It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve had 8 years of being pretty much trapped in my home due to ill health (Lupus) and for the last month I’ve been feeling really well. Not put on a fake smile and act well because people are so bored of you talking about pain and exhaustion, but genuine bouncing out of bed, looking forward to the day well.
The weird thing is that while my body is well my mind doesn’t seem to have caught up yet.
For instance I was up early to take my son to his last day of college today (that’s a sad but exciting milestone right?) and as I drove home I knew the morning was starting with a coaching session and I thought “Oh no I’m on my own all day.” (Client was only on the screen so not there in person to have a cuppa and chat with first.)
Usually if I’m coaching for 2 hours I’d need a few hours to recover. Then I could work for a couple of hours and then I’d need to rest before my children got home in the hope I might have some energy to talk to them and maybe help cook tea.
But I had to physically remind myself today “You can do more Mandie!” and so I went for a walk. 45 minutes may not seem big to you but 4346 steps is epic to me.
Usually I would even have to limit my time on the phone (pacing is not just about your physicality as I learnt the hard way – your brain uses up a lot of energy too.) But today I’ve made and had over 10 phone calls already!
This all reminds me of clients who I’ve worked with for a while and in a session they will say something and I’ll challenge them on that thought. Often it’s because they are still using the same language they used before we started working together. Not really appreciating how much has changed.
For example a client said to me “But I’m rubbish at marketing.”
“Are you?” I asked “What evidence do you have to that statement?”
They smirked at me because they realised that this wasn’t true anymore. The person they are now is very different to the one of a year ago. But that negative thought had still sneaked in.
We have to be mindful of every thought we have and ask ourselves if it is empowering us or demotivating us?
Is it moving us forward or holding us back?
But even that is not enough. You then need to take ownership for what you thought and focus on what you actually want.
I’ve started mentally noticing the little things that I’d forgotten about;
I find these and so many other things are making me grin, but there’s a but. And it’s one I didn’t think I’d ever have again.
Walking along the beach I realised that I still haven’t factored in anything in the evenings. The last time I went out at night was to End game on the 25th April, before that it was the 16th December, regular right?
The hardest thing about balancing a long term health illness is that you have to ditch so much of your life. A social life is something I know exists because I watch Facebook friends having one. But now can I have one?
I’m scared to speak these thoughts.
I even have found myself using my clients words “What if?” And unlike me, I’m not assuming it’s going to be awesome! I’ve been assuming with real terror;
Lucky for me I am uber speedy and epic at reframing. I can be in a bad/sad mood and flip to being positive/happy and ready for anything with a lightening speed thought.
So that’s what I’ve been doing;
Of them all the last one makes me hyperventilate. I’ve worked so damn hard on being happy and as well as possible despite Fibromyalgia, Lupus and a myriad of other illness and problems. Even before this mini miracle I felt truly happy and joyous with my life. This? Well this just makes me feel super human!
My friend is 94 (Sorry Irene, I told everyone your age) and she is one of my role models in life. Flying around the world visiting nephews, ski-ing (Ok just the apres ski – you can’t blame her!) and living life to the fullest. Irene summed it up today when she said “Sometimes to go forward we have to go back”. How perfect is that sentence?
I have absolute gratitude to be able to go for a walk. To be able to drive a car and work. Things I would guess that 9 years ago I didn’t really acknowledge. And having to gain a level of tenacity, determination and self belief that Iron Man would be proud of, how well set up am I for going forward?
If feeling ill I can walk 27000 steps around Disney Land Paris (okay, with enough medications in me to rival any A and E Department!) what can I achieve without the brain numbing, gut destroying, nausea inducing, sleep robbing drugs in me?
I like that I work with a coach, and I like that I can coach myself. The fear is going to be allowed to stay (just a little) why? Because it’s sensible to go a little steady. As Dinah Liversidge (Wow I love that woman!) said “When I was on the road to recovery I only walked for 10 minutes a day, and I didn’t try to push it. Go little and often to build stamina.” (Dinah is also the awesome lady that told me that to get through Lupus I’d need Cannabis and a hot tub. I got both, well the legal version of the Cannabis!
I never stop working on my emotional intelligence, beliefs and personal development, if you’d like to explore this with me, get in touch. I’m also that in love with CBD I’ve signed up with Tessellate to sell it!
It was not my plan to wake up in September and upset a dentist, but upset a dentist I did!
The Dentists email started fabulously with Marcus telling me how much he was enjoying my book but quickly took a negative turn as he pointed out that I’d been rather mean to his industry on page 46. On that page I talked about how unpleasant arrogant people can be and I compared it to sitting in the dentist chair. You know, arrogant people are a bit like dentists, you know you’re not going to enjoy the experience but someone how you’ve just got to get through it.
At the time of writing I carried out some research on “What is the worse place you have to go?” and the replies varied from;
The dentist featured the highest and resonated with a lot of people so seemed the natural choice to select. It also resonated with me because 30 years ago I’d had such a severe phobia of the dentist that I had to be sedated to even have a check and clean! I would pass out in the chair. Not a nice experience and thus because it resounded with me too it went in the book.
My book – Fight the fear is about the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and I share how to get what you want in life and overcome the obstacles and fears to build confidence and success. I have a habit of having a laugh with my coaching clients because it helps them look at tough situations, feelings and obstacles in their life that are usually causing negative emotions, actions and results. So I wanted to bring that style to my book as well as the strategies that I know work.
What do you say to someone you’ve upset and upset his whole profession?
Well I was honest. I did start by asking for a review (since no one ever gets around to writing those!) and then I found that I spent a good few minutes thinking about it.
Did I really hate dentists? What should I say to Marcus?
Marcus had got me thinking!
My Dentist (Miss Rasheed) rocks! She’s so patient and thanks to my Lupus et al sometimes its’ near on impossible to open my mouth wide enough or for long enough and yet she patiently helps me and always checks that my medication is not impacting on my teeth, she’s always kind and when my teeth crumbled thanks to the meds I thought Miss Rasheed was going to cry too at the unfairness of it all!
Okay years ago I went 3 years without a checkup because I didn’t’ get my fear under control (ironic I fix people’s fears for a living now right?) and while visiting the dentist is not on my top 100 days out list, I love the clean feel you get from a dentists clean and I love having a catch up with Miss Rasheed. It’s almost like a review of the last 6 months. You come out grinning because you’ve had a chat and realised you’ve done some pretty awesome things since you last saw her!
So Marcus was right but I wasn’t wrong. How can that be?
Well, while Marcus was very right to point out that “modern confidence building dentistry is as far from this as possible!” because it is. It’s most definitely not a man yanking your teeth out with pliers while his foot gains leverage on your chest. However I was right because factually it had rated highly as somewhere, with someone many of us hate to be.
Would I use that analogy if I was writing Fight the fear now?
Probably, however I would have added that it is a perception of reality (that is not correct) that enables us to view dentists in this 18th century style instead of the 21st century carers they actually are. Which in all honesty is also something that happens with most fears – we create a version of reality that doesn’t serve us well and enables the fear (and thus damages our success) scary right? Possibly worded like this the analogy for dentists would have proved more powerful so I commend Marcus for emailing me.
So what do you do when you are faced with assumptions that damage your life, your results and even a profession?
The mistake that most people make is they “tell” the other party their own view and communicate in a way that says “If you don’t think the same as me then you are wrong.” The powerful communications happen when you enable someone to view something differently for themselves so first of all challenge them. Respectfully. Powerful communication is a hot topic throughout Gight the fear so I can see why it appealed to Marcus so much.
Where’s the facts?
Once you’ve challenged them ask them to give you evidence that has enabled them to think like that. In my case I took time to consider “How do I think about dentists?” And was able to see that my own viewpoint is very different to the one of the 15 year old Mandie Holgate. When I ask a client to give me the proof that they are useless, or it won’t work, or they are scared to do something, usually they are able to see it’s not true. And they have plenty of evidence to prove they are more than capable of succeeding, it’s just the rogue emotions trying to overpower the facts! As your coach I enable my clients to learn to notice how they think and talk to themselves. By enabling them to really understand this they have tools for life. Is the dentist really painful? How long are you really in the chair? Creating the right questions helps people look at things in a different way. WARNING word your viewpoint and question in the wrong way and you will lose any chance of getting your view across and respected.
Remove the stigma
You can’t always change people’s views or beliefs however you can help reduce the stigma thus eventually you can see it removed entirely. 11 years ago when I first spoke about trying to kill myself and my own depression people would tell me I was very brave to go on TV etc and talk so openly. I didn’t see it as brave, a firefighter running into a burning building is brave, talking about my past is not. For me it felt like the important thing to do. However now when I’m in the media and speaking up for mental health I rarely get that kind of comment. We are winning the war (all too slowly for my liking) on the barriers to discussing mental health and gaining mental health, and it’s the same for all stigmas.
Interestingly the book was originally aimed at people at work and we changed it to reflect WH Smith’s (the UK’s leading book stores) idea that we pitch the book to everyone. Every week I get messages from people telling me they have read my book and it’s helped them achieve more, overcome fears and their lack of confidence however closest to my heart is the messages that tell me that Fight the fear has helped people over come their phobias, mental health illnesses and emotional distress. I wish Mandie from 11 years ago had known going through hell would change thousands of peoples lives in the future, it may have helped her keep going!
So if you want to change people’s mind, talk about it. Get in the press, talk on social media, talk about it on your website, guest blog, blog, tell the world. As the saying goes “be part of the change you want to see in life.” That takes confidence so check your own confidence levels too.
Many people don’t know that your 21st century dentistry is not just helping you with your teeth and gums. They can spot Diabetes, Leukaemia, Oral cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Heart disease and Kidney disease (and that’s just a few things they can help detect!). My own dentist was the one to spot that the Lupus and meds were causing Osteopenia. If you can speak up about what a dentist really can do for you then you can help people to reframe how they think and thus how they act.
This is the same for most assumptions. When a client says something to me and I realise its something they’ve said repeatedly I raise their awareness to their assumption and break it down until it is gone, thus enabling a more powerful thought to take it’s place. Reframing works well for this. So instead of “I hate the dentist, it’s so painful” this could change to “It’s only 10 minutes for 6 months of healthy teeth, a good trade off!”
The fact is whether we like it or not like just as your car needs a service and your gutters need cleaning, your teeth need looking after too. It’s something we have to do if we want to keep our teeth, so the outdated inaccurate viewpoint of the dentist has to go doesn’t it?
As my readers and clients know most fears are hidden, (that’s is why they get to have power over you for so long because you can’t fix what you can’t see) and thanks to Marcus I’ve had a look at what I think and realised that if I allowed that negative viewpoint of dentists to stick around then my next visit could start to be like the ones of my teen years – horrific! Because ultimately our brains are big muscles that need exercising regularly to stay healthy.
Thank you Marcus, you are doing an awesome job of challenging these views, It begs the question “If you could change people’s beliefs around something what is it and how would you do it?
(If you are looking to change the world, grow a business or just change someones behaviour at work I’m happy to have a chat about the power of coaching to get what you want.)
Have you ever had one of those days were you wake up and you see that pair of socks that your child has been leaving at the door for many years, but today’s the day you see red.
Or your partner doesn’t shut the kitchen cupboard properly and instead of your normal reaction to just do it your self and say nothing, today’s the day, steam comes out of your ears,your face turns beetroot and the whole world says “Wow, what’s up with her?”
We all have those days, okay so some more than others. But even the calmest person can sometimes see red. And the impact that can have on your day can be pretty dire.
So how can you claw back the normal happy you?
How can you get rid of that frustrated, tearful ready to rip the head of a teddy mood?
First things first.
When you get stressed you breathe a lot shallower, so take 3 deep breaths. If the house is going crazy because of the roar mood you helped unleash on it, hide in the bathroom for 5 minutes. Wash your hands very slowly. Find a shelf to put the labels all round the right way, anything ideally as pointless and mind numbing as possible.
Become very aware that if you continue in this frame of mind, it could impact on your whole day. That meeting, the drive to work, the weeks shopping that needs doing, the trip to the bank. Whether fun things or chores fill your day, just imagine how negative you could feel about them if you allow this mood to continue. So the choice is yours. Stop it or allow it flow.
If you really can’t stop then give yourself half an hour before you tackle any important task to go for a walk or something that allow your mind to clear. What works for you? Knowing the answer to this when you are calm is ideal for that moment when you’re seeing red. When you see red its very hard to think clearly – another reason to ditch that mood!
Concentrate on a task that you would normally neglect. Giving your mind something new to work on can be enough to get your mind interested in a new direction and shift that big angry cloud from over your head.
Don’t listen to the person that says “Snap out of it” There is nothing faster to wind you up and make you disagree with someone than when someone tell s you what to do. So steer clear of those people. If you know thats the response you will get, don’t tell them how you are feeling.
Phone a friend you CAN talk to. Its an obvious one but sometimes just sharing how you are feeling is enough to feel listened to, acknowledged and that you can handle it. You may realise that things need to change because the red fog is happening more often, but it could just be a bad day. And we all have one of those. As I like to say if you didn’t have bad days how would you know what a good day looks like?
Get distracted, get proactive and know that with in your mind is the power to stop that bad filthy mood in an instant, it has to start with a wish in your head to achieve that.
That or you have to accept that seeing red will mess with your head, and can potentially wreck your day, now do you want that?
Take a look at the negative spiral. This is an example from working with a business woman recently who was really struggling with the outcome of public speaking.
As we worked together it become very apparent that presentation opportunities could destroy the impact of her whole day and really rock her motivation and the results she got that day and of course her long term professional opportunities too.
We looked at what was currently happening then I planted the seed of an idea about what could happen if she reacted in the opposite way.
If you are looking to make change you need a powerful reason to do it. This woman realised that her believes and reactions were heavily impacting on her success and it was a real Eureka moment!
No amount of learning new skills in public speaking would change her results until she was able to take control of her mind.
We all get those negative voices in our head that tell us we can’t do it, and we will fail. The negative to positive spiral is a great way to get over it. You can learn more in my confidence course and by reading my book Fight the fear. These have both been proven to help people get over that voice in their head that tells them they can’t and that they are an impostor.
Start simply by being aware of what’s happening, then work out what could be the opposite.
Let Your Subconscious get working, and you will be surprised at how quick you can get that negative into a positive!
There is a lot more to it to ensure that voice never impacts on you again and I take my clients through very personalised solutions to ensure they get rid of theirs. I’m happy to have a chat anytime, so feel free to get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org and I like the phone ringing – +44 (0) 1206 381 482