authentic self

Spend a Fiver, Change Your Life

03 24 2016

Have you ever been wandering around a clothes shop and spotted something for someone else, thinking “that is so her“?  Something about a simple item of clothing represents somebody’s style or character and what you believe about them.  

The same process happens on a deeper level in your head and about you.  What you believe about yourself will impact your choices – ultimately sending your life in one direction or another, often at 180° angle to each other.  

In my first Livestream (so please excuse the novice techie issues at start and end!), I share why this happens and how a £5 investment can be the first step towards a life-changer.

And then I’d love to hear from you.  What will you stick on YOUR mirror?  (Share a selfie on my Facebook page if you’re feeling brave!!)

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You Great Big (Valentine's) Liar!

02 14 2016

When you’re sat in the hairdresser’s chair, do you ever wonder who styles the stylist’s hair?  Or who is your dentist’s dentist?  I do.  You see, I imagine they’d be happier in their own hands, knowing what standard to expect.

The same goes for a pilot.  As a nervous flier, I’d be a little less anxious if I knew the pilot had logged plenty of flight time and way more likely to bolt for the door if it was a maiden flight.

It comes down to trust.  You have to truly believe in that person’s skill, ability and practice in what they’re going to do for you.

So, I look at you and I question…… do I believe in you? 

Ladies, I have it on authority that the vast majority of you are putting yourself WAY down your own list of priorities and that makes a liar out of you. 

Before you click unsubscribe, hear me out.

Love lies2

Take a look at your list of priorities this week just gone, whether that’s written down or in your head.  What roles did you play?  Wife/partner, mum, daughter, employee/business owner, domestic boss?  Any more?  And where did YOU feature?  What did you do for yourself?

Many of the women I coach forget themselves or, at best, use what’s left over once everything else has been tended to.  They’re driven by a desire to love and nurture the people in their life, and to excel.

And this is the lie.  You need to learn your trade – to be your own best customer.  To nurture other people, you have to nurture yourself.  To love the people you care for most, you have to love you.  To give your best professionally, you have to nourish yourself.  Trying to give of yourself while you’re running on empty is pretense.

I’ve learned from experience.  In a year that saw achievement and success in many ways, I ended 2015 frazzled.  Depleted.  And here’s the rub, when I did take a little time to be a bit more selfish two amazing things happened:

  1. I felt better.  Obvious, right?  But because I felt better I was being better as a mum, wife, coach etc.  The yucky knot in my stomach (tinged with a little bit of resentment – honest moment!) was replaced with renewed energy.
  2. My little ones noticed.  I liked hearing them say, “mummy’s going to yoga” and “mummy’s not here” when I’d been away on a development course.  I want them to do the things that light them up, pursue their passions, so how can I teach that if I’m putting my own desires and passions on the back-burner.

It’s still a work in progress (I’M still a work in progress!).  I still juggle the mummy guilt when it’s me-time.  But I’m trying to look at it more as an investment.

So today, when you’re expected to show someone else your love, be sure that you gift yourself with a little love and nurturing too.  Trust me, the better you feel, the more of the good stuff you’ll have to give.

I’d love to hear from you.  Do you have a self-care practice?  Or if you don’t what one thing might you do for yourself this week?

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2014 Was The Year That Was....?

09 18 2014

Fast forward the remaining 100-ish days of the year and think about how you’d like to reflect on 2014.  It was the year that was….?  Are you on track to making that happen?

With my vision for the year, so far I’ve won some and lost some.  I’ve pushed my comfort zone, I’ve faced some fears, I’ve made some leaps and taken risks… and I’ve also missed opportunities, played it safe and let anxiety get the better of me at times.  I’ve still got a way to go to hit my big goal for the year but I’m up for the challenge and I’ve got my game face on.

It would be so easy to give up, resign myself to failing or make excuses.  Yes, life has been super-busy with a newborn and a toddler to care for, income to create and, oh yes, making time to live life too but, if my turbulent twenties taught me anything, it’s that I’ve got a choice.  I go for it or I don’t. No knight in shining armour is going to rescue me.  It’s up to me.

There’s a but.  I can’t do it all on my own.  If I’ve learned anything the hard way this year it’s been that trying to do it all myself is a surefire way to a frazzled Emma.  So if I want to make 2014 the year that I achieved my goal, it’s time for me to politely ask for a hand.

Determination – check.  Support – check.

Over to you.  Tell me, 2014 was the year that you…..? And what’s the one thing you need to do to get a step closer?

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It's Time To Stop Fixing Your Flaws

07 18 2014

Can you remember some of the compliments you’ve been given lately?  Now, how about the times you’ve been criticised? Can you remember those?

If you’re anything like me (and apparently a fifth of the female population²), you brush over the praise but dwell on any ‘constructive criticism’.  I can still bring to mind ‘feedback’ I was given in annual appraisals at work about how I could be “more assertive”, “more challenging” and “louder”. In short, not me. I spent way too long focusing on how I could do better without stopping to question it.

But I see it more clearly now.  

You have two options. One, you can focus on improving your ‘flaws’ – those ways you or someone else has decided you could be better.  Or, two, you can focus on fulfilling your beautiful potential – your inner sparkle as I like to call it.

Option one asks you to try to mould yourself into something you’re not.  Option two asks you to be you in all your brilliance.

I look back now at that annual ‘feedback’ I was given and, with the benefit of hindsight, wonder why I didn’t just embrace my limitations rather than allow it to distract me.  I’m not saying I would have given up trying – I always want to be learning and I took huge pride in doing the best job I could – BUT I wonder why I didn’t fight my own corner and find ways I could break the mould and shine in my own way.  Maybe because I wasn’t challenging enough, hey!

It makes me all the more passionate about getting women to recognise their potential.  It’s not about living up to someone else’s rules, it’s about creating your own.  

What does being the very best version of you look like?  How can you be more ‘you’?  

My challenge this week is to follow your inner north star.  How can you shake  off some of the things you feel you should be or do, and be more of you instead.  I’d love for you to share with me how you get on.

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The 2 Big Reasons Why You Should Stop Wishing For a Better Life

07 15 2014

Have you ever tried dropping a few subtle gift hints in the lead-up to your birthday or Christmas?  You mention the amazing pair of shoes you tried on or the designer perfume you spritzed and fell in love with.  Now tell me, do the subtle hints work for you?  Or, have you ended up unwrapping a pasta-maker when what you really had your eye on was a soft-as-butter leather purse? (True story.)

When it comes to making your desires a reality, subtle hints just won’t cut it.  You’ve got to know what you want and then be crystal clear in asking for it.

So, you say you want more time.  You want a better balance.  You’d like more time for yourself.  Well, if so, I’m sorry to break it to you but the chances are you might just end up with a pasta maker.  It’s time to get clear on what you really want.

If you want more time, why?  What will more time give you?  What’s really important to you about having more time? Or more money? Or a better balance? Or whatever your surface level wish is.  

Dig a little deeper and you start to get to your core desire/s.

If you were granted your wish of more money, your bank account has just been credited, what would this mean to you?  Would it mean you could quit your job? And then what? Spend time with your family?  Start your own business?  What is the motivation and the core desire that sits beneath your wish.  

Maybe you truly desire love and connection and more money would mean more time to spend with the people you love.

Or quitting your job and starting your own business would give you a sense of achievement and fulfilment.

Or maybe more money means more freedom so you can choose the lifestyle you want to create.  You can travel.  You can choose work you love.

Give it a try.  Think of what you keep wishing for.  Identify your “if… then…” stories.  For example, if I had more time, then I’d be happier/less stressed.  It will probably be a thought that loops around your head frequently.  

Once you’ve pinpointed it, get digging.  Ask yourself, why do I want that?  Keep going until you get to an emotion, then you’ve struck gold.  Most often, you’ll feel like the word resonates, it will feel right.

stop wishingAnd here are two reasons why its super-important to be clear on your core desires and not just your surface level wishes

1. Your core desires are your compass.  When you live in ‘alignment’ to the things you desire the most, things will flow more easily.  If they’re not, then things start to feel a bit ‘off’, they feel more of a struggle.  In a nutshell, you can consciously make choices and decisions to live in a way that suits you and what you value most.

2. There may be ways in which you can bring your desire about in your life right now.  So, if you wish for more money, a lottery win might be unlikely.  BUT, if the reason you wish for a windfall is because your core desire is to feel peace or calm, you can find ways today to create that feeling in your life.  Maybe a quick walk after dinner in the evening would feel calming.  Or a bubble bath.  Or maybe meditation might bring you a feeling of peace.  

Living your desires might just be a little closer than you think.

So, over to you.  I’d love to hear what your wish is and what you’ve identified as your core desire then one simple way you could create that feeling today.

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Featured on Pick the Brain: How to use visioning if you're not that visual

04 05 2014

If you’ve ever picked up any kind of self-improvement book, I’m sure you’ll have heard of the many benefits of visioning.  But what if you’re not much of a visual person?  

I’m featured on Pick The Brain where I’m sharing:

– Why the technique of ‘mental rehearsal’ is so popular

– How visualisation can be the catalyst to propel you towards your goals

– My 5 tips for making visualisation work for you if you struggle to make mental pictures.

You can read the full post on Pick The Brain here

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New mum anxiety: one year on

02 09 2014

Let me give it to you straight.

I’m a lucky girl. I have a beautiful family. I’m doing work that I LOVE. My life is full of special people who support and encourage me. I know I’m blessed.

BUT…

Even with so much to be thankful for, this time last year was a low-point.

I’d quietly been struggling with new mum anxiety since Louis’ birth, unable to share with the happy mums I was meeting, and I’d isolated myself. I was negotiating a part-time return to my pre-maternity corporate role while my confidence was at rock-bottom. I felt removed from the true me. I motored through the routine of my day-to-day and had little interest in doing anything more.

My passion is encouraging women to discover and LIVE their sparkle… yet, my own sparkle was waning.

It turns out I wasn’t alone.

I needed role models. I needed mentors to look up to. I was looking for examples of women who’d made the adjustment into motherhood yet still had an identity that was authentic to them… Their sparkle.

I decided to extend an invitation to women I admired – I asked them to share their secrets, their tips and their honest accounts of the challenges they face.  I was inspired.

I began to share some of these inspiring accounts in my Secrets of my Success series.  And I have other gems lined up for this year.  The more I shared my story with women and, in return, they shared with me, the more I realised that there were common threads. Common challenges. Common worries. Common traits of success.

So I decided to put together a free “class” where I’ll be sharing The 4 Secrets of Successful Working Mummies.

If you’d like to learn the 4 “success sappers” to avoid, as well as the success traits of these women, click HERE to register for your spot.

The details:

Tuesday 11th February @ 7.30pm GMT

RESERVE MY SPOT NOW

 

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Stop waiting: a celebration

02 02 2014

Once I’ve got a slimmer waist, a tauter tummy, slimmer thighs, clearer skin, glossier hair… THEN I’ll feel attractive.

Once the house is cleaned, the laundry is washed and ironed, the beds are freshly made and the fridge is fully stocked…. THEN I’ll feel like a domestic goddess.

Once my children are fed a nutritious, home-cooked meal, entertained with creative play, nurtured with quiet interaction, bathed in nasty-free bubbles and settled soundly…. THEN I’ll feel like a good mummy.

Once I’ve got that promotion or secured a new business partnership, been recognised by my peers, increased my income…. THEN I’ll feel like a professional success.

Once I’ve made the perfect romantic gesture, created quality time to talk and listen, shown gratitude for the positives and shown patience with the frustrations… THEN I’ll feel like a good wife/partner.

Once I’ve done a regular 30-minutes cardio three times a week, 20-minutes conditioning, 15-minutes meditation and drunk my daily green juice… THEN I’ll feel healthy.

Once I’ve called my friends and family, recognised birthdays and celebrations with thoughtful gifts and meaningful sentiments, spent quality time with all the important people in my life… THEN I’ll feel like a loving friend/daughter/sister/auntie.

…..

What if you stopped waiting until THEN?

What if you chose right now that you are enough?

How about choosing that you are the perfect version of yourself right now?

You are right where you are meant to be.

This is your story.  Celebrate it.

What happened yesterday has gone.

What will happen tomorrow is yours for the taking.

You are who you are and where you are right now for a reason….

You can choose.

You can choose to feel attractive.

You can choose to recognise all you do to create a nurturing home, be a nurturing mummy, a loving wife, a professional success.

You can choose to BE the you that you want to be right now.

Imagine what that would feel like.

How would you act differently?  What would you choose to do right now?  How would you choose to be with the people around you?  What would be important for you to have in your life?  What wouldn’t be important?

You are doing the very best with what you have. 

My lovely, you are doing a great job – be gentle with yourself.

 

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Re-discovering my inner sparkle: part one

03 19 2013

What is the thing that makes you light up? Feel alive? What is it at your core that is uniquely you – your ‘inner sparkle’ as I call it?

It took a fair bit of soul-searching and course correction over my working life, but I got clear on what makes me feel alight: nurturing people to awaken to their unique potential. Of that I have no question, but as I mentioned last week, I’m being ‘nudged’ into taking a new direction for this.  And I promised to listen to the nudges.

I’ve been giving myself the time and space to re-connect to my inner sparkle.  This week I’m refreshing an exercise I’ve done before by taking a trip down memory lane… And exposing my inner geek!

If you need to remember what it’s like to live your inner sparkle, spend some time with a child.  One minute it’s pure joy, the next temper tantrums.  I adore the pure self-expression!  If you can reconnect with that childlike part of yourself, can you remember the things that brought you joy? What did you love to do? What were you good at? What are you doing in your happiest memories?

I’ve been reflecting a little on these questions myself and memories started flowing of my childlike self:

  • The typical girl, I loved my dolls! One Christmas I became the proud “mummy” to twins and spent my play-time proudly wheeling the twins around in my green Silver Cross double pram.  I moved onwards and upwards to become ‘mummy’ to a baby boy (a Tiny Tears doll named Stefan). I remember being at school and counting down the hours until I could get home to care of baby Stefan.  I’d change him, give him bottles of water (testing the temperature on my wrist, of course!), and feed him baby food (aka: crushed digestive biscuits with water). I was devoted.
  • Not quite so typical was my love of playing businesses with my sister and my friend, Sally. We raided the local agent’s summer sun brochures when we set up our own Travel Agency, we ran an Estate Agency and, my favourite, we managed a hotel.  Santa brought us all a briefcase one year and we’d proudly walk to each others house to play at our latest enterprise carrying our briefcases – empty apart for a pencil and jotter.  
  • I remember staying at my friend Joanna’s house regularly on Friday evenings after our swimming lesson and her parents allowed us to watch Dynasty.  I was mesmerised by the glamour of it all – the clothes, the offices, the power.  It was my first insight into strong, power-dressing business women and I was smitten.  
  • My love of words started early.  I can still feel the pride when my teacher Mrs Edgington praised my spelling and reading ability.  I remember a supply teacher reading fiction to us and being so caught up in the imaginary world of Mrs Frisby & The Rats of NIMH. I must have idled away hours with my head in books.  And then my love turned to playing with words, expressing them in my own way through the joy of writing.
  • The new school year was magical to me because it marked the time for new stationery.  Oh, how I loved starting a new notebook, using my new pen and my ‘best handwriting’ to begin.  I was a perfectionist at backing my school books, ironing out the bubbles with my new, shatterproof ruler.  And don’t get me started on the fun of picking files, dividers and plastic wallets. I loved the freshness, the neatness, how organised everything looked.

 

I took some time to reflect on these memories and started to look for the threads that run through to my adulthood.  What is it about these times that brought me joy or when I felt at such ease that reflect the authentic me, my inner sparkle?  

The twins and Stefan: Front and centre for me is being a nurturer.  I love to look after people and this shows up in so many ways – from the biggies such as trying to be a good mummy, wife, daughter, sister and friend, to the simple pleasures of enjoying being the hostess.  It’s also true of the work that I’m most passionate about – nurturing people to awaken to, and live, their potential.

Playing businesses: Not quite your average childhood role play but it’s a big indicator to a passion I have to this day – I admire entrepreneurship.  I completely respect people that have the courage and gumption to go out there on their own.  I am fascinated in finding out how people “got there” and love to peek behind the curtain of small, creative enterprises.

The glamour of Dynasty:  A bit of an extension of my interest in entrepreneurship but it’s women in business that gets me interested.  But not just anyone – while I admire women who have made their way up the corporate ladder, those that earn my respect are the ones who have made it as their own boss.  A big value for me is freedom and I look up to women who have the freedom to create work on their terms, NOT by towing the line of a corporate vision.  And, of course, being Dynasty, the glamour had massive appeal!  The clothes, the artfully manicured nails, the lifestyle!

Word play: This one is simple.  I love to write.  It feels natural.  It brings me joy.  It gives me a rare sense of pride.  I love to be creative and writing is just one expression of that.

Stationery geek:  Well, I still get giddy about fresh, new notebooks and I love a ‘nice writer’ (pen), so my love affair with stationery lives on.  But there’s a little more to it.  I love to organise and the nurturer in me likes to help others to do the same.  This can be as simple as the gesture of treating someone to something that I know will make their life easier, to helping someone organise the mental chaos they feel when facing a problem or striving for a goal, by calmly helping them to break it down into manageable chunks.  

 

My inner sparkle, even in those early years, is all about nurturing, the courage of entrepreneurship, glamour, freedom, a passion for writing, and a keen-ness for problem solving and organisation.

 

I’d love to hear from you in the Comments below: 

What were the things that you loved to do as a child?

What were you naturally good at?

Can you see these traits and values living out in your ‘grown up’ life?

 

Next week, I’m going to be taking this a little further in looking at role models.

Image: one

 

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