What’s Coaching All About Then?

I never understood what coaching was all about: performance coaching, life coaching, emotional coaching… what’s the point? I suppose like many things in life I dismissed it because I didn’t know what it was. But as a Management Team at Suffolk Babies we were looking at ways to enhance the support we offer to our clients that goes beyond baby classes and provide real and powerful change for people.

So I rocked up at the Coaching training still not really knowing what I was letting myself in for, but boy am I glad I went. It has changed my life for the better and I am really excited to be able to help you change your life too.

Coaching is about identifying where you are now, where you need to be and how to get there. This can be in any aspect of your life. Maybe you feel like there is something holding you back from achieving your goals, or maybe you don’t really know what your goals are yet.

Perhaps you have old fears that prevent you from doing the things you want to do in life, and you have got to the point where you really want to get over it and move on, but you need a bit of help to do so.

It could be that you are finding that negative emotions like anger, frustration, or anxiety are getting the better of you. This is particularly common in parenting and coping with the demands of parenthood. It’s very common to get into negative cycles of behaviour when dealing with your children, that leave you feeling even more frustrated and guilty afterwards when you berate yourself about how you could have handled the situation “better”.

 

But do you know what? You CAN feel better. You CAN change your behaviour and your thought patterns. Scientists used to think that once you’re an adult your brain is pretty much fixed and you are stuck with whatever negative emotions you are saddled with. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” However, research has conclusively shown that adults are able to change, grow, and learn new things. So if you are not happy with aspects of your life, it is perfectly possible to change them.

My Co-Director Jo and I have written quite a lot in the Suffolk Babies blog about being kind to yourself, facing your fears, parenting your toddler, celebrating your body, but how do you actually do all these things?

No doubt you know already that you want to be happier, healthier and more productive. It’s working out how to do that is the tricky part. It’s like when someone tells you “Don’t panic!” It’s easier said than done without the right tools. Through coaching we can work together to discover what is causing your difficulties. We can get rid of those negative emotions using some amazing techniques, fill you with positive feelings, and create a plan for the future that will lead you towards your goals.

If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch!

Katie
katie@suffolkbabies.co.uk

F**k New Year’s Resolutions – be kind to yourself instead!

This is Lionel. Lionel eats when he’s stressed. When we got him from the rescue centre in May, he would eat anything and everything you put in front of him and he weighed a ton. The people at the rescue centre would give him all the other cats’ leftovers and he would hoover them up. When he came to live with us, he would lie on my chest first thing in the morning and he was so heavy I could barely breathe – which was a very effective tactic to get me up so I could feed him!

He has been with us over 7 months now, and while I can’t exactly say he’s looking svelte, (his tummy still swings from side to side when he trots across the garden,) he has definitely slimmed down. He will leave food if he doesn’t like it, and I’m finding out, to my cost, that he only likes expensive cat food. He is now perfectly happy in his little routine of sleeping 20 hours a day, spending a couple of hours outside, and occasionally having a great big fight with a neighbour’s cat.

What’s Lionel got to do with anything? Well, I’ve decided not to make my annual New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight. Every year I make the resolution, and I don’t think I’ve ever succeeded. What’s different this year? I still want to lose weight, but I’ve learned a couple of things.

1. Making a resolution about something you want to change about yourself is telling yourself that you are not good enough as you are. Granted, not all resolutions do this, but the losing weight one certainly does. I’m constantly telling myself I’m not good enough at my current size. All this does is make me focus on the negative, and feel guilty, sad and angry. Feeling negative emotions doesn’t actually motivate me very well to make positive changes. If you recognise this in yourself, ask yourself, might you be better motivated to make positive changes in your life if you felt good? If you stopped berating yourself and started acting from a more positive mindset? Even if you fail (again) at least you will feel good doing so!

2. Consider your environment. Like Lionel, my spirit animal, I don’t lose weight when I’m stressed. I also don’t lose weight when I haven’t had enough sleep. Or when I’m too sedentary. Or in the summer… I can go on with this list but I won’t. I’ve seen several Facebook posts from fitness people recently telling me that there are NO EXCUSES and I should just get on with working towards my goal. That’s all well and good, but we all go through periods in our lives when we do have genuine excuses, like having young children who wake us up all night, or going through a stressful patch at work or at home. What possible good can it do to beat yourself up about not being good enough in these situations? Surely it is much better to focus on what you can actually achieve during these times. If you have a non-sleeping baby, then getting you and your baby through the day in one piece is achievement enough in itself. Give yourself a genuine, heartfelt, pat on the back.

Also, who cares? Almost no-one in my life really cares what dress size I am, as long as I’m healthy. Quite a few people I know do care whether I am happy. And actually, eating healthily and taking exercise does make me happy if I’m doing it for its own sake, rather than as some sort of punishment for all that Christmas cake I ate or wine I drank over the last few weeks. So my plan for this year is to be kinder to myself, and do things I enjoy. And that’s NOT a new year’s resolution…

Happy New Year everyone!
Love
Katie x

Be like Lionel.
Be kind to yourself.
Do the things you enjoy. (Without the cat fights!)