Surprisingly Simple Stress Trick: How to Get Out of Your Head Fast!

 

‘Faith is an oasis in the heart that will never be reached by the caravan of thinking’

Khalil Gibran

 

How often do you find yourself overthinking when you’re stressed?

Totally stuck in your head or going round in circles with no end?

It makes sense to think we can think our way around things but sometimes, getting out of our heads and into our bodies is the best thing we can do. Y’see, without learnt tools to master our minds, our brains are designed to keep us stuck focusing on the negative and continuing to do what we’ve always done. Not very evolved, hey?!

Case in point – a career coaching client who was so stressed she was really quite depressed and unable to move forward had a 360 about-turn when she took her focus off thinking about careers and instead reconnected with doing the things that brought her fun and joy in life.

All the things that took her out of her head whether cooking, drawing, running or seeing her friends.

And boom! Then the clarity came – from being more and thinking less. Like a counter-intuitive detour around stress. The renewed energy and clarity came from moving her body rather than just sitting in the stasis of thought. Ironic, isn’t it, that when we stop thinking so much, sometimes we unlock feelings that guide the way.

As the legendary Dr Wayne Dyer says: ‘Think less, feel more’.

What do you do that brings you joy and gets you out of your head? When did you last have this experience? And what were the results?

For me it might be things like travelling, local adventures, meeting new people, working in new cafés, or doing a new activity like paragliding in the wilds of Italy above. Connecting with free spirits in sublime nature is always a sure fire way for me to change my state and get clarity on confusion. Note – most of these things involve movement – as Tony Robbins says: ‘Motion equals emotion’.

What one change can you make today to get out of your head and into your body?

How would that feel?

And what’s the best possible outcome?

 

 

 

5 Top Tips for Becoming a Life Coach: What I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Coaching offers the secrets to happiness most of my career and life coaching clients dream of: freedom, work life balance, creativity and the ability to be an entrepreneur and run your own business on your own terms. What’s not to love?!

Having coached and mentored many career coaching and life coaching clients keen to switch careers into coaching, here are some top tips most coaches to be are unaware of:

1. Choose the Right Coaching Course

Any course you spend money on should be seen as an investment rather than an expense. A high value course should be measured for the return on investment it provides versus the cost. The coaching course I did worked well for me because it offered the flexibility of online study and was well reputed because it markets itself extremely well with free weekend taster courses – but great marketing doesn’t equal great quality. I’ve since met many coaches and can clearly see some stand-out courses which cost a lot more money but which yield notably excellent returns in terms of skills, business tips and certification. So take the time to connect with well-established coaches with wide networks and ask them which coaching schools they’d recommend based on the coaches they’ve met. The right investment will pay dividends in terms of building your confidence, skills and future business.

2. Marketing is King

As I always say, a great coach without marketing is like a chateau without road signs. It doesn’t matter how gifted you are if people can’t find you. My personal path involved undertaking my coaching training and developing my coaching skills through a lot of free sessions, gathering client testimonials so I could build my future brand (website and blog) and writing articles on areas of interest around happiness, success and personal development. The truth is, this was an easy win as writing sets my heart a-flutter and sharing learnings from books I was reading and my own new experiences living in wonderful new places on paths less travelled, was an easy way to energise myself, consolidate key pearls of wisdom and build my profile as a personal development specialist. Much later, I turned my attention to marketing, such as writing articles for publications such as the Huffington Post, investing in PR, exploring search engine optimisation and creating a podcast to get more traffic to my website. Marketing is like a game — you’ve got to play the game if you want to create enough chemistry calls to make a living. For while coaching may meet those much sought after values such as freedom and work life balance, this isn’t much fun if you’re not earning enough money to make a living. With great testimonials and enough client enquiries, you can increase your prices and be sure to make what you need and more every month with the kind of freedom, stability and growth that, well, sets you free!

3. Work for Coaching Companies as a Freelance Coach

Once you’ve got enough coaching hours and great testimonials under your belt, it shouldn’t be too hard to secure freelance coaching as an associate coach. This is a really high results producing activity as it ensures you get clients funnelled to you without any marketing costs your end. The other major benefit is the business acumen you acquire from seeing how other coaching businesses operate. If you’d told me when I started coaching that I could easily sell 9 session career coaching packages to clients, I never would’ve believed you. I would’ve also found it hard to believe that I could even make £300 a month from coaching! Working for more established coaching companies has proven otherwise, teaching me powerful tools around effective marketing, how to conduct powerful chemistry calls to convert potential clients whilst boosting my confidence though coaching hundreds of clients across different industries and at different levels from undergraduates to trainees, associates, managers and CEOs.

4. Play to your Passions

Although people often speak about the importance of having a niche, I advise new coaches to start broad unless you’re sure what direction you want to take. If you know you’re nuts about nutrition and want to go hammer and tongs to train as a nutrition or health coach, go for it, as passion sells. But if you’re unsure, don’t corner yourself too soon. Instead, enjoy experimenting by working with a range of clients and getting curious about what you most enjoy. I worked with a real mix of people and noticed that career coaching clients naturally gravitated towards me because of my own career coaching journey from lawyer to life and career coach. I also realised that having worked across a range of fields from property and law to PR, journalism, copywriting, higher education and start-ups gave me unique insight into a range of careers that could benefit clients across a real breadth of diverse career sectors. I also realised that my journalism experience and First Class degree in English were superpowers other coaches may not have, helping clients with key pain points whether nailing CV’s, applications, cover letters and interviews to secure the jobs of their dreams. What are your unique strengths, experiences, passions and selling points? And how might these support the area of coaching that you could work in?

5. Carve out a Unique Selling Point

While coaching sounds like the killer career in terms of work life balance, freedom and making a difference, this also means it attracts a lot of people who want a piece of the cake. To ensure you stand out from the crowd, think about what your unique selling points are and how they can bolster your brand identity and origin tale. For instance, as a lawyer turned life coach, I have a unique selling point as a coach who has successfully traversed career change — particularly from the high stress, ‘always-on’ corporate world, to a more freedom filled, values-driven, coaching lifestyle. This story resonates well with professionals like lawyers and management consultants who can be a little snobby about who they work with. My creative strengths as a writer have meant that I leant into creating my own blog and writing on subjects that inspired my own personal development from how to take the stress out of online dating, to top tips for moving abroad (think London to Madrid and the French Alps), to how to master your mind and transform your life and career. My strengths as a writer separate me from other coaches and have helped me gain PR opportunities with publications like Grazia, The Financial Times, Huffington Post, Refinery29, Elephant Journal and Refinery29; this has paid dividends in boosting my gravitas as a commercial creative hybrid who specialises in helping a range of professionals who are confused about their careers find work they love!

What comes to mind when you ask yourself the above questions? Feel free to drop me your thoughts or queries here.

5 Top Tips for Changing Careers in Your 30s

Shifting career at any point can feel scary, sometimes all the scarier in your 30s. At this age, you’re no longer the fearless undergraduate hungry to cut your teeth in competitive new industries and the rose tinted spectacles of inexperience may have well and truly fallen off. You may also feel burdened by the liabilities of real life whether mortgages, children or otherwise.

But do not fear! These fears are very normal — so normal, that I see them again and again in career coaching clients hungry for career change but often disabled by fear. This is exactly why they seek out career coaching — so they can find ways to master their minds and harness easy to apply methods to shift into careers that truly excite and fulfil them.

So here are 5 top tips for taking the stress out of switching careers in your 30s, fast:

  1. The Values Audit

Before even contemplating changing careers, it’s important to get clear on your values — the needs or drivers you need to be connecting with in life to feel happy. I call this your ‘Toolkit for Life’ because once you know what energises and excites you, you have a roadmap for happiness and the clarity to shift path with confidence. For instance, it was easy for me to leave law and traverse into creating my own business when I realised I needed greater work life balance, freedom and fun to feel truly fulfilled in life. Getting clear on your values also helps you label why you’ve felt unfulfilled by prior roles, organisations or industries which brings clarity, relief and validation — the ideal springboard for career change. For instance, let’s say you’ve felt drained working in a very process driven role and you realise creativity is central to your sense of self — it’s then easy to see why you’ve felt out of sorts and more motivating to shift into a career that really compliments you. To get clear on your values, start by asking yourself what you can’t do without in life at large? What would your dream job involve? What are you key frustrations and what’s the opposite of each? What would make you truly happy? As Mahatma Gandhi reminds us: ‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’

  1. Identify your ‘Why’

Most career coaching clients have no idea what their purpose is — that North Star that guides the bigger picture. For some career coaching clients, this may be making a difference, for others it may be spending quality time with family, for others it may be winning awards and becoming an expert in their field. To work out your ‘why’, ask yourself who do you admire in life and why? How would you like to be remembered when you leave this world? What kind of things would you like to hear people saying about you at your funeral? What kind of legacy would you like to leave? A lot of us think in ego driven, linear ways when it comes to careers, but as Steve Jobs warns us: ‘I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to’. So park your ego and ask yourself instead, what does success really mean to you? What would drive you on days when you feel like giving up? What kind of career and impact would leave you feeling proud at the end of your days?

  1. Connect to the Truth

One of the key regrets Bronnie Ware identifies in her book, ‘The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying’ is: ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not a life others expected of me’. So many of my career coaching clients fall into roles because their parents told them law or consulting would be a good idea or because the job title sounds sexy at dinner parties. Although it’s natural to be led by others when we’re young and unaware of what really drives us, with age comes experience, of different people, different roles and different corporate cultures — and greater awareness of how we really feel about each! By the time you’re in your 30s, you have an ideal backdrop from which to explore what you’ve liked, disliked and craved more of in a role and environment. This commercial landscape sheds light on the key factors which drive aligned career change including your leading strengths, your passions and interests, your values and your purpose. So instead of thinking it’s too late to change, see your experience for what it is — a vehicle to truth — uncovering key pearls of wisdom around what truly makes you happy. As F Scott Fitzgerald reminds us: ‘It’s never too late to be who you want to be’. Look at Ray Croc, the founder of McDonald’s — he was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s franchise!

  1. Leverage Your Experience

Career coaching clients often panic that they lack the experience to shift paths into a new career, forgetting they have developed some great transferable skills they can use as evidence to launch into new career directions. Start by asking yourself what are your leading skills? What have you been most complimented on in prior jobs? What comes naturally to you? What are you doing when you’re most energised? And which of these skills overlap with leading skills in your new area of interest? Remember, existing killer skills can often be taken forward in new directions! You can also minimise panicking about career change by asking yourself what unique selling points you have in terms of prior expertise that you could harness to push you to the top of the CV pile for a new role. For instance, a client of mine had been a midwife for 15 years and was interested in moving into project management and innovation. Initially she panicked about her seeming lack of experience in these fields, but she soon started thinking more strategically, identifying how she could harness her unique selling point of clinical experience in new areas of interest. You guessed it, she found her dream job in a clinical setting and has been promoted twice already! If you don’t have experience in a new area of interest, what quick wins could help you close the gap, whether work experience, a course or seeking advice from people in that area?

  1. Chats with People

The most high results producing activity you can engage in, informational interviews with people in areas of interest will help you deepen clarity around new avenues, fast. Many career coaching clients panic about talking to strangers so start by asking yourself who you know in possible areas of interest and also who you know who may know people they can connect you to. Remember, we’ve all been confused in life — it’s the one commonality of being human — and people generally love talking about themselves, especially if you make them feel special. The one common mistake I see career coaching clients make here is the same problem I see in cover letters, job applications and job interviews — if you don’t bespoke your approach to the person or organisation you’re trying to seduce with specific examples of why you think they’re special, they won’t make time to talk to you. To be seen as worthwhile, you need to prove you’ve done your homework, showcasing your research, communication and interpersonal skills through specific examples that evidence your interest. The litmus test is asking yourself: ‘Could the reasons I’m giving to evidence my interest in this person apply to someone else?’ If the answer is yes, your reasons are too vague and not specific enough. To get clear on what reasons you could give, start by asking yourself, what 3 things truly inspire me about this person or their organisation? Then think of a specific example for each whether an article they’ve written, a project they’ve worked on or otherwise. Remember, authenticity and passion sells!

So there you have it — 5 simple ways to boost clarity to get clear on career change fast! It’s easy when you know how! Don’t believe me? These top tips have helped hundreds of career coaching clients like Marcel, all united by confusion, self-doubt and sometimes crippling fear, change careers in sometimes radical ways:

“Mel was arguably one of the best things that happened to me last year. I had just moved to the UK and found myself facing a lot of professional challenges regarding self-promotion, speculative approaches, interviews, etc. With a well-planned, straightforward programme, Mel made me rediscover my strengths and taught me how to adapt them to my new reality. Thanks to her strategies, I was able to thrive and secure a leading role at a huge multinational company!”

 

Hot Air Or Life-Changing? How Coaching Banishes Stress & Transforms Lives

instincts and coaching

“Attention energises, intention transforms”

Deepak Chopra

Ever wondered why you’re unable to make change despite feeling frustration, boredom, anxiety or depression about your current life?

Here’s why..

To make any big change in your life, you need to do more than recognise discomfort – you need to create the time, space and resources to get real clarity. From there, change becomes easy.

Ever wondered why people telling you what you should do rarely works? Because sometimes it comes more from a place of projection, protectiveness and bias than objectivity and real listening – truly sitting in the moment with you and really hearing what lies beneath is usually quite different, leaving you feeling heard, understood and pumped to uplevel your life.

This is exactly what I thought coaching wasn’t when I first started out. Honestly, I was hoping it was a quick fix involving talking to a wise owl who could help me cut corners and expedite change fast.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I heard it was being guided by the coach asking a series of questions to help me work out who I was and what I wanted, I thought it sounded like hot air.

Then we started practising coaching – and I ate my words fast..

I quickly realised helping someone connect to who they truly are and what they truly want versus telling them what they should do, is where the magic happens.

I see this kind of magic happen daily with clients – whether midwives moving into project management, financiers moving into consulting, lawyers moving into coaching or graduates moving into advertising and beyond.

It’s not rocket science, but boy does it work.

As a wise friend on Mindline once said, really active listening is like developing a sixth sense.

So I say again – attention energises, intention transforms. Finding space to be truly heard and to deconstruct what’s really going on for you is an essential component to creating the intention required for change.

So if you’re feeling misaligned with your life or career, what’s stopping you?

And if you’re still feeling stuck, remember, nothing changes if nothing changes 💫

#coaching #life #career #change #listen #plan #goals #transform

 

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