Find Your Limits (so you can smash them!)

Find Your Limits (so you can smash them!)

One of the things that is most satisfying in my coaching business is when I can help my clients get to the bottom of their limiting beliefs and then get over them. Getting over limiting beliefs can be quite a straightforward and sometimes a very fast process. The tougher bit is identifying what the limiting belief is in the first place!

Limiting beliefs

Today I am going to share with you a few tips and tricks to help you identify where you might be setting limits on yourself. You can hear it in the language that you use with yourself and other people. You might even hear other people’s self-imposed limits as you practice noticing this language.

1: All or nothing thinking

Do you ever catch yourself saying things such as,

“there’s no point in even trying if I’m not going to succeed.”


“That person, they didn’t show up so they’re completely unreliable.”

That gives you an indication that there might be some all-or-nothing thinking going on. That idea that something is either right or wrong and there is nothing in between. I see that quite a lot in my coaching practice. You can read more about all-or-nothing thinking in my blog post How to find the space in-between.

2: Over-generalisation

The next thing that I want you to be aware of is over-generalisation. Using words like always or never are an indicator of over generalizing things. When my clients use “always” or “never” then I simply ask,

Always? Hasn’t there ever been a situation where it was different?


“You’ve never done that, really, never?”

And it’s just enough to tease away that belief that things again are very static and there’s no elasticity in your situation. Coaching is all about just finding a little bit of wiggle room and getting around or over or through the blocks and obstacles.

We don’t have to smash through everything as long as we’re making progress towards what it is that we really want. So that’s over generalization,

“I’ll never get that promotion”


“She always does that.”

3: Catastrophising

Catastrophising is my next one. This is when you see things as dramatically more or less important than they are. This will often include creating a scenario following that thought.

“I ate the chocolate brownie, that means I’m a complete failure and I’m going to put it back on the 20 kilos that I’ve lost. “

We have gone from “I ate the chocolate brownie” to “I’ve put on the 20 kilos again.”

One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other. Another example is that I hear quite a lot is,

“My life isn’t perfect, so I can’t possibly be a life coach. So, I’m going to be stuck in my job forever.”

We can discuss the fact that you don’t need to have a perfect life to make real change with clients but that’s a big leap from,

“my life isn’t perfect”


“I will never be able to be a life coach” or “I’m going to be stuck in my job forever”.

4: “Shoulding”

The next one is one is very common, and you might see it in yourself. If you don’t, then listen for it with other people. It’s “shoulding“.

Using the word should, or ought to, or I need to, or I must.

These are all variations on should and just puts pressure on us.

“I should have done that this weekend.”

“They should be more considerate of my feelings.”

“They should know that’s going to upset me.”

No good from should

5: Labelling

Labelling is where you attach a negative label to yourself or other people when you maybe only have one instance of that particular behaviour.

“I didn’t stand up to my colleague, I’m such a wimp.”

I’m not a wimp because I didn’t stand up to my colleague, it’s just one instance.

“What an idiot he is, he didn’t even see me coming.”

We don’t know that they’re an idiot. We know that there was some unfortunate behaviour.

Be careful of labelling when there’s not enough evidence to support an all-encompassing identity which is what we’re giving ourselves or other people when we’re labelling.

6: Jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions or as I like to put it mind reading. When we think we know what other people are thinking and feeling and saying.

“She thinks I’m exaggerating again.”

How do you know what somebody else thinks? You can’t know what somebody else thinks.

“He still hasn’t forgiven me for telling people his news. He still hasn’t forgiven me for gossiping.”

Unless he tells me then I don’t know if this is the case.

“No one understands.”

Really is that really true?

A helpful tool that I use for mind reading is – Is that true, is it false or do I actually not know?

someone else thinking

7: Discounting the positive

This is when you do not acknowledge when things are going well. I see this one a lot with my clients.

“It doesn’t count because anyone could have done it.”

It’s so easy to push away that positive, so easy to push away our compliments and what that’s actually doing is pushing away the evidence that builds resilience.  The way that it works in your subconscious when you accept those positives and you absorb those positives, is that you start to focus more import on them and what you focus on expands. (I have a blog post about that too – Are you focusing on the right things?)

“I wanted to enrol 10 clients, but I only got four, I’m such a failure.”

Well no, because you got four clients and you’re going to change lives of four people.

8: “If only”

This one speaks to blame and personalization, blaming yourself or blaming other people when they’re not entirely responsible for the situation.

“If only I was younger I would have got the promotion”


“If only I hadn’t said that then they wouldn’t have done whatever they’ve done.”


“If only she hadn’t yelled at me I wouldn’t have responded in the way that I did and now we’re in a bigger argument”

Be careful of the if only statements. It really speaks to blaming yourself or other people for situations that are not entirely within your responsibility.

9: Emotional Reasoning

And then the last one that I’m going discuss is emotional reasoning.

Emotional reasoning is feeling something and believing it is true.

“I feel like such an idiot, so I must be an idiot.”

Well that’s not true, just because you’re feeling that way doesn’t mean that that’s what you’ve become.

“I feel guilty, so I must have done something wrong.”

Is that true? Is it? Let’s dig a little bit deeper, maybe you’re feeling guilty about something else. Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong but it’s an uncomfortable feeling or maybe it’s not guilt that you’re feeling at all.

There’s always something to be explored if you have a sense of curiosity around it.

What are YOUR limiting beliefs?

So, nine different language patterns for you to play with and notice in yourself or maybe in other people. It might be easier to notice in other people to begin with.

The first part is to notice and become aware of your language and then practicing changing it.

Limiting Language


If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Who do you need to be to reach your goals?

Who do you need to be to reach your goals?


A lot of my work as a life coach and life coach trainer is around helping my clients get what they want. It’s about goal-setting, it’s about uncovering blocks, but really what I fundamentally do is help my clients get what they want.

Are you always chasing the carrot?

As we are growing up, we fall into a pattern of behaviour that leaves us constantly chasing the carrot.

Chasing the carrot


If you think about it, when we’re born we need to look around us to know what is expected of us, we need to look to our parents and our siblings, our peers, people that are around us. That’s how we learn.

We do a behaviour and then we either get rewarded for it to do it more or we get penalized for it to try and dissuade us from doing that type of behaviour again.

That carries on as we move into school. We do a behaviour, we get rewarded or we get penalized so that we know what’s expected of us. Then we might move into the workforce and the same thing happens. We do the job so that we get paid so that we get promoted or we don’t get paid, maybe we get fired. But there’s always that sense of we’re doing something to get the reward and once we have the reward then we’ll be happy, or we’ll be successful, or we’ll be healthy.

We’re chasing that promotion to get more money so that we can have the bigger house or the holiday or the new car or maybe just to have a comfortable living.

Or maybe we want to lose 10 kilos but actually why do we want to lose 10 kilos? Maybe it’s to be healthy or maybe we just want to be more confident so that we can show up in a way that is more conducive to how we want to see ourselves.

We’re always chasing that sense of being something.

We DO something so that we can HAVE something but ultimately, we want to BE something.


If you’ve seen any of my other videos or read any of my other blogs around confidence, I talk a lot about values and understanding those values that are what are going to cultivate your confidence.

Knowing exactly what’s important to you and if you see the language of healthy, successful, confident it’s very similar to the language that we talk about when we’re talking about values.

It’s not about money or a number on the scales or any other physical thing.

Not money or scales


It’s about those core values words.

Think about what it is that you really want to have in your life. And then think about what do you need to do to have what you want?

If you want to be more successful. maybe you have to work longer hours, or maybe you have to do a certain project, or maybe you have to step up and be a bit braver in asking for things and being seen.

If you want to lose 10 kilos maybe. you have to find an eating plan that suits your body, or maybe you have to do more exercise and go to the gym more.

Who do you need to be to do the things that you need to do, to have what you want?

Who do you need to be


You may not have thought of that before and often when I introduced this concept people are a little bit thrown by that question but think about it.

  • Do you need to be a braver version of you?
  • Do you need to be a more outgoing version of you?
  • Do you need to be a healthier version of you?

When we’re always chasing that end goal we never really reach it, so let me introduce this idea as a concept.

Act “AS IF”

What if you acted as if you were already successful, confident, healthy?

Would that change the way that you do things now?

If you were already confident, successful, healthy, how would that change the decisions that you make and the actions that you take today?

What do you need to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing to be that version of you?

Time for YOUR answers

I would like you to take a few minutes to really think about all the questions that I’ve posed. Give yourself some time, scribble the answers down.

  • What do you want to have in your life?
  • What do you need to do to have that in your life?
  • Who do you need to be, to do what you need to do, to have what you want in your life?
  • And if you were already being that person, what would you need to stop, start and continue to be that person?

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like to have a chat with me then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Are you a rescuer?

Are you a rescuer?

I want to ask you something. Are you a rescuer?

Sometimes what we think is empathy is actually sympathy and it can do more harm than good.

Let’s take a look at what empathy and sympathy mean and when you think you might be helping someone, where you could be in fact hindering them.

What is sympathy?

First of all, sympathy is all about feeling compassion, or feeling sorry for someone, or feeling pity for them in a set of circumstances. It’s about you projecting your sense of pity on them.

And empathy?

Empathy is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and feeling what they feel. Or feeling lots of different perspectives, which is what masterful coaches are very skilled at doing. They can really demonstrate strong empathy with their clients. They can feel what it’s like to be in their shoes, and they can also feel lots of different perspectives around the client’s situation.


The Trap

When I see empathy and sympathy being confused is in a scenario that I affectionately call The Trap. In The Trap there are three roles:

  • the victim
  • the aggressor
  • the rescuer

What usually happens in The Trap is the aggressor says something or does something to the victim, and then the victim goes to the rescuer and tells them what has happened.

Being a rescuer, being sympathetic

What the rescuer does is the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Rescuing is when that person says to the victim,

“Do you know what, that happened to me too, I know exactly how you feel, and this happened to me….”

and you tell them your story of the similar scenario. But you don’t know what happened to them. You don’t know exactly how they are feeling. When you do that you’re making it all about you, not about the victim and that’s a form of rescuing.

Of course, we do it with the best of intentions because we’re trying to show that we understand, or we think that we understand, what they’re going through and that’s the tricky bit in The Trap – because we think we’re doing the right thing.

Here’s another example, so you may say,

“Oh, there there, don’t worry about it.”

That completely diminishes what the victim’s feeling and you’re unconsciously saying their feelings are not actually important.

When you see someone who’s in pain, who has had something happen to them, you want them to feel better because we feel uncomfortable when someone else is uncomfortable.

Sympathy not empathy

Rescuing makes us feel better. It’s not really about making the other person feel better. The other way that that rescuers tend to think that they’re helping the victims is to say,

“I’ll go and talk to that person for you. That’s not on, let me go and sort it out for you. “

That removes all of the power from the victim and it doesn’t let them build any of their own resilience for the future. It does make us feel really good, we’re going to come in with our superhero cape and we’re going to solve the problem.

It’s a bit like the adage of giving a man a fish and he’ll feed his family for one day, teach him to fish and he can feed his family for a lifetime.

When you go in and rescue and solve the problem for someone, you’re robbing them of the ability to learn how to do it for themselves, and the chances are that they will happily let you do it.

What does empathy look like?

Here’s a few things to do instead. Demonstrating empathy, you could say,

“That sounds really hard. I’m sorry that happened to you. What do you think’s going on for that person for them to behave that way?”

Or you might say,

“Hey that sounds really hard. How would you like to be feeling instead?”

That really opens up the possibility of changing the way that the victim is feeling and then you can help them to come up with some scenarios and solutions. But how THEY might do it, not how you might do it for them.

You could say,

“Would you like to roleplay some possible responses? So that you can go back to the aggressor and say I’m not happy with what happened. “

You may be able to offer some roleplay that gives the victim some confidence to go and solve their own problem.

Use empathy to build solutions

Because when you rescue, and you come in with the best of intentions to solve someone’s problem, you’re robbing them of the chance of learning how to do it for themselves and that’s the same as pitying them.

Using empathy and giving the victim the opportunity to build their own solution with help from you is the real super hero solution.

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like to have a chat with me then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

What are your emotional bus stops?

What are your emotional bus stops?

What on earth do I mean by your emotional bus stops?

Sometimes it feels that we can go from 0 to 60 turbo-powered and end up reacting in a way that isn’t helpful to us. In my blog post ‘Take The Power Back’, I talked about taking the power back from our emotions and I introduced a tip on how to do that. It’s important for us to know what’s happening when we’re overreacting to an emotional stimulus. It can really trigger us into doing things that are not helpful.

What are your triggers?

Have you ever snapped at your partner, really taken their head off?  Or you’ve reached for a glass of wine or chocolate biscuit before you even knew what you were doing?

Reached for a glass of wine

I know it’s happened to me.  We usually don’t have a lot of time between the trigger and our response or reaction.

The point of the emotional bus stops is to stretch out that process, so that we’ve got more time to notice what’s happening and then choose to do something different … literally get off the bus!

What do I mean by get off the bus?

It’s down to this breakdown of our mind/body connection.  We’re living in a time where we’ve put so much emphasis on cognitive ability, our intellectual ability, that we’ve drowned out all the messages that our body is sending us … it’s talking to us and sending us little message all the time.  When you start to slow down, maybe do some meditation or some mindfulness, that’s when you start to tune into those messages again.

We’ve stopped listening!  I liken this to an insistent toddler!


Imagine you’ve got a toddler beside you, tugging at your leg when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone.

“Mum, Mum, Mum.”

You carry on your conversation, they don’t get a response, the tug gets a little bit harder and the voice gets a little louder.

“Mum! Mum! Mum!”

Still no response and then suddenly,


Or even worse …  a full-on tantrum in the middle of the supermarket.

Are you ignoring your body?

That’s essentially what’s happening to us when we’re not listening to our body.  We are ignoring the whispers of “there’s something here needs your attention.”

When we don’t listen, our bodies respond with some scary symptoms; heart racing, feeling scared, panicking, feeling sick, feeling nauseated, headaches or feeling out of control.

What we need to do is slow down that process.  We’re going from zero to 60 on turbo boost, we’re doing all the bus stops before we’ve even noticed.  We need to slow down and notice some of those other messages that we’re so, so skilled at blocking out.

Notice the messages

It’s time to practice slowing down

The messages are still there, so we can reverse-engineer it, but it takes practice.  You’ve been really practiced at doing it the way that you’re doing it, so to change it, you have to unlearn it and practice.

It’s just about raising awareness at this point.  The way I do it is I think to myself

“Okay, well there’s a response that I wish I hadn’t had and I’m going to forgive myself for that.” 

It might not be in the moment, it might be later on when I’m reflecting on the situation.

I need to think what happened right before I reached for the chocolate biscuit.

  • I was feeling really under appreciated.

That caused me to feel a real heaviness in my chest.  Then I think, ‘what happened before that?”

  • Before that, I had sweaty palms, or I felt a flush of heat.

I can’t give you your combination because everyone is different.  Maybe you felt really stressed or angry.  What happened just before that?  A flush of heat or tingling?

Take the time to get off the bus

The point is that the more you notice the things that happened before the really scary symptom, the more you’ll notice them in the future.  In essence, that slows the whole process down for you and gives you the chance to get off that bus before you start doing things that you don’t want to do.

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like help then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

Take the Power Back

Take the Power Back

Have you ever stopped to consider what your emotions actually are?

Emotions start off as a physiological response to a stimulus or trigger. They are something that you feel in your body and it’s the description that we give that feeling in our body that is the emotion. We can have different feelings and we equate them to different things.

If you’ve ever felt held hostage by your emotions, then you’re going to love this. My clients often tell me that if they just could get until on top of their emotions, if they could control their emotions then they’d be able to take the right next action to achieve their goals.  If they weren’t such emotional beings, then they’d be able to achieve their goals.

If I wasnt so emotional

What happens when we’ve got that physiological response?

We’ve given it a label and then what tends to happen is that our brain or our self-talk starts getting involved and sometimes that’s not good.

If we go through the process using stress as an example as that is something most of us have experienced:

  1. something happens, there’s some sort of stimulus or trigger.
  2. we have a physiological response in our body somewhere
  3. and then we say, “I’m really stressed”.

What does it feel like when you say “I’m really stressed or I’m stressed”?

For me and what my clients often tell me when I ask them is that it’s scary. It feels like they’re out of control. It feels really panicky and there’s nothing they can do about it. “I’m really stressed”, and past history dictates that this isn’t going to end well.

I’m going to cover how to get out of that cycle in a future post so look out for that one, but what I want to cover here is just a little bit of magic to try and unhook this a bit for you here and now.

Instead of “I’m so stressed.”

I'm so stressed

What about if we changed it to “I seem to be experiencing stress.”

I am experiencing stress

What’s different about how those two feel?

Can you choose the emotion you are feeling?

The biggest difference is when I’m all stressed this is happening TO me. It’s happening TO me and there’s nothing I can do about it.

When I say I’m experiencing stress, it’s something that is happening inside of me for sure but it’s not happening TO me.

It’s not my whole identity. I have choice.

Im experiencing stress

When I’m stressed, I don’t have any choice and there’s no getting off the bus.

When I am experiencing stress in a calmer way, I can choose, and I can slow things down. I can notice I’m experiencing stress and think “What am I going to do next?”

It’s as simple as that. The feeling’s the same, it’s just the escalation in our negative self-talk can be slowed down, and when you notice that instead of saying “I’m really stressed”, say “I’m experiencing stress”.

Slow Down

Get playful with it, try it out and let me know how you get on.

If you would like to find out more about coaching others on their emotions, mindset and making a real difference to their lives, join me at Coach School.

Coach School

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

What to Change to Change Your Results

What to Change to Change Your Results

Coaching is all about getting results. It’s about changing something so that you can get different or better results and so how do you do that?

I’ve heard lots of different answers to that question. I’ve heard

  • change your behaviour to get different results,
  • change your thinking to get different results,
  • change your environment to get different results or
  • change everything to get different results.


Sometimes it can be quite difficult to change your behaviour or change everything and actually all we can do is change small things.

What to Change to Change Your Results

Thinking, Feeling and Body Language are all connected

One thing that really excites me is understanding the relationship between what we think, how we feel about it and our body language.

All of these things are connected, and I think we’ve lost a lot of the mind body connection. We put a lot of focus on intellectual ability and cognitive ability and that’s stopped us from realising that our thinking, feeling and body language are linked.

When you do know that they’re linked it can be really powerful.

Think of a Yellow Lemon…

Let me see if I can explain this. If I say to you think of a yellow lemon, what happens?

What to Change to Change Your Results

The vast majority of us think in pictures, so if I said think of a yellow lemon, most of you will have got a picture of a yellow lemon in your mind. Some of you may have smelt it, some of you may have got the taste of it, some of you may have got more than one thing, you might have got the picture and got some saliva happening in your mouth.

Let’s assume that you got a picture of the yellow lemon, you probably also got a feeling as well.  Your feeling might be eugh lemon or it might have been, mmm that’s refreshing, oh yes, that reminds me of holidays or something.

You get a feeling, maybe a joyful feeling maybe an eugh feeling but a feeling nonetheless, and the other thing that you might have noticed was in order to access that picture of the yellow lemon you might have shifted your body position or your eye position.

Accessing memories links to body language

Now this is where I think things are really interesting because the way that we access memories, stored experiences, pictures in our head is by the way that we use our body.

If you were thinking about something that made you sad, you probably noticed that your eyes go down, maybe your shoulders come forward.

If you wanted to access something, a memory of a time when you were really excited and really happy, you’ll notice that your eyes actually come up and your shoulders go back.

Sometimes it’s almost imperceptible but you’ll tell you’ll be able to feel little shifts, maybe in your face or your shoulders, head, your eye position.

That’s because what you’re thinking, that stored experience, the way you feel about it and your body language are all absolutely linked. If you change one, the others must change.

What to Change to Change Your Results

I get very excited about this because it means that I can do really cool things like I can make you like things that you don’t want to like, or I can make you not like things that you like a lot and would rather not like by changing the picture in your head. But that’s a little bit advanced for this blog.

To change your results, change your behaviour

It’s important for you to understand that if you want to change your results then you need to change your behaviour and your behaviour is the result of this relationship of how you store your experiences, what you feel about them and your body language.

What to Change to Change Your Results

Knowing that, the easiest thing for you to do is probably move your body. If you find yourself in a situation where you really want to change the results that you’re getting and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought, shift your body into a position where you don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. It’s really really difficult to access sad or overwhelming feelings and memories and experiences when you’re smiling and waving your arms in the air.

This is something that I want you to play with. I want you to get playful with it.

Access those different experiences with a smile

It was my gran who first introduced me to this. My dear Nana and she used to say to me when I was sad

“smile until you feel better”

Well, at the time I just wanted to punch her in the face. But actually, it’s true because that physical shift in my face was enough for me to access different experiences which meant a different feeling, which meant a different behaviour.

If you want to change your results, play with that relationship between stored experience, feeling and body language. It will change the actions that you take and that will change the results that you get.

Let me know how you get on.

And if you would like help on changing your behaviour to change your results then click below to contact me for a Breakthrough Session.