I was coaching a client recently and they wanted to be more confident socially. They had bags of confidence at work and having left a job they hated had started their own business. To look at them you would be surprised to hear that socially they lacked a huge amount of confidence and avoided invites from friends as a result. 

The first couple of things I ask clients who want more confidence is "what does confidence look, sound and feel like to you?" And "If I could give you all the confidence you want right here and now would you take it?" It is amazing how many clients struggle to define what  'confidence'  means to them and how many actually start to give me reasons as to why they wouldn't want me to give them 'all the confidence' right away. They absolutely know that having more confidence is the answer to what they need to do, so what are the fears stopping them from becoming more confident?

There seems to be a range of fears that prevent people from being more confident from things like: 

-  I'll become this whole other person who can do anything and that's scary! 
-  I'm not sure I'll like the new confident me. 
-  Will my friends still like me?
-  Will it affect the relationship I have with my partner? 

to 

-  I won't have an excuse not to do it (whatever that happens to be) then, will I?
-  I won't be able to tell myself the same story in my head as to why I am where I am?
-  I won't be able to blame my lack of confidence for holding me back.

So is it more confidence that you want or do you find yourself resisting any opportunity to become more confident? If the latter is the case then more questions need to be asked.

Earlier this year I was talking to my friend Janey Holliday, who runs an online business  http://makingthingseasy.com for women, about people wanting to be more confident. As a result we decided to run a 5 week online "Confidence" course and interestingly enough there are some women who want more confidence in certain areas of their lives but are actually resisting the opportunity to find out how to get it. The question is: what exactly is it that they fear will happen to them, their lives, the people around them, when they become more confident? 
Posted on Nov 06, 2015 - Posted in Uncategorised
I'm sure there are a number of you that will answer yes to the above question. Not many people identify themselves as having an 'emotional eating' problem if they don't eat but ultimately it is the same thing - your emotions are causing you to behave in a certain way around food.

I see a number of clients who are emotional eaters or non-eaters i.e. the way they feel makes them eat / not eat. I will be talking mainly about the emotional eaters but I'm sure the non-eaters will identify with some of the same things.

Eating is not just about hunger, it's about being social, reward, comfort, control or a treat - you are eating to manage your feelings. To identify how your feelings impact your eating you need to become a detective: do you get cravings for certain foods depending on how you are feeling i.e. happy it might be for chocolate, sad it might be for cakes? Do they change with your moods? Which foods do you go for when? Identifying the foods you crave and linking them to your moods will help you gain insight into the underlying emotions driving the desire.  The desire to eat when you are not hungry is a window into your feelings.

Diets don't resolve the emotional eating issue. That is why, when you stop the diet having reached your target weight, you will return to your emotional eating habits. Emotions are strong and easily over-ride any logic we attempt to apply to them. How many times have I heard "I know it's not logical but..."? Learn how to manage or deal with your emotions and you are on your way to resolving your emotional eating. 

I've teamed up with Janey Holliday and together we are offering an online course to help people understand and overcome emotional eating, click here for more information:              http://makingthingseasy.com/project/emotionaleating/
Posted on Apr 14, 2015 - Posted in Uncategorised
Towards the end of last year we were in the process of buying a flat in Deal, Kent to renovate and sell on. Around the same time Clive, my husband, was sent an email with what seemed like a really good offer for a night's accommodation in the vicinity, including an evening meal and breakfast, valid until the end of April. We thought it would be a good idea to buy it so we would at least have one night where we could go and get out of the dust, have a shower, meal and a good night's sleep. The voucher was purchased but in the end the flat wasn't.

In April this year Clive realised that we still had the voucher to use so we thought we might as well use it, as it was paid for, and it would be nice to have a night away. We could combine it with visiting his Mum who also lives in Kent.

We eventually found the 'country hotel' just outside Sandwich, and checked in. The rooms had obviously been converted some time ago from what appeared to be a stable block and were by now in need of renewed refurbishing. Just a few of the things we quickly discovered: the wardrobe door was off its sliders; the bracket the TV was hung on was loose, making the TV screen face the floor at a 45 degree angle; the toothbrush holder was broken in half; and when you used the sink a large puddle of water appeared on the floor! I'm sure you're getting the picture of this 'country hotel'.

Clive was disappointed. He thought it would have been a nice treat away for us and if we had viewed it as that then it might well have been seen as a disaster. However I reminded him that he had booked it when we thought we would have been returning for a a day's work renovating a flat. Looking at it from that mindset it wouldn't have seemed so bad. We'd have welcomed a clean room, with a proper bed and a shower followed by a reasonable meal (even if we did have to keep our coats on as the restaurant was so cold!).

We kept reminding ourselves of the fact that bearing in mind the circumstances, and price that had caused us to book we would have been very happy with it. Compared to a dirty, dusty, very cold flat it would have been amazing, however compared to a 4 or 5 star 'country hotel' it failed miserably and would be a huge disappointment. We could also now understand the reason the hotel had possibly had to resort to special offers - it turned out that most of the other residents that night were also on the same deal.

It is always possible to reframe things and see them from a different perspective. That in turn affects how you respond to feel about them. An important question I've learnt to ask as a coach when someone is making a statement about something is "Compared to who or what?" Compared to a flat at the ripping-out stage of renovation it was great!
Posted on May 20, 2014 - Posted in Uncategorised
I was watching a programme recently about people who hoard excessively in their homes and it made me thing about what people hold on to or hoard in their heads. I started to wander around on the web and found some interesting descriptions of hoarding, which I thought could also apply to people's thoughts:

"Severe cluttering of the person's home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable space"

"Causes significant distress or impairment of work or social life"

If, in the first definition, you replaced 'home' with 'mind' it would certainly describe a lot of people who are 'stuck' by their own thoughts created from either memories of the past or stories they tell themselves that are of no use to anyone!

A very common example: I help people who are stuck in a career but want to change it. Sounds easy - just go do what you want to do. However just like a hoarder they are holding on to things from the past that they no longer have any use for, in this case old beliefs e.g. "...but I don't have the right skills to do anything else" or "my parents paid a lot for my education and it'll be wasted if I give up this job and do what I really want to do".

Some of the beliefs are attached to emotional or sentimental memories and some clients have no idea why they hold certain beliefs - but they must be of some use surely! You don't have to throw away out the memory because you want to get rid of the belief. The constraining beliefs are piled one on top of another so that someone's original dream may be so well hidden underneath a piles of limiting beliefs that they have totally forgotten about them. My job as a coach is to help people clear the clutter, to get them to work out what really is worth keeping as opposed to what is old, broken or no longer of any use to them. The process can be very challenging, even upsetting for my clients; they often get very defensive and argumentative just like a hoarder being challenged as to why they are keeping each item. But challenge I will, and with my support they can start to let go of the clutter and underneath find the life they want.

In the second definition, how many people are hoarding beliefs and thoughts that impair their interaction with others? That stop them from having the social life, finding the partner they want or getting the job / promotion they want? Again by sorting through those thoughts and beliefs that are worth keeping and throwing out the ones that hinder progress a client can achieve what they want in life.

So how much of a hoarder are you? Could you do with a bit of de-cluttering so you can find those dreams and ambitions and turn them into reality? Do you want to make space for new things and people to enter your life? If you do then contact me I'd be happy to help you get started. 
Posted on Apr 14, 2014 - Posted in Uncategorised
In the past week or so there has been a lot in the press and on social media sites about the behaviour and promotion of female celebrities, amongst them Miley Cyrus and Rhianna, within the music industry. I hasten to add it seems to me to be more that just the music industry using ever more explicit acts and images of females (and in some cases males) wearing not a lot or nothing at all to promote themselves and their businesses.

I'm not naive and fully understand the requirement for publicity. However I'm interested in the "need" some people appear to have to be in the press continuously, apparently being prepared to do anything to ensure they are. What is it fulfilling for them that can't be met in some other way? There are lots of people who are well known and in the press without having to resort to extreme measures for self-promotion. What makes them different?

From my perspective it would appear that an increasing number of people are looking to external things, things on the outside, to compensate for a feeling that they have unfulfilled on the inside. Whether is it displaying more and more extreme behaviours and acts in public to rewarding themselves with food or luxury goods it becomes a never-ending cycle to meet that internal need. My concern is what happens to them when they have literally done anything and everything externally, outside of themselves, to meet that need and it no longer works? What will they do when the publicity stunts no longer bring publicity? When the public are no longer interested in their antics? When they are yesterday's news? How do they fill that void inside and what happens to them when they can't? 

Ask yourself the question: what are you using on the outside to satisfy a need, feeling or insecurity on the inside? Maybe it's a lack of confidence in some area of your life, a fear of not being liked or loved by others, a fear of being alone, a fear of not being good enough. When you change how you feel about yourself on the inside you will no longer "need" those things on the outside to do it for you. It doesn't mean to say that you don't like or want publicity or nice things but you no longer need them as a fix to make yourself feel better. I'd still like a Ferrari but I don't need to do anything at any cost to get it to make myself feel good - I can do that by just looking on the inside, knowing who I am and simply being me.
Posted on Oct 10, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised
Earlier this month, on what would have been Buddy Holly's 77th birthday, I was part of Britain's biggest band, Guitars on the Beach at Lyme Regis. It was a record breaking attempt at having more than 1800 people playing a strummed instrument. The good news is that we broke the record set by the USA with 2260 of us playing Buddy Holly's Rave On. It was an amazing day even though it rained and we all got soaked just as we had gathered on the sandy beach. We had our own group of approximately 20 friends and pupils of my husband, aged from 8 to over 80 playing guitars and ukuleles. 

For me learning to play the ukulele is something new. My husband is an accomplished player on both the ukulele and guitar. He gave me my bright, sunshine yellow ukulele as an early Christmas present a couple of years ago but I've never really got round to mastering it until this event. Once we had registered the motivation to learn the song increased, even to the point of me getting up at 6.15 one morning to practise as that really was the only spare time I had that day. 
Not only did I have to learn, amongst other things, the chords, the chord sequence but also the action of my right hand strumming! I am not a natural musician. How did I learn? What was my strategy? Well quite simply I watched my husband and others who could play. I learned from those that I wanted to be like. I asked how they remembered things then I tried it out for myself. When I first started it felt very awkward, even odd but I continued to practise and slowly but surely the more I did the more I remembered and the more automatic it became. I'm pleased to say that on the day my hands and fingers seemed to move without me thinking about it. I kept up with Britain's biggest band.

We learn everything by practising, repeating it again and again until it becomes automatic: walking, riding a bike, even fears and anxieties are learnt. If you want to learn something, for example a new language or instrument, what do you do? You go and learn from people who are experienced and accomplished at it. You discover how they do it and then put it into practice yourself. Therefore when you want to overcome a fear or anxiety go and talk to people who haven't got it. Question them. Learn what they do. Learn what their strategies are and start practising them. Avoid people who speak your language of fear or anxiety. Mix with people who are like you WANT to be, copy them, learn a new, more helpful language!

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised
I answered the phone recently to a new client and she started by telling me I had been recommended to her by a friend. She really wasn't sure what coaching was but gathered that I would sit and ask her a lot of questions to which I didn't have the answer. She went on to say that she couldn't understand how on earth this was going to help her solve her issues.

I chatted to her for a while, asking a few questions and let her make up her own mind as to whether she wanted to book a session with me. Needless to say she did. When she came for her session she said how surprised she had been that I hadn't tried to "lock her in" to a certain number of sessions and didn't "sell" my services to her. As had been her experience with other coaches she had spoken to on the phone. 

As I state on my Home Page I have found my own way of doing what I do or coaching, if that is the best word to describe it, and it works really well for my clients and me. They make the decisions from the very beginning about when to see me and how often - not me. In our initial conversation I help my clients work out what they think can be realistically achieved in one session with me. They set and take responsibility for their own expectations - not me.

To do things people need to have a passion surrounding it no matter what it is. You can tell them till "the cows come home" what they need to do, it's so obvious to you. However do they do it? No.  The reason why they will never do it is because there isn't even the slightest spark of passion to do it. The skill in what I do is to listen and ask the right questions that unlock the passion inside my clients first. Once the passion is unlocked on the inside it's amazing how easily they come up with the answers that will help them most. More importantly not only do they come up with the answer but because of the passion behind it they will act on it. I work with what they want, their passions and not what I think is the answer for them.

As for my client? She was amazed at what a few well-chosen questions mixed in with some open and honest discussion could sort out for her. She sent me an email saying that she had already taken huge steps towards her "answers". Oh, and she'd be back again soon.


Posted on Jun 05, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised
Is THIS "Trend" for how we think THE Answer? THE One? Nirvana?

Have you noticed how every year there seems to be THE latest trend in diets or new form of exercise that we're assured really is THE one that works?

After the last 10 years or so as a coach I've come to the conclusion that the same things seems to be happening in the "self-help" world. When I first qualified with my psychology degree Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT, which by the way came out of other therapies) was becoming popularised as the therapy to help people suffering from all sorts of issues. I attended a day's lecture on it but decided it wasn't for me and didn't pursue training in it further. It has since become one of the recommended therapies in the National Health Service. Does it work for everyone? No. Do different parts of CBT work for different people? Yes. Does it work for some people and they'll swear by it? Yes.

Some years later I trained as a coach and goal setting became THE trend that everyone was talking about and working on. Building a very clear goal to work towards with a time frame. It seemed to make a lot of sense to me. When I applied the principles personally it worked for certain things but not for others. With clients I found the same thing to be true - it worked for some things but not others.

I continued my search for THE answer...

I discovered Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and liked it enough to go and train in it. I listened to the trainers explaining how the brain operates, how our conscious and unconscious minds behave and how to change our thoughts. I loved learning about the power of language, how it can impact on someone and all the different techniques in NLP to bring about change. It worked wonders on me, and I certainly use my awareness of language everyday and with every client. After all, we all talk. I use varying techniques with lots of my clients depending on the situation or circumstances. Does it work for everyone on everything? No. Do different parts of NLP work for different people? Yes. Does it work for some people and they'll swear by it? Yes.

My search for THE answer went on...

I trained in Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and learned how it was about the Perturbations in the brain and once eliminated the negative thoughts and feelings were erased, as well as learning about the effect of Individual Energy Toxins. I am still amazed at how effective TFT can be and how what we ingest and inhale can affect us emotionally. Does it work for everyone on everything? No. Do different parts of TFT work for different people? Yes. Does it work for some people and they'll swear by it? Yes.

I kept searching...

I am always reading lots of different books and finding lots of theories and approaches to life. There is always what I would see as a "cherry" to pick from every book that helps to explain things – some have a lot more cherries to pick that others. Some are repeats of other things that I've read, they've been adjusted or tweaked in some way and re-named.

Some of my previous trainers moved away from what they had been advocating as THE answer to me in the past and were now saying, "I thought this was it but really this is THE answer." I am lucky enough to also work with elite athletes and people that seemingly have it all and they've given most "trends" a go but are still searching for THE answer. In my reading I came across a book called StillPower by Garret Kramer, who works a lot with athletes and watched some of his talks on the internet about what happens to our thinking and thoughts. It made a lot of sense and I started to use it with clients in certain situations. It seemed there was no "technique" to apply; in essence you simply had to "get it", understand it and let it happen. 

Was my search at an end? Was this the latest "understanding", that is starting to "trend", the answer? Nirvana?

Typically I wanted to know more, had I understood it correctly from the book? So I enrolled on a three-day workshop with Garret. It was truly a turning point in my approach to my work. Even on the workshop there were people who had been training in what I now know as the "inside out" or "3 P's" approach, who were desperate to know what you had to do to achieve it, how did you do it? Were they still asking for a technique, a process, and the steps to learn how to achieve it so they could explain it to others? Didn't they get it? Does it work for everyone in every situation? No. Do different parts of the inside out approach work for different people? Yes. Does it work for some people and they'll swear by it? Yes.

We all have thoughts and yes we all have a brain but does anyone really know exactly what happens in our brains? What we do to ourselves?

As for me, the turning point or revelation, insight, goal (whatever you want to call it) I had over that three days was that believe it or not, we are all unique and that one size doesn't fit all (people or situations) and I shouldn't attempt to make it so when working with clients. I needed to continue what I'd already started to do, to adapt and "cherry pick" from what I currently know to apply what I think is appropriate at that time for that client. It might mean that I use a real mixture of things to achieve what works for them. As for goals, well sometimes by being too focussed on every detail of a goal you may miss all sorts of opportunities that are presented to you on the way. I now like to set a direction with my clients (and they like it too) rather than a long term-term goal. We live in a fast changing world and sometimes that long-term goal is made to be outdated and obsolete by the technology around us before we can achieve it. I've found my new approach to coaching my clients works really well and they are achieving more. 

WOW - Maybe I've just discovered THE answer to help everyone? GHB Coaching (if that's the word, or should it be Thinking? Processing?) will become the next trend! I'm off to develop my workshops...seminars...write the book..think of a name... Of course I'm always happy to start a list of delegates for my first seminar right now! :-)

Note: Obviously my descriptions in this blog for everything I've learnt are at a very basic level.  They've all made me (along with my clients who've taught me the most) the coach I am today. For which my clients tell me they're very grateful and to me that's all that matters.


Posted on Apr 04, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised
We've all heard the expression: are you a glass half-full or half-empty type of person? Or are you, in the words of my friend and colleague Paul Tizzard, the type of person that thinks someone has nicked the glass?

What's interesting about that analogy is that no matter which person you are the glass ultimately has the same amount of water in it. So what makes the difference? Well, let's look at it - the statement and the glass. The glass is physically sitting there on the "outside" of us, that is unless you are still searching for your glass! You can see it as clearly as I can. However you see it as half- empty and I see it as half-full. What then changes between us both seeing it and then interpreting how we see it? It's quite simply how we perceive it "inside", from our thoughts. 

Let me explain a bit more. I could be busy working, feeling a bit down and look at a glass of water and see it as half-empty. I think nothing more about it but keep working and start to feel much better about my day. I look at the same glass again and it now appears to be half-full. Has the water level changed? No. Have I had to do anything complicated to change how I see it? No. Did I focus on it and use some sort of technique to change my thinking? No. I just acknowledged it for what it was - a thought - went on with what I was doing and the thought naturally changed, it "righted" itself into a much more positive point of view. 

Once you realise that it is what you think on the "inside" that effects how you perceive what happens on the "outside", and not the other way round, life becomes so much easier to deal with. Too many people look to the "stuff" happening on the outside to either blame for making them feel unhappy or credit for making themselves feel better, rather than to examine what's happening on the inside. 

Rory McIlroy was a good example this week of someone looking on the "outside" for things to blame for his walking off the golf course: a bad toothache, new clubs... He was right in his first statement when he said words to the effect that he was not mentally in the right place. Glass half empty and not the best place to make a decision about what to do next. If he had simply acknowledged his poor state of thoughts at that point in time, and stayed in the tournament without analysing what was going on in any great depth or giving himself such negative self-talk, his thoughts would have naturally trended back to the "glass half-full" (clarity) state - a much better place to make a decision about what to do next. From the point of clarity he could then have run the options and outcomes about what he should do to greater effect in his head and reached a more measured decision. 
Posted on Mar 06, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised
A slightly belated Happy New Year to you all. When exactly do we stop saying Happy New Year to everyone we meet? 

Anyway, here we are half way through week two of January and how many of you have already given up on those New Years Resolutions? I was in the gym yesterday and overheard a conversation about how busy the gym was and luckily only a few more weeks and it would be back to normal numbers again after the new members stopped coming.

 

All of us have started something with really good intentions: a new diet or fitness regime, drink less alcohol, give up smoking, only to find we give up and go back to our old ways. What causes us to do that?

 

I’ve a question I’d like you to ponder on: What things do you believe to be true about yourself? Where did each belief come from? Parents? Siblings? Teachers? Partners? Do you respect, admire, trust, even like that person? If the answer to anyone of those is no then what makes you believe that what they said about you was true?

 

Are any of your beliefs sabotaging your road to success? Stopping you from believing you can do something? “I’ve always been told I give up on things”, “I can never stick at anything”, “I’m rubbish”.So many people set new goals or resolutions without looking at the beliefs they are building them on and changing them if necessary. You need to work on yourself from the "inside out" not the "outside in". 


When you do believe you can do something then motivation follows and the rest is easy.  Do you need to change some of your beliefs about yourself on the inside before you set your goals? Just because you gave up yesterday simply means you can get going again today. I think this quote from Star Wars sums it up nicely: Luke: “I can’t believe it.” Yoda:“That is why you fail.”



Posted on Jan 09, 2013 - Posted in Uncategorised

Christmas is the time for giving. Many of us are rushing around buying and wrapping presents for other people and feeling good about it. But how many of us spend a few moments every day thinking about the things we are thankful or grateful for?

Research has shown that having the experience of being thankful or appreciative of something or someone is the best way to increase a feeling of happiness. Keeping a “gratitude or thankful” journal can increase happiness in as short a time as two weeks.

I often suggest that my clients make a note of three to five things everyday that they are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, it can be something as simple as: “I’m grateful for clouds, cats or tomato sauce”!  The change they report in their level of happiness always surprises me, and them. So on Christmas Day when you open that notebook and pen that in the past you’ve had no idea what to do with, how about starting a gratitude journal?

Have a lovely festive season, and remember:

“Mindfully counting your blessings is like watering seeds in your heart” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised

Well it’s that time of year again when temptation is everywhere in the form of chocolates, mince pies and other tempting nibbles. They are in the office, in shops, in the hairdressers - in fact, it seems, everywhere you go!

We mindlessly, almost unconsciously, pick up a chocolate or mince pie as we’re passing by. By the end of the day that “one” chocolate has become too many for us to actually count, we’ve eaten those cold mince pies - that we didn’t really enjoy - and why? Because we were doing it unconsciously! Ask yourself wouldn’t you really prefer to have a nice warm mince pie with some cream rather than that cold one forced out of it’s silver wrapper that falls apart and sticks in the mouth?

Let’s face it, most people are fed up with mince pies and festive food by the time Christmas day comes round. So what can we do to change it? Some clients have found that if they set themselves a number for the amount ofchocolates or treats they’ll eat in a day, multiply that by the number of days left till Christmas and imagine them all on a table in front of them, they are shocked by how much they are actually consuming in the lead up to the big day. As they munch they start counting - making it a very conscious process.Once they reach their total they can then make another very conscious decision: to keep eating or to stop.

When I was at work in an office, and eating chocolates, I would prefer to eat my whole quota in one go or to count them out on my desk at the beginning of the day. That way I knew exactly how many I’d consumed as the day went on. It is very easy to loose track of how many you’ve had, as you pass by that tin one more time! Colleagues used to laugh when I took my “ration” with me to meetings but it meant that I could keep track of what I was putting into my mouth and could choose when I wanted to eat it.

Another very simple thing to do is every time you pick something up to eat ask yourself, “Am I hungry or am I eating this because it’s there and Ienjoy it?” You can then make a conscious decision about your motivation for eating it. The fact that you are making the process a very conscious one will have an impact on your waistline! Enjoy every mouthful by making sure you eat consciously. I haven't even mentioned the additional drink we consume...

Posted on Dec 07, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised

As the psychologist on the Virgin Flying Without Fear course I am always looking for quick and effective ways to help people overcome their fears.

I had an “Aha” moment last year when watching a bottle of water on a train to Edinburgh shaking all over the place. I thought, "It never shakes this much on an aircraft even in turbulence". Even people who have no fear of flying often worry about turbulence.

One of my very popular and successful tips for coping with turbulence involves a bottle or glass of water (or champagne if you’re lucky enough to travel in Business or First class!). If I gave you a glass of water (without a lid) to hold whilst sitting in a car chances are you wouldn’t be too happy and within minutes of driving it would have slopped out all over you. Have you 'bounced around' thousands of feet? No. Your brain knows this for a fact.

When  you’re on an aircraft what you “feel” is happening in turbulence, i.e. you’redropping hundreds of feet, isn’t actually happening. The problem is you have no reference point on the horizon, the level in the bottle of water becomes your reference point as to how much you are actually “bouncing” around. You know that in a car the water would be everywhere with a small amount of bouncing. Look at that same water level in turbulence and it will hardly be moving. The brain then automatically does a quick comparison of “What I’m feeling isn’t what is happening to my water so it can’t be as bad as I feel it is” and relaxes.

Next time you go flying and hate turbulence just check out what the level in your bottle of water or drink is doing. The same technique can be used to show the angle that an aircraft is taking off or banking to turn left or right – two other things lots of people dislike about flying. 


So if you heard it hear first - a bottle of water can help cure a fear of turbulence! Enjoy the flight.


Posted on Nov 21, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised

Have you ever looked at something you need to do or a goal you’ve set and it just seems so overwhelming that you don’t know where to begin, so you never get started? I was talking about this dilemma clients have with a good friend today and how things can seem just too big to change all at once e.g. cut out wheat, dairy and sugar all at the same time or go from being a couch potato to exercising three times a week.

We had both worked with clients who we asked to change just one thing that they did each week, however small. Maybe one week it was changing the first caramel latte they had each day to a skinny latte. Or if even that was too big, to a skinny caramel latte and then the following week avoid wheat for one day.

By breaking down the ‘overwhelm’ into tiny little changes suddenly it becomes achievable. As the weeks go by the changes have been minimal but collectively, over three months or a year, they can make a huge, and more importantly, lasting difference.

So thinking about one of your goals, what one small change are you going to make towards it this week? Imagine how different things will be in a year’s time after you’ve made fifty-two small changes.

Posted on Nov 01, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised

With us heading into autumn there will be a lot of talk about the weather. Well, we are British and love to talk, moan, and comment about our weather. It makes me smile when I hear people grumbling about it.

Everyday we have things happen around us that we don’t like or that don’t suit us. They really start to annoy us and we believe there is nothing we can do about them. Well I have news for you: there is always a choice, you may not like the other option but face it, there is always a choice.

An easy way of living a happier life in a world that annoys you is to either change what annoys you or just accept it as it is and let it go. The hard way to live is to do nothing to change what annoys you but not accept it either. That way you end up spending your days being really annoyed about things you’re not willing to take responsibility for changing.

What’s this all got to do with the weather? Well the weather is one thing we can’t change today, in the moment. There is always the option of changing it in the future by moving to sunnier climes. Complaining about the weather is a great example of someone not accepting things as they are. So next time the weather isn’t exactly as you’d like just accept it and get on with changing the things you can change to make your world a happier place to live in.


Posted on Sep 14, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
I saw a great coaching question recently: “Could you be happier if nothing around you in the world changed?” Be honest, what was your immediate response on reading that or are some of you still weighing it up? My immediate response was “Yes of course!” My answer surprised me as I consider myself a happy person and happy with the life I have. The mere fact that I thought I could be happier even if nothing else changed made me think.

It reminded me of a situation when a friend was asking me about how I had managed to stay so happy and positive when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were a couple of other ladies with her and when I had finished my story one lady said, “It’s all very well being positive and staying happy but won’t you feel stupid when it comes back?” I was pretty dumbstruck at the time and think it said a lot more about her than me.

I could have approached breast cancer in two ways: woe is me and get very stressed about it or be happy and get on with it. The choice was mine. I know stress isn’t good for you and so being stressed out about it wouldn’t have helped me in the least and stress is contagious. Have you ever noticed that when you are around people who are stressed it starts to rub off onto you? The last thing I wanted to do was to create a stressful situation at home for my family and friends so I chose to be happy, not angry or resentful as that wouldn’t have changed my condition. Actually come to think about it, it could well have made it worse! In terms of the question above I had chosen to be happier even though nothing in my world changed.

When you are feeling stressed, stop, concentrate on your breathing for a few minutes, think a happy thought and ask yourself the question: will this be so important a week from now? A month from now? A year from now? Change your thoughts and you’ll change your feelings. If you want to be happier then think happier thoughts more often. My challenge to you for this week is that you have to have at least one happy thought every hour of the day no matter what is going on. Do you know how happy you can be? Let’s find out!

By the way, I’ve asked a few clients the same question and everyone’s response so far has been “Yes of course”. Needless to say they have all been shocked and we’ve had a great coaching session.
Posted on Jul 12, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
At what point in the day do you start doing some “self care”?  For me that starts from the moment I wake up in the morning.

Take note of what you say to yourself the minute you wake up – what’s your tone of voice like? Whose voice is it – yours or someone else’s? Is it motivating and uplifting or does it drag you down and make you want to hide under the duvet?

When you get up and look in the mirror (there are some people who don’t look in mirrors) what do you say to yourself? Do you beat yourself up about the way you look? If so how on earth do you expect to go out and have a good day! Turn your wrinkles in laughter lines, grey hairs are the new ice blonde!

Let’s face it, if you can’t say something nice about yourself to yourself then what makes you think others will? So give yourself a bit of self-care, a bit of TLC at the beginning of every day and at every opportunity and you’ll find the day will get off to a much better start.
Posted on Jul 04, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks since having, what is becoming known as, my STFU* moment on the “Peter Andre: My Life” programme. I’ve been approached in person and also received various emails either asking if I can help or telling me how powerful they’ve found telling their negative voice to STFU!

What you say to yourself WILL impact on how you feel and therefore how you behave. The brain is very quick to respond and doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined.

Be very aware of the language you use when talking to yourself, turn the “ifs” into “whens”, the “can’ts into “cans”, the “trys” into “wills” and notice the difference. Remember it is just a thought and you are one thought away from a much better one!

Anyone still wishing to donate to the three charities I’m collecting for please go to my products page and click the “buy” button. Put PA after your name and I’ll send you the goods you’ve ordered and the profit goes to charity or NG after your name and I won’t send you a thing and the whole amount goes to charities. Thank you in advance

*Shut the F**k UP!
Posted on Jun 19, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
For those of you that don’t already know I was lucky enough to be asked to help Peter Andre overcome his phobia of roller-coasters. The things I’ll do to get a free ride… or three, as it turned out, on a roller-coaster. The interesting thing is when I told people they made comments like “Why would you want to overcome it? If you don’t like roller-coasters then don’t go on them. It’s not like they affect your life”

Actually they do, any phobia has an impact on your life. A phobia stops you having choices and often they spread into all sorts of areas of your life. First you can’t do aircraft and then you find you’re avoiding tubes, then buses and trains. People with claustrophobia can’t do lifts, then can’t go places like the cinema unless they have an aisle seat, then start to feel uncomfortable in public places.

For Peter he had found his fears were spreading and decided enough was enough and it was time to reverse the trend before it impacted everywhere. Often phobias are passed onto children as they learn from their parents. Pete had attempted to get on a small roller-coaster with his son, Junior, and had been unable to do it. He had got off which resulted in Junior being in tears because he couldn’t go on it. Anyone with children will understand how that feels, a phobia stops you and your children from doing things, going places.

Once you bust a phobia it spreads the other way and empowers you in lots of other areas of your life. “If I can do that then I can do anything!” If you have a phobia, any phobia, I urge you to be free of it.

As a result of the programme I decided that I didn’t want it to just be “another media thing” I did. Following my experience with cancer I want to give back by raising money for three charities: Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden and Pete’s charity HIPZ. So if anyone buys my book “Phobia? Be Free of It!” @ £6.99 or CD £3.99 or both, by going to the products page and puts PA after their name (that way I can track it) I will make a donation from every sale to the charities. Alternatively if you’d like to make a straight donation put NG after your name – I won’t send anything and the full amount will go to the charities.

I would love to raise a substantial amount – it’s better than just sponsoring me as you get a helpful little book or CD in return!

Thank you in advance.
Posted on Jun 13, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
This weekend I was in Newcastle for a Virgin Flying without Fear course. Snow had been forecast and true enough when we landed there was snow. Sunday started early with delegates turning up ready to face their fears. We had a great day with a gorgeous view of snow covered hills on the flight. The bad news was that the flight for Paul and me back to Gatwick was cancelled due to the snow. We were moved onto a flight to Southampton and then a coach would take us back to Gatwick. Not ideal but hey ho no point getting all worked up about it.

It was late by the time we got back to Gatwick and headed for the long stay car park to get the car and do the final leg of the journey. The car was covered in an inch or so of snow and we set about clearing it, which resulted in a spontaneous snow ball fight accompanied by much laughter. We finally got in the car when we ran out of the easy supply of snowballs and I dropped Paul off on my way home.

After I dropped him off I thought about how much fun we had just had after a long and tiring day and found myself energised and smiling. It then occurred to me that it was something I would always recall and tell others about. It had already become a good memory. As I pondered on it some more I realised that often it is the small, spontaneous things in life that can make for the best memories and bring back great feelings.
Posted on Feb 06, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
A question for you all this week: How many of you want to make a change in your life but are struggling to do it? The reason I ask is that many of you read self help/development books, set your goals, tell yourselves ‘this time…’ but still struggle to do it. When I’m working with a client I challenge them to make very small changes in their daily routine first e.g. use a different area of the gym, get onto a different part of the train, sit in a different place, park in a different area of the car park. It is amazing how much resistance I get from clients and the excuses as to why they couldn’t do it yet they agree how annoyed or angry they get if ‘their’ locker, seat, space is taken by someone else. After further coaching they agree to change at least one little thing for a week and report back. The more they can change the small things and acknowledge the impact it has on how they feel – most report a negative feeling to start with then a much freer feeling the more they do it – the easier it becomes to make the larger changes in your life. Imagine right now changing one tiny little thing that you do every day and notice how even imagining it makes you feel? Does it make you feel uncomfortable or good? Be honest! So my challenge for you all this coming week is to change at least one small routine thing that you do – get on the carriage next to the one you usually get on, park in a totally different area of the car park to normal and notice how you feel. Because after all if you can’t change something small that really doesn’t impact on anything to a great degree how on earth are you going to make the change in your life that counts?
Posted on Jan 27, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
Had a meeting today with Joe and Zoe to confirm the days and times that I will be working at the Esher chiropractic clinic. I’ll be there on a Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon as well as offering one Saturday morning a month to start with.

I’m so pleased to be working in a clinic that brings everything together that is needed for good health: the mind, the body and nutrition. I know from personal experience that to be completely healthy all three things need working on and then looking after.

When you work with athletes you quickly realise how intrinsically linked mind and body are to performance, with nutrition being the fuel you put into your body. I look after my mind (and also have my own coach), my nutrition (with help from Justin) and Joe keeps my body moving.

There will be regular talks at the clinic in the evenings to help people reach and maintain their optimal health and when they are all working well ultimately comes happiness.
Posted on Jan 12, 2012 - Posted in Uncategorised
I’ve been working out of a clinic in Weybridge for the last few years. During that time it changed hands and management team as a result the focus of the business changed, which in turn changed the “buzz” of energy in the building. A few months ago I decided I really did need to move to a more vibrant environment where I could build the coaching and stress management side of my work which I really enjoy. I put it in my “timeline” to make a move in the New Year and look for somewhere else.

A few weeks later I received a letter from the clinic giving me notice to leave in the middle of January. The end date was the middle of January so I decided I would finish at Christmas and start looking for somewhere else to work from in the New Year.

At that same time my friend Ali, who owns serenehealing, said I should go and see this wonderful chiropractor who would loosen up my tight back and shoulders. Off I went to esherchiropractic and met Joe. While we were talking about the various things we had in common, how much mind and body were connected and our visions for the future, he asked if I would consider working there. As it was the first time I’d met him I told him that I would think about it but potentially it would be perfect. I had a really good feeling about the clinic from the moment I walked in and was really excited about the possibility of moving there.

It didn’t take me long to make the decision. He and his partner Zoe run the clinic and it has a lovely feel about it. I’m really excited to say I WILL now be joining forces with Joe and seeing my clients at esherchiropractic from the 1st week in January. What a great way to start the New Year with a new move and working with new people and seeing new clients!
Posted on Dec 09, 2011 - Posted in Uncategorised
Here we are at  the end of November and a whole year gone since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A lot has happened in this year which has helped me in many ways. Basically the diagnosis gave me a big kick up the rear to look at what I was doing and what I wanted to change through this year.

It’s amazing when you decide to take charge of your life rather than “just let it happen” how things fall into place. Some new and exciting things are all now falling into place ready to move into 2012. An example is the clinic I was working from has changed their vision and given several of us notice to leave at the end of the year. I saw this as a great opportunity to review how I wanted to work and what type of work I would like to do more of in the future. I could then look for the type of clinic I wanted to work from. A chance conversation with a chiropractor has resulted in them asking if I would like to work along side them. It would be prefect as I want to concentrate on clients that are struggling with the stresses of life. If not dealt with stress will show up in some physical form (for me it’s tight muscles in my back) and hence the reason many people see a chiropractor!

My book is well under way and will be completed in the first few months of 2012. Having attended the International Continence Society conference in August I’ve got involved in some research which is really exciting for me. I’m still working with the Virgin Flying without Fear team because I want people to be able to enjoy the world without any fears or limitations. However in 2012 I won’t be doing so many 1-2-1 therapy sessions as I want to concentrate my energy elsewhere. I know lots of really good therapists now who I can happily refer clients who need more of a therapy type session on to.

So what my diagnosis reminded me of a year ago was to take control of my life, decide what I wanted and go for it!
Posted on Nov 29, 2011 - Posted in Uncategorised
Where is this year going? I can’t believe that I’ve already been for my first 6 month check since my operation in January. I’m happy to report that everything is fine. Next milestone will be my yearly mammogram in January 2012.

What have I been busy doing apart from my coaching and training? Well a lot of people who have heard my story have said I must write a book and tell people so that they are aware of other options and approaches. Hence book number two is under way. I am currently writing down all my ramblings and will then get them in some sort of order.

Due to me loosing weight and having a slightly different hairstyle, it was time to have some updated photos taken. I had a lovely photo session with Abi and Giles one wet afternoon in Shepperton (www.mediawisdom.co.uk) the results of which are now on my website.

I’m also planning to do talks and run mini workshops for people. So I’ve been busy working on the plan to start to promote them with Jackie (www.jackiem.com) my PR lady. As I live in Weybridge we thought it was a good place to start and I’m pleased to say that I already have an interview booked with Brooklands Radio, our local station, on Tuesday 20th September at 1pm on Paullette Schwartz’s programme called Fabulous Women. I’m hoping to run my first talk one evening in October – Breast Cancer Awareness month – in Weybridge, so watch this space!

And somewhere inbetween we went on a lovely holiday to Crete for a week for some R & R!

In a couple of weeks I’m off to Scotland for a few days holiday to catch a bit of the festival and see some friends. Followed by a week’s conference in Glasgow on Incontinence. A subject I want to learn more about in order to apply my skills and techniques effectively. The ultimate aim is to do some research with a friend who is a consultant (medical) and specialist in his field.
Posted on Aug 12, 2011 - Posted in Uncategorised
After a personally interesting end to 2010, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and start to 2011 with an operation and treatment, I find my career taking yet another slight deviation. As a result of people being amazed, fascinated, interested and telling me how inspired they are by my story and I should tell everyone who will listen, I’m launching into the area of Public Speaking. My talk isn’t just about dealing with cancer and the weird and wonderful things I did but also about preparing your body for an operation – ANY operation. So if you want some tips and techniques – which also include, you may be intrigued to find, references to the films White Christmas and Star Wars – then contact me.
Posted on May 18, 2011 - Posted in Uncategorised
In the past week or so there has been a lot in the press and on social media sites about the behaviour and promotion (some would say exploitation) of female celebrities, amongst them Miley Cyrus and Rhianna, within the music industry. I hasten to add it seems to me to be more that just the music industry using ever more explicit acts and images of females (and in some cases males) wearing not a lot or nothing at all to promote their businesses.

I'm not naive and fully understand the requirement for publicity. However I'm interested in the "need" some people appear to have to be in the press continuously, apparently being prepared to do anything to ensure they are. What is it fulfilling for them that can't be met in some other way? There are lots of people who are well known and are in the press without having to resort to extreme measures for self-promotion. What makes them different?

From my perspective it would appear that an increasing number of people are looking to external things, things on the outside, to compensate for a feeling they have unfulfilled on the inside. Whether is is displaying more and more extreme behaviours and acts in public to rewarding themselves with food or luxury goods it becomes a never-ending cycle to meet that internal need. My concern is what happens to them when they have literally done anything and everything externally, outside of themselves, to meet that need and it no longer works? What will they do when the publicity stunts no longer brings publicity? When the public are no longer interested no matter what they do? How will they fill the void, that need then and what happens when they can't? 

Ask yourself the question: what are you using on the outside to satisfy a need, feeling or insecurity on the inside? Maybe it's a lack of confidence in some area of your life, a fear of not being liked or loved, a fear of being alone, a fear of not being good enough any number of things. When you can change how you feel about yourself on the inside you will find you no longer "need" those things on the outside to do it for you. It doesn't mean to say that you don't like or want those things but you no longer need them to make yourself feel better. I'd still like a Ferrari but I don't need to do anything and at any cost to get it to make myself feel good - I can do that just by looking on the inside, knowing who I am, being me.
Posted on Nov 30, -0001 - Posted in Uncategorised