What Can Nature Teach Us About Personal Survival?

Its March already.  We’re almost in Spring.  So yesterday I was very surprised to spot a rather frozen looking daisy in flower in the field as I went out for my morning dog walk.

My immediate reaction was surprise and then concern that the seasons are out of kilter.  How would this one poor little daisy survive especially if the weather changed again.

DSC_2015-1photo copyright of

Brett Trafford Photography

Yet nature has a way of looking after itself.  What strength and tenacity did this one small flower have to stand up and be counted before its peers.  Maybe it won’t survive, it has already overcome the odds to push through ground that has been changing between frozen and swamp like.  Perhaps this flower has a better chance because its ahead of the game.

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero103482.html#2YKAf1hwuW5jzUwp.99

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Theodore Roosevelt

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/theodorero103482.html#2YKAf1hwuW5jzUwp.99

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse than to never have tried to succeed”

– Theodore Roosevelt.

There will always be reasons not to to something, but if we look long and hard at ourselves are they really reasons not to try?

I am frequently approached by people who are scared to start a project because they are scared that they will not succeed.  If you want to increase your chances of success then give me a call today on 07714 216388 to see how I can help you get the success you deserve.


What were you born to do?

When was the last time you asked yourself what you were born to do?

Its that time of the week when I sit down and write my blog post, sometimes the inspiration flows and others I just get stuck.  This week, is damp outside, the light is starting to go and I’ve a stack of emails having taken a week off.  Inspiration was alluding me and I fell into the procrastination trap.

I write a lot about how we should avoid procrastination and I hope I don’t have to eat my words but rather than open up my blog to write I procrastinated – checked my emails and there it was – inspiration -via a weekly LinkedIn email and someone had posted a forum “What were you born to do”

I confess, I haven’t read the forum – the words were enough.  Its my favourite topic.  Its why I coach.  My job is about helping square pegs find square holes not force them into round ones as so many employers choose to do.

In short, I coach people who really aren’t happy in work, to help them to resolve their situation.  It isn’t necessarily about finding them a new job, sometimes its about making the round hole that they’re trying to fit into a bit more square.

And its a very good question.  I believe I was born to help people so, what were you born to do and what are you doing about it?

Reflections Coaching supports people in their roles with stress, work/life balance, career change, new business start ups so if you feel like a square peg in a round hole, please get in touch for a no obligation chat to see how we can help get in better fit in your working life.

Email caro@reflectionscoaching.co.uk



How Do You Eat An Elephant? – And What If You Have More Than One To Eat?

So how do you eat your  elephant?

The common answer is one bit at a time.  I’m sure many of you will have come across this before.  Its a common analogy for tackling your goals.  But its not always that easy is it?

At this time of year I start thinking about my goals.  All that stuff that I haven’t done yet but intended to do this year and all that stuff I want to do next year.  It can be a bit over- whelming.  And of course some of the goals require you to tackle many bits in one go – so the one bite at a time rule goes straight out of the window.

I quite like to use a priorities grid.   Simply draw a line right down the centre of your page vertically and then another one horizontally across the middle.  Label them:

High Priority – Quick to do

High Priority – takes time

Low Priority – Quick to do

Low Priority – Takes Time

Now you can list all your goals in the quadrants.  This tends to work best if you can break your goals down into all the little stages and split these across the quadrants.

Now start to tackle the High Priority – Quick to do tasks – it will amaze you how much you can achieve in an afternoon or even just an hour.  It’ll help you tackle that elephant one bite at a time AND multitask in getting more than one of those goals heading in the right direction.


So how do you tackle your goals? I’m sure my readers would love to hear your solutions too.


The Future Starts Now


This week I wanted to talk about procrastination at a whole new level.  Not the stuff on our daily to do lists that we just put off until next week, but the big stuff, whether its that holiday of a lifetime that we never have the money for or the taking the plunge and going self employed or starting a business.

Why is it that we are slow in doing these things?


I should have the answer to this.  I regularly put off planning that trip because I might need the money for some emergency that never happens.  I stuck in the same job for 22 years because the change scared me.  Yet I find myself repeating this behaviour over and over again.

But its time to stop.  Regular readers of this blog will know that my hand was forced slightly over the work side, yet I didn’t spend any of my redundancy payment on that holiday I really want because my future remains uncertain.  But how certain does it have to get?

Its been one of those weeks.  A recent break with really great friends has reminded me that there is so much in life we take for granted – how would we handle it if some of the things we rely on so much were taken away from us.

This has been followed up by the loss of a much loved person in my life, a person who loved to travel and frequently did so.

I was brought up to save for the future and invested so that when I retired I could enjoy life.  Well the future has to start somewhere and I think its NOW.


What is it time for you to do?




Who Is Your Inner Voice?

Do you have a negative inner voice?


Two months ago I discovered that an ex-colleague had cancer.  A lovely lady that I originally met in my first public facing role.  We parted company many years ago but until I left earlier this year still worked for the same organisation and I would run into her on occasion.   Her cancer was very progressive and when I met her in May she was reliant on a mobility scooter, but otherwise looked really well.

Last week I ran into her husband in town and asked after her.  It was one of those awful moments as he realised that I hadn’t known that she has passed away.  I was shocked that we had lost her and the whole situation was horrible with neither of us really knowing what to say.  He moved on very quickly and I wanted the ground to swollow me up.

I’ve just spent the whole week being annoyed with myself for asking how she was.  How could I be so inconsiderate of his feelings?

As I type this I know that’s a really stupid thing to say.  Having left the organisation I have lost touch with a number of people including the good old gossip grapevine. How could I have known? Yet all week that little voice in my head has been telling me I’m stupid.

I’m frequently having conversation with clients about their strategies for dealing with the voices in their heads.  Dialogues vary immensely from little green devils on people’s shoulders to wobbly pink talking jellies in the pit of a stomach, they can have names such as Fred or Horace, yet they have the same affect on us, they change the way we see ourselves.


Now that I have identified my negative inner voice, now I can develop my strategy for dealing with it.  I’ll start by persuading it to look at things in a positive light.

What does your inner voice look/feel/sound like?  And how do you deal with it? Please share your thoughts here:

Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down

Do you ever experience wobbles in life?

I’m a regular attendee of 4networking and recently presented by first 4site (ten minute) presentation to the rest of the group.  I shared my confidence journey which is something I will do in a future post here.

As part of it we talked about wobbles and labels.  Labels are the phrases we apply to ourselves and become because we have labelled ourselves that way.

Wobbles are those everyday occurrences where essentially we allow our self esteem/confidence to waiver enough to unbalance us.  Often that’s all wobbles are – and like a Weeble (for those of you old enough to remember the kids TV programme) we don’t actually fall over.  Clear thinking takes over and we carry on. Its natural to experience wobbles and ALL my audience agreed that they had experienced them.

What I find works for me is to actually acknowledge this momentary lapse of confidence as a wobble and remember that a wobble doesn’t mean that I will fall flat on my face.  Its just a wobble.

In danger of giving away my age !!!!!!!Weebles

How do you deal with life’s wobbles? Please share by making a comment below.

Wobbles are a perfectly normal occurrence.  If you feel that you need a little help dealing with life’s wobbles, or if those wobbles make you fall completely, then a little confidence coaching could help.  Why not book a free taster session with Reflections Coaching.

Why Confidence Is Like Riding A Bike

Do you recall learning to ride a bike?

Picture the scene, pedaling along, Mum or Dad holding the saddle, feeling really really confident.  Mum or Dad let go, but because you think you have someone holding you upright you’re fine.  Then in the space of a few seconds you realise they’re not.  You’re out there on your own! You wobble and Wham! you hit the ground.

Confidence is like that.  How often in life do you think you’re doing OK because someone is along side and metaphorically holding your hand.  The minute they’re not there, you panic, get stressed, wobble and can in worse case scenario – fall flat on your face.

Yet, just like riding that bike you only fall over because you believe you will.

London bicycle courier, Oxford Street

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So, how do you hold that confidence?  Well just remember it is just like learning to ride your bike. 

  • Believe in your self and your ability to do it.
  • If you wobble, remember its just a wobble – it doesn’t mean you will fall
  • If you do fall, get straight back up again.

What tips do you have for riding your confidence bike?  My readers would love to hear about them. Please comment below:


Are You Your Own Master?

Are you in control of your goals, dreams and career ambitions? Or do you feel that you need more control of your emotions and actions?

What is Self-Mastery?

Self-mastery is the ability to control yourself at all times and you feel able to move forward consciously in the direction of your goals. You will have the self-discipline to take action in a focused and deliberate manner.

Self-mastery also involves being in control of your emotions and actions, and is essential in truly achieving your goals and ambitions.

Do you know people who don’t have self-mastery?  It is likely that their emotions are in control of them and they are rash and impulsive. They can be unpredictable and often viewed as untrustworthy.

Developing self-mastery can make you a happier, more balanced person.

Yellow Stop sign: a recolored version of a pub...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developing Self-Mastery

1. Goals

What is it that you want to achieve?

Set a goal and stick with it.  Rather than throw yourself completely into the goal where it is possible to run out of steam, tackle it regularly.

2. Emotion

You need to be able to control your emotions and attitudes rather than allowing them to control you.

Focus on the positive aspects of life. Be grateful for things, no matter how small.  This could be when you’re driving to work and rather than focus on the fact that its Monday and you have a whole week ahead, why not focus on the fact that the sun is shining.  This could change the tone of the whole day.

Its very easy to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong.  This is self-sabotage and is the quickest way to stop yourself from achieving your true potential.  Instead flip your thinking to something that you’ve done well today.

Controlling your emotions leads to a higher emotional intelligence, or awareness of the impact of your own emotions on you and others around you.

3. Willpower

You can easily boost your willpower to achieve your goals by really exploring why your goal is important to you.  Write this down or make it visual.  Revisit it often and remain focused on the positive outcome you will get from achieving the goal.

Think about how many times you’ve set a goal and, for one reason or another, never followed it through because of lack of willpower or self-control. It’s happened to all of us, and we probably felt ashamed or disappointed that we didn’t achieve what we wanted.

Need a bit of help moving those goals along? Then coaching might be an answer for you.


How I spring Clean My Life

Wouldn’t it be good if spring cleaning your life was as easy as spring cleaning your house?

I know my friends in the South may not agree, however I’m a little fed up of rain.  I’ve been waiting for spring so that I can start my spring cleaning and it seems like all its done since the daffodils came out is rain, rain rain.

However I’m not just talking about spring cleaning my house.  I consider Spring to be a time to start new stuff.  Its a time when green shoots are coming up through the soil, lambs and chicks are being born and a really good time to feel alive.

Back in January I talked about achieving PAR (A personal annual review).  This was all about looking at the great stuff we had all achieved last year.  January is also a time for setting goals.  Something that many of us set out with good intention and then by April, if we haven’t already achieved them it is easy to let them fall by the wayside.

That’s the point when I start Spring Cleaning.  You see spring cleaning is all about looking at what is cluttering your life and getting in your way then if you want to – you can throw it out.  So here are my top tips on Spring Cleaning Your Life:

  1. Review your goals.  What have your achieved?  At this point give yourself credit for everything that you have succeeded in.  Its likely to be more than you think.
  2. Make a list of what is outstanding.  Ditch everything that is no longer important to you.  Cross it off your list.
  3. Review whats left.  Ask yourself a simple question for each one.  What is standing between me and achieving this goal?
  4. By each obstruction, jot down an action or step towards dealing with each one.  Remember no step is too small.
  5. You should now have a list of actions.  My preference is to stick them all down in an action plan and put it somewhere I can see everyday and tackle one regularly, i.e. one a day or 3 a week.

How will you tackle your outstanding items?

copyright Brett Trafford Photography

How I Get An Instant Confidence Fix

Do you ever feel butterflies, shaky or feel sick at the thought of attending certain events?  Today I’m going to offer you my 3 top tips for changing your confidence levels.

I attended a networking meeting today, where the guest speaker talked about her top tips for confidence.  This is of course a subject close to my heart.

She used a triad model which included physiology, focus and language.  All of which are important factors in confidence.  Today I want to concentrate on the physiology aspect or rather body language and how making a few simple fixes to your body language can make a huge difference to the way you feel.

There are times for all of us, no matter how confident we normally feel that perhaps when we walk into a room full of people, a networking meeting or perhaps an interview, conference or training course, when it can fill us with dread.  The butterflies take over in the pit of your stomach, or you could develop slight trembling, some people become flushed, sweat or panic stricken.

Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae)

Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No matter how out of control you might feel, your body language, the signals that you give out to others remains in your control.

Why not try these 3 simple changes and see what an instant impact it has on how you feel?

  1. What you are experiencing is a are mild form of stress.  Take a few seconds out before you walk into the room and take some really deep breaths.  And I mean deep.  Exhale to empty your lungs and allow the in breath to happen naturally.  Do this 3-4 times if possible.
  2. Change your body language.  Hold your head up high and roll back your shoulders.  Look like you could take on the world and you will feel like you can.
  3. Smile.  – need I say more?  Smile and the world smiles with you and you can win anyone over.

I’m sure there are lots more tips that people have to control their feelings of anxiety.  Why not share them here?

If you are struggling with confidence issues then confidence coaching can help.  If you want to know more pop by my website and get in touch at www.reflectionscoaching.co.uk

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