self-esteem

11 Ways to be Unstoppable (in Life and Love)

IMG_0187cDigital (1).jpg

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

Overcoming the Fear of Change

IMG_0741c.jpg

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

We start to live in a state of contradiction. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laura x

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

There is NOTHING Wrong with you!

Hello!

I haven’t posted on here in so long – I've been prepping my rebrand and relaunch (eep!!!) but I felt really called to write this for you in the meantime.

So. What I want to let you know, is that there is nothing wrong with you.

Something I’m not so keen on within the world of self-help, personal development and coaching (which we often turn to when life throws things at us – like a breakup), is that it can create this idea that something is inherently wrong with us, that a part of us is broken, that we need to be fixed. That a solution needs to be created and a huge change take place.

Honestly though, I don’t want you to believe that. There isn’t anything wrong with you.

What you’ve gone through; a breakup, a bad dating situation, a health struggle, redundancy, tough times in your business, is just an experience. It’s not who you are and it’s not interlinked with your self-worth.

The golden key to getting through it, is to separate the two things.

I’ve recently been working with an incredible client who believed that she couldn’t meet a guy because there was something wrong in how she was approaching dating. Or that there were underlying issues.

We wrapped up the coaching yesterday and the main realisation she had -:

“There really isn’t anything wrong with me at all”

I knew this all along, but through the journaling questions I set her, through getting her to live out her everyday experience to the next level, and by allowing her to have fun with this thing that the coaching world can sometimes call a ‘process’ (I’m not really a fan of that word to be honest!), she grew into this realisation week by week.

The transformation she’s experienced has been pretty magical.

She’s happier.

Feels at peace.

Loves her life that she’s worked so hard to create for herself.

Loves herself.

Has noticed how much attention she’s been getting from guys ;)

She’s reassessed the type of people she wants around her.

She’s really looked at what she wants from a relationship - and being unapologetic about that.

She’s learnt to ask better questions.

She’s become more aware of her presence.

She’s become the creator of her life, her reality.

She doesn’t feel like she’s on a time limit. She can relax.

She knows she can approach everything in HER way. Not society’s way. Not her friend’s way. Not her family’s way. Her way.

And the last thing she said to me, with 100% authenticity.…

“I’m an absolute catch!”

Hell, YES girlfriend! Ha!

I do understand a breakup can be a little more complicated. I know more than ever, believe me. But ultimately, the main part of you that gets damaged following heartbreak is your self-esteem, self-worth and a tarnished belief in yourself. It can be easy to believe that this is a part of who you are.

That’s normal – you’re human and breakups are a part of the human experience. However, just because someone has treated you badly, that you’ve gone through some traumatic events and feel completely rejected, these things are still not YOU. They’re part of your experience and your self-worth is just going to take some nurturing. But it's all there within you. It’s not dependent on how someone else treats you. It’s not dependent on what someone does or says to you.

I know this isn’t easy to take on and put into practice, but that’s why doing your mindset work around it and committing to loving yourself every minute of every day and then some, is so important.

As you might have read from previous posts, I’ve been having quite a hard time with my health the past 18 months. At many points, there have been moments when I’ve berated my body for ‘doing this to me’ and labelled myself as ‘unwell’ and unable to do what I used to do.

Whilst I have had to slow down at times, listen to my body and honour what it needs, when I use the same mindset approach that I’ve just explained and realise that these experiences aren’t me – they’re just that; an experience and my body alerting me that something’s up, that something needs to be adjusted, paid attention to, it just enables me to create this peaceful sense of separation.

My health doesn’t define me. I don’t HAVE to be the sick girl. These health challenges are just a part of my human experience right now but that won’t always be the case.

It’s this mindset that has allowed me to, despite my health, take my business to the next level, stop hiding and help people in a bigger way. I use it as fuel. I use it to get curious about my health as opposed to seeing myself as completely flawed.

You can do the same with a breakup too – or whatever you’re going through. Yes, there will be things you can adjust, change and evolve. You know me, I’m ALL about self-growth. This isn’t about letting yourself off the hook if you want to change something about yourself or your life for the better. It’s just that where you are right now – no matter how bad or in pain you might feel, there is nothing wrong with you.

So I want you to know that.

💖xx

I CANNOT WAIT to debut my new website in June and you can also head to my Facebook page where I’m posting loads of videos and extra posts too. Oh! And ladies! I have created a fab community within a closed Facebook group called Girl Chat with Laura where I post advice videos, free challenges and loads of fun bits and pieces too – come join here, I’d love to have you!

Love, Laura xx