My job has recently been transferred from the UK to an Asian country. With the move from my established position to a new challenging role in a new environment, I suddenly found myself lacking my usual level of confidence...

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Positive Voice Blog

Clean Language

Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by Positivevoice

As I journey through London, I often overhear conversations that make me cringe.
‘I’ll try and get there on time’ (try is code for ‘not succeed’)
‘Why can’t you be more helpful?’ (‘why’ invites excuses and this question is focused completely on the problem)
Why are you so angry? (Again, ‘why’ invites excuses and this is a complete ‘mind read’- how do you know its anger, it could be disappointment or any other kind of emotion) Using ‘clean language’ is essential in coaching and is considered particularly important amongst people who work in the field of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). When we are careful about the language we use, we avoid imposing our map of the world on to other people. After all, what is one man’s disaster could be perceived as a blessing to another. In this way, we reach the truth and enable people to come up with solutions that work for them.

To this end, ask open ended questions, such as:
How do you feel about that?
What do you think about that?
What is x (use their word) like?
What does that mean to you?
And what happens in these situations?
And what happens then?
And what’s that like?
And what else?
I challenge you to use more ‘clean language’ at home and at work. The results might suprise you!

Stop Waiting and Start Living

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 by Positivevoice

Thank you to all those of you who came to this weekend's retreat. It was a really lovely, relaxing weekend and i think we all learnt a great deal.

During the course of the weekend, one thing kept coming up; 'I'll be happy when... i get married... i have children... get a promotion... or move abroad'. If you say this, you're actually putting off being happy. It's almost like your happiness is 'on hold' until you 'arrive'. As my good friend, Fran Fowler, (author of 'Your Life Sucks') said on Sunday, 'You're never going to arrive!' You see, as we attain our goals, they are merely replaced with higher, more challenging ones. It is human nature to keep setting higher goals due to an inherent desire to grow. As William S. Burroughs famously put it in 1953 'When you stop growing, you start dying'.

So, where does this leave us?

I believe goal-setting and growing to be incredibly important, but our lives must be balanced with relaxation, fun and above all, passion. Far too many people push their passions to one side, thinking that they are not as important as more serious goals, such as saving up for a house, paying the mortgage or advancing in their careers. If you do this, please ask yourself: 'Does this make me happy?'. If it does, then that is great and you need read no further.

If it doesn't: I challenge you to make a list of all the things that make you happy and to tick at least one off everyday! You never know, you may even realise that you have already been making time for some of the things that make you happy. Either way, compile your list and take some time to reflect. I know it seems very simple, but i think you'll find that some of the most effective exercises are!

Have a wonderful week :)

The Voice Within

Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 by Positivevoice

Recently, I was coaching someone who didn't know exactly what she wanted me to work on. so before we could begin, we were faced with the challenge of tapping into her inner knowingness of what was right for her on that particular day. Without even realising it, we had hit the nail on the head!
She soon realised that what she needed was the ability to access that still place within, no matter what was going on around her; to access that 'inner knowingness' and to feel at peace with the knowledge that everything is just as it is meant to be. A week later, I received a card saying that she felt 'at peace and guided'.

This morning, I had the realisation that we can all feel like this. Where there is a part of you that is in turmoil, there is another that is in perfect peace. All you need to do is still your mind and it will obediently come to the surface.

Meditation is key here. I will be teaching some techniques at this weekend's retreat in Shepherds bush. We have 1 place left. Please do visit the following page if you are interested in attending:

Heed the Signs

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 by Positivevoice

You may have heard me mention in past blogs that our bodies are constantly guiding us.

If you don't put the right fuel in a car, you will experience problems. A quick investigation from a mechanic will then reveal the root cause of the break down.

The human body is no different. When it's not happy, it tells you. The signs could be anything from fatigue, to irritability or anger.

Clients often tell me that they don't know why they feel as they do. This always prompts me to give them the same pieces of information that I am about to share with you.

1. Treat yourself with the love and respect you would treat your own child- this means eating and sleeping properly, taking exercise and relaxing as well as supporting yourself emotionally.

2. Be sure that your actions mirror your beliefs and values.

And if you still experience negative emotions:

3. Do my 'Personal Inventory' exercise to ascertain the cause

Wouldn't it be better to cultivate a sense of awareness and understanding between yourself and that part of your mind that is sending the signals? As with any relationship, this involves some give and take. If you commit to something, you must do your very best to follow through with it- so no more broken promises about going to the gym more often or eating more healthily. Someone once told me that the last person you should lie to is yourself. As with all relationships, trust is key.

Succeed or Fail

Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 by Positivevoice

In NLP we have a wonderful saying: 'There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.'

Some of my greatest learnings have been a result of mistakes I have made. I have a habit of taking immediate action, which is great - without this tendency, you probably wouldn't be reading this blog or looking at this website, however, as Brian Tracy famously said 'If you fail to plan, you plan to fail'. I'm sure you have had many similar learnings.

That you make a mistake isn't important. That you learn from your mistakes is crucial.

Whenever something 'goes wrong', ask yourself: 'what can I learn from this?'

What's your Story?

Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 by Positivevoice

A friend of mine came to stay recently and she reminded me that we all live our own 'story'. Some people forget that it is THEIR story and that they have the power to change it.

For one client I saw last week, her story is very much one of scarcity. 'I don't have enough time or money to take my business to the next level.'

'If I leave my job, I won't have the security of a monthly salary and I might not be able to pay my rent.'

In NLP, we call this living at 'effect' of your circumstances. This means that you are giving away your power by not taking responsibility for your situation.

I am a strong believer in the philosophy that thoughts become things.

Whatever your beliefs, I'd like you to imagine an all-seeing being looking down on you, hearing your thoughts and witnessing your resulting situation. What would they see? What guidance would they give you?

Look around you at your home, your bank balance, your place of work, your relationships. Do you like what you see?

If, like me, you believe that your external world is a reflection of your internal world, what is it that you need to change?

Can Being Right Truly Make you Happy?

Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 by Positivevoice

One of my greatest challenges used to be maintaining my beliefs in the face of doubt and criticism from others. I realised very early on that I couldn't make anyone think the way I do. You see, there is no right way. There is only the way that helps YOU cultivate a sense of inner peace. Your way will undoubtedly be different from your neighbours, but that does not make your way more or less right. This is a difficult concept for many to grasp. T Harv Ecker did so well when he said 'Being right won't necessarily make you happy'. It took me a long time to fully understand this. The best way for me to explain this, is through the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant- a wonderful metaphor about our beliefs that has been widely told throughout Jain, Sufi, Buddhist and Hindu lore:

There are many variations to this story, so please forgive me if I choose one that is different to the one you have heard.

In the Buddhist version, it is said that a king has some blind men of the capital brought into his palace where he asks each of them to touch an elephant and describe what they feel.

Each of the blind men is instructed to touch a different part of the elephant. When asked by the king what sort of thing an elephant is, each one is adamant that what they feel is like a pilar (the man who touches the leg), a fan (the man who touches an ear) or a branch (the man who touches the trunk). Much to the king's delight, a quarrel ensues.

The moral of this story is that all of the men are, in their own way, right. You see, there are two sides to any coin.

It is for this reason that I choose to lead by example. If someone else likes what they see, they will undoubtedly be drawn to me as a teacher, and if they don't they will look elsewhere.

I hope you enjoy reflecting on this as much as I have!

Be Solution Focused

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Positivevoice

This week's blog is dedicated to all those of you who are feeling tired, unfulfilled or grouchy- I've come across one or two of you this week :)

When I feel like this, I smile to myself because I know that things always get worse before they get better. A low point is always the motivation I need to: meditate more, attend more yoga classes or invest in a new book or meditation audio. You see it's not about not about how you fall off the wagon, it's about HOW you pick yourself up and get back on.

I'd like to start by asking you a few questions? Take as much time as you need to answer each question before moving on to the next.

      - how is feeling like this helping you?
      - what are you currently doing to help yourself?
      - what could you do differently?

Now, I'd like you to think of a time when things were better. What strategies were you using then? (we all use strategies all the time)

I challenge you to write about your current situation until you come up with a solution. It doesn't matter how many hours or days it takes, just keep picking up that pen and contemplating.

Beat Cravings Forever: Francesca shows us how with NLP

Posted on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 by Positivevoice

Next dates:

3rd and 4th September 2011

10am- 4pm
Price £100 per day (attend one or both days)

3rd September 2011

4th September 2011

Quieten Your Mind

Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 by Positivevoice

Do you find it hard to switch off and relax?

Do you find that your mind is full of all your "to do's"?

I don't know about you, but I live in a very busy environment. London is a fast-paced, career-driven city full of pressure and aspirations. I do a few things to stay calm and grounded.

Like Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way, I write what she calls my Morning Pages everyday. They don't necessarily have to be written in the morning, but it is important that they are written. They constitute 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing. Just write out whatever is in your mind. I find that once a thought is out, I no longer need to hold on to it. This helps to quieten my mind.

I combine this technique with regular doses of meditation and yoga. I find both extremely calming. Like any habit, it may take some time to make them regular, but with a bit of effort, you will enjoy amazing results!

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