Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish all my followers and readers:

Merry Christmas
and a
Happy New Year

wherever you may be.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Note to a special friend

This is the time of year when we all think about our nearest and dearest. So a post entitled special friend shouldn't seem that strange.

You will all have read my posts that refer to 'Special Friend' so you may have a sense of who she is.

I had a chat with her a couple of weeks ago. She is a truly great spontaneous person and for some reason only known to her, she doesn't like the word special.

This saddens me, for special describes everything she is to me. Someone who is that little bit above the rest. Something that sets her aside from 'Best Friend' whom I have been friends with for many years.

The dictionary says:

spe·cial (spes̸h′əl)


1. of a kind different from others; distinctive, peculiar, or unique
2. exceptional; extraordinary: a special treat
3. highly regarded or valued: a special friend
4. Surpassing what is common or usual; exceptional: special treat.
5. Regarded with particular affection and admiration.

And I think that sums her up - pretty much and it saddens me that I have to stop using this adjective. However, she means a lot to me and I don't want to offend, so we have agreed on the word "Fab" or "Fabulous".

Lets consult the dictionary....

fab·u·lous (făbˈyə-ləs)

1. of or like a fable; imaginary, fictitious, or legendary
2. hard to believe; incredible; astounding
3. Informal very good; wonderful
4. Barely credible; astonishing: the fabulous endurance of a marathon runner.
5. Extremely pleasing or successful: a fabulous vacation.
6. a. Of the nature of a fable or myth; legendary.
b. Told of or celebrated in fables or legends.

Hmmmmmm, Personally I don't think its fits so well, but she really is a great friend and I don't want to offend. So from now on when I refer to my Fab Friend, you my readers will know that I'm really referring to Special Friend.

......and a big thank you to her, for her help support and encouragement this year.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Getting Back on Track

Looks like I have to start once again with an apology. Its ages since my last post. Some of that time was spent getting back on track, some of it because I've been training with Business Initiative, trying to get to grips with the financial elements of my business.

Just 2 weeks ago, someone sent an email out to my fellow course delegates that they didn't intend to send. This happened to mention what they thought about me personally. I found this devastating.

The old me would have crumbled completely, and I did for a couple of days with sleepless nights etc. Then I picked myself up, dusted myself off.

Since then I have exchanged a dialogue with that person via email. We are complete opposites and I have to admit I didn't exactly connect with her either. I just wasn't stupid enough to send an email to everyone else!!! To cut a long story short, chatting to each other has allowed us to understand who we both are and how we interact. In fact its improved our relationship.

I'll struggle to trust her totally, but am pleased with the outcome. Its a win/win.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Its so easy to destroy trust

As you know, I have spent months working out what I want to do with my future. I have spent months saving money for that future.

I found a fabulous course and left it on a complete high. All my hopes, dreams and aspirations seemed real.

How in so few words could one person destroy so much trust in one day? Now my dreams and hopes are scattered on the floor around me. I am struggling to even see how I can gather them all up let alone piece them back together.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


For those of you who have been with me from the start, you will know the agony I have experienced in working out what I was going to do, what course was going to be best and then finding the time and effort to settle into a course.

Its been a brilliant journey, and one that finished in live coaching assessments on Monday. It was a very interesting experience and the feedback exercise was enlightening too.

I'm over the moon because I've passed. I now have a Barefoot Certificate in Personal and Business Coaching.

And I'm sad too. Its the end of an era and I've met some incredible people including one very special lady who I may do some associate work with.

Now I need to plan, pull together my website get some business in through the door and write my essays so that I can turn my Barefoot Certificate into a Post Graduate Certificate in Coaching.

Here goes......

Friday, 19 November 2010

Quote for the Day - Dancing in the Rain

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."

- Vivian Greene

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Very Special Day

Its a very special day to day. Its his Royal Doggyness' birthday. He's an old man at 14. Unlike Hubby he's never grumpy.

All he asks for these days is two square meals, regular outdoor exercise and a warm radiator to nap next too.


As an aside there are some really scaring photos on the internet when you search under dog birthday - do people really dress up their dogs like that or are they staged!

Monday, 15 November 2010

An apology - busy times

I'll start by apologising for being lazy with my blog lately.

Its no excuse but I've been busy. Next weekend is my third and final workshop for the coaching course. Its my final assessment too. So I've been spending every spare minute going over my notes and making sure I am familiar with various questioning techniques and listening skills etc

I'm not particularly worried about it.......yet! Ask me on Sunday!

As a result my house is a mess - and I mean a mess. 3 inches of dust everywhere and an inch of dog hair on the carpet. Washing up piling up in the kitchen too.

I am sure it will all settle down after my assessment. I will have 3 essays to write, Christmas shopping to do, friends coming for the weekend. It can only get better can't it?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Inspirational Quote - Reflection, Imitation and Experience

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.”


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fear of Success

Signs of Fear of Success - this comes from one of my favourite weblinks.

The biggest problem for many people is that their fear of success is largely unconscious. They just don't realize that they've been holding themselves back from doing something great.

If you experience the following thoughts or fears, you might have a fear of success on some level:

* You feel guilty about any success you have, no matter how small, because your friends, family, or co-workers haven't had the same success.

* You don't tell others about your accomplishments.

* You avoid or procrastinate on big projects, especially projects that could lead to recognition.

* You frequently compromise your own goals or agenda to avoid conflict in a group, or even conflict within your family.

* You self-sabotage (member only article) your work or dreams by convincing yourself that you're not good enough to achieve them.

* You feel, subconsciously, that you don't deserve to enjoy success in your life.

* You believe that if you do achieve success, you won't be able to sustain it. Eventually you'll fail, and end up backing a worse place from where you started. So you think, "why bother?"

This is an extract taken from a Mind Tools newsletter. If you want to see the full article click Mind Tools

Friday, 5 November 2010

Website Design

Am still trying to keep on top of study and housework and work and practise coaching. But I now have my logo thanks to Best Man Friend.

Now I need a website and business cards. Hubby is working hard to pull the website together, but its really hard making sure the words and design all reflect what i want it to be.

Its all makes sense in my head but looks very different on paper and computer screen.

By the way, did you know you can get business cards in chocolate, on razor blades and in the form of lego men - its all on the net.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Quote for the Day - Hamlet

“There’s nothing good or bad its just thinking that makes it so” 

- Hamlet

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My head is full !!!!

So here I am, almost half way between workshop 2 and workshop 3. I need to reread my notes. Catch up on some emails from my fellow classmates. Read my books. Catch up on forums. Get my logo sorted. Get coached. Practice coaching.

The list is endless.

Blogging is suffering - but I'm still here - just!

Monday, 1 November 2010



 . . Something To Think About . .


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.

During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:

The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $200 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .

How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Winnie The Pooh Quote - time to think

Another fine example of when time to think is important.

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.”

by A. A. Milne

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Nancy Kline - Time to Think

Today's guest Speaker was Nancy Kline. We have been waiting for this. Kim has built this up to be the ultimate in Coaching.

I used to think that being a life coach was about having to think about all the right questions at exactly the right moment to get to the crux of the clients issue. I'd even read the book and still couldn't believe that you could coach someone in almost utter silence.

Nancy was warm and loving - she could make anyone comfortable in her presence.

It was only when she took a volunteer and we watched in awe as Nancy asked her simple question that the concept really truly became clear.

It was like a work of art. If you ever get chance to see her, do so, and if you don't - read the book.

Time to Think : Listening to Ignite the Human Mind

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Coaching Course Part II

I'm soo tired today.

I've been on workshop 2 of my Coaching Course. Its so hard to believe that 4 weeks have passed since my last one. We pack so much into the 4 days too. Some theory, guest speakers (Nancy Kline, Damien Hughes, Sue Brown), practice sessions, then when we go back to the B&B a few of us are staying at we talk about it all again.

I did want to absorb myself into it, but it does tire me out too.

I have taken the day off work too. This will help. Though having eaten like a pig for the last 4 days I'm having to go to my favourite gym class this morning - Body Pump to see if I can get rid of those few pounds before they settle on my hips.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Book Review - Coaching with NLP - How to be a master coach

As I may have mentioned previously - I'm not a big reader. If I'm lucky I managed 3 books a year and a handful of walking/cookery magazines.

I'm rather horrified that I need to read, interpret and analyse books to enhance my essays.

I have a reading list provided by my course and am desperately searching book shops to try and identify the easy reads. In the mean time I picked a book that's not on the list. This is called "Coaching with NLP" by Joseph O'connor & Andrea Lages. So I thought I'd offer you a book review.

Whether you're into coaching or NLP, this is a great read. I don't consider myself a big reader, but this book has a lovely layout and is well illustrated with coaching models.

Its both an excellent introduction to coaching or to NLP. What I particularly liked is the resource section at the back, contains a number of tools to use with clients.

I managed comfortable to fit it into a bust schedule ans still read it in two weeks, however it is also a book you could dip in and out of, or take more time to really get to grips with all of the aspects.

Thoroughly recommended.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pin Badges

Removing my Pin badges

Pin badges are a strange thing. They carry words like

One of my personal discoveries when I was being coached was that I chose to wear pin badges. By this I mean I would actually label myself - things like:

“I have no confidence”
“I’m not very good at my job”

Coach made me realise that I was hiding behind these. But what’s worse, the more I stated it the more I reinforced it. They became self fulfilling prophecies.

Now I recognise them. Now I am able to take them off, throw them away or even wear new ones.

They say things like

“I have confidence”
“I can do this”

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Poem - Just One

Just One

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true,

One life can make a difference,
You see, it's up to you!


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Another Coaching Session

Another brilliant coaching session today. I really enjoy coaching Special friend. She really responds well to the sessions and always seems to take something away from them. What more could I want?

We tried some time line methodology today. I learnt lots, particularly this this does not work very well over the phone, however Special Friend still took something from the session so am I pleased.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A friend in need

"A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
~Grace Pulpit

My friends boss rang me today to see Friend wasn't in work today. She once again hasn't replied to my texts so I cancelled my fitness class and called in to see her.

Its really tough. I know at a high level what the problem is (friends have tipped me off), but she's so close to tears the whole time she seems unable to tell me. To make things worse, the kids are always there as well.

I couldn't even give her a hug in case that set her off.

I just want to help and don't know how!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Taking Time Out - easier said than done

We've had a brilliant weekend with friends including a trip to the beach. A great forget about it all kind of day.

I'd taken my laptop and a great pile of reading to their house and had every intention of spending a couple of hours studying whilst the boys watched the Grand Prix - it just didn't happen - so now I've got loads to catch up on.

I am starting to worry a little now. Special friend asked a very valid question - how was I going to get clients. I can't say I haven't thought about it previously. I know it is one of my greater challenges, but with Special friend asking it, it just brought it home to me.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

My Second Volunteer Client

I had my second volunteer client today. VC2 had very similar issue to VC1 in that she hates her job, can't afford not to work and doesn't know what she wants to do.

Yet, the session was so different to the first. VC2 talked for ages and it didn't feel like it was going anywhere.

At the end of the session she admitted that she'd voiced thoughts that she didn't even know existed.

This might be a tough one.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

My First Volunteer Client

Ooh, today is my first official volunteer coaching sessions. It certainly didn't go as expected. I knew VC wanted a new career but things got so bad at work she was carrying her resignation letter in her handbag.

So when I coached her, we were dealing with why she'd not handed it in rather than where her future lay.

I'm very self critical - we need to remember this!

My structure wasn't as fluid as I would have liked. I dipped into the GROW model and back out again on several occasions.

But I did learn something.

Firstly, not to rush the client. If they want to stay in the 'reality' bit of the model then that might be right for the client.

Secondly it brought home exactly how important it is not to advise the client. Imagine if I'd said "what I'd do is hand in the letter" - the possible consequences of getting it wrong are huge.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

What is coaching?

Well it was nice to get a weekend finally, even if it did seem to end in just a matter of minutes, And we got loads done. I managed to catch up on some course notes, a practice sessions with Hubby, update my personal learning journal, oh and write my "what is coaching" web page.

Plus we visited parents, took His Royal Doggyness to the vets and painted the conservatory! - Phew!

Monday, 11 October 2010

A lesson in self belief

Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It's amongst the world's toughest ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and usually attempted by world-class athletes after much training.

In 1983, Cliff Young, a 61 years old potato farmer competed. No-one thought he could do it. He had been used to covering 2,000 acres on the farm and believed he could finish the race despite his lack of training.

The race started, leaving Cliff at the back. He had no sports training and ran with a shuffle.

In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours but, Cliff Young didn't know that! Cliff jogged through the night.

Cliff continued to run day and night, every morning he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.

Modern athletes now adopt Cliff Young's efficient shuffle when completing and it is accepted that to compete for such races you no longer sleep.

For the full story:

Wikipedia on Cliff Young
Elite Feet on Cliff Young

Friday, 8 October 2010

Happy Anniversary to me!!!!!!!

Happy Anniversary to me!!!!!

22 years with a single employer has to be an achievement in anybody's books. And if I look back and am honest, its been mostly good, especially the years when I was customer facing - I thrived on it - and of course its paid the bills over the years too.

I'm only unsettled now because I'm bored and in need of new challenges AND I miss dealing with people.

Hubby has been really brilliant at the moment. He's doing more than the lion's share of the housework and I'm getting some of my coaching study done too. Just not quite as much as I would like.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

All work and no play?

Already its seems that I am letting my journal slip slightly. I've not written in it for 4 whole days - its the very thing that gives me my blog fodder. I almost missed blog posting yesterday completely.

My life has become a whirl of work, sorting volunteer clients, trying to sort some of the business and web stuff out and doing my homework, re-reading course notes, ordering books and filling in university forms. At last after working 12 days on the trot I've now reached the weekend. Hubby has got stuck in and tidied the kitchen and we're planning to pain the conservatory.

I do know that all work and no play makes Snowdrop very dull, so we took His Royal Doggyness to the local canal side pub for a baguette and chips tea. For 13 years of his life I've never fed him anything that might be harmful, but I've relaxed this rule in the last year. At almost 14 I'm not sure a handful of chips will do him any further harm.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Flinging yoya mats - its the new sport

I've had a brilliant 4 days on my coaching course, full of highs and lows. Its a post graduate certificate so I've loads of reading to do and the writing needs to be formulated in a certain way. This will take some time and is one of the bigger challenges for me.

I guess I will sit down and plan it out in a nice logical way like I do with most things.

Going back to work went ok too. I'd anticipated I might have had trouble changing my mind back from life coach to analytical mode. But it was when I got a bit over emotional at pilates it came as a total surprise to me. I get very frustrated with myself sometimes when I struggle with some of the more difficult moves.

Yes, I know I'm too hard on myself, Yes, I know everyone finds different things hard
but in my head I need to be able to do it.

My poor instructor must have wondered what on earth had happened when I threw down my yoga mat and stamped on it - but she's very lovely and understanding and gave me a big hug.

Now I'm just embarrassed about my outburst.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Peaked and Troughed.

I've already talked about been on a roller coaster recently, and if I'm honest I knew this was going to happen. Its all the change curve stuff kicking in. I've peaked and troughed.

Day one of my course has been great. I've met great people, had some great practice coaching sessions, some covering the basics that I already know the theory for and others on totally new content, interesting and exciting. I've even learnt a little bit about being a sole trader and how to deal with my tax.

Then day 2 came along. We covered the exam, well course work for the exam. The assessment bit doesn't bother me. Neither does the thought of essay writing. Its the style of reading that's the issue.

Because its a post-graduate certificate I am required to read, understand, challenge and assess what I am reading and then communicate that effectively in an essay or 3. I've never worked like this before. I went straight to denial and I think my actual thought process was "I don't read". In actual fact I do read, 3 novels and half a dozen magazines a year.

I do find non-fiction difficult. Full of heavy language and concepts and then get bored very quickly. How on earth am I going to manage text books.

Fortunately a fellow student grounded me in one of the practice sessions. So I now know I need to crank up my reading, do a bit at a time, plan it and take it from there, but as I'm going to need time to do this, I need to push some of my business plans back a bit to free up some time.

Good stuff this coaching!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Santa is coming!

I barely slept last night. I think I was just too excited. I think last night I had a night like that, Santa Claus was on his way or I was going into hospital to have my wisdom teeth out.

I think its the former, I don't feel nervious or scared just very very excited. The drive is bothering me a little and the packing is mithering me. What if I 've forgotton something? I'm going to a village called Diseworth, I don't think it will be the end of the earth so should have some amenities.

I keep worrying about undies and shoes. I know I have packed more than enough undies and I certainly never leave the house without shoes on my feet so why do I go through this irrational thinking?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Choices choices.........

Despite a busy day at work, I've managed to follow up a couple more enquiries for volunteer clients. The first one, I met face to face and although I could see why he might want life coaching, I didn't get the feeling that he really knew what he wanted. The conversation was a bit stilted, we simply didn't gel at all. So I decided not to coach him. Why make things difficult for myself, maybe I'm wrong, maybe I should have seen him as a challenge.

The second was an email. Her partner has recently given up work and relocated here and now wants to earn a living from writing. Now that will be a challenge!!!!

Then I have someone whose work is making her ill, but she needs to work to earn money etc etc...

Choices choices ..........

Thursday, 30 September 2010

A response to my Email

I must be on a bit of a roll at the moment. Its Monday, its the first day back after a week's holiday in the Lakes and I have a pressing deadline that not only has to be met but has just been brought forward. I shrug my shoulders and tackle the some 80+ emails in my inbox.

There was of course the usual rubbish that I deleted without reading, an array of work tasks to do and a handful of replies to my plea for volunteer coachees.

In amongst all that was an email from one of the senior managers in my Function. He'd responded to the email I sent out on Personnel lady's suggestion. He suggested we chatted, it had been sent last week, however he just happened to wander into the office today - we've not met before.

So I straightened my hair (well that's what us girls do) and my shoulders and introduced myself. He was very interested in what I was doing and had given my proposal serious consideration. SO much so that he's considered each and every member of his team before settling on one person.

He is the same level as my Boss' Boss' Boss and equally supportive. He is going away to chat with the person's line manager and we'll take it from there.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Just 5 days to go

I get increasingly more excited as the week goes on. My training course is now only 5 days away.

I went to meet CR (volunteer coachee) today to have a get to know you chat and make sure that we are mutually right together to have a coaching relationship.

She was concerned that she has too many issues and I want to dice right in and start working on them with her, so yes, I believe it will work. I feel as excited about the prospect of coaching her as I did about coaching Special Friend.

I went to the meeting prepared and had considered what I might need to say to her but she came along and asked all the right questions.

Needless to say, we are going to go for it.

Two down, one to go!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Meeting The Experienced Coach

Today was the day we ran home from my beloved Lake District and over to Skipton to meet The Experienced Coach. I actually wasn't nervous. Her whole persona in emails and over the telephone put me at ease.

I was stressed though. Tension between Hubby and I getting into the centre of Skipton caused that, so I was shaking slightly when I reached the cafe - Bean Loved. I was a couple of minutes ahead of The Experienced Coach, so had managed to calm down before she arrived.

Two whole hours flew by as we chatted and got to know each other. She has extended a hand of almost infinite help and has only applied one condition. That I extend help and support in a similar way to someone else who needs it at some time in the future - pass it on! She is in fact helping me as payback for a kindness she was shown when she was starting out.

I will fulfil my debt. I'm not going to deliberately look for that opportunity. I know it doesn't work like that. When the time is right the situation will present itself.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Back from holiday but excited

What a fabulous and varied holiday! We have been held back a little from what we wanted to do by very strong winds and extremely heavy showers. The most memorable moments involved battling back from the Pooley Bridge Inn, in rain like I've never seen for many years, to sitting in the Mardale Inn at Bampton, tucking into great food and reliving the previous 9 1/2 hours and 12 1/2 miles. We'd taken the Riggendale route from Haweswater to High Street and 7 other tops along the way.

Tired but happy. My knee is troubling me - its not been this painful since I damaged the ligament 4-5 years ago - but it was still the highlight of the week.

Tomorrow we go home. As usual I am sad to leave but happy that we're coming back to His Royal Doggyness.

This time I'm even excited. We take a detour to Skipton to see The Experienced Coach. I'm nervous though too.

And on Sunday I'm meeting CR. She's a potential volunteer coachee. And on Friday my course starts.

Wow - what a week.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Looking Back - Procrastination and headless chickens

When I look back over how I got here my coach used a number of techniques on me. Firstly there was the stuff about NLP preferences.

What’s the expression? Procrastination is the thief of time. I’d come to realise that I spend an awful lot of time worry about how to start a task and if I couldn’t work out the answer to that I’d check my emails or read the internet or fill out my time sheet.

If I didn’t know how to start the task and it was urgent then I’d just go into headless chicken mode. I’m surprised, looking back, that I didn’t start to grow feathers and lay eggs.

I’d start the task one way, panic I was doing it wrong, tackle it a different way, get different results, panic again, panic because I was panicking. In fact panic, panic, PANIC……

The calm of Coach won through. It was amazing. In a few simple steps she’d got me to realise that I wasn’t achieving anything in panicking and that I needed to adopt a few simple steps (largely list writing which I’m very good at) and approach tasks in a calmer and more logical manner.

It still happens to me, even now, but at least I recognise it as its happening and can take action.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A positive reminder about choice

I don't tend to get involved with email chain letters, but this is one with a very positive message. It was sent to me by my good friend Polergirl so I thought I'd share it with you.

Hope it makes you smile.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'
He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it!' 'You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?'

He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood.'

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or...I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested.

'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins...Wanna see my scars?' I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked.

He continued, '...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action...'

'What did you do?' I asked.

'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied..' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity''

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude...I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Do not let what you cannot do interfere
with what you can do."
- John Wooden

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Wet and Windy Lake District

Its half way through my holiday. Last Friday seems so long ago (it won’t be for you I only posted the day before yesterday). Yet I still keep pinching myself. Nothing like this ever happens to me, or should I rephrase that:

“This is the first time that something like this has happened to me”.

I can’t help wondering if I will wake up to find it all a dream.

So far the holiday has been fab, despite the high winds and driving rain we have managed a balance of getting out into the fells, a little retail therapy (I’m now the owner of some nice snazzy New Balance trainers for the gym – although that gorgeous furry brown bargain fleece is still hanging on the rail) and some chillin’ time with Hubby. The bungalow is fantastic  See Beckside Bungalow and brilliant for chillin’. Perhaps the lack of WIFI is a blessing.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Life is a roller coaster

I rang my Experienced Coach this morning. She suggested that we meet face to face somewhere half way the first time we talk properly.

It seemed logical to do this on the way home from hols on Saturday.

I was a little apprehensive about making the call, but she was wonderful to chat to. She was warm and welcoming and enthusiastic and I can’t wait to meet her.

Life is just a roller-coaster at the moment.

Monday, 20 September 2010

TFI Friday

If Mondays are bad – are Fridays good?

I think I woke up panicking this morning. However things have started to come together. I’ve had an email from my B&B confirming that the change in dates to coincide with my new course dates are fine.

I then spend the whole morning pacing up and down. I HAVE to clear the dates with Boss. I’ve already sent him an email selling him the benefits. Its only really the Mondays that I am asking for. I have every other Friday off work and Boss respects that and my course falls on those weekends. So I’m only asking for three Mondays. He’s very good over my holidays and I am very demanding – they’re important to me. And in ten years he’s only refused me once (I think). So why is there a little voice in my head telling me to worry. (probably because this is so important as someone is offering me one hell of a deal on my training).

I know Boss isn’t coming into the office until 9.30 and then going straight into interviews. I’m off out at 12.00.

The waiting is killing me.

Finally at the eleventh hour – literally 11:59, I’ve got my shoes on and am stood by the front door, the phone rings. Boss does his normal umming and arring and then agrees. I like my Boss. I wouldn’t tell him, but right now I could hug him. He’s not really the hugging type.

So its all systems go. I’m soooo excited I want to tell the world about my good fortune. (I forgot sometimes that when I’m blogging – I AM telling the world – or at least those bits that want to listen.

We’re off up to the Lakes tomorrow for a week. I have to ring Mum to sort out arrangements for His Royal Doggyness as our last minute accommodation isn’t doggy friendly. Besides these days he struggles on our step into the garden let alone 3000ft hills. Mum and Dad seemed uninterested in my Coaching when I initially told them. They were too worried and focussed on the thought that I might give up my nice safe job at the bank. I mention that my course dates have changed. Largely because she worries about me and likes to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s a Mum thing. She goes onto to tell me that Dad suggested they give me £500 towards my course. WOW! I can’t go wrong at the moment.

So, Universe, I’m writing to thank you. I asked for £2,000 to pay for my course. You haven’t given it to me, however you have given me what I truly wanted. An opportunity to train on the course I wanted to do. I think I can manage the rest!

Friday, 17 September 2010

OMG - my course has been cancelled


I had an email from Barefoot Coaching tonight. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they've had to cancel my training course.

OMG! All that planning, all that saving.

Then I stop and read the email properly. Its beautifully written - typical of Kim Morgan. She's offering me choices - and has emailed rather than called to give me thinking time. When I read the options its a no-brainer.

My money back?

Wait for new unscheduled course dates?


Upgrade for free to the Post Graduate course. This is the course that I really wanted to do and ruled out because its double the price of the under graduate.


I'm not in work for a week, the course starts the week after and I have to rearrange all my holiday dates off work, my accommodation and it clashes with a concert that I'm going to.


Talk about the change curve, I definitely went into shock, in fact i travelled through the whole spectrum and once I'd managed to free myself from the ceiling on which I'd landed, I was able to email my B&B, email my Boss and figured that I'd be able to work something out around the concert.

Getting the upgrade is fantastic, I can't believe the opportunity - WOW!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Emailling Managers

Personnel Lady called me today with some feedback on my proposed email to my Manager's area at work.

I'd largely only sent it to her because I didn't want her to see me as a quitter. She suggested that I prepositioned it directly at the high level managers to get some strong recommendations - rather than be inundated with anyone/everyone. So I thought why not? It would also be a good way of raising my profile at work too.

It was quite scary pressing 'send', but I'm going to have to get used to dealing with some higher level management types besides, they are only people aren't they?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Looking Back - NLP preferred types

Another looking back post, following my journey to date, this follows on from last weeks post about getting a coaching sponsor.

Coach gave me an NLP exercise to do. A short personality questionnaire type of thing. I love doing stuff like that.

This is a link to a fun questionnaire

It told me I am Kinaesthetic. – Touchy Feely. To communicate I need to be much more hands on than some people.

The following are typical of a Kinaesthetic Preference
• speak slowly
• respond to physical rewards
• touch people to get their attention
• stand close when talking to someone
• are physically oriented and move a lot
• have early large-muscle development
• learn by manipulating and doing
• memorise by walking and seeing
• use a finger as a pointer when reading
• gesture a lot
• can't sit still for long periods of time
• can't remember geography unless they've actually been there
• use action words
• like plot-oriented books, reflect action with body movement as they read
• may have messy handwriting
• want to act things out
• like involved games

It appears that Boss is more Visual. I can recall him using the phrase “can’t you see why………”

This appears to be why we have little understanding for each other.

If you try the test, I’d love to know what you are.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

......and before Monday was even over

As if the personnel woman wasn’t bad enough, Mentee emailed me again. She hadn’t managed to call me because she’d had to go into town with her Mum and return some Avon products.


The excuse seemed quite lame and doesn't take into account me having to continually rearrange my work calendar around her. She seems unaware that I might have a life, expecting me to be available on Saturdays too.

So I did what I always do and analysed the situation. When I'd finished I'd concluded that her Mum could be wheelchair bound, she supplements her benefits to help finances at home by selling Avon and I possibly haven't laid out the terms of the mentoring relationship very well.

I guess two of the three are probably spot on. I've sent a couple of mails/texts asking her to call me and explaining that I won't be in the office next week.

Monday, 13 September 2010

What is that thing about Mondays?

It’s a Monday and again Monday things have happened.

Firstly, the women from personnel replied to my email reminding her that I was looking for volunteer coaches.

She apologised for sitting on the email for a week and a half as she’d been busy. Training department had advised that I can’t do any ‘official’ coaching as I’m not accredited – of course I can’t get accredited without coaches.


If people want to volunteer, and they understand that I’m not accredited – that’s fine but effectively I’m on my own. That’s what I wanted to do in the first place until THEY decided they could do it better. And its only taken 4 weeks to leave me right where I started from. Bureaucracy at its best.

So I did what I was going to do originally, stick an ad for free life coaching on the ‘sales’ board at work. Within 2 hours I had been contacted by a girl who’s sister was considering life coaching. She wants to change her job and her life. Perfect! It’ll be a challenge but a good challenge. We’re going to meet later this week.

So Employer! Thank you. You’ve just made me even more determined to make a success of this.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Planning to meet my Experienced Coach

I can't remember whether I mentioned her, but I was approached a couple of months ago by a life coach who saw some similarities between my profile and her own.

I'm sure I did but can't find the post, so you'll have to trust me. But she contacted me and offered her help, experience and support. I was overwhelmed.

We have remained in touch over the last few weeks and now I'm ready to meet her metaphorically speaking, so i mailed her to check she was still OK with it. Experienced Coach mailed me back and suggested we meet face to face half way. That would only be about an hour/hour and half journey. Its exactly what I would have suggested, but I didn't want to impose.

Perhaps there again is another learning point.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Disappointed with my Mentee

Once again I feel a sense of disappointment with my Backing Young Britain Mentee. Mentee has once again failed to ring me when she said she would. I can't help myself thinking "youth of today" and shaking my head - and then realising how old that makes me.

My problem is finding the right approach. I don't want to take a heavy approach with her - she might back off and that would be it. But at the same time I want her to realise that what she's getting is a gift and one she at some point in her life might actually appreciate. I'm taking time out of my working day to help and support her. I still have to complete all my work tasks. So the very least she could do is keep her appointments or let me know if she can't - a courtesy.

I have sent her an email asking if everything is OK but I will need to take a tougher stance going forward.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Introducing The Change Curve

Change can be uncomfortable for all of us. It’s perfectly normal to experience a variety of feelings even if you’re the one driving the change, or supporting the change.

The change curve is a model that many people identify with, some if not all of the stages. Even those committed to change, as a steady state, sometimes feel momentary DENIAL.

There are lots of variations of the Change Curve, the most notable is the Kubler Ross Curve that is specifically used for grief.

I used to have a great link for the Kubler Ross curve, but it seems its been removed from the Web. So I am going to come up with my own version that takes you through a range of emotions which are more suited to general changes.

Watch this space.........