HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES: GET OUT OF THE BATH… OR BETTER STILL DON’T GET IN

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HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES: GET OUT OF THE BATH… OR BETTER STILL DON’T GET IN

Despite the title, this letter to you has nothing to do with lathering your back – let’s not go there! ;-)

But it does have everything to do with a hot topic amongst my clients this week… a really, truly, non-negotiable personal habit that’s key to living a #comparisonfree life. And last time I looked, we were ALL here to do that.

I’m talking about…

BEING AWARE OF WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO AND SETTING THE RELEVANT BOUNDARIES.

We sleepwalk into decisions, situations, roles and/or conversations that don’t feel good or don’t serve us, however, often fulfill the needs of the other person or people.

To extract ourselves requires a super conscious mindset that puts US front and center rather than the lives of others - whether that’s their social media feeds or negative attitudes.

This means you have to recognize, and make a call, on the metaphorical bath that you are getting into.

I.e. You have to be mindful of willingly getting into the bath of other people’s crap, hang ups, short sighted views, negative opinions, time wasting tendencies and on and on. Despite the fact you’re invited to get in, it’s familiar, warm and you want to be nice.

  • The fact you and your work mate can pass hours bitching about your boss, keeps you in the bath
  • Buying into your Dad’s negative attitudes about money, keeps you in the bath
  • Your mate’s constant hatin’ on how you can’t trust anyone, when you REALLY want to find that long-term love, keeps you in the bath
  • Going to that meeting across town - or even the country - that sould have been a phone call, keeps you in the bath
  • Finding yourself at work related meetings that could have been a quick, keeps you in the bath

Participating in these, or your own bath, is a choice.

There are a million things to say on the topic of boundaries and I’ll be bringing more on this topic to the table, fear not, but a crucial thing to know in your bones, to your core, is that it starts with you.

The often-invisible drawing of new boundaries with people that are having an undue influence on your mindset, starts with you.

To SEE your boundaries people will have to FEEL you and then they’ll do this through what you say, how you say it and what you, do so help them out by starting with some self awareness:

  • Are you a ‘YES’ gal or guy?
  • Do you say self-deprecating words?
  • Do you minimise yourself so you don’t intimidate others or so they don’t even notice you?
  • Do you speak about yourself as ‘less than’?
  • always available and unclear on the time you can give?Are you

These are all low boundaries setters.

Want or need to set higher ones? This starts with going for an alternative choice each time you're about to dip your toe in that warm, bubble water:

  • Say ‘I’ll think about it and come back to you with an answer’ instead of the immediate ‘Yes’
  • Offer a ‘thank you’ to a compliment aimed your way or when given positive feedback or recognition (whether that’s in a text message or in a work meeting.
  • Agree to meetings – time, dates and locations – that work for you. They want to meet on Tuesday but your chocka with deadlines? It will have to be Friday half way between you both. Or, a Skype date the following week.

Seeing every bath invitation, and meeting it with a boundary defining response, is not only an active way of improving your relationships it’s bloody empowering and build so much more time, space and energy into your day and your life in general.

You're a kind and respectful human being, so use your empathy antennae so you can serve your loved ones that need you at your best.


P.S. Want to work with me to become #comparisonfree in your life or business? Great stuff. I have space for new clients before the price increase that will come into effect on 1st August. Contact me today.

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What do you do when you hate someone? Jolly topic, huh?

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What do you do when you hate someone? Jolly topic, huh?

“I just really bloody hate her, Lucy. I can’t get over it and it’s driving me mad” She said as she peered through her fingers, her hands covering her eyes that were now grey and watery from the mascara tears running down her cheeks.

That girl.

That guy.

That couple.

That business.

That house.

If you’re a human being living on planet Earth there is a good chance there will be THAT person, place or thing that immediately comes to mind that really winds you up and is, perhaps, the font of your compare and despair.

You track their movements on social media. You bitch about them in the pub. You give them the cold shoulder or fake smile when you’re in their company and anything they say or do is open to your judgment (snarky comment anyone?)

It is really easy to make other people the scapegoat for our own perceived lack of success and feelings of stuck-ness (ugh, the worst!) We, like my client above, can create icons for our hatred and frustration.

THAT person seems to have it easier, quicker, smoother and sexier than you when it comes to work, relationships, wellness or whatever is your preferred stick to beat yourself with. It’s all too easy to pin our crappy self-confidence on other people and stay powerless.

Feelings of not being enough can really brew when they have the perceived evidence of other people doing well to get hot in.

I’m putting two hand of confession up – when I lost my shit due to comparison there were a few people’s social media feeds I’d gorge on to beat myself up. I could lay my frustration at work, in my home and the dull ache of my ignored creativity at their feet because they had thinner bodies, designer shoes and a general sense of ease about them. What a nerve!

I had feelings of hate and jealousy and I’d even wish for them to lose it all. It was a very dark time and building up the good karma to make amends for that time is an everyday focus. I forgive myself. But I still don’t like the girl I was back then.

What has been instrumental in me moving on is, I’ve come to know in my now #comparisonfree life, that those girls and blokes were not the source of my discontent and upset.

It was what they represented for me.

The set of characteristics that when bundled together triggered my feelings of inadequacy and fear of the future and brought up all my ‘stuff’ to the surface.

I didn’t hate them but, like my tearful client at the start of the piece, it took me a while to untangle myself from that delusion. So how do you get yourself out of the tangle if that’s where you’re at right now?

It’s ALL about self-preservation and pro-active protection of yourself by crowding out the negative distraction.

  • Clean up your feeds: Treat your social media feeds like a house party. Out with the negative, boring or jealousy inducing people, brands and things and IN with the positivity, good influences and inspiring stimulus
  • Go Cold Turkey: Do not seek out or engage in or take the bait for bitching and negativity about THAT person or thing for you. Refuse to be drawn into it and for goodness sake, don’t initiate it. If you’re with people then change the subject, go to the loo or don’t reply to that text. These little pivots will make all the difference
  • Do something in service of your dream: Start a Pinterest board for the decoration make over you’re craving for your bedroom, email about the course, look for another job, add those contacts on LinkedIn, set an alert for the flights to your dream travel destination. Go! Go! Go!

When your self focus takes a steep rise up, you won’t have time for any hatin’ on anyone else, in fact, you’ll probably forget they even used to have an impact.


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Celebrating Client Success: The Alkemistry launches in Harvey Nichols!

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Celebrating Client Success: The Alkemistry launches in Harvey Nichols!

When you are trying to get an idea, blog or business off the ground, behind the scenes of every perfectly curated social media post is A LOT of hard work. And as a brand mentor, a big part of my role is helping my clients create clarity and build momentum relating to their goals and aspirations for their thing. I'm ambitious and driven with big dreams of my own, which is why, when a client comes to me with a BIG goal or dream I can nod, smile and say 'let's get started!'

Creative sparks flew when I met Kirstie. I started working on The Alkemistry as her brand mentor in June last year and I knew from the first time I met her that she was onto something with her jewellery concept that was in its early stages of development. Together we drew up some HUGE plans and a vision for her brand and business, aligned with her and her passion, but also super strategic and output led.

Fast forward to today and she is celebrating that her brand has been handpicked for a pop up store in HARVEY NICHOL'S. Yes, *THE* HARVEY NICHOLS as in Knightsbridge, London. No small Etsy store for this one - she goes big or goes home!

Congratulations Kirstie - it has been my honour to be your brand mentor and share in your journey, cheer you at every turn and support you and your dreams that are coming true!

Here's what Kirstie had to say about brand mentoring with me:

"Don’t expect a rhetorical questioning coach! Lucy is warm and open but equally clear in her views, you get a straight answer if you ask a question, there is no beating around the bush, which is great especially when you are busy and want to get cracking.
It is an absolute joy working with Lucy, I feel very blessed to have her side by side with me on my business adventure and along the way I am making a great friend."

 

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Pay close attention to those that don't clap when you win... 👏👏👏

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Pay close attention to those that don't clap when you win... 👏👏👏

This quote is a bit of a showstopper isn’t it?

The judgment of others can play such a big role in how, when and whether we take action for ourselves or not, can’t it? We want so much to get a nod from the people we know, like and/or respect when we ‘go for it’ on some level.

And yet, sometimes people in our circles don’t say those rallying words to encourage us, or don’t say anything at all, when we win.

We might score a promotion, start or end a relationship, create a business or get our health on point and still some people will sit on their hands.

A client of mine has been conscious of this recently as she’s strived to better herself in her work life and is really making waves, but she has been met with a few snarky comments from some of her old school friends – not cool!

It can really knock your confidence to have doubters, critics or silent side eyes from people in your circle and when you are trying to make changes and live free from comparison your awareness is everything.

  • If your former BFF uses mean jokes and seemingly innocent ‘banter’ to try and throw you off your healthy eating choices then she’s not clapping.
  • If your partner simply won’t let you talk about your long wished for plan to open your own Etsy shop then they’re not clapping.
  • If your colleague laughs in your face when you share the thought you’re going to go for the promotion in the overseas office, he’s not clapping.
  • If your parents can’t get behind your decision to end the relationship that was making you miserable, they’re not clapping.

It takes guts to step up your self-focus and create the conditions you want in your life and being discerning about the company you keep is a big part in supporting that process. It’s OK to look at managing your relationships in a new way or even having a tidy out.

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

…and yet, we’ll always be present with ourselves. So to act in a certain way or make choices in the hope of gaining other people’s approval or applause is not a wise move in the long run.

But here’s a truth for you, if you get clear on what YOU want, when those results show up for you it won’t matter if there’s total silence or rapturous standing ovations. The feeling in your heart and your tummy will ring louder than any sound ever could.

Whether people clap or not, do your best to do your thing which starts with little acts of self service. For example, only go to the parties you know will be a good laugh, say ‘yes’ to unexpected work opportunities even if they come out of leftfield, get a dog, start horse riding again, start that blog and cook that meal from scratch even though it looks tricky.

And if that feels like it’s too much, know that I’m always going to be clapping embarrassingly loud for you (and perhaps ringing a cowbell as well.)

Love Lucy xox


Need some Lucy magic in your life?

I have availability to work with new life coaching, brand mentoring and website creation clients this Spring and Summer. Happy Days!

Contact me to set up a zero slime chat.


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I wasn't expecting my blood to run cold...

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I wasn't expecting my blood to run cold...

Me and Shosh were kinda caught off guard

Me and Shosh were kinda caught off guard

If I say ‘SCHOOL REUNION’ to you what’s your immediate reaction?:

“No thanks!” (Emphatically)
“Why not? It could be fun.” (Nervously)
“Count me in!” (Confidently)

I don’t know about you, but the topic of reunions isn’t always an easy one for we humans. More often that not it prompts heaps of self-judgment as we look at others in the hope of understanding how we ourselves are doing and how ‘successful’ we are shaping up to be.
 
The topic has come back around for me and tested my mettle in recent weeks....
 
I knew it was only a matter of time because it’s a date that marks an anniversary of sorts for me. But still, to see the 15-year school reunion pop up in my Facebook feed made me feel a bit weird, and in complete honesty, made my blood run cold. Yep, shivers. I even put my mug of Earl Grey tea down.
 
It’s never been a secret that it was my 10 year school reunion, 5 years ago, that triggered my compare & despair paralysis. It was following that day of laughter, catching up, prosecco swilling and air kissing that there followed one of the darkest periods of my life where a weird and unexpected addiction to comparison sent me in a tailspin that would insidiously obliterate my self-esteem. Shudder.
 
You can read the full and raw gore here, but **spoiler alert** losing your house and being too poor for a Primark sock splurge does not make the most aspirational anecdote to swap at a reunion of your peers… looking stunning in their red bottomed shoes, tans from the Maldives and high powered jobs.
 
It still feels visceral to think back to that time post reunion but it also feels very much something of the past. Even though it was only a few years ago comparison has switched from being my most negative obsession to be my greatest teacher.
 
I can get myself, and my clients, out of comparison in minutes now whereas I could sometimes lose myself in it for weeks. I’ve come a LONG way, baby, and I’d like to choose to honour that even if the reunion invite first acted as a trigger.
 
Having said that, the invitation to the aforementioned 15-year school reunion has prompted the question as to whether I go or not?
 
Sleepless nights deciding? Not quite.

Over thinking it, maybe? A touch.
 
Well, this time the decision has been made for me as I have a diary commitment (my book tour)

BUT it leaves me wondering, could I handle the reunion based on what I know now about the pitfalls of comparison? Would it feel weird and exposing knowing all those people know how I did NOT fair well in the previous aftermath? I would definitely feel a bit vulnerable for sure and I can own that.
 
But over all, I’d like to think the answer is ‘yes’, that if I was available, I would attend and that I’d hold my head high.
 
That I’d just be myself.
Safe in my own skin.
Loving and non-judgey towards others.
Free from paranoia and the slippery slope of my limiting beliefs.
 
Thankfully I know now my self worth has nothing to do with whether I have red bottomed shoes or not. And besides, I’ve come to know I’m more of a high tops girl.
 
What about you though - would you attend your reunion? What would you say are the pros and cons?
 
Love Lucy xo

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#IRLpanel speaking gig on FRIENDSHIP / Shoreditch / 20.04.16

Ah it was such an honour, and without spouting too much hyperbole, a career highlight to be invited to speak on the #IRLpanel last week hosted by Internet crushes and now new BFF's Emma Gannon and Laura Jane Williams.

Here are some lovely reviews of the event and some snaps and sample tweets for posterity :-)

Blog reviews:

http://almostamazinggrace.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/friendships-irl.html?m=1 

http://theescapologistsdaughter.co.uk/2016/04/schmoozing-and-boozing-irlpanel/

https://forgoodtimessake.com/2016/04/23/a-night-at-irlpanel/

 

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LISTENING

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LISTENING

LISTENING.

 

Is not:

**Waiting for someone to draw breath so you can jump in with one of your own anecdotes.

**Hearing someone feels down or frustrated and then carpet bombing them with all the things they should be grateful for.

**Responding to what they're saying with 'get over it', 'you just need...' 'you should just...'

 

LISTENING:

Is a kind silence.

Give people space to say, do and feel what they need to in the moment. The most powerful gift you can give someone its allowing them to feel heard and supported.

So many times comparison masks a deeper issue and we don't give each other the chance to discover what that is because we are being interrupted and it pisses me off. We're all in this together.

Ooof starting the day with a bit of a rant but hey, you get me ;-)

Love Luce xxx

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New Year free training - The Agency girl's Freedom Technique

*Girls of the Creative Industries!*

No more eye rolling at that Board Director or people speaking over you at meetings.

 I plan to teach *exactly* how to claim your power, say FU to tyrannical adland politics and get *your* plan to leave your current job and be settled in a new role or career by April 2016 at the LATEST. 

Sign up CONFIDENTIALLY below.

I work with many bright, able, creative and talented women from Agency land and it is the honour of a lifetime to help and support them to get happy, balanced and free.

 I do however despair at the amount of crying in toilets, bullying and politics that is still so rife and stealing women's joy, stopping their progress, squashing confidence and potential in the creative, media and communication industries.

If you relate to this I'm here to help - I'm running a free online training between Christmas & New Year to set you free from your current Agency job and even go self employed with confidence, if that's for you. I'm gauging interest so please sign up here if you'd benefit from this or know a girl who would. 

Name *
Name

Again, I plan to teach *exactly* how to claim your power, say FU to tyrannical adland politics and get *your* plan to leave your current job and be settled in a new role or career by April 2016.

I did it and ALL for the better and so can you!

Love Lucy

xx

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The House Party rule = social media harmony

DOES THE SOCIAL MEDIA FESTIVE FEED MAKE YOU WANNA HAVE A BIG 'OL DRINK?!

DOES THE SOCIAL MEDIA FESTIVE FEED MAKE YOU WANNA HAVE A BIG 'OL DRINK?!

OK, we've knee skidded into December so ima gonna need you to start putting the sprouts onto boil and play 'Last Christmas' on repeat on your Spotify playlist until I tell you to stop ;-)

I'm only joking - come back, come back! In honesty the run up to the festive season can be a bit overwhelming to say the least especially when you throw into the mix the digital overspill of our social media feeds to amp up the offline noise

Currently my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter apps are already ramping up in the green, red and glitter stakes with people sharing plans of parties, get togethers, gifts, recipes, bustle, trees, wrapping and on it goes - hello overwhelm! With this in mind, it's really important that we do what we can to manage the effect this has on us and get conscious around all that tapping, liking, posting and scrolling.

Don't get me wrong, I double love social media, and yet, if it's making us feel on edge and causing us to compare ourselves to other people - what they're doing and how they're spending their time and cash etc - then it's time for you to take action.

Cue one of my very favourite and most effective methods from my #comparisonfree box of tricks.

Treat your social media feeds like a house party for online harmony.

Eh? Yeah, a house party! Check out this short video I recorded for you below to hear the what, why and how to apply this funky little method that will bring your feeds inline with what works for you and return some calm and peace to your mind too:

Jeez Lucy - what's with the nails?! ;-)

What do you think? How easy was it for your to spot the brands, people and things that were triggering you? How does it feel to curate and be conscious around that content you've been letting in?

Meet me in the comments

Love Lucy xox

PS - Wanna hang out in real life?!

I'm going to be speaking at this HigherSelfie* event on Saturday 12th December in Central London

"‪#‎HigherSelfie‬ presents The 2015 Wrap Party: Reflect, release & reconnect with your most divine self".

I'm doing an exclusive, new, in-depth workshop on how to overcome comparison and, more importantly, identify the insight it holds for *you* to help you create your rock solid plan for 2016. There's a tonne of information here and please note early bird tickets are available for a limited time only in the next coupla dayz - save £34! Come and join me darlings I'd LOVE to hang out with you smile emoticon

*As many of you know this is my other business baby :-)

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Getting ghosted: what to know when your friendships fade

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Getting ghosted: what to know when your friendships fade

 

One minute they’re there and then they’re not…

I first heard the term "ghosting" from an American friend when she was chatting about some guy she had been dating who just vanished or ‘ghosted her. He ended the relationship by simply disappearing without any explanation, leaving her wondering where she went wrong.

In my head I was like “Umm… that’s happened to me before but there was never any snogging involved!”... Ghosting happens platonically too.

This can be some emotionally heavy shit dudes and babes - we've all experienced the shifting sands of the friendship planes and it ain't cool.

When people disappear into the ether without any reason why it’s super easy to just come up with one million things you must have done wrong… was it because you always rolled your eyes when they wouldn’t split the bill? You never returned that book you borrowed (lost) on holiday? You decided you were ready to start going to the gym on your own?

When someone disappears from our lives, and yet, seems to be having the BEST time without us according to social media that can reaaallly sting and make us wonder where we stand with that person… and that’s if we stay on the ‘friends’ list.

Let me recount one of my own Penny Dreadful stories of being ghosted which includes the ultimate modern day slight of being unfriended on Facebook *bites fist*.

“Wow, it’s you!” his DM on FB read immediately after the first bing on my phone.

“How’re you doing stranger? Everything looks like it's going great for you!” he continued in our message thread adding a panda emoji.

“Well” I thought “I guess you would have known how I was doing had you not UNFRIENDED ME LIKE 3 YEARS AGO!” I silently raged as the tingles of anger, humiliation and disbelief shuddered through me.

I’d suspected he’d digitally checked out of our friendship as, over time, I’d noticed his posts weren’t in my feed and he wasn’t tagged in our mutual friend’s pictures.

The cringey reality only became fully evident when I went to write a happy birthday message on his wall and the screen of doom popped up “Add <insert name> as a friend… you have 45 friends in common”

(I know Facebook, you snarky b@stard!)

Realising he’d unfriended me felt absolutely horrible and as I sat alone at my laptop my mind easily shot to what did I do? What pub convos had I come up in closely followed by “oh man Lucy? She does my head in!”

Although I tried to brush it off, it took me right back to feeing like that little girl at school who just wanted to be liked (ahem, she’s still alive and well!)

I went on to wonder if I was part of a mass cull or if I was handpicked to disappear, as I saw it. I’d never get a clear answer on that because to ask felt too cringey even by somewhat emotive standards.

I was in a vulnerable state and my default setting was to go to the fearful, wobbly stance of lack in the fist shaking moment of “I thought we were friends!” followed by “WHHHYYYYY!!!” to rival a Game of Thrones finale moment.

Ghosting hurts…

Or at least it used to until I learnt and accepted some liberating truths, which I hope by sharing, can help you lick your wounds and open your eyes to a different perspective…

  • The answer to why I’d been digitally binned is/was none of my effing business because people are entitled to be connected with whoever they like. Their feed is there to tweak and curate just as mine and yours is. Not everyone will make the cut.
  • Because he distanced himself from me didn’t mean I was inherently unlikeable it just meant he wasn’t clinging to connections – virtual or not – that didn’t serve him. It goes both ways – we’ve all been on the ghosting side too although perhaps we’ll manage it better next time.
  • We need to be super careful about how the digital overspill into our lives can create a mirage of where we stand in our own friendship ranks to ensure we don’t instantly forget our value, our strengths, charms, big heart and the fact that you’re beautiful on the inside and out and that you’re enough. The end!
  • How easy it was for all the amazing, loyal and new friendships I enjoy to be dwarfed by those that weren’t around any more. Not cool of me to obsess over who or what wasn’t there rather than appreciate and luxuriate in what was!
  • Take the ghosting as an opportunity to gather your tribe – handpick those that accept you at your most ranty and your most radiant. Turn down your focus on the validation of sometimes relative strangers to equate your self worth. You have it all within you, Boo! A like or birthday FB message is no measure of your gifts or popularity. The people that care don’t matter… the people that matter don’t care so don’t go changing!
  • It’s not anyone’s job to give you closure or make you feel good about yourself – to every ending dealt by someone else is a new beginning gifted to you.

The B I G G Y… know this:

"People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime"

  • I heard Iyanla Vanzant say that on Oprah’s Life Class once and I nearly fell out of my chair. We’re simply not meant to embark on a never-ending recruitment of people to form an ever-expanding friendship group. Some will stay and some will go and some will reenter orbit at exactly the right time. Let it happen. Know when it’s time to stop trying – it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

It's not as simple as 'don't take it personally' as, thankfully, being ghosted is an opportunity to go deeper than that. Be active in choosing the company you keep and what they bring to your table whether it's a reason, a season or a lifetime.

And now over to you - have you drifted away from a friend and it's felt like the natural thing to do? Or perhaps you've been wounded by not having the approval of certain people over time? Are you hung up on comparing what your friendships are now compared to what they used to be? What's your best piece of advice for when things are coming to an end platonically?

I'll meet you in the comments - Love Lucy xxx

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Fancy a slice of meltdown: What happened when I lost it in Pizza Express

Every so often something happens outside your control and it shakes the ground you walk on, right? I’m sure if I asked you to think about events that have happened to you that you’ll each have your own examples of when life put you through the tumble dryer.

Recently I’ve had that sort of thing happen. It’s not life or death but it has felt significant, namely, our landlord is selling our flat and so Al (Mr. Proof), Roe (4 pawed Proof) and I will be moving much sooner than we ever thought/hoped.

Since relocating from Leeds to Brighton last Feb, and working nationwide in between, I’ve had to really work on being grounded and redefine my idea of what ‘home’ is which is tricky as my environment is something important to me but always seems to be different.

I love this flat – not just because it’s super comfortable and 30 seconds from the beach but also because, up until recently it has represented such a lot for me. It has the perfect base for me living this big new chapter – married, self employed and working towards the future I want for myself.

When Al broke the news a week or so back, we were up in Yorkshire seeing family and had gone out for dinner with my stepson to Pizza Express. It’s fair to say I lost my shit when he told me that it’s time for us to start looking for another home. I burst into tears on the spot – much to the intrigue of the other diners who thought we’d had a huge row! I felt my ego mind go bonkers “BUT IT’S MY HOME!” and “It’s not FAIR!”… to the point I actually had to go and take a minute in the loo to compose myself.

It was through the smudged mascara, snot and gaspy-weird-breath-thing that happens when I get into a heavy crying sesh… that something pierced the moment.

It was the realisation that never had my favourite mantra been truer:

"I trust the timing of my life."

This whole moving thing isn’t happening to me – it’s happing for me. It will make room for something even better suited to where I’m at right now. How do I know? Because that’s been the result every time I have gone through life’s tumble dryer: losing my house, messy relationships, jobs going pear shaped, general let downs both trivial and impactful.

Why should this be any different?

What good would it do me to exert my perceived control and resistance over this situation? Or even try and force the outside world to comply with one of my pre-determined visions of how something ‘should’ be?

By detaching myself from the process of how my happiness continues to show up, grateful for the now and the present, I can feel **to my very core** that I am more than ever committed to that outcome, regardless of how it shows up.

For when I’m not feeling so strong and clear another reminder that comes through loudly for me is what Gabby B highlighted at her workshop in November: “Fear is the assumption you only have your own strength to rely on”… and this just isn’t my reality, as it is rarely anyone’s.

Life will throw as many plot twists at us as it can and we can go with it and make space for what that fresh space will bring, or we can try and go against it and miss out on what happens when we decide to ‘choose again’.

Fast forward to today and I don’t have a place to move to yet but I trust it’s going to happen in the most perfect way for me and with every breath that newness draws closer. I wish it hadn’t taken a Pizza Express meltdown to be the catalyst but it did the job.

Let's trust the timings of our lives.

Share your views now and I’ll meet you in the comments :)

Love Lucy xxx


(Gif from: http://www.tagroom.com/kim-kardashian-explains-why-she-does-that-ugly-crying-face-26777// http://www.buzzfeed.com/samjparker/people-falling-over-gifs#.rsR59gKEDw// http://giphy.com/gifs/katy-perry-lyrics-tiger-12S4EnbzXKr9sI)

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Not feeling the love this V Day? Why a happy heart needs YOU!

Oh FFS get a room - oh, you did..

Oh FFS get a room - oh, you did..

Social media is a bugger all year round when it comes to messing with our perceptions of our marital (or not) status – but Valentines day can put that stuff on steroids.

Like on other celebration type days, the filter factor is in overdrive and we spend an unparalleled amount of focus looking at our relationships and what is or isn’t happening.

At this time of year our feeds are filled with the colours red and pink, bouquets of flowers, chocolates and bubbles and handwritten declarations of everlasting luuuurrrve. “We are SO happy!” seems to be the subtext of every clip of the show reel of social media.

(This can be even more overwhelming if it comes via your ex squeeze, smiling up at you from Instagram with their new boy or girl (Well F*ck THEM for a start!))

Where we can trip up if we’re in a relationship at this time of year, is using V Day to be super critical of our partners, picking on what we see as their character flaws and lack of attention to detail- ironically putting focus on NOT feeling the love:

“I bet he will get me a crappy card from Tesco Extra”

“I bet she’ll expect me to have organised dinner”

“As per usual he’ll probably be too busy for us to actually have a proper date night”

“I bet <insert nauseating friend> will get those Celine loafers she’s dropped hints about. Her boyfriend ALWAYS seems to treat her and I get eff all”

This is where we need to be really careful.

If you compare your relationship to other’s, questioning why your lover isn’t buying, saying and doing certain things then you not only block the good vibes in your relationships but also remove your responsibility for your part in the status quo. Awkward but true.

A Course In Miracles highlights that the only thing absent in any situation is what YOU’RE not bringing. A way to get everything you want in your relationships, and remove the need for your other half to be psychic, is to bring it yourself and make present what you feel is absent.

  • So if you’re feeling neglected – bring attentive gestures to you and your beau
  • If you’re feeling resentful – bring forgiveness
  • If you’re feeling like you deserve a treat – bring indulgence
  • If you’re feeling undersexed and over worked – start fantasizing now and tonight get naked and bring some spontaneous spice to your sofa

Looking at, and obsessing over, what’s ‘out there’, going on with other people will get you nowhere fast.

Instead, try and look within, coming from a place of self love to create something from your own source – that’s the way to go to let love flow (not to mention great sex.)

So how do we start? Sometimes we need a bit of help letting go of our emotional baggage and expectations attached to our partner – these keep us rooted in the past or borrowing doubt and drama from the future and my sure fire way to bring in fresh energy starts with a couple of exercises as follows:

1) Go Back to THAT moment

Take yourself back in time to the exact moment you met your love – no, not just the time of year, the exact moment… like before you even left the bar, the meeting room when they walked in, the corridor you passed them and sneakily tried to sniff them (oh, just me?!)

The exact moment.

In those collected minutes, you weren’t thinking about their past track record were you? Nor were you concerned about how their dishwashing standards were not inline with your own. It wasn’t about lack or what they weren’t it was all about what could be.

In that moment that your worlds collided, your thoughts were probably more like ‘I wonder if they’re single’, ‘that is a REALLY nice beard’, ‘do you think she knows how sexy her laugh is?’…. And from those butterflies or flickers of excitement in that present moment, the fresh space was made that allowed all the other synchronicities to flow to where you are now.

Think back and visualize that moment – just you and he/she and the swapping of your phone numbers. Stay there. Close your eyes. What can you taste? What can you smell? What were you wearing? What was their hair like?

How does that feel in your body? Kind nice, huh?

One of the reasons you’ll probably describe it as feeling good, is because you were open and in a state of ENABLING and ALLOWING.

Because of this, possibility, creativity and joy were there for you both to claim in that present moment.

Possibility, creativity and joy can be grounded again and deliver a fresh feel to things in your relationship by complementing the visualisation above with this second exercise.

2) THANK YOU for THIS moment

Now, take some time to practice an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you’ve been through together, what you’ve overcome, what you’ve built to date, the differences between you both, the links that bind you, the dreams you share, the future yet to reveal itself. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all of this.

Instead of looking outside and comparing your relationship and it’s perfect imperfections to the highly filtered show reel of social media, take a breath and bring your focus back to your own path and thankful for everything it is. It’s the perfect way to ensure it’s everything it CAN be.

And now over to you – meet me in the comments and tell me how you feel about Valentines Day? Have you found it affects your feelings towards your partner? Does it make you look at what is present or what’s lacking? What do you feel you can bring more of to the table to help nurture and evolve your love life?

Love always, Lucy xx

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Let's create a 'Power of Proofies'!

Huddle

group

Bunch

Cluster

Gathering

Meetup

Muster

A lovely lady emailed me late on Thursday night saying she’d like to work with me and because her finances were a bit stretched (er hello January I feel you) she asked if I had any live workshops coming up outside London or Brighton as a next best option.

I was about to reply with a “thank you but I’m afraid not right now”* when I paused…

I thought back to before I started Proof and was doing my coaching on the side as my hobby and still working my full time brand strat job - I used to do group life coaching meet ups in my hometown of Leeds at the weekends.

How it worked was, I’d arrange to turn up at someone’s house, they’d gather a gang of buddies – around 8-10 people being a perfectly sized group - and from there I’d open up my life coaching tool box and off we would go.

I wasn't usually as bossy as Lorde but I have my moments ;-P

I wasn't usually as bossy as Lorde but I have my moments ;-P

I’d lead specific exercises for the group to work through individually, tea and cake would flow and everyone would leave feeling pumped up and focused with a personal plan for their own goals.  The session would typically last 2-3 hours and as word of mouth spread I really enjoyed taking that gig further afield round the country and I found myself in Edinburgh, Manchester, Coventry, Nottingham, London and so on, in my quest to light up lives in living rooms. I used to L O V E it!

Thursday night’s enquiry email got me thinking – why not start doing group coaching hangouts again?

It was easy to arrange, it was great fun, I got to follow up with each person, it was interactive and impactful and importantly, the cake game was strong!

Coming out of the reflective thought my whole body just felt “YES MAA’AM!” So I replied back to the lady with “thank you, I’m afraid not right now BUT how about this?” and suggested a group coaching meet up in Yorkshire, where she’s based.

And I want to extend the same invitation to you!

I’m putting it ‘out there’ that if you fancy getting together with me and few of your buddies to do some life coaching in an intimate setting, because it’s your preference or you’re just not quite ready for one on one coaching just yet simply contact me here or use the form below and let’s explore how we can set it up.

Love Lucy xxx

 *This is the only event I’m personally putting on this year www.higherselfielive.com but I’m afraid I’m not allowed to say more than that apart from it’s a good idea to sign up for notifications as the scene will not have seen ANYTHING like this before.

Name *
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Have you ever missed out to someone else?: What you need to know to get on a winning streak

I wanted to write to you today and, fair warning, it’s a fairly long one and for good reason.

A New Year can deliver a massive case of the ‘Self Nasties’ when we least expect it.

In one corner of your mind you’re all sweaty from the gym and blending your green juice like it’s going out of fashion with a determined and beautiful smile on your face, and in the other, there is your comparison mindset.

For me, I can see that mindset clearly. She’s the Duchess of Self Doubt, stroking an evil looking cat with a wry smile that’s slowly and boldly whispering to me:

  • “Oh come on love – as if you’ve got what it takes? You’re not as pretty, as bright, as connected, as rich or as strategic as THEY are. Give it up now and just know your place (which is nowhere)”
  • “Do you really think you’re cracked up to actually do your own thing and make it big like THEY have?!”
  • “You haven’t got what it takes and they’re all much better than YOU could ever be”
  • “Face it this is your life – at this body shape, on this salary and in this place”

ARGH it’s horrible to even type out these words without my lip wobbling a bit – I hate that bitch!

I can feel my tummy tighten as I remember the power that my comparison Duchess used to exercise over my life and how it kept my vision and ambition small, but also, if I’m really honest, feeling a little bit sad, like all the time. YUK! (Here’s the full gore for those that missed it.)

But let’s cut to now and what I know for sure when it comes to beating comparison and getting back on your own side.

What I recognise as different between the on-the-whole-pretty-happy-lass I am now, and that desperate, jealous, unhappy girl back then, is that today I don’t pit myself against other people or dream up an imaginary check list of 'success'.

When it came to other women especially, I used to think it was them against me (check out my conversation on Oprah on this very topic on my homepage)

I used to think there was a benchmark in this game of life, and rather than linked with my peers, I was ranked against them – in some ugly cases even with my friends! I used to suss out and judge their weights, their boyfriends, their salaries and wardrobes.

It was **exhausting** keeping tabs on them but I wanted to get into the detail, y’know, just so I could be reeeeaaaally thorough about how sh*t I was in comparison.

There was the belief that it was a race to whatever the end was – getting the interview, the Mulberry handbag, the luxury holiday, the flat, the adventure and so on.

I used to think there was scarcity – that I must get that job, that opportunity, that magazine piece, that book deal – because if THEY got it then I was out of the race.

I basically believed that success in life was a ZERO SUM GAME, that is, a situation where a gain or success by one person must be matched by a loss by another person i.e. ME!

So many times, when faced with an opportunity, I have thought to myself “This is IT - it’s make or break and I better not f*ck it up!! Swiftly followed by “or else!”

And yet, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

If you’re finding yourself comparing your current situation to other people’s lives this month I urge you to, in the words of one of my positivity mentors Mr. V. Ice, STOP, COLLABORATE AND LISTEN! (Optional dance break here for you love – how has this only got 7M views, btw?)

Unless I’ve missed the memo from the cosmic equivalent of the ‘Ocado of opportunity’ we NEVER have ONLY one chance… even if sometimes it feels like that because we're so attached to an outcome.

For example:

  • There will never be just one person for you and if they marry someone else in a ‘Four-Weddings-and-a-Funeral’ style, then celibacy beckons and you’ll be marooned in singlehood (If you’re feeling that way, can I urge you to talk to my friend Laura?)
  • Your chances of promotion or career happiness are not dependent on THAT interview even though you’re going to prepare so much you’ll have memorised the inside leg measurement of the guy asking you the questions.
  • There isn't a single, solo chance to get a client or a piece of media coverage and if you're passed up then basically, take down your website and go back to your old job because you're OVA!

Your comparison nasties don’t want you to know that though!

When we believe that by someone else scoring a success, that we lose out, or that there is one less for us, then we’re on the high road to nowhere and, to be frank, ignoring the facts in favour of our own “disaster daydream”. (More on this coming soon to the blog.)

What you know deep down, but choose to ignore, is that there will always be another option or a little wait for the right thing to come along in its own perfect timing and beautifully formed result. 

If I were to challenge you right now… to think back on what’s brought you to where you are… when things haven’t gone your way or you have seen someone else ‘run off with your prize’, it will have, more often than not, made space for something that suited you better, felt more authentic and bridged you to something waaaayyy more exciting and expansive.

Sometimes we’re so obsessed with, and attached to, the way we expect and want something to turn up in our lives that we miss the fact it’s showing up in another way and is ripe for the picking.

For example - imagine you're wanting some new Marc Jacobs pumps and you're waiting for them to come on sale on Net-a-Porter and you check and check the website and they're not in the sale. You resign yourself to the fact they'll never be yours or you'll have a loooong wait.

But hold up sister - they've been on the Matches website at half price for ages... but you can't consider or imagine an alternative to your 'shoe achievement plan' you're attached to so you can't see them show up! Gah! Those shoes could have been yours!

Success is not a zero sum game and my tip to make 2015 amazing, expansive and feel like you’re running IT, not it’s running YOU, is notice what you notice and be OPEN to possibility in your own life.

Forget the outside glare of social media, pitting yourself against other people and being distracted by what you THINK they’re doing and achieving.

YOUR own unique flavour of success, that will fit you better than anyone else, is on its way to you right now… and it may even have arrived and is awaiting your acknowledgement.

Your winning streak starts when you look at what's showing up for YOU!

Has this struck a chord? Have you experienced the feeling of ‘missing out’ to someone you’re competing with only to land a better opportunity? Have you been jealous of a friend achieving something and have been relieved to realise months down the line, it would have been the most hellish mis-match for you? Or do you obsess about a certain person that you feel directly competes with you or is trying to beat you in some way?

Meet me in the comments to share your perspective!

Love Lucy xx

Like my thinking? Chances are you'll also like my doing! Find out how you can work with me, engage my strategic branding experience, or invite me to speak at your event or conference.

(Gifs from http://giphy.com/gifs/laughing-disney-evil-HfTUKCfYsP6mI // http://giphy.com/search/the-hunger-games-gif/31)

 

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TTFN 2014 CLOSING PARTY: Your big life sweep up made easy (free stuff!)

WELL, congrats on another year rotating around the sun my love! We made it.

2014 is about to be chalked off - just one more box on my iCal to go and it'll be time to see what the New Year brings and get my head around what I'm going to make happen even if I don't yet know how. But this isn't about me - wrap your eyes and ears around your screen for a few minutes because I need to say something to you.

At this time of year there is a wave of "New Year, New You" messages that, IMHO, are as meaningful as last year's regurgitated words. What does that actually MEAN? And why is that skincare brand saying it to me?

Unoriginal, empty, vague and totally miss the point about this time we have to reflect and re-think where we're at. The full rant is here but if you'll allow me to nutshell it down for you:

  • You don't need to shed your skin or be 'fixed' (you're perfectly imperfect and so am I)
  • You don't need to become someone or something else all together
  • That cleanse, membership, diet, new handbag is not going to soothe and serve you past that one purchase is not the single specific answer
  • You are not broken, wrong, failing, a mistake or a mess (even though sometimes it feels like it)

YOU HAVE EVERYTHING IT TAKES RIGHT NOW, SIPPING THAT TEA, STANDING IN THAT QUEUE OR SITTING ON YOUR SOFA SCROLLING YOUR IPAD TO CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT *AND* YOU'LL DO IT WITH EXACTLY WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

"NEW YEAR NEW YOU" IS BULLSHIT. A NEW YEAR **BEING YOU** IS WHERE IT'S AT.

 

Sorry, I'm a bit breathless from shouting that!

Quick fixes and habits appeal and connect with us at this time of year if we don't feel in control, like we're there yet (wherever 'there' is) and/or we don't like ourselves very much - whether that's what we see in the mirror or who we think we 'are' in the world (but I'm not going all esoteric on your ass babe, don't worry.)

Why we try a quick fix or are attracted to a shiny idea, like a lifestyle magpie, is because we might have some personal things to sort out. And you'll have an idea of what those things are specific to you - they will have been flicking you and tripping you up over the course of the year... there's a really good chance they're not dawning on you just now.

For example, I have never woken up and thought "hold on a sec, I'm actually really unhappy in this relationship"... but I have experienced those nudges and tense moments of "I think this guy is being a bit of a d*ck to me" at numerous intervals over the course of that failed fling. The signs are always there.

Your own 'stuff' will have shown up for you whether it's feeling jealous of what you see on your social media feeds, having a bit of a cry on the drive to work, avoiding the mirror at home, being bitchy about your friends because *that* girl just seems to have it all worked out, you may have made some rushed choices in your work or relationships with the best will in the world that it will be 'fine' or 'work itself out'... and it hasn't. 

These signs and hints we may have missed or 'sleep walked' through, were chances to take back control and be aware of our own power to create the life we want for ourselves, personally and professionally.

Well, I'm sweeping in with the final lap of honour opportunity for you to do just this. No expensive journal required - no three hours needed to sit down to do it 'properly'.

These worksheets are similar to those I use with my life coaching clients and I'm giving them away to you to help you get a head start for yourself and burst open a new view on the life you want to live now and onwards, on your terms.

Print it out if you like and scribble lots of notes on it or have it open on your laptop/phone screen and write your answers long hand in your favourite scruffy notepad.

Meet me in the comments below to tell me your learnings and where you're going to be putting your energy in 2015!

Some hints to complete it:

  • Think over the seasons of 2014 to help you get broad and deep on your specific summary - what happened in the Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn and these final months of 2014?
  • Try no to get caught up in the arbitrary goals you *think* you need to tick off because that's what you see your friends going after - think in feelings about what you want too. Sure, you deserve to buy a flat... but how do you want to feel in your relationship? Safe, equal, sexy? You can't buy those things on Pret-A-Porter although I love a good splurge too, don't get me wrong!
  • Be honest with yourself - nobody else has to see this so get it all down. Even if you write it down as a code that only you understand about not apologising about that thing when you know you should have in the Summer!
  • Declare your intentions even if it's just to me in a Facebook message, a tweet or email (lucy@proofcoaching.com)
  • Know you didn't fail - when you know better, you do better and by even doing this exercise you're doing better
  • There are no wrong answers - if you feel it then it's real. Again, be honest with yourself about the wins and woes
  • Nearly getting something still counts as positive - this all about progress, baby!

Interested in working with me as your life coach? Find out more info here or contact me for your free taster. Love Lucy xox

(Gifs from: http://giphy.com/gifs/downton-abbey-rude-lady-grantham-10rpRQVFw2Qf28// https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/shocked-gif)

 

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It happened again last night: My 'go-to' thing to manage anxiety

I spent a large portion of last night picking up my teeth from the floor, pushing the wobbly teeth left in my mouth with my tongue and wiping their chalky remains from my gums as they fell. Double yuk, right?

Luckily I wasn't in the middle of the street it was just my anxiety dream - it turns up like clock work whenever I'm feeling worried, vulnerable and a bit out of control. And I'll level with you, that it's kind of how I'm feeling at the moment as there's a lot going on and not a lot of answers - I'll be fine but it doesn't mean it has to feel nice in the process!

I used to get my 'teeth dream' a couple of times a week at one point and, around that time I was also feeling super stressed out at work. So that dream was like a horrible sequel of stress to the crying in the toilets I found myself doing in the day time.  I felt like I just couldn't get a break and knew I needed to try something.  

I turned to trying to understand how my brain, body and emotions were colluding together to keep me in a state of worry. Through this process I realised first hand not only the power OF my thoughts but my power OVER my thoughts too and since then I haven't looked back. Check out this short video I just made for you that highlights how I rapidly reduced my anxiety and what I do now when it rears it's ugly head to get it GONE.

Meet me in the comments below and tell me how do you know you're feeling anxious? What's your version of your 'teeth dream'? How have you found ways to keep on top of those horrid worry times?

Let's share our pearls to support each other!

Love Lucy xoxo

 

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Bionic Buddha's Becca Caddy interview

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Bionic Buddha's Becca Caddy interview

My exclusive interview with Becca Caddy from Bionic Buddha...

"Personally, I find that what's "pulled me all over the place" the most has been this overwhelming pressure to be perfect, which ultimately has stemmed from a really deep-set belief that I'm not good enough in some way. So to over-compensate I've always tried to be the best, play a "nice", happy role and essentially wear a mask when it comes to my wants, needs and emotions..."

Read more...

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"Generation Y Not?": P2 The Food Remedy - "BREAKING THE DIET CYCLE: HOW TO NAIL YOUR SELF FOCUS & BANISH THOSE BITCHY VOICES"

Kirsten and I continue and conclude this pulling-no-punches interview of brutally honest diet and body talk with some killer advice on how to finally stop being a bitch to yourself! What we really want you to take away from this my love is that you won’t receive a ‘self-acceptance voucher’ out of nowhere in the post so your first step to getting off the diet or self hate carousel, is silencing your inner critic.  

Through this conversation we get practical about how, like us, you C A N choose:

  • to nourish your inside and outside self
  • thoughts to make you feel good and start to get the results you want
  • to slow down the nasty things you say to yourself (we've all said ‘God I look so fat today!')
  • to disrupt what you don’t like

One of the things I've come to realise is that I have to accept me for me or nobody else will - lumps, bumps, tight or loose.  That's why as much as I have a fairly active lifestyle - thanks to having a dog that needs walking! - I buy a swimming costume with a tummy panel in it now rather than starve myself and live in the gym before my holiday,  just so I look kinda thin for a load of strangers. I'm just so fed up with not accepting myself I won't do it anymore!

After all, even models get the wobbles when it comes to body confidence. Looking outside ourselves can be so damaging and we really need to know HOW to avoid comparing ourselves physically to others.  As Kirsten rightly states “you don’t know what’s going on in anyone else’s life… look at Cheryl Cole and her life's ups and downs… your money or your job does not guarantee anything for you.”

Let's each BE proactive and know the only person you can focus on is yourself and that’s where CHANGE comes from.

Kirsten’s AMAZING piece on comparison is here as promised: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/releasing-comparisons-no-one-perfect-all-deserve-love/

You can also follow Kirsten on Facebook and Twitter – she's such a giggle but shares such good stuff too!

And now meet me in the comments and tell me your view - what is the best way you've learnt to silence your inner critic? Why do you think we obsess about what others look like or are doing? Have you been able to stop comparing yourself to others?  

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