How I Deal With Negative Emotions

I’ve had a week off and come back to a pile of emails etc, its part of the course being self employed.  Yet one email has caused me frustration and anger – both are negative emotions and both well within my own sphere of control.

So what do you do when frustration hits?

It takes an incredible amount of energy to stay angry.  Energy that I know I would be much better off putting to other things, things that could result in a positive outcome.

I’ve tried to answer the following questions.

  • What do I gain from being angry?
  • What can I do to improve the current situation?
  • What would I gain if I put my energy into doing something else?

When I have the answers to these questions, it become clear where best to direct my energy.

Negative emotions can take up a huge amount of energy, give Carolyn a call today on 07714 216388 for your free consultation to see what coaching could help you achieve instead.



words and images copyright Reflections Coaching (2014)





Reach For The Stars – What Could You Achieve With Some Creative Time?

I love stories.  They are a creative way of learning.  I don’t know where I first heard this story – it makes a great tale and a fantastic reminder that sometimes we should rely more on our creative elements.

Many years ago, a man who had not learned to read or write, left school and wanted to apply for a job as a dustman.  His application was refused when he was unable to complete the application form and he left dejected.

He was desperate to earn money and set up a small market stall selling plants and flowers as he loved gardening.  His market stall was a success and he soon had a second, then a third and a fourth.  Over the years he achieved business success, becoming well known for his drive, energy and enthusiasm.

One day, one of his employees suggested he write a book about his business experiences and the employee was rather shocked to find that he couldn’t read or write.

“Just think! _ What you could have achieved if you’d been able to read!”

“That’s easy” he replied “I would have become a dustman”.

Of course, in modern business, learning to read and write is useful, however its important to recognise that its very easy to stifle the creative side of our personalities.

Think for a moment.  What could you really achieve if you allowed yourself the creative space to do so?

P1060180Creating creative space is something that I focus on with my clients.  If you wish explore or develop your creative side – then take a peek at Reflections Coaching.  Who knows where it could lead…….

Are You Stuck In A Rut?

Its very easy to become stuck in a rut, especially at work, what can you do about it?


Fortunately there are some easy quick win solutions to get you started on your climb out of the rut.

  • Ask yourself if there’s something missing? – it could be that you’ve been in the job too long, unchallenged and bored.  Write yourself a dream job checklist.  What do you need from your job?  Include earnings, hours, responsibility, commute.  This way you can start to make small changes to move towards your dream role.
  • Put some of the fun back – once we’ve hit that rock bottom boredom threshold it becomes quite tricky to change our thought processes.  So just do something different.  Why not organise a lunchtime or evening event such as a quiz or sports event, make some new friends and have a bit of fun too.
  • Network – Networking is vital and not just to those in business.  It is connecting with new people that could halp you with careers moves at a later stage or get you involved in projects.
  • Do something new – start something in your own time, do a part time college course or even start a part time business.  It could bring in a second income or even replace your first.  Do consider carefully though what it is you want to do and consider those items on your dream job checklist. Or you could ask for more responsibility at work.
  • Rewards – we all need to be rewarded for our efforts and this is often lacking at work.  So why not motivate yourself, I have chocolate treats when I know I’ve finished a project, you know what works for you.

And remember:

“If you always do, what you always did,

you’ll always get, what you always got” – unknown

So don’t be afraid to change something.




Got The January Blues?………

Do you get the January Blues? 

Is this the time when those well meaning intentions around your goals and resolutions start to waiver?

Have you heard of January Green?

I suspect that whilst you may be suffering the January Blues, you’ve never even heard of January Green.  Quite simply because its something that I use visually in my mind to help me get through the weeks in January when I’m finding it hard to stick to my goals.  Its simply called ‘Green’ because its the colour of spring and represents ‘Go!’ rather then ‘Stop’.

Its easy right now to lose motivation and lose sight of your goals.  We have lots of short days with uninspiring weather.  2 weeks of being really focused on our goals and temptation starts to sneak in.  So why not do what I do?  Take the time out to review the goal.  Really get in touch with the emotions and feelings around it.  How badly do you want this?

Consider the challenges that are likely to face you.  When and how will they occur?  Can you plan a solution to them now so that you are ready?  Can you enlist the help of anyone?  Perhaps warning a friend that you may lose your motivation will mean that they say the right thing at the right time.

So now, is a really great time to review those goals.  Don’t let them go stale, keep them fresh and alive and of course remember to:

Go Go Go!

What keeps you going when your motivation starts to waiver?



Being The Best You Can Be


How do you ensure you’re the best you can be?

When I do something I like to do something well.  Perhaps it’s the perfectionism gene that I touched on last week.

So starting up Reflections Coaching was a really big deal for me.  It had to be done properly and that included the training.

Sadly, coaching isn’t yet a regulated industry. In fact anyone can call themselves a coach.  A lot of my work involves goal setting, planning futures, chasing dreams, providing support for clients when they’re facing challenging situations.  Confidence and motivation can be fragile, imagine for a moment that a coach just wades in without skills, not thinking, not listening, imagine the damage that could do.

It was for these reasons I wanted to ensure I was fully equipped, fully trained to deal with anything my clients can throw at me and understand the fine line between needing a coach and needing a therapist.

What we need to do to be the best we can be will vary from sector to sector.  Here are the things I do to make sure I’m the best I can be at coaching:


  • Keeping Up to Date.  I undertake CPD regularly to ensure I’m up to date with the what’s going on within my industry.  I am also signed up with the Association of Coaching who are key players within the coaching sector.
  • Supervision – I’m good at coaching clients, because I can provide the challenge they need.  This is difficult to achieve in myself.  Having a good supervisor ensures that I also get the challenge – for me this is the most important factor in being the best I can be.
  • Review Time – Ensuring that I regularly take time out to think about me and my business.  I take review time after every client and ask what went well and regularly review these learnings.



What do you do in your industry to stay on top?

When did you last step into a different world?


Have you ever delved into a different world?

I have! After 22 years of a financial services corporate world, and then going into self employment, I’d convinced myself that I had now “seen it all”.  And we do, don’t we?  Its so easy to convince ourselves that we know it all.


But last week I had to deliver a presentation.  It was this presentation that resulted in me being two days late writing this blog post so I will apologise for that now.


The presentation was about legal structures of social enterprises.  I’d no idea where to start.  Fortunately there is so much information on the internet these days that I was able to pull together something meaningful.  Then I trawled my network and found a couple of people in the business who could just check it over.  Its been quite a steep learning curve for me but does show that there’s no real reason not to have an answer these days and has highlighted the importance of having a diverse network in business.


But its also been a bit of an eye opener for me.  Social enterprise is a whole new world for me.  Not only a world where people matter more but also one that is having to come to terms with the removal of funding and finding new ways to overcome their funding issues.


But what I really learned here was, how often do I step out of my world and into another one.  This isn’t a comfort zone thing, this is actually about stepping into someone else’s world for a day.  I’m certainly going to be looking at other opportunities to do this.

When have you stepped into a different world?  Please share your thought here:

Motivations and Inspirations


Where do you get your inspiration from?

Since starting my own business one of the things I’ve found most difficult to deal with is finding my own motivation and inspirations.  As a coach, this is something that I do on a daily basis to support other people, but when it comes back to me – well its just plain hard.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  And at the same time thinking about new business start ups, particularly women you may have seen my blog post “Its Women’s Business” a few weeks ago.  I’m in the process of pulling together some interviews of business women from different backgrounds and trying to understand where their motivations and inspirations come from.

And just yesterday I was driving to a meeting whilst listening to radio 2 and they were interviewing Daraine Mulvihill who is one of the presenters for Channel 4 for the para-Olympics.  Daraine a former cross country runner lost the lower part of her legs at the age of 16 following illness and is now starting to use blades claiming Oscar Pistorius to be part of her inspiration.  Yet for me, Daraine herself is inspirational – certainly from a perspective that sometimes I lack the motivation to switch on my laptop.

Yesterday on the radio she talked about how she didn’t think she would have achieved her current levels of success as a cross country runner and that being forced to rethink her career has worked well for her.


For me her story reminds me that anything can be achieved when you believe in yourself, we have to push through the tough bits along the way and stay focused on being the best we can be.

What success do you really want to achieve?
Please feel free to share other inspirational stories about you or someone you’ve heard about by commenting below.  I’d love to hear all about them.

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:

Its Women’s Business – what would you like to know?

Is there anything you’d love to know about business and enterprise?

I may need to apologise to my male readership now for the title.  As a life coach starting out a couple of years ago – I found it a daunting world.  I used to believe that being self employed wasn’t for me because I knew nothing about dealing with accountants, the tax man or marking a business to get clients.  Let alone liability insurance, national insurance contributions, social media ………… I could go on.

Yet I managed it.  I started from scratch and I managed it.  And it was easier than I thought it would be.

So why according to a report by Stirling university in 2006 (OK  little out of date I know) are only 7.6% of women self employed compared to 17.6% of men?  The report goes on to explore the difference in working hours and also work types and this accounts for a difference, but there IS still a difference.

I’m writing about it because I want to help change it.  I don’t discriminate, I’m as happy to her from men who want coaching or mentoring as women, however I want to help women see whats possible with a little help.

So, although my blog will continue in its current format I will be running a series about women in enterprise, and hope that this will be as inspiring to my male readership as my women. I will be interviewing real women in real business situations and sharing their thoughts and ideas here.

For now consider this inspirational lady who took over her husbands company shortly after he passed away at 29. With a two year old in tow – this took some doing and she learned her trade bottom up.

Dame Margaret Barbour – responsible for making the jacket what it is today.

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started“. – Sally Berger.

So if there are any burning questions about enterprise that you’d like to get some different viewpoint on – why not leave a comment here? and I’ll see if I can include it.

If you want to get started in business – then consider mentoring to help you on your way. For more information about coaching and mentoring then go to Reflections Coaching

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

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