Can You Truly Know What Others Are Thinking?

Someone once said to me, that although you can walk with someone on their journey, you can never truly understand what someone else is thinking or feeling because unless you are them, you are not actually wearing their shoes.

I have taken this quite to heart over the last few years and always carry the thought with me when I am coaching, it’s very easy to think that we know what others are feeling.  However it is only when we create some detachment from our emotions to their situation that we can truly help them by giving them time and space to resolve their own issues.

I have just got back from an amazing weekend of personal development at the Calvert Trust in Cumbria.  The Calvert Trust are set up to support and encourage people with disabilities to tackle outdoor activities.  I tried lots of activities I wouldn’t normally consider such as ghyll scrambling and kayaking, despite being physically able to do them.  Most importantly I spent half a day in a wheel chair.  It was great fun, wheeling around the Calvert Trust after all they are set up for wheel chair users, with lifts wherever you need one and ramps.

Of course, I knew that at any point I could get out of my chair and walk if I couldn’t get where I needed to be and what’s more when I get home to my house with its narrow front door and porch step, or need to nip down the road to the shop that is on a 15% hill, things wouldn’t be quite so easy.

Yes, I believe its given me a greater insight into the difficulties a wheelchair user might experience.  Do I fully understand what it feel like? How could I?

So next time that you have to deal with someone in distress do ask yourself if you fully understand what they’re going through.  The likelihood is that whilst you do have empathy you don’t know for sure.

If you’re facing life’s challenges, coaching can give you the time and space you need to find solutions.  If you want to know if this could help YOU, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what you could achieve.

 Brett Trafford Photography-4copyright brett trafford photography


MOTIVATION – Top Tips from a Guest Blogger

If you have read recent posts on this blog, you will have seen some snippets about a client that I have been lucky enough to work with who has recently successfully achieved her near impossible goal. I have attempted to share her story with you and I really don’t think I have done it justice.  So I am delighted to say that Sandra has agreed to guest blog for me AND share her MOTIVATION tips.

Please enjoy:

I have the honour of being asked to write a guest blog post for Carolyn on motivation, following my recent journey up a mountain.  I’m no expert in this field, but I’m happy to share my journey and maybe, just maybe, something will inspire you to achieve your own goal too.

P1060319Sandra on the summit of Great End



I’d always been a bit of a fitness fanatic and a huge lover of the great outdoors.  An ex-gymnast, fitness instructor and personal trainer I looked after my body and truly believed that by eating well and keeping fit my body would reward me well into my old age. 


Oh what a delusion!  You can imagine my devastation when, just over 5 years ago, I acquired a disability affecting the use of my legs.  Going to the shops became an expedition needing help, support, crutches and a wheelchair.  I took the easy option and stayed home, isolating myself from the world in my own little bubble of safety.  I basically gave up on life.


In August 2012 I attended the Lake District Calvert Trust, a charity that challenges disability through outdoor adventure activities.  I had low expectations, low confidence and low self-esteem. I told my instructor of my one regret of not having got around to summiting Great End (a mountain in the Lake District on the Scafell range) before my disability.  He looked me in the eye, and said quite matter of factly “Don’t have regrets, go and do it then.”  As the week progressed a spark inside me ignited, and over the following months that spark became a roaring fire of passion, hope and self-belief.  I am proud to say that 9 months later I stood on top of that mountain, fulfilling a long-standing dream and raised nearly £2,500 for the charity the brought me back to me.


So what motivated me to achieve what others had said was impossible?  Here are my top tips:-


M   editate on your goal.  Imagine how great it feels to have achieved it, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, sounds like.  Doesn’t it just feel fantastic!  Hold onto that feeling every single day of your journey.

O   bserve your goal and your journey from every angle so you are as prepared as you can be to overcome any obstacles.  It’s ok to change your game plan, it’s the end result that’s important.

T    ell others.  This makes the goal real.  If anyone is negative, ignore them – that is their problem not yours.  Surround yourself with positive people and ask for their experience and expertise to help you get where you want to be.

I    nspire yourself.  It’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, but keep yourself inspired by focussing on a role model, google inspirational quotes, print them off and put them around your house.  I love the quote by Martin Luther King “If you can’t fly, then run.  If you can’t run, then walk.  If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

V     alue yourself, what you are doing and why you are doing it.  Yes, you are worth it!

A    ccept where you are now, and identify what help or support you will need to get where you want to be. This will enable you to set realistic goals and targets.

T    hink outside the box.  How could I get up a mountain when I cannot walk unaided and need to rest after a few steps?  Let’s think in a different way.  I can walk with assistance for a few steps and then need to rest.  I can repeat that process over and over again.  I can travel at 3.6 hours per mile.  It will take me 3 days.  I can do this if I camp in the mountains for 2 nights.  I will ask people to help me, support me and carry my kit.  Change your words, change your way of thinking and suddenly you will find a solution.

E    njoy your journey.  To reach your goal you need passion.  For me, failure was not an option.  My passion and desire to achieve my goal was so strong it drove me on when exhaustion wanted me to stop and when the pain was screaming through my body.  My passion of the great outdoors, being at one with Mother nature and standing in awe at the beauty of her artwork from the summit of a mountain is one I shall never forget.


I am humbled by the help and support shown by my team who shared this journey with me.  Sometimes a goal is just too big to achieve on your own.  Ask for help, work on yourself, dream, believe and achieve.


With love.


Sandra x

What A Window, A Shovel & A Bear Have To Do With Making Goals A Reality

I hadn’t realised until now, however this is my 100th post.  I blog weekly so it must be almost 2 years.  Normally I’d rack my brains trying to think of something particularly outstanding to write about.  I don’t need to this week I knew what it was going to be all week.

Last week I went on holiday.  We don’t tend to have 2 weeks in the sun like everyone else, we tend to have a week walking in the lakes regardless of the weather.  We’ve walked in mist, rain, thunder, ice, snow, hail, wind and glorious sunshine on the odd occasion.

But last week was different.  Last week wasn’t about having a walking holiday, it was about making someone’s dream a reality.

So if you wish to know more about why I set out with 7 volunteers, spent 3 x 12hr days on a mountain, and we took with us 4 tents, 2 pairs of crutches, 1 teddy bear, 1 bathroom window, 1 shovel, a Chevron (all terrain wheelchair) and a mountain of chocolate then please read on……….

My client has always been fit and active.  She’s been a fitness instructor and a keen hill walker.  Sadly a little while back she started to suffer when walking.  Since then she has been diagnosed with a progressive debilitating condition that means she suffers with painful spasms in her leg.  The condition now means that she has to resort to crutches or a wheelchair to get to the shops.

But Sandra, who can sometimes be a little crazy and more frequently a little stubborn was determined to climb a 3000ft mountain.  No one would have thought less of her if she had decided to sit in front of the TV, maybe a walk in the park, but no all 3000ft of the mountain.  Rather than deciding it wasn’t possible, she sat down and figured out what she needed to do to get up there.  The result was a very clear goal, a strategy which involved a support team and a shovel load of motivation.


What Sandra did was rather clever and this is where the lesson lies:

  • She set herself a clearly defined goal – she would climb Great End in Cumbria and give herself 3 days to do it in.
  • She considered what would stop her achieving that goal.  This included needing help over difficult bits, not being able to carry her own rucksack, needing plenty of rest and found solutions to these challenges.
  • She provided herself with motivation to achieve her goal.  How?  Telling everyone she was going to do it and getting sponsorship for a charity meant there was no backing out, particularly when we were offered a substantial amount of sponsorship to carry the window up as well.

We can apply these lessons to any goal.

  • Set a clearly defined goal
  • Know what your stumbling blocks will be and plan for them
  • Ensure your motivation is strong

If you have any top tips for achieving a goal please share with my readers.

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