Fear of crowds

Fear of crowds is very common for a lot of people whether they are single, married, male, female, high flyers, students, teachers, old or young .

I know how it feels to be alone in a crowd. I often feel totally overwhelmed in a large crowd of people, especially if I don’t know anyone in that crowd. It can feel like I am on the periphery and not allowed into the inner circle, and that, of course, makes the fear even worse. I wonder if the fear is actually of the crowds themselves or is it a fear of feeling lost or being unnoticed amongst a large number of people?

I know when I am in a large crowd of people entirely ‘on my own’ I feel nervous; I have an irrational fear that nobody will even notice that I am there.  I look at the little groups of people who do know each other within that large crowd enjoying themselves and the company of each other and that somehow increases my nervousness and the fear.  Of course they may feel just like I do but when I feel that fear, it certainly looks like they’re having a great time and I’m not. When I am in a large crowd of people and I have my own ‘group of people’ with me I feel safe and secure and know that I am noticed and therefore I don’t have those same feelings as when I am alone in a crowd.

Business people communicating with each other against white

Did you grow up in a house where “children were seen and not heard”? I know I did. That might be the root of these feelings of nervousness and insecurity as they are for me. I can ultimately relate feeling like this to my childhood when I was constantly told that I should be seen and not heard.  So I would sit in the corner with my toys and only speak when I was spoken to.

Having worked hard on discovering my authentic self, discovering, acknowledging and accepting those unexpressed feelings and emotions of when I was told to be seen and not heard,  I now think and act differently.  I know there is a solution to this fear of crowds.  Based on what I know to be true about fear.  I know that FEAR is:

False

Expectations

Appearing

Real

I have found the solution that works for me and this might work for you too:

  • Don’t worry about pleasing anyone else. Just be you.
  • Here’s what I do – I take three deep breaths and take the plunge.
  • I walk amongst the strangers in the crowd and I expect to be noticed. I’ve decided not to expect to be or feel lost.
  • I make eye contact with people and smile at them.
  • I say hello to people I have never met before and strike up conversations.  They aren’t always long conversations, just long enough to introduce myself and be friendly and to listen to the other people.  Sometimes they are much longer, it depends on the person of course. Once the conversations start to happen, other people start to talk to me and to each other and before long I am part of the ‘crowd’ and not isolated on the periphery.

Even if being you just says it’s ok to not talk to anyone – which is a good friend of mine’s solution for her fear of crowds.  She’s decided to not push herself and just enjoys watching people. Funny thing is, she reports people come and talk to her.

New for 2013. From confusion to clarity – Becoming ME again

I know that I am not alone in feeling alone.  There are other people who are in the same position as me and I make a special effort to speak to them as well and include them in the conversations.  The energy and dynamics of the crowd change visibly and it becomes much more enjoyable.

The most important thing is to find a way to feel comfortable being you whether you decide overcoming the fear by talking to people is your way, or overcoming the fear by giving yourself a break and just allowing others to talk to you is your way. Bottom line, stop pressuring yourself to be like everyone else and just be you.

If you anything resonates with you from the above, I will be delighted to hear from you, please contact me .

I am helping people to become the very best version of themselves and would love to work with you too.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Qualified Coaches vs Unqualified Coaches

There are many thousands of ‘coaches’ out there who have never been trained to coach, have never been coached themselves and who have absolutely no idea where to begin or indeed where to end.

Equally, there are a similar number of ‘coaches’ out there who are qualified, who have never been coached themselves and also have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

I can only speak from my own experience, and I have found that learning how to be a coach is very much different from being a coach. And being a coach means drawing on all my learnings and experiences accumulated throughout my life.

How so you may well ask.  Well I have undertaken significant training with six different coach training providers since 2004 and invested many thousands of pounds in my training.  Each coach training provider has their own ways of interpreting coaching, whether that is style, dos and don’ts, wording and lots of different ‘specialisms’.

For instance, one coach training provider insisted that coaching means never giving your client an idea or suggestion. A different coach training provider insisted that every client needs to be coached in a specific way using a particular model. Yet another coach training provider professed that all clients need is an ear to listen to them.

Now, when it comes to qualification one distance learning coach training provider said that once I had passed their diploma course I was a trained life coach.  That may well have been true, but the course itself gave very little insight into the myriad of different strategies that can be, and are, used in coaching.  On passing the course I was a qualified life coach.

graduated

Another taught me all I needed to know to become a corporate coach, but again left me short of knowledge and experience when it came to working with organisations that varied in the ways they operated. On passing their course I was now a qualified corporate coach.

I have learned over the years that my life experiences count just as much as all the coach training.  Listening to my clients and knowing when to ask the right question came from practice.  It is nothing that can be learned from a course or a book, it comes with experience of working with so many different people.

I love being a coach, it doesn’t feel like a job to me.  I find it so rewarding when I see the ‘penny drop’ and my clients get it, take action and change their lives for the better. It is something that I just love getting out of bed for every morning.

All the training I have undertaken has had its uses, and I always learned something new and worthwhile, and I can honestly say that I am highly qualified and experienced as a coach, and my clients get great results.

I enjoy being coached, and in fact work with several coaches where we all coach each other, supervise, teach and learn.  It works very well as each has something different to bring to the table.  The fact that we are spread out over the world in the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia causes a few time zone headaches, but we usually work it all out between us, and Skype is a fabulous tool.

skype

So who wins in the Qualified Coach vs Unqualified Coach competition? I don’t think there is a definitive answer.  It all depends on the coach and the outcome you want.  If the outcome you get is satisfactory to you, then I am not sure it really matters.  I know there will be lots of you who will disagree, and I would love to hear from you.

My speciality is coaching and mentoring people who have escaped from abusive relationships, people who have been bullied or people who suffer from anxiety about one or more things in their life.   The successful outcomes my clients have had are just wonderful and make my work so worthwhile.

If you find anything here that resonates with you, get in touch and we can have a chat.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Relationship anxiety

Relationship anxiety is very destructive, as you know. If you don’t learn how to get rid of anxiety in your relationship, it leads into a very devastating downward spiral:

Suspiciousness – Worrying about your partner not loving you, or not caring as much as you do. Thoughts of them being unfaithful. Many more self-destructive thoughts and emotions. And of course, all of these will fuel your relationship anxiety.
In order to learn how to get rid of anxiety in your relationship, take the following steps:
Ask your partner for reassurance. When you find yourself becoming suspicious in your relationship, try to remember that it is probably being fueled by your anxiety. You may be able to get some relief from your relationship anxiety by asking your partner for occasional reassurance. They will be happy to give this if they are patient and understanding of your anxiety. 
happycouple

This kind of support may well be very helpful to you. Ask a trusted friend who is prepared to give you an honest answer if there might be some real reason for you to feel this way. But even when you get that real information, it may not help alleviate your relationship anxiety. You will have to work on that yourself. Perhaps your worry is that you feel that you are too “needy” in your relationship.
For instance, do you need constant reassurance and want your partner to regularly prove that things are really okay? This will inevitably put pressure on you and your partner and will add to the relationship anxiety.
I got married when I was 19 years old and discovered after about six months that I had made a terrible mistake. I was under a lot of pressure from my parents to stay in the marriage as it was not ‘the done thing’ to separate or divorce. In their opinion, I was far too young to know what I was doing. I believed them as I knew nothing different and so I tried to make the marriage work.

Inevitably the pressure of trying to make it work instead of figuring out how to get rid of anxiety in my relationship made me very unhappy and anxious indeed. I stuck at it for 10 years until I couldn’t take it any longer and I made the decision to leave, take the children, and strike out on my own. That was the right decision for me, and the anxiety was lifted almost as if a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders.

If any of this is resonating with you, then you will need to find ways to cope with your anxiety and learn to rely more on yourself for feeling better – taking the pressure off your partner. This will allow you to become more self-sufficient, even in your anxiety. Give yourself permission to reassure yourself instead of turning to your partner for comfort each time you are anxious. Find ways to learn to think more positively. Try being grateful for what you have.

When you are anxious you can create all kinds of ideas in your imagination that appear so intolerable that you feel compelled to take impulsive and totally misguided actions. You will find yourself:

  • Jumping to conclusions
  • Making decisions that are destined to fail
  • Behaving in a totally childish manner, sulking and demanding attention.
Look for solutions that will relieve your relationship anxiety and won’t result in increasing your problems further. 

When you are anxious your partner will be anxious too. It becomes a vicious circle and the anxiety is fed constantly.
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Learning to trust your intuition is an important part of reducing your anxiety. So, slow down, think through anything you are considering doing and follow your intuition. Make the effort to stop listening to that nagging voice that is telling you something is wrong. It is very likely when you slow down and think rationally that you will find a much better solution for you and your relationship. In this way, you can successfully get rid of anxiety in your relationship.
If this resonates with you and you would like to have a no obligation conversation, please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

The terror attack on 22nd March 2017 in London

I looked on in horror at the television reports of the terror attack on Westminster Bridge in London.  There were so many people affected, either being physically injured by the marauding vehicle or jumping off the bridge to escape.  Five people have died in this pointless attack, one a policeman who was fatally stabbed protecting our country.

My heart went out to the many tourists who had been caught up in this atrocity and I wondered what on earth I could do, if anything, to help those and all the citizens of London who have been permanently damaged, either physically or mentally.

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There was nothing I could do from where I live on the Isle of Wight, nearly 4 hours away, at that time.  I could only send positive and healing thoughts to all those involved.

I read about the black cab drivers who were taking people home at no cost to make sure they were ok.  How wonderful to have that great act of kindness.

I read about the Uber drivers who were charging four times the fares to take people home. Such greed.

I wondered what I can do to help.  I thought about it. What I can do now is help some of those who have been affected by listening to them, as often getting their own thoughts out of their heads is vital in their healing process.  There would be no charge from me. I want to help in some small way.  If you have been affected by this terror attack, or know someone who has, get in touch and I will listen and help where I can.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

 

Forgiveness – releasing the past

Forgiveness is such an important subject that I feel compelled to spend some time explaining its significance. When we hold something unforgiven inside, we are nurturing anger, hatred and resentment or maybe even guilt. These emotions lock us into the moment, continually reliving events.  Over time all this emotion can become suppressed into the subconscious, but they are still there, consuming our mental and life energy. Until we release ourselves from this cycle it may prove impossible to move forward.

It really does not matter what the issue was, whether slight or life-shatteringly traumatic. If you want to move on you must let it go. To do this you must forgive. To forgive someone does not mean that that you condone their behaviour simply that you forgive them, and release them. By releasing and forgiving them, you release yourself.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Some people hold onto their anger, refusing to forgive or let go.  They will never move on until they do. In fact quite the reverse, by allowing such emotions to ferment inside, they grow and can become all consuming, their whole life becoming defined by whatever the event was. They are no longer in control of their life or living the life they want. They are living a life that is directed by their anger and hurt.

How our lives are, is often a reflection of our reactions to the ups and downs of life.  If we choose to accept the good and release the bad, we are able to maintain control over our lives and keep our sense of direction.  If however we  focus on the bad things that have happened to us, then these will simply grow, continually manifesting our own dark thoughts and divert us from seeking what we really want.

If you or your life is “stuck” then it is well worth looking back to see if there is anything unforgiven in your past.  Remember to forgive everyone, especially yourself.  So many people trudge through their lives burdened with guilt for this or that, forgive yourself  and let it go.

Remember, life is in the now, the past is already finished and dead and cannot be changed. Nothing you can do now, can ever change the past, yet it is amazing how many people squander their emotional and life energy, consumed with anger or guilt about the past.

In this moment now you have your power – the power to make your choices, take your action, to make a difference.  You have no power in the past and you have no assurance of power in the future.

Happy young woman with a white background

If you want to feel free, released from the past  then you must forgive.  Forgive everyone, especially yourself. I know how difficult it is to overcome our natural and very human feelings of anger, guilt, resentment and fear. The basis of them can seem, and may well be, completely justified, you may be completely right to have these emotions and it is OK to experience them.  However, these emotions damage your ability to move on, you must accept your emotions but then be prepared to let them go. To release yourself, you must forgive. Until you do you will remain the victim with your life locked into all those negative emotions.

Look around you, do you know anyone like that?  Some tragedy or injustice has been suffered and now the entire life of that person is defined by their anger and resentment. Every positive thought, every inspired moment, all of life’s little pleasures are subsumed with their overwhelming feelings of anger, resentment, even desire for revenge. No matter how justified their emotions are, what good is it doing them? The past can never be changed. The future is an incomplete equation.  Life is full of tragedy and joy, it is not the events of life so much as how we respond to them that defines how joyous and successful our lives are.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Conquer the fear of failure

Fear of failure is probably the single, greatest obstacle to success in our adult lives. We become totally preoccupied with seeking approval and not making a mistake. The fear of failure is often expressed in the words  “I can’t”.  We feel it in a physical way by the fast beating of the heart, rapid breathing and a tight throat. We can also experience this in the irresistible need to run to the loo.

Our second major fear that creates an obstacle in our performance is the fear of rejection.  We learn this at a very early age when our parents or guardians make their love conditional upon our behaviour.  In many cases, if we do something to please them, they give us love and approval. If we do something to displease them, they withdraw their love and approval – which we often interpret as rejection.

Going through divorce or break up of a relationship, being made redundant or retirement can trigger these feelings of failure.  But remember, you haven’t failed……the relationship failed with either your partner or your employer.  You did not fail.

How do I know I am in a relationship that is bad for me?

As adults , we become preoccupied with the opinions of others because of this perceived rejection.  Many people develop hostility, suspicion and an obsession with performance to some imagined high standard.  This is a belief that we have to work harder and accomplish more in order to please the boss.  The boss has been replaced as the parent and is perceived as the approval giver.

Research has shown that more than 99 percent of adults experience both these fears of failure and rejection.  They are caught in the vicious circle of feeling, “I can’t, but “I have to,” and “I have to,” but “I can’t.”

We can beat  these so called fears by remembering that fear is a thought. It doesn’t exist until we think about it.  We can increase our self-love and self-respect.  By not thinking about fear we can make those ‘fears’ subside and they are unable to affect our behaviour and our decisions.

Put the past behind you, it cannot be changed. The future is an incomplete equation. We have no way of knowing what is going to happen in the future. If we think we know, we are making up a scenario. We are not afraid of what we think we are afraid of – we are afraid of what we think.  We can only live in this moment.  Take a deep breath, relax into this moment.  Allow yourself to just be.

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Remember, you are wonderful. You are a valuable and important person.  What you think is ‘failure’ is temporary and it is how you learn.  Absorb all that you learn and become the valuable and important person that you know you are.

If this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more and how I can help you,  get in touch with me today. I would like to hear from you.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

How to have a stress free Christmas

We all know that Christmas can be stressful.  There is the usual invasion by the family, and extended family, the standing on ceremony all day, the extra expense as well as time and frustration trying to get the Christmas dinner on the table on time.

So much to do – presents to buy, cards to write, people to see, meals to cook, worrying about money.  Panic sets in.  Then there is the worry that there are not enough hours in the week.

Perhaps you perceive that you organise everything all on your own, without appreciation, and you also perceive there is a whole lot of expectation too from those around you.  That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.  And yet it is a scenario that is described over and over again.

Is it really the case though?  Do YOU have to organise everything? Are YOU expected to do it all? Is this something YOU think you ought to do?

If you think it is something you ought to do, think again.  There are no oughts allowed. We aren’t living in the nineteenth or even the twentieth century now, we are living in the twenty first century – it is time for YOU to start looking at what it is YOU want to happen at Christmas, when YOU want it to happen, who YOU want to celebrate with, who YOU don’t want to celebrate with, whether YOU want to celebrate it at all, whether YOU want to cook a roast dinner with all the trimmings or not, whether YOU want to go to a restaurant for Christmas dinner and so on.

christmasstress

Perhaps you wonder what others will think of you if you break with tradition.  Stop wondering, be true to yourself, if the traditions are still relevant to you then by all means carry on with them, but if they are not relevant then stop following them.

Ask yourself how much of your planning for Christmas is led by guilt.  Be honest and try to weed out unnecessary obligations to lessen your load.

For instance, is it the norm for your relatives to all come to your house for Christmas dinner?  Do they expect you to invite them? Do you do all the food shopping, all the cooking?

Is this what YOU and they really want?  Have you had ‘the conversation’ regarding who really wants to do what on Christmas day?  It really isn’t a difficult conversation to have.

For instance, I asked my mother a couple of years ago if she wanted to spend Christmas with me or with my brother as she usually divided her time between us.  She said she would rather go on a tinsel and turkey trip with her friend and that is what she did.  She had fun, I wasn’t obligated and I could do what I wanted which was have a quiet Christmas at home with my husband.

christmas-dining-table

I know someone who went every weekend for five years to his father’s for Sunday lunch.  He packed up his car with his children and his wife and took the ferry to the mainland because he perceived this is what was expected of him.  He was beginning to resent these trips, which took up most of the day, and resent his father.

I asked him if he had had ‘the conversation’ with his father about having Sunday lunch with him every week.  He said no, but that he would.  He came back to me a few weeks later and said that his father was hugely relieved as he was getting fed up cooking a roast dinner each week, sometimes he just wanted to sit down with a sandwich, a glass of beer and watch the rugby.  They agreed to have lunch together once a month.  He got most of his Sundays back and he could do more things with his wife and children.

So do the same thing about Christmas.  Ask your relatives if they actually want to come to you this Christmas.  Don’t be surprised if they are relieved that you have asked.  You will probably find that you will have an easier time, with far less stress, with just as much fun, but fun that you want to have and not fun that is manufactured out of guilt.

What do YOU want for your Christmas? How do YOU want to look on Christmas day, worn our and resentful, or relaxed and enjoying yourself?

Festive Woman in Red Santa Hat

Budget for what you can afford to spend and stick to it.  Try and spread the cost of present shopping over a longer period. Consider a simpler version of Christmas dinner such as a buffet where everyone you choose to invite brings a plate of food.  Consider whether you are prepared to tolerate family tensions over Christmas, if not make the decision to have ‘the conversation’ with everyone concerned.

Remember, be the result of your decisions not of circumstances.

If this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more about my work,  get in touch with me today. I would like to hear from you.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

Website:       http://www.maggiecurrie.co.uk

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/maggielifecoach/

Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk