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can’t get no satisfaction? make the change

How are you doing today? Good day was it? Had fun? Spent time with great people? Got to do some rewarding work? Oh dear! I’m so sorry to hear it wasn’t all that you had hoped for – maybe tomorrow will be better…….

OK you know me. I can’t leave it at that. I want to help you make a change to give you satisfaction each and every day.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition of satisfaction as:


1. Fulfilment of one’s wishes, expectations, or needs, or the pleasure derived from this:

“I looked round with satisfaction”

“Managing Directors seeking greater job satisfaction”

Let’s take the first part – having your wishes, expectations or needs met. Are you clear on what yours are? No? Try these questions to uncover them (for your life, career or any area of dissatisfaction):

  • If cash, time and help were unlimited, what would you want to do/to be/to have? (delete as appropriate)
  • What would you expect to give or share?
  • What would you expect in return?
  • How would doing or being this make you feel?
  • Who do you want involved?

Now, analyse your reality:

  • How does today match your identified wishes, expectations and needs?
  • How does today mismatch your identified wishes, expectations and needs?

This should provide you with what you should stick with – where you are getting some satisfaction – and what needs to change – where you’re not getting any satisfaction.

You’ve now got 2 choices.

Do nothing

Accept your lot. Live with it. Put up with the itch. Breathe through your frustrations. Wipe away those tears. Settle for a life less than ideal. Suck it up.

You know my opinion on this one. I’ve worked with clients, who on the brink of taking action, back out, hold back and decide they’ll just wait awhile and see if things improve. Sadly, I’ve yet to hear of this playing out to the extent that a client’s wishes, expectations and needs are fully met. Yeah maybe it gets a bit less sore for a short time, but then that nagging feeling is back…..only this time it’s worse.

I knew I wanted to run my own business way back in the last millennium. At that time, I knew it would involve working with people who shared my values and beliefs as well as my passion for enabling others to live a better life. I thought that was going to be a centre, a place where you could train, be counselled, massaged, talk, meet, socialise and more.

Then my relationship fell apart. I had to move out. I needed my job to pay my bills – how could I possibly go it alone and set-up a business? I took a new path. I worked my a** off to get a promotion and pay rise. I dropped a day at work and could still cover the bills, as well as studying part-time to teach Pilates. Then I switched jobs to a better paid firm and squirrelled away my cash to create a safety net savings account.

My vision changed track – I no longer want to run a centre. It’s too far from the action for me I now realise. I enjoy and thrive in the heart of it, right there in it with you. b-elastic was born and I’m loving it!

Go on – stretch your life!

Take that list you made earlier and work out your path to satisfaction – each building block, each skill, each piece of knowledge, each helping hand, each ££ or $$ – that will get you to a fully satisfied way of being and doing. Your path could include:

  • doing something different
  • stopping something
  • spending less time with someone or a group
  • devoting more time to someone or a group
  • trying a new route, like I did.

Then get moving. Take the first step and you’ll build momentum to complete it, begin the next and the next and the next.

Hmmm, not feeling ready to start tomorrow? Don’t go it alone – take a friend. Ask someone who has your best interests at heart to hold you accountable, to check in with you, to join you to drown out the sorrows and celebrate your successes! Or contact a role model who has walked the same or a similar path to yours and can mentor you. Or why not ask a coach?

You want to work with me? Fab! You can check out my coaching packages or drop me a line.

Can’t afford my rates right now? My birthday competition closes at 12 noon on Thursday 20th February. ENTER NOW for the chance to win one of 3 coaching packages worth £900+ or drop me a line as I’m looking to start a few group coaching programmes around common issues – career change, life goals, fitness goals and the like – these will be a more cost effective way to work with me.

This week, let us know in the comments how you are getting more satisfaction in your day. Big or small – share away as you’ll inspire someone else to take their first step too.

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Are you a Life, Career or Design it yourself Changer?

Since launching my birthday competition last week, I’ve had a question from a b-mailer:

“I know I want a change in my life. Can you tell me more about Life Changers, Career Changers and Design it yourself Changers?”

Thank you for sending your question in! Let me take them in turn:

Life Changers are those of you looking to transform your attitude or mindset, shift your work/life balance, step up your confidence or self-belief. They might also be intrigued by their values, beliefs and their interactions with others. Life Changer clients have included mums returning to their workplaces to find their peers have moved on, people who have experienced a significant life episode (e.g. illness, bereavement or accident) and those who find themselves lacking energy and motivation as their lives are missing a sense of purpose. Within this type of coaching, I use various reflection techniques, assessment tools and psychometrics where appropriate.

Career Changers usually split into two distinct groups. Firstly, those who know which career path they are following and seeking to take the next step – perhaps a promotion or lateral move within their existing employer or alternatively, moving to a new employer, region or industry. The second group are people wanting to explore potential new career paths, more fulfilling roles or employers or ways of working such as freelancing or entrepreneurism. I’ve worked with these clients to uncover their signature talents and strengths, marry work with their values and ethics as well as building brand statements and marketing collateral (CVs, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, social media profiles, etc.)

Design it yourself Changers are focussed on very specific changes, so it’s super tricky to give you a “definitive” answer. Here’s two examples to give you a flavour:

  • Eric wanted to improve his business presentations to get more sales. However he recognised that at the front of those panelled conference rooms, he often lacked passion and animation in his delivery. This resulted in bored faces and Eric’s confidence being knocked. Together, we developed his verbal skills, his audience interactions AND ditched his soundtrack that professionals don’t share their emotions (aka in his mind, passion!). How? Coaching sessions, homework inquires and some unusual rehearsals and new learning (think Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and improv exercises).
  • Fiona was struggling to shift some old baggage from her childhood. A throwaway comment from a maths teacher was impacting Fiona’s adult life – in her head, she continued to hear “You’re not worth the effort”. She’d sidestepped projects, fallen out of love and struggled to share her opinion or thoughts. Having identified this script, we worked to re-evaluate its validity, the teacher’s importance and Fiona’s application of it in all circumstances. With my support, Fiona built a set of more supportive, helpful scripts allowing her to ask for new responsibilities at work, join an evening class and tell the waiter her starter wasn’t alright without blushing.

I hope those descriptions help you select which type of Changer programme you’d like to enter my competition to win. If you’ve got more questions, do give me a shout via Facebook or the get in touch page.

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create new ideas with ease

Last week, I introduced my concept of smart repetitions – repeats that give you better results and not insanity. Part of the concept was recognising when to change how you perform those repeats. Is that the hard part of being smart? I’m not sure it is.

Knowing that enough is enough might be possible to recognise without too much strife. You practice, you focus, you keep trying and the results don’t change. What next? You might need to review, tweak and try again. But what if you need a spark, a flash, an “a-ha” of a brand new way to get you achieving? Now I can feel the pain creeping in.

There are two important steps to create new ideas and if you want to minimise the pain, do them in this order:

  1. Create new ideas
  2. Evaluate all those ideas


  1. Create one idea
  2. Evaluate it
  3. Create another
  4. Evaluate it

Ermmm no smart repeat there! The reason I say that is by switching back and forth, you can get disheartened and put off by the black hat of critiquing then switching back to blue sky creativity. Keep your energy and pace high by sticking to creation where everything is valid, then evaluation where you can bin off duff ideas.

I want to focus on how to create new ideas in this b-mail, so here’s a couple of my favourite ways to go wild creating new ideas:


I love these – if you ever pop by my desk, you’ll find these as to-do lists, course structures, lesson plans AND for loosening up my thinking on next steps. On one page, you get the big overview stuff and the nitty gritty details. Never done one before? Learn how straight from the master, Tony Buzan here.

My top tips are be specific with the term in the centre as your stimuli, use the biggest paper you can find with lots of colours and don’t get hung up on spacing or line size and heck, if you need to draw a big ol’ arrow from one idea to another, do it. (ooowww I can hear purist mind-mappers groaning; it’s what works for me – I want the ideas not a perfect process).

One branch might be word association, one might be for the obvious solutions, one might be limitless cash options, one free options, one for time unrestricted or restricted and so on….you’ll get stacks of ideas start popping out in no time.

What would ……… do?

Simply insert a name, get into their heads and jot down what actions, approaches or moves they would make or are making to achieve your desired results.

I like to insert my goddaughter’s name and do it as a child, or a much respected peer or professional I admire or – and this is where the real fun starts! – by choosing a curveball of a person. When doing my branding, I did it as if I were the marketing guru at Sweaty Betty, Virgin and moo.com. For course content, I channel my inner favourite teachers from uni and college.

Why does this work? You get to step out of “being you”, with the boundaries and constraints that can sometimes bring. Instead you can immerse yourself in being Lady Gaga, Sherlock Holmes or JK Rowling and how they’d tackle your challenge.

Last one…..a true golden oldie….

Ask someone

Who’s already where you want to be? Who’s got a perspective on your goal? Who’s getting better results? Who’s invested in you achieving your goals? Friend, partner, guru, business, academic, anyone who can stretch your ideas list.

How do you get your question to them? Friends, family and personal connections aside, try these:

Email them through LinkedIn or their website’s contact page, offer a coffee in exchange for picking their brains, post a question on the website, blog or Facebook page, send them a tweet, go to an event they’ll be at, send them a postcard with your question and contact details, join online groups or masterminds, reply to their newsletter……..people are pretty “contactable” these days; don’t forget Google can often track them down too.

My advice is to be polite and be brave. Most people are happy to respond to genuine questions and to share how they got somewhere or what they did that made all the difference. You’ll find this can also ping off additional ideas in your mind.

Has that got your creative juices going? Ready to create new ideas? Hope so! Of course, these work for coming up with your initial idea too and not just the subsequent ones.

Do you use another method or technique to kick start your idea generation? Please share them in the comments, so we can all try them out! Feel free to post links to good resources, experts or inspirations too. Play along and help build the list and I’ll put together a download so you’ll have them all in one place to refer to when the need arises!

  • grace

    Hi Sarae, I think all of those are drivers – and in no particular order of importance. With google I search keywords mainly then themes ie: best practice statutory reporting and take it from there. Also use my college/course books for reference.
    This year, I want to make improvements in my ‘at play’ ideas.

  • Sarae

    Yay for playtime! 🙂

  • Suzanne Doyle

    I get out of the office and sit in a coffee shop and try and think about what I want to achieve in a day, in a week, in a year…where do I want to be and how will I get there. Also if you are in a group situation and doing lots of ideastorming with flipcharts or post it notes…keep going until you all feel that your ideas have dried up and generally you will then come up with more and it’s often those ones which are the real good ideas. The ones that are deep inside us all not the ones on the surface which are easy to think about! Just read this: 1) Write down on top of your paper a topic that you want fresh ideas for. 2) Start your timer and start writing ANYTHING that comes to your mind. Even ideas that might seem silly or stupid. If you really don’t have anything, just continue to write “I don’t know, I don’t know”. You will eventually come up with something. The idea here is to not stop and keep your creative flow going. 3) As you begin to slow down start reviewing what you have just written. Highlight interesting ideas with a highlighter. You might find that something previously written needs more explanation or provides you with a new idea. 4) When you are completely done organize the best ideas. You can use sticky notes, Microsoft Word to type out your ideas or any other method you wish. Hope that helps Suzanne

  • Sarae

    Suzanne, you just discovered a form of brain writing. You might remember the school game where someone drew a head and folded the paper down, the next person drew shoulders and folded, next person the torso and fold, then hips, legs, feet – until you got a crazy looking creature!
    If you apply this to brain writing without the fold. The first person puts down their ideas and passes to their neighbour, who adds their idea and passes to their neighbour and so on. You either build and grow an idea or move laterally to a new or related idea.
    Makes a change to all crowding the flipchart and shouting out! Try it out!

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