8 Self Care Habits to overcome Imposter Syndrome

Self Care Imposter Syndrome

How can self care help you to manage and overcome Imposter Syndrome? It might not be what you think.

Self care is a relatively new concept and many people are promoting this as physical things to do, such as spa days, long soaks in the bath and getting your nails done.  I’m not saying these things don’t make you feel good and I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t do these things but the feeling you get from these things are short term.  If you want to make lasting change then these are not the solutions for that.

So what does self care mean to me?  It means you care for yourself.  Simple right. Maybe to understand it but to implement it might be a little more tricky.  You see if you are experiencing Imposter Syndrome you are highly likely to not always care for yourself.  Some of the ways you think and behave do not support caring for yourself.  Also you may have been brought up in a culture that says that caring for yourself before others is a selfish act.

So here are 8 ways that you can start to care for yourself that will also help to manage and overcome your Imposterism.

1.      Stop avoiding things

Ways that you may avoid are things like procrastinating over doing important things, hiding away from sharing your views or not putting yourself forward for new opportunities.  You spend so much mental energy thinking about these things, so the best thing to do to relieve that quiet nagging at the back of your brain is just do it.  Sit down and do the hard work, speak up even if you are scared, say yes to opportunities that scare you.

2.      Stop overworking

I don’t mean in actual hours although this could also be an issue.  It’s doing more than is expected because you are subconsciously trying to prove your worth, it’s getting stuck in perfectionism, it’s not setting healthy boundaries, it’s allowing your personal commitments to be pushed aside for work.  So remember done is better than perfect, it is ok to push back on things when people try and put things on you, it’s knowing when to switch off and allow yourself to rest.

3.      Say no to things

You can fall into the trap of not knowing how to say the word no as if you say no to people you feel they may judge you and think less of you.  There is nothing worse than saying yes to something, then regretting it and wishing you didn’t have to do it.  You’re also reinforcing that you believe you come second to everyone else.  It’s uncomfortable to start to say no but every time you say no to something or someone, you’re saying yes to yourself and that can feel good when you get the hang of it.

4.      Talk things out

When you’re doubting your capabilities, you may find it difficult to share your thoughts and feelings but this does not help you care for yourself.  Imposter Syndrome thrives in isolation so the best thing you can do to care for yourself is find your own fraud squad.  People that you trust that will listen to you.  Speaking out your thoughts and feelings takes away their power and just by talking you can feel better about a situation.  You might even figure out a solution by talking it out loud too!

5.      Ask for help

Asking for help can be viewed as a weakness, especially if you think you need to be able to do it all (think superwoman/man).  If you need to ask for help then you can’t be enough.  Capable enough.  Smart enough. Know that asking for help does not lessen your capabilities.  Every human needs help in some way.  Let people in.  Let them help you.  

6.      Speak nicely of yourself and to yourself

When you’re doubting yourself, you’re likely to put yourself down, in your head or out loud.  Putting yourself down in this way is feeding your feelings of inadequacy so the best thing you can do is watch your words.  Watch how you speak to others and start to use that language with yourself.  Turn that compassion inwards.

7.      Forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures

One thing you need to realise is everyone fails.  One thing that doesn’t help is ruminating over our past mistakes and failures.  The best thing you can do is to realise that you’re either winning or you’re learning.  Look back and forgive yourself for the mistakes and failures you have had.  When something hasn’t gone to plan, reflect on it, learn from it and move on.

8.      Set healthy boundaries

It’s all to easy to over compensate and for people to take advantage of your “giving” nature.  This can be in emotional support or physical support but either way it can be tiring and draining and have you running round like a headless chicken.  So look at your relationships and decide where you might need to draw some healthy boundaries.  Not being there for people 100% of the time does not make you a bad person.  You can be there for people but you need to find a happy balance that allows you to take into account your own needs and wellbeing.

Ultimately self care is self respect.

Implementing these self care techniques will over time help you to change the way that you think, feel and behave. However, it may take some time so to kick start your self care, pick ONE that resonates with you the most. Then ask yourself how can I make changes in this area?  What am I going to do?  How will I keep myself accountable and the biggest most important part, how are you going to celebrate when you do it?  Maybe that’s where the spa day comes into action.













5 Types of Imposter - Which one are you?

Image Courtesy of Green Chameleon @ Unsplash

Image Courtesy of Green Chameleon @ Unsplash

Oh yes that’s right, there are different types of Imposters!  We may all share the commonalities where we doubt ourselves and our capabilities, however there can be differences to how it shows up for you. 

 In Valerie Young’s The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women she talks about there being 5 different competency types that relate to an Imposter and I want to share them here with you, so you can figure out which ones show up for you.  So what causes these types? 

The definition of competency is “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently” and this is where the problem lies.  The Imposter has a distorted view of competence, so they have trouble seeing themselves as competent.

 So understanding your competency types is key to getting to grips with your Inner Imposter.  Then once you have that awareness it is about making some changes to help you change your distorted view of what competence means.

 So what is your competency type?  Know that you can be a blend of all 5, however you are likely to have a more dominant type. 

1.      The Perfectionist

You have high standards for yourself but you can also judge others by these high standards too (at work and at home).  Only perfect is good enough so rarely your expectations are met.  So this can result in you being  frequently disappointed by the quality of your work and the work of others.  You can spend too much time reviewing, tweaking where others will have moved onto the next thing.  You can also fall into the trap of thinking if you want something doing right, they may as well do it themselves.  You may even refer to yourself as a control freak!

Due to your high standards you very rarely feel like you are succeeding, so this exasperates your feelings of Imposterism.  In fact you may hold back from starting something as you don’t want to get it wrong or fail at it, so you avoid it all together.  Know the difference between a healthy drive to excel and perfectionism.  You can seek excellence without demanding perfection.

The Perfectionists Fix

·      Be ok with good enough.  Did you know to get a first class degree in the UK you only need to achieve 70%.  That means that 7 out of 10 is good enough

·      Make a list of things that you can relax your extremely high standards on, so you free up some mental space and time (not everything needs to be done to such a high standard)

·      Recognise and importantly celebrate your achievements

2.      The Natural Genius

 You believe that success should be effortless.  You are similar to the Perfectionist in that you have unhealthy high standards but in this case you judge yourself based on the speed and ease to which you learn something new.  When you start to learn something new and you find it difficult, this sets off your internal Imposter alarm.  You don’t realise that it normally takes time, effort, practice and tenacity to become the best at anything. 

You compare yourself to people who have been doing this for a long time, so have a unhealthy expectation on yourself.  Instead of realising this is the normal process when learning something new, you think it must be me.  So you label yourself as “useless or stupid” instead of “I don’t know it all but I am willing to learn, grow and develop”


The Natural Genius Fix

·      Know that accomplishments usually comes from lifelong learning and skill building.  See yourself as work in progress

·      Look for role models that show how they repeatedly practice their skills, ie Serena Williams, Michelle Obama, Sara Blakeley

·      Remember that is takes time, effort and patience with mastering knowledge or skills


3.      The Superwoman/Man

 So if you are this type of Imposter, then chances are you are trying to juggle so many things right now.  If you are not competent at juggling all the different areas of your life, then you are very likely to judge yourself on the ability to do this well.  If you do manage to deliver things (sometimes by the skin of your teeth) or you forget something or can’t do something then you are likely to be disappointed with yourself for rushing things and feel guilty for not being capable to doing it all.

Your success is not down to the amount of things you can juggle.  Remember you can do everything, however you can’t do it all at once


The Superwoman/Man Fix

·      Learn the power of saying no

·      Look at where you can delegate or what can you let go of?

·      Drop the guilt and false expectations – no-one can do it all in every area of their life


4.      The Expert

So if you fall into this type of Imposter then you think you need to know it all, literally!   You hold yourself back as you think in order to succeed you need to be more qualified or know more, so you are constantly learning and perhaps chasing qualifications and certificates to validate your ability.  You are afraid to speak up in case you get it wrong and people will judge you for not knowing it all.  There are people out there who are doing what you want to do and they know less than you.  They are not afraid to get going and recognise that an expert isn’t someone who knows everything and everything.  They recognise that you keep evolving and learning.


The Expert Fix

·      Be ok with saying “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure, I will need to look into that”

·      Find role models who have succeeded without qualifications or lack of training

·      Go for the opportunity you don’t think you are ready for

·      Stop chasing qualifications and certificates – get going and get doing


5.      The Rugged Individual

You need to be able to do it all … by yourself!  You measure your competency by how much you can manage without any external help, yet we all know that this is not sustainable.  You may also feel like you need to come up with ground breaking new ideas otherwise your work isn’t good enough.

 Your success is not defined by doing it all yourself.  Asking for help and allowing people to support you is not a weakness and doesn’t make you less able.

The Rugged Individual Fix

·      Ask yourself, what can you delegate or where can you get some support?

·      The best copycat wins – know it’s okay to build on the work of other competent people

·      Your work does not need to be ground-breaking to be great

So it’s your type of Imposter is holding you back or affecting your health and wellbeing, then it’s time to redefine what success means for you. Start small. What ONE thing can you change to start to re-define what success means to you?

If you have yet to complete the Imposter 5 Types Assessment, then click here to download the free assessment.


8 Ways to overcoming the art of procrastination

Photo courtesy of Bruno Cervera at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Bruno Cervera at Unsplash

Would you describe yourself as someone who procrastinates?  Someone who knows that there are specific things that need to be done and yet you get to the end of the day or week and it's still sat there on your list.  Oh yes lists, a perfect tool for procrastinating! Yes you have that thing on your list that you know is important and yet you fail to do it.  In fact in order to avoid doing it you convince yourself that there are other things that need to be tackled and before you know it you are organising the files on your computer or other jobs that you never normally do.

Procrastinating is a well known trait of Imposter Syndrome.  That is not to say you have Imposter Syndrome if you do, but this blog is talking specifically about how Imposterism and procrastination work together but importantly how to overcome it.  

I believe there are 2 types of procrastinating - one is when something you have to do is classed as dull and boring so you just keep putting it off in favour of something that is more enjoyable to you.  The second is linked to Imposter Syndrome and it is when you have to do something that you know you need to do or want to do and yet despite all the mental energy you use to think about it, you just don't do it and this one is linked to doubt and fear.   Fear of getting it wrong, fear that you don't actually know how to do it, fear of producing something that won't be good enough, fear of being rejected and the biggie - fear of being found out.  The dangerous part is the fear makes you procrastinate and the procrastination leads to self doubt.  Sound familiar?  So how do you break the cycle?

1.  Identify why you are procrastinating

When you keep putting something off it's good to check in with yourself and ask what is going on around this?  What are the reasons that I am putting this off?  When you get super clear on why you are putting it off, you can then understand what the actual problem is.  You see procrastination is not the problem, it is just the symptom.  Get to the root cause of what is making you procrastinate.  That is the holy grail.

2.  Identify what are your procrastination habits

Yes you might procrastinate but there are probably certain things that you do when you are in the habit of procrastinating.  So take some time and make a list of how you procrastinate and then make sure you keep that list where you can see it.  That way when you fall into your procrastination habit, you can recognise it and call it out.

3.  Look at your past successes and achievements

When starting something new Imposter Syndrome can rear up so a good way to handle this is to  recall instances in the past when you have done something similar.  Think what did you do then that could help you now and what was the outcome.  Self doubt forgets that there is a wealth of past experience, knowledge and skills to call upon.  So use your memory in a positive way and re-assure yourself that you can do this as you have done it before or something similar.

4.  Tuning in to your inner mentor

We all know that we have the inner Imposter that tries to hold us back but the best thing we can do is to listen to that inner mentor that probably doesn't get much air time.  One way to do that is create some phrases that you say to yourself to give yourself a positive pep talk.  Here a couple of mine.  "My voice counts, I add value, I know my worth" or "It's my time and I am ready for the next step".  You can borrow mine as I know I borrowed them from someone else or come up with your own but when you come up against your procrastination tune in and ask your inner mentor to support you.  

5.  Do it first

If you used the time that you spent actually thinking about the thing that you needed to do and just got on with it, you would be further ahead and you would finish the day in a better headspace than self deprecating yourself for failing to do what you set out to do.  In fact you may put something off and then rush it and then if it isn't good enough you have an excuse why it wasn't up to standard.  A pure protection technique.  So to save all of that mental energy throughout the day, make sure that it is the first thing that you do.  Before checking social media, emails, phone calls etc.  Brian Tracy refers to it as "eat that frog", i.e. doing the most difficult thing first and what do you do if you have multiple frogs?  You eat the ugliest one first! In fact tell yourself that your first attempt is going to be shit and take the pressure off.  It doesn't need to be perfect, you don't need to be perfect.  It is work in progress, you are work in progress.

Procrastination is the most common manifestation of resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalise. We don’t say we aren’t going to do it, we just say we are going to start tomorrow
— Steven Pressfield - The War of Art

6.  Remove distractions

In today's society we have never been so reachable and distracted by technology, so when you are actually getting round to doing what you have been putting off, remove all distractions.  Put your phone on airplane mode so you cannot be disturbed by phone calls, notifications and temptation from the flashing screen and alluring apps.  Also do the same if you have notifications set up on your laptop.  In fact one way I have managed this is I have removed notifications on all of my devices so I don't get the alerts.   Also check in with your distractions checklist.  If you find yourself gravitating to one of those, catch yourself and bring yourself back to the task at hand.  

7.  Stop using time as an excuse

If you use time as a reason that you don't get things done that you want to or need to get done then I am calling bullshit on that.  I bet you find the time for other things and I'm guessing there is something you have been putting off doing because you don't have the time, yet here you are reading this.  We all have the same hours in a day and it's all about prioritising.  If it's important do it first (see above).  If not ditch or delegate it.

8.  Reward and Celebrate

Oh yes this is a crucial.  If you are in the habit of procrastination then when you finally get something done that you have been putting off, celebrate your success.  It can be something as simple as a fist pump or you can treat yourself to something.  As it is your way of celebration, the good news is you get to choose the reward.  

Tell me what are you procrastinating about right now and what is the first step you are going to take?  I hope you found this helpful and if you put any or all of these into practice, I would love to hear how they helped you.  Let's continue the conversation in the comments below.





Why we need to talk about Imposter Syndrome in the workplace

Image courtesy of Ilyass Seddoug at Unsplash

Image courtesy of Ilyass Seddoug at Unsplash

Research shows that 7 out of 10 people will at some point in their life be affected with feelings of Imposterism.  This means that 70% of a workforce can be at some point in time or throughout their career be trying to navigate these difficult internal feelings whilst trying to appear like they have got it all together.   Imposter Syndrome is not something that is openly discussed in the workplace.  In fact most people in businesses may not have heard of the phrase or indeed know what it means but most people could in fact relate to some or all of the symptoms of Imposterism.  

Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their own competence, fail to recognise their own contribution and accomplishments, whilst having this fear of being exposed for not being good enough.   

It's amazing how many conversations I have had with people who have shared their own personal struggles with IS in their career yet no-one has ever spoken to anyone about it in their organisation.  People who I deemed to be competent and confident were in fact donning a mask and struggling to recognise their own brilliance.  Recently I was talking to someone who I have admired for over a decade only to find out that they struggled with Imposterism throughout their career and yet only now are we having the conversation about it.  Never in our careers did we openly talk about how we felt.  

But here's the thing about Imposter Syndrome.  It is a false sense of reality and in fact most individuals who are dealing with Imposterism are bright, capable and great at what they do.  They just can't see it themselves.  So how does that affect businesses?  Here's a few examples:

- talent is staying hidden under the radar as they are holding themselves back.  They are not applying for new roles or promotions and are staying stuck in roles for which they are over qualified

- individuals are experiencing symptoms but not seeking support so it is impacting their confidence and self esteem

- individuals are experiencing stress and burnout from overworking through to procrastination, which can affect performance and productivity 

- individuals are worried about saying the wrong thing so they are holding themselves back from contributing in meetings, initiatives and projects where they have something valuable to contribute

- individuals are promoted into roles with little or no support and they cannot express their doubts so are struggling to perform in their new roles

- talent is being overlooked for promotion as the individuals are struggling to articulate their skills and competence therefore roles are being given to less competent but confident individuals

- as it is also known to affect women more than men it adds to the imbalance of women in management and leadership roles

Through my coaching what I am seeing is individuals seeking out external support outside of the organisation.  They don't feel they can be truthful about how they feel or indeed whether they could get the support they need within the organisation.   These individuals are investing in themselves both in terms of money and time and the organisations that they work for are benefitting.  People are learning about themselves, breaking down limiting beliefs, building confidence in themselves and finding tools and techniques that allow them to thrive in their career.  

With up to 70% of any workforce experiencing Imposterism at some point or throughout their time with a company, I think it is beneficial for every organisation to talk about this and provide the necessary support.  For people to realise that this is an actual thing and they are not alone.  That this is something that can be labelled and indeed can be managed and overcome.

So what if everyone in an organisation could have access to this information, to understand how it affects them personally and be given the tools and techniques to dissolve it.  Would productivity and performance improve?  Would the right people be applying for the right roles?  Would it improve the health and wellbeing of employees?  Would it foster a culture of trust and collaboration? Would it help with succession planning?  Would it see more women in senior leadership roles? Could it ultimately affect the bottom line?  Absolutely.  

Imagine a company that openly allows employees to say I'm struggling right now or I don't actually know how to do this, can I have some help.   Imagine a world where in business the topic of mindset development is just as important as soft skills and technical training on the learning and development agenda. 

I am very passionate about speaking to organisations who want to put this topic of conversation on the agenda.  Providing workshops to employees, managers and leaders so if you are a leader in your business or you think this could be a great thing to recommend to your employer, then please reach out and let's talk.  











Are your beliefs holding you back?

Photo courtesy of Jurica Koletic at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Jurica Koletic at Unsplash

We all have them. Since we were little humans we have been forming the beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.  They were given to us by those people closest to you.  Our family, teachers and others in authority and then continually re-enforced through life experiences.  But here’s the truth, they are beliefs that are either helping us move forward or holding us back.  Helping us to think positively or negatively about ourselves.

You can have hopes and dreams but the reality is that when what you want and what you believe are out of alignment you get something called a chaotic vibration (and then you get chaotic results because of it).  Ever experienced that?  Yep that’s the chaotic vibration in action right there.  You wonder why everyone else can do the things that you want to do, yet something seems to hold you back.  Or you feel motivated and get started on something yet before you know it you have lost the momentum and you slip back into your old ways.  Oh yes it those pesky beliefs in action.

There are 2 major limiting beliefs that all others stem from and they are “I am not good enough” or “I do not deserve it”.  Limiting beliefs left unchecked and unchallenged will keep you stuck in situations and thought patterns that will make you feel like crap.  Limiting beliefs have a field day feeding self doubt, so if you want to dissolve your self doubt, then the fastest way to do this is  working to change your limiting beliefs.

"If you think you can or you think you can't you are probably right"

You may have had a person in your life who told you that you would never amount to anything in life (yes my science teacher once said that to me) or you might have had people laugh at you when you spoke, so you believed that you weren’t smart (yes again that happened to me when I swapped school when I was 10 years old).  These beliefs follow us into adulthood and can be the difference between us following our dreams or playing small.  Here's just a few example of how they pan out.

- You may think about pursuing a new challenge and you are all excited but before you know it your doubts start to flood in

- You think about putting yourself forward for something and then you start to convince yourself that maybe it's not right for you

- You get offered the opportunity to do something that you have always wanted to do and suddenly you worried you are not the right person and they have got it wrong

- You think about starting that new idea and then all of a sudden you think you need to study more

But herein lies the good news.  You can change your beliefs.  Oh yes I told you it was good news! If you want to think and feel differently about yourself then the best way and quickest way to do this is to work on your beliefs.  I call it BE-cluttering, instead of de-cluttering which you associate with things.  Here we are BE-cluttering the beliefs that no longer serve you which helps you to change what you think at a sub conscious level.  Cool hey!

So just take a minute to think, is there something that you would really love to do?  Are you current beliefs holding you back from taking action?  If so, then please reach out.  I would love to help you create some new empowering beliefs that help you move towards the career or business that you would love to create.









7 Ways To Work With Your Monthly Cycle

Image courtesy of STIL at Unsplash

Image courtesy of STIL at Unsplash

Have you ever had days when ideas are flowing, your to do list is being ticked off and you feel on top of the world.  Yet there are days where you struggle to get motivated and instead of getting things done all you want to do is curl up on the sofa, eat chocolate and binge watch netflix.  You can't understand why this happens and you wonder what is wrong with you?  If so, then I may have the answer for you.

At the beginning of this year I read a book that made me realise that I had no knowledge of what it means to be a woman, even though I was approaching my 45th birthday.  Don't get me wrong I knew that we had a time of the month (yes a period, I said it!) and I knew I could be a little irritable for a few days before (yes PMT!).  I also knew that each month I suffered with horrendous pains but due to my job I would be all over the country, in meetings and social events when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and hide from the world.  That was my limited knowledge of what it meant to be a women each month.  Yet that was about to change.  When I read this book, it was like a lightbulb went on in my head.

In the book "Code Red" by Lisa Lister I learnt that as a woman we actually go through a monthly cycle each and every month and each day we are in a different phase that can have an impact on our body and mind and we will alter and shift, much like the seasons.  Being a woman is not limited to periods and PMT.  So what was some of my biggest takeaways:

  • It made me realise that when I am doubting myself sometimes it has nothing to do with me as a person and everything to do with my hormones
  • It made me realise that trying to being consistent as a woman is bloody difficult when we have different hormones affecting our bodies at different times of each month
  • It made me realise that there are times when my body will alter and change from season to season (throw out the scales ladies!) and my appetite and cravings will be different at different times of the month
  • It made me realise that I am an extrovert by nature but there are times when I just want to be an introvert and thats why I won't want to answer the phone or be sociable
  • It made me realise that as a woman I go through the seasons like nature each and every month and that doesn't mean I am crazy or incompetent - it just means I am a woman.  Hallelujah!  
  • It made me realise that I am a woman and because of that I am bloody amazing!!

So how do you manage your life as you go through these seasons each and every month?  We may be full of the joys of spring and then wanting to hibernate in our winter phase.  Well we are all woman but we are all different, so first thing you need to do is start to track your cycle. Start to write down the day of your cycle and every day make a note of your mood, your productivity levels, any changes to your body, your self talk, your energy or any information that you feel is relevant.   You may see similarities on a a particular day each month.  For instance I might notice on day 20 I may feel extrovert, want to be around other people, be very productive with good energy levels but on day 3 I can find that I struggle to focus, want to work quietly on my own, have lower back ache and have a mild level of anxiety.  

So once you have tracked your cycle for a couple of months you may have a little more understanding of yourself and your own patterns each month.   I know you may be reading this thinking that you have little or no control over your diary and you don't know how you can plan your diary around how you feel but here are some tips to help you no matter how busy your diary is: 

1.  Use your different energy and moods for different tasks.  Once you are more familiar with your monthly cycle you can look at planning when is the best time to do certain tasks.  I used to try and make myself be creative on a Monday but that just doesn't work for me.  Some Mondays I can be creative and other Mondays I don't have a creative bone in my body.  Find what works for you and see if you can shape your diary to work in those different phases.

2.  Look at when you plan meetings, events and social get togethers.  You may notice what days you do and don't feel like socialising.  There may be certain things that you cannot control but when you can, think about where you are in your cycle and be ok with saying no.  I find when I am in my spring and summer phase I want to plan and be social but if I overplay for when I want to be introverted, I look at my diary and wish I didn't have planned what I have committed to.  So where you can be mindful of your diary commitments.

3.  Schedule extra self care for when you need it.  There may be times of the month that you will struggle with energy, concentration and being around others but you have no chance to clear your diary so in these times think about having an early night, taking a lunch break or having that bubble bath.  Pull some extra self care practices out of the bag and give yourself a self care hug.

4.  Use your time wisely when you are in good energy.  There will be times when you are full of beans and on fire so think about how to use it.  Batch cook meals, be creative, be sociable.  Get stuff done for the times when you may need to slow down or have no desire to cook, create or socialise.

5.  Be careful not to burn out when you are in your energetic time.  Oh yes there will be times when you feel like you are on fire and you just don't want to waste that energy.  Harness that energy but be careful not to burn yourself off.  

6.  Don't be so hard on yourself.   This one is super important.  When we recognise that we are a human that goes through 4 seasons in one month, we need to accept that we won't be firing on full cylinders all the time and if we don't thats ok.  It doesn't make us useful or incompetent and in fact when we allow ourselves to slow down we make space for new ideas, etc.  The best thing we can do is talk kindly to ourselves.

7.  Create a toolbox of tools, rituals and techniques.  You may start to figure out that there is not a one size fits all solution.  Throughout the month you will need different things on different days and that's ok.  Some days you may need some upbeat music, other days you may need a meditation, other days you may feel like a gentle yoga sequence,  others you just need silence and a duvet.  Whatever works for you.  Start to ask yourself what does my mind and body need today and give it that.  Learn to flow with your cycle and not fight against it.

Now I worked in HR for over 20 years and we never talked about how being a woman could affect us in the workplace each month.  In fact I would go so far to say that it is a taboo subject in most workplaces and we hide it (as well as our tampax up our sleeves!).  This needs to change.  We need to be able to open up about something that is so natural and look at how women may need support, some flexibility around their working patterns or even just a duvet day. Now I am not for one minute saying that women cannot do the job, in fact I am saying that there are days that she may need to take it slower but she will definitely make up for it when she is in her energetic phases and would wipe the floor with the productivity of any man (sorry guys!).

I really hope one day in business that this is a subject that is discussed, that policies are in place to support women in the workplace around their hormones and monthly cycles and there are duvet days for when you just need to retreat to your woman cave.  A woman can dream can't she.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this so please do let me know in the comments below your views, your opinions, your ideas and insights.  Look forward to chatting with you.


How To Discover Your Superpowers

Photo courtesy of Dana Kyson at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Dana Kyson at Unsplash

When we think of superpowers we may think of Wonder Woman or Superman who are fictional characters that put on a costume and go out in the world to do good.  We grow up seeing these characters as someone to admire and aspire to be, although we know we are never going to fly or have superhuman strength.  But what if I told you that everyone had superpowers and they didn't need to don a lycra outfit to use them.  Phew I hear you say.

Well it's true.  Every single person has a set of superpowers that gives them special abilities.  Every person has them although they may not be able to recognise them.  In fact they can be so busy focusing on what they don't have or can't do that they miss the superpowers at the end of their fingertips.   Now if there is one thing we can learn from all of those fictional characters - not everyone can do everything.  But the great things is that each human has a range of superpowers that are unique, special and add value in some way.

Types of Superpowers

So here is a little glimpse into some of the superpowers:

- what if you were someone who had the ability to see things, to create a vision for the future for yourself and for others to see and follow

-  what if you were someone who had the ability to connect and bring people together 

- what if you were someone that had really good listening skills and you could just make other people feel better by your kindness

 - what if you were someone who could look at the detail and find problems what others cannot see 

What can take away/affect your superpowers

So these are just a small handful of the different superpowers that people may have.  One of the most important things to recognise after knowing your own superpowers is how they can be affected.  

I have vivid memories of watching superman as a child and the effect that kryptonite would have on him and it would take away his superpowers.  Well we humans are the same but each of us have different kryptonite so we just need to know what they are.

So what does that mean in a work context?  Well here are some of the things that can affect certain people's superpowers.  Stress, being isolated in their work,  working in conflict, working on repetitive detailed work, lack of recognition.  What can be one persons superpower can be another persons kryptonite.  Left unchecked this can have a serious impact on your superpowers.

The key is to know your superpowers so you can use them in your day to day life and know what your own personal kryptonite is so you can be aware of environments, situations and people that may affect your own superpowers.  Then it really is up to you what you do about the things that are affecting your superpowers.  

Another great thing is you can also then spot what other peoples superpowers are and appreciate them for what they bring and also to empathise why they may struggle with certain tasks or social situations.  Knowledge is power.

Through the work that I do, I help individuals and teams to understand their superpowers and the way I do this is through using a personality profiling system.  If you are interested in finding out your own personal superpowers, how you can use them and what is your own personal kryptonite please click here to get in touch.




5 strategies for combating stress at work

Photo courtesy of Raw Pixel

Photo courtesy of Raw Pixel

Stress can have a huge impact on your health and wellbeing, which can affect your mindset, productivity and performance at work.  Over 10 years ago whilst studying for my postgraduate diploma we started to study stress and its impact in the workplace.  

But what I found over the years was many unsympathetic managers and leaders who could not understand the reasons why a team member would be stressed and would compare their own ability to handle stress against the team member.  It was also labelled as "the new bad back" due to the scepticism of those who had previously reported back pain.   The fundamental issue with this is everyone has a different ability to handle stress.  You cannot compare what one person finds stressful to another and stress should not be seen as a weakness.   

In order to combat stress, I believe HR teams, managers and leaders should be offering a safe space for people to talk about how they feel and to put the appropriate support in place but in the first instance I believe it is down to individuals to be responsible for recognising stress levels and taking the first steps to deal with it before it gets out of control.  So here I want to share with you some strategies to help you do that.

1.  Identify what is really causing you to feel stressed

Stress is an outcome so it is important to find what is the root cause.  Take some time to sit down and ask yourself, what is really causing this? It can be a whole range of factors that are unique to you - could it be an unmanageable workload, is it down to unrealistic deadlines? do you feel out of your depth, is it down to difficult relationships, is it down to poor systems and processes?    This is just a few ideas but it is really helpful to get super clear on the root causes as you then have some clarity on what you need to tackle to combat the cause of your stress.

2.  Take time out

With the continued blurred line between work and life and the increase of technology, never before has an employee been contactable 24/7.  You may feel like you don't have time to switch off and you must be online at all hours but you need to be the one to set some boundaries.  So perhaps decide the time that you will switch off from technology, to do lists, etc and allow your mind and body to rest.  Some ways that I have found work really well for me is writing it out, getting out in nature or getting lost in a good fiction book.

3.  Seek support  

I work with a number of people who don't feel like they can speak to their employers about how they are feeling, so if you work in a company that you don't feel safe or supported to have that conversation, find someone who you can speak to.  You may need to review the way that you do things, prioritising workload, being able to say no, build up your resilience, cultivating a work/life balance.  Trying to do this on your own when already feeling stressed can be difficult so working with an external person allows them to help you look at this objectively as they do not have any vested interest for the company.   

4.  Take action

Once you have identified what is causing you to feel stressed, then it is important that you take steps to tackle the issue whatever it may be.  It is highly unlikely that these issues will be solved without some level of action from yourself.  You may need to review the way that you do things, prioritising workload, being able to say no

5.  Be kind to yourself

How you handle stress has nothing to do with you as a person.  So check in with yourself and notice how you are being with yourself.  Are you talking negatively about yourself, in your mind and out loud?  If you catch yourself doing it, stop yourself and ask how useful is this right now?  If you met someone else who was stressed you would support them and speak nicely to them, so do the same to yourself.

Stress left over a prolonged period of time can have significant effects on both mental and physical health, so the key thing to do is recognising the signs and start to take those steps to help you combat this.  

If you want any help around this subject then you may like to explore working with me on a 1:1 basis.  If so, then click here to book a non salesy, no obligation discovery call with me and see whether we could be the right fit to work together.  


5 reasons your boss loves you doubting yourself

Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark at Unsplash

You can have days when you feel on top of the world, flying through your to do lists and feeling like you could achieve anything but there are days when you feel like you are out of your depth, don't know what you are doing and worried in fact that you aren't up for the job.  Does that ring true for you?  

Chronic self doubt is labelled as Imposter Syndrome and it can have a real impact on your mental health at work if left unchecked.  You may secretly have these feelings now and then or you may have them running through your mind each day at work.  You may not confide in your boss as you don't want him or her to know that you feel this way and you don't want it to affect their opinion of you, but trust me they may not know but there are reasons why your boss loves you doubting yourself and here's why:

1.  You work harder than anyone else

There is no off button.  You go above and beyond to "prove" that you are good at what you do, even if you don't believe it.  You over compensate and therefore you do way more than others to make yourself feel like you are adding value.  Your boss loves that you have this can do, will do attitude and what that means is that they get more for their money.  

2.  You don't negotiate for a pay rise

When we have low self worth and have doubt about our own abilities, we are highly likely to accept what is being offered in terms of salary and benefits.  What I have noticed from years of working in HR is that people who have more self belief are likely to ask for a pay increase and are more likely to get one as they are persistent and they don't take no for an answer.   Please note self belief does not mean competence.  They are also much more likely to negotiate when going for a new job too and will walk away from something that doesn't match up to what they believe they are worth.  

3.  You can't say no to extra workload

Your boss loves the fact that no matter how much work they pile on you, you take it.  Again this is going back to you trying to prove your worth so you don't say no.   You consider telling them that you can't do anymore but before you know it you have taken on some more work and you are not even sure that it is what you should be doing but you are unlikely to say anything.  You get your head down and get the work done at the detriment on your own wellbeing and work/life balance.

4.  You are unlikely to leave

When you doubt your own abilities then you are less likely to put yourself out there to find yourself a new position.  In fact the thought may fill you with dread, so your boss benefits as they are not likely to lose you anytime in the near future.  They value you and the work you do and would genuinely be lost without you as you do so much and they would struggle to find a replacement like you.

5.  You make them look good

Oh yes you do.  You are eager to please so you do any of the work they put your way (you may beat yourself up in private) but you always deliver and therefore to their boss, they always look good.  They may even get the praise for the work you create as you are not likely to let people know that you are the one creating this great work.

Now I am not for one minute saying that your boss doesn't value you as it is highly likely they do (even if they don't tell you) but can you get your boss to still love you without putting your own wellbeing and money in your pocket at risk?  Here are some tips to get you going:

- Start to recognise your achievements.  Realise the good work that you produce and the value that you add to the business.  Take time at the end of each day to acknowledge your achievements so you can recognise the impact that you make.  This will also help when you ask for that pay rise as you are showing evidence to why you deserve one.

- Set some healthy boundaries.  It may feel really awkward to start but where can you create a better work-life balance?  It could be making yourself less available in the evenings and early in the morning.  You will create great work if you have some down time to recharge your batteries.  Trust me, you will create better quality work and you will have an improved mindset if you allow your mind and body to rest.

- Recognise your talents, skills and knowledge.  Oh yes you have lots but you don't recognise them.  Start to keep a log of everything that you are good at.  Log great pieces of work, compliments you receive. Anything that builds your own self belief.  This will also help if you decide that it is time for a career move or asking for the pay rise.

- Challenge your own beliefs.  Self doubt is created when we have beliefs about ourselves that are untrue or are no longer serving us.  Find someone to help you work at changing your beliefs at a sub-conscious level as this is what will help to change your mindset about yourself.  Creating more empowering beliefs will help you to recognise your own worth and this is turn will assist you in saying no, standing up for yourself and asking for that pay rise.  You can ask for it if you believe you deserve it right?

- Commit to personal development.  There may be areas that you do need to work on so figure out what they are and commit to putting in the work.  It is not your employer's responsibility to develop you, it is up to you.  So decide what you want to develop and make it happen.  Again this could also help if you decide to go for a promotion or make a career move.

Putting these things in place doesn't mean your standards of work will drop, but the amount of work that you are willing to do may decrease.  Do more by working less.  But even working at a slower pace you will still be doing a great job.  In fact I guarantee you will even deserve a pay rise for the work that you do.

If you want any help around this subject then you may like to explore working with me on a 1:1 basis.  If so, then click here to book a non salesy, no obligation discovery call with me and see whether we could be the right fit to work together.  



How to tame your inner Imposter

Image courtesy of Ges Lorraine at Unsplash

Image courtesy of Ges Lorraine at Unsplash

How do you even know whether you have an inner imposter?  Well imagine these scenarios.  You have been chosen for a project and the night before it is due to start you go into panic mode thinking you are not prepared and worrying you won't be able to pull it off.  Or you have an idea for something you want to achieve and you initially feel really excited and then all of a sudden up crops these thoughts that you are way out of your depth and who do you think you are to dream so big.  Or you get invited to speak at an event and you feel excited until you look at the line up of other speakers and you go into meltdown that you are not as good as they are.  These are 3 real life examples where I have witnessed Imposter Syndrome creep up on people over the last few weeks.  So question is can you relate to any of these?  Well then you have just met your inner Imposter.

The thing about Imposter Syndrome is it is just a illusion that we create in our minds so if we can create this illusion then we are also the ones that can smash it to smithereens.  Our inner Imposter takes the driving seat and before we know it we are crazily driving down the road out of control with our irrational thoughts about ourselves.  The best thing we can do is take back control of the wheel, get back in the driving seat and tell that inner Imposter to get in the back seat where it belongs.  But how do you do that?  Well here are 5 ways that you can take back the control and tame that imposter.

1.  Share it

Your inner imposter loves secrecy and thrives on isolation so it wants you to suffer in silence.  So the best thing you can do is tell someone how you feel.  As soon as you share it you start to take away its power that it has over you.  Also talking about it can help to break the illusion but one word of advice.  Chose the right person to share it with.  

2.  Be a detective

Your inner imposter wants you to stop in your tracks and doubt everything about you and this is a one way road to feeling crap and stuck.  So get your brain to think differently.  First of all challenge it.  Ask yourself when have I actually really screwed something up or fallen flat on my face and completely failed at something?  You will probably struggle to find any real evidence of that.  Yep remember it is just an illusion so show it that it doesn't really have much evidence to rely on.  Second of all find examples of where you have succeeded in the past. In what areas do you feel confident.  Where have you succeeded in the past?  What has gone well for you?  Focus on the good stuff to quieten it.  

3.  Future focus

This is focusing on what you want to happen.  So take some time to sit and think about how you would like this scenario to pan out.  How will you show up, how will you feel, what will you be saying to yourself and to others and what will people notice about you.  Your brain can only think of one thing at a time so if you are focusing on what you want to happen, it can't also be doubting you at the same time.  

4.  Focus on what you bring

Yes you.  What you bring to the party.  What makes you special.  Why are you the right person to do this thing?  What have you done in the past that was successful and will help you succeed in this new opportunity? Write down a list of what makes you the right person to do this.  Dig deep as that information is inside of you.  Yes it is true that other people could do it but there is something that you will bring that no-one else can because they are not you.  

5.  Borrow some belief

Feeling like an imposter is 100% an internal process so go outwards and borrow other people's belief until you build your own.  Save messages of encouragement from emails, texts, cards, etc.  Save them in a folder either electronically or physically but somewhere where you can grab them and fill up your cup with positive re-enforcement about what makes you so bloody wonderful.  I know you may not believe that but others do, so take it and honour their feedback.  People don't throw compliments around for nothing so listen to what they have to say.

So the next time you feel that inner Imposter rearing it's ugly head, take some time to implement these 5 steps so you can completely change that inner illusion.  But one word of advice.  Don't let it hold you back.  Letting your inner imposter take the lead is like going through life with the handbrake on.  So decide who is in the driving seat and release the handbrake and drive forward towards your dreams. 

Letting your inner imposter take the lead is like going through life with the handbrake on

To help you tame your inner imposter I have designed a pack of coaching cards that contain 44 different questions to help you build self belief, self compassion and self love.    As it is my birthday over Easter I am offering a 20% discount until 1st April 2018 so if you want to grab your own pack and real start to tackle that inner imposter, click here to shop and the discount code is BIRTHDAY.


7 Strategies to being happier at work


We spend a large chunk of our time at work so it would make it more enjoyable if we were happy at work.  But how do you do that when you are not enjoying what you do, you don’t like the place where you work or the people you work with and you would love to escape to the 9-5 or find yourself a new job.  Well I am here to tell you that it is possible.

You see sometimes a lot of what is happening in the workplace is out of your control but to be happier at work, there is one thing that you can control that will make a massive impact on your happiness at work.  Your mindset.

If nothing changes but your mindset, I can guarantee that you can feel happier.  So here are 7 strategies to help you get more happy at work.  But please be mindful that if you implement all of these, you may find your happiness increases at work..

1.     Be grateful.   

Gratitude has scientifically been known to have a positive benefit on our health and mindset.  You see there may be lots of things that you do not like but what about if you focused on what you are grateful for about your job.  Does it give you a regular income?  Does it satisfy your need for security?  Can you work from home sometimes?  Practising gratitude on a daily basis helps to shift your mindset from a negative to a positive state of mind. 

Tip – write down 3 things everyday that you are grateful for and make at least one of them about your job.   

2.     Focus on what is going well

Again this is a great way to train your mindset to look for the good in what you do.  It’s so easy to focus on what we don’t like that we forget to notice what is going well right now.

Tip – each day before you start to work, write down 3 things that are new and good.  Train your brain to focus on the good stuff first so you start your working day in the right way

3.     Set healthy boundaries

Years ago before mobile phones and wifi, work would very much be left at the office until you returned the next day.  People used to take a lunch break each day.  However with the introduction of technology the lines have blurred between work and home life.  Now I know you think that you need to be available 24/7 but it is not good for you if you don’t have some down time to let your mind rest and do other things that are important to you.

Tip – Make some adjustments to how you work.  Can you set some healthy boundaries to phone use, working hours and taking breaks from work during the day. 

4.     Be the change maker

There is a saying that says “you can’t control how others behave but you can control how you respond to it”.  Now I am not saying this is easy but it is your choice.  Deciding to make a conscious effort to respond differently to others can have a positive impact.  So be the one to rise above it and importantly be the one who takes the time to smile at a colleague, pay a compliment to someone, enjoy a laugh with someone, send someone a complimentary email.

Tip – Set your intention each morning that you will spread happiness in some way in your working day

5.     Don't moan or gossip

People who are not happy at work can have a tendency to partake in gossip about the business or moan about what they don't like.  The business practices, their boss other departments, colleagues etc.  It is so easy to get drawn into this but gossip and moaning is just a waste of energy as it doesn’t achieve anything and all that negative talk can have an impact on your happiness.

Tip – make a commitment that you will stop moaning and when people are moaning and gossiping practice making no comments or being brave and contradicting what they say.  

6.     Discover what makes you happy

There are things in every job that we like and do not like doing.  Certain tasks can bring certain energy but rather than focusing on what doesn’t make you happy, get clear on what does make you happy and aim to do more of it.

Tip – write a list of all the things that make you happy which is around tasks and people, so you have a work happy list

7.      Say yes to new opportunities

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut at work so looking for new opportunities can be a way to bring more happiness into your day to day work.  There may be opportunities to get involved in things and if these things feature on your happy list above, then that could bring more happiness into your work.

Tip – your boss isn’t a mind reader so ask for new opportunities – you don’t get if you don’t ask!

If you really don’t like where you work you may need to work on your exit plan.  It may be that you need support to figure out what your next move is as I know when I was unhappy I knew I wanted change but had no idea how to approach it.  Getting support from a coach was invaluable in this process.

In the meantime whilst you figure out your next career move, you could implement these tips so that at least whilst you are figuring it out and planning your next career move, you could bring a little (or a lot) more happiness to you day.

If you are ready to figure out your next steps and you would like to explore working with me on a 1:1 basis, then click here to book a discovery call with me and see whether we could be the right fit to work together.  

11 Reasons why hiring a coach can be a smart move for your career

Image courtesy of Sammie Vasquez at Unsplash

Image courtesy of Sammie Vasquez at Unsplash

If you have worked in business for any amount of time you will have heard of coaching.  From my experience, coaching is normally thrown together with mentoring, however the two disciplines couldn't be more different.  Both have incredible benefits but I want to talk to you about why I think hiring a coach could be one of the smartest things you can do to thrive in your career.

in 2011 I remember sitting in my office in Leeds where I was the HR Manager for a large organisation working in the events industry.  To anyone looking in I had the perfect job with amazing benefits and the added bonus of attending lots of cool high profile events.  But what no-one knew was that I was very unhappy.  I was feeling very unfulfilled, lost and knew I wanted to make a career change but felt trapped and didn't know what to do.  At the time I couldn't recognise it but I had all the tell tale signs of Imposter Syndrome.  I remember deciding that if I wanted things to change that I needed to change and that led me to google "careers advice" and up popped a life coach in Leeds who focused on careers.  So I picked up the phone and made an appointment and at that time I had no idea that this would be the beginning of something that would shape my career and who I am today.

Here are the reasons why I think hiring a coach could be the best move you make:

1  It shows your commitment.

You spend more hours working than you do anything else in your life and yet when you want to make changes it can be put on the back burner as you are too busy juggling everything else.  But if you want things to change then hiring a coach shows that you are committed to making changes and you are willing to invest both money and time in the process.

2.  You have someone to talk to

When we are feeling unfulfilled or we feel we have lost our mojo there is no-one in the workplace that we can confide in.  So working with a coach gives you a safe space to be honest, drop that masks and air your concerns and worries without the fear of being judged or worrying it will have an impact on your future in your current role.

3.  They help you understand why you are so unhappy

This was one of the biggest lightbulbs for me in actually understanding why I was so unhappy and that a large part was not down to me or my abilities as I was thinking but that the environment I was working in did not match my values or my personality and this was having an impact on my productivity and mindset.

4.  They help you shape what you want in the future

A lot of the people that I speak to know they want to make changes but they are not sure what it is they want to do and therefore they go round and round in circles and don't do anything.  Working with a coach will help you to identify what it is you actually want so you have some clarity around the next steps for you.  

5.  They keep you accountable

Humans are creatures of habit and therefore when life gets busy the changes we want to make can be pushed to the back of the queue.  By committing to working with a coach they will help you to keep on track and keep you accountable to take the action necessary to move forward.

6.  They will help you build a mindset for success

When working in a business a lot of what happens is not within your control and therefore you can get into the habit of 'whinging" about what is wrong with the company but working with a coach they can start to help you look at things from a different perspective and help you to change the way you respond to what is happening around you.

7.  They can help you understand your strengths and help you to build your self belief

When thinking of making changes to your career it is difficult to make those changes when you are not feeling great about yourself.  You may struggle to write your CV or  present yourself well at an interview so working with a coach they can help you to get super clear on what makes you unique so you can sell yourself on paper and face to face and increase your chances of securing that contract or role that you want to get.  One client who I worked with was praised at his interview for his self awareness and was congratulated for working with a coach (by the way he got the job too!).

8.  They help you get out of your own way

Fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, low self esteem, low confidence are some of the ways that can hinder you from moving forward in your career.  Working with a coach they can help you to work through these so you can start to get out of your own way and take aligned action to make the changes you want to make.

9.  They help you get clarify around what's important to you in your work

When looking for a new job or career we are searching for job titles but working with a coach they can help you to strip that back and think about what it is you actually like to do, who you want to spend time with, what type of activities you enjoy so when you start to look for positions you have a clear list of what you are looking for.

10.  They don't give advice

This is a biggie.  How many times throughout our lives do we get people telling us what they think we would be good at or indeed what they think would be a bad move.  Working with a coach takes away this outside noise and allows you to make decisions without any influence what your next steps could be.

11.  They are your biggest cheerleader

Making changes can be scary and uncomfortable and we may want to retreat back to the safety of our comfort zone but working with a coach you have someone who is there on the sidelines cheering you on and encouraging you to stay on track to create the career of your dreams.


When I look back working with coaches have been pivotal to my success and allowing me to create a career that I love.  The thing is they can help you but really it is you that needs to do the hard work.  So you need to be committed to showing up and dong the work required.  So the question is, are you willing to invest in a coach to help you to thrive and flourish in your career?

If you are ready to make that leap and you would like to explore working with me on a 1:1 basis, then click here to book a discovery call with me and see whether we could be the right fit to work together.

The day I discovered I was an Imposter

Image courtesy of Kristina Flour at Unsplash

Image courtesy of Kristina Flour at Unsplash

I remember as clear as anything the day I discovered that I was an Imposter.  Sitting in my office in 2016 I was on a call to my coach and we were talking about this "feeling" that I had for the majority of my career. 

I was describing this underlying feeling that I had that despite all my success, that I never really believed I was good enough.  That I never felt up to the job I was fulfilling.  That each time I achieved something I would think thank goodness I pulled that off.  I would feel nervous before and in certain meetings in case I didn't have all the answers.  That I would dread my yearly review waiting for them to spring on me that I wasn't performing.  I also thought that everyone who I worked with must be crazy as they hadn't yet figured out that I wasn't up for the job and pretty soon someone was going to have the chat with me.  Or I imagined that they would be talking about me behind my back talking about my incompetence.  However there was no evidence to back this up.  People would tell me how great they thought I was and what a good job I was doing and I would get glowing yearly reviews but I never believed them.  I would hide away where possible of being visible and found it difficult to be in the limelight.  I would look at other people and think they were smarter, more educated and sounded clever than me.  Most of the time I thought I was winging it and sooner or later someone was going to expose me for being for the fraud that I was.  I would wear a mask of false confidence that allowed me to hide away how I really felt as how could I ever tell anyone how I truly felt and let me tell you, that was exhausting and used to show up with bouts of exhaustion and burnout.  I thought if I exposed myself then that would be the end of my career.

You see throughout my career I had very rarely put myself forward for a change in role.  In fact the majority of my job changes were due to someone else believing that I was capable of more and pretty much cajoling me into accepting the promotions.  But I never felt like I deserved or indeed could fulfil that role.  That nagging self doubt robbed me of enjoying my career.  I wonder now where I would be if I didn't have people who believed in me and pushed me to step up to the opportunities that presented themselves to me. 

So back to the day I found out.  When she said that it sounds like Imposter Syndrome I wrote it down as an action to go away and look at it and immediately after the call I googled it.  When I started to read about the symptoms, my first reaction was huge relief.  But do you want to know what the best part was?  That I knew I wasn't alone.  That lots of other people felt the same way - in fact 7 out of 10 people are thought to feel like an Imposter at some time in their life.  Because here is the thing with Imposter Syndrome, it thrives on isolation.  I wanted to celebrate, to shout it from the rooftops that I finally knew what had been "wrong" with me all that time.  I finally had a name that I could explain all those feelings I had for so many years.  

But here's the thing.  When I found out I was an Imposter, it wasn't at the time I felt an Imposter.  It was in fact at a time when I had more self belief than I had for a long time because I had done the work on my mindset.  I had learnt how to recognise my achievements, articulate my skills and expertise and trust in my abilities.  I had also learnt how to show myself love and compassion.  

When I first embarked on finding a coach in 2011, I didn't actually know that I felt like an Imposter.   What I could put into words at that time was that I was unhappy in my job, uncertain of my future career prospects, knowing I wanted to leave the HR profession but for some reason I just couldn't take the action to make it happen.  I could explain that I was feeling unfulfilled, lost, scared and lacking in confidence what my next career move could be.   But looking back I am so grateful for the me that was able to articulate how I used to feel. I am grateful that I was open to being vulnerable, that I wasn't scared of sharing my experiences or of being judged.  

Because in all honesty it does crop back up.  Every time I take on a new challenge that I haven't done before or decide that I want to up level it rears its head and tries to keep me small.  But I now I know what it is, instead of believing it and letting it hold me back, I greet it like a old friend and decide to move forward regardless.  

But if I could give you one piece of advice.  Speak about it to at least one person.  Say it out loud.  Don't let it thrive on the silence.  Take away its power as that is the first step to dissolving it in your life.

Or if you are ready to face those feelings head on and start your journey to dissolve self doubt, stop holding yourself back and recognise the magic within you, then contact me and let's arrange a chat to see how I can support you on this journey to self belief, self compassion and self love.

Escape the overwhelm and get back on track

Photo courtesy of Carolina Heza at Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Carolina Heza at Unsplash

Have you ever had that feeling where it feels like your brain has way too many tabs open?  You have so much to do and think about yet you feel like you can't think straight.  Welcome to overwhelm.  

This feeling which can send us into a tailspin, what causes it?   It may be due to having too much work to do and not enough time.  It may be juggling priorities and struggling to see how you can make it all happen.  It may be working on something new or something you haven't done in a while.  But what I find with a number of my clients is it can also be when they have made a decision to make some changes in their life - looking for a new job, apply for that promotion, deciding on a career change.  Whilst they wholeheartedly want it to happen, their brain kicks into protect mode and throws up all sorts of thoughts and fears in an attempt to take them off track and send them right back to where they feel safe.  In the comfort zone.  The place where everything feels comfortable and includes doing the same things and mixing with the same people.  It can indeed be really comfortable but we do not learn very much or develop ourselves inside the safety of the comfort zone.  Change doesn't occur in this place.

So if you want to get out of your comfort zone and make some changes then here are some ways that you can escape the overwhelm and get back on track:

1.  Getting to know your overwhelm

In order to escape it you need to look it square in the eyes and figure out what is really going on. Get some clarity around what is causing it, what is lurking behind the overwhelm such as self doubt, fear, uncertainty and understand what you want instead.

Overwhelm is our brains way of saying too many tabs open

2.  Understanding where it lives

Overwhelm is highly likely not to live within our comfort zones so if it doesn't live there where does it live?  We also have two other zones which are our stretch zone and our panic zone.  It is helpful to understand how we feel in each of these different zones and what makes us feel that way so we can recognise what is happening when overwhelm shows up again.

3.   Doing a brain dump

When we are looking to get out of our comfort zones there could be many things that we need to think of but what happens in overwhelm is we go into overdrive and are thinking of things that may not need our attention right now.  So it is useful to break down everything that is on your mind and put it into appropriate car parks, such as the stop and drop, short stay and long stay car parks.  It is letting your brain know that these things needs to be looked at but it is all down on paper and you can revisit it at any time.

4.  Get into action

The next step is simply to decide on what needs to be done now and then write down what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and record when it has been completed.  Making changes does require you to keep an eye on where you are heading but in order to progress it is important to keep an eye on what needs to happen now to help you take those steps each day to progress towards your goal.

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground

5.  Watch out for the comfort zone gremlins

Oh yes It is true that as you start to think about stepping out of your comfort zone, your fears and doubts will show up as they want to keep you safe in your comfort zone and it can say some pretty crappy things, such as who are you to do this, that you aren't smart enough, good enough and it can go on with it's nasty talk.  It is good to know they are there and give them some time to express what is their concerns.  Thank them for their feedback but don't listen to them and certainly don't let them hold you back, otherwise they will happily keep you forever in your comfort zone.

I have created a free downloadable workbook "Escape the Overwhelm and get back on track".   If you would like to download a copy simply fill in your details below and you will get a copy drop into your inbox.   

What's your personality type?

Image courtesy of Drew Graham on Unsplash

Image courtesy of Drew Graham on Unsplash

Yes we all have one.  A personality.  A type of way of being.  Everyday we are carrying out some form of tasks and interacting with other people and how we go about this can be hugely influenced by our personality type.  You may be dealing with your boss, team members, peers, and customers.  We are not all the same and that can cause some friction and difficulties if we don't understand ourselves and how other people tick.  We can also feed that pesky self doubt as we compare ourselves to others and feel envious if they have traits we don't have.

We can easily fall into the trap where we think we know right and our way is the right way and we judge others who don't act the way we do.  Come on, be honest we have all been that judgy person.   But this can be the cause of internal frustration or external bust ups.   But here lies the truth.  They just have a different personality to you and there is no right or wrong or good or bad.  Just different personalities.  

Understanding who you are and how to interact with others is the key to building sustainable

and successful relationships both with yourself and other people.

Working with businesses and individuals I use a psychometric profiling tool called DISC which allows you to find out your personality style.  After a 10 minute online assessment we can determine which is your most dominant personality style (D,I,S,C) and we will discover your unique blend of the 4 personalities.  So what are the 4 styles?  I will give a brief description and then you decide which you think is most like you.  

1.  The D Personality - so are you someone who likes to be in control, wants to be in charge, is direct in your communication and likes to set goals for yourself and others and you decide how successful your day was by the results that were achieved.

2.  The I Personality - so you are someone who can be described as a great communicator and enthusiastic.  You could be described as optimistic, friendly and talkative and you might get to the end of the day and you have had lots of interesting conversations but you might have forgot to do the tasks for the day.

3.  The S Personality - so you are someone who is described as steady, patient, loyal and practical.  You are a great listener and a great team player who wants what is best for others and you can be known to put other people's needs ahead of your own.  You might get to the end of the day and feel good if you have done a good job and been able to help others.

4.  The C Personality -  you are someone who can be described as a person who enjoys gathering facts and details and you have a tendency to be thorough in all activities that you do.  You like policies, procedures and rules to be in place.  You might measure the success of your day by the quality of the work that you produced.

So which style do you think is your dominant style?

You may feel like you are a blend of all 4 and you can have a mix of all 4 in your personality type but choose the one which feels the most like you as that can predict what your dominant style is. 

I will be sharing some blogs in the future helping you to understand more about the different personalities, how they behave in meetings, how they make decisions, how they set goals, email etiquette, how they tackle their workload, what motivates them, what their fears are.  I will also be sharing some tips how to manage relationships with the different styles as let's be honest relationships are key to the success of any individual, team or businesses.

So if you would like to find out more about DISC and how it can support you in your own personal development or as part of your recruitment process, team building or team development, get in touch and let's have a chat.  

BTW - would anyone like to guess what my dominant style is?




10 ways to build your mindset for success

Image courtesy of thought-catalog at Unsplash

Image courtesy of thought-catalog at Unsplash

Self doubt can be the killer of dreams.  It can create distance between you and others and also between your dreams and where you are now.  Feeling like you are Imposter in your own life and you are just waiting for someone to figure you out can be extremely exhausting and left  unchecked it can keep us stuck in jobs, relationships and situations that do not serve us.   I was recently contacted on Linked In by a young woman looking for some useful advice that I have learned along the way to achieving my own goals so as I thought about writing back to her, I thought it might be useful to share with you the resources and tools that I have used over the past few years and continue to use to help me grow my mindset for success.

1.  Read personal development books

I have been reading personal development books for years but it was never consistent and I would resonate with the content but I would never put what I learned into practice.  Someone once said to me that you only know something when you are actually doing it.  So start small, think about a topic you need help with, perhaps confidence, gratitude, self care and get the appropriate book and commit to reading 10 pages a day and most importantly implement what you learn.

2.  Watch inspirational videos

If we stop to think about it we are bombarded with negative information on a daily basis through the news, newspapers, tv programmes, magazines etc so watching an inspiring video is one way to build your mindset.  You can find these on social media, you tube and range anything from 1 minute upwards so if you don't have much time just find a short one to watch.  You can't help but be moved and inspired when you watch them.

3.  Listen to podcasts

Whilst travelling, cooking and getting ready in the morning I take advantage of using that time to listen to podcasts which are normally episodes from 15 to 45 minutes covering a whole range of topics depending on which podcasts you listen to.  They are a great way to expand your knowledge,  to give you a boost of inspiration or getting tips to help me on my entrepreneurial journey.

4.  Journalling

When I first started journalling I started small and just used to write 3 things each day that I was grateful for and to start I found the process clunky and repetitive.  However over time it got easier and it opened my eyes to all the stuff that I took for granted each day.  I was focusing on the negative when there was so much good in my life.  My journalling process has expanded over the years but what has happened now is my brain starts to think about the positive before I even put pen to paper.  

5.  Spend time in nature

Nowadays we can spend too much time in boxes.  We live in a box, we get to work in a box, we exercise in a box.  Being outdoors in nature is once of the natural pick me ups yet we rush from one box to another.  So whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, get outdoors and take in the energy of nature.  I always find that when my mind is busy, getting out in nature blows the cobwebs away and I also get some real great ideas and insights so I return feeling more energised and with a clearer mind.  

6.  Mix with positive people

They say you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with and people are either classed as a radiator or a drain.  So if you live, work and hang around with people who are drains then guess what?  It will rub off on you or drag you down.  Find some new people who are more of who you want to be around and find ways to limit the time you spend with the people who are not helping your mental wellbeing and growth.

7.  Work with a coach

Working with a coach 1:1 is great if you want to get faster results when you want to make some change the way you feel about yourself or work towards some new goals.  When I was in my corporate job I was unfullifed, lost and didn't believe that I was good at what I did.  Helping me to understand myself as a person and helping me change the way I felt about myself was priceless and I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for all the coaches that I have worked with over the years.  Decide what you want to work on and then find a coach that works in that area.

8.  Attend workshops and seminars

Over the past few years I have completed various qualifications such as coaching, NLP and personality profiling but I have also invested in attending workshops and seminars that again  have really helped me work on my mindset and help me to learn new information and skills to help me as a human being.  You also get to meet some wonderful people who you stay in contact with and are on the same path as you (see point 6 above).

9.  Create your dream life in pictures and words

When you are feeling unfulfilled and doubting yourself and your own abilities you can struggle to imagine what you want life to look like.  So getting clear on what you want is the first step and then I create vision boards (I have one for my life and one for my business) and fill it with words and pictures that help you connect to what you want to create in your life.  The each day take some time to connect with your vision and then it helps you take the steps to making it become your reality.

10.  Commit to working on yourself every day

We can get caught up in the busy trap and believe we can't find time for personal development but the truth is if we don't work to build a strong mindset then it becomes weak, like our physical muscles if we don't exercise.  To build muscle we need to do some physical exercise and not just once but over and over again but the truth is, you can't just build the muscle and then expect it to stay there.  So just imagine that your mindset is just another muscle that needs to have a daily workout.  I have shared so many different tools so just start small.  Pick one that you want to try and commit to doing it daily.  But I have to warn you, doing this stuff over an extended period of time will change your mindset and may make you more happy.

If you have found this blog useful please feel free to share it with your team, your colleagues or friends and family who you think might benefit.  

Until next time.

T x


The truth behind why you don't leave the job you hate

Image courtesy of Andre Hunter at

Image courtesy of Andre Hunter at

So this is a blog that I have wanted to write but wasn't sure whether I should.  But courage is my word for 2018 and in the famous words of Oprah Winfrey from her Golden Globe speech this week "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have".  So here is me bravely speaking my truth.  The reason I feel compelled to write about this is I hear so many people talking about how much they dislike the company they work for, they don't like their boss, they don't like the people they work with, they don't like the work they do or another number of reasons.  There are is so much information out there now to help people find the perfect job, how to set up your own business but months and years roll by and they are still stuck working in a job they hate, with people they don't like and for a company they don't respect.

Also I had first hand experience of being that person, the one who felt unfulfilled, who wanted something different but was doing nothing to make it happen.  Spending years wishing things were different, the company was going to change, my colleagues would get a personality transplant or I would finally just start enjoying my work.

So here is what I know for sure why you may not leave the job you hate.

1.   You are full of self-doubt

This I find is the underlying truth in most cases where people don't leave their jobs.  If you are anything like I was for the majority of my corporate career you may have feelings of Imposter Syndrome where you have chronic self doubt and you don't think you are good enough.  You believe that if you move company then you might not hack it.  That they would realise you aren't as good as they thought you were and you wouldn't last.  One day you think you can do anything you put your mind to and the next you are telling yourself you could always go and get a job in a supermarket.  You decide to take action and look at job adverts but you talk yourself out of being capable for the job.  You struggle to recognise and write about your achievements.  You think there is less chance of being found out if you stay where you are, so you stay.  

Tip- You are way better than you think you are so commit to working on your mindset and changing those limiting beliefs.  Having belief and confidence in yourself closes the gaps between where you are and where you want to be.  By the way if you change company and you haven't worked on this - trust me it follows you to the new company!

2.  Your need for security.

In fact “Public Dialogues”, a report published by What Works Centre for Well-being stated that, “The main value of work for many is financial security, stability and feeling safe".  So if security is one of your main values then you will stay in a situation that you don't like to satisfy your need to feel secure, stable and safe even if it does make you miserable.  

Tip - to overcome your need for security, ask yourself what actually do I need to feel secure each month.  You may find that you only need a proportion of your salary to feel safe, so if you reduced your need for security what choices could that give you?

3.  Fear of the unknown

Going to the same job week in and week out brings with it a sense of knowing what to expect.  However, thinking of going to a new company or starting your own business can make you worry as you don't know what will happen.  The thought of being unhappy in your job seems less frightening than not knowing what the future holds.

Tip - to overcome your fear of the unknown, ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen.  I don't like the new job, my business will fail, I will have to find another job and guess what?  You found the job you are in, so you are very very likely to find another one too.

4.  You think you are indispensable

Have you ever wondered how the hell they will cope if you went off sick or actually went on a proper holiday where you didn't answer your phone or your emails?  You work tirelessly thinking if you don't that the company will fall apart, however if you have ever been off sick or on holiday you will actually realise that whilst there may have been issues the wheels still kept on turning and they managed without you.

Tip - think about a colleague that you have worked with in the past who has left.  Notice what happened when they left, how long were they missed, did the business carry on without them?  I bet it did.

5.  You are a loyal person

Whilst you may not particularly like the work that you do, you may be fortunate to like some of your colleagues and you might feel guilty for thinking of leaving them.  You know that they would struggle without you so you can't bring yourself to leave.  

Tip - recognise that if there comes a time that the company needs to let you go, they will.  Loyalty must start with yourself and being true to who you are and what you want.  

6.  You are full of hope

You can see the potential for the business and if only they would change their ethos, the management, the processes, the systems then the business could have so much potential.  But the truth is this can take years and that is only if the senior management recognise there is an issue and they actually want to make positive change.

Tip - ask yourself when was the last time I would really proud of a decision that the company took to make changes?  If you can't think of one then ask yourself where is that hope in that company getting you?

7.  You think you are too old

You may think that you are too old to change company or even career so you think it is better to just plod on where you are.  However unless you are approaching retirement then you have decades left at work and therefore it is never too late to change or start a new career.

Tip - check out people who started businesses in their 40's, 50's and 60's such as Mel Robbins, Jen Sincere and founders  of KFC and McDonalds.

8.  You think you are too qualified to start again

You have spent all of this time, energy and money getting qualified so to think of changing career seems crazy.  You are now earning a great salary so to think of retraining and starting again seems unrealistic.  You may struggle to see how you can replace your salary and keep the lifestyle that you have become accustomed to.

Tip - make a note of all the skills, knowledge and experience that you take with you into your new chosen career.  Yes you may need to retrain but you are not starting from scratch and have so many life skills to take with you.

9.  You are resistant to change

Whilst the thought of a new job or a career change appeals to you, you really don't like change and whilst the initial motivation is there, as soon as you start to think about the next steps, you talk yourself out of it and decide that your job isn't that bad after all.

So if you were being honest with yourself, which of the above resonates with you? Here is what I know for sure - staying in a position that you don't like chips away at your spirit and your confidence.   You may need to work on what is holding you back and keeping you stuck but it if you do it will help you leave and you will move forward with enthusiasm and determination.  You deserve to work in a job that lights you up, to work with colleagues or clients that make you feel good, to be proud to work with a company that alligns with your own personal values.  

The question is will you?

Each month I offer a number of free coaching calls to help people identify how they are getting in their own way, what they want instead and to help them to come up with the first steps to big change.  If you would like to book a free call simply email me at to request a call.




Reset the notion of New Years Resolutions - 4 alternative ways to kick start your year


New Year, New You.  Make this your best year yet.  Have you heard or seen any of these phrases or something similar over the last few weeks?  Whilst bringing in the New Year can be a time for celebration it can also feel like a pressure to make changes in your life, like how we are isn't good enough, like we need to change who we are.

But just know one important thing - change does not need to happen at the beginning of the year.  You can kickstart a change in your life on any day of the year and in fact you are probably more likely to succeed as you haven't done it because you think you "should" because that's what people do for the New Year.  Some of the biggest changes in my life came from an idea on an ordinary day that was nowhere near the New Year, so rest assured it is ok if you don't have any resolutions.  

However, thats not to say we can't use some different ways to kick start the year.  So let's say  "no" to resolutions but here are some alternatives that might help you kick off the new year with some clarity and focus.  

1.  Pick a word for 2018

Choosing a word for the year can be a really helpful thing to do.  A word that is your compass and your guide, helping you to navigate through the year.  A gentle reminder of what you want for the year as a whole rather than something specific.  Maybe a motivation, maybe wanting to cultivate a new habit or a new way of being.  A word to help you make decisions, choosing whether something is aligned with your word but also a gentle nudge when you get in your own way.  Last year I chose the word Flourish and this year my word is Courage.

2.  How do you want to feel

This idea comes from the wonderful Danielle Le Porte "The Desire Map" and it is the idea that we choose feelings as our road map for the year.  We can have loads of different emotions in one day and we can feel like we are on a rollercoaster, riding between emotions that make us feel good or not so good.  One moment we can be feeling anxious and in an instant we can feel angry, or we can feel bored and then we can feel excited.  But what if you had certain words that you kept in your mind each day to live by.  Words such as brave, connected, joyful, adventurous.  Then you can make choices aligned with your words or ask yourself what can I do to feel more adventurous and then plan it out, one day at a time.

3. Figure out what you don't want

I particularly love this one as we may struggle to think of new years resolutions but what if we started from a place of what don't I want this year, what don't I want to feel, how I don't want to get in my own way, that I don't want to hold myself back.  When you have a list of things you really don't want, that gives you an idea of what you do want.  Perhaps you write - I don't want to work with people I don't like can then be flipped to I want to work in a place where I feel connected to the people I work with.  That gives you a starting point of at least knowing what you want.  You may have a long list so you may just pick one point that this is going to be your focus of making your don't want into something you want.  Some of these can happen immediately with a slight change but others may take more time, attention and action.

4.  What do you want more of?

New Years Resolutions can feel like we are bashing ourselves round the head with a big "should" or "must" stick and therefore can come from a negative place rather than a feel good and empowering place.  Thinking on this one, I know that I want to have more social connection with people.  In fact my personality style flourishes with connection and interaction with people.  But in all honesty working in your own business can sometimes see you some days being isolated, sat behind a screen with little interaction.  So this year I am setting up a local supper club bringing together like minded women to eat, socialise and connect with other like minded women.  I am going to make more video calls with other like minded entrepreneurs (and view it as work) and take more time to have coffee dates with my loved ones

So let's reset the notion of New Years Resolutions and let's look for small steps in the right direction that are focused on helping you feel good.  The key with any of these is we are not looking for perfection.  We are looking for progress.  With anything it takes practice and it takes mistakes and failures.  It's not getting disheartened when we veer off track.  Just using these methods to pull us back onto the right road at any given time.  

So I'm interested to hear, which one do you think is your favourite alternative to a new years resolution?



5 Questions to ask yourself for the New Year

New Year can be a bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it and I used to be one of those that really didn't like this time of year.   Reflecting back I can now see that the reason I really didn't like it was because I was focused on what I hadn't achieved, those dreams that had fallen by the wayside and unclear about what I really wanted for the next year.     So if you are someone who doesn't like this time of year and you can be a little hard on yourself about what you didn't achieve this year, then I have created 5 questions to ask yourself as you step into a new year.  By completing these questions my hope is that you head into the new year with a slightly different perspective.  The best way to answer these questions is find yourself a quiet space, grab yourself a pen and paper and allow your mind to ponder on the question and see what comes up for you.  Just think of it as a lesson for you to learn something new today.   1.  What didn't work for me this year?   Yes you heard right.  Our brains are wired for the negative therefore let's give that part of our brain some air time to capture everything that didn't work.  Just spill it out on the page as it is much better on the page than ruminating in your mind.     2.  How did I get in my own way?   Yes we all do it and we all have our own unique ways of getting in our own way.  It may be that we doubt ourselves, we hold ourselves back, we procrastinate, we are scared of failing, we don't believe in ourselves.  In question 1 you may have had external things that didn't work out but be honest here, how did you personally stop yourself this year.  In order for us to move forward we have to know what we are working with as this is a great place to start your personal development.  Trust me you weren't born with any of this so just know you can change any habit you have created and you can get out of your own way.   3.  What were the highlights for me this year?   So this is the time to recognise all the good stuff.  Write that stuff down and I don't mean all the huge highlights (although they do matter) but all those small highlights.  We can sometimes be so fixated that achievements are the big stuff that we forget it is all the little things that matter too.  Personally I don't think we celebrate enough so let go and celebrate.  Give yourself a little fist pump for every highlight this year.  Don't it make you feel good hey!   4.  What do my highlights say about me?   Within all of those highlights are little nuggets of information about you, so write them down.  Think about how you acted, how you showed up, what are your strengths.  Were you brave, focused, energised, kind.  Write down all of those qualities about you that made those highlights happen and know you are taking all of those qualities with you into the new year.   5.  If I was sat here at the same time next year, what would I be writing down for my highlights?   Here is a great time to dream.  Allow your mind to think about everything you would be happy to have had happen for you in 2018.  What did you do, what did you have, how did you feel and what were you proud of.    I would love to hear from you how you found these questions and what insights you got from completing them.  Just remember it really is down to you how you feel about this time of year.    Finally also don't feel bad if you don't have any New Years resolutions as we head into the new year.  I really believe you can decide to make any changes or set intentions/goals at any time of the year, so drop the pressure and just enjoy the celebrations of bringing in a new year.  In fact if you want to think about resolutions in a new way, I am going to be sharing with you in my next blog some alternative ways to starting the new year.         

New Year can be a bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it and I used to be one of those that really didn't like this time of year.   Reflecting back I can now see that the reason I really didn't like it was because I was focused on what I hadn't achieved, those dreams that had fallen by the wayside and unclear about what I really wanted for the next year.   

So if you are someone who doesn't like this time of year and you can be a little hard on yourself about what you didn't achieve this year, then I have created 5 questions to ask yourself as you step into a new year.  By completing these questions my hope is that you head into the new year with a slightly different perspective.

The best way to answer these questions is find yourself a quiet space, grab yourself a pen and paper and allow your mind to ponder on the question and see what comes up for you.  Just think of it as a lesson for you to learn something new today.

1.  What didn't work for me this year?

Yes you heard right.  Our brains are wired for the negative therefore let's give that part of our brain some air time to capture everything that didn't work.  Just spill it out on the page as it is much better on the page than ruminating in your mind.  

2.  How did I get in my own way?

Yes we all do it and we all have our own unique ways of getting in our own way.  It may be that we doubt ourselves, we hold ourselves back, we procrastinate, we are scared of failing, we don't believe in ourselves.  In question 1 you may have had external things that didn't work out but be honest here, how did you personally stop yourself this year.  In order for us to move forward we have to know what we are working with as this is a great place to start your personal development.  Trust me you weren't born with any of this so just know you can change any habit you have created and you can get out of your own way.

3.  What were the highlights for me this year?

So this is the time to recognise all the good stuff.  Write that stuff down and I don't mean all the huge highlights (although they do matter) but all those small highlights.  We can sometimes be so fixated that achievements are the big stuff that we forget it is all the little things that matter too.  Personally I don't think we celebrate enough so let go and celebrate.  Give yourself a little fist pump for every highlight this year.  Don't it make you feel good hey!

4.  What do my highlights say about me?

Within all of those highlights are little nuggets of information about you, so write them down.  Think about how you acted, how you showed up, what are your strengths.  Were you brave, focused, energised, kind.  Write down all of those qualities about you that made those highlights happen and know you are taking all of those qualities with you into the new year.

5.  If I was sat here at the same time next year, what would I be writing down for my highlights?

Here is a great time to dream.  Allow your mind to think about everything you would be happy to have had happen for you in 2018.  What did you do, what did you have, how did you feel and what were you proud of.  

I would love to hear from you how you found these questions and what insights you got from completing them.  Just remember it really is down to you how you feel about this time of year.  

Finally also don't feel bad if you don't have any New Years resolutions as we head into the new year.  I really believe you can decide to make any changes or set intentions/goals at any time of the year, so drop the pressure and just enjoy the celebrations of bringing in a new year.  In fact if you want to think about resolutions in a new way, I am going to be sharing with you in my next blog some alternative ways to starting the new year.





5 tips to overcome social anxiety

The festive period can be a time when we have more social gatherings where we are having to mix with people that we don't really know very well or that we don't feel like we can be ourselves around.  So we go into this time of year with a little (or a lot) of social anxiety about how we are going to survive these events and we can just be wanting for them to be over.

But there is a downside to this in that we are wasting our time away.  So instead of wishing it away, I want to give you some tips to help you not only look forward to the events but also how to enjoy yourself and overcome those feelings of anxiety.

1.  Be interested, not interesting.

Before going to an event we can fall into that mindset where we are thinking we aren't interesting enough, not smart enough, what will I say, will they like me.  But the issue we have with this is it is focused on us so channel your focus outwards.   At any event rather than thinking about what you have to say, flip it and  think about how you can make other people feel listened to.  Ask them lots of questions, be genuinely interested to know more about them.  Go with the aim that everyone will leave having a feeling that you are lovely yet they may not know that much about you.  People don't always remember what you say but they will always remember how you made them feel.  Also I love this quote "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."  Epictetus.

2.  Set your intentions

Before the event, ask yourself some questions and even better if you write the answers down.  What do I want to get out of attending this event?  How do I want to be?  How do I want to feel?  What do I want people to remember me for?  Notice that these questions take you out of the thought processes that fuel your social anxiety and get you into a way of thinking that will help you get into a more positive way of thinking.  Also when you know what you want to achieve and how you want to feel, try imagining it in your mind.  Play it out like a movie in your mind.

3.  Strike a pose

How we hold our body has a direct effect on the way that we feel.  So if we want to change the way we feel, we need to change the way we hold ourselves.  Notice that when we feel socially uncomfortable we may have a clenched jaw, hunched shoulders, head down, a washing machine in our stomach.  So instead try a power pose.  This is where you stand like a superhero with your hands on your hips, standing tall, legs slightly wide and your head and eyes facing upwards.  Keep this pose for 2 minutes and notice what happens.  So remember if you want to change how you feel, look for how you can change something in your body.

4.  Pick a mantra

Did you know you can only have one thought at a time?  Try it, try to think of more than one thing at a time?  See we cannot do it.  So if you find your mind is in a negative loop, swap it for an empowering mantra.  Something that you can say over and over to yourself to stop the negative chatter from having any room to speak.  Now I have one that I have used thousands of times before.  "I like myself, I love myself, I am enough"  Over and over I have said it to boost my confidence and to quieten the negative thoughts.  You don't need to say them out loud and that's perfect for when you pop to the ladies to get yourself in that right frame of mind.  

5.  Dress to Impress

Now I don't so much mean dress to impress everyone else but if you want to feel good then wear something that makes you feel good.  The last thing we want to do when attending any social gathering is be fussing with our clothes that feel right.  Earlier this year I had a colour and style session with Jill Clarke at Styled in Colour and she helped me to know what colours to wear and what clothes best suited my shape and personality.  Now I know what to wear and what makes me look good, which without a doubt makes me feel more confident.  So when you think about what you are going to wear, think how will this make me feel?  You want to pick something that makes you feel good otherwise that could have an impact on feeding your feelings of anxiety.

Just remember - be yourself, be you.  There is something unique about you and that's what makes you special.  So try out these tips and notice how different those events are compared to how you they normally would be.  Also remember practice makes perfect so the more we try out these tips the easier social gatherings become and you never know, you may actually start to look forward to them and enjoy them.  Please do let me know how you found these tips and indeed how your social events go over the festive season.

Want to feel better in 2018?  This week I am super excited as I have launched my brand new coaching deck with 44 coaching questions that I have  designed specifically to help build self belief, self compassion and self love.  We used these last week in our Women that Flourish Challenge and we got some amazing results.  To check them out visit

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