Tag Archives: self-help

What does “Getting out of your own way” actually mean?

It’s a phrase you’ll have come across fairly often if you read many self-help books or coaching blogs but in my experience it rarely comes with a translation into plain English.

I know I’ve been guilty of using it without an explanation myself, so I thought I’d take this opportunity of explaining what I mean when I use it.

And here’s the disclaimer – I can, of course, only speak from my own experience.

Your idea of what it means for you to get out of your own way may well be very different – and if what you read here doesn’t chime with your own experience, please join in the comments and let us know what it’s like for you.

There’s an old Chinese saying that I’m very fond of. It goes something like

The path is smooth, why do you throw rocks in your way?

and for me, that sums up the difference between life when I’ve got out of my own way, and life when I’m actively getting in my own way.

When I’m getting in my own way everything is a struggle.

I let the Saboteurs and Gremlins influence me and I doubt my own judgement. I talk myself out of ideas and I ignore my gut instinct. Everything starts to feel like a huge effort and if I’m not careful I can end up in a very dark place and feeling woefully out of control.

Not Nice At All.

Conversely, when I’ve got very firmly out of my own way life has a natural flow about it.

I have ideas and act on them and good things result. I follow my gut instinct and even better things result.”Coincidences” start to happen and undreamed of opportunities happen along. The Universe guides my hands and all is well.

And what’s the difference? Well for me it has to do with control, and specifically with letting my conscious mind or Ego take control.

When I’m going with the flow I’m acting on instinct. I know I can trust my gut instinct because it knows, for sure, the right things to do. I’ve called it The Universe before now and that has to do with it seeming to be connected with forces way beyond me in the way that apparently external things start to go right for me when I sit back and let The Universe take control.

When my Ego thinks it knows best is when things start to go wrong. That’s when the self-doubt kicks in and the Saboteurs come out to play and suddenly I’m stumbling over rocks that weren’t there before and everything goes to hell in a handcart.

So lack of control comes about from my Ego’s attempts to regain control from The Universe, and I end up the loser.

I’ve just been through a few weeks of being Ego-led and ended up dispirited, tired and unwell – but, as my dear friend Lisa said to me the other day, “at least when you’re ill it gives you the opportunity to think about what’s led you to this place!

And I can see that, as my Ego took over, so I stopped doing all the positive, nurturing rituals that were enabling me to keep put o my own way. My Ego decided I could do without them and persuaded me they weren’t necessary any more – one look in the mirror is all the proof I need that my Ego doesn’t know what it’s talking about (one is rarely so unattractive as when one has a heavy cold, I find…)

And why did my Ego step in?

Because it was feeling threatened. Again.

Because it knows that, for me to grow and develop and realise my potential, it needs to diminish and dwindle, and it doesn’t like that.

This kind of thing happens to all of us as we go through change – the habits and beliefs of the past can be like a ball and chain, holding us back and keeping us anchored in the ways of being that we’re trying to shake off.

We’re attracted to the familiar, even while we’re being tempted by the promise of more and better.

So while it’s frustrating I know that this past month is a normal part of the process.

I will shake off my ball and chain and I will get back out of my own way. It’s good to have had this reminder because it’s shown me that what was once a normal, comfortable, familiar way of being is now uncomfortable, unattractive and dispiriting.

I’m ready to clear the rocks from my path and stride back out onto my Journey again.

But first I’m going to have another Lemsip…..

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What to do when it’s all Too Much

Everyone gets days when it feels like everything you do is doomed to failure and there’s no point in going on.

Anyone who tells you they don’t is telling porkies. Trust me on this.

When you’re feeling that way it can also feel like life is going AMAZINGLY well for the entire rest of the world and that no-one has ever been such a useless heap as you are. It’s a bit like being zoomed straight back into the teenage version of yourself, where everything was sooooooo unfair and no-one had ever suffered like you suffered, and no-one would ever love you and see you for the, like, really amazing person you were….

When that mood strikes there are all sorts of things you can do. You’ll find lots of advice from people telling you to meditate, or go out for a run or buy yourself some flowers or tap or do any number of other worthy things.

But what if you’re having the type of day where you can barely get yourself out of bed? If you’re in that sort of state, all you’re likely to do is to start beating yourself up for not feeling able to motivate yourself to meditate or go out for a run or even get dressed – and that just makes you feel even worse about yourself.

So if your down days really really get you down, here are my top tips for how to cope.

  • Instead of fighting the negative feelings, go with them. Try to trace them back to their source. You don’t have to get out of bed to do this (which is a good start) and the simple process of pinpointing what’s happened to put you in this state can have an immediate galvanising effect.
  • Allow yourself to wallow. I find that if I allow myself time to wallow there comes a point where I get sick of feeling sorry for myself and I am able to kick start myself. Refusing to wallow and trying to plug on regardless tends to backfire and makes things worse for me in the long run.
  • Tell people you trust how you’re feeling. Sometimes all you need is to verbalise the feelings for them to go away. If you’re as lucky as I am you will have people around you who will reassure you of how much you are loved and valued, and that will help enormously.
  • Give yourself a treat – whether it’s time to indulge in your favourite weepy movie, a luxurious bath with lots of candles and bubbles, a box of chocolates when you don’t usually indulge or even a day in bed with a pile of undemanding books, do something to show yourself that “you’re worth it”.
  • Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary, it will pass and you will rise above it when the time is right for you to move on.

What Happens When You Set the Wrong Goals

I used to have a postcard that said “I can’t decide whether to be a good example or an awful warning“.

Well today, I’m going to be An Awful Warning. And those of you at the back that are sniggering and wondering how that’s any different to normal can just come and sit at the front where I can reach you more easily with the board rubber.

Thank You.

So – for as long as I can remember it’s been my ambition to have a book published. It was, if I’m honest, one of those things that I categorised as a Secret Dream that was never likely to happen so while I started writing lots of times nothing ever came to fruition.

With the reinvention of myself into this new, more colourful life, having a book published suddenly became rather more than a Secret Dream. Suddenly I was discovering that having a book published was a great way of letting people know about what I did and the word on the street was that being able to describe yourself as a “Published Author” was a good way of establishing your credibility.

The Universe then very kindly set up a series of encounters that led to me meeting the lovely people at The HotHive, who took one look at my manuscript and decided they wanted to publish it because it filled a gap in the market.

It’s called Finding the Real You: a practical guide for students and, as far as I know, it’s the ONLY book on the UK market that offers personal development/coaching aimed specifically at undergraduates.

Whoop Whoop, excitement all round.

So we went through the publishing process and the day arrived when a lorry drew up at my door and unloaded a stack of books.

My Books.

My Beauties.

Oh, what a moment. They smelled like Real Books! They looked like Real Books!! They were more Orange than the most Orangey thing you’ve ever seen!!!!

That was it. I was a Published Author. I had achieved my Secret Dream.

My work here was done.

That was in October.

And it’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve woken up to the fact that a far more useful goal would have been to publish a book and get it established as a must-buy for its intended readership…

It’s no good me having a pile of lovely books at home, and my publisher having a warehouse full of them – I wrote it to help people and it won’t help them if I don’t promote it.

D’oh!

So – the tide has turned. Yesterday I was interviewed on 107 Spark FM, a radio station in Sunderland that has a large student following – you can hear the interview here

I’m going to be working with Eli my Chief Fairy Dust Sprinkler to plan some events aimed at publicising the book more widely and I’ve sent review copies of to various people in the public eye that I know have an interest in young people and our education system.

So watch this space to see how it goes.

And when you’re setting goals for yourself, do be sure to think them through properly!

 

How to talk about Life-Changing Experiences

So. You’ve just had this AMAZING experience.

It was LIFE-CHANGING and INCREDIBLE and AWESOME and everything you ever thought you knew about anything has changed and OH. MY. GOD!!!!!

And so, naturally, you want to rush out and let the world know about this AMAZING experience so they can enjoy it too.

So you do.

And they look at you as if you’re a bit odd.

They don’t seem to understand. They don’t seem to appreciate how important this is for you and how important it could be for them, too.

Some of them don’t even seem to be interested, for heaven’s sake!

What’s WRONG with these people?!

Can’t they see how INCREDIBLE this is???

Well – no. They can’t. And actually, some of them don’t want to.

Some of them will feel threatened by this sudden change in you and they will want to do everything they possibly can to persuade you that you’ve got it wrong or you’ve misunderstood or it would be much better if you forgot all these silly new ideas and went back to how you were before. They may not realise that that’s what’s going on for them mind you, they’ll just know they don’t like what you’re saying and don’t want to know about it.

Others will be more encouraging but won’t want to hear about it more than once. Although it’s been life-changing for you, it really hasn’t for them because they’re not inside your head. And even if they went through the exact same experience as you did, it STILL might not be life-changing for them because they’re not you.

But what about when you go through something that’s going to have an impact on your nearest and dearest? What if this life-changing experience is something that you really need to share with them so that they can appreciate that something profound has happened for you that is going to change the dynamics of your relationship?

Clearly, you need to have a conversation, and just as clearly you need to be very careful not to freak them out.

So the one thing you don’t want to do is to start leaping around shrieking about how you’ve just had this AMAZING experience that was LIFE-CHANGING and INCREDIBLE and AWESOME and how everything you ever thought you knew about anything has changed and OH. MY. GOD!!!!!

That won’t help, but it really WILL freak them out.

No, what you’ll need to do is to prepare the ground first. Tell them that something has happened and you’d like to have a chat about it some time.

Don’t whatever you do, use the phrase “We need to talk” unless you want them to understand that you’re about to break up with them.

Once you’ve sold the idea of having a “chat” with them, start talking very calmly about the FACTS of what happened – so something along the lines of “You know that course I went on? Well yesterday we did x, y and z” or *ahem* “You know I’ve been working with this fantastic coach? Well this evening were talking about x and y”.

Then say something along the lines of “I really want to tell you about what I learned because it feels very important for me and I want to share it with you”.

Hopefully you’ll get a positive response.

If not, you might want to say “We need to talk”, and move the conversation in a different direction…

If they’re up for it, then now is the time to tell them, calmly and soberly, what you learned and how you feel about it. And then give them time to process what you’ve said and ask you questions.

If it sounds to you like they’re being dismissive, or disinterested, or defensive then CHECK OUT YOUR PERCEPTION before reaching for your shotgun.

Throughout this conversation it’s really important that you remember that the person you’re talking to IS NOT and NEVER WILL BE inside your head and so will NEVER be fully able to appreciate exactly what you’ve gone through.

All you can hope to do is to help them to understand that something profound has happened for you, and then leave them to decide how they want to react.

And remember – the whole, entire world neither wants nor needs to know about your epiphany. Well, unless you’re the Queen or the President, and you’ve suddenly decided to give it all up and move to an Ashram in India. And even then, most people will really only want the headlines…

So – think very carefully about who NEEDS to know about what you’ve been going through, and then plan how you’re going to tell them.

And good luck 🙂

The Significance of a Clean Oven

Something VERY WEIRD has been happening in my house this morning.

Very Weird indeed.

So weird that, even as it’s happening, I’m thinking “Blimey, this is weird. I must make a note of the fact that not only is this weird, but also that I’m deriving a great deal of satisfaction from it, which is even weirder“.

If you know me personally, I suggest that you sit down at this point and take a deep breath because this is going to freak you out.

Ready?

OK, here it is.

This morning I had a client re-arrange a session, so I chose to clean the oven instead.

And I enjoyed it.

And I’ve taken the opportunity to load the dishwasher a couple of times and clean the kitchen.

****slight pause to allow time for hyperventilation amongst my nearest and dearest*****

I put this bizarre behaviour down to an Affirmation that I chose for myself on January 5th and have repeated to myself every day since.

It is this:

I take pride in creating and maintaining a beautiful, welcoming home

Again, those who know me will know how utterly radical this is as I have been famed for YEARS for my lack of interest in and appetite for housework – my mantra has always been that, as long as everyone is happy, well fed and knows that they are loved then I don’t care what kind of a state the house is in.

But over the past few months as I’ve been developing workshops and online packages, and working with clients face to face, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking around the subject of how we show others and ourselves how much self-respect we have, and how much we value ourselves.

And I realised that the state of my house was sending a message to me and to others about self-respect and personal pride.

For years I’ve fought against the idea that the state of my house is in any way reflective of my morals, seeing it as a reactionary throwback to a Victorian notion of a woman’s place. I also saw it as a reaction to my Mum’s way of doing things, as she has always been the epitome of tidiness. And then, of course, there’s always been good old Mr Can’t B. Arsed telling me how boring housework is and how my time would be much better spent watching a film or reading a book or sleeping or just generally vegging out. After all, who needs clean light switches?

I still firmly believe that this attitude is genuinely helpful if you have small children around – there are far more important things to worry about than the housework when you’re in that situation.

But I’m not any more, and I started to think deeply about what messages I was giving myself by continuing to live in a disorganised, cluttered mess. And I realised that actually what I was doing was very successfully getting in my own way by making life far more difficult than it needed to be.

When you live in a mess it takes ages to find anything because you never know where it might be. When you do find it, it’s probably not clean so you can’t use it anyway.

When you’re surrounded by clutter you lose any sense of what’s important and to be treasured so nothing gets looked after properly.

And my God, you don’t half spend a long time hiding stuff and frantically tidying up (not very well…) before you have visitors!

I spoke to My Lovely Husband about this, and we both decided that we didn’t want to live like that any more and so we began a process of de-cluttering and re-organising and a gradual re-awakening of pride in our home.

It’s not been going for long and it’s been too cold to tackle the garden yet but the place is looking much better for our efforts.

And the daily repetition of “I take pride in creating and maintaining a beautiful, welcoming home” has clearly sunk in – so much so that, today, finding I had some unexpected free time, I chose to clean my oven.

And it felt good.

And as I look around my home, I find I’m itching to get on with finishing tidying my office rather than writing this month’s newsletter.

This may, of course, be a subtle form of displacement and procrastination but actually, if I concentrate on the housework today, when I feel like it, that will free me up to spend ALL of tomorrow at the computer, when my deadline is nearer.

And that will feel good.

So – more proof of the power of affirmations, and no-one is more surprised than I am!

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right

That’s a quote from Henry Ford and it neatly sums up what I want to talk about today.

I could equally have chosen to quote the Little Engine That Could, whose mantra when faced with something difficult was

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can!

Or I could have been boring and used the title “Affirmations: how they work and why you should have some” but I don’t like boring.

Having said that, this post is going to be all about Affirmations, how they work and why you might find them useful, so now that I’ve sucked you into my web, let’s get cracking.

Oh by the way – ths one goes on a bit, so you might want to make a cup of tea first and maybe get some custard creams…..

Affirmations (or InCANtations or Enchantments of Statements of Positive Thinking or whatever else you might see them called) are sentences that we coaches like to encourage you to repeat to yourself over and over to change your habitual mindset.

These sentences are always in the positive sense and describe some facet of who/how you are in positive terms. Here are a few I’ve picked at random from the books I happen to have beside me at the moment:

  • My existence is a blessing
  • I deserve to be Rich and Happy
  • I value what I do and who I am
  • I am powerful and I am loving and I have nothing to fear

(and thank you to Nick Williams, Tim Brownson, Susan Jeffers and Barbara Stanny from whose books I lifted them)

We suggest that you use Affirmations because we all know how powerful they can be in helping to change your mindset and get you to where you want to be in life.

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you’ve always been hopeless with money and you want to get a grip on things. The message you’re currently giving yourself is

I’m hopeless with money

and whether you realise it or not, your behaviour around money will be a direct consequence of that message, which you’ve probably been telling yourself for years. You do what people who are hopeless with money do and the consequences of that spill out over lots of other aspects of your life.

So now let’s imagine that you want this to stop. You could create an Affirmation that says something along the lines of

I enjoy learning to mange my money effectively

or simply

I am good at managing my money“.

OK, it’s not true right now and your resistance will be screaming at you to make sure you know that, but you’re going to ignore that and press on.

Every day, you make a point of writing and/or repeating that sentence to yourself as often as you can stand. Within a very short space of time you will notice that your attitude to yourself and your dealings with money have started to change.

So you’ll want to keep on repeating your Affirmation and maybe add another one to it, maybe along the lines of

I enjoy watching my savings grow” or

I am taking action to pay off my debts“.

And so it will continue, until one day you wake up and realise you have transformed into someone with a healthy bank balance and an appreciation of how to manage their money effectively.

It’s powerful stuff, and it works.

The things is though, I’m not always convinced that we do enough to explain why Affirmations are so powerful, and the process that is likely to go on for you when you first come across them.

To my mind the best Affirmations are the ones you create for yourself as they will be in your words and will therefore mean more to you.

Ones such as those above are helpful suggestions for where to start if you find the blank page at all intimidating – for example, I have personalised “I value what I do and who I am” and turned it into “Everything I do shows how much I respect and value myself” because that works better for me.

There’s power in choosing your own words because your Affrmation will feel more personal.

I have a list of about 10 affirmations that I write out every morning. If for any reason I miss a day, I make sure to write that day’s affirmations out the next morning – so on Mondays I generally write the whole set out 3 times because my weekend routine is different to my weekday routine.

There’s power in repetition – the more you do something the more familiar it becomes and the more it starts to feel natural.

I have a special notebook that I keep just for my affirmations and if I get a day where I feel a bit low or lacking in motivation, I go to the start of that notebook and read right through it until I get to the affirmations I wrote that morning. I can see how they’ve evolved and how some have disappeared and been replaced by others. By the time I get to the end I feel enthused and remotivated and ready to get on with doing my thing.

There’s power in watching your own progression from one way of being to another.

As time has gone on my thinking has changed to reflect my Affirmations. This is the hardest thing to convey to other people and creating and using Affirmations is somewhere I notice resistance coming from a lot of my clients.

And I can understand that – I had a lot of resistance to the idea myself for a long time.

I was an Affirmation Dabbler.

I copied out lists of Affirmations from other people’s books and stuck them on my wall, like they said, and then never looked at them again.

I created my own, highfalutin Affirmations and said them out loud to myself ten times a day for 3 days – and then gave up because I felt stupid and “they weren’t working”.

And then I got it.

I realised that other people’s Affirmations weren’t going to work for me, I needed to create my own.

I realised that I needed to overcome my resistance to the whole idea and just trust that it would work.

And I realised that I needed to make connecting with my Affirmations a daily ritual and do it whether I felt like it or not (and thank you, Eli, for flicking on my light-switch about rituals!)

The most common objection I hear from clients when I start working with them on Affirmations is

But I can’t say that, it’s not true!”

Oh, how I can relate to that! When I first started in business, a number of people suggested to me that I should repeat to myself, over and over again, something along the lines of “I am wealthy beyond measure and have plenty of clients“.

Boy did I resist that! Every time I tried to say it to myself my head was instantly filled with voices saying “LIAR!

Now I can see that there were other Affirmations it would have been more useful for me to have used at that stage, such as “Every day I take time to learn more about how to run a business” – if I’d done that then I might have spent less time flailing and more time getting to grips with stuff!

So now I’ve got it, and my Affirmations are working for me and they are part of the process of getting out of my own way and allowing the Universe (hello, Universe!) to guide me, here are my Top Tips Around Affirmations:

1. Expect to encounter resistance to the process from within. Creating and using Affirmations is a way of changing your thought patterns and your thought patterns aren’t going to like it. They will send your ego charging into battle armed with all sorts of reasons why this is a stupid idea and it won’t work and you’re lying to yourself etc etc etc. Acknowledge that this is part of the process, and carry on regardless.

2. Create Affirmations that reflect the way you WANT to think and feel about yourself. Ignore the resistance and carry on regardless.

3. State your Affirmations in the present tense, so that you’re describing yourself as you WANT to be as if that’s who/how you are now. Ignore the resistance and carry on regardless.

4. Steer clear of Affirmations that are phrased negatively.  Say you’re trying to get out of bad eating habits. Your intital thought might be to give yourself an Affirmation along the lines of “I don’t binge eat” – DON’T GO THERE!!! That’s like telling yourself not to think of a pink elephant juggling  purple bananas – all you’ll be able to think of is pink elephants juggling bananas! A more useful Affirmation here would be “I enjoy eating healthily” because it focusses on a positive way of being you. Ignore the resistance and carry on regardless.

5. Get the Affirmation habit – repeat and repeat and repeat. I find writing them down on a daily basis works for me, you may prefer to record them and play them to yourself or simply repeat them out loud – find what works for you, and stick to it. Ignore the resistance and carry on regardless.

6. Ignore the resistance and carry on regardless.

I’d love to know what works for you and if you have any examples of how using Affirmations has had a positive impact on you, please share them here.

Oh, and STOP THINKING ABOUT PINK ELEPHANTS JUGGLING BANANAS!

 

So, Cathy, what exactly IS an ecourse??

You may have seen on Facebook or Twitter or in my newsletter that I’m launching an ecourse at the end of this month. I’m very excited about it, but it seems that a lot of people’s reaction is

“Eh? An ecourse? What’s one of them, then?”

So I thought I’d explain and at the same time talk you through what you can expect from my new, 10 week e-course, Ten Steps to Discovering your True Colours.

My aim is to help you to understand how the course works, what it covers and whether or not it’s right for you.

So, who’s this ecourse for? Well it’s for you if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions:

* do you have a general feeling of dissatisfaction about your life?

* maybe you’re in a job you don’t like but you don’t know what else you could do and  you feel trapped?

* do you feel like you don’t really know who you are anymore?

* maybe you’ve found yourself on your own after a long time in a couple and you want to make a new life for yourself

* maybe you’ve lost your job and want to work out what to do next

* do you want to try new things but don’t have the confidence?

* are you determined that your life from now on will be better than it has been up to now?

If  any or all of those questions describe you, then this is the course for you! Over the course of 10 weeks, you will learn how to uncover your true self and vital tools for letting that true self shine.

What will you get from this course?

From following the course, you will get:

* Improved self-confidence

* Increased motivation

* A renewed appetite for life

* Greater personal satisfaction

* A positive future to work towards

So how does it work?

This is a ten week course and the content is delivered to you online via some special pages attached to this blog. If you work through all the exercises thoroughly, you will find out a great deal about yourself and learn skills which will enable you to lead a happier, more fulfilled life, and become the best possible self you can be.

When you sign up you’ll received the password which unlocks the information pages, the Discussion Forum and Lesson One. After you’ve read the information page for each lesson, you’ll be able to download the exercises for that week so you can work through them off-line and at your own pace. They come as PDFs so you can print them off and write all over them as many times as you like.

Each week you will receive an email containing the password for that week’s lesson. Work through that week’s exercises at your own pace and use the comments facilities on the Lesson pages and the Discussion Forum to ask questions. I will be answering questions via the comments facility so please keep an eye out for the answers. If you would like to get in touch with me directly, please email me.

That means that not only do you get to work at your own pace, but you also get one-to-one support from me if you need it, AND you get to see what issues other people are working on so you can learn from and support them, too.

This kind of support from me would ordinarily cost you somewhere in the region of £850 but working this way allows me to keep my costs to a minimum, which is why I’m able to offer you a saving of a massive £625.

By booking yourself a place on this ecourse you get

  • a life-changing experience
  • dedicated personal support
  • membership to a community of like-minded individuals
  • the opportunity to start creating the life you want and deserve

All for the price of a weekend spa-break. And whereas a spa weekend is a lovely treat that will make you feel good for a week or so, this ecourse is an investment in your own future happiness and wellbeing and will keep on repaying you well into the years to come.

If you’re ready to book your place now, all you have to do is click here. If you want to know more, read on.

There are 10 lessons in total. The final password will unlock both Lesson 10 and the ‘What Next’ page, which contains suggestions for further development.

The Discussion Forum

This page is designed for you to connect with your fellow students, ask me anything or offer feedback on the course. Please use the comments facility to do this.

This area is for you to chat about the contents of the course, meet your fellow students and ask any general questions or give me your feedback on the course. I will be checking in regularly to meet you all and answer your questions.

If you have anything you’d like to say about the individual lessons you are more than welcome to comment on them directly.

So now, what about the work you’ll be doing?

Here’s a short run down of what each lesson covers and the kind of work I’ll be asking you to do.

Lesson 1 – Primary Colours is all about setting the scene. It’s really important, before we look at the future, to have a good look at what things are like for you right now, and how they got to be like that. So this first lesson is all about bringing your past into focus and taking a good look at the things that have made you the person you are today. This session will help you to uncover long-held beliefs, fears and assumptions that may well surprise you, and it often brings out repressed emotions – it’s challenging stuff that could make you feel incredibly uncomfortable so you need to be ready for the discomfort and embrace it as part of the process of change you’ve decided to go through.

Lesson 2 – Rewiring Your Filters. This lesson is all about starting to properly listen to what people are saying to you and how you are interpreting them. A lot of the conflict that happens between people happens not because of what those people say to each other, but because of how each of them (mis)interprets the other’s words.  We’re also very good at blocking out messages we don’t want to hear, like “You’re lovely” and “I think you’re fabulous”. Once you’ve completed this lesson you’ll have started to make conscious choices about what you listen to and how you take on board information about yourself. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to your relationships with those around you.

Lesson 3 – Noticing the Good Things. This one is all about consciously taking time to stop and appreciate the good things around you. So often we rush through life with our heads down and the only times we look up or get knocked out of our rhythms is when something bad happens and so our world view gets bleaker and bleaker. By the end of this lesson you’ll be far more aware of how many glorious things you have in your life to be happy and thankful for, and you’ll find your mood has been enormously enhanced.

Lesson 4 – The Voices In Your Head. We all have an inner dialogue that tells us what we think and what we do and a lot of the time we’re completely unaware of it. This is a great shame because for many of us that dialogue is constantly telling us stuff that’s deeply unhelpful and in some cases very destructive. Once we make the choice to start tuning in and listening to it, we become aware of how often we sabotage ourselves and those around us and then we can choose to start telling ourselves something different and more helpful. You’ll be amazed at the things you tell yourself – and even more amazed when you realise how different your life becomes when you start telling yourself different things, and that’s precisely what you’ll be doing by the end of this lesson.

Lesson 5 – Challenging Your Assumptions. We all make assumptions and we need to be able to do so to make sense of the world. But we’re not always consciously aware of the assumptions that we make – about ourselves, about our lives and about those around us. This lesson brings those assumptions out into the light so that you can examine them and see whether or not they’re helpful to you. I’ve known people discover that they have an underlying assumption that everything they ever do will be a complete failure or that they are completely unlovable. Instantly they realise that those assumptions have had a profound impact on how they live their lives. Once they changed those assumptions to something more positive and helpful, so their life “miraculously” changed around them, and yours will too.

Lesson 6 – Uncovering Your Values. Your values lie at the very core of you and if you’re living a life that’s not in tune with your values you will eventually become ill. Living against your values destroys the soul and is a major contributor to mental health and stress problems. By the end of this lesson you’ll have uncovered your own personal Values,  looked at whether your current lifestyle is serving those values and encouraged you to look at what changes you want to make to your life to make it healthier and more values-driven.

Lesson 7 – Living Like You Value Yourself. Following on from the Values lesson, we then move on to look at the way you live and look after yourself on a daily basis. Do you treat yourself as you would a person that you loved and wanted only the best for? Or do you put yourself last on your own list, feed yourself badly and generally treat yourself as if you don’t count? In this lesson you’ll look at how the way you treat yourself influences how others treat you, and reinforces the positive or negative messages you give yourself. By the end of the lesson, you’ll be I a position to make a conscious choice about your own value as an individual and how you deserve to be treated.

Lesson 8 – Daring to Dream. This lesson puts you back in touch with your secret dream – that idea of the life you really wanted to live but that you put aside for fear that it was unrealistic, unobtainable or “not for the likes of me”. You’ll dust off your aspirations again and think positively about what you want to do with the rest of your life, free of all those negative assumptions and messages that have been weighing you down all these years. By the end of the lesson you’ll have a much clearer view of the kind of future you’d like for yourself.

Lesson 9 – Getting Rid of Your Gremlins. Gremlins are another aspect of your Inner Voice in that they are parts of your personality that lurk in the shadow and put stumbling blocks in your way. In this lesson you’ll learn how to identify them and how to defuse them by understanding what it is they’re trying to do for you. You’ll be surprised at what they get up to and how cunning they are and you’ll also learn how cunning you can be in bringing them out of hiding and helping them to understand how they can be actively helpful to you. And you get to draw pictures as well!

Lesson 10 – Flying Your Colours. This is the final lesson and it’s where you put everything you’ve learned over the past 10 weeks together and determine what difference it’s made to you and what you want to do about. There’s some real, focused goal setting and time to think hard about The Real You, the one you’ve uncovered throughout this process that’s been kept down all these years and is now free to go out and live the life you deserve.

You now know what the course covers, how it works and whether it’s the right thing for you.

There are a limited number of places available and booking closes soon, so if this has whetted your appetite then all you need to do is click here to book your place.

Normal blogging service will be resumed tomorrow 🙂