Readers in the UK may well be aware of a national campaign that launched at the start of the month called Stoptober which is designed to help people quit smoking. When we consider personal development and making positive life changes, we tend to think about all the things we want to start doing.  But sometimes it can be useful to focus on what we want to let go of — or stop doing. My attention was drawn to this by a friend who is whole-heartedly embracing the concept of Stoptober.  She doesn’t need to stop smoking, but instead she’s choosing … Continue reading

Lessons from Ground Zero

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”  (Chinese Proverb) To coincide with the anniversary of 9/11 there have been lots of programmes on TV focusing on the attack on the Twin Towers. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen the footage somehow it remains as shocking as it was on the day it happened. As well as the human tragedy and loss, I was struck by the complete and utter devastation left by the buildings’ collapse and the monumental task of having to clear the site. Just like the Chinese proverb above, those who … Continue reading

The Andy Murray Effect

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there you can move mountains.”  (Steve Jobs) Like millions of others, I was hugely impressed by Andy Murray’s achievement of winning the Wimbledon men’s singles final.  As spectators we only see the matches themselves: we don’t see the days, weeks, months and years of hard graft and persistence that bring him to that single point in time where he’s … Continue reading

Knowing Me, Knowing You

He who knows others is wise; He who knows himself is enlightened. Lao Tzu How well do you think you know yourself? Sometimes our perception of ourselves can be at odds with how other people see us. This can be literally true — as illustrated in this fascinating video which was commissioned by Dove and explores the perceptions women have about the way they look. In the video a forensic artist sits and draws seven women. The women are sitting behind a curtain and so his sketches are based entirely on their own description of themselves. He then does a … Continue reading

Change Can Happen in a Heartbeat

“The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”   (Chinese Proverb) x Last month I went on a week long detox retreat and I can honestly say that it’s changed my life. Yes, I lost weight and felt great at the end of it but most importantly I’ve completely changed my lifestyle and the way I eat. As a self-confessed sugar and caffeine addict, I can now say, hand on heart, that I haven’t touched either for a month. Before the retreat I knew perfectly well that these things were bad for me … Continue reading

Feel the Fear / Take a Leap

“Life is huge; if you want to be happy, commit to making your life one of rejoicing.” Susan Jeffers It’s taken a while to get back into work mode after the Christmas break and I’ve been pondering what the theme of the first Coaching Tip of 2013 should be. Yesterday I was saddened to learn of the death of Susan Jeffers who wrote one of my all-time favourite self-help books — the brilliant Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. And all of a sudden the focus of the Tip became clear. How often do we hold ourselves back from … Continue reading