Category Archives: Mind

Failure and how to recover from it

Recovering from failure

Often we are advised to just pick ourselves up when we’ve fallen down.  It’s easy to say, simple to understand, but can be almost impossible to do when it’s you who has fallen.!

The greatest approach to overcoming failure to have the mindset that failure isn’t actually such a bad thing. As Thomas Edison said: “I didn’t fail 1000 times – I just found 999 ways that it would not work!”

Each failure is one step closer to the success that you are working towards. It’s a humbling notion that if we take time to consider our failure, why we failed, how we can change, and what feedback that failure is giving to us, our next steps improve us and our performance.  Failure is thus a vital step in innovation and growth.

This mindset is true for every aspect of life: Business, relationships, career and self-development. It is through not achieving what we had planned, that our path is enriched and our experience deepened. We are in complete control of how we choose to react or respond in the face of disappointment. We often experience negative emotions because the outcome achieved is incongruent with the result that was anticipated.

Failure is an event, not a person.

Zig Ziglar

How profound to remove the personal from outside occurrences. A human being thus cannot fail – a human being can only grow and develop, and embrace the learning and opportunities which ultimately cement them to stand strong.

Maximise your potential. Speak to a business coach today!  The first session is FREE.


Inspiration from TED

pablo-17Inspiration is defined as ‘something that makes someone want to do something’.  TED is probably one of the most inspirational platforms in the world. The myriad of talks and topics are an essential component of any coach’s toolkit. Often this is because the experts who talk, say things so well, and have that amazing capacity to inspire us.

It’s difficult to select five of the most inspirational  talks, but these are some to get the year off to a fantastic and positive start. Each one is between 10 to 15 minutes, and can change the way you see yourself, and how you choose to live your life.

  1. Are you human, by Ze Frank

A four and a half minute series of questions which will make you smile, laugh at yourself, and truly feel like you share certain commonalities with every other member of the human race. This talk is lovely in its unusual presentation, and in the way in which it is received by the audience.

  1. Why you will fail to have a great career, by Larry Smith

Larry is an economist who has a very dry sense of humour and a realistic approach to one’s career. Do not be put off by the negative title – it’s a very upbeat and humorous talk, which really hits home in terms of kick starting your own career, and getting yourself into action!

  1. The paradox of choice, by Barry Schwartz

A realistic and thought-provoking look at our lives, circumstance and the currently reality of being overwhelmed by choices in every aspect of life. This talk takes a surprising twist by approaching a topic that would generally be seen as being highly optimistic, and making the listening think a little bit about their lives and the choices that they make.

  1. Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce, by Malcom Gladwell

By using the analogy of finding the perfect spaghetti sauce, Malcom Gladwell discusses the pursuit of happiness and human nature regarding choice. He discusses the search for perfect spaghetti sauce with great humour and simplicity. The correlation is to humanity: how we think we do not always know what we want, but if we are asked the right questions, we know exactly what we want!

  1. The surprising science of happiness, by Dan Gilbert

We seem to be conditioned to believe that if we get what we want we will be happy, and conversely, if we don’t get what we want we will be unhappy. Dan challenges this idea by introducing a concept called ‘our psychological immune system’, which is our internal pilot that ensures that we are really happy – even when we don’t get what we want!

Inspiration comes in various forms and means, and affects different people in different ways. Use the resources that you have to keep yourself enthused. It is through our internal stimulation that we drive ourselves to greatness and to achieve all those dreams that we dream for ourselves.


Speak to a business coach today.  The first session is FREE.

Emotionally intelligent self management

VisitingNew York

To show you a graph proving how managing your emotions impacts positively on your career and life is probably a waste of time. Not because the data isn’t valid, but rather because it is only in the experiential management of your emotions that you can actually start seeing the impact unfold.

Emotions lie at the core of all human behaviour.

Before we think or act on anything, we have a feeling that charges through our system, to which we react. Most of us believe that we are in control and that the majority of our behaviour is controlled and chosen. This is true when we’re in balance and not caught off guard.

It is the massively charged human emotions – the shock, the frustration, the anger, the humiliation – which spiral our responses out of control. It is then that our internal regulator is hijacked, and we are faced with the consequent cost of an emotional outburst, and its resultant ripple effects.

Understanding your own triggers and emotional pulses empowers you to colour your life and experiences as you please, without having to rethink the collateral damage of an outburst. The emotionally intelligent person is able to experience the sensation of their emotions, without displaying anything inappropriate or incongruous.

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in balance.”

Brian Tracy

The emotionally intelligent person knows themselves and their emotions. It’s not that emotions are bad – it’s just the inappropriate display of them from which we need to recover.


Maximise your potential.  Speak to one of our coaches today!  Your first session is FREE.


Make your emotions work for you at work


Every cowboy sings his sad, sad song

Bret Michaels

One of the greatest misconceptions of modern times is the belief that ‘happy workers are productive workers’.  As much as there is evidence to back this up, there is just as much evidence to disprove it.

Our emotions are the dynamics which colour our lives. They give moments meaning, frame our memories, and let us know how we’re doing.  The truth is that our emotions drive us in different ways – and it’s not necessarily the good ones that make our work great.

Being emotionally intelligent is knowing ourselves, acknowledging our sensations, and knowing what does and doesn’t work for us.  It is sometimes at the depths of desperation that we are catapulted forward to overcome a challenge; or it is the vehement anger that burns deep inside which ignites the passion to just get something done; or the simple sadness that forces us to face our own truths, from which a greatness emerges.

Artists across all disciplines are renowned for using their deepest feelings to spur their most prominent work. So too, is the average working person driven by stress, which gets them out of bed in the morning.

The fundamental question is not ‘are you happy enough to be productive?’ but rather, ‘what emotion initiates your efficiency, so that the best of you can emerge?’


Book a coaching session today.  The first session is FREE.

Self-care – Paying yourself first


‘Pay yourself first’ is a well-known business principle. For many entrepreneurs however this is a foreign concept, because the business always comes first, the creditors second, and the business owner last (if at all!).

‘Pay yourself first’ does not refer to today’s salary; rather it considers how you save money, and how you plan long-term, so that your time spent in the working world pays you.

In this way ‘pay yourself first’ means invest and save today so that you are able to live a certain calibre of life tomorrow. Paying yourself first is one of the ideologies of self-care, along with exercising regularly, eating healthily, and finding time for yourself to do the things you love.

The value of paying yourself is not just about finances. The concept of looking out for your future self spills over into every aspect of life. So often in business people put everything else before their self-care. Pay yourself first by allowing yourself that time out to actually enjoying the various aspects of your life.

If you forget to make these critical deposits, when the time comes to reap what you have sown, your body may not have been able to withstand the accumulated years of stress and poor self-care. You may also find yourself alone, as the people who continually got in the way of your work, eventually got out of the way.

Paying yourself first adopts the same philosophy as exercising first thing in the morning – you’re not going to gain any additional health benefits from a 5am wake-up, but you are quite simply less likely to skip the gym session first thing than you are last thing. So, the more you embed the habit, the more you perform the act, the more you entrench self-care and enable you to look after yourself.

Do you need help establishing a routine of self-care?  Book a coaching session today (the first session is FREE).

Work-life balance and optimising support

What's work-lifebalance?

We’ve heard it said before: “No-one lies on their deathbed and wishes that they’d spent more time at the office.” The irony is that this is often said to those who desperately need to hear it, but although most of us would agree with the sentiment, there is frequently something stronger that drives us and pulls us into working long hours, whether ambition, a sense of responsibility towards our clients and our business, or an overwhelming to-do list.

The key to achieving a sense of work-life balance is to integrate the meaningful components of your life in such a way that each part of your life can flourish.

We’re not saying that the some parts of people’s lives don’t function independently, but rather that if your family supports and understands your work, they feel more involved, you feel less alone, and you are able to achieve a sense of belonging with your own people. In a way it’s about having your own cheerleading squad who support and sustain you – to include your loved ones in your work life makes absolute sense.

We believe David Rockefeller summed it up perfectly in a sentence:

“I am convinced that material things can contribute a lot to making one’s life pleasant, but, basically, if you do not have very good friends and relatives who matter to you, life will be really empty and sad, and material things cease to be important.”


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Handling stress before it handles you

Stress relief

Every stress management article out there promotes identifying the cause of your stress – treating the source and not the symptom. The problem with this is that for most people who are active in the economy, life in general is the source of stress. Trying to get through what we’ve planned, feeling pressure to constantly up our game, and continually feeling the need to create balance, are just some of the areas that contribute to feelings of stress.

Regardless of the source of your stress, if you resolve it, there is a high likelihood that it will be replaced by something equally, or more, stressful. The principle then is to learn how to manage your stress levels so that you feel in control of your life.

The below are 10 simple stress busting tips that really work and can transform your life:

  1. Learn to say no! If it’s not your responsibility, do not allow someone else to increase your workload and cause distress.
  2. Categorise what matters to you. We can all list our priorities. It’s when clients and colleagues start to pressurise us that we lose sight of what really matters. Keep the vision of what really matters firmly in your mind.
  3. Do what you enjoy doing first. There is a time management principle that promotes getting the work you don’t like doing out of the way first. We advocate that in fact the opposite holds true. Doing what you love and what you’re good at increases your energy levels so that the rest of your day is more fruitful, productive and enjoyable.
  4. Exercise. Whether it’s yoga, running or going for a walk, the human body needs the endorphins that come from physical movement. They are a natural stress reliever, and give us the ability to think clearly.
  5. Breathe. For years we have been told that we slump at our desks and only fill the top 12% of our lungs’ capacity. At least every hour, take a few seconds to have a few really good, deep breaths – inhale for five slow counts, gently hold for five counts, and then exhale for five slow counts.
  6. Cold water. Most of us are slightly dehydrated. By sipping cold water we not only rehydrate, but we also refresh ourselves and keep our bodies, and energy levels, from slumping during the day.
  7. Positive talk. Although stress does not arise from a negative self-perception, how we handle stress can be strongly influenced by how we perceive ourselves and our stress levels. Be kind to yourself and be kind about yourself. Watch your internal dialogue, and if you wouldn’t talk that way to a loved one, don’t talk that way to yourself.

  8. Have fun. So many people get caught up working incredibly hard to build a life that they want, and forget that the process is part of life itself. By the time you’ve achieved your goal, you will probably be too exhausted to enjoy it. Let yourself appreciate all the moments along the way.
  9. Let others help. So often our stress comes from the belief that we have to do everything, and it all has to be done 100% right. Getting another perspective can often offer amazing insights, and realising that imperfect is also good enough is a valuable step in managing feelings of overwhelm and stress.
  10. Rest when you’re resting. When it’s time out, it is not time to discuss, or read, or think about work. It is time to let your body, mind and psyche take a break.  Embrace it.

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Wake up to your passion

passion paycheck

You know what’s amazing? If you look at great inventors, composers or artists, there are always stories detailing how they spent hours as children investigating, growing and cultivating their competencies in one way or another. That passion then grew into an art form, which became integrally and seamlessly part of their lives.

Think about when you were a kid. What did you spend your time doing? What was your greatest pleasure? Did you transform it into your adulthood occupation? Or are you miles away, doing something that makes you count the hours until you can be free from your office? And how is it that some people get it right and love their work?

When it comes down to it, it’s the strength of the passion that ultimately drives people to become fully engaged in what they love doing. They cannot imagine doing anything else, and in many cases, they cannot force themselves to do anything else.

It may sound a cliché, but you really are the captain of your own destiny. It’s up to you to steer the ship of your own path, and chart the waters of circumstance in the direction that you aspire to. When you were a child, if someone asked you what you wanted to spend your time doing, the answer came really easily.

So think about this: What is it that you really love spending your time doing? And how can you make a career of it?

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