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It's like looking in a mirror but being able to do it objectively

Illustration of a woman sitting in a large armchair, looking into a handheld mirror, dog sat by her side
It's like looking in a mirror but being able to do it objectively

Emma runs a successful online and in-person dog training business, but she couldn’t complete anything. She was creating distractions which stopped her progressing, impacted her business effectiveness and her bottom line and this left her feeling disheartened.

Emma had been on a coaching programme about 18 months before which she hadn’t enjoyed, so she was a little sceptical about what the Flourish programme could do for her.

“I’d needed time to recover from the ‘break-you-down-before-we-build-you-up-again’ approach of this previous coaching programme, which had been very unpleasant. It hadn’t sat well with my values, so I didn't complete it. I was hopeful enough about the Flourish programme, which is about positive reinforcement not punishment, to sign up.”

The Flourish programme combines one-to-one coaching with small group workshops. The workshops are fortnightly, but the timing of the coaching sessions is flexible, depending on the client goals and needs. Emma chose to have a one-to-one session in between each workshop...

“The impact of the programme built week on week and I was able to use the coaching to build on what I’d learned in the workshops, which helped me get even more out of them.
And in the workshops you can see you're not alone. There have been so many expectations put on us by other people and women have a tendency to put other people first and I saw that a lot in the group. And you can spot all the things you’re doing in other people and you ask them, ‘so why is that stopping you?’ and that really made me think.
It's like looking in a mirror but being able to do it objectively.”

One of the most significant moments on the programme for Emma was when she learnt about her concept of time...

“I had assumed that everyone thought about time in the same way as me, but that’s not the case. When I think about the past it’s behind me and it’s gone, finished with. For example, I realised that when I wrote things down that was my act of finishing a task. But in fact, I wasn’t finishing them at all.
Now that I am aware of this, I have a introduced a new system of organising my work and taking notes and encoding ideas and actions so that they don’t get ‘lost’.
I was amazed to find that I had started many things and completely forgotten that I’d done so! Now I can take advantage of the work I’ve started and decide to finish it off.”

Emma's increased self-awareness and new ways of thinking have had an impact on her tendency to procrastinate...

“I would get into a vicious circle where I would say to myself ‘I've got to sit here and do this’, but I wouldn’t do anything constructive and I wouldn’t allow myself a break, whereas in fact a guilt-break could have made the difference.
I’m not perfect, there's still more to do, but I'm much more aware of the procrastination and as a result I’m able to make adjustments and stop it. And I’m not wasting my time; I can pull myself back from going down rabbit holes!
And fear of failure is a huge thing. And this has been behind a lot of my procrastination. But I realise that if something doesn't go right, a lot of times there isn't actually any failure, but just a nothingness. No one died. And now I think of it more as feedback.”

Emma now also understands the impact of how she speaks to herself and expresses herself to others...

“Taking away the ‘shoulds’ has taken away a lot of the time and guilt. Now I say, ‘No, this is a choice.’ And why should I beat myself up if I choose not to do something? Yes, there'll be consequences, but it is a choice. And now I’m making different choices for my business and my life outside of work.”

The upshot of re-organising her action planning, reducing the procrastination and shoulds is...

“I have a better balance in my business of time spent versus my productivity, which means I have time to go and do other things, which I then feel like I deserve.
So I’ve got a better balance, better awareness, and also an understanding of the amount of effort I put in and the results accordingly, and where I choose to put that effort.”

On top of this, Emma had always been consciously values-driven, but is now more aware of what her specific values are and what do actively do with them, and this has brought increasing confidence in her abilities...

“Aligning my business more to my values, personalising it to my ethos, gives me more motivation. For example, this affects my social media and what I say. It’s about attracting the right clients and it’s about not worrying about being liked by everyone. I work with people who are the right fit for me. And I realise that gives me more belief in myself.”

And Emma has made some significant decisions...

“When you start your business, you think, ‘This is my vision, and this is what I'm going to do.’ And then you build it, but it’s not quite how you imagined, or it doesn’t bring you the satisfaction you thought it would. I think sometimes you need that semi-permission to change especially if it’s bringing in the money.
Understanding that my vision for the business could evolve and change, gave me permission to make those decisions.
I’ve been able to focus and realign my business for a much more efficient and adaptable way of thinking and working.
In the short-term my business has been hit money-wise, but the move away had to happen because it made me so busy, tired and frustrated.”

Emma is pleased she signed up to the Flourish programme...

“I made the commitment to this programme; I was invested in it and I turned up for everything! That’s major! Even on an evening when I thought, ‘I’d rather not go, I’m tired’ I always came away with something worthwhile. Yeah, it’s definitely been worth it!

And Emma’s advice to other women experiencing similar issues?

“I just simply say: ‘Do the Flourish programme. If it feels right for you, no procrastinating, just get on with it!’”

To find out more about how Lorna Thomas / Be The Best You In Business coaching and mentoring could support you to increase your confidence and grow your business with clarity, focus and control, book a call...


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