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20 Coping Skills That Will Help You During Times of Stress

My latest article for Lifehack about stress and how to cope.

Stress impacts on us all.

No one is immune, and it's not all bad. However when it feels like it is overwhelming, impacting on your happiness, actions, results and personal and professional life, then you need to take action.

To read the full article click here.

If you would like to download a copy of this PDF to help you remember the top tips, strategies and tools to dealing with stress click here.


20 Coping Skills That Will Help You During Times of Stress
  • November 4, 2018

A little algorithm that could change your life (and your results!)

An interesting little question that I helped a client create this week has had massive levels of impact on their chosen thoughts and actions and as result impacted on their performance.

It is like a little algorithm that I’ve found working on myself and other clients too. It is this;

“If I choose to drop xxx then I can choose to get xxx”

For instance;

  • “If I choose to drop my corporate career then I can pursue my lifelong career.”
  • “If I choose to drop my insecurities then I can go for senior management.”
  • “If I choose to drop my fear of public speaking I can further my career”

Interestingly as a coach I’ve helped people to;

  • Get on the board of directors.
  • Become management material.
  • Quit their corporate life.
  • Set up/grow up/close a business.
  • Find/fight/fix fears.

The fact is this little algorithm, works powerfully in so many ways for so many people.

As so many great thinkers, leaders and philosophers over time have proved time and time again it is when we can explain things in their simplest format that we are able to understand the most.

And with this little algorithm, it enables a client to get to what really is holding them back in their ambitions, dreams and big goals for success.

That little algorithm is very beautiful and perfect. It makes my work sound so easy and simple. It is in the process that we create that the client can use that algorithm with power to get what they want in life. My clients are all incredible, finding their own way to process what is going on in their head.

Together we create something very powerful, even more powerful than an algorithm!

  • August 15, 2018

Take your medicine

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 thatMandie holgate helping you see the wood for the trees coaching 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?

Etc, etc.

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 statementsPower of thought with Mandie Holgate 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?

  • January 7, 2018

Mandie’s New Years Solution….

I’m often asked if I set goals and in January I’m inundated with questions about new year resolutions.

Should I set them? Shouldn’t I?

What should they look like? How should I word them? Do I need to create micro actions? Do I have to get up early? Do I have to rewrite my life?

I think that part of this can be impacted on by the fact that whereas years ago in the workplace we’d have 5 minutes chat on the way to the coffee machine now we know what people are thinking, planning and coveting 24/7 thanks to our interconnected world. Thus we can’t help but compare and contrast ourselves to others.

Great in some ways, a killer to happiness and success in others.

So with January rattling on, what do I tell people about New Years Resolutions?

It’s down to the individual. And while some can make it work, for the majority it sets up 2018 with shortcut to failure. While some have the character that means they create the passion and will achieve it no matter what, and others can create a positive addiction to a result. Many have doubts and fears about capabilities, results and even confidence can take a death defying jump off a cliff. So personally I would never set a goal according to a date. It’s ludicrous. 

However, I do perform certain actions towards the end of the year. You see weirdly for me and my partner we have never seen the year as January to December (there are currently over 40 calendars in the world. With our knack for altering our year and our months going back through civilisations – any chance to make it easier to achieve right?) For me and my Hubby we have always seen the start of the new year as September, when we return from our holidays. Refreshed. Relaxed. Brain recharged. Body ready for anything. And lots of ideas and plans naturally make their way to the forefront of our minds. In this way, we find we “naturally” get stuff done in the Autumn and into the new year, without a lot of big pressure or preplanning. All that was naturally done over a glass of local wine in the South of France on a beach!

So the end of the calendar year is a great chance to reassess things;

What is working?

What do I need to change to get the results we/I want/need?

How are my actions impacting on our long-term goals?

What needs to change?

These are just some of the questions we answer to check against our desired goals in business and life. January then is my first marker to how I’m getting on. And I ask additional questions such as;

Do I feel the same level of passion for what I do?

Do I need to change what I do or how I do it?

Are my goals still stretching me?

Are comfort zones developing?

What fears are lurking that could impact on my growth?

Do I need to set new or additional actions?

Do I need to set new or additional goals?

This process often throws up little actions that can tune up the goal engine that gets me to where I want to go. It stops me from stagnating, it ensures I challenge myself and always look the right distance into the future. And for me rather importantly it ensures I stay positive. Being self-employed is epic, however, working in an office with a dog at your feet and only seeing clients via a computer screen may make lots of clients happy and successful and the bank account healthy, yet it does little for a healthy mind, so one of my personal goals that I’m happy to share with you is that I will be networking more in 2018. Not only is it great fun, delivers new opportunities and clients, for me personally most importantly it protects my mental well being.

You see a big reason we fail in our goals and new year resolutions is we just don’t work with what we’ve got. We look around at everyone else and think “I should be in the gym” “I should crave world domination” “I should want to be on TV”, etc, etc, etc and this means we stop listening to the values and passions that mattter to us and if you really want success and to achieve in 2018, start by asking these questions. Honestly and openly, what do you really want?

Now let’s get on with achieving it. Exciting isn’t it!

  • January 4, 2018

Don’t Catch The Shiny Thing Syndrome (The STS)

Of all the things that are big obstacles to success. I think the one that is the most frustrating for clients (rather than scary or stressful) is when The Shiny Thing Syndrome hits.
Don’t know The Shiny Thing Syndrome?

The STS (Shiny Thing Syndrome) is when you are working towards your goal and then a new idea, new opportunity, or a new “expert” comes along and you think “Oooo this could work faster, easier, with less work, money, time, effort.” Basically, the idea takes weight in your mind that the course of action you are taking is not going to get you to your dream destination and that you need to look somewhere else to get the results you want. And before you know it you’ve signed up to a new course, a new way of thinking, the next “guru” or book that has all the answers. And guess what?

3 to 6 months later you are starting to lose momentum with what this course of action required and are already looking around thinking things like;

  • “That looks like it could work.”
  • “They seem to have it sussed, I wonder what they did to succeed and if I should copy them?”
  • “I really don’t know if this is the right product/service/person to be going for.”
  • “I don’t think I’m getting the results I want because I’m not going for the right things, I should try something else.”
  • “They seem to be getting there faster than me, I wonder what their secret to success is?”

Whatever your train of thought it will be a pattern of thinking that takes you away from your action and focus and in a new direction. Hence the “oooo shiny thing syndrome” because you are easily getting distracted to move in a new direction and not stick with what you are doing.

Why is this such an obstacle to success? Because if you keep moving in new directions all of the time you can end up going around in circles, never getting anywhere!

So the next time The STS hits what can you do about it?;

  1. ValuesMandie Holgate values exercise

One of the reasons we flit from one idea, goal, target, guru to another is because we lose sight of what matters to us. We are so keen to learn and strive for greatness that we forget to remember our brain has not read the memo and doesn’t know you are supposed to be achieving according to someone else’s definition of success. As such before you choose even one action you need to know what matters to you most. Because when you know what your driving forces are in life then you keep moving towards them.

ACTION; think about something right now that you care passionately about. Maybe it’s your partner, your dog, your kids, animal welfare, and end to starvation, a charity or a cause. Now imagine someone suggested you dump that and go for the Anti Oxygen Society as the thing you care most about. Crazy notion right?

Now bring it back and think about that thing you care about with all of your heart and mind, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most powerful);

  • How passionate do you feel about the actions and goals you have in your life?
  • Do they give you the same rush of passion, love, determination and desire to support it as the thing you care passionately about?

If not then you are not living to your core values. In chapter 1 of my book Fight the fear, there’s an exercise that will take you between 20 minutes and 1 hour, go back and do that now. And if you have already done this exercise, do it again! (Your core values could have altered or you haven’t appreciated their value to your success.) You can not achieve what your heart does not truly desire.

  1. Clear GoalsClear Goals Mandie Holgate Aug

It’s all well and good to create goals, however, are they so crystal clear that you can feel like they already exist?

From the age of 8, I wanted to be a published author, and despite serious illness and only working part time I knew with every fibre of my being it was going to happen. Now, this is not just magic thinking, or the power of the secret. Yes, it started with a goal I would do anything to achieve, however it then had the right actions and beliefs to ensure I worked tirelessly and without fault to that goal.

ACTION; We will look at your actions in more detail in top tip 4 and top tip 6, however for now ask yourself;

  • Is my goal in line with my values?
  • Have I laid out clear actions to achieve it?
  • Do I understand what it will feel like to achieve this?
  • Do I appreciate what I will NOT look at to get to this result?
  • What do I need to do to understand how to reach my goal?
  1. IgnoreIgnore Mandie Holgate fight the fear

This one is where you really only notice you’ve slipped from positive action to negative action when it’s too late because it doesn’t feel like you are doing anything wrong. If anything it can feel like you are taking control and stepping it up a gear. However one of the quickest ways to Shiny Thing Syndrome is to listen to every new idea that comes along. As much as there are tonnes of great books out there, with the best will in the world you can only physically read one word at a time, so taking on 10 books with 10 lots of actions, ideas and opinions is not going to work.

One thing at a time. And that means ignoring the rest. It doesn’t mean forever, however it does mean that you don’t keep looking over your shoulder for a faster, easier, quicker way to get where you want to get.

ACTION; So ignore other experts, for now, ignore other ideas, ignore new ways and most importantly at this stage ignore the competition. They are on their path and you are on yours. And as we’ve already established if you keep changing direction you end up going in circles, and like wise if you keep jumping on other people’s paths you get other people’s destinations!

You wouldn’t arrive at the airport and say “I will go where he is going” oblivious to the destination of the man in front of you in the queue, so why do it with your success? You are on your path, heading in your direction. By ignoring everyone else for a while you can concentrate on getting there. Remember with success there has to come failure. And you can’t know if you are on the right path until you have actually travelled on it. Changing lanes gives you no information to enable you to appreciate what really works for you.

  1. FocusFocus MH August article Mandie Holgate fight the fear

You have probably heard from a lot of experts that you need to be focused right? And another reason the STS hits is because you start to question if this is the right way to go;

  • “Am I concentrating on the right things?”
  • “Should I try this instead?” etc, etc.

As we looked at in Top Tip 3 you need to explore one path at a time. Experience the failure so that you can understand;

  • “What worked?”
  • “What do I need to improve?”
  • “What have I learnt from this?”

ACTION; When you remember that staying focused on the plan of action you have decided on you can challenge yourself with questions like;

  • “If I don’t keep going with the actions I laid out, what am I agreeing to?”
  • “If I change focus now what am I agreeing to?”
  • Am I scared to keep going on procrastinating about doing this?

And you are likely to discover you are agreeing to confusion, procrastination and worry that you are doing the wrong thing or that it is not going to work. The only way you can know if it is going to work is by actually sticking with it. (And there is more advice about that in top tip 6)

  1. One size actually fits all (sometimes!)Mandie Holgate blog Aug

A quick search on Google showed me that there are literally hundreds of diets that I could use. And yet still new ones are invented, why? Ultimately our bodies still have the same components in it that they had in them 50 years ago so why the new diet trends? Because we don’t want to do what we need to do.

The fact is that actually to a degree one size does fit all when it comes to weight loss – as one friend put it (a bit crudely!)“You’ve got to move more, eat less and go to the loo more” That’s it. No rocket science. And yet if to lose weight it just takes 13 words why is the diet industry worth over $60 billion dollars! It reinforces that one size can fit all.

ACTION; Stop doing new stuff and stick with what needs to be done. It is highly likely you’ve heard the saying that is reported to have come from Einstein (but just as likely to be Franklin, Twain or Rita Mae Brown!) “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing and expect different results.” And yet we’ve become so obsessed with the idea of doing new things that we forget to keep going. Remember 1 more book, 1 more expert, 1 new opportunity is all distracting you. Therefore become aware of your desire to go for something new all of the time;

When does it happen?

Is it within weeks of getting started with a goal?”

“Is it when things get tough, scary or out of your comfort zone?”

Instead of moving in a new direction, tackle the underlining cause of distraction and redirection.

  1. AccountableAccountably coach mandie holgate

When The STS hits you how will you stay accountable? It is all too easy to turn to your new idea, guru, book and say “this last idea didn’t get me to where I wanted to go, you will won’t you!”

ACTION; Before you move on again, stop and ask yourself (honestly) if you are taking responsibility and ownership;

  • Have you really done all that you said you would?
  • Have you really challenged your mindset and actions to get to where you want to go?
  • If not who and what could help you?

Remember your environment can impact on your actions and The STS as much as your attitude and belief, thus;

  • Look around you, are you with the right people?
  • Do they support you, give you faith and belief that you can achieve?
  • Or are they constantly throwing new information at you, when you’ve not finished processing the last lot?

Mastermind groups, networking groups, friends, relatives, colleagues, can all come under these categories; ie they are either going to help you stay focused and accountable for the end result or they are going to distract you with ideas like;

  • “Well it was a lot to ask of yourself”
  • “I didn’t think you really wanted this”
  • “We still love you even if you don’t achieve your goal”
  • “It’s not for everyone.”

Remember other people are on their own agenda, and because they love and care about you (or want the opportunity themselves!) they may wish you to stop going for your goals and sometimes that desire is subconscious so they don’t’ even know they are doing this to you!

Do you remember as a child when things got tough, you would turn to your parents and either cry, whinge, or share your fears that you’d never be able to do it?

And what did your parents do? They reassured you, they showed you they believed in you and they encouraged you to keep going. None of us get up and walk for the first time without a few slips. And your parents had no way of knowing completely that you could do it. It was their job to encourage, motivate and support so you kept believing in yourself. Just think of it like riding a bike, how tough did that feel? Have you ever taught a child to ride a bike? It can be really tough to work out what to say or do so you just keep encouraging and supporting, who is doing that for you now?

  1. Just do it.Mandie Holgate coach just do it

Ultimately The STS is about negative emotions hitting you and making you question and second guess your choice of action and goal. And as scary as it can be to step out of your comfort zone or to keep going when you don’t feel like you are getting somewhere you have to “just do it”. There’s a reason why Nike is still using that tagline, because ultimately when it comes to succeeding that is what your success needs.

No one gets on the track and runs their personal best the first time. Formula 1 racing drivers don’t start in F1 Cars, they start in go carts!

ACTION: Just do it! I appreciate that you might be thinking “That is easier said than done Mandie!” okay so ask yourself;

  • “For what reason is that easier said than done?”
  • “What fear is underlining your lack of action and just getting on with it?

Fight that fear, because ultimately I believe in you, I’ve seen people like you take responsibility, ownership, set the goals, live to their core values, adjust their beliefs and achieve big, so what evidence are you relying on to the contrary? And if you need new people in your team to ensure you get there, feel free to give me a call anytime.

  • July 24, 2017

Master class 2 Homework – If you really want results…

To everyone that joined me on one of my first live master classes, thanks for being there.
I can’t tell you how nerve wracking it is!
It really is.
I bet you are thinking, you Mandie, nervous? but yes.
I get nervous too, the difference is I’m always ready to jump out of my comfort zone. I like to get so far out of my comfort zone you can’t see it any more. And as scary as that is that’s my approach. If that approach doesn’t work for you that’s fine, I’ve a nice and gentle approach for you too.
So as requested to back up this weeks’ master class here is a quick reminder of the homework;
1 Think of your favourite customer and what they said when they placed an order or paid the bill.
2 What were the words of sheer joy or absolute pain that they were experiencing? They are some of your “power words” I talk a lot about them in my online course Super charge your 60 seconds success.
3 Create 5 elevator pitches using the 5 styles I suggested and they are
T – Top tip.
R – Relevant
U – Useful
S – Successful and
T Targeted.
Again I talk a lot more about these in my online course Super charge your 60 seconds success.
4 Now work out with these 5 new elevator pitches with the power words in them how you are not just going to use them in your networking how you will integrate them in your marketing over the next week.
5 If you usually live on Facebook. What else will you add?
Could you dare to brave LinkedIn?
Could you risk the realms of Instagram?
What about a blog article about the top tip you shared and then talk about that at your next networking event? See how your marketing becomes more structured by bringing it all together?
6 And lastly as I shared in this short YouTube video what assumptions are you making and what about the follow up? You can watch that again here. https://youtu.be/PD0tsxMO0No
(None of my courses cost a lot, they genuinely work, could seriosly make a difference to your success rate and best of all if you are on social media or attend The Business Womans Network I’m happy to have a chat to really power up the results too! – Super Charge Your 60 Seconds Success you can learn more here https://www.openlearning.com/course…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • July 20, 2016