As a coach I’ve seen a lot of trends in people’s needs over the years. As you can imagine thanks to the pandemic it’s been increasingly around supporting teams and businesses around agility, performance and productivity but fast on their heels are overwhelm, overloaded and overworked – or as I call it The 3 O’s. Burn out is no laughing matter costing business billions every year.
Mental health costs UK employers up to £45bn a year and this figure has risen 16% since 2016, costing an extra £6bn a year. This is made up of absence costs of around £7bn, presenteeism costs ranging from about £27bn to £29bn and turnover costs of around £9bn.Accountancy Daily
I share lots of strategies to overcome these issues and my clients see results fast, but if you are in the midst of a very tough time and are ready to scream, kick the cat (please don’t kick your cat) drink the wine, eat the chocolate, swear and quit your job for a new life on a desert island here’s my strategy to help you stack up the support you need.
The acronym should help you remember it;
To do this you need to start noticing what is going on.
There is a wealth of evidence that suggest powering on through is not the answer. No matter how looming your deadline, step away. If you can’t face stepping away physically step away emotionally. Look away from your computer screen/desk. But please stop right now!
Ideally take three. Nice deep ones. And then notice what you feel? Pain in your neck? Achy shoulders?
I often think that people experience pain in their body that matches up to their words. It may sound bonkers but sometimes when I’m with a client I can feel their pain (even if they’ve not said anything – it can feel like chains around my chest – which then release when we work out what they need to do. It can feel like a clenched jaw – when I told a client I felt like they were clenching their jaw, I added “Can I ask do you feel like you’ve not said something you want to say to someone and it’s going over and over in your head?” They said “Yes, how did you know!” it was a huge eureka moment.). Have you noticed how people say “It was gutting” they usually have stomach issues too!
Look to notice (not do anything about) how your body feels, what emotions are running through your mind, what thoughts are whizzing around? This is a form of mediation. As I tell my clients you don’t need to sit cross legged on the mountains of Nepal saying “Om” to benefit from mindfulness and mediation. These tools enable your brain to get a moments peace to process everything that has been going on – it’s why stepping away even for 5 minutes is so good for you.
I also tell clients that the first thing teams like the SAS do before a big operation is….stop and breathe. Not go over the equipment for the 20th time, or scope the scene, but stop and breathe – they use the box method. 8,8,8,8 – hold your breath for 8 seconds, release your breathe for 8 seconds, then hold your breath for another 8 seconds and lastly inhale for 8 seconds (when you start you may not be able to do 8 seconds) and there’s a lot of science to explain why the box breathing method works.
This means that you assess the situation. Is it as bad as you think it is?
This is called catastrophising, where you blow things out of proportion. It’s one of the reasons I can help people to perform better, reduce their stress, overwhelm, and improve their productivity in just 2 hours because we start by adjusting their perception. So, assess in 3 ways (1 is not going to be for everyone).
1. Asses if this is the worst thing you’ve ever been through?
2. Then assess if this is a perceived tragic, disastrous, appalling, epic failure – or are your emotions and feelings giving you different ideas to what the facts are telling you? For instance, I had a client who felt like they were failing on a massive level.
They weren’t. They were doing amazingly well and growing an amazing company and team around them, what they were doing was assuming they would make a mistake and let someone down and thus fail – imagining something that hadn’t even happened!
3. (This is the one that’s not for everyone.) Asses who have it worse than you in the world? Think of the people who are suffering from some devastating weather related incident, facing war or persecution. Is what you experiencing worse than this?
What these three things do is enable you to move the scale of how bad the situation is. If you’ve read my books, you will know I talk about the What if game – where you imagine what if it was disastrous, what if it was amazing and what if it was beyond words bonkers. Adjust your perception before you move on to the next step.
Our bodies come with a lot of cool kit but alas many don’t read the manual so miss out on using it. The chemicals in your brain don’t just spurt off whenever they fancy, they also can be turned on like a tap.
Need some happiness? Eat some cheese, tick something off your to do list, give someone a helping hand. They all help your body release dopamine. (1)
Feeling stressed and depressed? Get out in the sunshine, dark and dreary day? Reach for the complex carbs like greens or a banana or ask someone to give you a massage to help boost your serotonin levels. (2)
Need to get the endorphins going? (Not to be confused with dolphins – terrible joke, but I’ve been known to do that joke in front of large audiences – shall I apologise now?) Sex works a treat, but then so does laughter or aromatherapy oils – some of these are obviously far more appropriate for the workplace than others!
Not sleeping enough or feeling anxious? Give your oxytocin levels a boost by stroking your pet (not sure it would work with your goldfish, sorry) or practice some self-love. Although be cautious with this one, while increasing oxycontin can be good for you it can also lead to a feeling of them and us as latest research suggests it amplifies relationships. So, if you have people that aren’t seen as “in your crowd” it can make that worse. Other evidence suggests it could actually damage relationships. (3)
Kind – as in be kind to yourself – do not wait for someone else to be kind to you or to notice your distress. True happiness has been proven to be an inside job so rely on you. What could you do to be kind to yourself?
Kudos – often in times of high stress people become very hard on themselves and don’t acknowledge their awesomeness. If you’ve attended one of my training days or read my books (or taking my confidence course) you will know I encourage all humans to write a “Why I’m awesome” list. This is a 2-page handwritten (very important – there’s science in my reasoning!) A4 document on why you are awesome. Some will find that easy and some will post to my mastermind group how much they hate me. That’s okay, I will help you find and appreciate your awesomeness. It’s so essential for a lot of success, performance, confidence, productivity, communication and happiness issues.
And lastly knowledge – do you have the knowledge you need to stop this extreme stress moment? Do you need to lean on someone? You know you can lean on me, right? I’m not joking. I have people from all around the world message me every week and I do my best to reply to every single one sharing advice, kindness and support. Who will give you the knowledge you need? Is it a factual thing you need or just a reminder of your awesomeness?
This will take a few attempts to make it stick fast as a positive new response to high stress moments. Stick with it so that you can stack up the things that will support you when you are feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. Your brain is incredibly clever and will happily go down a new path with a little practice. I can get myself into a calm state and feel like I’m on the beach in the South of France in about half a second I’ve been doing this for so long. So stick with it!
And lastly if you need something to work even faster, try the half smile. Right now let your jaw drop slightly. Feel it slackening. Now turn just the very corners of your mouth up. How does that make you feel?
As always let me know how you get on, feel free to share and tag me, get in touch any time and if you want support to work on this post to my mastermind group where I will be happy to motivate, inspire and empower you. Learn more here.
Let me know how you get on.
Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people to increase their confidence, not just because it’s a nice thing to do but because I’ve seen it have a massive impact on their personal and professional success and happiness.
Here’s just a few of the things I’ve seen people go on to achieve purely by increasing their confidence;
And yet rarely does a client come to me and say “Can you help me increase my confidence please?” It is only by exploring what that client brings to the table am I able to see that one of the underlying issues that needs to be fixed is their confidence levels. Often I have to redirect the client back and check that they really want to talk about the subject they walked in the door with or if they feel that there is an underlining issue impacting on their results in this area. By exploring this together we often find that whether they call it a lack of confidence or not that is, in fact, the real issue. (Don’t worry I will keep the techie stuff to a minimum, I just wanted to give you a little insight.)
Interestingly my books may be about building confidence, sales and success and yet the one I was asked to write by the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher was not worded as increasing confidence but about fighting fear. Whether you see it as an abundance of fear or a lack of confidence, put the two on a timeline and you will see that the opposite of fear is confidence. And so being able to build yours is critical to building your personal and professional success.
Here’s four signs your confidence levels need some loving;
Everything is fine
A sure sign that your success could be heightened is to look around you and find that everything is running along smoothly. What everything? There is not one area that could do with a tweak or that you are focusing on for future growth and development? Not one thing in your personal or professional life that you look at and think “I’d like to learn more” or “I’d like to reduce how much I do that in my life?” You see when we face fear (or try to ignore it like a dog being told off for raiding the rubbish bin!) we do our best to avoid making eye contact with the issue. The “If I don’t look over there I can’t see the problem” attitude. And that means there is a blind spot potentially hiding opportunities for you to learn and grow your confidence. So it’s also as a sign that you aren’t pushing yourself enough. And why don’t we push ourselves more? Because we fear the result we will get!
If you find yourself not as busy or productive as usual, look for the fear. Remember the fear is the opposite of your confidence and as such by noticing where you lack action you can start to pay attention to the areas that could need some support. A perfect example is when you realise you’ve not taken action on something you want or dealt with something that niggles at you. Or you’ve stopped bothering to do those nice little touches you used to do when you first started working for that company years ago. The lack of spark can point to the areas that need some assistance and where you could be lacking confidence and thus impacting on your results.
It may not be an area directly connected to your personal or professional success however I often hear clients say that connected to the area that they wish to change in their life, as we work on a deeper more subconscious level they share that they notice they’ve stopped reading or going out with friends or cooking nice meals. Things that may seem completely irrelevant to success can showcase a lack of love for your life. And when we find ourselves in a rut, feeling unappreciated or like we aren’t getting the results we want, that can impact on our confidence and it can often show up in this way. So are you loving your free time as much as your professional life? They have a knock on effect to each other. And so this process can work the other way too.
You believe everything.
Worse than fake news is some of the drivel we listen to in our heads. We have all heard of the Imposter Syndrome (I can shut that bad voice up in about 1 session and if you want to get started for free click here for my free eBook on How to Fix the Imposter Syndrome.) and we’ve heard of the shiny thing syndrome (where everything looks good so we go around in circles, creating no real results – Read more here) and best of all think of the rubbish you let your head say to you. The way you berate yourself for being rubbish at that, or never been able to do this, or have you noticed how many chins you’ve got recently. All that negative talk can only hold power if you let it. So if you notice the voice in your head has become a little bit too much like the evil stepmother, crossed with Simon Cowell and The Wicked Witch from the East (or was that West?) stop that voice, it is damaging your confidence, enabling fears to grow strong and stopping you from achieving what you really wish to.
If you want more, my course creating confidence has tons of 5 star reviews and for £95 is a fraction of what coaching would cost. You get 5 sessions working with me online, at you own pace using my results proven tools and techniques.
I’d love to see what it could do for you too!
When the #Metoo campaign became common knowledge last year I realised how lucky I was to never have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault and my heart went out to all those that had been impacted upon and how it may still be affecting their lives. Then recently something happened, and I found myself asking lots of questions. I have since asked other women in business how they might deal with such things and we all struggled to come up with a decisive answer.
I even questioned whether I should write this article however I realised that as Founder of The Business Womans Network and as a mental health ambassador as well as someone who successfully worked in a traditionally male-dominated environment and I empower, motivate and build confidence for others, I realised if I cannot talk about it when I’m a strong confident woman who helps others to be just that, how could anyone else find the strength?
I will go back to the incident and share my questions, together perhaps we can help all of us, male and female to understand how we ensure that everyone feels safe, respected and free from sexually inappropriate behaviour in any environment.
I was at a business event and found myself next to a business owner who constantly throughout the meeting touched my arm and found an excuse to kiss me on arrival and on leaving (even though I didn’t know them). On two occasions they touched my leg too. Even writing this makes me feel uncomfortable because I worry greatly that you will not be able to read my tonality or will take your own experiences into account and have a very different perspective on this situation.
On a few occasions in the event, someone sat near me asked if I was enjoying the full experience of sitting next to this person and laughed, so it clearly was their natural way of behaving and people knew that this person behaved in this way. I do not believe I commented however on driving back to the office I found myself asking if I had handled that situation in the correct way. While I’m a confident woman who was not impacted on by that experience I can clearly understand how it could put others off from networking or open events like this again.
I later learnt that someone who had not been at the event was networking in another town and someone who had been in attendance at the previous event mentioned how they’d never met Mandie Holgate before and they looked forward to meeting me again and they talked about how this person had been “all over Mandie”. So clearly it had been behaviour that had been noted and was later being commented on.
Even as I write, I’ve walked away from this article on numerous occasions, so the first thing to consider is why?
I suppose because by raising awareness to this behaviour I do not wish to risk offending the person in question. I’m a grown woman and quite capable of looking after myself so this is where on discussions with other women we have struggled to assess the correct way to handle these moments and whether we should say something.
Clearly, most of the people in the group knew about this behaviour and deemed it harmless, therefore I know I would worry about not being accepted by that group again if I said something. I would also worry that it could impact on my reputation and professionalism. However, if I don’t say something surely it risks damaging the other party’s reputation and professionalism because people are speaking about them behind their backs? Hardly professional is it!
It really does help me appreciate that if something I deem to be harmless and misjudged proves difficult for me to organise my thoughts, words or actions on how the hell does someone come forward with a serious grievance? I’d say the answer lies in a lot of guts and determination to make it better for everyone and complete appreciation that this is wrong, and they must not be allowed to get away with this.
Do I feel that strongly about what happened? Clearly not, however, is that then acceptance? Is that then stopping that person from learning a better way of behaving with decorum expected in the 21st century?
When I mentioned this to one business friend they spoke about how they found it difficult in business to know the acceptable greeting. Why is it that women tend to be kissed on the cheek whereas men tend to shake hands? Do we need to openly discuss this? Are women being treated with a different level of professionalism? Is it acceptable? The lack of confidence women experience is worth millions to our economy. Women often fear closing the sale. Women are less likely to ask for a pay rise and confidence is often the underlying issue. So, do we need a standardised way? Will we find that we are looked at differently if we ask for the acceptable greetings to be discussed? Will we be seen as petty for insisting on standards that make everyone feel comfortable?
You can see why I had so many questions, can’t you? If as a woman I struggle to know what to say or think then surely others feel the same too? I actually have no issue with a man opening a door for me, however, is that on the scale of sexist inappropriate behaviour? Does this come into the realm of “she was asking for it” because she had chosen to dress in a certain way? Another business friend told me that they had heard that a man who had been robbed in the street “had been asking for it” because he was wearing expensive clothes and jewellery. Can that be just reason? Really?
So where does this leave us? Clearly, there are many instances that are clear-cut and obviously inappropriate however what is the scale and what can we all do to help each other to feel comfortable and professional in any environment?
We need to be more open and not fear that we will be ostracised if we discuss these things. We need to make it clear that everyone has the same right to feel comfortable. We need to talk about personal space and how it makes people feel when we invade that. We need to talk, however when social media is full of attacks and people taking offence when you ask a question that can be hard to do can’t it?
I’ve also heard the argument that certain generations just behave in that way, it’s no big deal. Is that a good enough argument to warrant exemption?
I remember someone attacking me when they said that as a feminist I had to care more about women than men because I’m female. Really? Am I not allowed to care equally about all humans? And as such as hard as this article has been to write and raise some of the questions I have, I felt it was important for us all that I write this. Please feel free to share your thoughts. Be honest. Be respectful and appreciate tonality and meaning can be misconstrued in the written word. Thank you.
I find life is littered with many powerful analogies that apply to numerous aspects of our personal and professional lives and success. They can beautifully and powerfully draw our attention to obstacles and how to tackle them. These parallels can also enable us to reframe, rethink, assess and evaluate our lives to get more of what we want and remove what we don’t.
We all know the saying “Can’t see the wood for the trees” and as a coach I often hear clients say after a session that they feel like they’ve “brain dumped” everything and suddenly it all becomes clear, because we can all become entrenched in our lives and struggle to see what we really want or what really needs to happen and thus struggle to get it.
This was beautifully if a little scarily highlighted to me in my own life the other day. I’ve been injecting a chemotherapeutic medicine for 12 months to help treat my Lupus and other autoimmune diseases and the dose has slowly been increased. The great news is that as time has progressed I’ve had many benefits and it’s really helped me lead a better quality of life that I’m loving, the downside of this is that there are a few side effects that are becoming, let’s just say “less fun” and while I can put up with the severe insomnia, weight gain and other “fun” stuff I noticed last Saturday night that as I went to inject myself I felt a massive sense of loathing.
I am someone that truly appreciates the power of what we think in all aspects of our life and how it can impact on our success and so whenever I’m confronted with a negative emotion or thought, I process to understand it;
Why am I thinking this?
Is this impacting on my actions?
How is this making me react?
And I became aware that I was starting to resent the very substance that had given me so much life back. By processing this thought I was able to see that I was filling that 3 minute injection once a week with negative emotions and thoughts. Why is this relevant to you and your success?
Because not everything we want to achieve in life is accessible through passion, dedication and thought alone, it will require hard work. (Everyone knows that right?)
However, we often put off the things we don’t’ want to do, that are the very powerful game changers in our lives. We resist the needed action and this creates negative emotions that impact on our actions and thus our results.
For me I had to restructure my thoughts. Take the negative association of my needle and swap it for a positive. For me it was this thought “How amazing that 12.5ml of a liquid can give me so much life, I’m so grateful for this.” This thought then led me to remember that 5 years ago when my illnesses were a “mystery” I had a specialist tell me that I had to accept my life was over and I’d never work again. How wrong was that specialist! And it was just 12.5ml of a golden liquid that had done that! (Well maybe not just 12.5ml of liquid, it also took fighting a lot of specialists and determination!) See how powerfully I’d changed my view on an essential task in my existence?
And I’m reminded of an intriguing experiment that I read about years ago. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese Professor of Alternative Studies was said to be able to manipulate rice in a jar depending on whether negative or positive statements were told to it. It’s since been proved and disproved by many people and official bodies with some stating that the experiment never had the right controls to be “science”. Regardless of your viewpoint, many of us have heard of soul food or food made with love. My own Nan used to stir cakes or the Christmas puddings and tell us to make a wish, and I’ve never tasted finer cakes. So whether it’s true or hocum, the point is that our intentions can impact on our results, because our thoughts are powerful. There are stories of soldiers in the first world war believing they’ve been operated on under the safety of Morphine only to later have learnt that the poor doctors had run out of Morphine weeks ago and they’d undergone what should have been excruciatingly painful procedures with nothing more than a saline solution!
So what in life are you seeing as disastrous or out of your control?
What activities do you loath, put off or groan at just the thought of?
Process the emotions and the beliefs you hold to these activities and allow them to play out in full force. What results are you likely to get? How is this likely to further impact on your success?
You see life has a habit of giving us clues it’s just up to us whether we wish to see them or look the other way. Our mind is the most wonderful computer that will ever exist and we have to learn how to look after it, nurture it, and program it to get what we want.
The next time you find yourself in a fug or procrastinating ask yourself what the underlining feelings are.
And if you can’t find the wood for the trees, I’m always happy to have a chat and often share inciteful Facebook live webinars for you to benefit from for free. Sometimes it is scary to appreciate that the one person in control of our future is us, it is also something that you can restructure to think “Wow, I’m in control of the future I get!” Powerful stuff, right?
I’m often asked how I manage to look like I’m everywhere and gain new clients when I seem to have a lot of time to do the things I want to do, as well as look after my health. Well, I wouldn’t ask you do to something that I’m not prepared to do myself!
My Marketing Production Line enables me to do just that;
Look like I’m everywhere. (ie raise my profile above the noise of every other “expert”).
Gain new business. (in all areas of my business.)
Gain PR opportunities (for free!)
Gain speaking engagements.
Sell tickets to events.
Grow my online following.
If you are not ready to take the course that you work on at your own pace, as often as you like and can access additional support on The Insiders then you can download a copy of the one-page document to get started here. How many tools are you using?
When coaching someone I will often come across a situation where someone is uncomfortable in confronting someone. Not “all across the bar in someone’s face Eastenders” style, but how to get to the bottom of things like:
So the next time you feel you are faced with a situation that you would love to get to the bottom of but just don’t have the guts to do so, here are a few ideas for you.
Firstly it’s not about having the guts to say something. How many times as a child did you walk away from a bully thinking “I wish I had said that!” Do you know why I think we didn’t say that? Not only because we were scared we were going to get pummeled in front of half the school, but because our internal ancient hereditary instinct to fight or flight kicks in.
If your subconscious analysed a situation and only sees fear and danger in confronting it, it will do its best to protect you from it. Not just the fist in the face, but the proverbial fist to your ego, confidence, and ability to move on and do what you want to do. Think in this way and you realise first off that by not saying anything you are keeping the status quo and protecting yourself from something that could feel negative and painful to confront. (Add the other tips and tools below and you can work out what and if you should say something.)
Secondly, prepare your thoughts. If this is really playing on your mind it’s highly likely that you will be having constant conversations in your head that have rolled around in there at 2 am, while brushing your teeth and even maybe in the office. So, this technique will not only work out what to do, what to say, it will also create a brain dump.
All that energy you are giving to this person or worry is wasted thoughts that could be working on your personal and professional growth, happiness and success. Write a long letter or email saying everything you wish you had said or would like to say if the opportunity arises. (You do not send it.)
Then work out what bullet points matter. Now do nothing. Ideally for 24 hours and then come back to it and ask yourself again if this is necessary and if it is are you highlighting the right bullet points that you wish to cover.
The second technique helps you work out if this conversation is necessary. We are humans not a machine and we find it hard sometimes to separate business and personal life. Wishing our clients, colleagues and customers were our friends. They are not, despite the fact that many of us care deeply about the people we work with and their results, ultimately, it’s business. So is your hurt pride that they don’t love you getting in the way here? Or is there a real issue that needs to be dealt with?
If people walk away that can say as much about them as it can about you. And some people you will never be able to do enough for. Remember the conversation we had about sacking clients? These people made it easy for you, they sacked themselves!
So the next top tip is to keep emotions out of it – stick to the facts. Go back to the letter or email you wrote and ask yourself if this is rooted in facts and knowledge or in emotions and hurt.
One person’s “No” does not mean everyone hates you.
Which leads me on to this little thought to hold on to. “It’s only business – it’s good to remember it’s not life and death.” And in 9.9 out of 10 occasions it really won’t be life or death. Remember giving your energy to something unimportant takes your energy away from your goals and the focus from the actions that will get you there.
Before I share a few techniques to ask the awkward questions or to say the scary things. Ask yourself “Why does it matter?” and “What do you stand to lose or gain from not having or by having this conversation?”
Again, if you can create facts and information that are vital to your growth and success then you should go ahead. Already by this stage, you should be able to see where your emotions are impacting on your ideas and actions. And they are what coach’s call your “Hot Buttons” things that have a personal meaning to you that can impact on the way you act or think.
This also enables you to appreciate if the knowledge you stand to gain could be useful for your success and happiness. For instance; By understanding why this person said no to me/us what can we change to engage more effectively with in the future?
So you now know that this conversation is necessary how can you make it powerful, productive and pleasurable?
And don’t forget in my book “Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life” I dedicate a whole chapter to looking at what people are thinking and another to the fear of not wanting to look stupid. Buy your copy here.
I’m honoured to speak for anyone that asks me and will always deliver something unique to that audience. Even if it is a subject I’ve covered a thousands times I will always write something fresh for that audience. And only in that audience will be those delegates so you are guaranteed every event has its unique moment, because its very important to me that you and your delegates get to ask questions and get personalised solutions.
So it’s with great pleasure I announce that after being their first book of 2017 “Book of the month” I will be speaking for WH Smiths’ at their High Street Head Office and their Travel Head Office in May. It’s Learning at work week (LAWW) and I’m delivering two sessions. Orignially it was going to be one, however as is often the case they took a look at the topics I could cover and wanted more than one, and I’m happy to oblige!
Fight the Fears that impact on your success
Not all fears wake you at 1 in the morning in a pool of sweat. Some fears hide out in our personal and professional lives for years untouched and undiscovered damaging your success.
International Speakers and Authors have said that this is an “absolute must read” book for not only highlighting the fears but for giving you the tools and techniques to fight them and get rid of the obstacles to your success.
In this interactive sessions Mandie will hear from you. What are the fears that plague you? Do you fear asking for help? Taking time off? Public speaking? Setting goals? Speaking up? Do you lack confidence or worry that people will find out who you really are? What ever your fears (you might not even know what they are!) get personalised solutions in this 90 minute session aimed at you and your success.
Creative thinking, writing and your success.
Despite serious illness Mandie Holgate was asked to write a book by one of the UK’s leading nonfiction publishers. Learn how that happened. How Mandie uses her writing to gain new opportunities, win awards and get in the press. Learn how to think creatively and why it’s good for your personal and professional success. Whether you love creativity or loath it, learn tools and techniques to enable you to think more powerfully and work in a way that powers up your brain. Learn what stops the process and ask any questions you like. In this interactive session it’s less about Mandie’s’ journey its more about making yours the best one possible.
I’m lucky enough to get in the press and on the radio quite often and recently I helped BBC Suffolk Radio with their “Hands off” campaign helping BBC Suffolk raise the profile of their campaign to get more of us to put the phone down when we get behind the wheel of the car. So when BBC Suffolk got in touch and said “Mandie would you help Mark Glenn Murphy on the Breakfast out with a campaign?” I instantly said yes. (I really must remember to ask what it is first!)
You see what Mark wanted me to do was don a pair of silly socks for Comic Relief day on the 24th of March. No big deal right? Accept me being up for any challenge (heck I fight fear for a living and I’ve done a nude calendar for charity!) I had to take it one step further…
And on the Breakfast show in front of all of their listeners I said “Heck Mark I’ve got 6 speaking engagements this month, I will wear silly socks for every speaking engagement!”
They were that impressed they had me back on the radio twice more before the big day and we even convinced another speaker to do the same at their annual AGM! And the great news is that just one pair of socks (okay that admittedly made me look – in the words of one audience member “Zany”) not only raised £100 for Comic Relief (I did nothing!) they also showed me something very interesting about people…
There I am walking around Business East or the West London Business Show in a suit jacket, a smart frock, heels and a pair of Super girl socks. Wouldn’t you say “what’s that all about?”? Well apparently not.
Some people would subtly ask the team that I work with “Is that just Mandie’s zany way?” to which they would explain no its for charity. (I know I’m lively and I’ve a no holds barred honesty to my style of professional speaking, but seriously am I really a business woman that would rock that look!)
Being someone that watches micro expressions, exhibitions are a great place to be any way. But they had that added interest for me when people can’t make eye contact with you because of your choice of socks! Should I have been concerned about their interpretation of my professionalism? I think not. I think it says more about people not having the confidence to speak up and say “I like the socks.” The fact is that those that did ask me about the socks ended up learning about my book and I ended up learning about their businesses and how I could help them. My “Stand out socks” led to leads and business. So should you be the same as everyone else? Obviously not.
Should you be prepared to stand out? Yes
Should you worry less about what other people are thinking? Yes!
In my book there are a number of chapters that help with these fears;
However when we overcome these fears we get what we want in our life, we get rid of obstacles and we become a true version of ourselves. And that builds confidence. And by building your confidence you can trust that you can do more of the same to get better results in your future.
Does it take confidence to wear a pair of stupid socks on a stage at an event with 500 delegates? Probably. However I know I attract the right connections, the right opportunities and the right successes and that could only come from being Mandie Holgate. Being myself. And it turns out myself is someone to be proud of (as it is for you too!) because I gained some fabulous opportunities, and to be honest I wonder how we would have got the conversation started to get me the opportunities had I not had the socks on!
Be brave, be you. Silly socks or not. It could lead to some awesome opportunities.
In my WH Smith’s book of the month, “Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life” Chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11 will help you overcome the fears that we talk about here in more detail.
Read it? I’d love a review on either site (or both!) Thanks.
Recently I was interviewed by best selling international author and speaker Gordon Tredgold. He asked to interview me because he had read my book and wanted more insights into the ideas and how I came up with them. (Especially since as Gordon mentions in the interview he got half way through “Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life” and took action.)
It’s a 40 minutes show where Gordon asked me anything he wanted to and knew that I would answer honestly and with as many good ideas as I could squeeze into the time.
Within the first week it had over 10,000 hits!
And led to Gordon writing an article for Inc about my book which you can read here.
Next thing I know Gordon is getting in touch from his home in the US to say “Check out your book being in Maddyness!” Which is a huge French publication that translated Gordon’s article from Inc.! Check it out here.
To say things are going well with the book would be an understatement. And I love the fact that for just £12.99 people around the world are getting to access these life changing, mind altering tools and techniques that as Gordon says “really work”.
A massive thank you to Gordon, (an international speaker and author that if he is not on your radar you need to get him on it!) and thank you for helping to raise awareness of my work. It really is a mutual love in with us two!
Learn more about why I think Gordon is so awesome on his website here.
And coming soon in my newsletter is news of 2 events that I’m incredibly chuffed to be asked to speak at looking at creative thinking, the fears that I cover in the book and how I was asked to become a writer for one of the UK’s leading non fiction publishers, Pearson’s.
One of the things that clients often present to me is this illusion that “there isn’t any time to do anything else!” Remember someone far cleverer than me said that “time is an illusion”? Actually it was Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers guide and he added to that quote “Lunchtime doubly so” but is that really what the successful person has to look forward to? No time and no lunch?
Here I share 6 top tips to spending time where and how you want, so that you aren’t too busy to find time for the things that could change your life and bring you want you really want;
You choose where to spend your time
As scary as this is we have control over where we spend time. When someone says to me “But that has to be done!” I ask “says who?” and then when the client is able to work though well actually this is not on my agenda, this is what someone else has deemed important or I’m so used to doing this stuff first I just got into the habit of assuming this was the best use of my time. People are able to see how they choose to spend time. If every minute was a £1 or a $1 would you choose to use your time more wisely or differently?
In my book I look at our choice of using time. Remember that thing called Christmas Day? No matter what is going on, no matter how busy you are, you make time for it right? Why is that? Because in your head its important. It’s worth investing your time in. It’s something that is done. The whole world seems to stop for it right? Is that all coming from you or from your environment and society too? All these things should help you to see that if your goal was as important and all consuming in feelings and emotions as Christmas Day can be, you’d find a way to get it done!
Learn to say no
In my book I talk about Can you justers, the people that never respect your time and seem to get to success quicker than you. It’s because they know to ask for help (another fear that plagues many of us and features in my book that can be killing your success!) and Can you justers know that by getting other people in on what they consider is important they make time. Now I’m not suggesting you become a Can you justers, (I would suggest you learn to outsource, employ or automate though) although I am suggesting you appreciate that they prioritise themselves. And you need to do the same.This is not you showing a lack of respect for others, this is you showing a growth in respect for yourself.
Working from home can be fraught with can you justs that you create for yourself. “It won’t take 5 minutes to put the washing out, load the dishwasher, etc, etc” The point is every time you leave the task that will get you the results you want in your personal and professional life it takes between 15 and 25 minutes to get back into the flow of working. Just do 3 to 5 little jobs a day. (Or just check Facebook or your emails that many times) and bam you’ve lost over an hour!
Fear of your uses of time
Another reason we don’t use time wisely is because we fear the actions we need to take. Look at your attitude and beliefs about your ability to get the job done, to raise your game and get what you want. Do you believe you can do it? Do you believe it is going to be hard work and tough? If you do believe its going to be tough and beyond your capabilities what is the likely hood of success? Of believing you can achieve it? Of creating anything to do but that because you fear the outcome?
Get clear on what you really want
If you know what you are aiming for, what your long term goals look like and they are so clear you can already feel as if they have been achieved, there’s little that gets in the way. Create a powerful reason why that makes nothing more important than your goals, tasks and actions. Time is yours to command. learn that. Also check out the blog article on my website called The Catherine Wheel Effect. This looks at the impact of being thrown in any direction. You want to get back your lasered focus to get what you want. Be aware of what you want and time becomes a powerful commodity not a guilt ridden procrastination.
Do you forget to sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom?
Well even if you do eventually your body catches up on you! You are made of nature, you are not a robot. Instead of steam rolling through life working stupid hours thinking that is the smart way to success. What about a new approach, where you listen to your body? The day you feel tired, slow down a bit, “I can’t!” I hear you cry. “Really?” I say. Because a body not listened to or respected will prevent you from doing things at the most inopportune moment. Ever noticed how you get ill on holiday? Ever noticed how you have a big day and you feel awful? That’s your body saying “I really wished you listened about a week ago!” By learning to listen to your body more you can also start to tap into your mind more. And by doing this instead of your goals, ambitions and actions been in adversity to your human needs and the natural cycle of you, it will learn to be in-tune with it.
This may seem way out there wacky stuff, but the fact is the person that accepts that it doesn’t matter how powerful a golden hour at 5am is if you are a night owl and your circadian rhythm says “don’t function until after 9 and that still needs caffiene!”, it still won’t be the most powerful way for you to achieve. So start listening!
Ever have your Nan say this to you? I did, and my Mum “But I don’t have time to tidy my room!” “Make time!” was the reply. And its true, time is an illusion, we get to choose every day where we spend time. But be careful of the words you use. Notice the words connected to time? The words make it sound like a commodity that is leaking away all of the time. That is not necessarily so. In some cultures this is not even the real deal remember?
I read a great article in Psychologies by Eleanor Tucker (December 2016 issue) that talked about how in some cultures time is actually cyclical. Think of Spring, to Summer to Autumn to Winter, repeating year on year. (In actual fact I often see clients repeating the same patterns, the same stories, and the same mistakes – cyclical!) By becoming aware of this they are able to change their patterns and adapt a new more productive way of thinking and living. Thus seeing that “I’m not stuck with this, I can change it.” And I would say the same is true with time.
As someone who learnt to be successful in the car industry many years ago. Time was finitely measured. Every bolt that was removed from a bumper added up, mud caked over the wheel arches and rust obstructing the Panel Beaters task? Add .1 of an hour. Because of this I have been able to break down time into tiny bite size pieces every day. It means that I can make time for lunch, to stroke the dog, to hear the birds and still get my important money making, change my life for the better things done first. I can look at my daughter as she whizzes through the door with her mad speed and put my phone down because I know she won’t want a lot of my time, and since there are 1440 minutes in a day why would I begrudge time to the things that really matter? It really is time to know what those things you want are and make time for them isn’t it?
If you liked this my book looks at our choice of words associated with time, Can you Justers and the techniques, even the phrases to use with them, how to say No and how to ask for help, as well as how to understand your true values (Chapter 1 often throws a reader a curve ball!) Mandie Holgate Fight the fear book