Not enough people stop to enjoy the world around them.
I was talking to a client about meditation and mindfulness and they are working with someone else on this and really struggling to make it work. They said it just wasn’t natural for their overthinking brain to do, they adore their business and love working hard. Stopping felt alien to them.
After a few sessions they said they found it hard going and they weren’t enjoying the process at all.
Any practice like mindfulness is designed to make your brain calm. It alters the chemicals your body releases and thus changes how you respond, react and think and act.
Can you see why it’s part of my coaching?
Because my job is to help you alter the way your brain works so that you think differently and get better results.
One of my favourite quotes for clients on mindfulness, meditation etc is;
“You don’t need to sit on a mountain crosslegged saying OM to practice mindfulness.”
Here’s a few random ways you can get calm and mindful that may be more your cuppa tea, because we are all so unique stop trying to ram yourself into someone else’s model of happiness, healthiness, success, confidence, business and life. Honour who you really are and you get there quicker. Trust me that’s a fact!
(And then I will share why you really really need to do something to help you calm your mind if you want to be more productive, successful, innovative in your business)
With any type of mind altering and calming process your aim is to get back into flow. To stop fighting all those thoughts. So as thoughts come whizzing through – don’t tell yourself off for them, just let them come in and go out again. For me I imagine a boat arriving on a stream. I have my feet in the water and the boat arrives and what ever image represents the whizzing thoughts is put in the boat and sent off down the river. Even my children end up in the boat waving me good bye and disappearing around the river bank!
Dog barking and disturbing you? Don’t berate the dog, thank the dog in your mind for reminding you the world around you exists and you are an important part of it.
I adore the teachings of Bhudia for helping with a calm mind and philosophy for helping you appreciate what matters and what doesn’t. Adding these to my coaching that uses NLP, CBT, CAT means we aren’t just working on the business, we are working on the human.
The reason these practices are ESSENTIAL FOR ALL HUMANS is because they enable your brain to think better. And when you think better you can flow.
Us coaches talk about flow because when you are flowing in your mind you naturally find the right actions to take. You “by magic” get the opportunities you’ve been craving and business, life, happiness and health all get easier.
This post was inspired by Paul Boorman from White Label Detroit Pizza and Bar who shared this short video.
So park up and enjoy those poppies!
Awesome post Paul Boorman from White Label Detroit Pizza & Bar, thank you for taking some time. All professionals and business owners need to take some time for themselves and this was the perfect reminder – so I’m off to the beach after my client today!
Of all the obstacles to happiness, resilience and the things you want in life, the biggest obstacle I’ve seen is the same for every single human.
Here is my very quick strategy to get you started on eradicating this obstacle FOREVER – yes cap locks are on and I’m shouting this because if you don’t fix this you are agreeing to this standing in your way FORVER – I hope I’ve made my point, like I’m some omnipresent god shouting from beyond the clouds….
1. To get rid of the subconscious hidden obstacles to what you want (or don’t want in life) you’ve first got to find the obstacle. And in my extensive experience that is often the biggest task for our time together as coach and coachee. Don’t worry, I always find it. Using the following steps will help you assess if this is an issue for you. (Remember this step for the future, always ask yourself good quality questions to ask yourself if there is some outdated belief, thought, emotion and perception of something in your life. It is a step myself and clients revisit often to assess the quality of what’s going on in their heads.)
2. Go find a mirror and look in it.
3. Wave at yourself – yes, I know it feels weird. There’s a point to this, trust me. Did it make you cringe? *
4. Say to the mirror You the following statement;
“(Insert your name here) you are not allowed to stand in my way ever again, I know you are holding on to this old belief that (insert the belief/past experience you are holding on to like it’s fact even though it’s not here) but this is not true and does not serve you well. So, from today you will remember the voice changer** and you will hold on to this new belief that (insert new belief, statement that enables you to achieve great things and overcome anything here). I still love you, but bog off with that negative crap, you’ve no place in our future!”
(Sorry if the language was offensive, you don’t need to use rude words, but for me they add gravitas and make me pay attention. If they don’t work for you don’t use them.)
By understanding your first response to this task you can start to see what could be going on in your head that stops you from getting the results you want in life.
Fixing this also helps you be resilient in any situation; overcome any obstacle and dig deep within to get what you want in life.
* There’s your first clue – if you look in the mirror and your first thought is a negative one it gives me major clues to your attitude and beliefs about yourself. In the confidence course (1) I walk you through how to have internal confidence instead of external confidence – external confidence can get rocked and go up and down, internal does not. So, if you’ve done that course go back and do the “Why you are awesome” document – you didn’t do it justice the first time. Also see below for another strategy to fix this self-image issue.
** Most strategies I share work fast. This one takes a bit longer – usually 4 weeks. That is because you are rewriting the conversation in your head. However, this strategy works, and it works permanently. (2)
The above can help you never let you get in the way ever again. Let me know how you get on. I am passionate a bout you and your success in life and will always be here to help make anything and everything a reality. You are welcome to email, text, message, call, send a pigeon for a chat anytime to explore how I could help you, your life and business and team.
World Kindness Day was invented in 1998. 23 years to appreciate the importance of kindness;
And yet according to Advance HE “Racial discrimination in higher education continues to exist. Despite the events of the past year and heightened focus on structural and institutionalised racism, we see growing tensions arising from differing cultural, ethnic and other identities, both on campus and in wider society.” * (1)
According to research by Lenovo there is a kindness gap in UK society with 82% of UK citizens placing value on living in a kind and empathic society but only 37% believe they live in a city that is like this. (2)
Further evidence that kindness is not riding high comes from the annual Report Harmful Content that says online hate speech increased by 225% last year!
Every area of our lives has seen the negative impact of a lack of kindness. As a mental health ambassador, I’ve been working with charities and organisations to raise awareness on mental health and wellbeing for 17 years and we still have the same issues that if we had a greater level of kindness in the world we could help lessen and eradicate. So what can we do about this?
This world kindness day, don’t just share a post and think “I’m doing my bit.” Up your game;
Here are 6 powerful ways you can make the next year a kinder one both personally and professionally;
1. We all know someone that annoys us. Instead of continuing with this they annoy me, it does this to me, it has this impact on me, I then respond like this, it negatively impacts on me like this…. response. Look to understand what about this person annoys you? (If you’ve read my books or attended any sessions with me you will know strategy is from the Negative spiral.)
Understanding our own “Hot buttons” and our own way of thinking, acting and responding can help us bridge the gap between ourselves and people we don’t get on with. We won’t necessarily change them, but we will be able to change our response and see the world differently. This is great in business; enabling very different thinkers to work together powerfully to a common goal.
2. I read a great quote in a book on philosophy that asked, “what is the purpose of arguing?” I love reading bout ancient philosophers (who still have so much to teach us since us humans still have brains and minds) I learnt that an argument is an opportunity to learn, and not what most people think.
Alas what Aristotle said wasn’t so simple as, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” He actually said;
““It is right that we ask [people] to accept each of the things which are said in the same way: for it is the mark of an educated person to search for the same kind of clarity in each topic to the extent that the nature of the matter accepts it. For it is similar to expect a mathematician to speak persuasively or for an orator to furnish clear proofs!
Each person judges well what they know and is thus a good critic of those things. For each thing in specific, someone must be educated [to be a critic]; to [be a critic in general] one must be educated about everything.”
Okay so not as snappy but it teaches us a lot. If we can understand others, we can be kinder in our response. I’ve had thousands of coaching conversations with individuals and teams where this approach has led to eureka moment, so consider your response. You can’t possibly know everything so it’s a good reminder that your mind, your knowledge, your beliefs and view of the world will not match everyone’s. Accepting and honouring that can make you a kinder person and better in business and life.
3. Be real. This is not for everyone, however in a world that is becoming so polarising and causing so many divides the more honest, transparent and real you can be the better. That doesn’t mean you’ve got shout in the office “I ate the last cookie and hate Monday meetings; you all talk too much!” but it does mean that you respond to the world in a more honest way.
Bella Hadid (3) the international Instagram model with over 47 million followers shared her own very personal images of her crying and upset, talking about her own mental health. While I think this is good in some respects. It has its limitations. After posting this Bella probably has the funds to access confidential help and do what she needs to do to be mentally well and strong. Many don’t have this option and will have to battle on through because bills need to be paid and they don’t have millions of followers to say you can do it or the confidence to say what is really going on.
When I shared my frustration that a recovery company left me after being robbed in a city centre in the middle of the night for 2.5 hours most of the comments were constructive. (4) I’d aimed to highlight that to stay safe sometimes those that we trust aren’t doing what they should (I think I’ll probably move away from this organisation and not trust it to look after my children should they break down either) and I wanted to highlight this to my friends online and hopefully get the recovery agency to attend faster! I wasn’t expecting someone to accuse me of being a victim and looking for attention or being someone that fails to motivate and inspire people no matter what they face to achieve in life.
If you follow me on social media, you will know that my husband and I have faced a lot this year. As one of my mastermind groups and a lawyer put it “You’ve been through a fair bit this year.” Let’s just say so as not to bore you that if we wrote the last 18 months into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, they’d write it out straight away for being too unrealistic!
I was just incredibly unlucky to have my car singled out from a line of cars and be robbed. I wasn’t expecting an attack on social media afterwards. I asked my mastermind group if I was boring people, over sharing and not as I have aimed through out the last year to showcase, we can overcome everything. That with the right mindset no matter what we face we can be happy, lessen our stress levels and still achieve great things.
As I said to my mastermind group, it is one thing after the trauma, accident, brain tumour, tsunami, mental health breakdown, obstacle to stand on a stage and inspire others when you have the evidence to say it all worked out fine, it is quite another level of resilience, determination, strategy and mindset to deliver this in the midst of the hell.
On reflection would I share again?
Yes, because I’m honest and real. If I cock up, I will be honest and look to learn, if you create a world that says yes to you and reinforces what you believe, then how can you grow and improve?
How will you know what works and what doesn’t?
To be kind consider the part you play in the global attitude to social media.
Do you make assumptions or share in a way that inspires motivates and supports others?
There’s a big difference between moaning and honesty and I think the line can be very blurred sometimes. Step back and ask how do I wish to be represented online? What is my message? My brand? It doesn’t matter who you are – student, retired teacher, business owner, leader or speaker. What are you projecting to the world?
And if your life is all perfection online ask yourself how you are impacting on others?
4. “I’m fine” a statement made so often. When I spoke to my husband’s oncologist about support, they advised that it is very common to see that cancer patients are alone in the world. In the early months patients are inundated with support both practical and emotional, but as the time passes people fade away. It gets harder for the patient and their community to connect and be kind to one another as their worlds are so different. The offers of traybakes and trips to the hospital diminish and the “How are you really?” conversations dry up as people move on with their lives.
A big way you can be kind is to ask if you are hearing what you want to hear or what they are saying? We often hear what we want to hear so that we can continue down the path we are taking. When I was working with a business team, the leader chose to hear that everyone was fine because that was what they had been told, however the profits, the absenteeism, the lack of growth and the length of meetings and inboxes told a different story. Choosing to hear what people were really thinking (but not confident to share) meant the company, the team and every individual felt honoured. And of course, happier too.
So, what do you really hear?
5. Helping others is a proven way to support yourself and make this world a better place. According to an AmeriCorps report, people who volunteer 100+ hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.
Studies have shown that helping others can;
I often talk in leadership and team coaching sessions about how the chemicals are bodies can create can be actively produced if we do the right things. It has been viewed as fluffy and emotional when I talk in corporate settings about the softer side of being human, but there’s nothing soft or fluffy about understanding what you think can actively change your performance, happiness, health and even how much money you make!
In my talk on controlling the uncontrollable that I’ve delivered for many organisations and businesses to help them migrate to 4 days weeks and navigate through the fast paced changes our personal and professional lives have to travel through, this slide has proven a big talking point;
How are you looking to set off positive chemical responses in others?
(These are obviously just a few examples, and none are essential!) however it does highlight how it is not rocket science to find ways to be kind and leads us nicely onto…
6. You. To be kind in this world, you have to start with you. If you’ve heard me speak, you know I ask you to tell me where you fit on the Importance ladder?
This not only supports you to do more for others it also ensures you are a great role model for those around you. Despite the endless hospital appointments, calls and surgeries I can hand on heart say that I’ve prioritised my needs as much as I have anyone else’s. And this has ensured that despite every challenge and obstacle I’ve not missed a single speaking gig, coaching session or training day and my business continues to grow.
Kindness, pays, so 23 years after International Kindness Day started isn’t it time, we all considered how powerful it could be and do something about it?
If you have enjoyed this article and aim to do something about it, then I’d love to hear more. You can connect on social media, email me or even pick up the phone!
Social media links are at the stop of the homepage.
Tel +44 (0) 798 935 556
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
In this short video I share a strategy I use with clients from individuals wanting to get in that board room or wanting to grow their small business so it doesn’t kill them off and they achieve the results they always dreamed of through to large teams of amazing people all working for one organisation with different views, skills, specialities, fears, obstacles and beliefs.
Often some look at me like I’ve suggested the fluffliest most pointless exercise ever. However even they get on board when they see the results it brings. Never underestimate the power of what goes on in your head.
This coaching strategy will help you take control over what goes on in your mind. If you want more my new book is all about Taking Control Of Your Mind – Lifehacks to resilience, happiness and success. Buy it here or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
Here I’m honest and tell you what happened, and how I monitor and fixed my own dip in confidence. I tell clients and Insiders all the time, before you work on your ambitions and plans, always assess your confidence levels – it will have a massive impact on your results.
I was invited to speak at the worlds biggest online conference for Luminary Learning, a company that works with some of the biggest organisations in the world – 18 speakers, 17 hours. (I discovered I was one of their top speakers and so they’d put me between one of the most expensive speakers on the planet and Zeus Frazier – Zeus Frazier’s dad was one of the only people to fight and beat Muhammad Ali multiple times – so wow no pressure there then!)
And in the lead up to the big day I had meetings with the team to see if I would fit as well as they’d hoped. I was keen for this to happen because I’m not your usual conference speaker and I didn’t want to stand out (for all the wrong reasons) like the proverbially sore thumb! Especially amongst such amazing talent!
I rarely have slides (unless the hosts really want them) and I don’t’ usually follow a set script. Choosing instead to find out what they want for their audiences and what they want the result to be. In that way I will create a mass group coaching style session that is really powerful and ensures people get personalised solutions rather than generic ideas. (I can deliver to a script and make it just me talking but in my view it’s not as much fun, productive or memorable.
As I chatted with the hosts, I ended up showing them my Disney mug of coffee, my tiny dog and even my Olaf Keyring… such a grown up. They loved my honest, fun style and said that with my exceptional knowledge on growing businesses and people I’d be perfect.
So all good right?
Except when you don’t see your audience whether you are a speaker, professional or a business leader it can be tough.
Usually body language gives us massive clues on this. The crossed arms changing to hand at face in deep thought is always a good one to aim for. Along with obviously the laughter and relaxed poses.
So with our world moving to online can you deliver to the same high standard?
Yes of course but watch out for the confidence levels.
As the day of the big event got closer, I found myself writing copious amount of notes on the subject of leadership and building great people. You know, the subject I spend my life coaching people and teams on!
How ridiculous I found myself thinking you know this stuff inside out. “Why are you writing it down?” “Why are you adding stats that you could recite in your sleep!” I shrieked at myself. “Are you likely to lose your mind between now and Saturday!”
It was a dip in confidence. Not to be confused with a sensible level of nerves because you want to do well. One is good for your performance, the other can destroy it. (If you aren’t sure pick up a copy of Fight the fear where I help you reduce your fears to a sensible level often getting rid of them all together but being mindful that sometimes a little nerves is good for you. And if you are like most of my readers you will follow this with my next book Taking Control Of Your Mind where you can explore what type of person you are and how to honour that to achieve more and overcome any obstacle – buy it here.)
So I did what any good coach would do and I talked to another coach. My coach has been proverbially kicking my butt for years. In fact it’s thanks to them I’ve achieved more and I know I’ve been able to help my coach too. (I love relationships that are win win like that.)
So I messaged my coach. Something along the lines of “Hey, I’ve got the major wobbles about Saturday. I know I can do this with bells on but still….”
They replied with the right words as we usually do for each other, but when you are bordering on a dip in confidence that can induce fear (and trust me as author of Fight the fear I know this stuff. If you don’t fix the confidence then fear is only a step away.) So despite the fact I believed my coach and the despite the fact my coach has heard me speak on many occasion, so when they say you are an awesome speaker, then you really have to accept you are an awesome speaker I still was feeling concerned at a level I didn’t want to take to the event.
“Where is your evidence Mandie?” I asked. “Have you got on a stage before and tanked it?”
“Have you let an audience or hosts down?”
“Er again, I’m going to have to say No”
“Have you made audiences laugh and learn and have eureka moments that changed lives and business?”
At this stage I was beginning to hate myself just like my clients do when they are faced with the facts that they don’t suck and they are awesome! I knew how my coaching clients felt under my scrutiny and it wasn’t easy to accept but accept it I did. I’m good at my job. Actually scrap that, I’m awesome at my job – we all need to learn to be able to say that don’t we? We don’t need to walk down the street shouting it but we do need to hear it on the inside and believe it.
I wanted to share this with you because people often say “You are so confident I bet you never doubt yourself” As a human we all do it, the difference is as a coach I can get myself back into a great mindset and get the results I want because I coach myself and control what is allowed to go on inside my brain. Hence the new book Taking control of your mind is so popular because it helps you do just that.
And just so I don’t let that dip in confidence come back I printed off the amazing words that one of the team sent to me.
If you want to stay positive it’s important you give yourself visual clues so you don’t revert to negative and stay there because that’s not good for you, your team or your business. And remember people like to be with positive people. People that inspire and motivate them. Those people make tough days and obstacles to success so much easier to overcome.
If you would like to know more about any aspect of this feel free to get in touch and if this made you rethink what you allow to happen in your head do let me know.
I’ve over 100 strategies to help build confidence. Many of which feature in my confidence course (it only takes 2 days to get through that course and see improvements) you can buy that here.
Something else that helps me is my mastermind group – it’s packed with talented, skilled, successful professionals and business owners. Do join us we all share the most amazing ideas and support. Click here to learn more.
I can also request white labelled copies of Fight the fear for your company and Taking Control Of Your Mind- minimum order 100 copies.
Not getting as much done as you would like?
Please don’t read another book.
Please don’t write another list.
In my experience and I’ve helped individuals, mums, CEO’s, teams of 10 and teams of 200+ to achieve more and even apps aren’t enough!
You need to go back to the beginning.
As a coach people mock me for some of the questions I ask thinking they are wishy washy, however having achieved awesome results with my clients (they do most of the work, I’m just the catalyst) these woo woo questions are the ones with the power, so for starters;
What do we stand for?
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
What will this give me?
What are my values?
How do I want to impact on the world?
What do I fear?
Can I confidently say No?
What will my actions lead to?
What are my goals?
Where will they take me?
What stays on the to do list that I never get around to?
How does that make me feel?
What to I assume will happen?
Ditch or deal with everything on your to do list.
Money making first.
And if you really want to achieve more, I share at The BWN and speaking engagements and with clients my 10 day week.
So damn powerful and makes even me achieve more. (I can’t share it here because it’s too visual to work).
And lastly if you have more than 5 things on your list of to do today, you are setting yourself up for long term failure.
There’s a ton of other things but time management and achieving big things is not rocket science. It is about understanding the power of who you are (not an author, guru or expert) and utilising that power, stepping up to the stuff that you fear and having the accountability and focus to get on with it.
I love coaching because it’s so powerful. And the silly little thoughts that crossed over your mind just now, they could hold the key to maximise the use of every hour from this moment on!
There’s more that I teach and share – communication rules and laws, boundaries, respect, open door policy and when not to. Company policy, mission and vision. So much, but this should get you and your team achieving more.
Remember if you want to achieve more you have to create space to and that means making time – time management coaching enables you and your team to do this.
Tough questions, but they ensured that I’d get on with work and light a candle so that I had something nice to look at instead of concentrating on the thing that was annoying me.
Jump to inappropriate jokes and I’ve learnt that if I’m with new people I will apologise and explain “I’m sorry I make bad jokes when it’s stressful, it helps me reduce my stress.” Honesty, fallibility and sharing – instead of disconnecting you from those around you, it can connect you on a new powerful level, but it takes internal confidence to be able to do that;
I’ve learnt that the right people will always accept you, hey they may not get you but they will accept you. So what about your natural style could stop you from connecting on a deeper level with those at work and at home?
How could you style be the polar opposite to others and what impact could it have on your communication skills success?
How could you overcome that? And turning into a whole new person is rarely the best option.
So what has this got to do with you?
Coaching clients learn with me who they really are and how to utilise that knowledge so that no matter what they face or want to achieve they can fall back on the knowledge of who they are and own it.
If you’d like to learn more about understanding the science of who you are, who your team are and how to get better results at work and at home – even reducing stress and working less hours, get in touch. I’ve a proven track record of coaching individuals and teams to achieving more. And I’m happy to give you references that you can call to share their views on why this 2020 I’m their coach of choice. 01206 381482.
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;
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;
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?
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;
Think about what kind of support you would like and who in your world could provide it?
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;
Challenge your thoughts to be able to get over yourself and speak up.
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!)
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;
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;
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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?
There are various breathing exercises that have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety in seconds. One 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.
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…
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?
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.
Choose different music for study, for relaxation, for fun, for stress release – don’t choose the same music, it loses its power.
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!
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.
Yoga, running, dancing, painting, singing, hobbies, tai chi, look for things in life that make you feel good and at them too!
You won’t stick to these stress-free exams tool kit unless you make it visual;
That is a sentence that I’ve held dearly for so many years.
It helps you when you want to achieve.
It helps you when you face adversity.
It can even help you when you are rushed to A and E and are scared to death you are dying.
Whatever your life looks like or what you want it to look like this article could change your actions by the time you finish reading it, ready?
For those that aren’t into Star wars that phrase is said by tiny ancient Yoda (who looks like he couldn’t take on a toddler and beat them in a battle, although not sure who would want to do that!) it is as his prodigy is attempting to get his spaceship (bear with me non scifi lovers) out of the bog.
Luke the young prodigy proclaims, “I don’t believe it!” As tiny Yoda effortlessly lifts the ship not just free of the bog vines and mud but with just the gentle lifting of his hand lands it gracefully next him. Yoda turns to Luke and pretty much says “And that my dear boy is why you couldn’t do it.”
“Do or do not there is no try.”
Okay so what’s that got to do with your life and happiness?
Meet Sarah (Name changed because all clients are always confidential unless they go around shouting about working with me) Sarah had been working with me for a couple of months and was getting used to the fact that you can’t hide from yourself in our sessions. She flippantly said “Well I will give that go. I promise”
Give that a go?” I asked, “What do you think your chances are of success I asked?” and I added “What are you actually saying in your head about this plan of action?”
The deep sigh and “Wow I hate you look” (it’s good to get that look from your client because it means you’ve found what is really standing in the way of what they want. And it’s always handled with love and respect. Usually leading to clients coaching themselves in the middle of our sessions!) led to them saying “Well I suppose if I’m honest, it’s a great plan, it’s what I really want, but I’m not convinced that I can actually do it.”
Sarah was going to tackle her coaching plan of action with a “I will give it a go” attitude. When we analysed that viewpoint, she could see that;
The quickest way to fix this (as Sarah and I did) was to;
If she had gone with the I’ll give it go (try) attitude her results would not have been as epic as they were.
On the opposite side of this, I also work with a lot of business owners and managers who have long term health issues. It is very hard to be a dedicated passionate hard worker and find you have a body that won’t sustain all you want to get done that week. Learning that lesson is not easy, and it tends to lead to a lot of stress as we try to let no one down and achieve everything for everyone. For myself I have learnt that I will do or do not, not try.
A client who had recently been given a diagnosis of a long-term condition that could potentially greatly damage their business and their earning potential came to me for this reason. Attempting to be the before illness person was adding so much stress because they physically with all the will in the world could not get everything done. No amount of late-night working worked. If anything, it just exasperated their symptoms. Would they have to quit their business and give up?
No, through our time together (I only worked with that client 4 times) they learnt that it was their decision to decide what they spent their time.
It is not easy to say No to people (Heck there’s a whole chapter on it in my book Fight the fear because it can be so detrimental to our success.) So, learning what to allow into their life and what would be dropped was difficult but had a massively positive impact.
If you find yourself trying to please everyone and get everything done;
Thankfully the do or do not attitude has had far reaching results for myself my clients and their teams.
It led to me finding a solution to my 8 years of illness last May and now I’m well. Working full time and very grateful for my health. And thanks to the try or try not method, you can imagine how epic my time management and success rate has become?
It leads us finally to faith. Try or try not says. I have faith in what I do. I have no faith in what I can achieve. I have no faith in who I am.
So, ask yourself this. Do you have faith in what you will do? Who you are? And what you can achieve?
Get in touch anytime.
I love the phone ringing 01206 381482. Or if that feels to scary to phone in the first instant email@example.com I’m here to help.
Before you can educate someone on why something needs to be like this, or that this system is coming into place or this is changing to that, you need to listen. If you don’t listen then people can feel disengaged, unappreciated and out of touch with the company. This leads to reduced productivity, grape vine gossip, stress, absenteeism, a lack of creativity and all of that impacts on the companies results. Ask open ended questions with no agenda and really listen.
It is amazing how many companies I’ve coached this year that didn’t have a communication policy. And yet as we work together I often hear;
The list is long and all adds up to a team not knowing the company’s natural style of communication. If you have an open-door policy – write it down – communicate it.
If you have reports that make your day long on the last Friday of every month – ask for some space – write it down – communicate it.
Teams work very well together when they understand each other and knowing how and when to communicate and what it is safe to say are imperative.
Employers and leaders often tell me “they’ve had training” however when we work together often as a team, I hear things like;
It is related to communication but enabling people to explore how they learn naturally and what stands in their way reduces obstacles and negativity towards change.
One of the biggest things that stop people from doing something new or different is fear;
Look for the statements that sound final, they will give you clues on how your team feel about the change you wish to implement. Don’t dismiss silly minor issues. They usually hide the big issue that stops someone from adjusting. I’ve seen it thousands and thousands of times. When a person feels listened to and respected and feel safe with no judgement – wow it can be powerful and not just for the individual.
Trying to change an outdated belief is not going to work by telling them they have to.
After listening, educating and breaking down fears you need to find out what that person actually believes. Interestingly if someone feels part of the process, if they feel like they know the companies mission, vision and goals they are far more likely to get involved.
So fighting an outdated mindset won’t work. Coaching will. It enables the individual to take ownership for their way of thinking and the impact that it has on their actions and results. This leads to a change in perspective and that is where the power is. You can’t change something you can’t see.
Ultimately everyone has to get on board. Ensure everyone knows what is expected of them.
Knowing this before change is implemented can make a massive difference.
And lastly don’t tell people they need to change.
People don’t like change; they like to feel safe and know what is going to happen. Change has a lot of meanings to people and assuming they are good meanings is dangerous. Use phrases like “We need to look at ways to move forward” this is far less scary, since most of us can put one foot in front of the other. And ultimately as coaching teaches us, everyone moves forward at different speeds – no one speed is correct.
We are all unique and so is our ability to adapt. These tips should help you help your team too and that can have a far reaching positive impact on your companies success. I’ve seen it lead to reduced costs, increased staff morale and happiness, new initiatives, new direction, less stress, reaching every KPI and so much more. Let me know how you get on.
For more ideas and coaching tips that work, get in touch. Mandie@mandieholgate.co.uk 01206 381482