Friends come and go

 I was considering why it is that friends come into our lives and some of them go out of our lives again.

There are many and varied reasons I suspect, but for me I think that some people fall away because of the changes I have made to myself.   I have learned so much about myself over the past few years that I was unaware of before. For instance I didn’t realise until recently that I have stuffed emotions and feelings down for years because I was conditioned growing up not to show emotion or share feelings.

When I was in a toxic relationship I had very few friends, and those I did have were not that close.  I wasn’t allowed to get close to anybody.  Getting divorced and learning to live my life as me has been a steep learning curve.

Four Women Friends at the Beach

I have learned how to express my feelings, get close to people I really like and keep others at arms length.  Now that I am able to express emotions and share my feelings other people may find this unacceptable to them. And that is okay. What I am comfortable with is not always comfortable for everyone else. And that may be why some friends have moved away. The fact that other people think differently from me is perfectly okay.

The friends I have currently are wonderful. Some live nearby, some live on different continents, but I am grateful to them all for their friendship and support. I do my best to support all my friends, it may be in a big way or in a small way. My life is so much richer for having my friends in it.

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I am grateful for all the friends I have had, still have and those I have yet to meet for their contributions to my life.

Do you have friends in your life that you are grateful for? Have you had friends move away for one reason or another? Is your life richer for having your friends in it?

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

 

Friends and family who sap your positive energy

The people with whom you have the most contact and who hang around you will have either a positive or negative effect on your levels of self-esteem and confidence.

We all know people who are positive, happy and joyful to be around. They are pleasure to know.

Have you noticed how they make you feel?

They tend to make you feel the same as them, happy and positive! They can put zest into a boring atmosphere and can fill the room with positive, ‘can do’ vibes, and that has a knock on effect onto everyone else.

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On the other hand, we also know of those people who are the opposite and who can moan for England, and continually do so!

According to them they never had the opportunities, they are always putting people down, they don’t like other people to be successful, they are jealous and are negative thinkers – and so much more!

These people have the ability to drain the energy from the room, and  they bring everyone down to their level, they make everyone feel miserable.  This is a million miles away from the level that YOU want to be operating on.

Have you noticed how they make you feel?

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

 

It is often the case that some family members can be a lot like this. However, whilst you can usually choose your friends, you have little or no choice with your family!

So what can you do to make sure that the people who you have most contact with empower and support what you stand for rather than bring you down all of the time?

You have the power to choose who you have contact with. Ideally you want happy, vibrant and positive people. If there are people who are constantly draining your positive energy you have a couple of options.  One option is to tell the draining people exactly how you feel and if they are really good friends they will respect your wishes and may change their behaviour. If they drift into the negative again, try to ignore it.  Interestingly if they aren’t really good friends, they will drift away and go to find someone else to drain. Another option is to distance yourself from the negative people, they may or may not notice.  If they do and want to know why, explain to them how you feel.  If they don’t, all to the good they are directing their negativity at someone else.

The same can be said for your family.  Your more mature relatives have been conditioned for many, many years and are a different generation.  Appreciate where they have come from whilst being selective with the information that filters through to your brain.  You have the same choices as with your friends for the younger relatives, tell them how you feel and they will either change something or drift away.

Don’t attach any guilt to your decisions, as it is your life and if you are tired of the negativity, it is time for you to do something about it.

You may well find that you will make new friends who are positive and upbeat and some members of your family may reappear who have also removed themselves from negative relatives.

If this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more about my work 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

Desire

What do you desire in your life?  Do you get a sense that something is missing?  

What do you desire to not be in your life? Is there something you would be glad to be rid of?

 My desire is to take the experiences of emotional and psychological abuse, toxic relationship and divorce and use them to create a catalyst for positive change. And I am doing just that.  I have created a community interest company and through this I am going to help people who have escaped from abusive relationships to move on with their lives, be more independent and be proud of who they are.  

You can take a look here at what I have created with the help of my husband and a good friend.

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I have found that it is not only possible to make a positive change, it is changing the way I see myself and the way that I am seen by others. 
 

It is my desire to move you from that place that is not great in your life to a place of enjoyment.

Everyone deserves to live their life as they want to live it and not the life that somebody else dictates to them. I am giving people the self confidence to be able to say no when it is appropriate and not to feel guilty when they do so.

 
So are you living your life the way you desire to live it?  If you are then I applaud you.  If you’re not, what are you going to do about it? 

I would love to hear from you about your desires and how you have achieved them or plan to achieve them.

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING

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

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/Maggie-Currie-Coaching-527886050648208/?ref=hl
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Your wedding day – do you have to conform?

I have spent many years helping my hubby out at weddings and wedding fairs.  He is a mobile DJ and does a lot of work at weddings, besides all the usual parties for 18th, 21st, 50th birthdays and of course anniversaries. I have been to hundreds of weddings over the past 10 years.

The wedding industry is huge and caters for everything you could possibly think of to help make your day the best day of your life.  There is something for everyone at the wedding fairs – wedding dresses for brides, suits for the grooms and their entourage, dresses for bridesmaids, outfits for page boys, dresses for mothers of the brides.  There are venues, photographers, videographers, photo booths, florists with fresh flowers, florists with silk flowers, decorations for the tables, balloons for arches, makeup artists, hairdressers, barbers, lingerie suppliers, marquees, tableware, furniture, caterers, waiting staff, bars (either dry or wet), dance floors, bands, discos, karaoke – to name but a few.

And one thing I have noticed over the years is that there is a huge amount of pressure on the brides to conform.  I say the brides, although it could equally be the grooms at a same sex wedding.  In general, wedding fairs are organised and aimed at the brides and the mothers of the brides.  Often it is the mother of the bride who has the expectations for a wedding for her daughter.

There is pressure to have the right wedding dress, the right venue, the right wedding breakfast, the right buffet, the right music, the right wine/champagne, to invite the right people and so on.

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I have attended many weddings where everything is just the same as the last one.  It all happens in the same order –  a bit like a conveyor belt.  Bride and groom come in one end, perform all the ceremonies, appear at top table, make speeches, cut the cake, do first dance, party and then go off on honeymoon.

And the pressure is on for your wedding to be better than the last one you went to.  Or better than your best friend’s or better than your mother’s best friend’s daughter’s wedding.  And so on.

If what I have described is exactly what you want for your wedding, go ahead and do it.  It may be your dream wedding, the one you have been yearning for since you were five years old.  If that is the case, enjoy your day safe in the knowledge that it is exactly what you want.  After all it is your day.

 But does it have to be that way? No it doesn’t. What if you want something more relaxed, lower key, less pressured, more simple or just completely different?

Go for it!

I have attended a couple of weddings where the whole thing was relaxed.  At one the bride and groom wanted to emulate a beach party.  They hired a hall with a piece of land outside.  The bride and groom wore ‘beach wear’ – she was in a smart, summer dress, he was in casual trousers and Hawaiin type shirt.  The men on the top table had straw hats and light jackets.  The rest of the guests were in smart, casual beach wear.  The table decorations were simple with a circular mirror on each which had pebbles and sand on them, a little candle and that was it.  The table names were all referred to something to do with the sea or the beach.  The food was a hog roast outside, the bar was a trestle table stocked with cans, bottles etc., which the guests helped themselves from.  They all had a great time and were relaxed.

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At another reception, the bride wore a very smart, short dress and the groom wore smart trousers and a jacket.  The guests were all in casual clothes, the food and bar were organised by the family and a great time was had by all.

There was no pressure to conform, no pressure to look the same or better than someone else, no pressure to provide the best food.  They had a perfectly relaxed and enjoyable day.

At another wedding, the couple each had children and grandchildren, they wanted them all to be involved and invited them all to be bridesmaids, ushers, page boys and the day was loosely planned, but they went with the flow.  When the little grandchildren wanted to play, they played.  Once the wedding ceremony was completed, the reception carried on in a way that was good for everyone.  All the formalities were completed and the rest of the time, the party went on with everyone involved.

If you want to be married in the forest by a friend, you may have to do the legal bit first in a Register Office, but you can have the ceremony you want, where you want, with whom you want without the need to compare yourself or your wedding to anyone or anybody else’s.

Why not spend the weekend at a vintage caravan site, hire a small marquee, hire some sound gear and speakers, put on the music from your ipod, get some deckchairs, a barbecue and your friends and have a party outside.  Be relaxed, really enjoy the day and the company.

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Invite the people to your wedding who you really want to be there.  If you don’t want Great Aunt Vi to attend, then don’t invite her.  If you want to have a small wedding with only a handful of guests, do just that.  It is your day. No matter what sort of wedding you have, there is bound to be someone you don’t to be there and who you fear you will offend.  Let them be offended.  It is your day – have the day that you want.

Some people go off to another country to get married on the beach.  The couple go without any guests and enjoy the ceremony on their own terms.  But then they have a party when they come back and invite those they want to help them celebrate.  Do that if you would like.  The reception can be as large or as small as you want.

Remember it is your day.  Have the wedding you want, not what somebody else wants.  If you are happy on your wedding day and everything is as you have planned, you will enjoy it so much more, the memories you create will live with you forever.  Be yourself, have what you want and don’t have what you don’t want forced upon you.

If any of this resonates with you, and you would like some help building your confidence and gaining the courage to stand up for what you really want, get in touch with me and we can have a free 15 minute chat.

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Coach, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me and my ‘Why’ on my website 

Do you have 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:

One of the first things you will notice is that you become suspicious – you begin 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, think about what you can do:

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.

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.

A grateful attitude helps in times of extreme stress
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 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.

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me and my ‘Why’ on my website 

Why do people stay in abusive relationships?

There are many, many reasons why women and men don’t leave an abusive relationship.  Often it is because they don’t realise that they are being abused.  They think it is normal.  I know from experience that I believed the emotional, psychological and financial abuse I suffered was normal.  I thought everyone’s relationship worked in this way.  It wasn’t until I literally woke up one day and thought ‘this is n’t normal’ and started really looking at other people’s relationships that I realised I was in an abusive relationship.

I went and consulted a solicitor who agreed that not only was this an abusive relationship but I had grounds for divorce.  Unreasonable behaviour. And so I took my courage in both hands and filed for divorce.

What is an abusive relationship?

One where you are treated in one or more of these ways:

Manipulated – Have their will imposed on you so you do as they say without realising it

Controlled – told what to wear, what to do, where to go, where you can and can’t work, who you can and can’t speak to

Insulted – in private and/or in public

Treated as a possession

Told that everything is your fault

Deprived of money – only allowed so much a day not allowed your own income

Deprived of friends – not allowed to have friends

Only allowed a mobile phone as long as you only call the abuser and they control the bill

Psychologically mistreated – made to feel worthless

Emotionally mistreated – constantly told you are useless and nobody wants you

Physically – beaten, burned, tortured

Sexually – raped, made to perform acts you don’t want to, made to be part of a threesome

Verbally – shouted at, berated in front of other people, made to feel small and inadequate

Held prisoner/locked up

Made to have meals on the table at specific times and threatened with various consequences if they don’t appear on time.

Interestingly in 1995 a national survey showed that just under 50% of abusers are in fact female.

I believe that most of the reasons that people don’t leave abusive relationships, once they realise what it is, stem from fear.

Most of the fears are understandable, but often irrational.  For instance, fear of having no money if they leave.  Because women are generally at home looking after the children, they don’t have any income of their own.  The fear of financial ruin builds in the mind until it becomes ‘I can’t survive if I leave’. And so they stay.

Fear of losing the children. If a man has been abused he may find it very difficult to leave with the children.

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Most of the fears are understandable, but often irrational.  For instance, fear of having no money if they leave.  It may be they don’t have any income of their own.  The fear of financial ruin builds in the mind until it becomes ‘I can’t survive if I leave’. And so they stay.

Fear of what other people might think.  There is often a social stigma that labels people as failures if they dare to leave their partners.  Usually nobody outside the home realises what is going on which adds to that stigma.  This leads to feelings of insecurity. And so they stay.

Fear of what might happen to them at the hand of their partner if they did leave.  Often people believe that their partner will come after them and kill them and/or their children. The threats are made to them over and over again, until they are ingrained in their mind.  And so they stay.

People often fear that they are the reason that they are abused.  That it is their fault. And if they were to change their ways their abusive partner would be different.  A false supposition.  And so they stay.

Of course, the abuser will tell their partner that they will change, they won’t do it again. But they do. They never change.

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I know how difficult it is to leave an abusive relationship.  I was verbally, emotionally and financially abused by my first husband. He would belittle me in front of the children and other people, always tell me that I knew nothing, that I was of no use and he would do anything to stop me succeeding at anything.  Add to that the fact that my parents believed that I should make the marriage work because I was too young, in their opinion, to know what I was doing, and I was financially dependent. And so I stayed.  I stayed 10 years.

I did, eventually, wake up to the fact that it was not normal to be treated in this way, and found the courage to leave and take the children with me and started a new life in a different town.  The feeling of relief was immense.  Although I was threatened with all sorts of things, such as having the children removed, losing my flat etc., I discovered that the threats were empty.  And this is probably true of most abusers.  They are cowards and when someone actually stands up to them, they generally back off.

There are ways out of this horrendous situation.  There are both men’s and women’s refuges who will help you so that you can get yourself out of the abusive home.  Once you are out and can think about what options there are for you, there are counsellors and life coaches who can help you see yourself as you, the real person, and not a punch bag.

There are various organisations who can and will help you to start your new life. Social Services and the Police will work together to ensure that you are safe and help you to move on with your life. They will give you respite and guidance in a safe environment. There are solicitors, the Samaritans, Citizens’ Advice, Relate and they can all point you in the right direction for help. Schools will have contacts if you are worried about your children. There is a whole lot that can be done for you once you are out of the abusive situation and in a safe place. There are protocols that can be introduced and put into action for you.

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There are trusted friends and family who may be able to help you too.

If I had known about life coaching back then I would have been first in the queue.

There is no reason good enough to actually justify staying in an abusive relationship.

It can be hard to admit that you are in an abusive relationship.  But if you think you are being abused and you are unhappy, get out of that relationship as soon as possible.  Take your courage in both hands and make the leap.  Often men find it much harder to admit to being abused than women do, but I believe they are just as justified as anyone else.  There is help out there for everyone.

Do you want to remain stuck and miserable? If your answer is no, find your way to get out and start your new life on your own terms.

Remember, the relationship has failed, not you.  You are not a failure.

If you would like to chat confidentially about your situation, contact me hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

 

Maggie Currie

Thought Leader, Speaker, Author, Survivor
 
Contributor to BBC Radio, Vectis Radio, Susan Rich Radio
Published author and regularly write articles for national and international magazines.
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Find out more about me on my website.