Coachworx life coaching

What does success mean to YOU!

Success means different things to different people. No lie! The person sat next to you right now will probably have a completely different concept of what success means to them.

If you’ve had coaching with me before you’ll probably have worked on your Values. And if you were in a group coaching workshop then you’ll have seen that each person involved had a different set of values unique to them. Don’t forget that even if two people pick the same value it can still mean something completely different to each of them!

So what is the ‘official’ definition of success…

success /səkˈsɛs/

noun: success; plural noun: successes
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
“the president had some success in restoring confidence”

Success is usually equated to results. And results can be wide-ranging from small to big. Results are also tangible in that you want to see a physical or mental outcome you are happy about. Failure has often been pitched as its polar opposite but we all know now that failure is part of the route to success and can be hugely insightful.

Success gives you confidence, and the more confidence you gain the more success you are likely to have. But success has to mean something important to you which is why creating goals (aligned to your overall Vision or Dream) gives you the right structure for achieving it. Creating a clearer path for yourself through goal setting gives you the forward momentum to keep on going despite setbacks. This in itself is another form of success and well worth giving yourself a pat on the back when you achieve the small successes as well as the big.

So let’s get back to what success means to different people…

“Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.” Sir Richard Branson

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou

“It is also nice to feel like you made a difference — inventing something or raising kids or helping people in need.” Bill Gates

“Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realisation of worthy goals.” from his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Deepak Chopra

Just giving these four examples shows how absolutely different each person’s definition of success is! Success is as far and wide-reaching as you want it to be, there are no set boundaries and no it should be this or that. Think about what your own vision of success can be. What makes you happy. What’s important to have in your life. What would give you ultimate satisfaction?

And don’t forget that changes happen in your life so your definition of success may also change. Which means your goals will change too as you adapt and grow. Remember life is one big learning curve!

Vision Boards: Mid-Year Review

Coachworx vision board coaching

Did you create a Vision Board at the beginning of the year and did you put it up somewhere you can regularly see and check-in with?

If so, well done! I trust you’re sticking to your goals on a regular basis and working towards your long-term Vision. Remember if you keep true to your core values you’ll stay on the right path.

If not, don’t lose heart as there’s a glimmer of recognition now in realising you haven’t stuck to it! Perhaps your overall Vision isn’t strong enough or your small steps to achieving your bigger goals are still too big. Break them down even more and celebrate each and every inch forward! Even at a snails pace you’ll reach your goal, rather than always staying in the same spot.

It’s okay you know. Any time you want to check-in and re-cultivate your Vision, values and goals then do so. Things evolve. Circumstances change. You change!

1. No matter how far you’ve got, grab a drink, sit down and do a review of the year so far. Consider what’s worked and what hasn’t.
2. Ask yourself if you need to change your goals or your big Vision.
3. Then do it! Review and re-form your goals (even if it means ditching a goal).

Good luck and remember I’m here for you if you need some additional coaching. Contact me here.

Group coaching in workshops with Coachworx. Vision Boards for personal growth.

Understanding productivity is the key to unlocking it

As a life coach I would love to be ultra-productive all of the time and I’m sure you’d love to be too. So if we want it that much why does it feel like it happens not often enough! It’s a case of asking ourselves how to increase our productivity without having to work longer and harder! And funnily enough, thinking creatively or ‘outside-of-the-box’ helps to achieve this.

Although creativity and work productivity are usually seen as qualities on opposite ends of the spectrum, there are actually ways we can harness both to achieve our goals. Think of it this way, you can’t have one without the other. 

Creativity is what gives you the ideas and productivity is what is needed to make them a reality! Who knew it was this simple!

Creativity or Productivity (or both!)

As I often explain in my personal coaching and workshops, every project or goal can be broken down into smaller steps and each of these steps will require a lesser or greater amount of creativity or productivity. Knowing which steps require your most creative or productive self will help you to organise your time better. For example, if you’ve completed the initial creative process of developing a design you can then get ready for the next stage of producing it.

Here’s some top work productivity tips:

  • Brainstorm!
    Yes it’s important to do this most days, for at least 20 minutes write down everything that comes into your mind. It gives your brain space to create new possibilities.
  • Take regular breaks from your creative work and be able to step away when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
    Giving yourself a break means you put some distance between you and the work, allowing you to think more openly and objectively about a project, exhibition or situation.
  • Schedule your work to capitalise on your most productive working hours.
    Monitor your progress over the course of a typical week and record your efforts in a diary. You should be able to maximise your productive hours and take breaks when you feel less motivated.
  • You can now use mobile apps to manage and channel your creativity.
    One example is the RescueTime application which enables you to track your daily habits in detail and identify any areas where you are being unproductive. Great for us creatives as we can easily lose focus or become distracted by sources of inspiration (hello Instagram)!
  • Have an active lifestyle to optimise creativity.
    Exercise has the potential to clear cluttered minds and aid the creative-thinking process. Just as walking can be meditative.
  • Maintain perspective and a sense of fun in your work.
    Creativity can be easily stifled by pressure. So if you do find yourself feeling pressurised or demotivated, take time out to regain your focus and tap back into your initial source of inspiration.
  • Develop stress management skills.
    It totally makes sense to be proactive and avoid the pressure caused by unrealistic deadlines or rigid project criteria.
  • Don’t be easily influenced by conventional thinking.
    Independence of thought is pivotal for creatives. Don’t be too easily swayed by assured, intelligent yet conventional individuals!
  • Create a music playlist to aid your creative output.
    The relationship between creativity and music is well known. Music improves your mood and helps you to maintain higher levels of productivity therefore incorporate this into your working day.
  • Unwind and relax your mind during sleep.
    We, creative people are known to be particularly emotional and passionate about their work! This means that it can become consuming over time. Try to relax your mind for 30 minutes to 1 hour before sleep, as it will give you a chance to properly unwind and take a mental break from your workload. Camomile tea or a bath is great too 🙂

Thanks to Life Hack for their helpful suggestions!

Life coaching aids your productivity in lots of ways, unique to every individual it allows you to maximise your big dreams and goals by being efficient in everyday tasks and decisions. Contact me for more information!

Getting your groove on

So you’re in THE ZONE and loving it! 

I love it when you’re in THE ZONE. You feel strong in so many ways. Unstoppable. Momentum builds and you’re on it faster than a rocket can lift off. Not only do you push past any limitations you may have previously placed on yourself, but everything comes with ease. I’m not saying you’re not working hard. Far from it. But creating and doing whether it be the fun stuff or the more boring stuff like admin it’s a win-win all round.

So how can you stay in THE ZONE:

  • Channel your energy wisely: prioritise and get things done (even the boring stuff!)
  • Whatever way works best for you keep doing it
  • Ensure your workspace is kept on top off (whether its ultra clear or an organised mess!)
  • It’s the perfect time to try things you might not necessarily do
  • Keep momentum up and close the door to avoid distractions
  • Reward yourself for such fab work
  • Get things ready for the next push
  • A little stress is fine as long as you keep ‘checking-in’ with yourself
  • Sleep! If you can 🙂

Coaching is also another great way to check-in with your progress and put perimeters in place to ensure you achieve your goals. Stay permanently in THE ZONE with coaching!

Contact me here.

Navigating Brain Fog

So what is Brian Fog? Well it’s when you can’t see the wood for the trees, everything is blurry and it’s hard to focus. Even the simplest of things are hard to do and you can’t think properly. I’ve felt it myself when suddenly everything is out of reach and difficult to even attempt. It’s not a nice place to be in but you can find your way out.

It takes some time but it is possible to free yourself of Brain Fog, but the first thing to not do is push yourself. Pushing yourself only makes it worse as your brain just can’t cope. It’s about stepping back and letting it just be. Living with the fog it’s important to not attempt to do anything too big. And in an ideal world you should let your mind rest, as hard as this may be, you need to for a little while.

Personally yes I resisted. I tried to brainstorm my way out of the fog, thinking that if I tried to tap into my creative zone that I’d see the fog lift. But it wasn’t that simple. My brain needed the exact opposite. So instead of motivating and inspiring it into action I needed to completely switch it off. Call it a vacation for the brain. I slept, rested, read magazines and didn’t think about what I needed in my life or wanted it to be. I’ll admit that walks seemed too much – usually a time for consideration and reflection – they became tortuous. I had to accept that it wasn’t possible to function normally during this time. I had to switch off. Luckily I was in fact on holiday at the time so it meant putting away my notebooks and action planning for the month ahead and just nurture myself for a little while by doing nothing.

A few days later, the flog started to clear a bit and I was able to write this blog. Which then actually helped as another form of release. Finally I could apply myself again. It’s small steps and remembering not to rush into full-on action mode is hard but necessary.

I need to remind myself that if your mind and body shuts down it’s usually telling you something So my best advice is to stop, listen and be. It’s a tough ride but the fog will lift when it’s ready to.

5 Habits of Highly Effective Artists Who Sell

Let’s have a look at what it takes to be an expert seller of your art…


1.   Be prepared & prioritise

Really dig deep to understand what kind of art customer you are trying to reach, because not every person will have the same tastes, just as not every person will be able to afford the same works.

The other secret to getting prepared is giving yourself enough time to actually develop your selling strategy and carry out all of the admin and marketing tasks that come with it.

So prioritise the opportunities that deserve your attention. Think about where do my customers prefer to shop for art? Art fairs, galleries, in retail shops, cafes, online – one or more of these options might be right.

Expert sellers know one thing to be true: if you aren’t reaching your target audience, you won’t be making sales!

2.   Make it easy to buy from you

From the minute customers come in contact with your art, you have to make their buying experience as effortless as possible. Consider what questions they may have before they make a purchase.

3.   Have a great website and social media

This is your shop window. Only use high-quality photos of your art. Make sure all your links work properly. Make it a breeze to find your social media handles. Answer emails regularly and enthusiastically.

4.  Follow-up your leads

Top selling artists are always in the habit of jotting down a few notes after a promising conversation, so they remember who exactly they were talking to and how they should be following up. Because people who love your art are worth building a relationship with!

It’s one of the golden rules of selling: the more times interested contacts see your art and get to know you as a person, the more inclined they will be to purchase your work. And if you say you are going to follow up, you need to keep that promise.

5.  Know your product

We’re talking about the story behind it – your inspiration, the process – the entire narrative of how it came to be. And, it’s one thing to know it, but another thing to be able to convey it to a potential buyer.

Good luck!

A big thanks to the www.artworkarchive.com for their blog resource 🙂

Upping your resilience levels

As an artist, photographer, writer or creative entrepreneur there’s nothing we understand more through our working life than resilience. And what is this resilience? Is it our capacity to keep painting when we don’t always get selected for the exhibitions we want to be in. Is it working day after day writing 1000 words to secure that publishing deal. Is it climbing to the top of that mountain in the Lake District at 4am to take the perfect picture. Or is it getting up everyday and once your kids are at school working on your Etsy creations to build your mini creative empire.

The Arts Council partly define ‘resilience’ as

” …seizing opportunities, identifying and mitigating risks, and deploying resources effectively.”

Being in and amongst my peers in the Creative Industry earlier this month made me sit up and realise that looking to your peers for learning, support and understanding was a fantastic opportunity. It’s fair to say that other artists know better than anyone else what it takes to be an artist!

Another area I recognised – personally and professionally – is to get regular inspiration. Whether it’s getting outside, going to an art exhibition, looking at Instagram (for a short time only ideally!!) is paramount to our future growth. We can’t live in isolation at the end of the day, plus networking with other creatives is a great way to get in touch with your peers.

Input. Input. Input. Are we so frightened to get proper, critical feedback? It’s good to stretch ourselves and whether we like it or not IT WILL push us forward! Which leads nicely onto being non-judgemental – about your own work – or others work. Opening our minds. Art is subjective which is why it’s so fantastic!

Lastly, it’s not child’s play (well it is!) but to experiment and play is the foundation to our wellbeing and feeding our creative juices. So let’s feed it!

How you should feel when your resilience levels are high…

  • Ability to reflect
  • Having good intentions
  • Planning is clear
  • Feeling calm
  • Being renewed and invigorated
  • Maximising confidence
  • Feeling fulfilled
  • Maintaining meaningful connections

How creative journaling can help you to discover what lights your fire

Discovering what lights your fire and brings you joy is what creative journalling is all about!

We all have an inner flame that needs lighting so by taking some time to pause, take stock and reflect on our lives we can uncover and nurture our personal potential. 

Increasing our self-awareness of what makes us tick, noticing how we cope with stressful situations, digging deep into what we enjoy and love means we can work past our fears and aim straight for happiness.

Journaling isn’t about performance or perfection, it’s about the process. You can write, draw, doodle, cut out images and words – anything and everything to describe how you’re feeling towards a certain subject. I use journalling in coaching because it taps into your inner knowledge and wisdom. We usually know what we need to do but teasing it out and understanding what it is can take some time. Journaling allows you to gain perspective in a fun, relaxed way.

Celebrating and acknowledging your successes is really important too as you focus on the positive, the positive grows!

When it comes to using journaling to define and achieve your goals, you’re much more likely to succeed because you’re working intuitively to express yourself. In other words, you can actually SEE what it is you’re trying to achieve because you’ve drawn or written it in your journal.


Here’s a few journaling examples:

Creative journaling: Use your thoughts, feelings and observations as prompts to visualise your ideas and dreams. Think in a visual way!

Purely writing: A good example is Morning Pages from the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron. Simply write for 3 whole pages. It doesn’t matter what you write, as you long as you write! You can also do this during the day or at night before bedtime to free up your mind.

Mind-mapping: write down the main theme of your idea, draw a big circle around it, then think of other ideas which relate to it. You then connect your sub ideas to the main idea, creating a mind map.

Bullet journaling: a coded system for organising your thoughts and creative activities. More like a diary where you can make your own daily, weekly and monthly planners to keep super organised!

One sentence journals: just write a single sentence at the end of each day. Before you know it you’ll have months of sentences written down!

Whichever way you’d like to start journaling, the main thing is to try it! There’s no pressure to achieve. You can just be yourself whenever you need some “me time”. 

Watch my second Journaling video to see how to get started.

Introductory offer on all telephone & SKYPE coaching calls

Regular coaching is so easy to schedule in, keeping you on track and pushing you forward whenever you need it. So how can we do this?

Working together via telephone or SKYPE – audio only or video. I’ve tried it myself and found it works great! Plus you can be anywhere you like – in your studio, office or in the comfort of your own home.

 

  • Reduces on travel time
  • Comfort in own environment
  • Take your laptop anywhere you like
  • Pick any day or time that suits you best
  • Completely private

And that’s not all… if you like you can record the coaching session so you can refer back to it whenever you want!

As an introduction I’m happy to knock £5 off any phone or SKYPE calls in Feb & March – simply message me to book!

Encouraging change through creativity

Did you realise that being creative through art, writing, photography or any special activity will promote change for you as a person. We change through our relationship with the creative act itself…

– By choosing our materials and methods
– Finding out what works and what doesn’t
– What suits our needs and what doesn’t
– Making choices based on these discoveries

Coaching and creative thinking also go hand-in-hand… 

When making inquiries into ourselves, fresh ideas rise up, creating inspiring new visions for action. Change occurs as we gain greater confidence, clarity and creative purpose!

This is why we can often become unstuck when we stop ‘making’. Every little creative act gets us a little further along the way to discovering something new. Just like when we walk down the street we don’t know what’s around the next corner until we get to it.

So even if we’re not quite certain what to try next in the creative process, by doing something it means we’re closer to discovering if its good… or not! Our ability to make decisions based on this information therefore also increases our ability to adapt and change. That’s why you always hear the saying ‘Just DO IT’ –  it’s good to do something in order to keep moving forward!