Its Christmas………


I sign out for two weeks over the Christmas and New Year Period as I believe its important for us all to take some time out and ensure that our work/life balance is restored.  After all, all those Christmas preparations can be stressful.

I’ll be back, bright and breezy and thinking about goals in the new year, but for now………


Reclaim Your Mojo

Autumn has been and gone with Christmas now just around the corner.  Those lovely sunny days have faded into just memories.  Darker mornings can be a struggle.  Sometimes just small events can knock us off balance.  It’s time to get your MOJO back.

Look inside yourself

Take a few moments out to think about what may have thrown your emotions out of kilter.  Is it something that’s happened at work? or home?  Its good at this point to write down your thoughts.  Make a note of the facts e.g. a falling out with someone and also the emotions that go with it.  Having a visual record will help you deal with it.


And I’m not talking about your house.  But just in the same way that you would clear out your cupboards, and hoover the carpet, you can make the choice to throw away the negative emotions.  Make a deliberate choice to throw out the negative emotions and draw a line under events OR take a positive action to resolve them. 

A great spring-clean leads to a trouble free mind, a sense of achievement and the buzz of a fresh start.

Do something different

Right now is a great time to make a change or do something new.  A trip to the hair dressers for a new style could make a real difference to how you feel.  OR try a new hobby, pick up a book for the first time in 10 yrs or try that new restaurantJust one small change can leave you feeling refreshed.

Do Something For Pure Pleasure

Ever wanted to go fly a kite? Or skip through a wood?  What’s stopping you.  Perhaps the simpler pleasure that you don’t get chance to do, like taking a mid week soak in the bath – allow your mind to be free of your pressures just for 30 minutes will help you get a real focus.


My 4 tips will help you restore that smile this autumn.  Keeping emotions and life balanced is important to leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  If you need more help keeping your life in kilter perhaps coaching could help.  Give Carolyn a call on 07714 216388 now to book your free taster session.

P1070226copyright Carolyn Trafford

Comfort Zone Leap Part II – Stepping Up To The Mic

In last week’s post I shared with you my thoughts on the OMG state – a state of mind where your inner voice continually tells you that you’ve made a mistake and its all going to go horribly wrong.

I met up with my fellow comedy challengers again last week.  We’d all prepared some material – short comedy sketches to test on each other and I felt OK about it.  But when we got to the meeting room – there was a microphone and a speaker.  How can one inanimate object scare me so much.  I panicked at the thought of using it.  I quickly realised that this was my negative self (Frankie) trying to sabotage me.  What a brilliant opportunity to practice and use the mic now rather than face it for the first time at the show.

Turning thoughts around into a positive outcome is a great technique to use when you start to panic over something.

P1070681copyright Carolyn Trafford

I’d also really worried about my material.  Having stood in front of a mirror and read it out, it neither sounded funny nor was delivered in a funny style.  I was really nervious when I stepped up to the Mic.

Yet I was greeted with laughter from my 14 strong audience.  Loud laughter! Imagine what that will sound like with an audience of 300.  And better still the feedback I received was that it was almost there.  So my second learning point today is:

No matter what you say, do or in fact believe, when delivered to someone else it will be interpreted differently, gather feedback and if its positive believe it as readily as you would if it were negative.

Well I’m off to practice for this weeks meeting, I’ve added a few bits, changed a few bits and streamlined some of it, so we’ll see what this week throws at me.

Sometimes we need help, encouragement and motivation to achieve the things we are aiming for.  Call Carolyn today on 07714 216388 if you need help with yours and to book your free 45 minute consultation.





Me Time, You Time, Us Time, All The Time

Less than 4 weeks ago, I was enjoying sunshine in Cornwall and now autumn has arrived with vengeance coupled with cold damp mornings.  I’ve suddenly realised that the normal organised me has done some of my Christmas shopping by now. 

I wonder how many people have been thrown by the long summer and are now in a period of being extra busy, Christmas is on its way, self assessments are looming, and what about those year end goals?

I’ve stopped for a moment to think about me time. I’m a firm believer in balancing my work and my life.  There are certain things that are important to me, getting to the gym at least a couple time a week, walking Ziggy the dog, crafting, spending time with friends and not least Brett and I having some quality time together.

I do like to make sure that there is enough time for a bit of everything in the week.  My top tips this week help to achieve that balance:

  • Promise yourself you’ll finish your work on time 1 or 2 days a week and follow it through.  You and your home life are important.
  • Me time.   Schedule in some time in the week for ‘Me’.  Me time could be your gym sessions, a trip to the spa, or just some time to knit, read a book and relax.
  • You Time.  I regularly take out a couple of hours in the week to meet a group of friends in the day time.  Being self employed is perhaps easier to manage, but even if you work for someone else its often possible to manage your hours more flexibly to ensure you’re around for the important people in your life.
  • Us Time.  Schedule some “us time” in the week.  Whether us is your partner, kids, family, friends or dog, its all important and the people around you will love you more for it.  Take the time out to do something special as a reward for working hard.
  • All The Time.  Make this a habit not a one off.  It’ll become easier with practice.

Change Clock

Whether in business or juggling a home life, a few simple time management techniques could be all that’s needed to make a difference.  Give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 to book your free consultation to see how I could help you reclaim some more me time.

Learn To Take Your Own Advice

How often do others suggest we take our own advice?  What prompts them to say it? We’re probably very good at dishing out our own advice but are we as prepared to take it?

I had one of those moments last week.  You may remember about 2 weeks ago I wrote a post about The Art Of Serendipity and how Serendipitous Happy Accidents more often occur as a result of our own engineering.  If you want more of those chance meetings, you need to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time.

Its great advice.  Yet once again I found myself debating whether or not I should attend a new business group.  Not just any business group, a group of professional speakers.  I do talks, seminars and training sessions, but these people are the peers I want to have, they are the best speakers in the area.  If I want to raise my game this is where I need to be.

Yet I still debated my own advice.  The meeting wouldn’t be finishing until late and it was an hours drive.  I asked a business colleague who I knew was attending if he thought it was worth it.

He suggested that if I wanted to grow my business that I needed to make the opportunities and put myself out there (that’s not quoted verbatim but it was the essence).  It was almost like he was throwing my own words and thoughts back at me.  How daft did I feel?

So I went, I met some fantastic people, and delivered one of the best speeches I’ve ever delivered without pre-planning.  It was a great meeting and I met 10 great new contacts.

So my top tip for today is, learn to take your own advice.  Next time you’re debating a decision ask yourself:

“If it was my friend asking me, what would I tell them to do?”

and then act on it.  Its the best advice you’ll ever get.

Perhaps you’d like to share your thoughts about when you last took your own advice and it really paid off.  Please feel free to comment below:


P1060895copyright Carolyn Trafford

Why Is Goal Setting Like Getting Married

Those of you that know me personally will also know that I’m not adverse to getting out a camera at the weekend and tagging along with my husband Brett Trafford to photograph a wedding.  We were at a wedding last Friday and it started me thinking about how working with your goals is a bit like getting married, yet it so much easier to divorce our goals than our spouses.

My VVW approach to goal setting is simple and could help prevent you from divorcing your goals.

Vows – Make a commitment to yourself as you would your future spouse.  During the ceremony the couple promised so much to each other and are unlikely to break them.  Ask yourself why you find it so easy to break promises to yourself?

Value – When entering into a marriage we value the thoughts and opinions of our loved one.  Its equally important to value yourself.  Its only when you achieve this that you will place enough emphasis on achieving your goals.  Lets face it – you’re worth it aren’t you?

Witness – Tell others what you’ve set out to achieve.  Tell no-one and it becomes too easy to back out when things get tough.  If you’re going on a diet, tell people, the risk of guilt if caught stuffing that chocolate bar into your mouth might well just stop you sabotaging yourself.


I’m currently working towards a goal of losing a stone in weight.  I know from experience that I often set myself a goal and give in.  So I’ve made my vows to 80 witnesses in my facebook Thin From Within facebook group and now potentially another 2000 here on my blog.  All I need to do now, is know that I am worth it.


P1060885copyright Carolyn Trafford



The Art Of Serendipity

Hubby and I had a conversation about serendipity this week.  He’s read an article somewhere about it and the irony that perhaps serendipity isn’t perhaps as serendipitous as you might expect.

The idea of a ‘Happy Accident’, all things falling into the right place to cause a positive event whilst being great suggests a certain amount of randomness.

However the other view is one that suggests there are things you can do to ensure that ‘Happy Accidents’ occur more frequently and I’m not talking about asking the universe for it.

Take for instance the example that you want to meet a specific person.  This may be conscious or unconscious.  To walk into a room and find that specific person there might indeed be termed “serendipitous”.  However it could also be because you have done something different.  Doing something differently is a conscious act.

Therefore if you continue to do something differently, that opens up lots of new opportunities, each one leading to a potential event that couldn’t have happened without that change in your actions.

So, want to make more contacts?  The answer is straightforward, try going to more events, meetings, parties etc.  The more events you say ‘yes’ to the more likely that serendipitous events will occur.

I’d love to hear your stories about serendipity, and whether you think that they are truly so or more as a result of your actions.  Lets debate it here:

Carolyn Trafford is a career coach that believes in opening up opportunities.  If you need help with your career then get in touch via her website at Reflections Coaching


P1060696copyright Carolyn Trafford

Saying “No” Can Be Hard To Do

If you’ve ever wondered why saying “No” is difficult – there’s a simple answer…..

Time is an irreplaceable priceless asset. Achieving a healthy balance in life is important and being empowered to say “No” when you need to helps in striving to achieve that balance.

We all know that working to our priorities is important, yet how often do we mean to say “No” but actually end of giving in and saying “Yes” simply because its good customer service, or is only a small thing to do.

And that’s great.  If you are able to say “Yes” to people then that can make us feel good, get known for providing that extra special customer service or just be a great person, however if that is impacting on your priorities, leaving you you without the energy for the things you need to say “Yes” to, or feeling like you’re being taken advantage of then something has to change.

So why then, is it so difficult?

To understand the answer we need to explore our belief system:

  • If I say “No” then I’m being selfish. – Saying “No” demonstrates trust and maturity.  Not wanting to say “No” is a common problem and others will respect you for it
  • People might judge me – people form judgements all the time and we have no control over this.  You’re not saying no for the fun of it, so back it up with the reasons you’re having to say no.  Again they will respect you for it.
  • People and customers may go elsewhere – they might and this will have to be a judgment call for you.  If you’re going to say “Yes” make sure that you have the time to do what you promise without letting something slip elsewhere, but remember that in most cases an extra 24 hours won’t make a difference to most people so be realistic about how many customers you may lose.  You have the option to negotiate  before you say “Yes” or “No” so perhaps this is an option to explore.

Saying “No” can be tricky and practice really helps.  This post was understanding WHY we find saying “No” so difficult.  Next week I’ll be exploring the topic some more and looking at HOW we can start saying “No“, so that’s one to look out for.

Until then if you want to know more about self belief, a coaching session would help, you’ll find more information at or leave your thoughts below and I’ll reply as soon as I can:











Who Is Your Worst Enemy? – That’ll Be Frankie.

Fortunately when I ask myself this question, my list of enemies isn’t that long…

Yes of course I have annoyed a few people over the years, and of course there are a few people who I have annoyed. But to class as actual enemies there is probably only one.

According to the Oxford English dictionary:

Pronunciation: /ˈɛnəmi/

noun (plural enemies)
a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something

…And its using that definition that allows me to identify not my worst enemy, but thankfully my only one. That person is often me. Why? Because its me that can be blamed for getting in the way of my plans and dreams. Its me that at times actually stops me doing things that I want to do.

I don’t set out to do it, but I keep doing it.   Almost 18 months ago I was made redundant after 24 years.  One of the small rewards I was going to give myself on receipt of my remuneration was a trip on the Norwegian Fjords.  Its not the most expensive cruise, yet there is a little voice in my head asking me if I can justify spending the money right now.  When is going to be a right time?  I don’t know other than to say sometime before I die and I don’t know when that will be.

Another example is when I spy an opportunity for my business.  Sometimes that little voice in my head pops up and says “I’m not ready yet” or “its a big step“.   That’ll be Frankie.  Frankie is the name I’ve given to my self doubt.  Frankie is the part of me that lacks confidence.

Do you have a Frankie, talking you out the things you know you ought to be doing? 

I’m sure you do, they’re hard to get rid of, although there are lots of things you can do to help manage them.

Acknowledge your lack of self belief.  That’s why I named mine.  He/she exists because they have a name.

Have a conversation with yourself – talk back to your Frankie.  When you hear him/her talking you out of doing something , create a positive persona.  If you need to give it a name.  Its not crazy only you will know you do it – unless you go and announce it on your blog of course.  Remind yourself exactly how good you are.

It sounds strange, I know, but it does get easier to do with time and practice.  And very soon your positive persona will take over and your self belief and confidence will grow naturally.

I have a wealth of experience helping clients face up to their self belief and lack of confidence.  If you would like help dealing with your “Frankie” why not get in touch with me for a free consultation.  Who knows where it could lead?


I Wish I Could….

How often do you hear yourself say that? “I wish I had……”, “I wish I could…..”

Isn’t it time you started to put these things into action?

What is it that is actually stopping you?

I find myself doing it so often. Sometimes its about big things, my long term goals and tackling them means lots of goal planning, breaking it down into baby steps, action plans etc. But at least I can make a start, take a step in the right direction.

But its those little ones that are most troublesome. The things like, I wish I spent more time with my friends, I wish my house was tidier…. It’s a bit of a no-brainer really. If I spent less time wondering why my house wasn’t tidy and more time actually keeping it tidy I wouldn’t have so much negative energy around it. And is for seeing more of my friends, well that’s only a text or a phone call away isn’t it?

So here it is. The next time you find yourself saying “I wish I…..” run through the following three steps and take some action.

1 Analyse it, is it in your control? If not let go of the negative feelings around it and move on or it will continue to have a negative effect on you.
2 Is it too big a step? Take some time out to plan it and work out if its realistic to tackle, break it into baby steps and start taking some small steps towards your end goal.
3 Is it easy to build into life? Then stop wishing and just get on with it and do it.


believe stones

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