dating

Why we Need to be 'Selfish' in Relationships

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I wanted to share a new podcast I have out asap as it's a GOOD one! I have Dr. Laura Dabney with me on The Bounce Back podcast. Dr. Laura is Virginia’s Top Marriage Counselor & Psychologist and we delve deep into so many juicy topics when it comes to all things relationships.

Including -:

- Why we need to be selfish in relationships

- What it really means to be selfish in practice

- Setting ourselves up for the right relationship when we're single

- How to communicate effectively 

- Breaking the pattern of bad habits

- How to spot a red flag and what to do!

You can listen in here

This one is filled with actionable tips and advice so I know you're going to get so much from it! 

Love,
Laura xx

Coping with a Breakup When You Weren’t ‘Officially’ Dating

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Breakups are hard enough when you’re in a relationship but what about those breakups when you’re only ‘kind of’ or casually dating someone? Somehow, I think these breakups can actually be harder to transition through because it’s almost like we don’t feel like we should or deserve to grieve that relationship - whatever it was.

So I thought I would talk about this topic more. A follower sent me this on instagram this week -:


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Who can relate??! I think it’s a huge challenge of dating in today’s world!

In fact, I remember going through a very similar experience a few years ago. I really liked this guy - everything seemed to be going amazingly and very quickly (which in itself, when I reviewed the signs and circumstances was a red flag). In all honesty, the lifetime of the relationship was only about 6 weeks. We were never ‘official’ because he was admittedly emotionally unavailable but when things ended, it knocked me harder than a couple of my longer-term relationships.

The thing was, I didn’t quite know how to get over it or move through it because we were never in an actual relationship. I felt like the usual ‘steps’ didn’t really apply to me. I felt like I couldn’t get the closure I needed.

After speaking with so many people on this, coaching them through it and of course, having gone through it myself those years ago, I wanted to share how you can deal with it if you find yourself in this mindf**kery of a scenario too!

What You Are Feeling is Real and OK

Ok so first of all, the ‘terms’ of the relationship aren’t important. What is important are your feelings and what you are feeling is very real. You’re human. You had a connection with someone; whether that was physical, emotional, spiritual or an amalgamation of the three. That isn’t to be discounted just because there wasn’t a label or a time period that constituted it being a long-term relationship.

Some of the hardest romantic experiences to get over are the ones that lasted barely any time because they were so intense. So if you are feeling heartbroken, you’re completely entitled to feel that. Allow it.

Cry, journal it out, look after yourself physically, surround yourself with positive people, do things you enjoy - all the things you would do if you were going through an ‘actual’ breakup.

No Contact

Don’t contact the person you dated. Remember, you can create your own closure. You don’t need the other person to do this. You don’t need text conversations about why they didn’t or can’t commit. You don’t need answers because the fact that the dating experience between you is over is closure enough. They’ve shown you their intentions and perhaps they’re not a bad person, but just not ready. That’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. 

However, that still doesn’t mean you lower your standards to accommodate them. The guy I mentioned above, he wasn’t ready but he wasn’t a bad person. He just had so many things he needed to figure out for himself and I didn’t have the power to speed this up. No matter how understanding I was, how pretty I tried to look when I saw him, how intellectual, funny or empathetic I tried to be. No one had that power. It was heartbreaking walking away but it saved me so much potential heartache in the future. 

The danger with these very casual types of relationships is that they leave so much room to weave in and out of each other’s lives because there are no relationship parameters. Usually when there’s an unequal balance of commitment, the person who is hot/cold and more into the whole ‘casual’ thing, they can unfortunately see it (and us without our boundaries) as the low hanging fruit. It almost gives them a free pass to text when they’re bored or even maybe genuinely missing us. They can perhaps say the right things but if they still can’t commit there is nothing we can do to change that. Texts are easy. Words are words. Actions - and consistent actions, are very different. 

Know your Values

When you really like someone it’s very tempting to compromise your values and wants just to get to spend time with them. So know where the line is drawn. Don’t accept morsels of a ‘what-if’ relationship. The fact is, if the person isn’t willing to commit to a relationship (and I don’t mean for the sake of calling it a relationship, but more so, they give you all the things that a healthy relationship consists of), then you have to be really strong and put your feelings for them beneath your values, self-respect and needs.

You have to disregard ‘what if’ for ‘what is’.

Believe me, I know this one is hard but it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself to walk away from someone who isn’t prepared to offer you the commitment you deserve. Again, this isn’t about being the bigger person or doing it so they see what they’re missing. It’s about committing to yourself and walking away from people or situations that aren’t aligned to where you’re at. 

The New Person They’re Dating isn’t Getting the ‘Best’ of them

Also know that if this guy/girl quickly starts dating someone else, it’s ok to feel hurt. Again, you’re human and its unrealistic to feel nothing when you had a form of connection. But please know that if you were messed around or they were emotionally unavailable in some way, just because they’re with someone else, that someone else will soon experience all the things you did too. The hot/cold behaviour, the unknowing about where they stand, the same patterns. The new person doesn’t have a special power to change them just like you didn’t. Changing can only come from within them.

If this new person does end up being a long-term thing, the exit out of the ‘kind-of’ relationship was exactly what you needed. That person was not for you and now you’re free to find the right one. It can be so hard to accept but it is true.

Even though this knowledge might not take away the pain, it can help to soothe it. I really do want you to try and take comfort in this because I know it’s heart-wrenching to go through. 

What if you Have Mutual Friends?

One question I also received was how to navigate awkward conversations with the person you dated if you share a friendship group. This again can be really hard but if your feelings are that strong, creating distance with that group, especially if your ‘ex’ is always around too, can be a wise thing to do - even if it’s temporary. Put your feelings first because the more you see them, the more you’ll relive the pain over and over and it’s excruciating. It’s like rubbing salt into an emotional wound.

If you’re feeling somewhat neutral about the breakup, just make peace with the fact that the conversation will be awkward. There’s no getting away from that. I don’t think there’s any way to escape the awkwardness that comes with bumping into an ex (even the not ‘real’ exes!) for the first time?! So the best way to handle it if there is one, is with grace, ease, dignity and a degree of emotional distance. 

Are These Type of ‘Drive-by’ Relationships Healthy?

This person also asked if ‘drive by’ relationships are an unhealthy coping mechanism for bigger personal issues you have yet to face. She explained that both her and the guy she was dating had recently gotten out of long term relationships. The dating situation then ended and perhaps they were seeking fulfilment in each other to avoid looking within themselves?

With this one, I think we’ve all been there when we’ve dated quickly after a relationship. I don’t believe this is good, bad, right or wrong but if part of you is questioning your reasons or deep down, you know that it’s to mask something underlying that you’re struggling to face, then that suggests that some more time is needed to heal.

It doesn’t necessarily or always mean you have deep rooted issues to resolve, more so that you’re feeling a little vulnerable and looking for a new experience with someone else is a way to relieve that. But when this comes with an aftermath of pain or mini-heartbreak, then it’s likely a sign that you just need to give yourself more time to show yourself that you can find that fulfilment within yourself and other aspects of your life. So that is what you work on.

When you feel that your life is nicely full and that a partner would add to that rather than relying on them to make it full, that’s a great place to date.

Taking time out to be alone and address any issues if there are any can be scary but it can also be truly transformational. It’s like you almost have to walk into the unknown, face that fear and go through the discomfort to get the reward that 100% comes at the other side. And the fear does lesson but you just have to give yourself that time to allow it. 

Breakups and dating - of all types can be messy. It’s so important that we be kind to ourselves, take the time we need and know that not every relationship is going to work out perfectly. (Sometimes we can over-analyse things that just weren’t meant to be and drive ourselves crazy!) But also, that there is always some kind of lesson or opportunity for growth.

I really hope this helps anyone going through this right now - please let me know if you have anything to add or something you’d like me to speak more on in a follow up post!

Love,

Laura x

How to Find Love when You're Losing Hope

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If you constantly feel like your time has passed, that you’ll never find anyone ‘better’ than your ex or that every relationship potential seems to only serve to reconfirm your fears about love, then this one is for you.

I also want to add a full disclaimer to this post - I am not in a relationship myself right now. I really believe it’s important for me to be transparent about this because I can assure you, as I write this, I fully empathise, understand and appreciate all the fears that you might be experiencing too. I’d like to say that I’m not in a relationship because I love and choose to be single. Well, I do like being single ha but would I like a relationship? For sure!

My personal reason isn’t that I’ve gone through romantic heartbreak recently, that I’ve been on a string of dates that didn’t work out or just can’t seem to seek out that ‘spark’ (which I have my own unique views on anyhow but that’s for another post!).

I’m a big believer in not dwelling on things but again, for transparency, the past 2/3 years have been the most challenging times I’m sure I’ll ever go through when it comes to my health and it hasn’t made for a particularly vibrant or active dating life! With that, so many fears have arisen. I’ve been hell-bent on improving my health and luckily now, I’m almost fully healed. And I really am enjoying dating more but my god, it’s reminded me what these dating waters are made of!

This post isn’t about me, but I wanted to add this in to let you know that I’m right in this one with you my friends :)

(This also isn’t a ‘how to date after bad health’ type of post but just wanted to give you some context!)

So how do you begin to believe that love is out there for you?

You Believe in You

Regardless of your reason - heartbreak, dates not working out, never getting past the third date, feeling like you can’t seem to meet your soulmate no matter how many dates you go on, a health crisis or a personal challenge, the first thing I want you to know, is that before you even begin to believe in love, you have to believe in you.

When we’re in this timeline or lack-focused mindset, it exposes us to firstly over-analyse. Ourselves, our fears, other people, the idea of love, the correct route to finding ‘the one’. It can drive us crazy.

Secondly, it also makes us question our past in a negative way. I know when I was out of a rough breakup and feeling shaky or despondent about the prospect of love, I’d often think ‘maybe if I’d have been a little more open to compromise‘maybe the relationship was better than I thought - every relationship has ups and downs’, ‘maybe what he did/said wasn’t that bad after all….’

There’s a big difference between owning your mistakes and where you might have overreacted and then discounting the bad things to boost the good to an unrealistic level because you’re scared of being alone forever.

The truth is, love will be very hard to come by whilst you still don’t believe in yourself, your choices and your ability to know right from wrong. You can get out there dating buzzing with outer confidence but the minute something triggers your inner insecurities, the following things can happen -:

- You meet someone you like and ignore those small signs that this person isn’t right for you. They don’t match your values, show signs of emotional unavailability, might cross boundaries, play hot and cold but yet you like them and so you over compromise and overlook the things that ring inner alarm bells to you.

- You find it hard to distinguish the good person from the right person who aligns with your core values.

- You become timeline and outcome focused.

- You continue the pattern of falling for the wrong people. When this happens, it’s no coincidence.

You have to start believing in yourself. How to do this? You get comfortable with your fears and insecurities and you become friends with them. You practice choosing and engaging in healthy relationships in all areas of your life - not just romantic. You learn to become confident in your decisions, choices, your values and what’s important to you. You make all of this a part of your daily life.

As James Altucher, one of my favourite writers and speakers says, you ‘Choose Yourself’. 

Believing in yourself is more than affirmations in the mirror and vision boards. Sure, that can help but it’s the actions that create the self-belief and this starts long before pasting pictures on a corkboard or signing up to another dating app. It’s not always easy and it might mean being single for longer, but I assure you, it’s worth it.

For me, although my health put me at a disadvantage when it came to being able to meet someone, I can’t just be a victim and put the entire blame on that and not take responsibility. I haven’t ever really put my health as a proper priority in the past (despite always claiming I was into ‘wellness’) and so, I’ve had to pay the price and learn how to. I’ve had to see and focus on my qualities that I could bring to a relationship outside of the external things we typically use to validate ourselves. All of those external validations I couldn’t really rely on so much, so I had to dig deeper.

I’ve also had to learn how to be way more compassionate, kind and understanding of others and not get too self-consumed. I now place so much more emphasis and attention on a person’s qualities and emotional awareness/intelligence as opposed to their job, looks, level of success etc.

It’s certainly not been a linear thing and it’s been hard. But what I’ve gained will serve me so well in my next relationship and I feel very grounded in my worth (and others’) as a result.

Become the Person you Want and Deserve to be in a Relationship with

It’s very easy to take a shopping list approach to meeting someone. I’m big on being clear on your core values when it comes to a partner and not settling, but we often forget that until we become that person, act like that person and live up to those values we seek out, we’re usually looking for something in someone to provide a practical or emotional security blanket.

So before you start writing off people because they’re not this or that (hey, we’ve all been guilty of it!), start to become that person for yourself. The more you do, the more you’ll start to gravitate towards and attract the same kind of people. Like attracts like. You’ll also be more confident in walking away if something isn’t right - yes, even if you’re crazy attracted to that person!

Don’t Focus too much on it! (Then you’ll see there’s no such thing as a Lack of Love.)

We all feel the pressure - especially as we get into our 30’s and beyond. It’s easy to say to not worry about it but I know that’s tough. Honestly though, the longer you spend fretting, the less you’re living your life, which will be what actually gets you meeting people and feeling happier and fulfilled.

Help others, find a passion, nurture your existing relationships, be healthy, have fun and work through those insecurities to get more comfortable with yourself. The more you do this, the less pressure you’ll start to feel and that is when love will begin to look much more abundant.

I hope this helps anyone who needs it. Remember, you’re not alone in the way you feel. We’re all in this together and I strongly believe it can be so reassuring to know that :)

Laura xx

 

 

 

Approaching Mental Health and Dating

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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

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

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. 

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 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

If you're Struggling because your Ex has Moved On, Read This

Pic taken by http://www.heysaturday.co/

I receive many emails and speak to so many people I work with who are so petrified that when their ex moves on, that they will be forgotten, that this other person they're with will FINALLY be the one to change them and get the BEST of them.

I’ve written about this before but I really don’t think it can be said enough.

I’m here to tell you again that 99% of the time, this simply isn’t the case at all.

If you’ve been through a breakup, regardless of who you’re ex is dating, sleeping with or actually in a relationship with now, the very nature of the breakup happening means that something pretty substantial wasn’t right between the two of you.

Oftentimes, we look for the most immediate thing that will dull the pain of heartache. For some that’s food or substances. For others it’s social media, Netflix or TV. Much of the time, it’s other people that we look to as the solution to heartbreak. Sometimes it can be a toxic cocktail of a few things.

Some people will look to date and date and date to numb the overwhelming emotion they’re feeling about the breakup. Partly because they can’t deal with the breakup and to fill the void of not having you in their life any more. Mainly though, because they can’t deal with the root cause of what’s going on with themselves emotionally.

Most of the people I speak who are going through a breakup have experienced a relationship that was full of drama. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. Their ex has displayed narcissistic tendencies, completely blindsided them, consistently treated them badly or acted out of character. All of these things reveal much more going on beneath the surface. The breakup (which let me assure you - needed to happen if this was the case) was merely a signpost to what’s truly going on and getting with someone else quicker than me to a new episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is their attempt at ignoring the signpost and running in the other direction. Getting a high from something and someone else to avoid the true source of their pain.

What you need to know when you're worrying about them being with someone else, is that a person can’t change another person. All might be rosy in the garden of romance now between them and their new boyfriend/girlfriend but those old patterns that you witnessed probably time and time over like groundhog day will gradually start to reappear in this new relationship or dynamic too. It’s currently serving as a quick fix. The new person won’t get the ‘best’ of them and you won’t be ‘missing out’ because they don’t have the power to create that in your ex. Just like you don’t, which is why getting back together isn’t the answer either.

So instead of focusing on your ex and the new guy/girl, even though it will feel like the hardest thing to do, you have to focus on what’s important in this moment. You. If you’re totally consumed by thoughts of your ex, maybe you’re missing the signpost too? Maybe there’s a piece of you that can recognise in yourself what I’ve described above? When I say this I say it with absolute compassion, and it doesn't mean that you were to blame. Not at all. But are you looking to getting your ex back as the solution to your pain? I know you might believe that getting back together will be the answer, but it won’t. All that will do is act as a temporary cover up so that you both don’t have to address what’s really going on as individuals. That is where the real change can only take place.

So the work isn’t in worrying if your ex will suddenly change now that he's with someone else, a ploy to make him/her see what they’re missing or get them back. The work and true reward is in delving deep to the core of yourself and focusing on cultivating your own self-love, self-esteem, boundaries and inner wisdom.

I know that everyone wants a sexy quick fix. But honestly, it’s not the answer. I can assure you though, that what’s on the other side of self-discovery, trusting your intuition and actually trusting yourself, your worth and your abilities to then instil those boundaries and live with authentic intention by them, is far sweeter than getting back into a relationship that was broken. Where the one or two people in it are more willing to ride out over and over something that’s sub-standard than to step away and do the work that will lead to something so much more real and beautiful for each of them.

Like many things, it’s harder short-term but the reward is far greater.

Whilst your ex isn't willing to do the work right now, you can be. You can come through this happier, wiser, more intentional, assured, confident and at peace with yourself.

If you choose to.

It doesn't mean you will suddenly forget your ex and not have these thoughts. Not at all. That's ok though because you are not your thoughts and you have the ability to choose what you do with those thoughts and how you react to them.

What it does mean, is that you will be taking full ownership of your own emotional health and happiness. Those thoughts of your ex will start to fade bit by bit once you start to put yourself at the centre stage of your life.

I want you to, as you deserve so much more. 💖

If you would like personal Skype coaching around this, please do email me on laurayatescoaching@gmail.com. I’d really love to help you. (Please be aware I can’t offer advice for free.)

I also have my audio product on this topic, which you can find here https://gumroad.com/l/CrdFs

Love,

Laura x

PS I'm sharing tons of live video content and behind the scenes of my own life and learnings over on Facebook! You can find me here https://www.facebook.com/laura.yates/

I also have my private group (this one is for girls only) here called Girl Chat with Laura where I share more videos and content geared towards women. Request to join and I will add you!

Dreading Valentine's Day? Here's what to do....

Ahh Valentine’s Day. To be honest, what you tend to see on social media and online when it comes to V Day these days is one of eye rolling and skepticism as opposed to love, hearts and flowers. This can be reassuring if you’re in a place of heartbreak or even single and hating it - there’s nothing like community to make you feel less alone. And I do agree that the commercial side of Valentine’s Day hypes it up to become something way beyond than what was intended.

Which is a day of love.

And yes, that might be with the emphasis on love with a significant other. But why not use today as an opportunity to commit to embracing love of all kinds?

So if you’re heartbroken today on Valentine’s Day, here are some words of encouragement, support and advice from me to you.

Focus on Abundance

Just because you don’t have romantic love in your life right now, you can choose to see and honour the love you do have. Family, friends, co-workers - use today as a chance to SHOW love rather than dwelling on the fact that you’re not getting love in the way you might want.

You get what you embody so giving love to other people means that you will become a magnet to receive that back in all forms. It’s like putting out the signal to the universe (or whatever you believe is out there), that you’re ready to receive love. Who knows who or what will show up! Every day is a new opportunity to meet someone, to create an interaction on Tinder that could lead to something amazing, even just to have a flirt (such a confidence boost and way to put a spring in your step!).

But spotting all these chances and acting on them means being open to them. Being open to them means you have to experience them. You have to experience love. You can do that by showing love in some way to everyone around you. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, committal or radical - a compliment, a hug, telling a friend you appreciate them by text, calling someone in your family to see how they are and telling them you love them, smiling at a stranger. Make today your personal mission to show love to people around you.

To ‘Get’ you Have to Believe

If you know that a relationship or even just to have a more colourful dating life is what you want, good for you. It’s human nature to seek a companion and something we all want at one point or another in life. You are worthy of that and 100% can get it. But you have to believe it.

Similar to the idea of you get what you embody, you can only get what you believe is true. There’s a lot of talk about manifestation and imagining the perfect person and relationship in your head as a way to get it. That’s lovely but it will only remain in the la la land of your dreams until you actually believe it. If you’re imagining it but your subconscious is saying ‘erm, that’s lovely but thinking that could happen to me is complete BS!' you’re only setting yourself up for a mighty fall.

So I want you to see today as that signpost. A signpost that if you want someone to share a day like today with, you have to believe that person is out there - right now, for you. Maybe you're not ready for another person if you're not over your ex but you can still believe that something else - something better and more aligned for you is out there, when the time is right. And if you don’t believe that, then what needs to change? Do you need to dig deeper? Do you need to spend more time alone since your last breakup and finally let go of your ex? Do you need to find a way to raise your self-esteem? Do you need to put new boundaries into place, act on those signs when the guy/girl you’re dating does something that doesn’t sit well with you. Do you need to spend more time on enjoying your life rather than focusing on who you don’t have in it?

Be Prepared!

Continuing on from the above two pieces, someone could show up in your life ANY TIME NOW. Are you prepared?? Or have you got so disillusioned that you’ve stopped prioritising dressing to feel good every day, making an effort with your hair, doing some exercise to feel good about your body and fuelling it with nutritious food? Is your life one you’d be proud to tell your future partner or someone you’re dating about?

If any of the things you do when you feel good about yourself and life have fallen by the wayside, use today as a chance to put that right and get back on track! The more ready you are for someone special to enter into your life, the wider the path you offer them to find you. Sounds a bit out there, but I urge you to put your faith in this one!

If you’re heartbroken right now, I’m sending my love to you - and I’m cheerleading for you! I’d also love for you to use today as a reminder of how far you’ve come in this. Through everything you're still here! You've got this!

Remember, today is just another day. It can mean exactly what you want it to mean. Don’t feel like it’s you against love - it’s the complete opposite.

Love, Laura x

How to Forgive when you Feel you can't

Image taken by Hey Saturday

Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing. Whether it’s someone you loved deeply who committed the ultimate betrayal or maybe even someone you dated who gave you the completely wrong impression about how they felt about you or blindsided you. Maybe it’s a friend or family member you are struggling to forgive. Those ones can cut particularly deep because it's much more complicated than simply disassociating with them.

The thing about forgiveness, is that we can believe if we forgive the person for what they did to us, it lets them off the hook. It means we’re standing our ground, stating a point and refusing to give them the satisfaction of knowing that the s*** they put us through was ok or has been forgotten. Because then they’re free to take advantage once more and we come of looking like the fool yet again.

But at what expense? Forgiveness is something that I have had to work hard at over time and I think so many of you probably struggle with it too.

When I refused to forgive the following things happened -:

  • I felt constantly eaten up by their ‘crime' or bad behaviour
  • I felt bitter
  • I spent way too much time wondering how they could just get on with their lives like nothing happened
  • I looked at others through a microscope, subconsciously pre-empting that the same thing might happen
  • I couldn’t move on

None of these made me feel good, look good (believe me, that tension shows in your face and how you hold yourself!) or gave me any sense of freedom in my life. I felt trapped in pursuit of refusing to forgive and it kept me stuck in the past.

Here is what I have learnt about forgiveness:

It keeps us stuck in pain

'Refusing to forgive someone is like drinking poison, and waiting for the other person to die.’

I’m sure you’ve heard that one but yeah, it’s so true.

Sometimes we refuse to forgive because if we do, what happens then?

It means we have to move on.

We can cling onto the bitterness of forgiveness because it makes us the victim in everything and we don’t have to face up to the real work of getting over whatever we’re going through. As long as there’s someone to blame, we have the right to keep feeling the way we’re feeling. We can keep talking about what he/she did over and over. And over. Is it worth it though? Really? This is why forgiving can actually be incredibly scary but when we do, I can guarantee we're able to release so much of that toxic energy keeping us emotionally captive. Then the real healing can begin.

It’s more about our inability to forgive ourselves than what we realise

Another one that can be a weird idea to get our heads around, but when we’re so eaten up by what someone else has done ‘to’ us, that’s often a reflection of refusing to put ourselves first and take care of who we really need to - us. Instead, we're putting all of our heart, soul and energy into them.

Refusing to forgive is like a desire to want to keep hurting the other person over and over as payback. Ultimately though we’re only hurting ourselves. Maybe there’s a piece inside of you that isn’t allowing forgiveness because you blame yourself for not seeing their behaviour coming or being a pushover or whatever reason. But letting that go will give you the space you need. It will give you the emotional freedom you probably don’t know you’re craving. It’s letting yourself off the hook because you were doing the best you could when whatever happened happened. Now you can forgive yourself, forgive them and learn from this experience, even as tough as that seems.

It’s a good idea to write it out

To forgive someone, you don’t need to make a dramatic declaration to them in person. You just decide it for yourself. A really comforting way to solidify it though is writing a letter to them or yourself expressing your forgiveness. Let it all out and don’t hold back. It makes the decision more official and gets all of those thoughts whirling around your head like the Tasmanian devil on heat out onto somewhere. It can be incredibly therapeutic and an amazing release.

Approach this with love

Ok, you know I love a l-ii-ttt-le bit of woo woo but this is SO important. Forgiving someone is only authentic when you do it with love and compassion towards them and yourself. If you say you’re going to forgive but are still going nuts with an internal toxic cocktail of anger and bitterness in your head, stomach and heart, it won’t work. That isn't forgiveness. Look, we all have our stuff. That person is probably going through their own issues that could have contributed to why they did what they did. But that isn’t any of your business now regardless of what they did to you. That is their responsibility and it doesn’t mean they’ve 'gotten away' with anything. So just choose to let it go, let the attachment to their betrayal go and wish them well. If they are a permanent fixture on your life (like a family member) you don’t have to cut off all contact. You just don’t allow their energy or behaviour to impact you in the same way anymore. You have that control.

If you go in with this compassionate energy, you will feel more at peace AND it will allow in better energy into your life. You have to make room though.

Forgiving isn’t forgetting

It’s simply moving on from the past to make space in the future. We can learn from it, learn how to process pain, learn and understand how we can ever only be in control of ourselves and our own actions and learn to let go of people, people’s actions and situations that aren’t healthy for us.

I hope this helps any of you struggling to forgive someone. Also, just remember that it probably won’t happen like magic. If those old feelings come back again, that’s cool. Instead of indulging in them as the victim just do another 'letting go' ritual. Just come back to why you forgave in the first place and trust yourself (or me!) to know how much better that will eventually make you feel.

I can assure you, learning to forgive is a game changer even if it does take time.

Laura xx

What to do When you can Never Seem to Find Real Love

I was watching something last night that hit such a chord with me that I had to write about it as soon as possible. I don’t really watch that much TV, but Netflix is my total go-to guilty pleasure when I like to completely switch off. I’m currently watching a show called Crazy Ex Girlfriend, which is my absolute ideal because it’s a musical comedy and I’m all about impromptu moments of bursting into song. (No really, I am ha!)

The general theme of the show is about a girl, Rebecca who moves from New York to West Covina in pursuit of getting an ex boyfriend from when she was 16 to fall in love with her. It’s a far more detailed and sophisticated storyline than how I’ve just described it so I recommend you check it out as not only is it hilarious and clever, it’s highly relatable.

So the reason for this post is an episode I watched last night where Rebecca is having a conversation with her therapist. (Well, she’s having a conversation with her in her dream but that’s not so important here). Rebecca is at her wits end, down and depressed about the fact that she can’t seem to find sustainable, deep and genuine love with a guy. She recognises that she has gone from one car crash relationship to another - always relying on a man to be the source of her validation, worthiness and happiness and doesn’t know how to fix this. (Sound familiar??)

The therapist takes her back throughout her life to pinpoint monumental times on her journey as she’s gotten older and to create a deeper sense of self-discovery. There was a moment where Rebecca was at school, taking part in a play. She ends up hooking up with a fellow student, who is also the director and gets so absorbed in him that when he breaks it off, she reacts on her emotions and walks out of the play, feeling she’s unable to be around him.

Rebecca moved on past this, not recognising its significance as she was so young and teen heartbreak is normal. However, she ends up recreating similar relationship patterns in various circumstances as she gets older and still can’t understand why there is a huge void of romantic love in her life when she’s now an adult, accomplished in her career and should have this relationship stuff nailed.

The therapist helps Rebecca to see that she has always had love in her life though. When she walked out on that play, she not only walked away from someone she thought she loved (well, lusted over) but much more importantly, something she loved in the form of being in the play. This obsession with love and men has been a huge reoccurring theme in Rebecca's life.

The reason why this hit a nerve with me is that when it comes to getting over a breakup, s****y dating experiences or just sheer frustration about ‘never meeting the right guy/girl’, we can get so completely and utterly consumed by this. We walk around with this heavy weight of lack on our shoulders and completely disregard the things that can bring infinite love into our worlds. I can relate to this even right now and I’m not going through a breakup. A major love of mine is music and creative writing, which always brings me so much joy to immerse myself in regardless of the outcome. Yet I so often deprive myself of it in pursuit of something else, which lately, has been my work. Don’t get me wrong, I love that SO much too but I recognise there is a need to switch off and tap into the other part of me that really, defined my younger years and that brought me so much happiness and confidence.

Moving onto you though because that’s what I’m here for ❤️

If you are going through a breakup or feel sad, empty, down or even depressed because you don’t have romantic love in your life right now, I want you to think of something that you love to do. If you can’t think of anything, what was something you used to love to do? We ALL have something. I want you to go and do that again. The more we realise that we have actual control over how much love we can bring into our lives, the more fulfilled, vibrant, happy and healthy we’ll be.

There’s also this amazing shift that happens when you start tapping into those things. Without sounding too otherworldly here, your energy changes and you’ll find that you start to attract the feelings, things and people into your life that you feel you’ve been lacking for so long. When you do something you love, you also don’t get so tangled up and crazy about the outcome because the joy comes from the act of doing it.

A big part of pattern breaking if you struggle in the relationship territory is learning how to undo negative behaviours such as being outcome dependent, trying to assert control and completely losing your head, heart and boundaries in the process. When you allow yourself to do the things you love, your psychological dynamic is completely different during these moments and you can learn to apply that to other areas of your life because you’re not so completely consumed in one thing that feels like such a struggle. Your life has far more elements of light, shade and colour within it.

You also begin to appreciate the people around you who do love you - maybe it isn’t romantic love, but it’s love nonetheless and that’s precious. In the case of Rebecca in the show, she was forced to reflect on her friendships (and someone who she completely overlooked as a romantic love interest). So I also suggest you take some time to remember who these people are for you and engage with them on a deeper level too.

It’s really all about shifting from a place of lack to one of abundance (which I know is phrase that’s thrown about a lot in the world of self-help, but it does work). It’s about taking control of the things that you can control. Go and do stuff you love - or just even like! Focus on the love that you do have in your life right now.

See what happens, how it makes you feel and let me know :)

(And now watch this from Crazy Ex Girlfriend for some major lols.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZx5zfkG6oU

Staying Open to Love After Heartbreak

I’ll admit it, I’ve had love on the brain for the past couple of weeks. Who would have thought?! ;) I’ve just returned from a trip from LA, which most wouldn't exactly associate with being a city of love, but I think just taking some out and seeing things from a different perspective (oh, and visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships - more on that soon!) had me thinking about all things love and life.

I write so much about love not working out that it’s easy to slip into a more cynical mindset without even realising. Actually, that’s not strictly true. I am the eternal optimist when it comes to love and that has certainly been the case since coming through my last big breakup. But I think even I get so focused on the down sides to love sometimes. I’m a pro at helping people or writing about the fallout of a breakup and the whole getting back on your feet part but I’ve realised that I don’t write or talk too much about the other parts! And this has possibly filtered into how I approach love as an individual too - I was recently told that I have ‘romantic angst’! What?! I’ve never even heard that phrase before let alone ever considering it to be something I have. And to be fair, it’s on the somewhat more dramatic side and definitely delivered with a heavy dose of humour….but interesting nonetheless! On reflection, I think it’s probably more accurate to say I’ve leaned a little too heavy on the practical side when it comes to love.

The thing is though, without love what is there? Why do so many love songs, stories, films, plays, poems exist? Well, love is the one thing that’s universal, it’s timeless and it never goes in and out of fashion. It’s constant. Yet it’s so easy to edge away from it, particularly after a bad breakup, heartbreak or totally sh***y experience.

It’s hard to know where the parameters lie between letting yourself get caught up in the love whirlwind and sticking to your boundaries. But it can be done. What you learn by going through a breakup and heartbreak, you don’t have to use as a shield. You can use it as like a kind of inner alert system for sure - it will help you spot and act on red flags sooner, it will give you more self awareness of your own habits that might not have served you so well in past relationships or led to getting your heart broken and it will help you choose people that will be a better fit for you. Using it this way makes it even more easy to be open to love again.

Seriously, when you have your own stuff in check and know what you will and won’t put up with and what you want, it makes the love territory a lot less daunting. Sure, heartbreak can still happen. But that comes with far more adventures, learnings, stories and growth than staying coccooned in fear.

Being in love is the thing that means everything. Yep, it can drive us nuts, cause tears, heartbreak, arguments and make us question everything we believe. It can leave us feeling rejected, kick our egos down and leave us feeling so despondent swiping on Tinder night after night to no avail. But when we fixate on all of that negative stuff in pursuit of protection, we completely deny ourselves the chance of incredible happiness. And our own love stories.

It’s also easy to be scared of being in love or falling in love. We can talk ourselves out of it to protect our heart and ego. But why does it have to be all or nothing? Making a decision to go with the flow (but with our awareness in check!) doesn’t mean making the decision to be with that person for the rest of our lives. I think that’s why we tread so carefully because we see each person as potentially the last we’ll be with. That’s sooooo much pressure and completely strips the fun and spark out of the whole journey!

Relationships often end. Many will stick too. That’s just the way it is. We can never really know for sure. But if your relationship does end, it doesn’t mean you’re inadequate, it doesn’t make it any less valuable and and it certainly doesn’t mean it was a failure.

I say this so often but every relationship - good or bad, and every heartbreak, makes us more well-rounded, more resilient, more aware, more creative and more transformed. Overprotecting ourselves dampens our spirit, curiosity and sense of adventure.

So whether you’re head over heels in love, have that giddy/butterfly feeling at the start of something or single and nervous about what the future holds, take the time to be grateful for it! Lead with curiosity! As long as you have your boundaries in place, listen to your gut feeling/intuition and keep that inner alert switched on there’s no reason to not celebrate the feeling. Whether it lasts a moment or a lifetime, it’s one to be cherished.

I hope this doesn’t come across as too preachy because it’s kind of a note to myself as well as to you all ;)

Laura x

Heartbreak, Dating & Finding Purpose with Social Media Influencer and Comedian Madeleine Byrne

I've just got back from an amazing trip to LA (whole post on that coming soon!) and whilst I was there, I recorded a podcast with social media influencer, comedian and actress Madeleine Byrne.

If you're not familiar with Madeleine, she makes really funny and entertaining videos on instagram, many of which touch on dating, online dating and life in general - stuff we can basically all relate to!

Check out the episode on iTunes here http://apple.co/296DgJJ

....and on Soundcloud here

I loved recording this with Madeleine and we spoke about so many topics - heartbreak, dating, dating in LA, the entertainment industry, being an introvert, being an only child, the importance of friendship and human connection, beauty and loads more.

If you like what you hear, please don’t forget to subscribe and write a review on iTunes! I'd be SO grateful!

Hope you enjoy it!

I have loads of posts coming up for you all over the next few days so stay tuned :)

Laura x

4 Things You Learn When You Stop Thinking About What ‘Could Have Been’

There’s been one guy I dated, which was definitely one of those “could-be” relationship scenarios. I have to say, getting over that and accepting the reality of it really stung in the moment.

I think in most of these could-be relationship situations, there’s usually one person who wants it more than the other. The other person who isn’t quite into it goes along with it regardless because it feels good, and maybe allows them to play out something they know they’ll never really have to commit to. There’s just always that barrier there that stops them from taking it to the next level......

Read the rest of my post over on Elite Daily.....

What to do when you Feel like Giving up on Love

Love can sometimes really suck.

Or, that’s what we tell ourselves because it might well be what we’ve experienced. After going through a hell of a breakup or one bad date after another or being let down by people you’re dating again and again…you know how it goes….it’s hard to stay optimistic.

When it comes to love, we can get jaded. We think that we’ll never have a love again like we did with our ex or give up altogether because he/she is clearly just not out there.

The thing is, when we have all of these dismal views towards love and finding love, it’s all we see. Don’t worry I’m not going to go all woo woo on you all here (well, not too much ;)) but when you choose to see a certain perspective, that is what your world and your life will show you.

Yes, you may have been getting yourself out there online and going on date after date and feel like you’re putting all the ‘work’ in. But believe me, if you’re mind has become programmed to expect the worse then you’re setting yourself up for dating doom from the get-go.

In many ways, we become conditioned to think this way too. I've been guilty of this so many times on a general level. To protect myself from a bad outcome when I don’t feel confident, like I don't have control or to avoid disappointment, it’s almost like I preempt that not so great outcome to 'prepare myself'. I tell myself to not get too excited and then the hurt or disappointment won’t feel like such a crash. I have a friend who does it when it comes to men and dating all.the.time. She tells me it goes well but that she’s ‘told herself to not get excited because these things never seem to work out’. I have another friend who is always suspicious that the men she dates are only after one thing with her. There’s nothing coincidental about the fact that she seems to mostly attract men who only prove what she believes. Why? Because she feels safer lowering her standards and so she ends up dating guys who are nothing but a waste of her time.

Can you see how this perpetual way of thinking never, ever helps us or gets us what we want?

What I’ve learnt through recognising this way of thinking in myself, especially when it comes to dating and love, is that there’s a huge difference between being realistic and keeping a level head, and then just thinking the worst.

And look, this isn’t about going in all gung-ho, not having any of your boundaries in place and completely ignoring any red flags. In so many ways actually, when you are clear on those and can act on them accordingly, then there’s no reason to bring in Debbie Downer or Sad Sam attitudes towards love because you’re far better equipped to filter out the douchebags (of the male and female variety!).

And if you do get blindsided, even when you do have all of those in place, well that happens too. It’s life.

Being jaded about love happens to so many of us at some point and I think if you are feeling like this there are a few things you can do -:

- Take a break. Focus on other stuff that brings you happiness. You might not be happy single but if dating is making you miserable, take a step back and focus on making your own life the most amazing it can be. When you can get excited, happy or enthusiastic about other things outside of love, energetically (sorry for the woo woo again but this is true) you will attract all kinds of different people and opportunities to you. Also, try not to make bold claims about 'giving up', 'accepting it's never going to happen' etc etc either. Again, this puts up subconscious blocks. Put attention on yourself but stay open!

- Talk it out. I had such an amazing conversation with a good friend on the phone the other night. We’re both single, are building our businesses and there’s been a few hurdles for us both recently. BUT, talking, laughing like crazy and offering advice and support and most importantly, getting excited about all the amazing things that have happened and are happening for each of us made us BOTH feel fantastic (thank you for that G ❤). Who you spend time around or speak to is so key, guys. Yes you want your friends/family to be honest with you of course, but if you’re surrounding yourself with people whose attitudes and opinions are bleaker than that film The Mist, then that is what you will feel and get. If you’re able to go on dates in the first place, there is a TON of stuff to be excited about and grateful for.

- Which brings me onto gratitude. I cringe as much as the next person when I see the #blessed hashtag all over social media BUT do not ever underestimate how important gratitude is. You haven’t found love yet but you’re reading this on some kind of techie device which means that you’re at an immediate advantage to so many other people out there. Taking some time to be grateful for who and what you DO have when you feel like your love life is an utter sh** show, can help put things into perspective.

- Just do things that make you feel good, that build your confidence and remind you of all the great things you have going for you or things that you can aim towards. For YOU. Oh, and just don't take it all so seriously! That might seem easy to say, but it's easier to practice than you might think ;)

Finding love is something to get excited about! You might have been dating for years and years and years and haven’t found it yet. You might have gone through one bad breakup too many and still can’t meet the guy/girl. You might have been treated badly in the past. Sorry to be blunt but so what? The experiences you had in the past don’t have to be what you get in your future regardless of how many rough ones there have been!

I help people in dating and coach in this area and I still haven’t found love again either! I’m certainly not immune to all of those thoughts about wanting it though. I feel the same sometimes! But I’ve learnt to be more than ok with not having it yet because I’m SO excited for it when it does happen! I’m 100% honest when I say that I'm excited about it, and I’ve had my share of rough experiences too. Again, so what though? I have other things, people and goals in life that make me happy and keep me focused and I think that’s a big part of figuring this love and life thing out.

So, if you’re telling yourself you’ll never find love and you DO want to find it, it’s simple. You need to change your attitude, see a different perspective and tell yourself a different story.

Laura xx