My self awareness

When I was in my teens, and even up to my early 40s, I had very little self awareness.  I plodded along doing what I was told to do, manipulated by so many people.  I was so totally not self aware I didn’t even notice that I was living my life on other people’s terms.

It is only since I began training to be a transformational coach thirteen years ago that I have really discovered myself and discovered my own self awareness.  I have found that to be able to grow into my own self-awareness I have to be aware of  my feelings and emotions.  This was quite a difficult journey for me, as I have suppressed feelings and emotions for many years.  The reason – I was conditioned by my parents from  childhood  that I should be seen and not heard.  I was told that I should not express anger or display any emotion.  And so I learned to repress them.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Having this understanding now after learning so much about my feelings and emotions and rediscovering who I am really am, I know that I can express my feelings and emotions. And this is a huge step for me towards self-awareness.

But what does self-awareness do for me? What are the benefits to me?  Being self-aware has given me the opportunity and freedom to change those things I want to change about myself and create the life that I want.  I now don’t allow others to manipulate me.  I live my life on my terms.  I am seen and heard and I do express my feelings and emotions.

The more clarity I get about who I am and what I want, and of course why I want it, the more I empower myself to consciously make those wants a reality. But, how do I get this clarity? I turn to the expert – ME.  I know more about myself than anyone else, I know I have been manipulated and by whom.  I know I have suppressed my feelings and emotions,  and I know why.  And I have got to know myself even better over the past few years by becoming so much more self aware.  I am, of course, still learning.

To get the clarity I want I have learned to ask myself questions and expect specific answers. The more specific my answers, the more impact they have on my life and then I have a much clearer picture of  me.  Of course, there are times when my answer is ‘I don’t know’ and I know that is okay too.  I give myself the freedom to take a wild guess and this allows me to carry on.  What I have discovered is that I really do know more than I ever thought I did.

Dealing with emotional abuse

Honesty is vital in my answers to myself.  It will lead to my true self awareness, but it does take a lot of courage.  It is the courage to face my fears or to face something I find difficult to accept about myself.  For instance, I know that I am impatient and want things to happen now.  I also know that when people are speaking to me I used to get impatient to hear the end of what they were saying, and I tended  to try to finish their sentences for them.  I know this about myself and now take the time to listen when people are talking and not just to give them an answer, but to hear what they are saying beyond the words.

By being totally honest with myself I take ownership of my actions, beliefs, thoughts and feelings and find those beliefs that are no longer serving me. Those beliefs can then be discarded, altered or whatever feels right for me now.

I find that sometimes I do slip up and give an answer that perhaps I think I should give, rather than what I really know is right.  That means I am giving answers from my head rather than getting in touch with my feelings and getting the answer from inside. To get out of my head again, I take several deep breaths, allow the brain to quieten and start to listen, to notice where the thoughts are coming from.  This helps me to balance myself and to find the answers I need, and they come from inside me rather than from my head. I have learned that life only works one way, from the inside out.

I know that whatever I discover about myself I can handle with ease and acceptance.  I trust that whatever I discover about myself will in some way lead to a greater sense of me and increased self-awareness.

And of course I am learning every day more and more about myself too.

If you find this resonates with you, get in touch with me for a free conversation about your thoughts on self awareness.

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

 

Who are your teachers?

We learn all the time through various means – at school, college, university, from neighbours, friends, relatives etc. Who have been your teachers over the years?

My teachers have been my parents, my primary school teachers, my senior school teachers, college tutors, my cousins, my children, my grandchildren, colleagues, my friends, my mother-in-law, my husband, myself and strangers.

I was taught as a child by my parents and my teachers that I was average. This is not a lesson I want to keep because I am not, never have been and never will be average. I am unique and I may not know the same things that so called clever people know, but what I do know is just as valuable.

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I was taught by my college tutors that I should follow the rules. This is not a lesson I want to keep because not all rules should be followed. There are some rules that must be followed for good reasons, and there are some that can be bent a little, and some that should be ignored completely. It is all dependent upon the situation and the rule.

I was taught by my husband and three children that love is unconditional for them. That is a lesson I am keeping because no matter what I love them all unconditionally.

I have been taught by my grandchildren that they are more intelligent than their previous generations and that they will be going places when they are old enough. This is a lesson I want to keep and I want to watch them do just that.

I was taught by my mother-in-law that we are on this earth to help people. This is a lesson definitely to keep because that is what I do above all else. Help people, everywhere.

I was taught by myself that I can do more than I originally thought was possible to do. This is definitely another lesson I want to keep and expand upon.

I have learned and am still learning that there is so much more to learn and that life is a school. This lesson will be staying for the rest of my life.

I have learned that life only works one way, inside out and understanding this makes my life so much better.

 Think about who has taught you over the years, what you have learned and how valuable it is.
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Is there something you have learned that has made a huge difference in your life?  Let me know, I am interested 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/Maggie-Currie-Coaching-527886050648208/?ref=hl
Email:            hello@maggiecurrie.co.uk

Shopping in charity shops – Is there a stigma?

When you walk along most high streets you will find several charity shops.  There are those that raise funds for animals, those that raise funds for research, those that raise funds to aid people, those that raise funds for a hospice or hospital.  All are for good causes and are usually well supported.

There are many and varied reasons that people donate to charity shops, and equally many and varied reasons why people buy from charity shops.

Let’s take the reasons people donate first.  There are those who donate their items because they no longer want or use them and they feel there is life left in them. They feel that they could be used and enjoyed for a few more years by someone else.

There are those who donate their items because they don’t work, are broken or have pieces missing. They would rather do that and let the charity shop dispose of it than take it to the tip or put it in the dustbin themselves.  They may feel they are doing someone a favour, but in fact the charity shop ends up having to pay someone to take these items away.

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Now let’s take the reasons buy from charity shops.  There are those who buy from charity shops because the items are priced at much below usual retail prices. They have a budget to spend on clothes, shoes etc., and find they get good value buying in a charity shop.  There are those who buy from charity shops to support their preferred charity.  There are those who buy from charity shops to buy upmarket items at a reduced price so they feel and look good but would never admit they bought the items in a charity shop. I am sure there are many more reasons too.

Whatever the reasons, more people will buy from a charity shop that looks clean, is bright and inviting, is laid out properly and has friendly staff.

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I saw a news item on the television the other evening explaining how a company is upcycling shop fittings that have been thrown in the skip or are no longer required to refit charity shops.  The results are amazing in that shops that were previously cramped and dour looking, are now able to display their items to their best advantage and thus sales have increased.  Additionally, the refitted charity shops have reported that their donations are of higher quality now than before the refit.

I would rather go into a bright and cheerful, well laid out shop than one that is crowded, cramped and often smelly.

I can’t see anything wrong with buying second hand clothes or items.  I remember there used to be shops in Carnaby Street in the 1960’s where second hand clothes were sold and it was the fashionable thing to do, so it is nothing new. These day, there are, of course, costumes and festival clothes for sale both at festivals and in the surrounding areas to enhance the festival experience.

Getting our lives back after divorce

Is there a stigma attached to buying items from a charity shop?  In some people’s eyes yes there definitely is, in other people’s eyes no there isn’t, and of course there are those who don’t know.

The charity shops fill a gap in the market.  They occupy what would otherwise be empty shops.  They employ a manager and give volunteers the opportunity to learn about retail and also give back to the community.

Do you shop in charity shops? I would love to hear your views on this subject.  Get in touch and let me know what you think.

 

Maggie Currie

maggieheart
Consultant, Coach, Author
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

Dealing with emotional and psychological abuse

I discovered that emotional abuse came from several directions.  It came from my first husband who, for years, told me that I was not clever, no use at ironing his shirts, not like his mother, not good enough to be part of his family….. and so on, and on he went.

It also came from my parents who encouraged me to stay with my first husband even though I was plainly unhappy and the marriage wasn’t working. I was told that I was far too young to know my own mind and that divorce was out of the question.

My parents-in-law agreed with my husband that I wasn’t good enough for their family and therefore I should learn how to be a good wife and do everything that I was told to do by my husband.

I dealt with this in the only way that I knew how at the time. I kept my head down, did as I was told and just plodded on through life.  I was unhappy and I couldn’t see any end to the misery that I was enduring.

 

I did, however, find a way out in the end. I was more and more unhappy, the marriage was just not working. My husband was diagnosed as being schizophrenic but he would not accept this.  He refused to be treated in any way and accused me of being the instigator of his supposed illness.  He was unreasonable and unpredictable and became obsessed with the idea that I was having an affair and would tell me that because I had taken five minutes longer to do the shopping than he expected I must have been meeting a man.  This was plainly ridiculous as I had three small children and the shopping to carry. I had neither the time, the energy or the inclination to do so.

This emotional and psychological abuse went on for 10 years.  In the end something clicked in my head and I couldn’t take it any longer.  I realised that this was not normal.  I had assumed that every marriage was like this.  I was wrong.

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I plucked up the courage to consult a solicitor who, after hearing my story, agreed that this was not normal and that I had grounds for a divorce.  I filed for divorce and it took nearly 2 years to go through as it was contested.  We all lived in the same house, but separately for that time.  After 2 years I was granted divorce and I took the children and left.  I received enough money to buy a small flat where we could live in another town twenty miles away.  A new start, in a new town, with a new flat and no emotional abuse day after day.

The feeling of relief was immense, though it took some months before stopped being overwhelmed by it all.

I am now a much different person and I won’t tolerate emotional abuse from anyone, not from my children, my parents, friends – whoever.  My husband now of 31 years would never emotionally abuse anyone and I am so very happy now.

Looking back I do realise that I allowed this to happen to me.  At the time I didn’t realise it, but now I understand. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

20 ways to increase your confidence after divorce

So to deal with emotional abuse can be difficult and it can become impossible. If it becomes impossible for you then you have to choose whether you deserve better or not – I think you do.

So what can you do to get out of this place where you are emotionally abused?

  • Get some help from a qualified coach or therapist – make sure it is someone who understands what you   are experiencing and can relate to what you are telling them so you can begin your healing process.
    •Look online for some blogs that refer to what you are going through. Read them, make comments on them.  Open up a dialogue to help you get some answers.
    •Buy a self-help book and take some action to change the way you think about yourself.
    •Make the decision to not be emotionally abused any longer.

Get in touch today to find out how my inspirational coaching can transform first you – and then your life

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 

 

Looking after YOU first.

How do you respond when someone makes a request of you and it really is not something you want to do?

I suspect you try and search for an excuse, such as I am busy that day, I have to wash my hair…..and all these excuses seem very lame to you. And so you say yes, against your better judgement.

BUT, what if you could respond confidently to the request? What if you could say no without guilt?

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The question has just been posed.  Pause.  Were you going to say yes, even though there’s a voice deep down saying “no”?  What possible reasons could there be for saying no?

  • It’s beyond your means?
  • It’s beyond your comfort level?
  • You have no interest?
  • You have to wash your hair?

Identify all the reasons you have for saying “no.”  Identify which stem from a lack of confidence, which would be detrimental to you and which come from a sincere disinterest in fulfilling the request.

What would happen if you said yes?  Perhaps:

  • You would be considered ‘one of us’
  • It would make your friend happy
  • Your visibility with other people may be improved
  • It would make you miserable

Would you feel comfortable with your self if you were to say yes, even though you knew it would not be in your best interests?

Saying “no” is hard for so many of us.  A false sense of guilt often comes into play.  Whether this guilt has its foundation in religion, a proper upbringing, or a world view that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we know it is there lurking in the background and make decisions  based upon it, even though deep down, we know it is not right for us.

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

 

So you have made the decision, after scientifically weighing the results of your cost/benefit analysis, to honestly say “NO”.  Practice it in the mirror. Say it clearly and self-assuredly.….in the mirror.  Look yourself in the eye, and do it.  Just say “NO.”

Say it like you really mean it, and then say it again as if you speaking to whoever asked you the question.  When you pretend you’re speaking to the person who made the request, does it come out differently?  Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.

Then go, and say “NO.”

Sometimes, if you have always given in to others,  guess what happens?  After all that practice, getting the tone right and pretending you are talking to the person who asked you the question, you may just be surprised to find that they are not willing to accept it!   They may try to push you to say yes, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.   This is where your personal boundaries come in to play.

Know your boundary—what ARE you willing to do?  Revisit the questions you asked yourself before. If you are really serious about saying “NO”, then stick to your guns.  Tell the person making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes and boundaries, and ask them not to ask again.  If you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective.

If you are going to say NO, you must say it in a way that means NO!  In a firm, yet polite voice with a firm tone.  Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.  When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communications.  Look the person in the eye when you say the NO.  Shake your head at the same time as saying NO.  Stand up tall.

Don’t forget that when anyone asks a question of you, it is perfectly OK to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you”.   No-one should be pressurised into giving an immediate answer.  It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts.  It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.

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Practice makes perfect as they say!  Remember you must look after yourself first.  This is not selfish, it is a necessity. Practice in the mirror and soon you will:

  •  feel much more confident and proud.
  •  find that practice makes perfect—the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
  • Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
  • You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
  •  have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
  • The list goes on from there…

I have learned  how to look after myself first and how to say no without guilt.  I have learned that my boundaries are vital to my day to day living and that once people are aware of those boundaries they respect them and me.  That isn’t to say that I always say no, I know when to say yes and when to say no.

So if you’re looking to finally take control of your life and make a change, why not drop me a line and we can talk it through.

To book in for a FREE 15 minute discovery call please Email me.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Have you lost your identity?

Have you lost your identity?  This may seem a ridiculous question to ask, but frequently we can forget who we really are.  For instance it is often the case that you think of yourself, or other people think of you,  as someone’s parent or partner, someone’s sibling or relative, someone’s carer or employee, someone’s companion or employer, someone’s nurse or gardener. The list can be endless.  It is possible that frequently you are not seen as yourself but as an extension of someone else.

This very common state is generally brought about because your self-esteem has dropped to an all time low and ultimately you have lost what little confidence you had.  You may not be aware of this lack of self-esteem initially as you have been viewed in this light for so long that you have got used to it. It has become your norm.

I know exactly how that feels. I was brought up by my adoptive parents to be who they thought I ought to be.  I was frequently told as a child that I should be seen and not heard, and that I had no opinion of any value. This led to me go through life in a daze, trying to be who I thought I ought to be.

I spent thirty years of my life looking after everyone else’s needs and forgot all about my own needs and what made me happy.  The one very special person I neglected was me!

 tiredwoman

Did I change this situation? When I woke up to the fact that this was not the norm – you bet I did, and it took some very hard work, beginning with changing how I thought about myself and my life.

Is there a solution for you too? Yes there is.  And the action you need to take is this:

  •  Break the old habits and thinking patterns that have prevented you from living your life to the full and realizing your potential.
  • Create new habits, new patterns, new beliefs that will empower you and set you free!
  • Accept and love yourself just as you are.  This is the key to your ‘inner life’ makeover; and ultimately ‘outer life’ results will follow naturally!  When you begin to feel great on the inside you will begin to exude confidence. Your circumstances will begin to change and develop as the inner happy you begins to shine out!
  • Listen to your intuition. It is there to help and protect you.
  • Be kinder to yourself – verbally, emotionally and physically.

I know how it feels to really want to make changes in your life, and not knowing where to start. My fears dominated me, my self-belief was in shreds and I had forgotten what makes me happy because I hadn’t been happy for so long, although I hadn’t realized it until I ‘woke up’. I had become a shadow of who I really was.

With the help of life coaching I began to change the way that I see myself and began to think strong positive thoughts about my life.  I started to be grateful for the life I am living and to notice the abundance that surrounds me. Everything started to change for the better.

Learning to love yourself is tough to begin with, but with help and practice each day, you will succeed.

If you need help and are ready to start breaking those old habits, contact me today.

 

 Maggie Currie

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