Category Archives: CaseStudy

CAN MARRIAGE COACHING HELP YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AFTER LOCKDOWN?

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Covid Couple - small

For some couples and families the stresses and strains of being stuck at home together because of the covid-19 lockdown are starting to show. Before the lockdown, couples typically spent the bulk of their time apart since one (or both) worked outside of the home. Now the whole household are required to spend all day together.  New research into these dramatic changes in routine commissioned by the leading relationships charity, Relate, has highlighted the impact lockdown measures are having on relationships.

Almost a quarter of the survey’s respondents (23%) said the current circumstances are placing pressure on their relationship with their partner. Approximately one in eight (12%) of those who currently live with their partner agreed that staying at home is making them doubt their relationship.

It’s important to note this is not the case for everyone. The majority of the study’s respondents who have a partner (65%) said they feel supported by them and 43% of respondents who currently live with their partner said their experience of staying at home has bought them closer.  However, for those who are negatively impacted, it can be difficult to know what to do.

As a rule, couples and families are not designed to be in such intense close contact. It can lead to feelings such as resentment, anger, anxiety and frustration which can lead to arguments and negativity.  Pre-lockdown there would be natural times when couples and families would not be together.  We get a lot of pleasure and self worth from these activities and when we are unable to do them, underlying issues can be exaggerated as they are brought into sharp focus. What we were once able to ignore becomes unbearable.

As the negative feelings grow, we can start to expect our partners and children to be mind readers about what we need or want, then if we are disappointed we become critical or withdrawn. These feelings of upset and hurt can lead to a breakdown in the relationship due to the ever decreasing desire to communicate.  It’s only by talking about how you’re feeling, rather than focusing on who or what may be wrong, that healthy communication can start to grow.  This is where the help of a gifted counsellor is invaluable, guiding the conversation and keeping the lines of good communication open.

I believe a good, if tongue in cheek, illustration of this was the popularity of a clip on social media at the start of lockdown when a man is asked “Option A: Would you rather be home with your wife and kids, or option B…” and before option B is explained the man says “B.”  For many, both men and women this is a reality.

All family members need to feel that what they have to say is important and not be dismissed.   We can often make things up in our minds about certain behaviours; misunderstanding them as selfish or designed to hurt. It is only by talking them through without judgement that we can clear up any misunderstandings and remove any negative impact.  It’s inevitable that during this time, even in healthy relationships, disagreements will occur. If things are left to fester, and we stop talking and listening, resentment will build up into a more unmanageable situation.  We can then get stuck in a spiral of negative thinking that if left untreated can prove fatal to our relationships.

In order to counter these negative thoughts, it can help with the direction of a counsellor, to look for balance and be admiring of each other’s qualities. We can sometimes forget the strengths and positive traits of the person we live with. Our counsellor, Nicola Platts, sometimes ask clients to describe what they would look for in a new partner. Quite often they describe the person who is actually right under their nose.

The greatest gift counselling offers is to improve how people listen to each other: this is not a luxury it’s a necessity. For any situation to change we need the ability to ask ourselves better questions and be open to listening to the answer. Questions you could ask are: ‘Where would I like to be in a year or five years?’ or ‘If I woke up tomorrow morning and everything was okay in this relationship, what would have needed to change?’ These questions help to focus on the specifics as opposed to the general idea of wanting it to be better.

If you feel your relationship is going through some tough times or it has already broken down, some guidance from our expert, relationship counsellor Nicola Platts could be invaluable.  Together, with Nicola’s help, you can resolve any hurt and create the relationship of your dreams. Or if the relationship has come to an end, ensure an equitable split for everyone, especially if children are involved.

These matters are intensely private. But if anyone in your team, family or friends are impacted by the issues discussed, you owe it to them not to ignore it. We urge you to encourage them to reach out for help.

Simply contact info@certuscoaching.co.uk for an expert confidential conversation leading to any help that may be required.

 

The Telegraph – Does your marriage need an M.O.T.?

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Rachel and Andy Griffiths after their marriage MOT
Rachel and Andy Griffiths after their marriage MOT CREDIT: SOPHIA SPRING

‘If you’re in it for the long haul, it’s naive to think there won’t be cracks in your relationship from time to time,’ says Rachel Griffiths, who has been married to husband Andy for 20 years. ‘We’re both busy, we have lots of friends and as a result we’re really bad at focusing on our relationship.’It’s a situation many will recognise: two busy parents of teenagers, coming out of the frenzy of the early childhood years but whose lives run in parallel rather than together. For Rachel, 50, a freelance theatre practitioner, and Andy, also 50 and chief executive of a sports charity, this resulted in day-to-day issues getting blown out of proportion.‘I’m quite tidy and can’t relax until things are put away, but Rachel tends to work at our dining-room table and leaves things piled up,’ explains Andy. ‘I’d come back from work trips and the first thing I’d do would be clear up. It all became symbolic, and I started to feel, “If you cared about me, I wouldn’t be coming home to this”.

Determined to get back on track, the couple signed up for an Alt-Date Night course in London run by Devon-based organisation One:Retreat. This involved a day-long session of talks, private discussions and exercises with a relationship coach before going on a date together. ‘Sometimes you just need a different language or lens through which to look at something,’ says Andy.

Rachel and Andy Griffiths on their wedding day in 1998 
Rachel and Andy Griffiths on their wedding day in 1998  CREDIT: COURTESY OF RACHEL AND ANDY GRIFFITHS

Couples’ counselling has come a long way since clergyman Dr Herbert Gray set up the Marriage Guidance Council (now Relate) 80 years ago. Once seen as a last-ditch recourse, it’s no longer uncommon for couples to use counselling to check how their relationship is doing, even when there are no major problems. Hence the rise of so-called ‘Marriage MOT’ courses.

Most courses involve a series of exercises based around one principle: that a healthy marriage requires genuine communication, and acceptance that you might have different but equally valid points of view.It might sound a bit, well, American to the average buttoned-up Brit, but, says Marian O’Connor of Tavistock Relationships, ‘People feel they fell in love and got married and that’s it. But I use the analogy of a garden: you can’t just turn your back on it, you have to keep weeding it, working at it.’

I learnt that we’re just different – it doesn’t mean we’re falling apart

At the same time, we have extremely high expectations of these untended relationships, as Denise Knowles of Relate points out: ‘We expect security, friendship, the feeling of being special, good sex, to feel cherished, respected and loved – all the time.’So maybe it’s telling that the two biggest reasons for couples seeking help from Relate are ‘communication’ and ‘managing conflict’.

Sarah Burns, 48, signed up for a Couple 50+ MOT course in Bristol with her husband Joe, 66, as she felt like they were drifting apart. ‘We weren’t having massive bust-ups,’ she says, ‘but we weren’t finding time for each other.’ The four-week course prompted them to discuss what had changed in their relationship.

‘There were some surprises,’ says Joe. ‘Like the exercise where we had to describe each other in terms of animals. I described Sarah as an octopus, which surprised us both, and she likened me to an ostrich with my head in the sand, which didn’t surprise either of us. But we also talked about things like how we’d dealt with anger and how that affected us.’

Chris and Annie Hunt at their wedding 
in 2015 – a marriage MOT has helped them find resolutions to problems in their relationship 
Chris and Annie Hunt at their wedding in 2015 – a marriage MOT has helped them find resolutions to problems in their relationship  CREDIT: COURTESY OF CHRIS AND ANNIE HUNT

By the end of the sessions, their relationship had changed. ‘One of the things I learnt is that it’s not a personal affront if the other person doesn’t react in exactly the same way as you,’ Sarah says. ‘It doesn’t mean we’re falling apart. We’re just different. We need to respect those differences and be a bit more creative in the way we deal with each other.’ The couple are now planning their first holiday without their children in 22 years. ‘I do think we’re making efforts to stay a lot closer,’ says Joe.

Ammanda Major of Relate says that many of her clients sign up for an MOT around the time of a major life milestone. ‘Sometimes birthdays or anniversaries can suddenly make us start to think, “I’m not very happy”, as can things like the death of a parent or kids moving out.’Retirement is another trigger – and not just because the couple see more of each other. ‘It can be a disappointment if one partner is expecting more sex than the other,’ explains O’Connor. ‘You’ve finally got time for it but bodies have often changed, which can get in the way of enjoying life in and out of bed. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible to have sensual enjoyment, but it may be different.’

Many couples find it toe-curlingly embarrassing to discuss issues like this at first, but they soon get used to it. ‘There are some areas I find quite difficult to talk about,’ says Andy Griffiths. ‘But I knew it was important to be there.’Chris Hunt, 54, a construction manager who completed the same One:Retreat course, admits that he was initially reluctant to sign up as he dislikes speaking about his feelings – but agreed after his wife, Annie, also 54, persuaded him. ‘I hadn’t realised some bits would be difficult for her, too,’ he says. Annie adds: ‘Chris doesn’t like me to be uncomfortable talking about things but he learnt that I don’t actually mind being uncomfortable in front of him – it’s worth it to get a resolution.’

However, some marriages reach a rather more serious point before a couple realises that an MOT is needed. Take Tom*, 53, and Georgia*, 54, who were on the verge of separation. ‘He didn’t want to do anything – or at least, not anything with me,’ Georgia says.

‘We’d got well beyond the stage of date nights because even if I could force him out of the door we’d just end up arguing. I’d given up on the idea that we might enjoy each others’ company again and Tom now admits he felt the same.’ It took weeks of digging to remind them what drew them to each other in the first place. ‘It wasn’t easy, but we’ve mapped out a path of how to move forward,’ says Tom. ‘We have something we don’t want to throw away.’Looking back, Rachel and Andy agree that the course was worth it. ‘My Saturdays are quite precious. But deep down I knew it was important,’ says Andy.

So what of the cluttered dining table? ‘Rachel has started to keep it tidier,’ says Andy. ‘And I make an effort not to make it my first point of engagement when I get in. It wouldn’t have worked if we’d just been confrontational.’ Rachel adds: ‘We needed a solution – and now we both think about what makes the other person happy.’

Douglas McGregor’s XY Theory

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In the 1960’s, Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist, formulated his famous X-Y theory in his book ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’. His theory suggests two aspects of human behaviour at work, or in other words, two different views of individuals (employees). One of which is negative, Theory X and the other is positive, Theory Y. McGregor’s XY Theory remains central to organisational development, and to improving organisational culture.

McGregor’s X-Y theory is a simple reminder of the natural rules for managing people, which under the pressure of day-to-day business are all too easily forgotten.

Theory X (‘authoritarian leadership’ style)

Theory X leaders tend to take a pessimistic view of their people, and assume that they are naturally unmotivated and dislike work. As a result, they think that team members need to be prompted, rewarded or punished constantly to make sure that they complete their tasks.

Work in organisations can be repetitive, and people are often motivated with a “carrot and stick” approach. Performance appraisals and remuneration are usually based on tangible results, such as sales figures or product output, and are used to control staff and “keep tabs” on them.

This style of management assumes that workers:

• Dislike their work or looking for the easy option.

• Avoid responsibility and need constant direction.

• Have to be controlled, forced and threatened to deliver work.

• Need to be supervised at every step.

• Have no incentive to work or ambition, and therefore need to be enticed by rewards to achieve goals.

According to McGregor, authority is rarely delegated, and control remains firmly centralised. These leaders are more authoritarian and actively intervene to get things done.

Theory X can more often than not be the default for many organisation.  There is little understanding of the impact on employees and the organisation itself.  For some organisations, this is the easy option due to the number of employees and the tight deadlines that they have to meet.

Theory Y (‘participative management’ style)

Theory Y leaders have an optimistic, positive opinion of their people, and they use a decentralised, participative leadership style. This encourages a more collaborative, trust-based relationship between the leader and their employees. 

People have greater responsibility, and the leader encourages them to develop their skills and suggest improvements. Appraisals are regular but, unlike in Theory X organisations, they are used to encourage open communication rather than control staff.

Theory Y organisations also give employees frequent opportunities for self-development.

This style of leadership assumes that workers are:

• Happy to work on their own initiative.

• More involved in decision making.

• Self-motivated to complete their tasks.

• Enjoy taking ownership  of their work.

• Seek and accept responsibility, and need little direction.

• View work as fulfilling and challenging.

• Solve problems creatively and imaginatively.

Theory Y has become more popular among many of today’s successful organisations. This reflects workers’ increasing desire for more meaningful careers that provide them with much more than just money.

It’s also viewed by McGregor as superior to Theory X, which, he says, reduces workers to “cogs in a machine,” and likely demotivates people in the long term.  This has an impact on employee’s productivity and ultimately the profitability of the organisation.

 

 

Being Authentic Takes Courage

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Authenticity

“One afternoon, in the middle of a particularly boring grammar class, my English teacher set aside her book and took nominations for the best song on our local Top 40 radio station. For the first time that year, all hands were in the air. There was no ‘right answer’ to a question of personal taste, or so I thought until she eventually called on me, and I announced my choice and that it was not only the best song in the Top 40 but possibly the best song ever…. What I remember is not my recommendation so much as the silence that followed it, an absence of agreement I can only describe as deafening.

“The first time I heard the song, I was hooked…. I bought it and played it over and over again. The song satisfied me on every level, but if nobody else liked it, I guessed that I didn’t, either. That evening, alone in my room, I found that I was too ashamed to listen to my record, or even to look at it, really. It reminded me of my wretched eagerness to please. From this point on, whenever someone asked my opinion, I would turn the question around, and then proceed accordingly. If the person I was with loved game shows and Deep Purple, then so would I, and if I was caught contradicting myself—watching or listening to something I’d sworn to have hated—I would claim to be doing research, or to be enjoying the thing for its very badness. You could do this, I learned, and people would forgive you, consider you interesting, even.” Having spent my life trying to fit the will of others, I was unable to distinguish between what I enjoyed and what I thought I should enjoy.”1

We are all familiar with the old imperative “To thine own self be true,” and clear that much would be resolved if only we operated consistently with it, but the pull for getting approval from others and the need to fit in is a strong one. Even when we’re fully aware that we’re being inauthentic, and know that we don’t really believe in what we’re doing or saying, we still act as if we do—because we’re afraid we might risk losing approval of some kind. Even though we know the standards we’ve set for ourselves are impossible to realise, we still keep trying—we hide our perceived shortcomings, or pretend they don’t exist. In doing so, we unwittingly add yet another layer of inauthenticity.

It’s hard to be at ease when we have to keep up a pretense and not be true to ourselves in some way. Yet it’s not as if we woke up one morning and intentionally said, “Gee, I think I’m going to act inauthentically today. What my life’s going to be about is looking good and avoiding looking bad.” This way of being is just kind of automatically there. Every time we opt for looking good or avoiding looking bad over what’s actually true for us, inauthenticity creeps in and we compromise who we are.

We don’t much like thinking of ourselves as being inauthentic, but we live in societies today in which the name of the game is to “make it,” to “fit in,” to “look good,” so a great deal of what we think and do becomes shaped by a kind of cultural commitment to that. That pull or gravitational force is an ontological phenomenon, not a psychological one—it’s the already/always condition of being human (a term which kind of speaks for itself). This condition is ubiquitous—it influences everything: How we see and respond to situations, what we’re concerned with, what’s important to us. While we might think we are responding in true, authentic ways, what is actually happening is that our responses are essentially just a fallout of that already/always condition. And it is against that pull—the enormous gravitational force of that condition—that we attempt to be authentic.

When we compromise, even in the tiniest of matters, it’s easier for those compromises to become more and more commonplace; we begin to feel as if doing that is a normal and O.K. way of behaving. Over time, bit by bit, this erodes our sense of self. It’s like stirring one drop of red paint into a can of white. The paint may turn only the palest shade of pink, and while that might seem barely noticeable—no matter what we say about it—the paint is no longer what it was. Similarly, when the wholeness and completeness of who we are is jeopardised in some way, albeit imperceptible at first, our sense of ourselves gets obscured, making it harder to return to who we are. When that begins, there’s really no starting point to become ourselves—it’s all flailing around.

To be authentic requires putting aspects of our present ways-of-being on the line—letting go of pretenses, letting things show themselves in new ways, and acknowledging whatever inauthenticity is at play. The possibility of fully being ourselves occurs in proportion to our being authentic; said another way, it occurs in proportion to the degree we own our inauthentic ways of being. In not owning them, we essentially resign ourselves to inauthenticity staying around. Living with a pretense, or being afraid that some aspect of ourselves might be found out, precludes any real freedom. We live, rather, with a kind of fabricated freedom—a large price to pay.

Sartre said that facing one’s freedom can be terrifying and uncomfortable—because facing it makes one feel insecure, and inevitably produces some level of anguish. Hence, we are constantly tempted to live inauthentically, pretending to ourselves that we are not free. To maintain this pretense, we try to convince ourselves that our actions are determined—by our character, our circumstances, our nature, or whatever. The last thing we want to admit is that our actions are determined only by our free, unconstrained choices.2

Being authentic—stepping outside of the swirl of the already/always condition—requires courage. Humorist Josh Billings said, “This undertaking is not only the most difficult thing to do, but the most inconvenient as well.” In being authentic, the already/always condition becomes stripped of its power and is no longer the determining force in shaping who we are. Here, the context for the question “who am I?” shifts from flailing about, trying to find ourselves somewhere out there, to a context of creation. This is more difficult, because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no known path to success. It’s a blank slate. It’s a matter of courage—a matter of creating possibility. It gets made up as we go along, and it is this shift that makes available to us the full possibility of being human.

I don’t understand my teenager!

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moody-teenager-in-urban-setting-with-dolly

If you’re the parent of a teen, you may feel like one day they went to bed and woke up with a totally different personality.

Whereas before they were sweet, helpful and easy-to-handle, now they are suddenly uncommunicative, messy, rebellious and rude.

Don’t panic! While many parents are surprised and often stressed out by the changes that teens go through upon hitting puberty, it’s important to recognise that most of this behaviour is totally normal.

  • There’s a whole host of behaviours that your teen may begin to exhibit.
  • They may stop listening to you or refuse to comply with simple requests.
  • They may take more – or less interest – in their appearance.
  • They may become less interested in school and achieving.
  • They’re likely to start taking an interest in sex.
  • They may even begin to dabble in smoking, drugs or alcohol.

None of this is any reflection on you as parent. Your teen is beginning to express themself as an independent person. They are pushing boundaries and wanting to try out new and different things.

So what can you do?

  • Reassure them about what they are going through and acknowledge how difficult this time is for them.
  • Negotiate boundaries ‘with’ them, as opposed to ‘telling’ them what to do. Teens tend to be much more responsive to discussions including them, rather than rules that dictate to them.
  • Many parents try stopping their teen making valuable mistakes that are healthy to their development. It’s important you don’t constrict their freedom so much that they can’t learn lessons for themselves.
  • Try to talk to your teen about sex. You may both find this awkward, but it’s crucial they know how to avoid making silly mistakes.
  • Check they aren’t being bullied, and keep communication open with them.
  • Try to understand what they might be going through… and try to remember what it was like for you at this age.

 When should you start to worry?

Of course, it’s also important to be able to notice the real signs of trouble. Some behaviour is unacceptable – even if your teen is going through a period of change. If they are acting in the following ways, it may be time to intervene.

  • If your teen becomes violent towards you, or other family members, this is not OK.
  • If your teen is getting into trouble and committing illegal offences talk to them about the consequences of their actions.
  • Regular truancy from school can mean your teen is experiencing problems.

What can you do if you think your teenager might be going down a bad path? 

Talk to your teen about risks and consequences. Make sure they understand that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable, and that now they’re growing up, they need to start taking responsibility for their actions.

  • Offer your support. Find out if something is troubling them. Bad behaviour is often the symptom of a problem they’re struggling to deal with.
  • Be a good role model. After all, one of the biggest influences on your teen’s development is you.
  • Discuss boundaries and rules.  If they feel they’re unfair, ask what they feel is reasonable and fair, and try negotiating these with them.
  • Get support for yourself. It’s important that you make sure that you have all the help you need too. Ask family and friends for help if you’re struggling to cope – or talk to a life coach.

How long will this go on for?

Because the rate of growth in teens is so variable, it’s impossible to know how long this period will last. It could be months, or it could be years.

And while that may be frustrating, remember they will come out of the other side – and that’s when you’ll see the benefits of the support, reassurance and boundaries that you provided.

How can I help?

If you need more information or advice on dealing with changes in your teen visit my website or email me on info@certuscoaching.co.uk.

Relationships, What has love got to do with it?

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Relationships
It’s February 2008 and yet another 7-year relationship bites the dust. Of course, it is absolutely not my fault! It’s just that, once again, I’ve picked the wrong woman to invest in.

One day soon, I really will find that special someone who will truly love me. And I’ll know this because she’ll do what I want when I want, and will automatically know all of this without me telling her. What I’m looking for, in fact, is a selfless mind-reader. I can say this now with tongue-in-cheek, but this was how I actually thought about my relationships; ‘Real love’ is this way. It just isn’t fair I’m on my own. I’m unlucky in love. Poor me.

And I would have continued to be oblivious to this state of affairs, but for the fact I finally took up a friend’s long-standing suggestion to get some coaching. Wow, did things start to move! I noticed the constant commentary in my mind about how life was going – FYI it rarely came up with a positive conclusion! I realised that I usually heard a lover’s happy
recollections as criticism of me because I just wasn’t good enough. And perhaps most importantly of all, I started to see the strategies I used to get love and prove how much I was loved.

A new relationship would always be amazing. We were ‘together’, life was great and the world was a wonderful place to be. And then the doubts and negative thoughts would creep in. Is this too good to be true? Could this fantastic woman, really love me?

To test it out. I’d throw little hand grenades into the relationship. If she learned to deal with my minor over reactions, I just threw in bigger and more volatile love bombs! When my ex mentioned how much she missed her annual two-week holiday to the Caribbean – the one she used to take with her ex-husband – I would hear this as why can’t you afford to take me? I’d get upset, we’d argue and then I’d throw in my hand grenade – I’m leaving! When she cried and begged me to stay, I knew she cared and all was good. Eventually, of course,
she had enough of the histrionics and the relationship exploded – as had all the others before. I was upset, but I was right – There you are you see, I knew she didn’t love me!

My insecurity and a constant need to feel loved meant I had found a sure fire way to get my partners to prove it. The people around me knew it, but I genuinely had no idea that my failed relationships were largely down to me.

This insight changed my world. I started to notice when I was about to drop in an incendiary comment and found that I could stop myself from pulling out the proverbial pin. It wasn’t easy at first, but the more I held back, the more I saw my partner’s genuine affection for me. And I learned to be with her simply because she added something wonderful to my already satisfying life, not just because of my need to feel loved.

With my hand grenades all but deactivated, I soon found what I was looking for and in August 2013, I married my amazing wife. I don’t need to test her love and she doesn’t have to do anything to prove it to me. I just know it’s there – and she does too.

Moving from “doer” to “leader”

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A little over a year ago, I was promoted into a newly-created management position that elevated me above several former peers and significantly increased the number of direct reports in my group. In thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in my new role, as well as my longer-term professional goals, I felt it would be helpful to have a partner who could help me define and pursue a clear path for myself going forward.

After David and I began working together, we conducted  feedback surveys. The themes that emerged from the interviews with my coworkers helped me better appreciate my core strengths. They also helped me become aware of a few development opportunities I was ready to tackle. Our early conversations also helped me identify some personal growth objectives, including strategically expanding my network both within and outside the company and achieving a healthier work-life balance.

During my work with David, I began setting and enforcing stronger boundaries around my time and priorities. I also reached out to co-workers in other departments to build stronger relationships that would expand my understanding of the organisation as a whole so I could lead my own department more strategically. Giving my direct reports the latitude to take on greater responsibilities allowed me to expand my focus beyond the day-to-day operations of my group.

As a result, I was able to spend more time on departmental and organisational strategy rather than transactional activities that my employees could easily address and resolve.
After just nine months in that job, I was promoted.  In my new position, I continue to find my work with David valuable. With his assistance and expertise, I am able to hone in on my yearly goals as well as take incremental action to ensure my future goals come to fruition.

Director, compliance, education management

I discovered what would make me happy

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My stress levels were high with a demanding full-time job, two young children, a wife suffering regular bouts of depression and having just moved house.  My confidence was low and my current job didn’t make me feel a success – nor did my role as a father.  I’d lost sight of where I was going in my life.  I realised I was too hard on myself and needed to make career choices that would bring satisfaction and financial security.

In the coaching we looked at what made me feel fulfilled and how I could start to bring this into my work life. I learnt that my expectations of myself were totally unrealistic and just added to my negative feelings.  With David’s help I discovered how to make my expectations of myself more realistic so I could begin to feel a success again.  David helped me tackle my fears so I could overcome my procrastination and start to take some positive steps with my career.

I began to feel much more positive about myself and about my life, because I was doing something to improve things.  My relationships grew stronger, and I got on top of my finances for the first time.  After years of being unhappy in my job, I’d discovered what would make me happy, and gained the confidence to find a new career as a special needs teacher.

I have very much valued working with David – the sessions have been excellent.  I value her combination of kindness and sympathy and straight-forwardness.  I could never have imagined feeling this empowered and this me or making so much progress in so little time.  I gained the confidence to start out on a new path in my life which I am finding scary, challenging and immensely rewarding. I can’t believe what I’ve achieved!

Chris, Teacher

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