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fear – move with it (part 2)

Last week’s b-mail looked at doing with your fears and leaving them behind you. That’s an ok strategy if they are holding you back, but what if they are driving you forward?

When looking at what future “you” is doing, enjoying and living, you could be driven by a fear that pushes you out of your comfort zone and motivates your actions. And can help you create new habits – ways of being and doing.

A real tangible example is when you begin to change the way you look after your body. Completing workouts with energy left over for more fun with your family and friends, then “falling off the wagon”.

You miss a few sessions and your hard work starts to come undone, but you’ve had a taste of the good stuff (endorphins, the happy hormone) followed by those old feelings – you sleep less well, the wobbly bits get a bit more wobbly again and your energy drops. You love those new feelings and the results you see. Fear that you’ll return to your old ways keep you accountable.

Or perhaps, you’re studying a programme that will enable you to switch jobs or career paths. It’s a gate keeper – no certificate, no go. But it’s haaaaaard. Fitting in study around your hectic diary and the many demands on your time. Plus you know that you are gonna rock that new job, take your new field up to a whole new benchmark. Fear that you’ll never see those new highs, because of a few missed hours study, makes you shift your priorities and build support from those around you to maximise your time.

To help you understand and harness your changes, I’ve created a little worksheet for you to download and keep handy. It seeks to help you understand your change or stretch in more depth and give you the drivers to help you move with your fear.

Download your copy here.

What fear is driving you on to you goal? How do you harness its power? Share your fear moving tactics in the comments.

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fear – no place to hide (part 1)

Recently, I watched Monsters University – yep I know, late comer to that party! Mike, the loveable green eyeball, identifies his life ambition is to be a scarer. The monster that jumps out of your cupboard, creeps up from under your bed or creates those weird shadows on the wall. All this monitored and measured by the amount of screams generated.

Each of us has our own crew of monsters. They really enjoy the status quo and what it offers them but pop-up and surprise us, when we’re trying to add some stretch in our lives.

These monsters create a place to hide and stop you achieving by generating fear. They remove the certainty that nothing unexpected is going to happen. They prevent the risk of failure. They ensure no-one points their fingers and judges your decisions or direction.

They want to paralyse you. They want to keep you firmly in your current patterns of behaviour, performing your habitual tasks and routines.

Why? They’re comfortable and allowing you to change, grow and develop means them getting uncomfortable and ultimately, reduced to being memories.

Fear is a complex beast – if only it were as simple as making sure the curtains are properly closed and that final check under the bed before switching off the light. Some fears require counselling to release them, others can be transformed through positive coaching and some by investing your time and efforts in seeking solutions.

Here’s 4 strategies that I deploy when the monsters sneak up:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

The first time for anything is scary. The second time is a bit more predictable and by the third it’s starting to come more naturally. How?

  • repeat the skills: a talented musician undertakes their show piece in its totality AND in its smaller components, whether a tricky phrase or a difficult fingering.
  • get an audience: ok, you can’t necessarily get in front of the actual people, but I’m sure you can find a friend or peer who will “sit” in and play your audience for you. They can do it nicely or they can play it mean, moody or emotional – whatever helps you build your best performance.

Experiencing something helps build your confidence, answer any concerns and can grow your motivation.

2. Worse possible outcome

Our imaginations are powerful tools, when they work for us. When they work against us, they can create not just monsters, but terrible disasters. We picture ourselves caught out, making fools of ourselves, laughter or screams ringing in our ears. You need to change the film genre. How?

  • make it a comedy: in this new version, you get to dress the characters in costume, change the scenery and location, add a twist with a rainstorm, add some new actors. Importantly, you get to make the outcome side-achingly funny.
  • make it a kid’s movie: this time the plot gets simplified. Strip out complexity by seeing it with a child’s eyes and knowledge. Words spoken are easier to understand, body language hides nothing and our perspective is altered – solutions appear and helpers drop in resulting in a happy ending.

Or pick your favourite genre, what ploys and story lines norms shift your rotten tomato reviewed film into a blockbuster?

3. Small steps

Fear sometimes comes from a sense of overwhelm – the change or stretch you want being just toooooo much for you. Imagine your goal and all it requires of you as a giant buffet. There’s dips and chips, there’s all sorts of colourful salads, then further along come the pastas and the fill ’em up items – fish, meat and carb-alicious potatoes and breads. Next up are the bakes. Then cakes, trifles, fruits all accomplished by juices, smoothies, waters, teas and more.

No-one can eat it all in one sitting or on their own – yep not even you, Ms or Mr Superhero! Take a plate and plan your first portion – pick something you know. Eat and digest. Pick a bowl, use your chopsticks, fingers or a fork. Be brave – go spicy!

Apply this principle to your goal. What are the different elements? What are you familiar with? What requires a little more effort or skill to complete? Where do you need to be a bit braver?

4. Recognise your progress

The best fear killer I know. Celebrate your successes. Big ones. Small ones. Let me share a personal and current example I’m working on.

In June, I’m launching an afternoon co-working event. My fear? That it will be a giant flop. No-one will come and those who do will hate each other, never to attend again!

Over the weekend, I found my venue. It’s perfect. High speed wifi, easy to get to, amazing menu and a quirky, upbeat vibe. What did I do? I had a little celebration on Facebook – check out those cakes!

Several people wrote me messages about attending. Others said how great the place looked. And my fears got squished – maybe not totally gone, but already smaller and less powerful.

What’s your fear and how are you going to bring it out of hiding this week? Share your fear killers, new movies and successes in the comments.

PS Interested in joining me in June? Watch out for more updates on Facebook by liking my page.

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nourish me – 60 self-care activities

Are you driven? Busy all the time? Squeezing in the last email or a quick clear up before bed. Multitasking is your way of life. Listening to your other half or kids, whilst eating your breakfast and drying your hair. Catching up on your TV viewing whilst ironing or doing your filing. Reading 3 books at once and hardly taking any of them in. Groceries arriving by delivery from a favourites list each week.

Sound familiar? Hmmmm how’s that working out for you? Do you find yourself brimming full of energy, bouncing out of bed ready and raring to get going with you day? Or perhaps you struggle to find the motivation and effort necessary to keep juggling all your tasks, responsibilities and your change actions.

Training programmes for elite sportspeople incorporate variety, focus AND recovery days, which include treats, relaxation and restorative activities. Bankers, hedge fund managers and city professionals are fitting in mindfulness practice into their hours at desks. Yoga pods and corporate fitness classes are popping up at workplaces near you……actually, what are you doing to build in some self-care into your life?

Nourishing yourself – body and mind – is key to achieving your life goals, building a career you love and relationships that count as well as maintaining your health and fitness.

I certainly notice when my self-care goes out the window. I’m grouchy and snappy due to a lack of proper sleep. My tummy bloats out ridiculously as I eat badly. My body feels heavy and doesn’t enjoy Pilates classes. I struggle to make decisions and easily distract myself from the task in hand.

So this week I’m pledging to add more self care into my life and nourish me. I’ve brainstormed a giant list of possible ways and challenge you to pick a few to add to your week.

  1. Take a walk or bike ride (fancy a challenge? Do it for charity – we’ve signed up here)
  2. Visit the beach
  3. A looooong bath at the end of the day
  4. Big green smoothies to start the day
  5. Finding overgrown grass and putting my bare feet in it
  6. Lying outside and staring up at the sky
  7. Cooking my favourite meal (tom kha soup with extra tofu a la Rosa’s)
  8. Get up early and watch the sunrise
  9. Read an inspirational book
  10. Re-read an old favourite
  11. Write a gratitude diary
  12. Play with my dogs (ok this one is future tense!)
  13. Snuggle up with someone dear
  14. Go somewhere new
  15. Try new things in general – food, activity, workspace
  16. Meditate
  17. Play music and do the kitchen dance (or invent your own family dance moves)
  18. Meet a friend
  19. Eat your 5 a day in fruit and veggies
  20. Be super present in the moment
  21. Get more sleep
  22. Stop multitasking
  23. Schedule me time everyday
  24. Do some sports – Pilates, yoga, gym class, run (Fancy these at your workplace? Arrange them with Sally at Stretching the City)
  25. Visit the hairdressers
  26. Paint your toes
  27. Get a really good sports massage (I recommend Physio in the City’s brilliant team)
  28. Bake a cake
  29. Paint or knit or sew
  30. Learn something new – do a class (try entheos)
  31. Set new personal limits for myself
  32. Indulge in a little retail therapy
  33. Enjoy my morning coffee or afternoon tea break
  34. Take a multivitamin and probiotic
  35. Ditch the lightbulbs and use candles for mood lighting
  36. Ditch the alarm clock
  37. Do a crossword or sudoku puzzle
  38. Buy a small box of expensive handmade chocolate
  39. See a movie
  40. Breath deeply
  41. Pick or buy some bright blooms
  42. Write a postcard or letter to your nan
  43. Plant herbs outside your windows
  44. Practice mindfulness
  45. Order a posh cocktail
  46. Let the wind blow through your hair
  47. Download eclectic playlists from Spotify
  48. See a band or orchestra play live
  49. Join a bookclub
  50. Dress up (inspiration – #StylemeMay via Dean Street Society)
  51. Laugh out loud
  52. Cry until your nose runs
  53. Take a hot shower
  54. Volunteer at a local charity
  55. Play being a tourist in your town, village or city
  56. Turn off all laptops, phones and ipads at least 60 minutes before bedtime
  57. Read the Sunday papers from cover to cover in bed
  58. See play or musical
  59. Download and display an inspirational poem, quote or image.
  60. Reading blogs from people who are honest and care about you (i.e. mine 🙂 )

Crikey – Think that gives me and you plenty to choose from and show ourselves more self-care.

Pick just a few and let me know in the comments what difference it makes to your life, your  head, your heart and your body this week. Or have you got another nourishment to add to the list? Pop it in the comments too.

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selling yourself short

When I’m running out the door to a big day, I can guarantee my wonderful boy’s voice will be ringing in my ears saying “you rock the mostest” and when I get in, he’ll ask how things went. My typical answer goes a bit like this: “it was ok…..I forgot to say this bit…..I wish I’d do this that way….someone made this comment….but it was ok” and you know what his response is? “Sarae, you’re really great at what you do. I’m sure it was amaaaazing from your client’s/clients’ point of view”. Yep I drive him slightly mad selling myself short.

At networking or training events, I happily share my business purpose and the range of different services it encompasses. I’m far less comfortable saying my style is unique, my clients find real personal and professional benefits in working with me and I am worth way more than every pound or euro I charge.

Hmmmm why is that? It’s the truth. I do give my clients great, memorable, life enhancing experiences. You might challenge me and say I fear “being found out” or that I feel like an impostor. Yep, that could be a reason; it’s not mine (I genuinely believe I’m good at what I do and I love growing my abilities further). Or perhaps I’m a bit introverted or uncomfortable sharing things that are dear and important to me. Again, not my reasons.

For me, there’s this little voice that says nice people don’t show off or brag about themselves. Arrogance and inflated egos are real turn-offs to me and qualities I hope never to demonstrate.

I hear people selling themselves short fairly often. I’m left wondering do they even notice they’re doing it and what is it doing to their self esteem, belief and confidence. Do you find yourself doing this too? At work? On dates? At interviews? During appraisals? With friends or colleagues? Yikes. This could have a massive impact on you leading the life you want.

Here’s my way to marketing and selling yourself in a balanced, honest, authentic way:

1)     Answer these questions honestly:

  1. Your name (Are you’re a Rebecca, Bexs, Becky, Becca or even which with whom?)
  2. Your expertise (Mine are Coach, Trainer and Pilates Instructor)
  3. Your specialisms (I work with people who want to change their life for the better AND I do it in an energetic, empathetic way)
  4. Your unique factor (A story, example, fact or interesting “hook” to aid their memory or build their curiosity)
  5. Your “What’s in it for you” factor (why they should want to work/be/share/do with you)

2)     Now ask a few trusted friends, colleagues, mentors, clients…..anyone who’s opinion you respect…..to answer questions b-e for you without sharing yours first. (You can do this anonymously via online tools like typeform or survey monkey.)

3)     Compare both versions and spot any differences. (Yes you can cringe a little here if it helpsJ)

4)     Refine to create a version that accurate describes you in all your true glory.

5)     Then get out there and use it, share it, upload it, say it with a smile, your shoulders back and head held high.

You might take this to form a verbal introduction (elevator or 60 second pitch) or your summary and headline on LinkedIn. You might discover the keywords for your SEO or your tag line. Another approach to this outside of work and business, could be to tweak the above questions for a online dating profile. Switching b and c to:

  1. Your best qualities and personality traits
  2. Your favourite activities

This week, listen out and try to catch when you sell yourself short. Does it happen in similar situations or is it a consistent “thing” for you? Try out the little exercise and share in the comments your new approach to marketing yourself without selling yourself short.

If you know someone who does this and you want to help them, please feel free to share this page with them.

  • Robert

    Love the simple approach to create clarity in the mind of the coach/trainer about what they do and how they go about it, thank you for sharing.

  • Sarae

    Happy to help – works for all sorts of peeps. Ask your clients, coachees or participants to do it as a homework inquiry piece – changes mindsets, changes their frame of reference and gives new evidence to a belief.

  • Daniela

    Not going to lie…really love the pic on this post. Haha 🙂 And the message it really helpful. I like the part about the hook….

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invest in yourself without breaking the bank

You know that dream life you want? Or the career move or switch you’re itching to make? Or maybe you’re after changing up your fitness to a whole new level. I bet part of your prep includes a course, workshop or expensive textbook. Right?

I want to prove that gaining new knowledge and skills doesn’t have to break the bank. It is time to invest in yourself and we won’t be spending more than £15 for any one suggestion!

Yes, tailored bespoke learning events with a top guru, expert or school are fabulous in lots of ways, but I totally recognise sometimes, the upfront costs can be prohibitive. So here’s my go-to places:


Yep sad but true. Most things are Googleable. And what’s cool is the related searches at the bottom of your page. These give you a little insight into what other people search for that was similar to your search. Use them to get more specific, discover something new and to check out a tangent.

Online Videos

Ok, I’m going to say the obvious – Youtube – and rapidly move on, after saying check out your rolemodels or muses as many have vlogs (video blogs) with great content. Less obvious…..my favourites include:

No such thing as a stupid question here. Someone will have answered it. From plaiting your hair to fixing your computer back-up issues….your bases are firmly covered.

Free Training

Often found in small doses when you opt into someone’s mailing list, as well as devoted websites. My career ones include:

The Muse 

Apart from some great and entertaining content, The Muse provides a series of career related mini training classes. Signing up and getting going is easy.


Probably the biggest online school to date. Here you’ll find many of the major international Business Schools, plus some smaller specialist schools, handing out the goodies for free. From computing to film, food to science – you can take a class in pretty much anything! (Some even result in a certification for a small fee!)


The site describes itself as “the secret sauce to creating an extraordinary life” and is lead by husband and wife team, Brian and Alexandra Jaye Johnson. Their programme range includes health and wellbeing, mindset shifting, relationships, finances, meditation and yoga, and more – all taught by leading figures in their respective fields. Annual membership is just $8 (less than £5 or €6) or you can apply for a scholarship for fee free access. In addition, they also run virtual conferences and downloadable, guided meditations, called “Blissiations”.


Slightly more techy, Lynda offers a range of free and paid for training sessions and courses. Great if you want to develop your online profile with a webpage or adapt an existing site or perhaps you’re looking for a career management session?

Read all about it

Join your local library and access a wealth of free knowledge. Top books for your bedside, kindle or ibooks app (I’ve included the Amazon link for ease and speed):

The Escape Manifesto

Amazon Link

The review starts: “life is short; you only have one chance to live a great one. Be brave and start something you love.” Enough said in my mind. Read it and get out of your rut.

Do more great work

Amazon Link

By the lovely and funny Michael Bungay Stanier (who also has an accompanying inbox friendly course). His premise is that if we identify the time and energy drains and focus on the things we consider to be truly great and life value adding, we’ll be happier, better peeps.  Think about it, we all do mundane “day to day” stuff, when our time could be spent more productively on amazing life and world changing wonders!

And a real favourite of mine…

Brain Rules

Amazon Link

This book is brought to life via John Medina’s excellent, informative, yet witty, videos. 12 principles we can all do to create a thriving life. (He also has one for parents to inform how you help your baby develop)

Meet people

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, there is a networking opportunity for you. I like these two sites to hunt down great events to join: http://www.meetup.com/ or https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/

Why not search out likeminded groups or clubs on Facebook or Twitter? You can like or follow along, waiting until you’re comfortable to join the debate.

Make this your week to invest in yourself  and gain new knowledge and skills and start to inform your change for minimum cash. Give us a shout out in the comments of what you’re going to do and let us know how it goes!

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