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Stress Free Guide to Exams – Works on anyone looking to achieve more at stressful times too!

As I sit next to my snoozing poorly daughter who has another migraine (In the hope we can starve it off) I want to talk about stress and its impact on your success.

The irony is that my gorgeous girl used to have a 3 to 8-day migraine every month until she started on Tessellate CBD so it’s a shocker to find her suffering a 2nd one after only 4 days from the last one. She’s being investigated for Lupus like her Mum and so while we expect it to be a big tougher for her, the exam stress is already getting to her and they aren’t for another 4 months!

I’m impressed by how many emails her school send me about revision guides and after school revision sessions, but devasted that I’ve not heard one word mentioned relating to;

  • Overwhelm.
  • Overloaded.
  • Burn out.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Stress.
  • Mental health.
  • Wellbeing.
  • Time management.
  • Planning.
  • Achieving goals.

Shall I go on?

According to a study by Girl Guiding Organisation “More than half of girls (52%) say exam pressures affect how happy they are, yet four in five say they don’t get the support they need to manage exam-related stress.”

And in my role as a coach I see many women who suffer a lack of confidence and if you’re happy and positive about your capabilities guess how confident you feel? I honestly question if there is a direct link between the drop in confidence in our young adults and the pressures of teen life.

It is something I’ve long wanted to be involved in schools, because so many of my coaching clients are;

  • Overworked.
  • Unproductive – or no way near as productive as they become through our coaching.
  • Working ridiculously long hours – clients soon learn how to achieve more and leave the desk at a decent hour.
  • Stressed bordering on burn out.
  • Uncreative – their brains are far too full of life and stuff!
  • Have no social life – there’s not enough hours in the day for that!
  • Bordering on being mentally unwell.

It is not a crime to look after your mind so that you can look after the body and your success so I really struggle to understand why the school is only dealing with the knowledge and not the vessel they hope to store the knowledge in!

AS I advise clients, you are not a robot or a superhuman so if you don’t listen to your body it will play up just when you need it most. Do you get ill just before a holiday or Christmas? My clients not only achieve their goals they also find they get ill less – no shocker is it that our minds impact on our bodies is it?

So for all teenagers out there about to sit exams, all worried parents and any one else that loves supporting the success of teens here’s a top tip guide to creating a stress free exams tool kit.(For the record it works just as well on executives, business owners, CEO’s, job seekers, parents and everyone else on the planet that wants to achieve more.)

Communicate

Teens aren’t the only ones that hide what’s really going on. And they aren’t the only ones suffering as a result. To change the results, you get you need to be honest about what you are experiencing. In coaching I raise awareness to what is going on, help clients take ownership of it and responsibility for it (believing it’s just life or it’s nothing to do with you, stops you from creating lasting change) and then they can create a plan of action. So, find someone to talk to. It could be multiple people;

  • A coach figure to help you create a plan of action, to visualise the results you want, keep you motivated and supported.
  • A parent that you can off load to. Not expecting any help, just a hug and 2 good listening ears. (If that person talks more than you then they aren’t a good listener and you aren’t getting what you need from that relationship.)
  • A friend who will take you away from all that.

Think about what kind of support you would like and who in your world could provide it?

Be honest – ask for help!

None of us like owning up to needing help. Remember as I talk about in Fight the fear even the cross-channel swimmer gets someone else to rub on the Goose fat otherwise they can’t see where they are going because their goggles are greased up! No one successful get’s there on their own. A perfect example of this is the clients who I helped get life in order and now they still see me because they want to keep life in order. Asking for help is not a sin in it’s a saviour! So, look for the reasons why you are not honest;

  • What are thinking?
  • Have you assumed that person won’t help?
  • That you can’t be helped?
  • That there is no solution?

Challenge your thoughts to be able to get over yourself and speak up.

Study and play

Studying together is great if you make time to veg out, watch TV, hang out at the shops, slap on face masks, share dodgy Memes, and anything else that takes you out of your daily life. We all need down time, ideally don’t be attached to your phone, but phones are useful too (see below). So, ask yourself if I had a go to wish list of things to do with my friends over the next 5 months what would they include? Make it visual. Tell your friends. Get the diary out and book something and don’t cancel it! Your brain needs space to process what you are learning. (That’s not an excuse not to revise!)

Phones are friends, not foe.

I struggle to understand why phones aren’t taught in school. We have never seen so much anxiety and mental health in this planet and I think it is in no small part down to our inability to use our phones for good, not destruction. A successful person has apps that;phones for business and happiness safe use

  • Monitor your productivity
  • Monitor your social media time.
  • Calendars.
  • Mind maps to process thoughts and goals.
  • Productivity tools to ensure your to do list gets done in priority order.
  • Music.
  • Even games that bring mindfulness and calm.

Just research apps for stress and you will find something right for you. Not convinced it’s never been so important to master your phone.

Phones are not currently listed as an addiction, is that because they aren’t addictive or because the list has not been updated! Phone issues I see in clients include;

  • Unable to step away.
  • Fear of missing out.
  • Convinced they must answer everyone immediately.
  • Stress, overwhelm, sadness and a fear of failure because their lives don’t look like those on their social media.
  • Distress that the world is ending and nothing good ever happens!

These are signs that you aren’t controlling your social media – your social media is controlling you! Here are a few ideas to take phone control;

  1. Create rules for answering people – i.e. “I will not answer text/email/social media messages between the hours of 8pm and 8am.”
  2. Change who you see – if you have a social media friend that only shares disturbing, destressing and upsetting content whether you feel it at the time or not that is impacting on your mindset (and we don’t’ have time here to talk about the damage that has on your success!) Snooze them or unfriend them, they won’t know. And if they say anything just say, “you know those algorithms!” your social media should inspire you, motivate you and make you feel good about life – if it doesn’t you need to change it.
  3. Notice how your time on your phone makes you feel.

Perspective

When my children sat their 11+ they were the only children that ran out of school with big grins, parents would often remark “Why aren’t your kids stressed out?” The reason my kids stayed sane was because we discussed them before hand;

1. We talked about how the exams were measuring the school’s ability to teach and not them.

2. The secondary school they were going to had already advised they took no measurement from the 11+ so it was not important, their overall attitude and learning capabilities were far more important.

3. If they failed and couldn’t get into their perfect school, it was not the end of the world.

Failure is good for you

For most of our children this is their first big adventure into the scary land of failure. As a child your parents would ensure that you got what you wanted (or Father Christmas did!) then suddenly it’s landed on their shoulders. After GCSE’s many want to go to University, some can see dream career paths (my daughter wants to be a cardiac thoracic heart surgeon!) and suddenly there is a potential block in the road.

Successful people understand that when obstacles arise, we can always overcome them. Failure helps us to understand who we are, it helps us define what we want out of life and how we will get it. And it helps us appreciate how much passion we have to ensure we always have the drive to keep going.

It is not this has to work or that won’t happen

As I advised my daughter, if she is not suited to passing exams there will be other ways to help people. It could be that cutting people open and saving lives is not what she is meant to do in the form of a surgeon but that won’t stop her from training as a paramedic, there’s no denying their brilliance!

There is always a way and GCSE’s are not the end of the road, they are just the start. So don’t think so laterally. Think big picture.

Perception

I’m really unhappy how much pressure is created in schools. You must pass!

For the record I only got a C in A level English and I have a book that is in 5 languages sold around the world and made it to WH Smith’s top 10 books! Miss Grimstone, My English teacher, told me I was a lousy writer and here I am writing for Lifehack that has over 150 million readers!

Check out the celebs that failed too; Lord Alan Sugar only has 1 GCSE and he is worth about 1.4 billion! And poor old Richard Branson left school at 16 and now has 200 companies in 30 countries around the world, while loser Steven Spielberg was rejected from Film School! And there’s plenty more including Adele, Harry Styles, Zoella, Eminem and Leonardo DiCaprio.

My daughter’s own Grandad has severe dyslexia, rarely attended school and had an automotive business that he sold for well over a million pounds. Not through what he achieved at school, but damn hard work, dedication and commitment. Exams are not the be all and end all – sorry teachers, they really aren’t. Look at how you adjust your perception of where you are right now.

Values

As you look to shift perception, look at what values matter most to you and then no matter where you go in life you will find true happiness and success that matters to you.

Values may include anything you like;

  • Fun
  • Money
  • Family
  • Travel
  • Success – what does that look like?
  • Learning.
  • Respect
  • Kindness
  • Music
  • Art
  • Creativity
  • Helping people

Come up with 10 values that mean the world to you and then use the values exercise in chapter one of my book to see how essential that knowledge is for life.

Eat

You can’t fuel your body on sugar and crap. My daughter makes herself a proper breakfast every day – she will have a variety of things including scrambled eggs with salmon, toast, fruit, cereal, but always  a proper breakfast and she prepares a proper meal every day for lunch and often cooks the evening meal . You may ask why I’m not doing this?

  1. Within 2 years she will be at University and I won’t be there to do it, so she needs a repertoire of dishes she can rely on now, that way at university everything else that is new can be handled and cooking a decent meal will be second nature.
  2. Time out from study gives your brain space to process what you are learning and practice “Do I really know Pythagoras theory”?
  3. It is unrelated to work in any way so it’s good for reducing stress, calming down and switching off. Ever made a cheese sauce and noticed you get a Eureka moment on something you’ve been struggling with? Your brain will create solutions if you give it the space (and time) to do it.

Breathe

There are various breathing exercises that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in seconds. Life hack mandie holgate overwhelmed mindOne practised by the Navy seals is called the Box method.
Breathe in for 4 seconds, then breathe out for 4 seconds, smile right? Do this for a minute and notice the results.
According to Examined Existence this works because (and here’s the science)

“This breathing method works because of the physiological effect breathing has on the nervous system. Breathing slowly and deeply activates the hypothalamus, which is connected to the pituitary gland in the brand, to send out neurohormones that block stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline from being released. This thereby triggers a relaxing response from the body.  Additionally, breathing deeply and slowly triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to secrete hormones that decrease blood pressure and heart rate, which also induces a relaxation response in the body.”

Notice your breathing and practice at bedtime, there are lots of apps that help you do this.

Walk

Getting out in nature has been proved to reduce stress, so don’t be a slave to your studies, record your revision on your phone and get walking. This interactive way of learning has many benefits. And a change of environment is good for you. Many business owners tell me they do 16-hour days, that’s not impressive, it’s foolish. Step away from your desk at least every 60 minutes (smart watches are great for reminding you to do this!) Read on for more on this…

Time management

Don’t work harder, work smarter, I’d love just a penny for every time I hear this. Here is a quick down and dirty guide to actually doing this, what will you include in your stress-free exams tool kit?

  1. Boundaries – tell people what you are doing by when.
  2. Honesty – if you fear you can’t complete the tasks by when, ask for an extension, don’t whine, show your teachers/parents your planned actions for today and this week and ask “Where will I have time to do this? Ensure your planner outside of school includes a walk, reading for fun time, reading for revision time, self-care time and don’t move it.
  3. Be open to working in a different way. Listening to what works for others can lead to top time management strategies. “Only if you put them into action!) None of us know everything so try new techniques.
  4. Be realistic, you do need to study too! Showing your peers your planner and your teachers and parents helps them and you to be accountable to the solution.
  5. Clear goals – be realistic on what can be achieved in an hour. And set chunk goals – 40 minutes to do X, 20 minutes to do X. Any task that takes longer than that needs breaking down again, but don’t get bogged down in planning – wow I’ve seen some great flow charts, mindmaps and gant charts from new clients – heck they’ve done none of it, but hey it looks pretty.
  6. Show your plans in a way that suits you – not trends. I have only 3 to 5 tasks per day on a small piece of paper, it keeps me motivated, accountable and focused. I also have a 10-day plan on a large piece of paper, and you guessed it only 3 to 5 tasks towards my goals (that are written on the top of the paper) per day. This works find a plan that suits you.
  7. Time it – if you procrastinate, hate it or just loathe doing it time how long a task takes. Interestingly clients that do this report that the things they love take longer than the things they hate, so set a stopwatch and get going! Sorry, but that includes tidying your room, helping out with chores and other things you think you can shy away from. In the big wide world of work, you will have deadlines and commitments, learning now how to juggle personal and professional life will put you way ahead of your peers (and other job seekers!)
  8. Look for weaknesses, my weakness is social media, so I turn it off. I leave my phone out of reach but in ear shot. Be honest here, you are only fooling yourself. If I really can’t be trusted to not go online then I give my phone to my daughter!

Panic stations!

Know on a good day how to deal with a bad day. It’s not easy looking for solutions when you are stressed out, so know today what would help you change your mindset, calm down and get back on tract. Write a list, create a vision board, make it visual to remind you.

Music

Choose different music for study, for relaxation, for fun, for stress release – don’t choose the same music, it loses its power.

Hydrate

Students who take water into the examination halls may improve their grades; a study of 447 people found. As reported by the BBC water could improve your grades, so don’t always wait for the exams to ensure you’ve water at hand!

A little helping hand.

I have always used a bit of Rescue remedy, when I was petrified of public speaking, I would use this, whether it was the placebo effect or the remedy it helped. So, I’m getting my daughter some. (For the record, that is why I’m so good at fixing people’s fear of public speaking because I know how it feels!)

My daughter is good at reaching for the aromatherapy. Rosemary for study. Lavender for sleep. We have over 80 oils in our house and she will explore how she is feeling, look it up on her phone and choose and oil accordingly.

Tessellate CBD. I have been taken this since May last year and it’s changed my life (I know how crazy that sounds so I rarely talk about it) it’s not illegal, it aids sleep, anxiety and many many symptoms my daughter and I used to suffer. I’m going to get my daughter on the higher 10% dose for the next 5 months to help. She has only ever taken the 5% before.

Lastly, over to you.

Yoga, running, dancing, painting, singing, hobbies, tai chi, look for things in life that make you feel good and at them too!

Very lastly (promise) make it visual.

You won’t stick to these stress-free exams tool kit unless you make it visual;

  • Make an info-graphic or poster and stick it on your phone as your home screen.
  • Pin it up in your wardrobe door.
  • Paint a picture that reminds you of your plan to stay stress free, focused, calm and avoid the overwhelm, over load and overworked that I see in so many professionals (before they start working with me) It will be a game changer for your future self

 

  • January 16, 2020

How to Effectively Set Goals in Life to Get Where You Really Want to Be in 2020

I’d love just a penny for every time I’ve been able to help someone achieve their big goals fast with the idea I’m going to share here. It is that recurrent that I’d be a millionaire a good few times over!

Often people looking to get somewhere in life arrive to have coaching and advise that they’ve;

  • Read 100’s of books
  • Watched tons of Ted talks
  • Attended workshops and masterclasses around the world
  • Invested in programmes
  • Wrote a journal
  • Changed their lifestyle

And even transformed what time  they get up in the morning and yet miraculously they’ve not achieved their goals!

How frustrating!

What can possibly have stopped them, when they’ve put so much effort into achieving more?

And can you really share one thought and change a persons life?

The fact is that in a coaching conversation I’ve watched many a client have a look that is a mishmash of horror, elation, eureka and annoyance as they realise that it is this one thing that will define their chances of success. And that it has been stood in their way like a giant rock for years.

Here I share what that is.

And how to ensure you get the rocks out of the way of your ability to set powerful goals that get you where you want to go.

Your brain didn’t get the memo

It can seem obvious that if you are looking to achieve big and get somewhere in life then you will take the time and money to invest in finding the best ways of achieving that. The issue with this is that your brain didn’t get the memo on what was supposed to work. Let me give you an example (I could give you thousands!);

A client says that they have been getting up at 5am because they read that this was the Golden Hour if you want to achieve big and it was laid out what you should do in this Golden Hour.

I asked “Is this working?”

They replied “well I am reading more and I’m learning, but I’m grumpy as a bear by the afternoon and rowing with the kids and don’t even get a cuddle with my partner in the morning”

I questioned “So, is it working?”

They answered “I suppose in some aspects yes but in most aspects no.”

“So why are you still doing it?”

They retorted “Because the book said it was good to do!”

I then asked them a personal question, unrelated to business, careers or success “Do you like the mornings?”

They laughed “Oh gosh no, I’m a night owl, I hate the mornings!”

So why were they going out of their way to utilise a system that relied on them going against the very fibre of their being?

When I raised this to them, they looked like someone had just thrown a bucket of ice cold water over them. It would obviously never work long term because they were fighting who they were.

Remember while these books are selling in their millions and these speakers are amazing, what works for one does not by definition mean it will work for you. You have to work with ideas, tools and techniques that play to the person you are. It is no good fighting who you are, eventually your brain will fight back, it never got the memo, it didn’t know this was the new way of working and it is not going to play ball.

(There is an argument that you need to stick with things to make your habits change and while I agree with this in principle if the ideas encourage you to stray massively away from the human you are it is highly likely you will fail.)

So how do you fix it?

Look for the things that resonate with you. If you hate things structured and like to be free flowing then look for ideas that empower you to think and work in that way.

Another great example is the client who had a big figure in their head that they wanted to earn.

And they were going to do it.

The only issue was that the journey was practically killing them. They were working stupid hours with little down time and their health, personal and social life was suffering, no big deal right? Short term losses for long term gains?

Except that this person performed the Values Exercise from my book Fight the fear – that looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success. And discovered that the top 3 values that matter most to them was actually caring about others, friends and exercise. Making money was right down the list at number 8! While it’s fine to go for a goal that is not your top value, you do need to still honour the values and the things that make you, you. When you don’t you can hit all sorts of barriers and road blocks to getting what you want, so don’t fight who you are, your brain just didn’t get the memo.

Your Brain is a spongebrain learning for business success mandie holgate

Big goals, bucket lists and ambitions. The problem is that while you are busy creating these plans so you achieve them, your brain processes everything you experience.

Everything.

From the dog asleep by your feet, the trees moving just at the edge of your vision. The couple arguing in the corner, the coffee stain on the edge of your cup, the siren in the distance, the beep from your phone – everything.

Whatever is around you, your brain is processing it on some level. While in itself that is amazing it also means that you need to be clear on what you say to your brain. Not only is it processing every smell and sound it is processing every thought, belief and word you hear. That’s a lot! Filter out the stuff you don’t want and be careful what you allow in.

My Mum used to say “Treat advice like water in to a sponge, let everything in just wring out what you don’t want.” This is very apt for this top tip. When looking to achieve your goals people will share ideas, advice and books you “Must read!” Let it all come to you and then genuinely ask;

  • “Does this fit the human I am?”
  • “Does this play to my strengths?”
  • “Is this the best use of my time to get me where I want to go?”

While many people love videos and inspirational events, if you prefer to be on your own with a good book or speaking one to one with someone which is more likely to help you understand the power of your brain, create powerful actions and work towards your long term goals in life?

Learn to wring out the stuff that is not relevant to you.

Your Brain likes it simple

Your brain can process 400 billion bits of information a second and yet we only seem to how to keep it simple in business and lifebe aware of around 2000 (Sources include Dr Joseph Dispenza and Encyclopaedia Britannica) So if this is true you need to be aware that what you want is not the only thing your brain is working on. If you want your goals to feature in the top actions to process you need to keep it simple.

For your desires to feature above anything else you need to make it something easy to remember and keep at the front of your brain. Reword where you want to be and what you want to achieve into 1 sentence. Make it a powerful sentence that enables you to “see” your goal. To achieve this you will need to break the goal down. (Which is important for the next top tip) Write down the answers to these thoughts;

  • Think of everything that matters to you about this goal.
  • Consider all the emotions you want to feel and don’t want to feel.
  • Where will you be when you’ve achieved this goal.
  • Will your home look different?
  • Will your workplace look the same?
  • Will you be driving a different car?
  • Will you look different?
  • What colour will your hair be? Is it going to take you 30 years to achieve and you’ve gone grey or will you have found a new level of confidence and dyed your hair pink like you always wanted to?
  • What will tell you that you’ve achieved that goal?
  • How will it impact on your life? Your bank balance? Your relationships? Your career? Your happiness? Your hobbies?

When you’ve considered everything that could feature in your 1 sentence that summarises your goal, then look to create a sentence that does that. Make it a sentence with;

  • An end result (This helps your brain remember where you want to get to and gives it a specific place to end up)
  • Precise actions (This helps your brain to see what process you want to carry out and enables you to see if you are getting there so you can analyse your actions results and where you are in the process.)
  • Something to strive for not strain for. Your goal should aim to make you strive further than you would naturally choose to. (Imagine reaching your arm out to reach something that feels a little tight in your arm as you find yourself thinking “Can I reach this?”) However a word of caution here – A goal that over strains you can drain you picture.

Great sentence choices could be;

By the 25th of September 2020 I will have achieved my goal to own a property in X town with 2 bedrooms at a cost of XXX

By the end of 2022 I will have earned an average of xxxxxx a month by increasing sales of my products by 33% incorporating more interactive marketing techniques that engage with a wider audience of 10,000 additional people online.

Notice these goal sentences have;

  • Precise outcomes
  • Dates to work towards (ever noticed how some people have months to achieve something and still scrap around getting it done the night before the deadline?)
  • Measurable quantities
  • Precise actions to take.

NB; (Ironic isn’t it that the brain likes it simple and to make it simple I have to explain this tip in more detail than any other top tip! However, what I’m doing is sharing with you a little of the science of why coaching works and how to get these tools in your every day life to power up your chances of getting where you want in life. So do take the time to go through this process.

Your brain does the same things, again and again and again….

Once you have your goal sentence go back to all of the words you wrote down for Number 1 and write down everything you could do to achieve that goal. At this stage this is not what you will do this is what you could do. By doing this you are stretching (not straining) your brain to think further than it would normally about your actions. The problem we have is our brain is processing so much that a lot of what it does is automatic (habit) and to create new powerful actions we need to break past that automatic way of thinking.

As I explain it to clients; You are going to start by telling me the obvious ideas and the ideas that you mull over at 2am but don’t do. You are also likely to share the ideas that you’ve spent months agonising to whether you should do them or not but something always seems to stop you. And after that we can fight through the assumptions of what can be achieved. Overrule the doubts and limiting beliefs about your abilities and get on to finding the real actions that will get you to where you want to go.

Then when you have a long list of things you could do, choose a maximum of 5 actions that you will do to achieve your goal. It doesn’t mean you won’t do more of the ideas on this list, just that at this stage you are creating priority to concentrate on a maximum of 5 goals.

Your brain can’t process too much (and it loves a hit of the good stuff!)

When you’ve done the above top tip you need to then work out how you are going to accomplish those 5 actions (only ever have a maximum of 5 actions at any one time. For me I put them on a small 8cm squared post it note, because in this way I know I’m not overloading my to do list. The brain really hates it when you give it too much to process. It’s like trying to load a basket in the supermarket with a trolleys worth of shopping; stuff falls out!)

Break down those 5 actions. This is useful for a number of reasons, firstly it helps your brain stay focused on the action you are taking and the reasons why.

Secondly it also enables you to tick things off of your to do list. This always has a sense of achievement and makes us feel good. In fact clever scientists tell us that dopamine is released when we achieve something (however small) and our brains love a hit of dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter that our brain produces and enables us to stay focused, motivated and get things done. So by breaking your goals down you are rewarding your brain with a hit of the good stuff and that gives you the much needed boost to keep going. Especially if you are incorporating new things into your life that are challenging you to think and act in a new way.

Lastly when it comes to breaking it down you don’t need to write a list. If you are a lover of mind maps then create a simple version of this. If you love a spreadsheet – go for it. And if you like it visual draw it. Whatever you do make sure he 5 actions from the above top tip are broken down and visually near you so that you are able to keep focused on what you want.

Your brain doesn’t “get” now goals.

Your brain may not appreciate the need to get on with the “Now” Goals but your success does. I’ve so often seen clients struggling to achieve what they want to because they’ve not factored in that little thing called life. For instance, you may have a big ambition but you’ve not factored in spending time with family and friends. Big deal right? Short term sacrifice for long term gains right?

While in principle I agree the fact is that while you power on to your big ambitions your brain is still busy processing that sulky look on your child’s/friends/partners/mum’s face that says “You never have time any more.

And while you can justify that its “for the best”. In your head you can create this automatic subconscious process of thoughts that is all negative. I’ve seen clients realise that the reason they’ve not getting to where they want to go is because their brain has started to scupper their own success!

It has rationalised that if they keep working this hard the people they love will never love them again. They realise in their head there are thoughts like “My child/friend/partner/mum thinks I don’t care any more and they will leave me. I can’t afford to achieve this I could lose everyone!”

I’ve seen the same happen when redecorating the office/kitchen/kids room gets demoted for something else. Or when someone drops their weekly trip to the gym or yoga session. Both of these examples create negative emotions that subconsciously start to eat away at us.

So if you want to achieve big have a list of Now goals too. In my experience I help my clients prioritise the top Now goal and the top action for the big ambition. And they don’t move onto the next action on either list until both of the first actions are achieved.

Your brain loves a coachYour brain loves a coach

I hate to say it but going it alone is going to make it harder. You want to find someone that is going to help you get where you want to go. And that is why a coach is so powerful. A coach is someone that will;

  • Listen so you can brain dump. Empty your head of all your thoughts, what you’ve done so far, your worries, your failures, your concerns, everything.
  • Create the space so you can process everything that has been happening, what doesn’t seem to be working, and find a way forward.
  • Challenge you. The problem with turning to friends, family and colleagues is that they all have their own views, ideas, beliefs, values and experiences. And no two people are alike, as such while they may care deeply about you getting what you want they may try and steer you away from tough choices. Your coach won’t. If anything they will encourage you to find the things you fear or steer clear of and help you find a way to remove those obstacles for life.
  • Cheer lead you. Sometimes what we need more than anything is a reminder of how awesome we are. Go around asking your friends for that and you can look needy, arrogant or a bit egocentric. However we all need a cheer leader. This is not just to inflate your ego, but it’s remind you of how you achieve. We all have natural ways of behaving and by having a cheer leader on your side you can stay motivated and concentrate on remembering what helped you achieved in the past and how to migrate those skills, beliefs and actions to this moment in your life.
  • Keep you on track. Alas we are all so easily distracted. And even those going for big goals in life can find that they are on a completely different path and have no idea how it happened. Quite often someone has suggested a great idea to you and while it is a great idea you need to challenge yourself “Does this great idea fit into my big goal or is this a distraction from it?” With a coach they ask a lot of questions so you can really understand your way of thinking and its impact on you and your results. If you find yourself easily distracted other good questions to ask is “For what reason do I get distracted?” and “What is it that I don’t want to face in my own path to success?” Facing your fears and hidden negative assumptions is a massive part of getting to where you want to go and a real power of a coach.
  • Retrain your brain. When I first got my dog she would bark at everything and when I say everything I mean everything. A leaf in the garden would get as much yapping noise as the postman. And for someone who has always had big dogs, even though my dog is more like something Jim Henson created for Muppets she is not going to destroy my seaside peace and quiet (or my neighbours) What has this to do with why you need the right coach to help you achieve your goals? Well you see my dog was on her own agenda and she hadn’t had anyone explain to her that this wasn’t the best way of behaving. (The last owners had got rid of her because she barked too much) she needed to retrain so that she could be happy, but no one had told her this. A coach will confront you with the hard lessons in life. (In a nice way, I like to say “I kick butt, with love!”) My dog is welcome to bark when the doorbell goes or is she thinks there is an intruder but not at the bird having a drink of water or the leaf that flutters across the lawn.
  • Be cautious of whose agenda you are on, does it serve the other party more than you? Will it help you get the result you want. In the case of my dog, endless hugs and attention for being cute and not yappy.

And a word of caution about your coach. If they do more talking than listening they are not coaching you. Your coach is there to help you process everything in your head, and that can’t happen if someone is adding more to your brain. A coach listens for over 60% of the conversation. It is an unusual conversation because the coach’s view is irrelevant, the only person that matters in the conversation is you. So if you aren’t getting that from the person you rely on to help you achieve your big goals, then they aren’t coaching you to success, they are trying to tell you how to be successful. And while mentoring and consulting have their place, to really get where you want to get in life you need to find your own answers. And hopefully in this article I’ve helped you do just that.

 

Do Let me know how you get on.

  • December 17, 2019

6 Types of Fear of Success and How to Overcome Them

Like many things that stand in the way of you achieving what you want, rarely is it the thing you think it is. That’s really annoying because you can’t fight a demon you can’t see.

In this article, I want to share with you 6 archetypes that you might not recognize that actually come from your fear of success.

They’re stealthy, sneaky things and rarely that obvious but wow they can damage your success or even your perception of it, and worse of all, many are playing out automatically in your life already!

For each Archetype, I want to share:

  • The signs that this archetype is attacking your success.
  • Things they say (Not you, you’ve no control – at the moment over this.)
  • A strategy to overcome this attacker on your success.
  • Good news about your hidden archetype
  • A success story so you can see how it works (and doesn’t work!)

1. The Goal Addict – Type 1

If you are a goal addict, you are not averse to setting goals. You achieve big. You know what you want and go for it.

The Goal Addict Type 1 can be an overachiever. There’s nothing wrong with wanting massive levels of success. However, when they sit before me, they are not working with me to become more successful. They want to find ways to relinquish control, or slow down.

They desperately want to escape elements of their life; or they notice how un-fulfilled they feel despite the healthy bank balance, awesome looking life style and illusion of the perfect life.

The Goal Addict T1 is likely to say:

  • I decided to get fit and now I am.
  • I achieve what I set out to achieve – no excuses.
  • I hustle until I get what I want.
  • I’m keen to tell you I achieve big.
  • There’s no time in my life to watch TV/read a book/do nothing.
  • I just hit our quarter targets 5 weeks early.

Strategies to Employ

Whether it’s you that’s the Goal Addict or someone you love or work with. Giving them some space to talk and explore who they are is not likely to work.

They achieve big because of who they are and they can’t see any reason to change, so don’t try to enforce change on them or yourself. Instead, find out what the Goal Addict doesn’t like about their life.

You will need to choose your timing well. If they feel threatened or cornered, they will be quick to let you know how awesomely successful they are.

When you find yourself berating something in your life, don’t shut the thought down, explore it and ask yourself:

“What does this mean to me?” “How is this impacting on my happiness? Health? Loved ones?”

Don’t choose the normal parameters that you’d normally choose to work like “What does this mean to my work/financial freedom/success? You will quickly prove yourself right and won’t deal with what’s going on.

The Good News

The good news about Goal Addicts is that they really appreciate their skills, attributes and successes. They can stay motivated and on track no matter what happens. They have an inbuilt determination and tenacity that helps them achieve big.

Working Towards Success!

I’ve worked with many incredibly successful people who have told me they are not happy. They’ve been on a permanent drive to get to the top they never stopped long enough to check the destination was still where they wanted to get.

One client realized they were trapped on a hamster wheel and we went back to basics. This quickly enabled them to see that 20 years of striving to be the best had been great but it had been costly. They had no one they felt they could love, no social life and hadn’t been on a plane for pleasure in years. Taking the step back and reacquainting with who they really are, helped them appreciate that the person they’d been years ago still existed and they reconnected with that.

They now do a lot of travelling. They still work as hard, but the weekends are as important as the day job.

2. The Goal Addict – Type 2

The Goal Addict Type 2 is possibly the opposite to the Type 1.

They still achieve everything they set out to achieve, however, they achieve small. They aim small, keep it small, and achieve small. And then when they talk to their coach, boss, friend, or loved one, they are complaining that they aren’t getting what they want in life.

They can be frustrated and disappointed and are less likely to shout about what they achieve, want or need.

The Goal Addict T2 is likely to say:

  • I never seem to get where I want to go.
  • I find it really hard to visualise the future.
  • I wouldn’t know how to tell them.

Strategies to Employ

Goal Addict T2 often present to me with a sense that they could achieve more but aren’t. They tell me they lack confidence or that they don’t want to rock the boat. They like things fair for all.

The issue with this approach is they aren’t keen to explore what they really want. (It can make them hyperventilate and anxious to consider big goals and big ideas.)

Make use of the science of being you. Start by understanding that you have the skills, beliefs and attributes to achieve. You’ve been doing it for years. It’s just your focus has been up too close. Don’t try and process how you will achieve big or even what you want to achieve. Just notice how you’ve got as far as you have.

Know that failure is good for yo . While many of us have heard this, The Goal Addict T2 is petrified of it. It links to lots of fears and while it may manifest as the fear of success, often underling this are the fears of what people will think of me and the fear that I will look stupid. Most fears at their base have the fear of what other people will be thinking about you.

So before you look to overcome your fear of success, build your confidence. In my experience, the quickest ways to build your confidence is 2 fold:

  1. Get a really clear focus on what you want out of life (tough for the Goal Addict Type 2 right? So work with someone to help you work out what that looks like.
  2. Remind yourself of your genius and skills. They already exist you just don’t want to look at them. And a word of caution – if you find your confidence levels are impacted on by what is going on, then that’s external confidence and it’s doing you no favours. Learn to build your internal confidence.

No one gets out of life without making mistakes. We learn far more from failure than we do from success. On Lifehack alone, you will find tons of articles talking about some of our great achievers in every arena of life – and so many will tell you that it was their failures that enabled them to be successful.

Failure is not failure, it’s the chance to learn.

The Good News

The good news is that Goal Addict T2 are good at motivating others because they’d rather look at other people than themselves.

Also because they don’t know where they want to go, they are easy to be with, manipulate, employ and control. (Okay you can see that can be bad for the Goal Addict, right?)

They are good at protecting themselves from failure and negativity because they just won’t look at it in that way.

Working Towards Success!

I worked with someone who told me that they had no proof that they could achieve anything. Everything they’d ever achieved had been because someone else had told them to do it. They didn’t create the spark; the small flame was handed to them.

By using the strategies above, they rocketed their confidence, learn’t to trust in what they had to say, stop stressing about what other people were thinking of them or of what they said and learnt to push themselves.

Some people like to get so far out of their comfort zone they can’t see it any more. For this person, it was about small goals that added up to the big goal – something they obviously knew they could do!

3. Disbelievers

The disbeliever is less likely to come to me for coaching of their own free will. They are more likely to be a member of a team and the senior team has spotted some issues that they feel coaching can help overcome.

The disbeliever has a fear of success that is manifesting itself when they fight change in the work place or can justify why things can’t change.

They say:

  • We don’t do it like that.
  • It can’t be done.
  • That would never work.
  • That’s outside of my skills.

Strategies to Employ

Be aware of the language you use on yourself. Does it empower you or undermine you? You may think that your language is keeping you safe.

Imagine for a moment that the very thing that you felt kept you safe was in actual fact keeping you trapped? Becoming more aware of the trap that your language creates, enables you to get out of it faster.

Don’t go it alone. If you are fearful of success and hold strong beliefs about what can’t be done or what you can’t do, it’s going to be tough to fight that alone.

Challenge what you believe. Your perception of reality is unique to you. Only you have reached this place in exactly the way you have, so be mindful of how that journey has skewed your view of the world.

When someone challenges you on what you think can be done, don’t’ be so quick to dismiss them. Take some time to process it – could this be the way for you to fight your fear of success?

The Good News

Disbelievers hold strong opinions and those opinions have kept them safe. (Yes, you could reframe it and say those ideas have kept them trapped) but for now, know that they are good at holding strong in their views.

Disbelievers also tend to be sticklers for doing things the right way. (Yes they can get bogged down and fearful of trying new ways) but for now remember they are good at being really reliable and sustainable in what they do.

Working Towards Success!

I was working with a team that had 2 Disbelievers in. The rest of the team were pretty much despondent that they’d ever get on board with new ideas and new ways of working. So no matter how much new methods were enforced on the team, the disbelievers could always justify why the old way was best.

We made it very personal to them, and talked about how the new ideas made them feel. How they felt unappreciated and like they were considered the “old dogs” of the team that couldn’t learn new tricks. They could, they just couldn’t see the benefits. “It had all been tried before.”

We stopped talking about their beliefs around the changes, and looked at what they hated about their roles at work. Then, we looked at ways to make things better. The team were able to show the Disbelievers that the new ways of working would in actual fact deal with the very issues they faced.

The Disbelievers were so trapped in their view of reality there was no space in their beliefs and automatic processes that would enable them to access the new ideas. This process enabled them to do it and helped the team see the challenges it caused for the Disbelievers.

A greater understanding of each other led to some serious eureka moments for the whole team. That means happier staff and less stress as well as increased productivity!

4. Saboteurs

The Saboteur thinks they are doing their best. They work long hours (they aren’t afraid of hard work!) they go for it, they try new things but it never seems to work out the way they really would like it to.

No matter what they do, they never feel like they’ve good enough or done enough. It’s a constant fight.

They say:

  • I will do all I can.
  • I can’t see how this is going to work, but I will do my best.
  • This is not my area of expertise so I don’t think I can do this.

Strategies to Employ

The Saboteurs have it tough because no matter what happens – good or bad, they can find something to be unhappy with. Even if things are going great, they will be able to tell you the things that went badly.

Head and heart is an exercise where I get the Saboteur to just talk about something they aren’t happy with, something they feel can’t be achieved. They can talk in depth about everything that went wrong, can’t be done, and has been considered and dismissed. However, ask them to list out everything they learned or benefited from in that experience, they struggle.

Persevere because the Saboteur is good at finding what is going on. And with help, they can force themselves into looking at what exists — really exists. Head is the facts that they know (the easy bit) and heart is the stuff that they choose to think (the tough bit).

Step back from the situation that you fear and get the head and the heart to create the dialogue. Even if you don’t believe it, the facts can start to shout louder than the feelings.

The Good News

Saboteurs should celebrate how hard working you are. You get knocked down again and again and still you resiliently get up and go for it again!

Working Towards Success!

The Saboteurs’ fear of failure can make them a bunny in head lights, trapped and unable to move.

I’ve seen the head and heart strategy work powerfully, because you can’t argue with the facts (as much as you may try) slowly, this process enables the person to take a new approach, create new beliefs and even achieve more.

One client would every month sit before me and tell me why something wasn’t good enough and how they’d failed. Until at one session, they sat before me and said my own words back at me “I know, I’ve achieved a lot and I wasn’t achieving this much 5 months ago, was I? So I don’t even have evidence to that fact, do I!”

This made them laugh because clearly, they were getting their own new message loud and clear – and I love working with that person!

5. The Half Hearters

Of all the fears of success, the Half Hearters are least likely to work with a coach. I meet a lot of these in my line of business. They are often following me around the UK to hear me speak or reading every word I write online but still, they ask the same questions and are doing the same things. And we all know that’s a definition of madness, don’t we?

Half Hearters are usually sponges at taking on new information and can repeat it back parrot fashion, but they don’t actually take action on it.

They are likely to say:

  • I saw your video and thought it was very interesting.
  • I did that, and it didn’t work.
  • I don’t think that strategy could work for me.

Strategies to Employ

With some fears, you need to look at it firmly in the eyes and deal with it head on; others are fought by concentrating on what you really want and eventually the fear shrinks to nothing because you build your confidence in what you do.

For Half Hearters, they are convinced that they have tried everything and are doing everything they can. It means that no matter what they learn, they don’t take action because the underlining fear has control — subconscious control, but control none the less.

Then, try the “And that means” exercise.

When you find yourself saying something ask yourself  “And that means?” Keep asking this question.

As a coach. we get to work deep down in your mind finding out what the route issue is. This process helps you do that too. For instance:

“I don’t think that strategy could work for me.”

And that means?

“That I will have to accept that I can’t do that in my life/business/career/relationships.”

And that means?

“That it will always be a limitation on my success and happiness.”

And that means?

“That I will always fear this.”

This process helps you see what’s happening to you because you won’t attempt something new.

Now use the “If I knew, what could I do” exercise. For this, suspend reality for a moment. Get the magic wand out. Get creative. There’s no limitation on your time, health, finances, abilities, skills or beliefs – with that in mind how would you answer the first statement again?

And yes, I know for many, this is way out of your comfort zone, but the least creative clients are able to find some insight too. So stick with it.

For instance:

“I don’t think that strategy could work for me.”

If I knew, what could I do?

“If I knew it would work, I could do it.”

This then enables you to start breaking down a lifetime of beliefs around the dangers of the fear of success.

The Good News

The good news for the Half Hearters is that they are great at learning new ideas even if they don’t employ them. They are happy where they are (usually because they are un-keen to look too far ahead for fear that they will fail at it!)

Working Towards Success

A client came to me and said they felt their fear of success and that it meant they rarely applied themselves.

From the “And that means” exercise, we were able to see what was the underlining issue. They really feared what other people thought of them. They’d been bullied as a child and in their first job and it had stuck around in their head telling them to just hide in the office and don’t stand out. It meant they now felt overlooked and unappreciated.

Dealing with their fear of success and what people thought of them meant they learned to employ communication skills they already knew but were too fearful to use. And then, they got not one but 2 pay rises and promotions!

6. The Inventors

Inventors are awesome to coach because they get results fast. It’s a great example of how you can change the results you get in an instant because it’s about what you think before what you do.

Inventors create a perception of reality that supports where they are. It means that they don’t notice the fear of success that exists at all!

Inventors are likely to say:

  • I’ve tried everything.
  • I’ve no idea how to do this.

Inventors need someone to hold their hand to overcome their fear. Their ability to create, nurture and believe their own version of reality keeps them safe and it makes it very hard to escape on their own.

Strategies to Employ

More than any other archetype, the Inventor has to strip back what they think and find its source. Going it alone is not a great option because the Inventor can constantly recreate reality to support where they are.

Having someone to help them confront what they believe to be true really can help. Don’t ask your partner or friend because they just want you to be happy (more than successful) and don’t want to see you upset.

I have had hundreds and hundreds of people cry in a coaching session and be mortified by it, but it’s in that moment of tears that they have realized what the fear has done to them, how it has stopped them and a complete release that there really is a new way they could think to get what they want.

Don’t go it alone, find someone who you can trust to challenge you in a supporting way that suits you. Some people like a kick butt approach and others need a gentle gentle approach – start by thinking what your approach might be.

It’s funny how quick the right people and opportunities crop up when you are looking in the right direction.

And most importantly, don’t berate yourself for who you are. When you start to break down your perception of reality, most of my clients discover how awesome they really are and their new perception of reality is far better (and quite often instant!)

The Good News

The Inventors don’t tend to like looking too closely at their emotions and feelings. If they do, then their perception of reality can get dislodged. So they tend to be strong people.

That strength is so important, it enables you to be resilient and determined. Both of these are critical when you face up to your fears.

Working Towards Success!

I was working with a team of people who had 2 inventors in their group. They weren’t very good at coming up with new ideas (like the rest of the team) and didn’t like being challenged.

By helping them to see that other perceptions of reality existed for other members of the team, they could start to see that they could choose to see things differently if they wanted to.

The trick was in getting them to appreciate the need for change and then giving them the safe zone to challenge what they thought.

With the right support, they were actually the fastest to adopt new ideas because they could quickly create a reality to support the new way of thinking, cool right?

Final Thoughts

Of all the fears that attack your life, ultimately their role is to lower your confidence levels, keep you trapped and stop you from what you want in life.

By being brave enough to notice them, you are well on the road to fixing them. Therefore wherever you are today, that’s a great starting point, remember that.

  • October 1, 2019

All doom and gloom

I remember as a child being told “Mandie Timns you ‘re all doom and gloom!”. I was always Mrs Happy, Positive I love life or Mrs Oh no the worlds’ ending. (That’s why I know we can all change, because I have!)

As a child I loved Lost in Space and the sad robot was who I was compared to most of the time. It’s not easy to change however it is something we can all do.

So last night I was lucky enough to slide into a beautiful full length ball gown covered in sequins, spend far too long getting ready and head out to celebrate the finest businesses of my home county, Essex.

As a coach and Founder of The Business Womans Network I realise that one of my super powers is that I love business. Not just mine, everyone’s! I’m so ridiculously proud of everyone’s achievements and I’m very happy to be regaled with your business story, passion and ambitions. Therefore to spend the evening with so many businesses that I’ve helped, watched and loved for years and to see their faces light up on hearing their name called out was sheer joy.

But here’s the thing. Many of the speakers and guests were also overjoyed at everyone’s success and passion however I couldn’t help noticing the doom and gloom.

Into too many speeches in my view Brexit reared it’s stupid, unruly head. (This is not a political post so you are safe to read on.)

Why does this matter?

Surely it is something that is happening right now and could impact on all businesses?

Last time I looked I was not a politician or the Prime Minister so getting stressed about Brexit achieves nothing. On a celebratory night to mention the B word was just as useful.

Have you noticed how two people both have the same end destination or goal and yet only one will get there despite similar skills, beliefs and passion, why?

And what does that have to do with Brexit?

Concentrating on the negative around us is not good for business, we do need to be mindful of what could impact on success, our teams, our suppliers and profit margins however ultimately you don’t have control over Brexit so talking about it only creates fear, tension, negativity and nervousness – and consider any big occasion in your life, were those feelings and thoughts useful or damaging?

It is mindful to remember that bad news sells, not good news, and as such if you want proof that it’s all doom and gloom you are going to be able to find it,  however if you want to hear that business is good, people are seeing record breaking sales, profit margins and companies are sustaining growth despite smaller budgets, then you can find evidence of that too.

You see the human is a clever thing, it can look where it’s told to, the brain in all humans can be powered up for greatness or reduced to a nervous bundle of oozing do nothing just with a thought. So if you concentrate on the negative your actions will be impacted upon.

This is not pie in the sky, airy fairy “your coach believes in you” nonsense, this is factual. I can work with a team who know that there is no more money, there will be no extra staff, they do have far too many emails and the to do list seems to grow as fast as they tick things off – and despite what could be perceived as doom and gloom there company grows, the staff become happier and feel more respected, KPI’s are nailed and profits grow. What did I do?

  • I helped them see what they could control.
  • Accept what would always be fluid and that if you can’t fix/fight/change something you can still control what you choose to think – because thoughts impact on all results.
  • Be mindful where you look. Discussing doom and gloom brings doom and gloom to the forefront of your mind and the human mind loves to give you what you focus on.
  • If you don’t want doom and gloom be aware that it exists, that it could be impacting on your thoughts, feelings, actions and results and take responsibility for your choice of thoughts.

So often when I’m working with a new client I hear “We want to achieve this” and when I ask them to explain it in more detail there is no depth to their want for that goal. Which means that in times of uncertainty as we clearly could be considered as having right now, it’s imperative that you choose the calibre of your thoughts. Remember bad new sells, and you are not a news story.

Define your own direction. Don’t get pulled into a negative rabbit hole. Concentrate on what you want and how you are going to ensure you will get there, we all know someone that has achieved great things despite the odds.

That’s all of us right now.

Ditch the doom and gloom. Leave that for your competitors. I established The BWN in the middle of the last recession. If I’d listened to the doom and gloomers I’d have believed;

  • Now is not the time to grow, it’s time to batten down the hatches and survive.
  • No one is going to want to network in a recession.
  • No one is spending money on marketing or coaching.
  • People won’t travel to a remote hotel just to hang out with other business owners.

The list was long, and I didn’t’ listen to any of it. If anything I have always found that when everyone else is stunned like a rabbit in the headlights that is the perfect time to think big, plan well, structure the actions and concentrate on what you really want. Because you are likely to achieve despite anything. It’s your choice where you choose to focus your thoughts, energy and actions – choose wisely.

  • September 27, 2019

Are you really professional? Professionalism and your success. (Warning: Not for the faint hearted)

Okay so this is a difficult one, and I’ve been sitting on the edge of writing this for about 2 years. But since it’s at a near critical level I’d better mention it.

A lack of professionalism is killing many people’s success.

There I said it.

People think they are professional but in the last 24 hours I’ve had 4 people talk to me confidentially (because they know I will be confidential) about this issue.

(These are not their stories – these are some of the ones that I’ve seen in the last year. There’s plenty more!)

  • The business owner that told me they couldn’t believe they’d spent months trying to get a client to complete the paper work. Only to phone them and discover they were “Desperate to get started” so why had they not been in touch, completed the paper work or phoned?
  • The business owner that needed someone to turn up at a set time and they didn’t just not show they didn’t even explain why!
  • The contractor that was unceremoniously sacked from a position via email after years of loyal service.
  • The business owner who was unhappy with the quality of a product and instead of telling the supplier they ranted on social media and slated the company at networking events.
  • The business owner that discovered they’d been removed from social media groups and had all of their messages ignored in a “we hope they just go away” approach.

If you’ve ever done any of these things it’s damaging your success;

  • Talked about people behind their back.
  • Not picked up the phone when you are unhappy with the service, product quality, etc.
  • Not turning up to things you said you would.
  • Not done something that you said you would.
  • Hidden behind email when you should have told someone how you really felt over the phone or in a face to face meeting.

There’s plenty more but you get the idea.

The point is that owning a business is not all high sales, happy clients and fun times. It can be hard work and it can also be uncomfortable (top tip if it doesn’t feel uncomfortable once in a while then you are not pushing yourself – speak to your coach about that.)

You will need to have conversations that you don’t want to.

When I help clients deal with confrontation, I’ve never had the result where the client has had to have an all out slagging match with someone, however they have had to face the situation and address it.

When you don’t’ deal with things in a respectful and appropriate way it can damage your professionalism, your reputation, your sales and even your mental health as you berate yourself night after night about why did you not do that, or not say this.

Difficult conversations do not need instant responses. They need time to process your thoughts. Establish the facts. Remove the emotion and communicate what is wanted to resolve the situation.

Difficult conversations need to be had so that people know you are a business owner and not a push over.

Difficult conversations need to be managed well so that you walk away with your head held high.

  • So if you say you are going to attend an exhibition – turn up. I’ve heard plenty of event organisers talk about no shows to their events and the problems it causes. What is worse the situation seems to be getting a lot worse. When I started my professional speaking career you would see a no show average of 10 to 25% now it can be as high as 50%!
  • If you say you can help with something, then don’t rain off. If you are a People Pleaser that says an instant yes and thinks after. Learn to say something different like “I’d love to be involved with this. Can you send me some info over so I can check my work load and see if I can.”
  • If someone doesn’t turn up for meetings on more than one occasion or contsantly moves your meeting date, do you really want to work with them? Learn to walk away from unprofessional people.
  • If you always feel like there is a hidden conversation that you are not part of, find out why. Ask someone. It could be you are not alone in this and others feel awkward and unwanted to. It could be that those that can make a difference have no idea and would really like to be able to address the situation – if they knew about it.
  • If you feel you are being treated unfairly stand up for yourself. As above you may not be the only one but you could be the one that helps establish a new transparent, fairer and ethical way of working and communicating for others in the future. Not everyone will have your confidence to speak up. Others may suffer in silence for years!

None of the above our easy. Plan what you will say. Don’t fear the outcome. Trust you are good enough.

You can’t win every battle and you won’t get on with all 4 billion people on this planet. Accept that and be professional. So that no matter what happens you know you did your best, and ultimately that is the best you can do.

  • June 12, 2019

How to Stop Living in Fear and Start Stepping out of Your Comfort Zone

My latest article for Life hack

Let me know what you do with this information. I hope it helps you too.

I think I may know why we are so obsessed with super heroes – good versus evil.

Good overcoming no matter what — no matter how big, scary or evil the arch enemy.

It’s because it symbolises how we wish it could be in the real world.

Imagine it…your life is now a movie…

You have music in the background because you are off to work/college/meet friends and your life is pretty normal (all appears well) then on screen, we get a few scenes where your life looks great.

You water your plants (or shrug at your ability to kill anything green), walk the dog, feed the fish, kick back with a good book or hugging a loved one on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn, then all hell breaks loose…

Within 20 minutes, if your life were a film you are feeling, like nothing could ever be the same again and that no one understands what you are going through.

Fear is not the word that springs to mind. It’s more likely to be:

  • Why me?
  • Life will never be good again.
  • I can’t fight this.
  • I don’t know where to start.
  • This is too big.
  • I can’t do this alone.
  • My life is over.
  • We are all doomed!

If your life were a movie, then it’s all fine (you really don’t need to worry) because at this stage in your film life, when life is so all consumingly going in the wrong way with no way out and death is likely imminent, along comes:

  • A scientist who can’t necessarily get you back to “Normal” but can make you a nifty suit and help you become a super hero that everyone loves; after some quirky, funny and lesson learning scenes where you get a few things wrong but learn tons.
  • A rich tycoon who already has a team of super heroes they secretly work with, can see true potential in you (after the “you’re rough around the edges kid” scene) they introduce you to the other superheroes and you learn that it doesn’t matter what you are like; you will find a network of people that will love respect, trust and help you.
  • An evil so big that everything you’ve ever believed in as at risk of the worst case scenario, therefore no matter how petrified you are, you somehow find a way to save the world (and your pot plant, dog and/or loved one).

Okay back to reality.

Alas there are not many super heroes’ around (if you know otherwise – I can keep a secret), however I think we feel more than ever we need to feel that there is a solution.

Life is fun exciting, challenging (in a good way) fast paced, energised and a ton of other awesome things – but it’s also overwhelming, scary and sometimes feels like you are fighting a super villain and you don’t have the super hero kit to get through it.

I’ve never had a client ask me to help them make them a super hero, however I’ve had plenty ask me to help them feel more in control of their life – and I think that is something we all desire to some degree.

Control of our lives can be eradicated when we feel frightened, un-powerful and like we are trapped in our lives. And often the first sign that we actively recognize is a comfort zone or stress.

But if you think back to our super heroes, no matter how trapped they are, they always find a way out. A solution that no one ever thought could work and that’s often what coaching is about – coming to a problem and looking at it in a unique way that enables you to find solutions to fight fear and get out of your comfort zones. And you won’t need a scientist, a rich tycoon or a devastating intergalactically incident to find those solutions.

I want to share with you some of the winning techniques I’ve used with my clients to help you too.

1. Rethink the Question “Am I Weird?”

I’ve had so many clients ask me this question, I think I should call my next book “Am I weird”!

Everyone thinks that the way they are responding, acting, feeling and thinking is unique; that they are the only person to feel like they can’t face work or their friends or their day because of a fear or a comfort zone.

We all have times like this and it’s important to remember 2 things:

There is no such thing as normal in my book

Everyone is just who they are. It doesn’t need analysing, or questioning if you like who you are. Or if who you are serves you well, respects those around you. And if giving you the life, career and happiness you want, then no, it’s not weird. And it’s all good.

The issue becomes when you find yourself trying to compare your weirdness (or lack thereof) to everyone else and how that then impacts on you.

Weird is good

Check out the best characters in film, book or TV, and you are likely to see that someone else has tried to insult them with the term “weird”.

Weird is used when you want to suggest that someone or something is different. Different is not bad, the hard bit is finding the confidence to be who you are – to embrace your differences and your weirdness.

A little useful side note – according to the Oxford English Dictionary:[1]

“ Weird – The adjective (late Middle English) originally meant ‘having the power to control destiny’”

And who wouldn’t want that?

Truly, hear me when I say – embrace your weird.

2. Listen up

Just as the newly discovered super hero struggles to accept their super skills, limitations or fears, so do you have to do the same. And if you strip back any successful story (fictional or real), you will discover it’s not a magic potion or a superior race that enables the hero to achieve success, it starts with who they listen to.

How many times in your life have you heard yourself saying:

Why didn’t I listen to my gut instinct?

Why didn’t I listen to my Mum/Aunt/Friend/Boss?

Just as being weird in its original meaning meant to be able to control destiny until you can actually do that, you do need to learn who to listen and when to listen.

Here’s how to take action on this:

Listen to yourself (sometimes)

I was working with a client who told me that they could never upset the way things worked in their company. They couldn’t tell their boss they felt there was a better way! This meant that they felt trapped in their career, incapable of achieving more and like they weren’t meeting their true potential.

Enter frustration, anger, stress, work hatred and a sense of being trapped – if only they could get out of their comfort zone and tell their boss what they thought!

Learning to trust what they knew meant that they could rationalise and justify their thoughts and reasoning and work out what to do (if anything.)

We worked together to understand why they wanted to say something:

  • Was there envy at the boss’s job or was this genuine belief that they knew a better way?
  • Could they prove what they felt was possible and the benefits to those involved?
  • Did they have ulterior motives that weren’t positive?
  • What would be the best way to move forward and why would it work best for them?

If you need to learn to listen to yourself, start by asking questions (not looking for solutions) and you will start to ask some really smart questions that help you analyse your feelings, actions, etc without guilt, stress and other negative emotions getting in the way.

This process also allows you to find answers personalised to you. In my experience, so often it’s the silly little ideas that have the most power. Okay so Dumbo is not considered a super hero – but think back to Dumbo and his magic feather that enabled him to fly, was there any magic?

Nope, but there was a belief that the magic existed – this process helps you do that.

This process also enables you to know when your own thoughts are doing their best to keep you trapped. You can become your own Kryptonite telling yourself the most awful things (that are usually not even true!) So be cautious of what you say to yourself and the questioning will help you to become more aware of this.

Choose your network wisely

We’ve all trusted someone and later questioned “How could I have let that person have had an impact on my life, thoughts and actions?”

Back to weird being a good thing, right?

But the fact is the people you choose to spend your time with can in their selves become a powerful tool to getting out of your comfort zone – but could also trap you there!

So look out for the heroes in your life, that say things like:

  • “What’s your thoughts on that? Do you think it’s a good idea?”
  • “Where did your desire to do this come from?”
  • “Do you really want that or are you hiding something from yourself?
  • “Hang on a minute, you can do this, remember the time you did xxxx”

People that can supply you with evidence of your brilliance and who reinforce the positive and your goals, but also challenge your beliefs, thoughts and actions are like gold dust (or super hero serum.)

They will enable you to be able to take a step back and really understand why your comfort zones are controlling your life. They are there to celebrate your wins, appreciate your frustrations when it doesn’t go to plan and give you the faith and confidence to keep going – don’t think you can do it all on your own.

Everyone, even super heroes get an element of confidence from their network. It’s not all internal!

And look out for the super villains who say:

  • “Are you sure you want to do that?”
  • “That sounds like a lot of work, are you up to that?”
  • “Why would you want to do that, I thought you loved your life/work/partner/house plant.”
  • “You should tell them what you really think.”

People that make comments like these aren’t looking at it from your point of view, or with your ultimate wants and needs at the heart of their responses. They are seeing it from their perspective of life and their own limitations on what they feel can be achieved; and this influences the way they respond.

Yes, there are a few social vampires out there that will try and ruin your belief in anything better but, most super villains are far subtler than that.

3. Go Deeper

In life, we often get an inkling of what needs to change or feel like something is not right. If you dig deeper, you usually find it’s not the first thoughts that were the issue.

When I work with clients, the “Go deeper” exercise always (and I genuinely mean always!) produces the big Eureka moments. It’s almost as if they are hearing their own voice for the first time.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Firstly start with a thought (any thought related to why you feel like there is a comfort zone or a fear) and write it down.
  2. Now write below it the answer to this question: “And that means?”
  3. Now below that ask yourself: “What does that mean?”
  4. Keep going asking further questions like:
    • “So how does that affect me?”
    • “What does that mean to me?”
    • “Is that really what I think?”
    • “If this is the case what does that mean I must believe?
    • Does that serve me well?”
    • What does that mean?”

This process enables you to really explore what’s going on in your brain and can be used in so many elements in your life.

4. Be Your Own Coach

I’ve worked with coaches and mentors for many years and I don’t think I could be without one to challenge me in the ways I’ve share with you.

After years of challenging questions and realities, creating goals and getting great results, I know to a degree I can coach myself. As one coach told me “Mandie, you don’t need anyone to kick your butt – you do it for yourself” That was a good session.

So sometimes, it’s enough to coach yourself. By taking on the role of your own coach, just give yourself a little time once a month where you actually challenge what you think.

Here’s a few ideas to help make that a powerful moment:

Free write

Don’t think about what you write, just let the pen go to the paper and write anything – in the random thinking there is often the right questions and thoughts to follow – if you create the space to do it.

If you crave order and structure, don’t free flow.

If you love art, then draw. If you hate numbers and lists, steer clear of them. You want to create a new way of thinking that is natural to you, not what you read in a book or heard in the office as “a good idea.”

Learn to explore your natural style. Ask yourself: When set a task, how do I love to work, think, explore, learn and act? This will guide you to the best approach to coaching yourself.

Create your own discipline

Do you need to diary time to be your own coach or is it enough to know that you want to do this and get results? Just like finding your natural style, you need to learn how you will create your own definition of discipline.

Get this wrong and you’re highly unlikely to be taking action in 3 months’ time!

Tell someone

I’ve seen some awesome planners laid out in many colours with lots of tabs and tons of ideas. But as that new client realized, great ideas are little use without action.

The first step to the action is to actually tell someone you are going to do it. Do you need to declare your goal online? Phone a friend or just stick a picture on your kitchen wall?

You will learn what makes you take action, which leads to our last idea…

5. Know When to Start And Stop

Knowing what to do and actually taking action and knowing when to stop and when to go for it are 2 very important skills.

If you take action on what we talked about today, you will not only challenge yourself, but also challenge those that can manipulate and mould you.

You will learn to trust and have faith. Llittle by little (not always – some clients see massive levels of change after just a couple of hours), you will step out of your comfort zone. As I described it to one client years ago:

“Some people like to slowly step out of their comfort zones and others like to leap so far out that they can’t see it any more. Learn to know which you are.”

Neither is wrong, neither is right. Some people like big challenges, big goals and big actions; others like no one to know what they aim to challenge but quietly work through their action plan to achieve it.

The true super hero in any film learns to know what works for them, accept it, love and go for it. And they don’t need a scientist, a tycoon or super villains either.

Reference

[1] Oxford English Dictionary: Weird
  • May 21, 2019

LinkedIn ideas to Success

Recently I’ve delivered social media training to the NHS Entrepreneurial Programme and some other companies (who wish to remain confidential) and I thought I’d share some key messages here for you to benefit from too.

When used right LinkedIn can do a lot for your success. Personally it has led to new clients, speaking engagements, PR opportunities, Awards and even being asked to write Fight the Fear for one of the UK’s leading non fiction publishers, Pearsons. That book is now in 5 languages and is sold around the world!

I also know of one company who found investors for their product who handed over 1 million pounds!

Seriously if LinkedIn is a forgotten unloved CV to you, it’s time to give it some love and get it working powerfully for you and your success.

  1.  You can download your own LinkedIn checklist here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. T.R.U.S.T –  5 styles of a 60 seconds elevator pitch to help you hone what you say and why you say it. (This can also make up the back bone of a 5 month marketing strategy to save you time and ensure you present a powerful brand no matter where people find you. There is a course that accompanies this – Supercharge Your 60 Seconds click here to learn more or take the course.

60 seconds elevator pitch worksheet mandie holgate 60 second elevator pitch worksheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Marketing Production Line Course download your copy.If your marketing strategy is utilising between 8 and 10 tools listed on this worksheet you should be able to successfully engage with your target audiences, raise your profile, make sales, get asked to speak at events, retain customers and grow your business. Remember to be useful, relevant and interesting and monitor the results you get. Ask “What needs to change?” “What is not working?” etc. etc. There is an accompanying course which you can learn more about here. It could help you create a powerful structure and strategy to marketing success – without spending a sack of cash.

Your Marketing Production Line - 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. I host a confidential mastermind group for very busy professionals. Where you can research ideas, test out your marketing material, practice your video blogging, learn new skills, find solutions and gain mentoring and coaching from me too. It is £5 a month and I often give the Insiders additional ideas and support that I’ve created for clients too. You can learn more and join us here.

http://www.mandieholgate.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Insiders-Logo.png

 

  • May 13, 2019

I’d be mortified if…

A business woman walks in and sits down.

This lady has never had coaching before and is clearly nervous.

Within half an hour they have told me their life story and probably every embarrassing thing that is rattling around in their head that;

  • Makes them feel inadequate.
  • Stops them from taking action.
  • Stops them for asking for what they want.
  • Makes them feel like an imposter.
  • Makes them feel like a bad mum/boss/friend/partner/human.
  • Impacts on what they get out of their personal and professional life.

Wind the coaching session on about 25 minutes from that moment and they are starting to really understand what is impacting on their life and not just what they could do about it but why it’s imperative they do it.

And I’ve found myself more and more noticing that so many women do this…

  1. They tell me they feel like a bad Mum because they shouted at their kids – I tell them about how I cleaned my son’s bathroom and left the cloths, cleaning products etc on a tray on my sons bed (including the dirt and other contents you’d find in a teens bathroom!) “That’s different” they say.
  2. They tell me how they feel like a failure because they failed to do something – I tell them that thanks to Lupus it’s an amazing achievement to answer an email with 48 hours. “That’s different” they say.

I could go on, however the point is that we look at other people’s mistakes, faux pas, and cock ups and we forgive them. We accept they are human and that mistakes happen.

Flip that around and look at the same mistakes, faux pas’s and cock ups and in your own life and boy can you get harsh!

If you don’t know how to fix this discrepancy that could be costing you dearly start with these thoughts;

“If I can continue to assume that I have to be perfect then what am I saying I expect from my children?”

“For what reason is it okay to make mistakes at work but not make mistakes with parent hood?”

“For what reason(s) do I expect perfection and what impact(s) is it having on me, my life and my goals?”

You see ultimately no one gets through life without making a few mistakes and as long as you keep beating yourself up about them then guess what it will do to you, your actions and your results?

And lastly aim to remember what happened in 1 area in your life on 1 day – not everyone in the world knows about it – so stop acting as if they do – it’s killing your success rate, happiness and fun!

  • April 29, 2019

The surrealist day of my career and how it could help you be more successful.

You look around the room and can’t quite work out what emotion it is you are supposed to be feeling. It’s all a bit surreal.

  • There’s a magician performing up close magic on a space man.
  • Mary Poppins is having a chat with one of the top digital media experts in the country.
  • Usually instead of women making up the minority in a room, there’s 45 women, 5 men and 1 baby….oh and the Spaceman.
  • There’s a skull branded in Sweden’s flag’s colours.
  • And a woman has dyed her hair the colour of your business. (That’s loyalty!)
  • There’s radio presenter who fell in your hot tub live on air (no we aren’t friends outside of work) there to interview you.
  • And surrealists of all your face is next to the Queen, Boudica, Michelle Obama and other great women throughout time. Where do you cut on that cake!

It’s possibly one of the surrealist’s days in my career.

And if 15 years ago someone had said;

“Mandie you will have the confidence to speak to 200+ business owners” – I would have laughed. “Me? Never I can’t even sit in a coffee shop on my own! Let alone publicly speak” (Yes I used to lack confidence, was mega shy and hated public speaking.)

Or

“Mandie you will be an international author with clients on every continent, have so many awards you can’t keep up with them all, feature on national TV and even visit 10 Downing Street for your work” I’d have added “For what? I’m no one special.” I honestly never thought I’d achieve anything much. Things just kind of landed at my feet and I’d run with them. So looking around that room I did think “How?”

How did that nervous, shy, un-confident, scared little mouse do all that!

I want to share some of the how and I look forward to hearing what it helps you achieve;

Dump the false version of you

Mandie from 15 years ago that struggled to walk into a networking event believed;

  • She had to wear a suit because she thought it would make her confident – it didn’t.
  • She thought she needed to know more than she did – she didn’t.
  • She thought she’d be able to tell people about the life changing results of coaching and they’d buy it straight away – they didn’t!

So dump the false version of you and the things that aren’t working. Be honest and get help.

Next find your natural skills – yes you have plenty.

My career started in insurance and swiftly moved into the car industry. Looking after customers whose week has been wrecked because their car has been in a car accident. And how are they going to get anywhere with no car? We were in rural Suffolk so to see a bus was a novelty and no car, meant no shopping, no getting the kids to school, no work – life stopped. You can imagine how it could feel?

We were dealing with heavily stressed people every day. Car parts were the other side of the world instead of on my customers car and even when the sun was shining, and no cars were falling off the roads into ditches (No accidents equalled no work but still 25 salaries to pay!) I could still fill a garage with enough work for 25 employees. I’d (stupidly) assumed that if I could do that in the car industry I’d easily migrate those skills to my coaching practice.

How wrong could I have been?

But different to many who find themselves in that situation – I didn’t keep doing the same things.

Within a year of setting up my business I was making money;

  • I’d set up The BWN,
  • I’d featured in the press countless times.
  • Been on the radio so many times I thought I could get on the BBC’s pay roll.
  • And I’d even come to the attention of the Home office (for good reasons) for my work with women in business.

And the first thing that changed was my confidence.

I always say you can have the best products and services in the world. The best marketing strategy, the most gorgeous perfect brand, and the best team but if you lack confidence personally you will still damage your results. Scary right?

  • I went on every course I could to learn.
  • I read every book I could squeeze in around a dog, 2 kids, 2 businesses and a busy life.
  • I became a proverbial knowledge sponge and realised that it would always be a good action for success.

Which means for you;

Build your confidence – Yes, I worked with a coach. Yes, I found a mentor and yes, I made sure I networked with the right people – that is so critical for lasting success and research agrees with me (Or vice a versa) that especially for women to reach the top you have got to get out there – network and work that network too – that means asking for business and asking the right questions. Back to needing confidence right

Never stop learning. I met someone this week who told me they’d learnt all they needed to be the best version of them they could be. I hadn’t meant to (I’d meant to just think it!) but I’d spurted out “Seriously? In your 40’s you feel you can learn nothing more about yourself or need to do anything else to stay the best version of you?”

I couldn’t help myself, but I added “I’m in my 40’s too and the more I know the more I feel I need to learn.”

Learning about yourself is not something done once and forgot about – is there anything in life that is?

The more you build your emotional intelligence and understand the science of being you the more success you will have. The more resilience you will have and your ability to cope with anything (without being a stressed out trapped on a hamster wheel burnt out husk of a human) will soar.

Don’t fight it – let it flow.

I still have to use my own coaching strategies on myself to ensure this doesn’t get to me. Because I’m a doer.

If something is not working.

I fix it.

I look for solutions.

I bore easily and so if it is not working I want answers fast. (And yes, I’m inpatient too!) So it’s been hard for me to learn that while you need to build a brand, reputation and get the sales in I also need to accept that what is best for me and my business is coming. I can experience stress if things aren’t happening fast enough. The perfect example is that time and time again while sat on the sofa watching a box set an opportunity has landed on my lap that has added a whole new arm to my business – “Do you offer training for the NHS Mandie?” I didn’t but I do now!

How did that happen? – they just phoned me out of the blue. (They’d met me somewhere (they thought) or heard about me somewhere. See the importance of awesome evergreen marketing? (Evergreen means it’s always working for you and always visible). You can see how you need to get your marketing working well and talking powerfully to the right people right?

“Hi Mandie do you offer corporate away day coaching for large groups?” Well I didn’t, but I do now! Again think about who I was talking to and what I was saying and in what context that it resonated so strongly that they got in touch in the first place. How does your brand and communications need to alter accordingly?

Both of these (and so many more just landed in my lap when I was least expecting them. Okay so I do have a set of goals every year and they say things like:

  • Grow the speaking area of business to £X by September
  • Get paid to write
  • Get paid to deliver online training by July.

And I do create;

  • A plan of action.
  • Back burner ideas
  • What to be aware of.
  • Know the timeline to results.

As I would with clients – but I still have to sit back and say “It’s going to happen Mand, get back to your boxset/life/day.

Say no

In the automotive industry I loved the high octane, 50 phone calls an hour, so many faxes (do you remember those?) that they scrolled across the office floor. Floods, Storms, Blizzards – we were there. Even heavily pregnant I still logistically ensured we collected over 100 cars in less than 18 hours with only 3 recovery vehicles from across 3 counties when the worst storms to hit Europe in over a decade caused chaos and cost people their lives (I even found time to increase the insurance to cover the insane value of the vehicles on premises that night!) however I learnt the hard way that I’m not a god, a super hero or a robot. And by saying yes to everyone and everything it was taking its toll. Learning to become a person that says no to what is not right for me, my family or friends, my goals, my business or even my health has had a positive dramatic effect on every aspectf of my life. And that needs…

To know when to listen and when to ignore.

Years ago I was told by someone that I couldn’t be a successful business woman because I was too happy. That comment haunted me for ages and really impacted on my business as I tried to mould myself into their definition of success. It’s all very well to know what you want but you have to learn to ignore people to get it….and know when to listen to people. This mission statement I still live by to this day and I frequently ask clients, BWN business men and women and even the coordinators if we are still getting it right.Mission statement for the bwn networking founder mandie holgate Know when to trust that gut instinct of yours (there’s a lot of science behind what is actually there, and it’s not just guess work!) trust it.

And know when to make changes.

Utlimately my success is only down to the quality of the people I hang out with so I finish by saying check your network helps you do everyting I suggest in this article. And if they don’t you can guess what I suggest you do!

 

  • April 2, 2019

What you really need to know to be a powerful speaker (anywhere!)

I’ve presented hundreds of presentations on powerful public speaking and communication skills although today took a slightly different angle and wow was it powerful!

The irony is never lost on me that 15 years ago I couldn’t (and wouldn’t!) speak to a large audience. I was the person pretending she had a call just as it was my turn to talk. My fear was not just in my head, it manifested itself as a closed throat, a red face, a heart that felt like it was trying to escape and the inability to even remember my name let alone something useful, relevant or interesting to say!

While I could sell ice to Eskimo’s on a 1 to 1 basis (My boss’s word’s not mine) or in the good old letter format, my skills had not grown to actually communicating with people in groups. That had to change if I was going to succeed…

So over the years I read books, studied, went on courses, listened to a plethora of experts (and realised a few of those knew little more than me they just had the confidence to stand up and recite the same stuff I’d read!) and wind forward to January 2019 you could phone me and say “We’ve been let down and we need a speaker for tomorrow!” And I’d say “Great, see you at 9!”

I wouldn’t be panicking about;

  • “What will I say?”
  • Or “How will I handle difficult questions?”
  • Or “What if I run out of things to talk about?”

Things have changed drastically. And having coached thousands to overcome their fears of public speaking I can say with hand on heart that I can fight the fear of public speaking for you too and help anyone become a better speaker.

So what was so powerful today and how can you benefit too?

  1. If you’ve heard me speak about powerful communication, you will know that I say that I could write you the best speech in the world however if you lack confidence or have an internal dialogue of negativity then you will damage your results. And in business that means less sales, profit, opportunities and success. So get your head in order. ACTION – Listen out for what you let hang out in your head. I’ve enough stuff for free, low cost in books and courses (maximum cost is £25) articles, reports and solutions to help you shift your mindset permanently.
  2. Check out some of the best speeches in the world and you will see that Gandhi, King, Pankhurst even Thatcher were themselves. They didn’t pretend to be someone else. Not sure this is true? Think of Mahatma Gandhi and ask yourself if his style of communication would suit Dr Martin Luther King? Would Gandhi shout and gesticulate in the same way? How would his style differ? I know it can be scary to be yourself (see point 3) however by being yourself people can buy into your passion – without you selling once! And passion is addictive! ACTION – Check out powerful speakers you love and ask yourself what is their style? How is my style similar or different? If I could be any kind of speaker what style would I have? Who are my role models? How do they behave, act, talk, stand?
  3. Be yourself. The true authentic you. This means you have to find out what stops you being you. What fear is hiding? For my audience today we discovered that they feared what people were thinking, or what would they do if they said something wrong, or what would happen if they fumbled their words? I’m the only person I know that is invited back despite saying sex instead of success in multiple speaking engagements! The moral of that story is that if your passion, genuine authentic you is shining through then your audience will forgive (and forget) your mistakes. However big you think they are! Which leads on to…
  4. After a great debate on social media (are we connected there? I’d love to.) I asked “Could charisma be taught or was it something you had to be born with?” Interestingly it depended on the individual and if I’d coached them or not! My clients absolutely believe they can change and that it will work, those that were less convinced felt trapped by who they are and that change wasn’t possible, doesn’t that speak volumes? If you check out the definition of charisma in the dictionary it is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” Translate that into your professional life and it’s going to be good to learn how to be more charismatic. That in itself is a blog article so for now;
  5. Concentrate on being an awesome active listener (Da Vinci was an expert on this and so many of the skills we still utilise today are from ancient Greece and the renaissance period).
  6. Ensure you are thinking nothing as the other person talks.
  7. Make quality eye contact – dodgy eye contact makes your audiences nervous. It says “What do they have to hide? Or What are they not telling us?”
  8. Ensure you are totally in this moment. Not looking at your phone. Not gazing out the window, not wondering if you had a reply to that email. I have tons of little techniques that help you be in the now. Although you may already know one. Google it, because that way you will find a simple tool that will resonate with you and can help you to feel calmer on a tough day too. Win win, right?
  9. I’m fine one to one!” Most people who fear public speaking or feel their communication style is letting them down are over thinking. They think that to be a powerful communicator it has to be more complicated than it is. Have you ever convinced a love one to do something for you? That you need a certain necklace/car/holiday/phone? Have you ever managed to get your own way? Then you already have the ability to be a powerful communicator! A great tool I use with many clients is looking at how to migrate skills. If you rock at it else where, what skills, attributes, styles of communication were working for you? Now migrate them to the area you feel you are lacking.
  10. And lastly fear. Of all fears I hear about (and I hear them all!) the biggest fear in the world that is hiding behind all fears is usually the fear of what other people are thinking. As a speaker usually you are in an environment where the audience want to hear what you have to say. It is only in your head you’ve assumed they don’t. When I break down that fear for my clients they can see how their head has the facts on what they are capable of (and what they’ve achieved) but their heart is running into fear land and wanting to run for the hills never to return and usually with untruths that escalate the fear. As humans we like smiles and reply with smiles. We are saddened by other people’s losses and want to hear of people’s wins, which means people are looking forward to hearing you speak!

There are a ton of things that I touched on today including how with the right body language you can talk gibberish and still get a positive outcome.

And that being comfortable in your own skin comes down to constantly re-evaluating your own emotional intelligence and checking who you think you are and what you think is going on. Our perception of reality and assumptions can cost us dearly.

And that the confidence to love who you are makes you concentrate on successes which help release the right biological chemicals which then helps you further to come across as the passionate, successful, powerful person that everyone should know and not as the bumbling brain fried fool that you feel you become on a stage.

Whether you feel your presentation skills need a boost, you are so awful at it you’d rather chew off your right arm or you feel you are damaging your success because of something you feel you do (or don’t do!) I’m happy to have a chat anytime.

And if you are on the Insiders I will add some work sheets that we touched on too. I love to over deliver, because I never want anyone else to wish their gall bladder would explode to get them out of a speaking engagement, as I did.

Not one person.

  • January 27, 2019
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