Yes You Can!

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:firstname: how are you?

I've been better. More on that in a minute, but this is a big newsletter, so here's a table of contents to help you go straight to what interests you. In this issue:

I got fired last week

A corporate client I’ve worked with for more than a year "let me go" under difficult circumstances.

I mention it here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we all live in the same world - where people can be disappointing and things often don’t go as planned. My newsletters, insights and techniques are always written from - and for - that world. Not some happy-clappy caricature of it. I try to "keep it real", as the Americans say.

Secondly I want to illustrate a thinking error I see a lot, in clients who feel trapped. They're not really trapped - they just don't like the price of freedom. You may think it's the same thing, but it can be a helpful insight.

In my case, the "trap" was an employer who was very difficult to work with, and who latterly showed a real reluctance to pay me for work I’d completed long ago. I loved the work, hand got rave reviews for it, but I didn't like my client's treatment of me. Of course I did the usual things; polite reminders, requests for understanding, gentle escalation up the ladder, and phone calls, but that didn't work. I was ignored or given poor excuses.

So there’s the apparent trap. Damned if you do - with rude treatment and no pay - or being fired if you don't.

Having tried all the hopeful tactics, I stood back, made a choice, knowing the likely outcome. I sent them an invoice for the time I'd spent chasing them for payment, along with a clear expression of my disappointments with the conduct of specific people. They said "ta ta". But I got all outstanding invoices paid and they don't treat me badly anymore, so I'm out of the trap. I'm just out of the job, too. Bummer.

Have you been there? Do you live there? Are you trapped? Seems that way sometimes. Well, you may be in a difficult spot, and you might choose to resent it, but it isn’t really a trap, it's just a steep climb out.

I suppose the message for you here, is that whenever you feel trapped – remember this. You’re not trapped. What you are, is struggling to accept the price of the key that’ll get you out.

So, if you’re in a miserable relationship, I’m sure the price of leaving is hideous – guilt, financial, emotional, whatever – but it is not a trap – it’s a choice you are making every day that you remain in it.

If you hate your job (more on that below) – same thing. If you struggle with weight, if you tolerate uncaring friends, or a tiny social life, or you’re bored, or heading for anything other than where you want to be – look closely at the price of release, and at your current decision to not pay it.

Unless you have another plan handy, perhaps it’s time to re-assess your budget.

In other news...

Thinking of becoming a Life Coach?
- a new online seminar - £12 or less

Online seminars are increasingly popular as the technology gets better. It's a no-brainer, really. There is no travel time or expense, no room hire fees, no geographical catchment area, a wealth of multimedia opportunities and minimal disruption to your day. Wonderful!

Why not sign up for a session with me and up to twelve others to explore the possibilities and the realities of a career in life coaching?

I've got more than a decade of centrally-relevant experience and I look forward to sharing it with you.

>> Claim your seat in the very next online seminar


Is coaching
the new career
for you?

What seminar do you need?

I really love my online seminar work. I like to meet people in a different way, I like doing presentations, and there is the team dynamic. I get a wonderful warm glow when I'm pretty certain that I've given a lot of people some good things to take away, and I want to do a lot more of it.

So now, You can have a seminar on whatever aspect of your life you want - as long as I feel I can help you with it, and we can get four or more people to join us. The price will stay low - around £12 or less.

So why not tell me what you're interested in. Click that link and complete the online form. Tell me what topics interest you, how much you'd pay, how many people you want in on it and how long it should run. Just your opinions. I'll give you a third off the price of a seminar in exchange your completed form. So now it's around £8. Pretty amazing.

How's Work?

Most people would say "not so great". We don’t like the work we do and that’s a double whammy, because we spend a lot of time at work, and a lot of time thinking about it when we're away from it. So it’s a big deal.

Even if your job is OK, many people feel it’s not why they’re on the planet. It doesn’t affirm their core values, it doesn’t use the wonderful skills they have, or offer the life they hoped for when they were younger, or in some other way – it just doesn’t float their boat, and it seems like a waste of life.

Monday morning

The trouble is, finding a new job is not easy, and there’s no guarantee what the new one would be any better. So you hunker down and endure it, and nearly a half of my clients come to me in this situation.

Just over half of my clients come to me with some variation on this theme, and I am virtually always able to help them to a large extent. Sometimes, we come up with new options they and not thought of – ways to be, things to say, strategies for managing difficult situations. Sometimes we re-frame the way they think about things to ease the tension. Sometimes, we build certainty and manage fear to empower larger changes.

The chances are extremely good that I can help you, so if you think it’s time to move your life up a notch, then let’s have explore your options in an informal phone chat, to explore possibilities. But anyway - on to the main point of this today...

Does your Boss Lie?

Sometimes, very similar situations are seen very often and the best techniques can be explained in writing and applied safely. In these cases, a book can help. My new book:

When your Boss Lies
– survive & thrive against the odds

- is a case in point. It’s been in data collection phase for a while. You can see what I mean here – the page describes the general purpose of the book, and invites people to say exactly what they would like the book to tackle. This allows me to see what potential readers want to see, and then to provide exactly that. It's also your chance to vent.

The book will be go live this month, but there’s still time to give me your content requests. Just visit the page, write them down, and send them to me. I’ve promised a special price to all those who do which will not be available to others. so there's another incentive for you to get it off your chest. Anonymously, of course.

Another Special Coaching Offer!

When you signed up for my newsletters, I promised you useful techniques and insights, and special offers, and I like to deliver on my promises. You may have seen a couple in here already, and here's another one. As a newsletter reader, this is your chance to get another amazing price. Any client booking an initial consultation through this newsletter and their first coaching session in June can claim up to four subsequent coaching sessions for £40 instead of the usual £60. This offer isn't as generous as the last one. I promised that one would be unique and it proved extremely popular. But this is still a great deal, and there is no other way to get your coaching as cheaply with me.

So if you've had something on your mind to fix in your life for a while, now would be a fantastic time to take action. Just click this online form link to book your initial consultation.

Other clients are not receiving this offer.

The Self-Limiting Mind set

Ever heard this old thing?

It’s your attitude, not your aptitude,
which determines your altitude

It rings true for me and my clients in many aspects of life. For example, a traditional application of this saying might be:

You might be the smartest person in your neck of the woods,
but if you’re also spiky and inflexible – you won’t be successful.

So, attitude here means being sociable and flexible, and the saying means you need more than raw talent at what you think of as “the main thing” – you also need social skills.

That’s undeniably true, I think, but recently I’ve been more interested in how this applies to our own internal worlds. This internal world is, oddly, the only one we ever truly live in. We experience “reality” through not just the evidence of our senses, but through the lens of our beliefs, and this lens distorts and distances us from the real world. In fact, I would say that all of coaching, and all of cognitive behavioural therapy world-wide, and most of human happiness - is about understanding how our lens distorts our reality in ways that damage our lives, and then correcting those faults, thereby allowing us to see reality more clearly.

It’s difficult because the lens is transparent and it’s always in place. We don’t know it’s there – it seems to be a clear window on the real world. We don’t see distortions, we see clarity, certainty, and knowledge. These things give us comfort. The thought that you’ve been totally wrong all this time, that nothing is as it appears to be, that you’ve wasted opportunities and time, and that you don’t really understand things – is not a comforting one. So our egos protect our beliefs, which makes the work challenging.

But it is, however, entirely possible, safe and not generally unpleasant. Read a few of my 300+ testimonials from my clients for more on that.

Here’s a technique you can use to help you see your own lens. The insights you gain from it can be profoundly positive for you. And we’re back to attitude.

Do you know someone who’s always talking about how much things cost? That’s attitude. Someone who’s always talking about how terrible things are. Someone who loathes religion, cricket, or cats. Someone who’s universally generous, impatient, patient, argumentative, appeasing. These are all attitudes, and they all distort our view of the world in some way.

For example, if you think the world is evil, then you will treat it accordingly. Generosity and trust are unlikely to feature. It’s more likely that you will treat your evil world with annoyance, bitter resentments, long-running grievances, and anger. Who wouldn’t treat an evil world that way? If you stroke the dog that bit you, you’re an idiot, aren’t you? It’s natural, almost inevitable, isn’t it?

Now we can see that attitudes drive behaviour and are driven by beliefs:

Belief -> Attitude -> Behaviour

So where do beliefs come from?

Experience. They come from your experience of the world. From your mum and dad, from your teachers at school. From the bullies in the playground, the programmes on TV, the weather where you live, the things your partner/friend/boss does, and everything else that happens to you.

Reality -> Experience -> Belief -> Attitude -> Behaviour

But these things interact. Your behaviour in the world changes it. If you smile a lot, it will affect people around you – they will do different things. Those different things will change your reality, and that will change your experience, your beliefs and attitudes. This thing is a snake eating its own tail.

I’ve written about this mechanism quite a bit because it is the core of human existence. Every one of us lives in this cycle. Our world and our life is this. For some, this is a cycle of positivity. They love the world and the world loves them back.

Problems arise when negative beliefs become embedded. They generate negative attitudes, driving behaviours that are likely to change reality in negative ways which give us bad experiences, which re-enforce our negative beliefs. These patterns are stable, self-re-enforcing, self-deepening.

And that is why Auntie Doreen was always cheerful whilst her hubby was a miserable old sod.

The way out of the cycle is simple to describe but not at all easy to do:

  1. Raise your awareness of your attitudes – “I’m angry, I’m pessimistic, I’m sad or afraid”
  2. Find the beliefs which underly them – “I’m not respected, going to fail, ugly, inadequate”
  3. Question them. See if you can un-seat them with your intellect, but even if you can’t
  4. Behave as though they were not your beliefs
  5. Watch responses – the world - with your intellect not your heart. Resist all negative conclusions about their meaning.
  6. Embed this process as a life-long habit.

As I say, the theory is easily understood, but its application is not easy at all, and there are two principle reasons.

  1. Firstly - often we cannot see out own attitude - we only see the world. The way things are. It usually takes someone outside your existence to show you your interpretation process at work, and we will resist the notion that our world view is wrong.
  2. Secondly, if we can tale the first step, the second one is uncomfortable. Our intellect may accept that our world view is wrong, but our emotional mind will fight what comes next - the changes in behaviour. So, I may be able to persuade your intellect that you're not really ugly, but asking you to behave like a good looking person may feel acutely uncomfortable, because your emotional mind hasn't bought into the notion and is clinging to old familiar behaviour patterns.

Don't be put off by that. I is hard, but it's entirely doable if you're up for the challenge and the rewards will be literally life-changing.

So, I challenge you to "watch your attitude" at work in your daily life. That is the first step on this process, and if you can do that consistently for a time, you'll find things begin to shift in ways that will serve you in your life.

Have fun!

    Focus Pages

    Here's a reminder of some of the Facebook pages available for you to sign up to. It's a great way to give you more of exactly what you want - and none of what you don't want.

  • UK Life Coaching My main life coaching page and an umbrella for all things coachy.
  • Stress & Anxiety If you suffer from these, this page will offer top-notch help.
  • Becoming a Life Coach Is it for you? How do you get started? How to make it work.
  • Finding your Life Purpose Why are you here? Where are you going? Are you where you should be?
  • Midlife Crisis Got to a certain age and lost all sense of place and meaning? Scary.
  • Be Happy What does it take to live a good day? A good life? "Happy" is the ultimate goal.
  • My Boss Lies The question is - what are you going to do about it?
  • Remember This? A bit of fun, really. Reminiscences for those over forty.
  • If you'd like to see a focus page that isn't here, please let me know. Just reply to this email.

Newsletter Archive

This is announcement newsletter 53. Did you know that all of these newsletters are kept online? If you fancy a browse through earlier newsletters, it's easy, just go to the:

Life Coach Newsletter Archive

There's some great stuff in the archive - articles, videos and more.

What do you want?

Any time someone makes a big positive change in their lives, they do a very interesting thing:

They set their doubts aside
and commit to trying

Why not set yours aside and tell me what you want from your life right now? I'd love to know, and I think great things could come from that first step.

You don't have to be great to start,
but you have to start - to be great!

Shall we get started :firstname:?

Start here


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