How to Stop Self-Sabotage in its Tracks

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This is one that comes up over and over again with people I work with and I know that all of my own personal downfalls have been rooted in self-sabotage. It’s something I have to work on daily - multiple times!

The reason why self-sabotage is so difficult to break out of, is because it’s habit. It’s our default go-to and most of all, it feels safe. Doing the opposite action (which is usually what’s needed) or just something different is scary and takes us into unknown territory. So we resort back to those old behaviours that eventually lead to the same outcome.

These are the kind of things we say to ourselves and others when it comes to these habits and behaviours -:

- “It’s just the way I am”

- “I know it’s the wrong thing but it’s just so difficult to change”

- “It’s just part of my personality and I can’t help that”

Self-sabotage can hinder us in health, relationships, finances, career, self-esteem and basically everything that involves us being a human on this earth. Usually it tends to happen in one prominent area but can filter into other parts of our life too.

As the quote goes “How you do anything is how you do everything

So how do you stop self-sabotage in its tracks to kick-start your bounce back? Here are a few ideas that I regularly use to pull myself out of it when it creeps in.

#1 Identify the behaviour or habit

It’s very easy to just say ‘well, this is the way I am’ but honestly, that’s not true. Our brains can be re-wired to change and whilst we have personality traits, our way of thinking, our behaviours and our habits can all be re-wired to change in a way that serves us better.

To do this though, you have to be willing to name what it is that’s self-sabotaging you. To call it out. For example, if you find yourself always getting hurt in relationships, what are you doing to create that? Are you gravitating towards the people that just aren’t good for you and ignoring the red flags in favour of excitement, ‘living life’ or giving someone a chance? Are you a constant people pleaser and ignoring the times you want to just say no? When it comes to your health, do you have good intentions but then ‘fall off the wagon?’ None of these things mean you are a weak or bad person - definitely not! But being willing to name them is a huge, brave and very necessary step.

#2 Imagine the habit/behaviour is a separate ‘thing’ in-front of you

It can feel like self-sabotage is innately within us or part of our DNA. It can also feel like it creeps in from behind us when we’re unaware. A little trick I learnt, which was immensely helpful, is to imagine it sitting right in-front of you; smaller than yourself and like an annoying little creature or ‘thing’. All of a sudden, it doesn’t have as much power, it can’t hurt you and you are in a much more empowering position to make a different choice.

So if you know your go-to is to think negative of yourself (e.g. I suck at relationships anyway, I always get hurt, I’m not attractive enough, it’s no wonder I can’t meet anyone, everyone is doing better/more sorted than me etc) and sends you on a downward spiral, imagine that thought or action is right in-front of you instead of part of you. All of a sudden, it can no longer hurt you. You can consciously choose a different thought and even if you still don’t feel great, you’re priming yourself to be less reactive and in a place to make a different choice.

#3 Do the different thing

This one sounds easy and really, it is. We tend to hugely over complicate things but when it comes to taking an action that feels so alien to us, even with the best intentions, our default is to go back to self-sabotage. To create a new habit or way of thinking and therefore way of being, you need to start doing the different thing.

Instead of being tempted by the charming, charismatic guy or your ex who you know deep down is emotionally unavailable, choose to dodge that one in favour of doing something for yourself instead or going for the guy who seems less exciting but is showing you has the makings of a good person who represents all the things you really want and need in a relationship.

When you know not fuelling your body properly makes you feel like crap because of how you’ve felt before doing that, but your low mood seems to make you do it anyway, stop and think what would better fuel you? This doesn’t necessarily mean not having the glass of wine/pizza/whatever food you’ve deemed ‘bad’ by the way! It might actually mean allowing yourself to have it, enjoying it and moving on with your life instead of beating yourself up afterwards. Or it might mean getting better sleep or seeking support from someone who can help you get your physical health on track.

It might mean doing something that you know is going to make you feel better and healthier.

I’ve been on a...hmmm.....'interesting' journey with my health the past 2 years. After being totally entrenched in and obsessed with healing diets and protocols, I’m now having to take complete opposite actions to restore my health. I’m having to do different things and choose different thoughts every day and it’s tough! But I know it’s the only way.

Ultimately, you know what to do. You know what will best serve you so you need to do exactly that even if it feels like you’re in a different body. Doing the thing that creates a different and better result over and over will mean the rewiring will start to take place. And then slowly, THAT becomes the new habit.

I wish I had a magic cure for stopping self-sabotage forever in one hit. (Well, if I did, I’d be living the high life in my Beverly Hills mansion sipping champs with Lisa Vanderpump dahling ;) ) Unfortunately there isn’t an ultimate quick fix. But these steps have helped me and the people I work with one-to-one hugely. (There are many more of course, but I thought these would be a good starter.)

The thing is though, change can be created quickly if you want it enough and are ready to say goodbye to your old thoughts and behaviours - or at least turn the volume of them down. It’s the self-awareness of them and repetitiveness actions to change them that you have to commit to.

So just to repeat, self-sabotage isn’t part of your personality, it’s just a way of thinking that has become so engrained in you. Name it, see it as separate to you and start doing and thinking the different thing.

The way out, is always through :)

Laura x

 

Latest Podcast with Gala Darling

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I'm writing this from sunny LA and enjoying some much needed relaxation time!

But I just wanted to let you know that I have a new podcast episode out with radical self-love QUEEN Gala Darling!

In the episode we talk about bouncing back from breakups (and Gala offers an entirely new perspective on how long it takes to get over a breakup), manifesting, self-love, Emotional Freedom Technique as a tool for healing and so much more. I know you're going to get an abundance of wisdom from this one! 

You can listen in here.

Enjoy!

Laura xx

PS I will be back with more posts very soon! 

Approaching Mental Health and Dating

 Pic by  Hey Saturday

Hi guys and gals! Hope you're all doing really well. 

Today I wanted to share a post I wrote for Eharmony on mental health and dating. This one is so important and definitely on my heart due to what I've experienced in the past couple of years with my health bounce back and learning to overcome the fear of dating and getting into a relationship. 

During this time, I've been incredibly consumed with thoughts of being inadequate, a 'burden' or like I don't have as much to offer as a partner. It goes without saying that it's taken it's toll mentally. I will be going into this much more in depth on my podcast next week. 

Mental health is something that so many of us are challenged with and we often suffer in silence. It doesn't and shouldn't have to be that way - particularly when it comes to dating and our relationships. So I really hope this helps and offers some comforting yet practical advice. 

You can read it here

Laura xx

How to Keep Going when you Feel Like Giving up

 Pic snapped by Saskia Nelson of  Hey Saturday

Pic snapped by Saskia Nelson of Hey Saturday

I didn’t actually plan to write this post but it’s something that’s been on my mind lately. If you’ve been through the trenches of a breakup, heartbreak, health struggle, career breakdown situation or just feeling like life is throwing you one sh** brick after another, you’ll know how hard it is to get back on the horse of positivity and keep going.

(Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post just about ‘staying positive’ ;) )

The reason why I wanted to write this, is because I totally get it. I was there throughout a previous breakup and it’s something I’ve experienced in my life recently, in a different way. Most people find me through my work in heartbreak; mainly breakups, but heartbreak can come in so many forms. It can also manifest physically in a multitude of ways. 

You may have read a few of my older posts around my health challenges. As this blog is for the purpose of helping you, I won’t go into the nitty gritty of all the details but to keep it brief and offer some context, the ‘health heartbreak’ as I’ll call it, went on for some time and keeping on going, remaining ‘positive’ and finding a way up was a challenge to say the least!

As mentioned, I don’t want this post to be all about me but I just want you to know that I’m coming at this from the ‘I get it, I’m with you’ perspective. 

So whether you’re going through a breakup, a health struggle or any kind of heartbreak that's completely unique to you, I wanted to share some coping techniques that I implemented and still continue to, that might be of use to you too.

1) Be grateful

I know, you’ll have probably heard this one a zillion times over but there’s a reason why you hear gratitude being spoken about so much. It’s POWERFUL. If there’s an instant way to defuse those feel bad vibes, it’s gratitude, and even if it doesn’t directly change your situation, it changes your perspective. 

I love this quote by Roy. T Bennett -:

Great things happen to those who don't stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.” 

Being grateful shifts you from a dwelling, passive and stagnant mode into a receptive one. Being in the here and now and catching that glimmer of light through the darkness. From there you're open to new ideas, hope and inspiration. Whatever you’re going through, it’s not about discrediting it or trivialising it. Breakups are rough. Heartbreak can be agony; physically and emotionally. But you will ALWAYS have something to be grateful for. It could be something tiny such as a beautiful colour you spot in your home, a song on the radio, a call you had with a friend yesterday. The more things you list, the more you will find. 

 2) Look to others as examples

This is all about finding evidence that ‘if they can do it, I can too!’ Whenever I feel like giving up or resigning myself to always feeling this way, I find examples of other people who have come from a similar place as I have and are thriving. I’ve done this with my health and I did it when I was going through my last breakup. 

You’ll often learn that for those people, it was also a process, but seeing them a few steps ahead of you or even miles ahead, can give you the fuel you need to know it’s possible for you too. As humans, we’re all really made of the same stuff. Yes, our genetics are different, our DNA is different, our backgrounds and social conditioning are different. But ultimately, we all have the same potential regardless of academic intelligence, appearance, wealth or background. When it comes down to it, heartbreak is the ultimate equaliser, shakes us all to our core and mindset trumps everything. So look to others as a way to remind yourself that if they can, you can!

3) Rewire and reprogram your brain

Something that I’ve been studying intensely over the past 6 months is how (and why) to rewire your brain. Honestly, it’s mind blowing!

What this means is learning how to identify and change your internal and subconscious beliefs to heal. Say you just can’t seem to get over your ex despite doing everything in your power. Yup, you’ve read all the books and all the articles and nothing seems to help.

Even though on a conscious level you want for the pain to be over more than anything, deep down, some of the beliefs you could be experiencing might include not feeling good enough to be alone or in new relationship, being scared of your identity without your ex, not wanting to let go of your ex or being afraid of change. 

With health, it could be not believing you’re worthy of having perfect health, being scared of what would happen if you were healthy, feeling unsafe in the world, being afraid to speak your truth, not believing that you’re capable of taking care of yourself…..

Ultimately the process of rewiring is individual and allows you to tap into those deep rooted and often insidious reasons that are keeping you stuck - usually they’re a little ‘WTF?!’ and enlightening to discover! It’s then about calming down your limbic system to get into a parasympathetic state as opposed to a fight or flight one to then begin to rewire those old patterns and turn them into new ones that will support getting over your ex, getting back to perfect health or whatever situation you’re looking to bounce back from. 

This process includes a highly repetitive blend of elements such as affirmation, visualisation and action. I’m going to do a separate post on this though - let me know any specifics you’d like me to cover. Honestly, this one is a game changer!

4) Just DO something

Feelings of depression tend to go hand in hand with heartbreak. Of course, there are different degrees of depression and if you do feel concerned about how you’re feeling or struggling, I really encourage you to seek support from a licensed and fully qualified therapist/expert or doctor who can offer the right tools to help you. Having that kind of support can be incredibly powerful. But right now, let’s talk about feelings of depression.

I’m not going to lie, over the past year when I was really going through it, I sometimes spent days in bed feeling emotionally numb. I isolated myself and felt like the days were on Groundhog Day repeat. It sucks. Depression is the worst kind of emotion because it’s passive. There’s no energy behind it. 

Nothing is impossible but it can be very tricky to go from feeling depressed to absolutely elated in a short space of time. No amount of affirmations can make your subconscious believe it! But aiming just a few rungs up the emotional ladder is more do-able. Even moving from depression to frustration or anger is an amazing step, because those emotions have energy behind them. You can DO something with them. 

To ignite that emotion climb it requires you to create energy within your body. Do jumping jacks, go for a walk, cook, clean, call a friend, do something which makes you feel like you’re ‘doing’ something. Movement is a great one. A brilliant definition of emotion is ‘energy in motion’. My personal new favourite is to put on a great tune and dance like a lunatic and let everything I’m feeling move through my body. I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with Aubrey Marcus recently and Aubrey was talking about his ecstatic dance ritual to extract lower emotional feelings out of the body. 

It’s amazing how when we resign ourselves to staying stagnant, we embody that physically and emotionally. We feel tired. We feel worse inside. But just a little movement or environment change can be all we need in that moment to shift and get an extra rung up the emotion ladder. 

 5) Be the inspirer you need

Imagine that your younger, childlike self is feeling how you’re feeling. Going through this experience. What would you do or say to them to help them through? To keep them feeling inspired, safe and nurtured? When I thought of the younger me going through what I was dealing with, it immediately shifted me from victim mode to ‘right, let’s do this!’ because I want to take care of her. I’d hate to think of my 7-year-old vulnerable self feeling unsafe in the world and in her body. So by giving her that reassurance that everything is ok, it gives me that too. By taking care of her, I take care of me. It helps me access an innate kind of wisdom where nothing can stand in the way of my healing - for my 35-year-old self right now and for my 7-year-old self. 

Just know that whatever heartbreak you’re going through, it will pass. Feel it, be ok with it, know that it’s a human experience, know that like a captain steering a ship sometimes you have to adapt and go left, sometimes you have to go right; it isn’t a linear path. Do what you can to keep yourself moving forward a tiny step every single day. That’s all it takes.

Plus, you have your bounce back celebration to keep you going and look forward to! I'm a huge believer in celebrating all the wins and getting through heartbreak is one to be celebrated big time! To help you do that, I’ve just added a really exciting new service to my offerings! I’ll be doing a separate post on that next week but you can read all about it here - events are something I LOVE to plan and it brings me no greater joy than to help clients and friends plan their own bounce back celebrations!

I hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your thoughts on your bounce back methods!

Laura x

 

 

Making your Space your Own after a Breakup

 Image from  Design Home

Image from Design Home

Breaking up with someone is tough enough, but when your space only serves to be a constant reminder of your relationship, it can be even harder to get some form of escape. It can also be a real challenge transitioning to living alone.

However, like all rough things that happen, I strongly believe there is opportunity in this! In this case, it’s a chance to explore your individuality through your space rather than worry about what (and who!) is missing.

This past year I’ve really got into home décor and have become totally obsessed with how people arrange and furnish their spaces! Your environment can be such a great reflection of your personality, creativity and mindset and it’s also a fun and nurturing way to explore your independence.

So, I've put together a few ideas on ways that you can make your space or home feel distinctly yours.

1) Explore different colours that energise you

Updating the colour of your space is a great way to invite in renewed feelings and energy. Hated that boring white wall your ex insisted on? Well now is the time to experiment with a colour that really lights you up!

2) Experiment with new art or accent decor

When you live with another person, there can be disagreements on taste in wall art, furniture décor and even the simple touches like throw pillows. Adding in some unique accent pieces such as a signature hanging light like the ones here or a unique piece of framed art from Etsy can transform your space without buying new furniture. Accent pieces are also a great way to be creative and let your personality shine through!

Another of my personal favourite places to buy good value and super cool wall art is Desenio.

3) Incorporate a bar-cart or tea/coffee corner

I love this one! Now that you’re single, you have even more time to entertain and spend time with friends. A chic bar-cart or space devoted to chatting with friends over tea can be a perfect way to inspire yourself to invite people over and rev up your social life. Here are some nice ideas to get you started.

4) Designate a space in your home for new hobbies

It’s all about creating new memories and undergoing personal expansion! One of the best cures for a breakup is finding something new to explore on your own. If it’s a hobby you want to immerse yourself in, designate a space in your home that's devoted to it.

It could be art, DIY, cooking, learning a new language or creative writing. For me, working out was my saviour so you could create a specific space for some yoga practice, dance or a general workout. Whatever your new hobby is, don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your environment, as it’s a reflection of you, your personality and your new-found independence!

Ultimately it’s about finding touches to add to your home that make you happy and represent a fresh chapter in your life. Plus it makes for a healthier distraction than stalking your ex’s Instagram ;)

I hope you enjoyed this slightly more practical post! As always if you’d like to look into working with me on a bespoke level, reach out on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com and let’s make it happen.

Love,

Laura

How to move on: a guide for anyone struggling to let go of an ex. (Guest Post for Eharmony)

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Hi everyone! I just wanted to share a new Eharmony piece with you where I talk about my top tips for moving on compassionately when it comes to letting go of your ex. I hope you enjoy and find it helpful!

You can read it here: How to move on: a guide for anyone struggling to let go of an ex

Love,

Laura xx

Sick of being Single on Valentine’s Day?  Don’t be Afraid to Face your Fears!

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Today for Valentine's Day I have a guest post for you! Christopher Jones is a renowned Breakthrough Expert and has some fantastic advice for anyone who is fed up of being single this Valentine's Day.

Go for it Chris!.........

By Christopher Paul Jones, The Breakthrough Expert

So Valentine’s Day has rolled around again and you are single… again.

While the shops fill up with, and then get emptied of, roses and chocolates and hearts and cards, you find yourself wondering why you are on your own again this year.

Of course, for some people, it is just a case of bad timing.  For others, however, there can actually be something going on subconsciously that almost forces us to destroy a relationship, so that we find ourselves perpetually single.

Maybe now is the time to ask yourself whether fear is the reason that you are single.

After all, fear can play a BIG part in a relationship – think about it… Fear of commitment, fear of your partner cheating, fear of losing someone that you care about... And we usually learn to fear something because of how it felt when we first went through it.

And now, let’s take this one important step further. I know this might sound silly at first. But, from a psychological perspective, I see many clients, who are actually being kept single because of their reaction to fear. Yes, it’s their reaction to fear, rather than the fear itself that destroys their relationships.

A reaction to fear? Keeping you single?

In general, when faced with something that we fear in our relationship, we, as humans, will turn to one of three reactions.  I’m talking about fight, flight or freeze mode. Or, in psychological terms, it is what we refer to as the reptilian mindset. In other words, it is a primeval reaction that happens because of our subconscious.

Usually, when we are little, something happens to us, something not pleasant, and our brain reacts by going into fight, flight or freeze mode. Now, the first time that this happens, we aren’t even aware of it. But our subconscious mind decides to repeat this, every time that we are presented with what it sees as danger.

So, for some of us, when presented with something that our mind perceives as negative, our subconscious then provokes this reaction - and it is this reaction that could be the culprit for keeping us single.

To make this clearer, let’s talk about Michael (we’ll call him Michael). Michael is 30, and lives in the city. Michael is looking for love, but keeps ending up single. What happens is that every time Michael is faced with a woman’s emotions, he reacts to his fear, and starts to become kind of angry… Michael automatically goes into fight mode, and as much as he thinks that this is being passionate… for his partners, they often see him as aggressive.

Michael, doesn’t fully understand why he becomes so angry. He looks to blame his partner. But what’s really going on is that Michael actually fears something… and his mind simply reacts to it. And he keeps on repeating this pattern, over and over and over.

Imagine just how much easier life could be for Michael if he could understand this mindset. Not only would he be able to change and control his reaction, but he would also be able to understand his fear. This would mean better communication with his partner... And possibly a long term relationship!

And it’s not just one party's lack of understanding of this pattern that can cause confusion in a relationship. Maybe you have found yourself being on the receiving end with someone when they go into fight, flight or freeze mode?

Perhaps you know all too well what it feels like to be with someone who reacts through fleeing (flight mode). This is the person who leaves after an argument, and never picks up their phone again.

Or maybe you have dated the freeze kinda guy or girl, who just clams up when under pressure, and seems to just sit there... And stay there. This can come across as uncaring. Yet what is going on on the inside, can be a totally different story.

By working out your own reaction, when faced with fear in a relationship, whether it be fear of commitment, or fear of losing someone, you put yourself back in the driver’s seat. You are able to a) dig deep and face yourself, and b) communicate with your partner.

Sometimes, all it takes is working on your fear with a therapist, coach or maybe, and a conversation with your partner, and once you understand what’s been going wrong here, you are able to see things a lot clearer.

One thing’s for sure - fight, flight or freeze - whichever reaction suits you best, in some ways, it’s actually natural. So, figure out where you fit, and then look at evolving past that. You owe it to yourself, and your future partner, to stop letting fear get the better of you.

Christopher Paul Jones, the Breakthrough Expert, as featured on the BBC, can be found at christopherpauljones.net and is available for one-to-one consultations on Harley Street, London. 

5 things to Help with Heartbreak (that you might not have thought of before!)

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Pic by Saskia of Hey Saturday

I remember when I was going through heartbreak and spending hours on google and delving into self-help books searching for answers, tips and advice. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! Of course, some of it was incredibly useful and served me well to put into practice, but there are a few other things that I’ve explored and which have really done wonders in cultivating more confidence, self-worth, skills, friendships and purpose.

So, I thought it would be fun to put together a post on some of the more unique things that really helped see me through, and then out of heartbreak in the best way possible.

1) Start a blog

When I went through my last major breakup, I found comfort in writing. Writing is always something I’ve loved and turned to whether that be creative writing, composing articles and blogs or song writing. So it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to start writing about my own experience of heartbreak via a blog - the early days of this blog in fact! Not only did I find it a cathartic and therapeutic experience writing out what I was feeling and learning, it also enabled me to connect with so many people around the world who were going through the same thing. The fact that others found my words meaningful and of value - something they could also use for themselves, it gave me a new purpose during a time when I felt depleted and somewhat useless on every level.

I’m not saying that you have to air the gory details of your heartbreak or breakup for everyone to read - starting a blog or just putting pen to paper doesn’t have to be related to your heartbreak at all! When I read other people’s blogs, I’m always so curious as to what it was that propelled the person into starting it. 9 times out of 10, it’s usually to fulfil a void of unhappiness or emptiness or to mark a turning point in their life.

The whole creative process of blogging is something that can cultivate joy, release and purpose from the get-go.

2) Start a business

My blog eventually turned into my business of helping people through heartbreak on a more personal level. Again, this isn’t specifically what I am suggesting you do (unless you want to, in which case, go at it!) but out of so many of the people I work with, an interesting realisation that often comes to light, is an inner desire to start a business, side business or project. Heartbreak tends to make you reassess everything in your life and that often includes looking at where you’re the most unfulfilled and with many people - their career unhappiness or dissatisfaction is the thing they’ve avoided confronting. So why not actually go for it? Use your heartbreak as fuel to start that business or side project (that might eventually turn into a business) that you’re deeply passionate about!

There are countless examples of people who have started successful companies, small businesses or undergone radical career changes rooted in their passion after the ordeal of heartbreak. Use it as a catalyst to go after what you want! The fact that so many other people have (including me!), just goes to prove that it’s totally possible for you too!

3) Take a solo trip

Venturing out alone can feel like the most daunting thing in the world. Especially when you’ve been used to having someone there by your side most of the time. I took a solo trip to the US back in 2016 and it was the best thing I could have ever done at that time. Yes, I was nervous but the thrill and exhilaration of traveling alone, not knowing what to expect, being open to all kinds of new experiences and meeting new people did wonders for my confidence and zest for life. I had no specific plans or agenda and I went with the total goal of going with the flow whilst seeing as much as possible. I came back into Heathrow feeling like a new woman armed with new ideas, aspirations, friends, experiences and an LA glow that granted, was out of a booth and yes, wildly overpriced but hey, it’s swings and roundabouts ;)

I really encourage anyone to travel alone however near or far that might be. It cultivates reassurance that you can take care of yourself and is the ultimate way to create new memories. Plus with sites like Air BnB, it’s really easy to do things on a budget. I usually get a room in someone’s place when I travel for more than a week as it’s cheaper but it’s also a good way to meet new people who can help you out with the local area.

If high end is more your thing though, I’ve recently discovered a new app called Hotel Tonight where you can book luxury hotels last minute for a substantial discount! Ultimate luxe travel hack right there!

4) Reach out to 5 people and ask them to go for coffee

This one might sound a bit weird but hear me out ;) Something that has helped me immensely recently after going through 2 tough years in 2016/17 health-wise (which kind of felt like a heartbreak, albeit not a romantic one) has been getting out and meeting new people. Not necessarily just in a dating capacity, but in general.

Heartbreak in all forms can feel like such a stifling, isolating experience but with the likes of social media, it’s easier than ever to form new connections that can then turn into IRL friendships. I’ve used Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram and meet-up.com to make amazing new friends who do all kinds of interesting, unique and inspiring things whether that’s in their careers, ventures, hobbies or just in their character. Nearly every friend I made in my visits to LA over the past 3 years originally came via social media!

Whenever I meet someone new or form a friendship this way, I always leave feeling uplifted and almost like some colour has been splashed back into my life. Interacting with people totally creates new and refreshed perspectives.

It’s probably the inner entrepreneur in me that is drawn to meeting people this way but it could also be just reaching out to people you haven’t seen in a while - old friends or ex colleagues you miss. It’s not about trying to accumulate as many friends as possible. I’m a firm believer in the idea that true friendships are about quality not quantity. This is more about just finding ways to broaden your social circles and the type of people you spend time around.

And if there’s someone you’d just really like to get coffee with because you love what they do or really think you’d get on - what’s the harm in reaching out?!

5) Write thank you letters

I can’t take credit for this one as it was inspired by an amazing lady who I worked with in the past. One thing she did after going through her breakup, was to write letters to all her friends and family who supported her through the experience. It enabled her to immerse herself in gratitude as opposed to dwelling on the heartbreak, and of course, it made everyone she sent one too feel loved and appreciated too.

How often do we receive thought out hand-written letters or cards that genuinely express our thanks and appreciation these days? Erm, not very often! I think it’s a fab thing to do (and plus, it gets you off your phone wondering if you should text your ex, right?! ;) )

I really hope these ideas have given you some food for thought or inspiration! The most effective way that I’ve found to alleviate heartbreak stress and counteract the feeling of loss, is to not try and find someone else to cure that, but to immerse yourself in something else. Start pursuing your passion in whatever form that is - a blog, business, fashion, writing a book, volunteering, music, writing, art - anything! I assure you, it will give you so much fulfilment, joy and hope for the future and could easily turn into something better than you ever imagined.

I’d love to hear any other unique coping tools that you’ve turned to following heartbreak?

Laura xx

 

How to Use Heartbreak as Fuel for Reinvention

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Illustration for the Newsette by Ellie Benuska

This week I had the pleasure of writing a guest post for The Newsette. If you haven't signed up for it, make sure you do - I'm such a fan! It basically curates the best inspiring, motivating and informative career-focused content from around the web for busy women that you can read before your first morning cuppa!

I wrote a post for them sharing advice on how to use heartbreak as fuel for reinvention. You can read it here and hope you enjoy!

Love,

Laura x

How to Manage Life when going through Heartbreak

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Getting over a breakup is tough enough in itself, but managing other responsibilities and obligations such as work, college, school and socialising can make it seem all the more overwhelming.

I’ve received quite a few emails around this so thought it might be useful to address it in a post in the hope that it will help anyone who is struggling with managing their healing whilst navigating everything else going on in their life. I know how overwhelming it can feel!

I remember when I was going through this and what really helped me, was to avoid compartmentalising. I tried not to see my work and other responsibilities as separate 'tasks' to my healing and instead, found new ways to use them to fuel and compliment it. 

It can actually be really useful to have these other things going on in your life as a way to focus your mind and attention. Although all we might want to do when going through heartbreak is to hole up under the duvet for days (or weeks) on end, that usually ends up perpetuating what we’re feeling even more because our minds get saturated with thoughts of the breakup. It’s all consuming.

Whilst something like work and actually being productive once there can seem like an almighty uphill struggle, it can lend itself to be a positive distraction and a way for you to channel your brain in a different way. 

Whether its work, college, your business, school, friends, family, your social life in general, you can still work on your healing at the same time. Although, I really do believe that it’s crucial to only take on what you can during these more vulnerable times. Don’t try and overload yourself and stick to what you have to do, and what you want to do!

When it comes to school/college/uni and earning a living, these can’t really be avoided so see them as an opportunity to get yourself into a different environment from one of the heartbreak you’re feeling. Plus, actually getting up out of your heartbreak pit, getting dressed and out the house to get there is a huge in itself! You’re showing up and that’s an achievement! 

It’s not about trying to forget what you’re dealing with once your there (as this might seem impossible!) but more about committing to focusing your attention on the task in hand in small chunks. Just take it in the smallest sections of time possible if you have to. Class by class, meeting by meeting, project by project and so on. 

Time and attention blocking this way will remind you that you can still accomplish and keep control of your life. It can also offer you some new found fuel and inspiration to work harder at your goals and objectives. But you can also factor in some of the more calming healing techniques throughout your day too. Even something as simple as getting out for a walk at lunch can make such impact on how you feel. Or 20 minutes of reading, journaling and some deep breathing in those oh-my-god-I’m-gonna-burst-into-tears moments can really help too!

Try and get in some exercise throughout your working day (Tip - I recommend installing a free pedometer app on your phone to keep track of how many steps you're taking. Even just getting up away from your desk and walking around the office really helps them add up!) , keep yourself well hydrated and choose nourishing foods instead of reaching for quick fixes like sugar and caffeine. I promise you, it sounds boring and simple but will help your mood, energy and how you feel about yourself!

Creating fresh memories is something I also really recommend. You could try taking a different route to wherever you need to get to, listening to some new upbeat music when you’re on your way there and home, grabbing your morning latte in a different coffee shop. The smallest things help to create new, more positive neural pathways in the brain instead of it being triggered to ruminate on the past. There’s nothing worse than passing that same coffee shop every morning where you might have met your ex for breakfast or always called them at lunch and thinking back to those times, dreading how you’re now going to get through the day!

Make new associations with work or school instead.

When it comes to friends, family and your social life, this is where you can be a little more selective. Spend time with people who you genuinely feel good, uplifted and safe around (i.e. not people who suck and drain your energy!) People who you can be transparent with but who aren’t going to encourage you to talk about the breakup over and over. There comes a point where going over the same old ground and trash talking your ex just isn’t helpful. 

Having good people around you who are compassionate about where you’re at but can still make sure the conversation isn’t centred around your ex will definitely help your healing. Laughter, even the shortest, most subtle bursts of it, is THE best medicine and the ultimate antidote to heartbreak. Having the right people on your team to encourage this can be amazing for your wellbeing!

I also really recommend using your social life as a tool for your healing. Surrounding yourself with existing friends but also again, making fresh memories by trying new things and meeting new people. This will help to infuse your world with a sense of moving forwards instead of staying stuck in the past.

Empower yourself to do what you want to do. Strike some sort of balance that’s right for you. If going out with friends after work is just too draining right now, put yourself first and stay home. It’s more than ok to take time out from your usual Thursday night cocktails (and as we all know too well, alcohol and heartbreak ain’t exactly a match made in heaven!)

If you know you just need time to rest your body and mind, do it. Healing is also about instilling your own boundaries and placing your emotional and physical needs as THE top priority when something isn’t a ‘must do’. 

I really hope you found this helpful! Wishing you a great week ahead as always and please do let me know in the comments if you have any more specific questions around this one!

Love,

Laura x

 

Powerful Lessons I Learned in 2017

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Pic by Hey Saturday

Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a great night and enjoyable day however you spent it. So with 2018 now here, I thought I'd talk about some of the most powerful things I’ve learned from 2017 in the hope that you can take some value and apply in your own life.

As I mentioned before, I’m not really into resolutions and 2017 saw me play around much more with intentions. Good on anyone that makes resolutions and enjoys the process but for me, they feel too regimented, overwhelming and you can leave yourself ripe for self-sabotage as soon as you step off-track.

My intentions are much more about checking in with myself daily and asking myself how I want to FEEL. I definitely have goals, but I know I’m much more likely to achieve them if everyday I’m thinking about how I want to feel and leading with that as opposed to approaching resolutions with gritted teeth and stressing about whether I’m making enough progress and feeling bad if I don’t live up to them or see them through.

Some examples of my daily intentions have been -:

- To feel energised

- To feel alive (not literally, but truly alive)

- To feel what I'm feeling without worrying!

- To feel relaxed

- To feel creative

- To feel inspired

- To feel like I’m showing up looking a million dollars in my appearance

- To feel like I’m getting sh*t done!

- To feel like I’m offering value

- To feel flirtatious and playful (a fun one!)

So I’m definitely going to continue with this because hey, if it ain’t broke….

Next up, I learned that it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to compare yourself to other people, whether that’s online or off. There will be so many people talking and writing about their 2017 highlights and whilst I’m ALL for celebrating the wins and best bits, it can be helpful to remember that many people choose not to put out there the moments, days or months of struggle.

People often don’t want to reveal their ugly cry moments or things that have gone wrong - they choose to keep it private (which I’m all for) and so it can help to remind yourself of this just to keep some perspective.

There was a point in 2017 where I felt like I’d lost my way a little. I found myself comparing who I was and what I was doing in life, business and love/dating/relationships to other people and it was the most stifling and stalling experience that did NOTHING for my health, relationships or work life.

Later on in the year, I chose to abandon this and get INSPIRED instead of comparing. I’ve taken multiple breaks from social media, focused on myself and the people around me who really matter (because that has been a learning too!), thought about my work and business in a way that feels good to me (and took my time with that) and gained inner confidence back.

(On a side-note, a big tip I have is to switch off your phone in the evening. Read a book that isn't on an electronic device, do something creative or just relax. 2017 was also the year I read more books than any previous year and it's been such a rewarding experience that I'd forgotten. It opens up your imagination and can make you feel like you're having a conversation with a dream mentor depending on what you're reading!)

So, 2018 is all about staying on my own path and reminding myself the only permission I need is my own. It’s about listening to my inner alert system when something feels ‘off’, checking myself on the comparison monitor and it’s about not caring what other people think so damn much or holding off things in fear of what people might do, say or think.

It's exhausting to spend your life worrying about other people’s opinions and putting them on an invisible pedestal you’ve taken precious time and energy to carve out - that they’re not even aware they’re on!

A little more superficial, but this is one that has brought me a surprising amount of joy and that’s been rediscovering my love of style, beauty and wellness. I’ve always harboured a passion for these (I used to write a fashion blog and was a fashion and beauty writer professionally at one point) but I really dove back into this in the later part of 2017. It’s made me feel even more like ‘me’ again and I’m excited to incorporate more lifestyle content into my work. (Leave a comment and let me know what kind of posts you’d like to see!). After all, healing from heartbreak, bouncing back and reinvention can work on multiple levels - there’s inner work to be done sure, but the creativity and self-care aspect of style, beauty and wellness never goes amiss either!

Personally, I know coming back to this part of me has helped me reconnect to myself even more.

A good question you can ask yourself for this year is if there's a core part of you that you’ve lost a connection with? Was there something you used to do or love that you've side-lined? Don’t undervalue how much fun and happiness it can bring you by reintroducing even just a piece of that back again.

Something else I’ve been reminded of, is that when it comes to confidence and self-esteem, the more you believe you're worthy and what you have to offer as a person is of value, the more other people will respect and respond to that accordingly. If you’re doubtful about yourself, people have a radar for it. Your dating life becomes one filled with anxiety instead of fun, people you meet don’t gravitate towards you quite so much and whatever you’re putting out into the world is tarnished with your inner doubt and therefore isn’t received as well.

Simply put, the more faith and passion you have in yourself, the more others will. The more respect you’ll get and the better results you’ll have in all areas of your life. This isn’t about ‘faking it until you make it’ (urgh) it’s about practicing it until you believe it. And it’s a constant thing - I don’t believe there’s a level of perfect, absolute confidence. 

So how do you even begin? Well, it's about doing things that make YOU feel good, not comparing yourself to others, being your own cheerleader, having faith in YOU, working at your crafts with laser focus, having boundaries, pushing your comfort zones to expand your inner knowing and being open to change - all of these are integral to cultivating confidence. It can feel scary but in my opinion, that’s a worthy trade-off!

Celebrating the good stuff in the everyday is what I want to end this post on. We’re so conditioned to focus on the bad, the struggles, the annoyances, the heartbreaks, the stresses. What I really learned in 2017 as I stripped many things away, was that when something good happens, celebrate it! I was fortunate to get some great press and opportunities before Christmas and there was a point when I might have taken this for granted.

This time though, I enjoyed it, I felt good about it, I savoured it. I’ve had some beautiful conversations with people that I truly appreciate. I’ve enjoyed experiences that at one time I might have overlooked in sight of the next best or big thing. I’m as ambitious as I ever was but I’ve truly learned the art of stepping back to appreciate and live in the moment more. This has been one of the best changes in myself that I’ve witnessed and it’s something I'll definitely be taking even more into 2018! I really do encourage you to think about how you can celebrate everyday moments more too. It’s a game-changer.

So there we have it :) I also just want to thank you all so much for all your emails, comments and support. Every time I receive one, it makes my day and I’m so looking forward to bringing much more to you in 2018. I want this year to be incredible for you – your best yet, and I’d love to know what type of posts you’d like to see more of to help with that. Do let me know in the comments!

I also have some other things in store for you but will reveal more in January ;)

Wishing you a fantastic New Year however you’re spending it. And if you are alone - know that you’re not really alone. The person you’ve spent every minute of every day of your life with is you - you are your own hero, cheerleader and soulmate so embrace that, appreciate yourself, show yourself the love that you crave and set some fun, bold and intentions that you're actually excited to live by in 2018 - because we’re all in this together and we’ve all got this!

Love,

Laura xx

 

 

 

How to Reinvent yourself after Heartbreak this Christmas

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Pic by Hey Saturday

With Christmas coming up, I know how this can bring up feelings of dread and despair if you’ve gone through heartbreak. Yes, it’s supposed to be a happy time, but it can also be hugely triggering.

On the flip side though, it’s also an amazing time to think about what you want for the next year. I know it’s not easy, but looking forward instead of remaining in stagnancy is so crucial to healing and setting some momentum.

I’m not really about New Year’s Resolutions, I’m more of an intentions kinda girl. These aren’t so ‘goal’ orientated and just feel more fun, less dogmatic and less overwhelming.

When it comes to intentions, the idea of reinvention has been on my mind a great deal recently so I thought it might be useful to talk about some ways that you can use your heartbreak as rocket fuel for your reinvention and why right now, before the New Year is the perfect time to kick start these into action!

1) Be grateful every single day

As one of my faves Tony Robbins says “I believe the ultimate path to enlightenment is the cultivation of gratitude. When you're grateful, fear disappears. When you're grateful lack disappears.”

I know there’s a ton out there about gratitude and it can seem somewhat fluffy and surface level, but I promise you, when you get into the mindset of having some sort of gratitude practice on the daily, your life will change in profound ways.

It isn’t just about being grateful for people and possessions, it’s being grateful for your setbacks and your heartbreaks, what they've taught you and how they've spurred you to use them as fuel instead of sitting in despair. It's about being grateful for embracing how much light your pain will bring (because it will if you’re committed for it to).

2) Call back in the person you were at your best

Reinvention can also be creating a reunion with your core, best self. Think back to a time in your life when you feel you were at your best. When you felt unstoppable! What were you doing? How did you spend your time? What boundaries did you have in place?

For me, my absolute best self was when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. Not from a maturity perspective (ha, hell no!) but the way I approached life and the things I was engaging in. I was prepared to ‘be a beginner’ and that brought me so much inner freedom. It was when I felt the most ‘me’.

So part of my own reinvention for the next year is bringing those elements back in, not being afraid to be a beginner and merging those parts of my best and most vibrant younger self with the woman I am today.

3) Don’t sit in your setbacks but USE them

There's a lot of people talking about their setbacks - I have on here plenty of times. And whilst I know talking about our struggles makes us feel less alone, more connected and helps create empathy, I also know that setbacks, failure or the feeling of failure, completely and utterly sucks. Plus, talking about it too much can keep us stuck in victim mode and it can gradually become part of our identity. So instead of bathing in your setbacks and failures, use them as a match to light the fire of your reinvention.

Learn from them and actually do something different to make sure you don’t get the same result again.

4) Know that forgiveness is your ticket to happiness

Forgive and let go. Others and yourself. If someone has done you wrong, it isn’t letting them off the hook, it’s letting yourself and your emotional freedom off the hook. Leaving more room to live the life you truly want and deserve.

5) Learn something new

It’s been proven that learning something new creates new neural pathways in the brain. (Honestly, it's fascinating!) This will help to form new memories, new habits and encourages your brain to operate in a completely different way - which is often what’s needed when you’re in a place of stagnancy.

If you don’t know where to start, write down 50 things you’d be curious to try and then pick something you feel excited about and just give it a go!

6) Stick to your own path

I advise people I coach to have an open mind about many things, but when it comes to your overall vision for yourself and your life, something I’ve learnt is that it pays dividends to stick to your own path. Enforce a productive kind of tunnel vision. Yes, you can get inspired by others but there’s a fine line between inspiration and then comparison, jealousy and the type of influence that knocks you off-course.

The idea isn’t to become a copy of someone else, it’s to become the best version of you in all your unique glory! The less you look to others around you or on social media to give you permission and external confidence and instead, having full faith in your own path, the more you start to truly live and flourish with freedom. 

7) Don’t care what others think but care about what matters

Similar to 6, staying on your own path is also about being your own cheerleader and not caring what other people think. My god I wish I’d have learnt this one sooner. There is nothing more physically, emotionally and mentally stifling than waiting for someone else to tell you you’re good enough to start that project, end that relationship that’s toxic or just not right, or do that crazy thing that your heart is screaming for.

You don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

I have seriously paid the price for this on all levels and it’s taken a lot of work to reach a point where now I don’t seek or wait for permission from anyone. 

However, I care where it matters. I request and take people’s perspectives and suggestions on-board and am always grateful for that. I just choose wisely who I go to and whose opinions I allow in.

This one isn’t about being reckless and disregarding everything and everyone. It’s about caring so much about what you want that you put 100% love and thought into it. It’s about caring for yourself throughout that and having ultimate respect, compassion and fire for yourself and the process regardless of the outcome. And it’s about caring for the people around you who really matter.

When it comes to love too, I know how easy it is to get caught up in thinking we need to change in order for someone to like us. My best piece of advice from experience is that changing to accommodate others is a fast track to anxiety overload because it isn’t sustainable.

Here’s what you do - you change for yourself.

This will probably involve looking at your own stuff and facing that head-on instead of hoping someone else will take it all away. It isn’t easy and will take time and work. But I assure you once you commit to having ultimate respect, love and faith in yourself and who you are (despite the blips that life throws at you along the way), you will attract the right people who honour that and who probably think the same about themselves too. E.g. the perfect recipe for a healthy relationship. Like attracts like after all.

8) Try a new look

Perhaps a lot fluffier than the other ones, but reinvention means evolvement and let’s be real, it’s amazing how better fitting clothes, a new shade of lippie or a fresh hair style can help you step into the ‘you’ you want to become!

9) Your health is your emotional, mental and financial wealth

Focus on this first and everything will follow.

10) Have faith that even after heartbreak, you can still find love again

I’ve experienced it and have helped countless clients who have proved this time and time again. It sounds corny but once you learn to fall in love with yourself and life again - using the art of reinvention to do so, love with someone else will come without painful effort and you don’t feel so dependent on a timeline.

Whilst you’re still hoping that finding love will fix everything, you're looking at something external as the source of your happiness and wholeness, and that makes you powerless. When you focus on yourself, you’re taking back you power in every way. You have control. The love will come, I assure you, and when it does it will be better than ever because YOU will feel better than ever!

So there you have it! I hope this helps you and as always, I'm sending you lots of love especially for the holiday week ahead.

If you’d like to reach out to work with me privately, you can do so on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com

Love,

Laura xx

What to do if you’re Still not 'Over it'

 Pic by Saskia of  Hey Saturday  

Pic by Saskia of Hey Saturday 

You probably feel like you’ve done absolutely everything you’re ‘supposed’ to, you’ve followed all the advice, all the 'do’s' and 'don’ts' and yet you’re still not over the heartbreak. For some this feeling can creep in after weeks, for others months, and even years for some people.

What I want you to know is that you’re not alone in this feeling. I really wanted to write a post on this topic because not only have I experienced it myself, but I know and have worked with countless others who have too. 

The thing about heartbreak, is that it isn’t linear. There isn’t a set time limit by which you should be ‘over it’ and it also depends on the complexities of the relationship or what you’ve been through. That’s why you can never compare yourself to someone else’s experience.

I recently had an email from someone who asked me how to speed up the process. Like I always say, there isn’t a quick fix to getting over heartbreak and you can't exactly expedite it. But there are things we can do that will, let’s just say, help things along. Unfortunately, this doesn’t usually involve a simple ‘5 step’ plan from a google article. I know I know, that’s not what any of us want to hear but like a sugar fix is only temporary and leaves you hungry for more and feeling all sorts of wired, it’s kind of the same thing when it comes to dealing with heartbreak. 

Usually, the biggest reason why we fail to ‘get over it’ is because despite intellectually wanting that more than anything, on a deeper, more subconscious level, we haven’t let go because we don’t want to or are scared to. Not intentionally and this isn’t our fault - the subconscious sure is a tricky one to figure out! 

On one hand, you’re wanting to be over it and frustrated as hell at that, yet creating an inner contradiction by ruminating over the past, wondering if breaking up was the right thing, questioning if you’ll ever find that relationship because months/years on even though you’ve dated, you still can’t seem to find anything or anyone that sticks. The initial effort of doing ‘all the things’ is there but a part of you still keeps looking back and isn’t really letting go at all. 

Usually, because truly letting go propels us into the unknown. It means total acceptance and it means changing old habits. The thing about habits, is that even if they’re not working, they’re safe, they’re comfortable, we know the outcome of them, and they’re our identity. 

So try asking yourself what would really happen if you did, 100% let go? What would that mean? What part of yourself and your past would you be shedding in favour of the new and unknown?

What kind of feelings come up from that? There might be some uncomfortable ones but that’s ok. 

If you really want to get over the heartbreak, honestly, you have to be prepared to change this identity you’ve created for yourself. You have to put in the work to change the habits and gradually replace them with ones that are more aligned to moving on. That are more aligned to you, who you want to become and what you want for your future. 

You have to 100% believe you can and will get over it and know you want to on every cellular level. You have to know that despite what you're feeling, there's a future out there for you that isn’t tarnished by that breakup, person or heartbreak. 

Some relationships or situations will leave a mark, even a scar on our hearts, but that still doesn’t mean that we can’t find love, fulfilment and happiness in the future. We just have to want it enough. 

Here are some things that it might mean -:

- Accepting that your ex is with someone else - dating, in a relationship with or married to. BUT also 100% deciding to believe that it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough and instead, knowing that by the very nature of them being with someone else, the relationship wasn’t right for you.

- Accepting that just because you’ve dated, met loads of people and it hasn’t led to anything, it doesn’t mean that breaking up with your ex was the wrong thing or that you won’t find anything/anyone better for you.

- Letting go of regrets. It's a cliché but for a reason!

- Owning up to the crap/habits/behaviours that aren’t working and taking the steps to change them. And taking those steps again and again. Creating new habits is like teaching a child something - they have to be told over and over, not just a couple of times. 

- Treating yourself like the person you want to be (and how you want to be treated in a relationship). Having full respect for yourself and seeing this through in your thoughts, actions, habits, behaviours - everything!

- Embracing the unknown.

- Knowing that it’s ok to feel sad, hurt, lonely, frustrated and that it’s actually very healthy. But to also know that these feelings don’t have to define you. You don’t have to sink into them and you have the ability within you to choose better ones.

- Knowing that this all takes persistence and patience.

- Getting support, advice and help from others but ultimately knowing that the decision to let go has to come from you. When you make that decision, you have everything you need within you.

- Believing that letting go is the key to your emotional freedom.

- Knowing that forgiving (yourself and anyone else) is the biggest key to being over it and TOTALLY reclaiming your emotional freedom. 

As always, you have my full support and believe me, you can do this. You can let go and move on if you really want to, I assure you :) 

I have some fun style/fashion themed Christmas posts coming up next so excited to be preparing those for you!

And if you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com

Love,

Laura x

 

 

11 Ways to be Unstoppable (in Life and Love)

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After going through something such as a breakup, health crisis or any life shattering experience, it really makes you think about how you want to live life moving forwards. Like there has to be a better way, right?

This is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Being ‘unstoppable’ was one of those things I saw in others but never felt like I could attain myself. Truth was, I never felt worthy of it. Until I had enough of watching from the side-lines and made the decision to take ownership of myself, my life and decided that following a ‘prescription’ or template wasn’t going to cut it. 

I’ve spent some time recently thinking about the ways in which I’ve modified my own approach to life after experiencing many ups but also, many downs over the years, and here is what I’ve come up with. There are no ‘rules’ but living by these principles or at least, always being conscious of working towards them (hey, we’re all a work in progress!), has helped me immensely when it comes to ALL areas of my life.

So here goes :)

1) Know what you have to offer and own that 100%. I can’t count the amount of times where I have completely lost sight of my strengths, talents and skills in favour of believing what I had in comparison to others was sub-standard, not as good, exciting or lack lustre. Whilst this isn’t about being cocky, it is about knowing your value and not accepting anything less than that. You have to constantly remind yourself of the reasons why you deserve that incredible relationship, friendship, job or opportunity. 

Keep mastering your crafts in the way only you know how and putting them out there. Be proud and don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. You’ll only end up diluting down the one-of-a-kindness you have within you.

It’s this that is your secret sauce, your secret weapon and makes you totally unique and therefore, unstoppable in your very own way.  

2) Know that setbacks are inevitable. No one really loves a setback. They’re annoying, upsetting, frustrating as hell and can kick us down further than we ever thought we'd fall. I’ve experienced this in love, health and career at various points and in the moment, it’s damn hard to get yourself back up again. But you have to. You have to keep that faith because the best comebacks come as a result as using the setback as fuel. Every single day you have to take a tiny step towards your big, bold comeback by doing just one thing. And trust me, with this attitude you will get there. 

3) Looking to others and comparing what you have/are/do to them is a recipe for insecurity, jealousy and chasing after shiny objects that might not actually be aligned to who you are or what you want. The internet is truly an amazing way to connect with people, get inspired and make real-life friends too, but it also comes with its pitfalls. Not only is social media ripe with people showcasing their happy relationships, expensive wardrobes, jet-setting careers and social life that isn’t always a true portrayal of what’s really going on, but it’s also rampant with bad news, complaining, negativity and smoke screens. 

Whilst it’s not about ignoring that this is how the world has evolved and refusing to embrace that, you have to take responsibility for how much of it you buy into. Comparing at the (pricey!) cost of your self-worth can be the most toxic form of procrastination regardless of whether what you see is real or not quite so. You can totally lose sight of who you are.

There have been times where just scrolling on Instagram or Facebook has left me emotionally depleted, not knowing the cause, and with an overwhelming sense of feeling less than and berating myself for not being where I ‘should’ be in life. Or worse, getting eaten up inside by feelings of envy and jealousy. Gross, but I’m sure you can relate?

That time would have been much better spent creating something for my business, actually doing the things that would get me where I want to be or just doing what makes me happy. This is where there is a benefit to having tunnel vision. Get inspired of course (some of my best outfit ideas come from the ol’ IG!) but don’t get sucked in. 

This can take hold much closer to home too. The same idea applies though. There is no fixed template that you should be following and the fact that someone else has what you want just means you can have it too - if it’s what YOU really want and not what you think you should want. So give yourself the space to figure that out. 

4) Don’t drop your own standards for others. If the person you’re dating or in a relationship with is operating on a moral or emotional level that doesn’t align with yours or who’s behaviour/lifestyle is constantly clanging (or just tinkling!) alarm bells, know when to step away. This isn’t about being high maintenance or refusing to compromise, it’s about knowing your standards and staying true to them.

No matter how much you like or even love someone, a relationship based on mis-matched values in particular, is going to cause you stress, drama and probably, future heartbreak. You don't have time for that - walk away now and you’ll thank yourself later, trust me. 

5) Don’t make decisions when you’re in a state of emotional hot-mess-ness, unrest or panic. Some of my worst decisions in love and professionally in particular (would you like me to share more on these?!), came as knee-jerk reactions that were down to poor health, needing a quick fix or just from a place of lack. They weren’t properly thought through from a calm and logical state of mind.

But this point goes for relationships too. It can be very easy to say or do things in the heat of the moment, respond to that text from your ex or send one to them when something else has just happened to trigger a reaction in you. There were countless times in past relationships where I sent text messages that could rival the length of War and Peace to a boyf/ex boyf in the midst of a reactive emotional crisis and then found myself reading them back the next morning regretting it and attempting to backtrack. OR (mostly!), wishing I’d have just stayed silent, keeping my head firmly held high. 

My golden rule now is to give myself 24 hours before I do anything. You will usually see things differently and if not, at least you’ve given yourself time for your emotions to settle if it still feels like the right thing to do.

6) The quality of your health is the foundation for everything else in your life. Relationships and professional life included. When you feel off-kilter and don’t know where to start, begin with working at balancing the components of your physical, emotional and mental health and see how this ripples out to other areas. 

7) Know it’s never too late. Whether you’re single in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even beyond, it’s never, ever too late to find love. You have 2 choices; mope around telling yourself you’re past it so what’s the point OR get out there and refuse to look at the people who are happy in relationships at your age as the only way the world works. It isn’t. Just because that’s what you’re choosing to focus on, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Focus instead on using the coupled-up people as inspiration of what’s out there for you. Choose to see the amount of people who are also looking for what you want because I assure you, there are plenty out there! 

It’s never too late to reinvent yourself in any or all pieces of your life and there are countless examples of people who are likely older than you who have done just that. Some, multiple times. 

It’s really very simple; stay stuck in your mouldy beliefs or get out there, be the example and make things happen.

8) If you commit to something, firstly make sure it’s 100% what you want. And then, always do your best but don’t deplete yourself. A bit like 5) not reacting in the moment, it can be very easy to say yes to things that in our gut don’t feel quite right. Only say yes to something that feels right on a cellular level. 

Sure, we all have to do things, especially when it comes to work, that aren’t always ideal. But is taking that a temporary measure, providing a financial cushion/giving you skills/allowing you time to get you to where you want to be OR is it going to completely suck your soul dry and lead you further off your path because you’re mentally, physically and emotionally drained?

It’s the same with anything though - how you approach dating (intentional swiping rather than mindless!), your romantic and business relationships and friendships. 

If you do commit, commit with integrity and with an inner promise to do your best and give your all to that commitment. But don’t stretch to the point where you’re over-giving. Giving ‘your all’ doesn’t mean putting yourself to the bottom of the pile to the benefit of someone else, an opportunity or a work role. (And by the way, it’s also ok to say no or step back at a later date if it isn’t right or compromising your health, heart or wellbeing.)

Giving your all means looking after yourself first to do your best, to stay true to your word, to deliver your best. It means showing what your standards for yourself are from the onset.  

9) When you respect yourself and live with that as a purpose, others automatically respect you too. 'Nuff said :)

10) See things for how they really are. We overcomplicate things so much. If someone you’re dating isn’t showing you the same level of respect, isn’t acting on their word or is going hot and cold, don’t try and justify it by telling yourself and others that the situation is ‘complicated’ so you’re hanging in there just to see. When someone likes you, they show you. Take off the rose tinted-s. Dating and relationships come with complications totally, but where signs are being pointed out to you, don’t look too deeply into them, get caught up in the drama or choose to turn a blind eye. Simplify it down to what it really is and what it really means. 

Walking away might feel hurtful, disappointing, like you’re admitting defeat or have failed, but in reality, the exact opposite is happening. You’re taking control, showing ultimate respect for yourself and choosing for yourself instead of playing puppet for someone else.

Move on as there is someone out there who won’t make you ask these questions. 

11) Have fun and find your way to approach life in a way that works for you. We can take life so seriously and yes, it comes with things that need to be taken seriously, for sure. But I always like to approach the ‘self-help’ (urgh, I really hate that term!) aspect of what I do from the perspective that whilst inner work is crucial, happiness, a great relationship and an unstoppable life in general doesn’t have to mean following all of the very ‘prescriptive’ advice that we can be bombarded with. 

If you hate meditating, don’t do it! If eating the way all the health bloggers with banging bodies eat makes you feel like crap, don’t eat that way. If the advice in that 7th self-help book makes you completely cringe, that isn’t the only advice. If totally removing alcohol from your life makes you miserable (if alcohol wasn’t having a detrimental effect on your life or health of course) don’t do it. Enjoy the wine! Find your own moderation.

You are unique and what works for you will be unique. 

The key to the ‘inner work’ being more effective and less laborious, is to find a way that feels good. It’s not about someone else having all the answers. You can look for guidance, advice, help and support in others and try things out as that’s how you’ll learn, grow and discover. But you always have to take full ownership of you. Be your own leading role in your life. Piece together your own formula.

It’s not even the self-help aspect of life either. The more you’re having fun, taking opportunities that excite you, working towards something that really makes you come alive, dating in a way that doesn’t feel like a chore, engaging in relationships where you feel relaxed, happy and where it’s on mutual respectful terms, the better your life will be. You’ll be more resilient, enjoy higher quality relationships and be unstoppable without even trying.

So there you go. These have all helped me immensely and I really hope they can help and inspire you, in your own way too. 

(If you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com)

Love,

Laura xx

Can you Stay Friends with an Ex?

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Following on from my last post about why an ex might reach out to you, when it comes to staying friends with exes, it’s murky waters indeed. When you have someone in your life who you feel so close to - physically, emotionally, spiritually perhaps, to just cut ties when you break up can seem impossible, if not unbearable. This is when the friendship conundrum comes in and where things can become incredibly hazy.

So here are a few thoughts to consider when it comes to staying friends with an ex. I really appreciate that all of these are the tougher side of things to think about, and as always, I write everything with compassion because I've been there too and approaching it honestly was what helped me. 

First of all, you need to think about the genuine reason you’re wanting to stay friends. It’s crucial that you get real with yourself on this one. In my own experience and through the many people I’ve coached around this, too often we can use the idea of remaining friends just to keep that person in our life and avoid having to cut ties. 

But think about friendship and what that means for a second. If you’ve broken up, something went wrong there. Can you really create a new immediate dynamic of friendship based on what caused the two of you to part ways romantically? Perhaps it was amicable, but even so, can you really be friends with your ex in the truest sense of what friendship means and detached of those emotions?

When people do get completely honest with themselves (and I know too well how hard this can be), staying friends with their ex isn’t really with the intention of friendship, even if they don't quite realise that. It’s with the underlying hope of maintaining a connection, the relationship being rekindled, having an excuse to stay in touch or a way to keep tabs on what your ex is doing and who with. Those inquisitive questions are innocent and ok because you’re friends, right? 

Especially in the case of where the relationship didn't make you feel loved, alive, heard, respected and happy, is holding onto friendship the life you want to be living? Is that who you want to be? 

You deserve so much more. 

It’s almost like settling for the cheap meal deal version of the relationship where you’re never, ever going to be fully satiated and wind up with a hangover. What if your ex meets someone new? Even in the breakup situations where nothing 'bad' as such has happened, would you really be able to handle that news in the same way as a platonic friend telling you the same thing? 

Something else that often quickly becomes apparent when this situation occurs too is that the void of that person no longer being in our life only illuminates gaps in other areas. Such as other friendships. Your ex might have felt like your all or your companion but a romantic partner should really serve a different purpose and fulfil a different need than what a friendship does. You can totally be friends with your partner in a relationship of course, but have you been relying on them too much for things that it’s perhaps healthier to get from external friendships? 

(One of my all-time favourite psychotherapists and relationship experts Esther Perel talks a great deal about this. )

If there is a lack of human connection and this form of soul nourishment in other parts of your life, it can make letting your ex go seem even more daunting and impossible. But if this is what’s happening, try and see it as something to embrace. When I was in this place and felt powerless, the silver lining was that it gave me something to work on. To do. You might feel completely empty after going through the breakup itself, but having parts of your life open to fill with new people, experiences and learnings is such a gift because you can take action on it - even if it doesn’t seem that way now. 

I’m not saying that you 100% can’t be friends with an ex. I had a conversation with a friend just yesterday who told me that after time apart from her ex, when they next spoke, the dynamic from both sides had completely shifted because they’d each had time to understand why the relationship didn’t work and see that romantically, they weren’t a good fit. Neither had hard feelings towards the other - in fact they respect each other a great deal. But all of those past emotions had been released, let go and they were approaching it on completely new grounding. I also know many people who have formed a type of friendship with their ex after time. 

So, it can of course happen. With the caveat that only after significant time (or enough time) has passed for both of you to have consistent no-contact distance and work on making your own life the best, fulfilled, full and nourished it can be independently of your ex. You both have to have grown in your own way. 

Even then, what can often happen is that both people see that friendship isn’t necessary, possible or healthy. Sometimes, people aren’t supposed to stay in our lives forever and that’s ok. It’s all been for a purpose and is never, ever wasted. 

I know it’s hard - I really do. You know that everything I share is rooted in my own experience. But cutting that tie is so crucial in having the ability to move forwards. Feigning friendship - even with the best, most wholesome intentions when you're feeling so upset by the breakup, is truthfully only setting you up for stagnancy, comparison and continuing to sprinkle salt in the emotional wound.

Give it time, give yourself time to breathe and time to re-discover yourself. 

Try and see it as an opportunity. A chance to fill those gaps and to learn to give yourself what you feel you don’t have. You have everything you need within you, you really do. Please trust me on that :)

I think that's some ex stuff covered for now ;) I'm putting together a new post for you about my personal beliefs I live by when it comes to life and love so can't wait to share that with you soon. 

I really hope you found this post helpful and if you'd like to find out about working with me 1:1, please email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com 

Love,

Laura x

Why did my Ex Reach out to me?

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I wanted to write a post on this because I’ve recently received a few questions around exes reaching out and how it can completely throw us!

Whilst it’s often incredibly tough to refrain from contacting an ex in the throes of heartbreak, it can also leave us utterly bewildered when we do stop all contact and an ex reaches out to us - particularly when we’re the ones who have been broken up with!

We followed all the ‘rules’, let them be to get on with their lives, got on with ours and then a ‘hey, how are you’ text pops up out of the blue. What gives??!!

First of all, just know that although it can feel mighty satisfying in some ways when this happens, it can also propel us right back into the heartbreak we’ve worked so hard to wade through and leave us confused and upset. Whatever you feel, try not to judge your emotions around it. It’s bound to have some kind of effect on you because regardless of how the breakup happened, there are still going to be feelings involved when any form of contact happens. 

Heartbreak is an emotional rollercoaster and sometimes, we just can’t predict how we’re going to react. What’s important to keep at the forefront of your mind, is that an ex reaching out doesn’t change anything. The breakup happened and your only focus is yourself, your own healing and keeping your sight on the here and now and the future. That text, email or social media message is bound to throw you off-track, of course. But don’t let it deter you from how far you've come. 

I often get asked why exes do reach out and although I don’t have the ability to go inside someone’s mind and get a glimpse of the motivation behind their actions (I wish ha!), what I do know is this; in a weaker moment of their own they’re looking for some form of connection with you. They’re going through their own breakup journey too and even if they're the ones doing the breaking up, that still comes with its triggers and urges. 

It doesn’t make it right and it can be selfish - especially when they’ve explicitly told you they don’t want to see or hear from you. But the contact is a reflection of that piece of them needing some kind of connection or familiarity. Try not to look too much into it as what it definitely doesn’t necessarily mean is that they want to get back together.

It could have been sent after a drink or when they’re craving some kind of validation and need a quick fix or a replay in the now of an old memory. I’m aware that can seem a little harsh or make you feel disposable and I really don’t mean it in that way. Breakups can cause us to do all kinds of odd things that we can’t anticipate and it’s likely not your ex’s intention to make you feel bad. They’re in their own heads and the contact is most probably their way of fulfilling a craving in the moment. This is why it’s important to not read too much into it.

What I would definitely suggest is to avoid continuing the conversation. You don’t have to respond. No response is a response in itself and in many cases, your ex will see that they have overstepped the boundary and that will be all you hear. You need to not see this as a big deal and continue to hold your head high and stay on track. Take time to honour your feelings about it but don’t dwell on them. You’re still doing amazing and nothing can change that! 😀

Remember, we can’t ever change other people’s actions but we can choose how we react or in this case, don’t react.

I hope you found this helpful and if you'd like to work with me 1:1, email on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Love,

Laura xx

Overcoming the Fear of Change

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Changing can be scary stuff. Something I’ve learnt from my own experiences and through working with so many clients over the past 3 years, is that we often say we want things to change, that we want to get over someone, that we want to live a different type of life or live in a different way…. yet we resist exactly what it is we need to do to get to that place.

We start to live in a state of contradiction. 

I’ve wanted my life to change in so many ways before. I’ve wanted a different career, to look differently, to feel differently, to improve my health, to be in a different type of romantic relationship, to cultivate a more well-rounded social circle around me. But I was looking to all of the external that I wanted to change first, and neglected to look at what was going to be the actual crucial catalyst to create all of this ‘change’ that I wanted to manifest into my life.

Through working with many people during heartbreak too, and who are wanting to let go of their ex, something that runs consistently through these conversations is that beneath that first emotional layer, they’re desperate to feel better, to let go, to get their ex out of their mind. To be in that place now. Yet they’re still in contact, seeking closure, holding onto belongings, drafting perfectly crafted emails and texts to get the answers they need from their ex to be able to let go. I've been there and done that too. 

I think we all know though, deep down, that this only serves to prolong the letting go process because we’re putting all of our power in the hands of another person. Their response will determine how we feel, what questions we probably want to ask next and it goes on and on. So beyond all of those other emotional layers (we have so many!), we're not actually wanting to let go subconsciously. We're in direct contrast, holding on. 

Usually, because facing up to what letting go will mean is scary. It symbolises closing a chapter of your life in favour of the new and unfamiliar. And one that is filled with 'what ifs'. 

I've been there so many times in different ways. I get it. But the hard truth that can be difficult to swallow is that creating that change for yourself means doing the very thing that feels so against what you know and what’s familiar.

Letting go of an ex doesn’t require answers from them. Truly letting go is reclaiming your power despite still feeling heartbroken and facing the fact that change is going to be tough, unfamiliar and scary, but striding ahead regardless. 

Truly letting go is when you become physically, emotionally and mentally allergic to that old way of being. 

Throughout some health struggles I had, because it went on for so long, it kind of became the norm. Even though I wanted to feel better more than anything, I’d become attached to the identity of it. Whilst I’m not saying that I enjoyed being in that place, it became all I knew. My mind became programmed with the idea that everything I ate would hurt me, that it would be a long road ahead, that I couldn’t go and do what everyone else around me was doing. That it was a battle. Changing that was tough! When it comes to rewiring your subconscious beliefs, it sure ain't a quick fix. 

My pursuit of health had turned into something that was like a military operation and quite frankly, it was boring, sucked all the life out of me and kept me unwell. It was time to let go and do things in a completely different way. Once I decided that that way of operating was making me feel even more miserable and deprived of life, things turned around quickly. Whilst my health didn’t improve overnight, I took the whole thing a lot less seriously. I created a different way of being. I found ways to laugh more. I completely changed my attitude. I took back my own power of my body and mind. Even though this sounds like an easy trade-off, when you’ve been living in fear of your body and health for so long, it isn’t quite as simple. It’s probably being the biggest change I’ve ever created. Yet the most worthwhile. 

Something else I’ve been thinking over a lot more recently too, is why we feel we have to stay the same so much. Why we resist change. Why do we feel we have to stay in the same career forever, live in the same place, hang out with the same people all the time, remain faithful to our daily routines so rigidly?

Whilst I am a firm believer in sticking to your guns if you’re pursuing something or a way of life that might not be easy, but that sets the fire in your heart alive, I also think there’s something to be said for challenging the belief that you only get one shot in life. If we look at the environment around us, we have seasons, flowers grow and die, the weather changes. It’s never a constant. But as humans who are an integral part of our physical environment, we somehow put so much pressure on what will happen if we change something?

What if though, being more open to change and less rigid will keep us happier and healthier? What if it keeps us truly alive instead of just stagnantly existing?

If you want to try something new, that doesn’t mean your life will fall apart. In my opinion and from what I’ve learnt, we’re meant to evolve, to grow. If something doesn’t work out, even if it’s an absolute epic failure (which let’s face it, sometimes it can be!), what’s the worst that could happen? Chances are if the previous situation is one that’s making you miserable, stressing you out, costing you emotionally and physically, what will come of the failed alternative is going to be better and steer you into a healthier direction for yourself. 

Or even if it’s just curiosity that you’re feeling about some kind of change, if it’s potent enough that it keeps playing on your mind, that’s your inner intuition/alarm system telling you to listen up! There are people I’ve coached who have changed careers after 50, people who have completely reinvented themselves and their life after being in a relationship for 15 years, who have decided to travel in their mid-30’s and beyond, who have given up seriously high paying jobs in favour of ones with half the salary yet double the happiness. Who says you can’t try a different type of career or try something for a while and then move onto something else sometime later? Happiness and fulfilment isn't always a constant. What made us happy 5 years ago, might not any more. And that's perfectly ok!

Again, it’s all about reclaiming your power. Relationships, health, job, career, business, friendships, travel…all of it. When you do this, no matter what happens, you will know what to do next. And reclaiming your power doesn’t mean doing it all on your own. You can get support - that’s why people seek the help of coaches, mentors, practitioners, therapists, doctors, friends, family or just outside guidance. But it’s about knowing that living life to the beat of your own drum isn’t only reserved for people like entrepreneurs, ‘hustlers’ and the ‘lucky ones’. Whether you want to make one small change or a radical one, when you 100% want it, nothing bad can happen. 

You just need to want to change more than you want to stay the same. No, you have to be ravenous for it. You have to be prepared to change the way you think and how you do certain things. The uncomfortable comfort you've existed in will need to change. Yes, it will be scary but I can promise you with full conviction, it will be worth it :)

Laura x

If you'd like to reach out about working with me, you can do so here.

Why we Should PLAY More!

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Adulthood. It’s gets so SERIOUS doesn’t it?! Yes, with growing up comes responsibility and obligations, but we tend to get so bogged down with it all that we cast aside or just plain forget childhood curiosity. PLAYING for the sake of playing! No end goal in mind aside to have an adventure, laugh and delve into the wonder of the imagination. 

From my previous posts, you’ll know that anxiety and stress management is something I have been challenged by for a large proportion of my life. When I think back to the times I’ve been most creative, happy, enjoyed brilliant relationships, ‘successful’ and just ‘on fire’ (in a good way!), it’s been the times when fun was a big part of my world. 

As I child I was chronically shy and anxious. But I remember my childhood being one of happy times because I had a lot of fun! I immersed myself in books and then acted them out in my back garden. Leaping off my slide adorned with my red cardigan as a cape pretending to be Supergirl (how badass was she though?!), walking into the Secret Garden or going on adventures in Narnia meeting Aslan.

When I got slightly older, building dens and swings with my friend in the woods, cycling around the area where we lived for hours on end, setting up ‘shops’, washing cars for extra pocket money, falling into rivers (shallow ones!), spending every moment we could of the summer holidays outside in the sunshine. It was bliss! 

All these things were so much fun and soothed those times where I did fall into my anxiety and chronic shyness. They also made me less anxious because I was just being......myself. 

My imagination was potent and I didn’t lose that ability to tap into it as an adult. I don’t exactly pretend I’m Supergirl any more (who am I kidding?!) but secretly I still think it would be fun ;)

When I reflect over my times as an adult too, my happiest memories are those when I have tons of fun, when I’m out connecting with people, traveling, seeing new places, getting outside, trying new things out, being creative, letting my imagination run wild! It’s my fuel!

I still maintain all the ‘adult’ responsibilities like seeing clients (which I don’t even think of as work!), meeting deadlines, paying bills, doing the more ‘mundane’ day-to-day things, but one thing I’ve committed to introducing into my life is to see every bit of it as an adventure.

After spending many years unhappy (you can read more about my story in my last post), I am well and truly onboard with the idea that LIFE IS TOO SHORT not to let go and have fun!

If we’re going to get scientific, there are many studies out there that have showed that when people incorporate more ‘play’ into their life, they become more productive at work or in their business, wealthier, happier, in better relationships, confident, harness an improved sense of self-worth and are less anxious.

When you have fun and let go, it brings out this inner childlike spirit that doesn’t have any adult ego attached. 

When I’ve made this suggestion of having more fun to my clients, it’s amazing the changes that happen with that alone. Just doing something for the sheer hell of it and not worrying about what people will think or what the end ‘goal’ is. 

I couldn’t really run my business without taking time to play! I wouldn’t have any inspiration to write, create videos, podcasts, work with clients and more importantly, do this in a way that actually makes an impact.  

My natural nature is definitely one where I'm shy at my core, but I’m also really fun and have a dry and sometimes quirky sense of humour! I love to laugh! I’m serious when it’s necessary, I’m highly sensitive and compassionate, but just doing something silly or fun gets me out of my own head where it can be so easy to get comfy, dwell and ruminate. You know what I mean, right?! 

If you are a more serious person, it’s not about trying to change that either. Fun and play can be anything that makes you feel good - where you feel free and like your true self. For one person, play can be about having a random dance party whilst they’re waiting for the train (I’ve done that before!), for another it can be going for a walk and listening to some music. For someone else it can be going and trying a new type of class or event that is completely different to anything else they do in their life. It can be simple, free or cheap and easy to work into your ‘adult’ schedule.  

Everyone’s idea of fun is totally unique and that’s brilliant! The point that I want to convey here, is that you have to give yourself the time and PERMISSION to let loose in a way that feels good and nourishing for you. Don’t be afraid to be silly! Trust me, it makes the world a better place to live in. It’s not a waste of time - it will add more to your life than you can ever imagine.

There is so much negativity on this earth and we can’t be naive to that or ignore it, but there is also so much beauty and good within it. Playing and having fun helps us to really see that and live it. It helps to at least bring in some balance during those personal times when sh** does hit the fan too. 

It also helps us to stop scrolling on our phones, wishing we had the lives of someone we don’t even know and triggering inner and quite frankly, gross feelings of inadequacy. Getting out into the real world and actually living in it, connecting, talking instead of emailing and having experiences…that’s where the true wealth of life resides. Not in competing with something that we don’t even know is authentic. 

Letting go, allows you to be your most authentic self. No one on instagram, your ex or someone you constantly compare yourself to matters in the way they did when you’re in that place. You just don’t have time for it!

This is why I’m so passionate about bringing the element of fun into the way I coach people. The impact it creates is truly transformational and I’ve experienced that myself of course, too. 

It was my 35th birthday yesterday and my main intention was to bring in even more fun and play into my world. A good one, right?! So I’m right here on this journey with you!

I’d love for you to let me know in the comments what that is for you! 

Love,

Laura xx

How I Manage Stress

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Picture snapped by http://www.heysaturday.co/

Stress. It can sure be a bi*%h!

It’s almost become the norm to describe everyday life as ‘stressful’ but the reality is, pro-longed stress is a pre-curser to health issues, dis-ease, sustained emotional traumas and imbalances and overall it doesn’t make life much fun.

My journey with combating stress began after I realised I’d been living in a perpetual state of it for about 15 years. I wasn’t alone in this; there are so many people who do but who are unaware because it’s just become habitual and a way of life. For me, this impacted my health in a big way and whilst nutrition, supplements and conventional medication got me so far, it wasn’t until I addressed the s-t-r-e-s-s that things really started to shift dramatically.

You can take all the pills and fancy supplements that the swanky health stores have to offer, but they ain’t going to do anything if you’re internally frazzled.

I won’t go into the fine details of what stress does to the body but in a nutshell, it creates an acidic environment, which then offers a nice toxic home for physical and emotional balances to take over. When you relieve stress, it makes the body more alkaline, less toxic and instead, creates a home for thriving health and wellbeing.

Obviously we can’t totally avoid everyday stress, but stress reduction absolutely is manageable. Let me tell you, if I’ve found a way to get this stuff down, you can too! It's a practice though. It isn’t about going for a massage every now and then or the odd yoga class and hoping that temporary feeling of enlightenment will go the distance.  

So, I thought it would be nice to share some of the techniques, practices and modalities I use to relive stress. The combination of these works great for me but its unique to everyone. It’s really about giving things you're drawn to a try and seeing how you go!

Consistency is key, so the first step is committing to busting your stress levels and changing how you go about things on a day-to-day basis.

I promise you, it’s totally worth it!

1) I meditate. Yes, I know everyone and their dog is talking about meditating these days. Perhaps you were hoping for something more original but whilst meditation has become a bit more ‘trendy’ over the past few years, if you do some googling on the concept and the profound changes it creates in the brain, you’ll see it’s much more than just pretty mala beads and memes on instagram ;)

I really got into meditation during my times in LA (I know, I know, the trendiest place to meditate but I assure you, the teachers I practiced with there were the real deal - some of whom I recommend and whose classes I loved are Camilla Sacre Dallerup, Kelsey J Patel and Megan Monahan. The Den and Unplugged were my go-to meditation places.) I now meditate for anywhere between 15 minutes and 1 hour each day, depending on my schedule.

There are no ‘rules’. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You have to find what styles suit you (which can change also), and there are plenty of apps such as Headspace and videos on YouTube. You can usually find a meditation for anything you’re experiencing. Sometimes I do them for stress relief, sometimes for manifestation, other times for self-love, sometimes for letting go. Whatever I feel I need on that particular day.

Meditation is one of those things that you really start to feel the benefits of without noticing. Your mind gradually becomes clearer and everyday tasks seem to feel less daunting. You become more intuitive and able to reach solutions and decisions from a less frazzled, cloudy headspace. I’ve fallen in love with meditation so much, I now create my own (you can get my bespoke high-energy one for free here) and offer to clients as part of my service!

2) I see an Ayurvedic practitioner. This woman has changed my life! She does Ayurvedic massage on me as well as Reiki. With my treatments it will depend on what I feel I need on the day. Yesterday I had an Indian Head Massage and a back and shoulder massage. Of course, massages are relaxing, which aids stress, but from a physiological standpoint, they also boost your immune system substantially.

I've delved into Ayurveda a great deal over the past year and if you’re unfamiliar with it, it describes itself as the science of life. The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are that the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. I’m deeply fascinated by Ayurveda and looking forward to exploring it more. I’m also learning Reiki 1 in September and excited to then progress to Reiki 2 as this is a service I’d love to offer clients in the future as well as coaching and meditation.

3) I’ve let go of negativity in my life. Your world and environment completely reflects your inner environment so I had to take inventory and clear out what was triggering my stress. Old relationships that I was still subconsciously connected to in some way, old beliefs about myself that I needed to let go of, friendships (that weren’t bad but where I didn’t feel totally myself in them and out of alignment), even physical objects and clutter.

My old flat was completely rammed with old belongings that signified parts of me and my life I needed to shed. My new place is minimal, open and fresh. It makes a biiiig difference!

4) I do Chi Gong. My new yoga. This is actually a recent ritual but I am loving it so far! Chi Gong is a ‘holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.’ It isn’t really a workout as such - or at least, the one I practice isn’t. It’s more like moving meditation but it makes me feel grounded, calm and I really connect with it far more than yoga. Though I am doing about 20 minutes of restorative yoga at the end of the day too.

5) Sleep. Sleeping, and quality sleeping, is a pure life and beauty tonic! It replenishes your body, allows it to heal, keeps you looking your best and gives you energy. As someone who has experienced insomnia off and on for many years, it’s the one thing I really notice correlates to my stress and cortisol levels.

So, my bedroom is my sanctuary. I keep it airy, uncluttered and peaceful. I don’t have a television or any form of computer/digital device in my bedroom and I completely switch off technology and social media by about 8.30pm. This was tough as scrolling on insta become such a habit oops! Switching off from tech makes SUCH a difference though. I also meditate, read, journal or do gentle yoga before bed which preps me for a better sleep and I drink this or a homemade concoction of ginger, cardamom and fennel tea.

I aim for 8 hours of sleep, which for me is the ideal amount, but it’s still usually a little broken. Overall though, I feel good and well rested!

6) I try new things I’m curious about and that I love! There’s typically a pattern with what triggers my stress so I’ve found that trying completely new things gives me something else to focus my mind on. Recently it’s been cooking, nutrition, astrology, Chi Gong, new types of podcasts and delving deeper into spirituality. Having fun and saying yes to things and those internal nudges that might not seem logical but that I want to do just for the hell of it. I’m also going back to dance classes soon, as love this form of exercise, which totally doesn’t feel like exercise!

7) I’ve given up the ‘rules’ I’d set for myself on what it means to be successful. I’ve always been a high achiever and a big dreamer. Both of which I’m incredibly proud of and have no intention of changing. However, what I have amended is ‘how’ this has to happen and what success actually means to me. I’d found myself comparing myself to EVERYONE when it comes to my life and business. Stress city!

Something I realised, was that I’d bought into expectation, and completely lost sight of who I was at my core. This year has been one of exploration for me. I feel more ‘me’ than ever and that’s why I emphasise that the work I do with clients is rooted from this approach.

I’ve said no to what could have been amazing opportunities but that just didn’t feel right at my core. I’m doing things my way and I’m releasing that pressure. Success to me is doing something I love, being truly fulfilled and feeling free. Happy. Content. Holistically balanced. Yes, there are financial wants and goals in there too, but it’s for a bigger purpose, not just as a symbol.

The foundation of that is to allow me to expand my work to greater depths, to acquire more skills, to live a life that allows me to travel and explore, which inspires and excites me, makes me more creative. This makes me a better coach, mentor, writer and person for the people around me. When you’re deeply fulfilled, it shines out of you and benefits everyone!

So there you have it. The main ‘keys’ that work well for me right now. A few others include walking in nature, good nutrition and hydration, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) as well as the more low-key fun stuff like getting my nails done, having a shopping day every 6 weeks or so and watching comedy! Well, a gal's gotta look good and have a laugh to show up best in this world, right ;)

Seriously though, you don’t have to live in stress. Don’t believe it when people tell you that life is ‘just stressful’ and that’s the way it is. Maybe it can’t be eradicated completely but you can certainly navigate those tougher waters with more ease when you lay a good foundation.

It’s also about being mindful of the words you use. If you constantly tell yourself you’re stressed, this signals to the brain that you are. So try and be aware of what you’re saying and know that it’s not you that’s stressed, it’s something you’re experiencing. You can choose to have a new experience with tools such as the ones I’ve mentioned work for me or any others you lean towards for yourself.  

Ultimately, it’s really about putting yourself first and owning your body and what it houses. I am living proof that stress took it’s toll in a huge way on my body, health and mind. But by taking control and putting myself first, this changed the game and how I operate on a day-to-day basis. Compared to how I used to live, it’s is like night and day. This is why I’m so passionate about helping others to manage their stress. Try some things for yourself and see how you go :)

If you’d like to find about about working with me one-to-one to get bespoke support, you can contact me here.

Love,

Laura