I have just finished my tax return and that should be something to celebrate however one receipt made me sob.
I had an emergency, you know those weeks when life is good and then you get thrown a curve ball that makes you wish you could reverse one week and just hold on to what you had? Just for one more precious moment, because now it’s gone.
And there it is. A receipt that brought back one of the most painful days of my life. Sat looking at me like it means nothing.
And yet I’d given it so much meaning I currently can’t see past the tears to write.
And yet while I can be honest about this (and I will share with you what I learnt and did with that receipt) many of us hang on to metaphorical sh*t all the time.
As my clients quickly learn anything, and I mean anything you let hang out in your head will impact on you, for good or bad and therefore also the results, happiness and success you get in life too.
So what was this heinous receipt?
It was for £80.50 at 17.29pm on the 6th March 2017. That had been a tough day.
My gorgeous Springer Spaniel Max had started to look poorly the Sunday (the day before) and I knew that at 13+ years old I was about to say goodbye to my dear friend. I cancelled my work and sat by his side for the whole day. When he needed to go out to the loo, I carried him into the garden and propped him up because his legs were starting to give way. I desperately tried to feed him water and tried every food group on the planet to help him get some sustenance.
My hubby was on the other side of the world and so me and my children had to face our loss alone. A terribly sad day was made horrific thanks to a vet that refused to see him before the evening (I clung on to the idea he could be saved) and even the nurse was distraught as I rung hour after hour begging for help. And that night as I carried my old walking on the beach companion into the vets, the vet refused to treat Max until I’d paid.
That receipt symbolises an excruciatingly sad moment being made a ton worse thanks to an insensitive “You must understand some people leaving without paying add’s time to getting paid” vet.
I should have got that receipt in my tax return and buried it in the filing and never looked at it again.
But I hadn’t, why?
I suppose in some way I wanted to go back and fix it. But not everything in life can be fixed can it?
However by hanging on to it, instead of remembering his crazy highlights, his love of fire works and water (at even minus 10!) or his cute tricks,
Posted by Mandie Holgate on Thursday, 16 March 2017
I’m remembering the day I said good bye. I’m tormenting myself even though I’ve not thought of that day at all.
You see our minds are very clever. You think you see a visual clue and are thinking one thing and yet unconsciously your brain is processing a very different set of thoughts and feelings and that in turn can create a big impact on your life.
So, when I finish typing I’m going to get that receipt, photocopy it and rip that bit of paper into pieces, then I’m going to burn them, sob on my hubby’s shoulder and realise that I gave power to a piece of paper, how crazy is that?
Life is hard enough. Death is awful enough. Without giving power to receipts or any other emotional baggage.
ACTION; If you can’t physically rip up the sh*t that is invading your head. Write it down and bin that crap instead. Seriously I’ve done that exercise with enough clients to know the power we can create with such a simple little technique. I love that the simplest things are often the most powerful and it’s so important for us all to find those little tools and strategies so we can get back to a positive confident mindset as soon as possible (remember there is nothing wrong with a negative mindset as long as you process it, deal with it, and find a way to get back to positivity. In Fight the fear we look at how to do this that too.)
I didn’t realise until I wrote these words how much I still dearly 2 years on miss my old boy. That brings guilt to my “Made my Jim Henson” little dog that I adore. Completely different to mad Max the Springer, but spoilt rotten, discussed the day with and favourite walk companion just the same.
Thank you Max. Hollie is looking after me.xxx
Not laughing at Raikken, laughing at our very busy dog "under attack" from Sophie HolgateAndy Holgate missing the fun and F1.
Posted by Mandie Holgate on Sunday, 25 November 2018
For all of my adult life I’ve had role models, although I had no idea I did or the impact they were having!
As a child my role model was Ms Carter. My history teacher, my school mentor (we used to have those and that was awesome!) and introducer to Annie Lennox (which then followed a brief obsession to go with my love of black and mens shirts…
But I digress.
In my twenties I found a brief unsettling time where I looked around a soulless office of 50+ people and few people inspired me, don’t get me wrong there were nice people, but no one I could turn to and ask “how did you do that?” or think “Wow, aren’t they awesome!”
Thankfully I have been in tune with my emotional intelligence and worked on my mindset since my late teens and spotted the damage this environment was doing to me and quickly I was back in the groove and my role models were all men.
While I know many will be disheartened by this, I wasn’t. (Back then.)
It was the early 90’s and I had lived a life where my parents, peers and colleagues just accepted everyone for who they were (lucky right?) So I didn’t really know anything about the ism’s that plague our 21st Century world (and the happiness and success we experience as a result!)
Ultimately it meant that I just saw the ethics, characteristics, communication techniques, attitudes, beliefs, etc of these business men and implanted them and it led to me being one of the youngest female body shop managers in the automotive industry – it had never occurred to me that my body could impact on the way I was viewed in the world or what I could do!
Jump forward to Mummyhood and of course my Mum was my role model as was my Nan, both awesome matriarchs, that cooked everything from scratch, taught us to read long before school, listened to every inane question (no matter how many we asked) and helped us to grow into adults.
When I returned to work as a coach over 14 years ago I decided very consciously that I needed to find someone to look up to.
To inspire me.
To motivate me.
To enable me to challenge my beliefs and perceived limitations.
I knew that if I was going to achieve big, make a success of my own business and achieve some ambitious goals, I’d need that.
But that’s where I realised my role model world was lacking. The ism’s where here and with a young daughter as well as a son I found myself asking “Where are the female role models?” “Is this going to impact on me and the next generation and more importantly what can we do about it?” Okay so you probably know I’m the Founder of the multi award winning The Business Womans Network and that made a massive difference to me.
Back then I was petrified of public speaking (I mean so scared I would leave the room rather than talk and I severely lacked confidence – yes my self confident appearance and self belif is self taught and yes it means I feel epicly confident to say I can rocket anyone’s self confidence.)
So my role models were amazing business women like Dinah Liversidge (who is coming back to the BWN this year) who taught me about reputation and credibility. Mary Keightley who taught me about power and the hidden communications that damage so many people’s success and then there are people like Susan Pattrick who I’ve always admired for her tenacity, dedication and determination to change the world for disabled people. (I’ve just thought I wonder if they know how big an impact they’ve had on my career!)
However as my own career soared I found that the people that I still admire weren’t right for me as role models.
How could that be?
Did Susan, Dinah and Mary stop being awesome? Did they stop inspiring me? No of course not. But I wanted more, but what?
I’m someone that wouldn’t be committed to coaching and it’s power if I didn’t have coaching and mentoring too and over the past few years I’ve really struggled to find the right role model for me as I’ve worked on my goals and success.
Yes, there’s Oprah (who doesn’t love Oprah!)
And Yes there’s Michelle Obama, but it wasn’t right for some reason.
I started to get hints of who would motivate inspire me in the most bizarre ways. (I like to put it out there, that I’m looking for something and it usually turns up!) Thanks to Lupus and the need to rest and severe insomnia caused by the medications I get to see some awesome documentaries on BBC1 in the middle of the night. Check out Stacey Cunningham the first female President of the New York Stock Exchange in 226 years!
And what a story about Billy jean king and her world view changing tennis match against Sexist Misogynistic“Women are weaker and not worth the ticket price or prize money in tennis” Bobby Riggs (Interestingly for me the match was four days before I was born!)
But still not quite right. So I kept searching until they magically appeared (don’t you love that?)
Of course it wasn’t magic. It was clear visualisation (and not day dreaming) it was;
And they aren’t exactly your standard role models. I realised I was looking for role models in main stream ways. With the media’s take on the world (something I’m never keen to rely on.) And that wasn’t enough. I needed to think more abstract.
The Cutty Sark – my family are from Greenwich, my grandfather and my great grandfather where in the merchant navy and I’ve a deep love and fascination with the sea. Hence my love of this stunning ship. Check out this ships history and you will see a stunning state of the art ship, at the forefront of the tea runs, changing history, an entrepreneurial spirit to inspire and yet facing such adversity how the heck did it ever survive and not get scuttled like so many other ships?
(It reminds me of my tenacity and determination to achieve anything I wish to. Fire, murder, Icebergs, innovative ideas to overcome extreme situations, the Cutty Sark went through them all! Yep she does it for me.)
Then there’s Leonardo Da Vinci – This man was a master of so many things and yet experienced a plethora of failures, criticism, harsh opinion, even forced to leave his home country but yet he is remembered (and with due cause) as someone that has changed the world. Do you know there are many inventions to this day that have not been bettered from Da Vinci’s original designs? Now that’s awesome!
And lastly my final role models are private to me. They are some of the women that I spend my life working with. I think I dedicate this article to them, because we rarely appreciate the power we have to influence positively those around us. As such they will remain private to ensure they continue to work so powerfully for me.
ACTION; Take just 5 minutes today to ask yourself;
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading. I’m over on social media a lot and love to talk and hear your thoughts, problems and stories, so do feel free to connect.
Okay I doubt a single coaching client comes to me and says “Mandie can you stop the racing thoughts, its like there’s a crowd in here!” However whether it’s coaching someone to over come a life long fear, helping them deal with an challenging team member, build their confidence, process adversity and keep going or achieve a lifetime ambition, most sessions start with the client speaking non stop for at least 10 minutes (usally 20 minutes at least!) as they empty out in front of me their mind and every thought they are attempting to process and deal with. Here for Life hack I look at some of the top ideas that I use to help people when their minds seem to race ahead with a million thoughts, never giving you time to process anything or have some brain space.
We also look at;
To read the full story head over to Lifehack. And if you would love for me to write something personal for you, just let me know either in an email or through my social media.
I hope you are having a great week and if I can help, I love that phone ringing, no seriously feel free to ring me.
My latest article for Lifehack about stress and how to cope.
Stress impacts on us all.
No one is immune, and it's not all bad. However when it feels like it is overwhelming, impacting on your happiness, actions, results and personal and professional life, then you need to take action.
If you would like to download a copy of this PDF to help you remember the top tips, strategies and tools to dealing with stress click here.
Not only do I write for my blog and clients blogs I also write for many international publications.
Here is a round up of the latest articles;
I won’t shy away from difficult conversations and I will always be honest with you. Here’s my article for Thrive Global when earlier this year I was suffering from depression. About the day social media saved my sanity.
Don’t see something what you need on my site, amongst my courses or social media videos?
Please feel free to get in touch and let me know how I can help.
Do you know that moment between asleep and awake when you are not sure if what is going on is real or a dream?
When if it’s good you’re desperately hanging on to it like a film’s hero hanging on to the edge of the mountain for dear life so they can save the world because you don’t want this massive pile of good feelings and excitement to disappear like smoke on a cloudless night?
Or it’s bad you are urgently trying to push yourself into reality to escape the monsters and nasty emotions you are facing in your nightmare?
You know that moment? Well I just had that moment. For me I leapt awake (quite literally) scaring the tiny made my Jim Henson dog who leapt out of the bed too with a look at me that said “Sorry I thought we were sleeping?”
Had their really being a spider up my nose?
I’d felt it’s wiggling legs with it’s little fibrous hairs on its legs irritating the cilia (posh word for nose hair) up my nose. For anyone that’s a dream that they’d wake fast from, but for me years ago it would have been enough to send me emigrating from my bedroom for weeks.
Because years ago I had a phobia so severe I tried to jump out of a moving car to escape a spider.
My phobia was that severe that it impacted on every waking hour of my life. It was confidence damaging, embarrassing and made me feel weak, worthless and literally depressed. It was a chicken or egg situation that nearly killed me.
Yet tonight’s spider up my nose has as much to do with you as it does me,
Because that fear that I had years ago had been so severe it had wrecked my life and with talking therapies and the skills I still use on my own clients I learnt to not just deal with my fear but to overcome it, and since then every comfort zone and every fear has been dealt with fast so I can get on with what ever I want to achieve.
Okay so I’m never going to be a lover or spiders I’m afraid (apart from the giant one (was it Aragog?) in Harry Potter that wasn’t overly desperate to eat Harry, not that this gave Harry’s side kcik Ron much comfort with his own fear of them!) I can control what I think and the same is true for us all.
Although I don’t’ mind admitting that as I write this 20 minutes ago I did for a brief spark of a moment feel some fear ripple through my body that reminded me of how fearful I’d been years ago, and that is a cautionary tale to us all.
You see you may have managed to achieve a massive personal goal, maybe you’ve stopped smoking, or lost weight, or taking up 5K runs. In your persona life you may have overcome your fear of public speaking or of standing up for what you believe. Scarily your successes can get washed away just like my ability to deal with the fear I had of spiders if you stop paying attention.
It’s a dangerous time for any human that feels fearless. Trust me I know. With fear you always want to treat fear like you treat the sea. Even if you love it, and now have so much fun doing this thing, still show it respect. Because as life boat man and my merchant navy grandad used to say “the day you disrespect the sea is the day you are in trouble.” The same is true with our fears.
Respect that you had them. Always always remind yourself of how you fixed that fear, how you fought that fear, and what enabled you to stay that way. And never be scared to go back and check that you have won your personal battle with that fear.
Fears (real, rational, bizarre, embarrassing) are all there to damage your success. When you respect the fear and know what it had meant to you, you can ensure it stays away for life.
I’ve seen too many people at times of stress, illness or when personally challenging times or adversity hits their life revert to fears that haven’t attacked them for years, because they had assumed it had gone and that it would stay gone. Just like the person that decides to get fit, if they take a year off from the gym, it could be like starting all over again with a body that had reverted to floppy arms and weak muscles.
Or the business owner that changes the structure of the working day only to revert to procrastination and unfinished to do lists because they fears were slowly sneaking back into their minds and impacting on their results and success levels.
So when I feel a spider up my nose, (real or imagined) for a split second my brain had forgotten what I’d taught it about spiders. Mandie (I reminded myself) We don’t look at every nook of wood and fear it’s a spider, we don’t steer clear or offers from friends who live in big rambling medieval farm houses (because have you seen the size of farm house spiders!)
For just a spark of a thought there had been that automatic pathway in my little grey matter that made me jump but then I remembered that spiders aren’t daft. As Bill Shear a biology professor at Hampden Sydney college in Virginia and former president of the American Arachnological Society said “spiders regard us much like they’d regard a big rock,” and “a sleeping person is not something a spider will willingly approach.” Apparently even asleep we vibrate and make noises and our noises aren’t dusty dark places full of potential lunch, so rest well in bed tonight and remember never turn your back on your fears.
Face them and fight them. The day you stop doing this, is the day it could creep back into your life!
And just like spiders up your nose, you don’t want that!
If you are interested to learn more about fears my book Fight the fear” looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and so far to date I’ve been able to fix every clients fear, with public speaking fears being overcome in just 1 session, so I’d be happy to help you too. Fear in the right place can save our lives, in the wrong place, it can destroy it – learn to know the difference.
An interesting little question that I helped a client create this week has had massive levels of impact on their chosen thoughts and actions and as result impacted on their performance.
It is like a little algorithm that I’ve found working on myself and other clients too. It is this;
“If I choose to drop xxx then I can choose to get xxx”
Interestingly as a coach I’ve helped people to;
The fact is this little algorithm, works powerfully in so many ways for so many people.
As so many great thinkers, leaders and philosophers over time have proved time and time again it is when we can explain things in their simplest format that we are able to understand the most.
And with this little algorithm, it enables a client to get to what really is holding them back in their ambitions, dreams and big goals for success.
That little algorithm is very beautiful and perfect. It makes my work sound so easy and simple. It is in the process that we create that the client can use that algorithm with power to get what they want in life. My clients are all incredible, finding their own way to process what is going on in their head.
Together we create something very powerful, even more powerful than an algorithm!
I often find that someone sits before me in a coaching session and doesn’t have a clue what is wrong. Okay work could be better and yes they’ve been snapping at their partner, and to be fair their health could do with a bit of TLC but nothing jumps out and yells “Fix this!”
Whether you find yourself in this situation or know exactly what you want to fix it is a good idea to bench mark exactly where you are now. The reason this is so important is because we don’t always notice subtle improvements or issues that are as slow as super tankers starting to impact on us.
This graph enables you to quickly and easily establish where you are.
Decide how often you will revisit this;
What will you do when you see things aren’t improving?
What will you do to celebrate your successes? (Ask me sometime why this is so important.)
How will you ensure that the actions are working are replicated and migrated?
For more ideas get in touch, help yourself to a bargain course or book, let’s connect on social media and I love that phone of yours ringing me, I’m here to help.
My client knocked at my door, totally dejected and like the metaphorically worlds problems were their fault and problems to solve all alone. They walked in looking like thunder and Cruella DeVille, grunted yes to a cup of tea and splurged on 3 conversations at once as they tried to deviate from the moment we would actually talk about what was making them so p***ed off.
They knew as well I did that it would take some work and honesty to find solutions, but that we always did, but it didn’t stop this person walking in like a dinosaur with a boil on its butt the size of Lithuania pulsating away destroying any chance of real thought and happiness.
I could practically feel their despondency, despair and lack of passion for anything. It was like a tangible thing trying to eradicate the happiness from the room. Black and oppressive. The person I knew seemed consumed by? Well? Crap, life, too much stuff and a sense of complete overwhelm.
This client is not alone in bringing me their despair and despondency and from the years of helping people to stay on track, achieve more and feel damn good about it, I know a lot of things that really work to get you back to happiness and away from hell.
Here’s a quick read guide to 3 things that could make today better (and probably help you steer clear of some crap too);
Got it sussed!
It’s tough to look at your life and be honest and say “Mmm, things aren’t good, are they?” to be fair that’s a pretty bland quote, usually it’s more along the lines of “If I don’t sort my Sh*t out I don’t know what’s going to happen” or something similar.
The ironic thing is that as a coach and someone that people naturally talk to (my children are always complaining I talk to everyone and can always find a commonality to have a chat over!) I know that my clients are not alone. The amount of times I’ve shared a Facebook Live and then been inundated with people saying “thank you for your honesty Mandie, My life has been plagued with this” or “I thought I was the only person that feels like this!”
The fact is that you are doing your best and while that doesn’t always feel like enough trust me when I say you are doing fine. If you can be bothered to read an article about being happy and achieving more you are not going to fail in the long term. When I first wrote Fight the fear, I would have some people come up after a speaking engagement and say “I thought I was fearless” (to which I would usually sigh) only for them to admit that they had the very fear I’d been talking about. We are all human. Remember that.
It means that we don’t learn a new algorithm and never slip back. It means that we don’t have it all sussed and only by being honest will we be able to. You don’t’ have to know everything, just remember, most people don’t have the same solutions you are looking for either, reassuring isn’t it! (Unless of course, you employ a coach, then “magically” you seem to have it sussed.)
What a beautiful life!
It is an intriguing state of affairs that a client can be honest and divulge their deepest darkest dooms and yet they have never considered that they are not alone in feeling like this. The crucial
point to always remember about social media is people only share what they want you to know. They may have taken 30 photos to get the one that makes them look like they are sat at the infinity pool on their own and there is not some annoying kid splashing everyone that is trying to swim leisurely admiring the rainforest around them.
We assume that everyone else has a perfect life. No cat sick, no broken phones, no shrivelled plants that you hide out of shot, no stroppy kids, no partners leaving their dirty washing on the floor, no bank accounts that make you sweat because you are too close to being red hot for all the wrong reasons. Trust me as a coach, people come to me when they are desperate. And they are so often people that look like life is perfect. I was taught from a young age, that a flashy car and big house does not negate riches. (Real or spiritual) I alas have been at the door of a business associate that has had the bailiffs arrive and everyone was shocked for weeks that this could happen to XXX. Which leads us nicely too….
Look what I’ve got!
We can spend our life planning for the future, looking over our shoulder and wishing for more. We are in an age where we believe we can do great things, change the world and still read our children bedtime stories, and have the energy to whisper sweet nothings into our loved ones ears and go to sleep on a blissful bed of passion and contentment. While all of that is true, it takes more than just dedication, passion and determination. It takes a lot of work, and not everyone on this planet is made to work 24/7. That doesn’t make you a bad person. And if you can eat a 12 hour day before lunch, then go you. The point is that we are individuals and you need to appreciate you.
Really really love who you are and what you have. We are a society that is intent on achieving more, creating big goals and going for it, however never forget what you already have.
Sometimes even I have fallen foul of this. I remember at my book launch I sighed and said “Next door to the Savoy but not quite there”
“Oh no, I’m only next door to the Savoy!”
My husband pointed out that my book launch was with the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher in a building next door to the Savoy on the 10th floor, overlooking the Thames with panoramic views of London (It made for some awesome PR!) Not bad for your first book Mandie I had to remind myself. You see we can all forget how far we’ve come and how much we have. Take a moment to look around and really notice what you have got. It does tons for your motivation, happiness, determination and action’s results!
Recenly I spoke for one of the worlds largest employers about the basics of successful social media. I don’t claim to be an expert however I know how to utilise it to grow and sustain my own business and my clients.
We also explore the foundations that every business needs to understand and abide by to ensure sustainability, growth and respecting your own personal and professional values and beliefs.
Here are the 2 worksheets I suggested as guidelines too. You are welcome to download a copy.