fear

Writing on a laptop

What to do when words just don’t come easily


I have a confession to make.

I’ve been avoiding you.

Don’t take it personally though, this is about me, not you.

You see I’ve been allowing my fear of not being ‘good enough’ to hold me back from writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had you on my ‘to action’ list for months.

~ Write a coaching blog
~ Blog regularly (weekly, fortnightly, even tried monthly to see if that would cut me enough slack!)
~ Write inspirations down as they appear

Actually that’s not true. It hasn’t stopped all my writing.

I’ve had a couple of articles published in the past few months, and one scheduled for next month, and I have no problem writing regularly for my boating blog.

So I know I CAN commit to writing – and importantly publishing.

Shining your light on the world

One of the things I talk to clients about is not waiting until everything’s in place and seemingly ‘perfect’ before they take action and move towards the place they want to be.

You may be under the impression people like Richard Branson and J K Rowling became famous almost overnight. They didn’t of course. It took them years and years of practice and refinement, of knock-backs and struggle. You just don’t see those journeys.

I’m inspired by the poem by Marianne Williamson, from her course A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, which begins with the words …

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

Why we all need a coach

I’ve chatted with my coaching buddies who’ve spurred me on (seriously, coaches coach each other, we know what a difference it can make to our lives). One challenged me to write and publish a post within the next week (thank you Meredith).

I did.

And it was fine.

Except I didn’t really write it that week.

I pressed ‘publish’ by mistake on a draft post I’d written just before Christmas last year! And in the seconds following that realisation I thought my heart was going to be delivered through my mouth having no idea what I’d written or whether it was one of my really rusty drafts.

Fortunately the Universe was on my side that day, and the post was an interesting one that connected with people.

Phew!

Last year I read about the possibility of a writing coach. It sounded amazing. Someone to help me write ‘Damn Fine Words’. Money was an issue, so I signed up to the newsletter and took what I could from it.

Then I forgot about it until earlier this week when I read there’s a competition. The winner gets a free place on the next DFW course – and the deadline is this morning.

Nothing like leaving it until the last moment!

All I needed to do was write and publish about writing, and why I felt I was deserving of this place. So here I am.

During the past four years I’ve known many amazing coaches, covering such a diverse range of areas such as …

~ The Dream Job Coach

~ Transitions Coach

~ Meditation Coach

~ Getting Unstuck Coach

~ Mindset Change Coach

~ Social Media Coach

~ Small Business Coach

You name it, there’s a coach out there with experience, knowledge and skills to help you become an overnight success!

Removing the ‘F’ word

“What you give energy to grows and expands.”

When we give in to fear, we’re more likely to feel that we’ve somehow ‘failed’.

Not that I believe in ‘failure’ per se. I prefer to see anything that doesn’t go to plan as a learning opportunity.

‘Failure’ is a dreadful word many people bandy about indiscriminately, without thought of the consequences for their selves or others.

I believe professionals continue to label some women’s labours ‘Failure to Progress’ – how awful is that?

What’s actually happened, in a high percentage of such cases, is someone with good intentions interfered in the normal progress of childbirth and buggered it up (we know it affectionately as ‘the cascade of intervention’). Consequently the baby and it’s mother’s body become so out of synch they meet obstructions which block the passage to the outside world.

In a physiological labour, the midwife acts as the woman’s coach and advocate. The woman is likely to have discovered as much as she can about her body, the changes going on, and what she can expect for the labour and birth.

Of course things don’t always go smoothly, sometimes she’ll need some some support and possibly ‘interference’. But it’s not the woman who ‘fails’.

I recently signed up and actively took part in Tim Brownson’s ‘Coach the Life Coach’ course. I want to continually improve my coaching skills so I can be there to support women in other significant phases of their life.

One of the many learning points that stood out for me, was his assertion that you can be the best coach in the world, but unless you’re good (fantastic even!) at marketing, few people will find you.

What have I been afraid of?

That’s a great question, and one I’ve asked myself a number of times. Mainly my answers have been such things as

  • People laughing at me, saying things like “Who does she think she is?”
  • Being inundated with clients – afraid of my own success
  • Feeling like an imposter – what do I know anyway (more about that shortly)

I had some fairly senior posts as a midwife over the years, involving leading teams, managing projects, educating other midwives and writing policies and guidelines to support women in labour. I’ve spoken at conferences I’ve been instrumental in organising, in front of hundreds of people. I’ve written for national publications.

During much of that time, I can recall thinking “Today could be the day that they discover I know nothing!” Or “If only they knew how little I know – they’ll discover I’m just winging it!”

Apparently this is known as ‘Imposter syndrome’, it’s a trait of ‘high achieving women (and men)’. I wish I’d known that years ago. Raising awareness of where our thoughts are leading us can be enlightening and liberating.

Making a difference

Recently a previous client shared with me a huge change she’s making. It’s something we alluded to about two years ago. She wasn’t ready then. Since that time, her mind-set has changed immeasurably. Now she is. She said “Thank you for inspiring and empowering me.”

She’s been building her ‘someday’ life, rather than remaining stuck believing where she was was where she had to stay. Bit by bit, she’s moved towards the life she wants that nourishes rather than depletes her energy and her source.

You see I’m not really an imposter after all!

And I’m going to make a commitment to you. Right here. Right now. Well as soon as I press the magic button at the top of my page that says ‘Publish’.

I’m going to get over my self. Because as I was told recently (thank you Tim), even if your posts only resonate and help ONE PERSON, then it was worth all the time and passion you put into writing it.

Like anything, the more energy I give to writing and reflecting on what works and what I can change, the more I’ll improve.

People may criticise and condemn something I say. That’s ok. We each have our own map of the world, our way of seeing things. I know sometimes the words I write won’t resonate with people, my coaching essence won’t appeal to everyone. Thank goodness! I’d be overwhelmed with clients …

I’m moving forward this year.

I’m going to build a bridge and get over myself.

I’m finally having a logo designed. It’s going to tie in with the northern hemisphere spring of new beginnings, with connections to my love of New Zealand. I’m moving this site from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, because I’ll be able to reach more people and have greater functionality to market my coaching services. You’ll notice design changes creeping in too.

January 1st isn’t the only time to start over, to look at where we’ve come from and where we’re going. To commit to the actions you want to take.

How about you?

Where and when are you playing and keeping your ‘self’ small because you’re letting fear tell you what to do? When will you let YOUR light shine in the world?

Is there a small step you can take today, that would inch you towards your someday life? Who do you know that you could reach out to for support?

See if you can even tell others in the comments below – your words may help one person. Now wouldn’t that be something?

3 ways to inspire your eulogy


P1590255Life is finite.

Death is certain.

Hard, cold facts, whether we like it or not.

“The Fear of death is the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”~Mark Twain

It’s clear to me that death’s not the enemy many people make it out be – while not living while you can IS!

I know I’ve blogged about this subject before, and I’m sure I will again.

I make no apology for wanting to help people to embrace life in whatever way is possible. That’s why I’m a Life Coach!

Attending your own funeral

I recently had the opportunity to attend a close family member’s funeral in a ‘virtual’ capacity. This meant I could see what was happening, watch everyone there (though admittedly they did appear a little fuzzy), and hear the words they’d each chosen to remember the person by, and then watch a slideshow of images of their life through their family and friends’ eyes.

I was neither seen nor heard, but people there were aware of my presence.

It was amazing, the wonders of modern technology never cease to astound me.

At the same time, it was rather unnerving and got me thinking …

I felt that if there’s any possibility at all of us watching over our loved ones after our demise, and listen to how they ‘saw’ us during their time with us, it could look and feel a little like that.

This really got me wondering what my own funeral may look and sound like, if I were to leave this earthly body today, tomorrow, next week or next year.

What would my loved ones say? What images of my life would they choose? Have I made a positive difference to people’s lives in some small way? Have I grasped available opportunities to make the most of my life?

Have you ever taken some time to imagine what YOUR loved would ones say about you?

Your Eulogy

How would it feel to take some time to sit and reflect on your life to date?

“A life without cause is a life without effect.” ~Paulo Coelho

Are you following your heart’s desires, or holding onto frustrations and regrets from the past – maybe there’s things you want to do, places to visit, people you want to meet?

One of the people speaking at the funeral told a story about something that had happened many years ago, that they’d not felt able to share with the person before they died. Is there anything you’re holding on to, that you could share with someone close to you NOW, instead of leaving it until after they’re gone?

Do you love the work you do, the people surrounding you day-to-day, and the life you’re leading? If so fantastic. Hold onto it. Enjoy the feeling. Celebrate each morning with a smile and an intention to share that peace of mind and happiness with others.

Conversely, if you have to drag yourself out of bed each day, and turn up to your current ‘job’ expecting to have an awful day/night, or wish each day for a different life, then maybe it’s time to consider how you can change either your job, your location or your attitude?

I know an amazing coach who could help with the ‘job’ aspect – The Dream Job Coach , Louise Jenner – if that sounds like you!

I believe there’s always a solution, sometimes we’re just looking in the wrong place.

I’d like to think that seizing the day and living fully are values I’ve held dear and lived by whenever possible. Of course it hasn’t always been so. When I had a large mortgage and two children to bring up as a single parent, my options were fairly limited. At the same time, I do feel I took opportunities to spend time with friends and family, to travel to places I’d never been before, to delight in experiences that cost little but gave much.

I did still though allow parts of my ‘her’story to limit me for many years. Maybe I continue to do so occasionally, but I’m certainly much more aware of this happening now and so able to change my thoughts accordingly.

Three ways to live fully and inspire your eulogy

Having been coaching clients for three years now, and undertaken my own life-changing coaching journey, a few common themes stand out to me which people often allow to limit them living fully.

  1. Change to the person you want to be – Rather than believing that in order to be happy someone in your life needs to change, always remember that the only person you can change is YOU. People around you will mirror your reactions, your attitude and outlook on life. If you want more happiness, peace of mind and love, then be happy, peaceful and loving.
  2. Get over your self – We all have a story, the messages and images from our past that we allowed (and often continue to allow) influential people to give to us. Listening to these stories as a life coach is an honour. It’s also amazing how similar these tales are – we keep them locked inside of us most of the time, imagining ours must be worse than anyone else’s, because they’re leading such a happy life they must’ve had a wonderful childhood. Generally this is not so! It’s all a matter of what we do with what and where we’ve been, and who we’ve yet to be.
  3. Seize each day – If not now, when? What is it that you’ve always wanted to do, and keep saying “One day I’ll …”. What one small step can you take, TODAY, that will lead you to where you want to go. Imagine the outcome you want, see it as if it’s really happening to you, then break it down into manageable chunks. It’s like that old saying of how do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time. Most things are possible, once we take the I’M out of IMpossible.

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If you want any support to change your story and increase the chances of your  life story sounding the way you want it to, if you were able to listen in at your funeral, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

And feel free to share a short eulogy of your life to date below – and/or how you intend to change it.

If you’re happy with the sound of it now, what or who inspires/ed you to live fully each day and not fear death …

A unique opportunity to overcome a personal obstacle in your life …


Put your courage to the test with Bear Grylls I had a phone call this afternoon from someone who’d read a blog post of mine “How to push past fear to awaken and liberate your life“. Nicola, the caller, is searching for people to take part in a TV show.

They’re seeking anyone who fits their criteria, from around the world.

What an amazing opportunity to push past your fears!

Read the information below and see if it resonates with you …

“Do you want to take part in a new TV series with Bear Grylls & overcome a personal obstacle in your life?

Television production company betty are currently making a brand new series for Discovery International. They are carrying out a worldwide search, for people who may be interested in participating in this new show with world-famous adventurer, Bear Grylls. The series sees Bear travel to a remote and wild location with a travel companion, who has a personal challenge they wish to overcome. These companions are not survivalists themselves, but rather real people who have stories to share and the urge to overcome their individual hurdles, to regain confidence within themselves.

They are looking for people who have been struggling with a fear or phobia, a physical challenge or disability, or someone who is generally unhappy with their lifestyle and in desperate need of a change – be it weight issues, anxiety, obsessive behaviours or unusual eating habits – they would love to hear from people who are willing to face their fears and issues head on to make a change. Each episode will aim to achieve the impossible and hopefully change someone’s life for the better through determination and courage.”

Contact Nicola.Barnes@betty.co.uk if you’re interested, or share this post with anyone who you think may be interested – it could be life-changing!