not your family, your friends or the parenting guides – but for you.  Incidentally – having gone through baby expert books with a highlighter and sticky labels on child one, by child number three I discovered they made excellent door stops.  Now that is some good advice