Learning to look after myself

As a Coach who spends time helping others, I used to feel that I needed to be in control of my emotions at all times and never allow myself to feel down.  Of course, in reality no-one  can control their emotions to that extent. I do have days where I feel out of sorts and sometimes pretty emotional.  It’s part of who I am: I am human (we all experience emotions) and I am an empath – I absorb others emotions as well as dealing with my own, so it’s completely normal for me.

What I have learned however, is that as a Coach I do not have to detach myself from my emotions – rather, I need to be very much aware of them.  I need to be in the right mindset to completely connect with my clients and hold their space so that they can think through their issues.  Therefore, if I’m struggling to deal with my own shit, I am not in the right space to deal with theirs.

So I have to be aware of my emotions and I have to acknowledge them – and early. So when I begin to feel out of sorts (as I have done today, incidentally), I have a plan to deal with it and get my feelings re-centred. What I have learned is that for me to help others, I really need to look after myself first.

So when I’m feeling crappy – what do I do?

  1. Simplify – there’s nothing worse than being overloaded when you’re feeling like crap.  So I look at my workload and remove anything that’s non-essential or that could be left for another day.  Yes, I know I usually recommend getting stuff done and  not procrastinating, but on these days it’s important to keep commitments to a minimum to allow myself to recharge.
  2. I exercise – I appreciate it’s not always what I want to do when I feel like shit, but it’s so good for me.  So I walk, run, cycle – or whatever I can that’s also outside so that I get fresh air and blow the cobwebs away.  The extra endorphins are good for me too.
  3. I relax (obviously can’t do 2 and 3 at the same time!).  But I love to read – and so when  I’m done with exercising, I love to curl up on the sofa with a book and have a few hours of self-indulgent, escapism.  And for me, a naff chick lit is just the remedy (those business books are not for days like these).
  4. Flower remedies – I love the Bach remedies! I always find a remedy that works for me, but they do work best over time so don’t expect an instant fix!
  5. Angel cards – I love these too!  I love the fact that whenever I ask my Angels a question, I get a relevant response. These cards remind me that I have Angels looking after me and that I am part of a bigger, infinite, unexplained universe of which human life is just a small part.
  6. Hypnotherapy.  Well, I am a trained hypnotherapist so it would be silly not to use it.  Using hypnotherapy to remind my unconscious mind that I am happy and healthy is always a good thing – and the rest will manifest itself.
  7. Anchors – I have anchors (or reminders) for confidence, happiness and calm and so using these are really important.  I just invoke my anchor (this could be holding two fingers together or holding a crystal or pebble – anything that can act as a reminder) – and allow the feeling to come to me. Easy!
  8. Affirmations – I am happy, I am worthwhile, I make a difference. Telling myself those things really help when I’m feeling crappy and doubt myself.  It happens to us all – so finding affirmations can be repeated so that our mind believes it, is a great step to move forward and out of negative feelings.

So it has been a learning adventure for me – but I have found things that really help and it’s important to have these in my toolkit to use when I need to (I’d love to say I practise these daily, but in reality I don’t have time). Knowing that I may succumb to negative feelings on occasions, but that I can use these tools to get back to feeling ok, is so reassuring.

So what can you do to get yourself feeling better?





Coping With Rejection

When I first set up my own business, the one thing I hadn’t quite prepared myself for was the feeling of rejection.  Of course, I had experienced rejection to some extent in my life:  a boy from school who completely failed to notice me and a couple of job interviews here and there – but on the whole nothing significant.  In fact, I was always reassured that with every rejection I faced, there was always something better for me around the corner whether that was a better boyfriend or a better job.

Then I set up my own business.  I was enthusiastic.  I was motivated.  I had done my research and thought that everyone would want my products.  I would get requests for information; requests for quotations – and I would feel even more enthusiastic.  And then, I would hear nothing.  It would seem that for every job I won, another would fall by the wayside.  I questioned myself: was I not good enough?  Were my prices too high?  Did people not like me?  Was I being completely unrealistic that I could ever have a successful business?

I then spoke to a fellow coach and explained my predicament – and guess what?  She said that actually my conversion rate from enquiry to customer was relatively high and that rejection is completely normal.  Of course, the rational part of my brain already knew this, but it was so nice to hear from someone else.  I reflected that I do get really great feedback from the customers that do buy from me, and often they buy again.  I also realised  that I cannot please everyone all the time – some people might not see me or my products as a fit to their needs and yes, sometimes people  may view my prices too high (and sometimes too cheap).

I was recently reminded of this feeling of rejection when I spoke to a friend of mine.  She too owns her own business and we often talk about our plans, what marketing we’re doing and reflect on how we’re getting on (and of course, give each other great ideas along the way).  However, she was complaining how she had had a few people un-follow her Facebook page and how in that particularly week she had 20 new subscribes to her newsletter, 4 opt outs and 2 un-subscribes.  She was visibly upset (I mean, really upset – on the verge of tears) and couldn’t understand why people didn’t like her.  Yikes – at what point did people say they didn’t like her?  Why did this all feel so personal to her?  And what about all those lovely clients she has that buys her products on a regular basis?

It gave a really useful reminder that actually if market our business appropriately, we really shouldn’t be appealing to everyone – we should be appealing to our ideal clients.  Sometimes people are drawn to our business who aren’t those ideal clients – and if they realise that and opt out or un-subscribe, that’s probably a good thing.  There’s no point in trying to keep them interested, as the likelihood is, they either won’t buy our products or appreciate them in the way that our ideal clients would.  Equally, sometimes people are drawn to the business for a particular need and when that need has been fulfilled, they no longer need the support.  There are actually loads of reasons why people choose not to buy – but it is never failure or rejection.

So next time, you are faced with perceived rejection – consider a balanced perspective.  If you have clients that love you, think about how you can get more clients like them and don’t even try to appeal to those who are not a good fit.  And – you’re doing a great job!