Skills for Life

How To Overcome Shyness

Posted on December 8th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Inner Child, Skills for Life, Video. 8 Comments

Overcome shynessDo you find yourself feeling shy and insecure and not knowing who is the right person for you to ‘be’ when you interact with people?

Do you ever find yourself putting on an act, pretending to be a certain way, to fit in so that other people will like you better ?

You might feel like a flag blowing in the wind with no fixed personality.

I know how that feels, it’s really tiring both physically and emotionally.

And it’s also frustrating because you seem to do it automatically, and then beat yourself up afterwards, because that’s not how you want to be.

Be kind to yourself – there is a way out of this – and part of the solution is to

find an ‘anchor’ for yourself, a solid grounded sense of ‘wholeness’ that’s unaffected by whatever is going on around you

Being aware of what’s going on CONSCIOUSLY is really important! So if you can already see that this is a problem for you, then you’re well on your way to overcoming it.

The next steps are to uncover what’s going on UNconsciously.

The feelings underneath may be tangled up in knots of fear.

Watch the video!


To untangle these knots, and learn how to overcome shyness,

But wait, there’s more!

Give Yourself Permission to STOP Doing Things You Don’t Enjoy!

Posted on November 24th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Being Yourself, Skills for Life, Video. 6 Comments
Give yourself permission

Give yourself permission

Do you ever give yourself a hard time because you *SHOULD* be able to do something ?

Watch the video to listen to my story and how I overcame my ‘SHOULDs’!

Give yourself permission to STOP the negative self talk…

and choose to do the things that make you feel good!

I’d been giving myself a hard time recently because I’ve been doing interviews and putting video content on my blog, and although I have lots of ideas of topics to write about, the thought of sitting down to write made me squirm and adopt my ‘avoidance’ mode…

(you know the one … where you do everything and anything *except* the thing you’re supposed to be doing)

I was good at English as a child, and I’d been telling myself you *should* be able to write … (and be a good girl and get top marks in class!… again)

So I told myself I *have to write articles*.

Yet I’d never stopped to ask myself “Do I enjoy it?”

I’ve been reading Danielle LaPorte’s amazing book The Desire Map, and starting to think about how I really feel about things – and I’ve been noticing more and more what it feels like to be ‘energised and inspired and engaged and excited’ about doing the things I want to be doing.

And so now I know when I’m feeling the exact opposite – dragged down, bored, listless, squirming, stuck, constricted.

That’s what I’ve been feeling when I sit down to write.

I finally gave myself permission to STOP doing it!

How often do you tell yourself you *should* do something?

But wait, there’s more!

What A Toddler Can Teach Us About Wants And Needs

Posted on April 17th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Getting Results, Skills for Life. 7 Comments
Clear Communication

Be Clear About What You Really Want

Do you ever struggle to articulate what you really want to say to someone, and end up body swerving that difficult topic?

Maybe you want to ask your boss for a pay rise, or for more recognition for all the work you’ve been doing on a project, or tell someone that you’re really not happy with the way they’re treating you.

Does your mind get deliberately foggy, blurring the lines between the thing your avoiding, and the real truth of what you’d like to communicate?

Yep, this is so common.

Isn’t it a universal truth that we tend to avoid anything that might bring us into confrontation …. so it might feel more comfortable keeping that fog in place.

But at what cost ?

What if you were to come right out and say exactly what you want to that person.

Would they listen?

Would they get angry and shout at you ?

What are you really afraid of?

You might be so used to keeping the peace, being ‘nice’, not upsetting people, that your own needs become buried underneath this well worn habit.

Yet when we’re clear in communicating what we really want, it’s so much easier to get our needs met.

When my daughter was tiny, I used to take her to playgroups,

and I’d sit with the other Mums and watch her play. It always amazed me how easily young children communicate what they want to everyone around them – they take toys when they want, they go where they want, and all without self consciousness, or any thought about the effects they have on others.

They’re clear about their needs, and express them openly (sometimes quite vocally!).

Young children have a purity of will and determination, that makes it so easy for them to get what they want (or tell you very clearly when they haven’t!)

It’s at some later stage, certainly after they start school, that their behaviour starts to become more constricted, as they have to learn the rules about what’s ‘appropriate’ and what isn’t.

But at what stage do we begin to cut off from our essential knowing of what we want and need ?

I believe that as we grow up and have to ‘fit in’ with expectations and the needs of others, we can lose touch with our own essence ….

Yet once you notice that you’ve lost it, you CAN claim it back!

How can you communicate what you really want to say?

But wait, there’s more!

What is ‘REAL’ anyway?

Posted on April 4th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Being Seen, Skills for Life. 6 Comments
real self

What is ‘REAL’ anyway?

We can all spot things that are ‘fake’, can’t we?

That ‘Gucci’ handbag with the label that’s glued on wonky.

Those ‘bargain’ perfumes you can buy from market stalls that just smell nasty.

The politician’s smile that doesn’t make it to his eyes.

We have an internal radar for what’s fake and what’s real when it comes to things outside of ourselves.

But what about internally?

Many introverts I’ve spoken to say they  “want to be their real self.”

That really resonates with me. It’s what held me back for so many years, and I’ve now begun to peel back the layers and open up more.

Can you imagine what benefit there might be for you to be more of your ‘real self’?

I’ve been on a long internal journey, and for me, being ‘real’ can mean being ok with finding certain things hard, and not trying to pretend that I enjoy something (just because ‘everyone else’ does).

It’s enabled me to be kinder to myself, and given me permission to be more open and vulnerable.

Even just writing publicly ‘from the heart’ would have been impossible for me a few years ago. It would have felt too dangerous and exposed.

But as I peel back the layers and ‘expose’ myself to others, I realise that we’re all the same underneath.

Everyone gets scared sometimes.

We all have things we find hard.

We all long for love and acceptance, and to know that we’re not alone.

We are all naked underneath our clothes.

That knowledge makes me a feel a little braver, and to risk being seen for who I really am. And THAT allows me to step up and follow my calling, knowing that I’m being true to myself and fulfilling my potential.

How do you know when you’re NOT being real?

But wait, there’s more!

What Would Your Plant Tag Say? (How To Take Care Of You)

Posted on March 21st, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Reclaiming Your Space, Skills for Life. 5 Comments
plant tag

What would your plant tag say?

You love being sociable, you love interacting with people.

But there comes a point when enough is enough, and you need to be on your own.

Perhaps the people around you, your family and friends, don’t realise you actually need a lot of time to recharge … they make demands on you, they turn up at odd hours to ‘keep you company’ …

You don’t want to be rude so you keep quiet and put up with the intrusion, all the while seething with resentment and feeling drained.

Why can’t they see you need to withdraw, to rest, to be alone ….?

It’s frustrating, I know, to be in this situation and so easy to lose your rag.

But the real question is how can you communicate your needs without turning into a b***h from hell?!

(‘scuse my language)

Did I ever mention I love growing things ?!

I used to have an allotment near our old house, a very large expanse of fertile ground that I planted up with all my favourite things to eat.

I remember taking great care to find out all I could about how these plants grew best, how much space they needed, what to feed them with and how to support their growth. I wanted to make sure I planted and took care of them just right.

But with experience I discovered the really useful stuff tends not to be written down. You find out through word of mouth.

I was lucky to have help from a very knowledgeable guy in my allotment ‘village’. He would explain to me how best to plant, support and feed – and how much to water.

I’d always wondered how he got such great yields from his crops. Now I know ….

He knew from experience how each plant liked to be treated and so he treated it that way.

Seems like common sense if you think about it, cucumbers need very different conditions than potatoes, so you’d know straight away to deal with them differently to get the best yield.

You wouldn’t dream of trying to feed and support each type of plant in the same way, would you?

And so it is with you:

You have the right to take the best care of YOU.

But wait, there’s more!

Are You Dealing With Impostor Syndrome?

Posted on March 7th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Inner Child, Skills for Life. 6 Comments
Acknowledge your feelings

Acknowledge your feelings

When you meet people for the first time, do you assume they know more than you?

Assume that what you say would be irrelevant or they’d think it was silly, so you stay quiet ?

(and then give yourself a hard time later because of what you could have said, should have said)


This reminds me of  a powerful experience I had a few years ago.

I was on an advanced coach training course with a group of around 10 people. We were looking at an image which was a trick – in the same image was an old woman, and also a young woman depending on how you looked at it.

Everyone except one person in the group had ‘got it’ i.e. seen both images, and the others were trying to explain to this one person how to ‘see’ the young woman in the image.

I listened patiently while everyone spoke their suggestions, but this person still didn’t ‘get it’.

I stayed quiet because I thought “Well there’s nothing new I could contribute”

As I watched this person get more and more frustrated (and no-one else seemed to be helping) I decided to pluck up the courage and just speak my suggestion.

So I said, ‘She’s looking away’

That’s all I said, three little words, and instantly this woman said ‘Ah, yes, I see it now, thanks!’

And everyone else was relieved that we could now move on to something else, and that was the end of that.

Except it wasn’t the end for me.

For me that whole event was a HUGE deal … it hit me like a lightening bolt !

But wait, there’s more!

Are You Keeping The Most Important Plate Spinning?

Posted on February 19th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Skills for Life. 6 Comments
taking care of you

Are you keeping the most important plate spinning?

I haven’t written a blog post for what seems like an age (and my noble commitment of writing every two weeks, like clockwork, has become a little tarnished) .. but I’ve forgiven myself.

The truth is I’ve been so wrapped up with other tasks, I’ve let things slip a bit …

I’ve been focusing on work, with any remaining energy spent on ‘being a good Mum’ (with all the little things that that involves)… my article writing dropped out of sight, and I’ve been feeling a bit like I’m drowning.

I’ve realised what’s been happening, and I’ve got some balance back now so I can write about it with some clarity.

It reminds me of the circus skills training I did many years ago.

I learnt how to juggle and walk on stilts, and one thing that fascinated me was the guy who taught us how to spin plates on a stick; there’s a special knack to getting them started and then, with them all lined up, he would go from one to the other, and give them a little flick and they would carry on spinning.

I sometimes feel that my life is like that – one plate after another to keep in the air, moving from one to the next to make sure they all stay up…..

Do you ever feel drained and exhausted from all your spinning plates?

Do all those things (tasks, people, projects) that make demands upon you, make you feel that your energy is all used up even before your day has begun?

Have you ever stopped to consider that YOU are the most important plate to keep spinning …

Taking care of you is the essential first step in keeping all the others freely moving and working smoothly.

But wait, there’s more!

Want To Know The Key To Lasting Happiness?

Posted on January 9th, 2014.
Posted in these categories: Skills for Life. 2 Comments
Lasting Happiness

Want The Key To Lasting Happiness?

It’s the start of a New Year (as everyone around you keeps on saying..) and you’re ‘supposed’ to pick resolutions, right? Or at least ‘give up’ something, or pledge to do something.

But you’ve tried those already, and they never work …. every year seems to be the same, you make a few changes and then you give up and you’re back to square one.

How do you begin to make changes that actually last?

Well, at a simple level, I think people attempt to make changes for one of two reasons – they want to eliminate pain, or they want to reach out for greater happiness and fulfillment.

And going along the fulfillment route, the key to lasting happiness is being true to what’s most important to you.

And how do you work out what’s important to you ??

Do you know what my first proper job was?

I worked in a medical research lab and I spent my days pretty much on my own and looking down a microscope a lot. (That worked on some levels; I loved the freedom of doing my own thing, and looking at things in detail, but I knew something fundamental was missing….)

I knew I wasn’t happy but I didn’t have the courage or the opportunity to change things.

So I went to work, day after day, and came home feeling exhausted and stressed out, but not knowing why.

To cut a long story short, I finally got the opportunity to move away from my job working alone in a lab, to being part of a team doing an IT role. (What an awesome revelation that was!)

What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was unconsciously choosing to move closer to people (away from working on my own, and towards interacting with people as part of my job).

And not only that, I wanted to be in a helping role – it just felt right for me to use my skills and knowledge to help people. So I worked in customer support, and then I moved in to consultancy; each move brought me closer to what’s important to me.

Finally I had the opportunity to retrain as a coach – the best job ever for me!

But wait, there’s more!

Back »»