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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

It’s the little things…

A new client sat down opposite me and offloaded (nothing new there).

But what was different was that no matter what I said or what coaching tools I used this person did not want to look at the things that they said was they wanted to work on!

How can you help someone achieve more when they won’t talk about it?

Over the course of two hours I asked so many questions to find out what they needed. As I coach I recap with my clients so they can see the journey we are on together. It is always fascinating, often enlightening and sometimes even a little nerve wracking as someone takes you into the depths of their mind.

By the end of the session this client had a plan of action that was in no way connected to what they said they wanted to deal with. While I’m quite used to people discovering the true issues in their way or the actual things that need sorting so they can get on with the big picture. This was a small part of their life and yet to them it was an obstacle that literally filled 2 hours and the client couldn’t see how to pass it.

When we deviate so far from what the client brings to the session originally I will bring their attention back to what they said they wanted to discuss and see what they think. This client blurted out “I didn’t want to talk about any of that!”

“I know” I replied. “How does that feel?” I asked.

They didn’t know. So I reminded them that if they didn’t feel they got any benefit from our time together then they don’t pay me (simple easy guarantee right?) They booked for 6 weeks time, I sent a coaching report and started to get messages…

I tell all of my clients they are welcome to get in touch any time;

  • Got a wobble? I’m there!
  • Something exciting happened? I’m there!
  • Need a second opinion? I’m there!

This client started messaging me to say that the plan of action was in place and that they’d not met much objection from those that it would impact. (A good start right?)

Then they went quiet. I never panic about this, because if they go quiet I know they know I’m there for them and that I trust that they are more than capable of being amazing (I’ve plenty of evidence of clients doing amazing things to be confident in this). I’m just the vehicle to get them going, keep them focused and accountable and ensure they get there.

When I met that client for the second time, it was like I was looking at a shinier version. Before I could even take my seat they held my hand and said with a smile “I didn’t know what to make of our first session, because it wasn’t what I’d planned to talk about, but I now know why it was the way it was.”

This client went on to describe how much of life had changed since our session together. Not just in one area, but across the board. From family and social life, to dog walking and profit margins. Something had shifted.

“But how could big things come from something so small?”They asked.

It’s a good point.

The fact is that no matter what you want to achieve, no matter what you face – you will find your brain will create a ton of ideas. Some good. Some lousy. Some damn right ridiculous. All of them will play on your mind. Whirl around driving you crazy and little will move you forward. Our coaching session had enabled this client to step away from all of that (and a ton of other stuff) to find a starting point. And had we not dealt with the start first (obvious really) then they couldn’t have moved on to the big stuff they want to achieve.

ACTION; The next time you find yourself asking “What should I do?” Don’t just look for the big answers. It’s likely that what you really need to start on will be far smaller. But it’s the small stuff that we ignore at our peril.

I’m happy to have a chat about how I can help you. If your budget is tiny but your ambitions big I’ve courses and books that will fit and if you want to invest working with me this year. I’d be honoured to join you on your journey. It’s an exciting journey that I never tire of!

  • January 29, 2019

Hanging on to sh*t

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



  • January 16, 2019

Fuzzy Patch

So as me and Hubby had that special moment before bed (stop it!) you know the time where the jobs are done, the plans and progress for the whole family has been discussed and you can just be 2 people that love each other having a chat and being together before you snuggle up to sleep (it’s the moment in Madam Secretary I love too. I didn’t realise I had something in common with Elizabeth Accord!)

And without actually saying….Hubby noticed something about me.

Then this morning I turn on the TV to hear there’s a thing….(You are likely to shudder…) Hairuary.

If you haven’t guessed it’s the month where women don’t shave.

Now for me that’s just the plain old fact that I’m wearing at least 100 denier tights (or thermal ones) jumpers, shirts and dresses with sleeves down to my wrists (if you can see my hairy armpits coming out of my cuffs I’ve got a problem!)

It’s no conscious decision. If I had a posh event to attend in a strapless dress etc and my armpits were going to be on show, for personal preference I’d probably defur….

However maybe I wouldn’t.

Because there on TV there was a man spurting on about how it’s lazy and that “something died inside” when he saw Julia Roberts with hairy armpits and men didn’t fancy them. The female presenter gave a weak response (with no back up) and on with the show. (With of course a few mentions of tweets, etc throughout the show to confirm the male presenter is of course right.

I didn’t have a problem with Hairuary, and I probably still don’t (do what you like I say!) however I do have an issue with 2 days in a row there have been pointless articles in the news about women.

  1. Hairuary
  2. The French author who says women over 50 can’t love.


Firstly can I point out that true men and any partner doesn’t love you if you don’t have hairy arms, they just love you. I’ve been on meds that killed all hair (on my head not so good, but great for cutting down on body hair removal!) and I’ve been on drugs that have made me have hair in places I didn’t know was possible. Take it further I’ve had meds that have made me throw up so much that I’ve not left the loo in days and what a great body I had and then I’ve had meds that have made me balloon up like a moon faced chipmunk. Regardless that gorgeous man of mine has said “I don’t notice, it doesn’t matter to me, you are just you.” He is northern and apparently that is why he doesn’t say I love you, but I know what that means. Your mine, it’s all good.

Secondly why are we giving energy to these stories? (In any reference to these stories I’ve not included any links to newspapers etc. They won’t get any traffic via me.)

They aren’t news.

They aren’t fact.

They are opinions.

At the most Hairuary is that story just before the news finishes. That’s it.

The reason I write this post is because these articles in the news (wow the news had a different meaning years ago – years ago it was someone investigating stories from around the world and around our shores and reporting them to the public, so they knew the true facts. Not opinion, not propaganda, not aggrandising. Just fact.) is because I question do people not realise the damage this does to our society?

To constantly be attacking half of society is ludicrous. Whether we like it or not (and without getting my feminist hat on which even that has become something to be wary of) women are paid less, exploited, lacking in confidence, missing from sectors of industry and working harder to achieve the results they want in their professional lives. Add on top of this constant (unnecessary) pressure you can see why women have never felt so unhappy about their figures and worried about who they are, how they look and everything else you could imagine.

We aren’t just talking about a horde of 40/50+ aged women we are talking about all females. My 15 year old daughter has grown up in a home where you are who you are and the people that matter will respect and honour that. That authenticity, mindset and working hard is the right way to get results in life. But how many girls will hear these “news” stories and without even realising it pour more pressure on themselves to look like something that isn’t real.,

Trust me. I don’t mind how I look (I’m no beauty or no Halloween mask) however I can be ready to leave the house in about an hour. When I’ve done photo shoots for magazines it’s taken the whole day to get the look the magazine wants. With hours of deliberating over which shoes, jewellery, hair, dress, etc, etc. It’s not real.

And as long as we give kudos and weight to pointless stories like these what we expect women to be isn’t real either.


Don’t share their links.

Do what you want.

Build your own confidence, be you. It will make success a lot easier to not fight that.

Oh and to the TV presenter this morning, if anything I would have defurred tonight but you just made me feel strongly that maybe I won’t, and you’ve probably massively damaged Gillette for women’s profits for January too!

  • January 9, 2019

Mandie’s New Years Solution….

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

Should I set them? Shouldn’t I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is working?

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

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

What needs to change?

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

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

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

Are my goals still stretching me?

Are comfort zones developing?

What fears are lurking that could impact on my growth?

Do I need to set new or additional actions?

Do I need to set new or additional goals?

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

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

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

  • January 4, 2018

What is the difference between coaching, mentoring and consulting?

What is a Coach and what is a mentor?

I often hear people say “Why should I use you instead of a consultant or a mentor, What’s the difference?”

And having spent years learning and honing this skill and learning the intricacies of the latest ideas and thinking on the way we think, feel happy, achieve success and get what we want in life I would say that there’s no conversation on the planet like the conversation with a coach!

When I coach a client I can take the coaching hat off and I’ll tell a client I’m doing that to share ideas (that’s consultancy) and I’ll share my opinion if it looks like a client is really getting stuck (that’s mentoring) however coaching is enabling you to break through life time limiting beliefs and assumptions that are costing you success to help you understand what really matters to you, and to explore what you really want to achieve and how to achieve it easier on your terms creating laser focus and accountability.

It’s the most powerful conversation you will ever have, in a confidential, non-judgmental environment by using influential tools that take years to master and hone as a coach. (Although I feel strongly that everyone can learn some skills of a coach to communicate powerfully and think in a more effective way, quite easily if they wish to – it’s something I enjoy helping management and leaders to appreciate and learn!)

Here’s a good example for you;

A consultant may say “You need to do x, y and z?”

A mentor might say “How did you find using x, y and z, do you feel they could help in the future, here is what I found by using x, y and z and how to improve on them.”

A Coach may say “What have you tried so far? What did you notice that seemed to work? What do you think needs to change?” (And a lot more questions like that mean that you don’t just find a solution for this occasion, you learn to understand your natural style of thinking and what naturally works for you, so that as you advance in your goals, reach new obstacles or wish to achieve something else you learn what works for you and how to communicate powerfully into the bargain!)

The reason coaching is so effective is because we help you work authentically, according to the person you truly are. Tailor made coaching means a whole lot of listening. Consulting and mentoring involve a lot more talking!

  • September 5, 2017