Six Classic Interview Questions You Must Ask Yourself About Your Brand

I remember back 25 (ahem) years ago when I was training to be radio broadcaster, we were taught to always speak to ONE person…never say ‘all you out there!’ and when interviewing guests, we were taught the classic standard interview questions that all interviews are based on.  They are of course the 5 ‘W’s …and a H…

Who?

Why?

What?

Where?

When?

…and How?

Of course having worked in radio and TV as an interviewer for over 20 years and having interviewed thousands of people, I can honestly say that those words never come to mind and even if an interview was conducted using them as a framework, they wouldn’t be in that order. However, when teaching a ‘How to Market Yourself’ workshop recently I shared these words with the delegates to help them ensure that they are prepared to be a great interviewee.

There’s no doubt you need absolute clarity on:

Who you are (you are the brand!)

Why you do what you do – what’s the emotion behind your work?

What exactly do you do, what are your key messages?

Where is it happening? – geographical info if it’s an event, or online etc.

When? – if it’s a launch or date related event.

How do you work – how do you deliver your product / service?

So I’d urge you if you haven’t already, to do a practice run for if you’re asked those questions, prepare your answers and practice answering those questions (say it out loud, it’s muscle memory!) a few different ways so that you always sound spontaneous and not scripted.

Ask Yourself …

But here’s another use for these words, as I coached a client privately I realised that she was finding this preparation for being a great interviewee step tricky,  not because she hadn’t quite honed her key messages or got her tongue around how best to describe her ‘USP’, that’s quite normal, but it was because her business had grown organically, she had almost fallen into it by accident because she had a real passion for helping other people and so retrained as a coach but hadn’t ever done the business plan or mapped out the strategy.

It’s true for so many ‘heart centred’ businesses, we just find ourselves with our own business often by accident, clients get recommended and suddenly we’re off!  Sometimes it’s a while before we can take stock and recognise that we may have created something that wasn’t exactly what we wanted.

So I’d urge you in addition to having your answers ready for the media, to take a long hard look at those questions in relation to how you feel about your work and the way your business works.

Ask yourself

Who:

Who am I?  This can be a big one, in the case of my client she wasn’t altogether happy being visible as ‘the brand’, she was hoping to hide. Really be honest about whether you’re prepared to gain confidence and to put your head above the parapet and be seen. You can also ask the questions ‘Who are my ideal clients and what is it that I can assist them with? and ‘Who do my products or services best serve?’

Why:

Why do you do this work?  This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Why that makes you cry’, if you do have a heart centered business really be honest with yourself about this one, it’s unlikely you are doing it purely for money, but make sure that you aren’t blocking yourself from being financially abundant (often the case!)

What:

What exactly is your USP? What is your business in a sentence and what’s your point of difference?

Where:

Where do you usually work, and where are your clients or customers? This should be an easy one!  Though if it’s currently one to one with clients, it might get you thinking how you could leverage your time and reach more people globally by offering Skype sessions, writing a book or creating an online programme.

In the words of the great Mark Zuckerberg – he apparently asked this before implementing any business idea – ‘Does this make us grow?’

When:

When is it happening?  This question could help give you clarity on what you hope to achieve and by when, if you’re planning to write a book, even if its self-published – set yourself a deadline, it ensures you get cracking!  If you’re launching a new product or programme prepare your marketing schedule ahead of the launch date.

How:

How does it all work together? Ask yourself how you will do it all? How do you access the help you need? Ask yourself ‘Is there something I still need to learn? Do I need more training, a partner or a joint venture?

Be willing to recognise you may need support, hey even Batman needed Robin! (not a spoiler for the new movie!)

Rocketing out of Despair

It’s everywhere, and Rocketman is on a different planet to other recent biopics. It’s a must see in my opinion for anyone who wants hope that there is a way out of whatever situation they are in.

The film is set against the backdrop of Elton’s addictions, in a group therapy session (where Elton played by Taron Egerton, sits resplendent in a devils costume complete with huge feathery wings and a cap with horns) reveals that he is an addict.  The scenes, interspersed of course by spectacular clips of Elton performing, take us back to his childhood where his mother is strangely distant, his father is seemingly not interested in him, and only his grandmother seems to want to nurture the burgeoning piano playing talent.

This lack of affection means Elton is painfully insecure and it’s not until he changes his name and creates a new identity for himself that he can really feel successful, but as life spins out of control he is eventually forced to take a rain check on the partying and head for rehab.

I was struck by the anxiety portrayed in this film, despite the immense wealth and notoriety he was deeply unhappy, He was finally able to reinvent himself though and has been sober for 28 years, he said in an interview that six months before he got sober, he gave away or sold all his possessions, he said he must have had a premonition that his life was going to change.   Change it did and Elton said in a recent interview about the film,

It’s a film about Redemption, about asking for help.  I was ashamed of myself, but  didn’t want to live like that, I wanted to become a good person, the person I didn’t know.  The  message is  if you are in a bad way, ask someone for help, It’s difficult asking for help, but my life since I got sober has been quite the most amazing journey, I don’t have to wake up feeling like I don’t want to wake up’.

It’s a story of reinvention passion and a sort of salvation and as the final song I’m still standing says he’s a ‘true survivor’  I got to see it first at a press screening and it was lovely to see Zoe Ball there too, here we are – sober sisters!

If the movie encourages one person to ask for help for their anxiety, addiction or depression it will have done an amazing job.  It reminded me of how important our families really are, in my podcast episode I speak about my own experience of family constellations, and how it changed my relationship with my own mother, in every family there are entanglements and past trauma that can still be having an impact on the present.  If you are interested in this work check out www.familyconstellationsherts.co.uk Its life changing work.  The lovely thing about this movie is that Elton is able to forgive at the end, and I hope it’s not too much of a spoiler to say he is finally able to hug his younger self.  The film is about much more than a rock n roll lifestyle which eventually crashed out, its much more about finding who he really was, As someone said recently on facebook (and I’m mortified that I can’t credit him or her cos I can’t find it again) ….

‘The goal isn’t to be sober, the goal is to love yourself so much that you don’t need to drink’

Rocketman (15) is out now

 For anyone considering ditching the booze check out the Selfcare for the Sober Curious events, free monthly events in London with the charity My Yard with inspirational guests. https://bit.ly/2YHqfxT

Check out the Podcast Alcohol free life for some inspirational guests

 

 

Cut and Paste a Fabulous 2019!

I’ve been suggesting for a good while now that standard new year resolutions don’t really work, if you’ve already written your list and promised yourself you will lose weight, go to the gym, give up chocolate and alcohol and learn a new skill I wish you well but I’d love to recommend you take time out to visualise what you really want this year.

I was thrilled to see the article in You Magazine by Lydia Slater. She says ‘Forget new years resolutions and to-do lists, the smart way to realise your dreams is with a vision board. And if its good enough for Oprah..

A vision board (or it can be a scrapbook) is a combination of a mind-map and a collage, the idea is that you focus on what you want and allow your creative sub conscious mind to wander through images and phrases in magazines and newspapers, you can add your own photographs, postcards, drawings, anything that visually represents what you want to attract into your life.

Alongside business leaders, celebs love vision boards it seems, Lydia writes…’when Jim Carrey was at his lowest professional ebb, he reportedly used a vision board to jump-start his acting career, attaching to it a cheque made out to himself for $10 million for ‘acting services’. Oprah Winfrey made a vision board showing a picture of Barack Obama as president’  

What’s fascinating is how we seem to attract what we focus on, often we don’t really know what we want till we see a visual representation of it, our subconscious mind draws our attention to an image which makes us realise that is our deepest desire and by taking the action of cutting that picture out and sticking it onto a board we are setting the intention. It’s as if we are allowing an image of what we hope for to come to the forefront of our mind and then it’s much easier to attract that to us. It gives us clarity of what our goals and dreams are, the images, and words that we are attracted too are usually already somewhere deep down in our thoughts.

Don’t make the mistake of spending ten minutes on this though, my suggestion is that you switch off your phone, put on some relaxing music and give yourself at least 90 minutes uninterrupted time, gather all your bits and bobs before you start, a large piece of paper of card, lots of mags, newspapers, photos, plus scissors, glue

, pens and crayons, even glitter and fabric if you want to get really creative. Don’t think for too long about each image, pick out what you are attracted too, you can then position the pictures however feels right, it may be totally random or ordered and colour coded. You can of course create a vision board (sometimes called a moodboard) on the computer too, but I think there’s something quite cathartic about cutting out images.

It can be quite magical what happens next. I have a colleague who wanted a complete change of direction, living in another country and working with her passion which was being a Tarot card reader.   She had no idea how she would get her dream but she started creating a vision book and literally stuck any images that appealed. One image was of a coastline, it was beautiful and an unusual shape, she had no idea where in the world it was, another image was a photograph of her with her cards. Months later she got a call from an acquaintance suggesting she offer her services as a PA to a businesswoman in London, the entrepreneur wanted someone to live and work with her temporarily, she was then offered the position of moving to Spain to run the retreats the entrepreneur hosted, she jumped at the chance and arrived at her new home only to see her room overlooked the exact coastline she had ‘visioned’ It was in Deia Majorca. Some time later the entrepreneur decided to add Tarot readings to the list of extras for guests and my colleague was called upon to do her dream job!

My own experience was not quite so dramatic but highly amusing, I did a general vision board (I often recommend that my clients do one specifically for a business project) and amongst the usual offerings, pictures of our family on holiday, lovely beaches, some fabulous glittery images that represented success. I found myself unconsciously cutting out and sticking a picture of a scruffy black dog. When I showed the vision board to my kids they said ‘finally!!! They had wanted a dog for a long time but we have said no, it just doesn’t fit with our lives. Don’t get excited I told them, I don’t know why I was attracted to that image, we are NOT getting a dog, I found myself in the bizarre situation of wishing that what I had wished for wouldn’t materialise!

A few weeks later a neighbour appeared at the door with a dog on a lead, yes you’ve guessed it, the exact dog in the pic, meet my puppy she said, just wondered if the kids would like to take him for walks sometimes? Result! All the benefits of a pet with none of the responsibility.

They do say be careful what you wish for because your dreams just may come true!  Take some time and map out your dreams – I wish you a magical 2019

If you want help getting clarity on your USP for your brand or work get in touch with me janey@imperfectlynatural.com

 

 

 

Happy World Gratitude Day!

It’s World Gratitude Day on 21st September and I’ve long believed that gratitude is the bridge to happiness. However down you feel, taking the tiny step of focusing on a few things that you are grateful for, however small, helps to elicit a tiny change in your mindset.

‘Count your blessings name them one by one’ is the old chorus, experts and healers across the globe agree that gratitude rocks, and on World Gratitude Day and beyond, I’d encourage you to ask yourself ‘what am I thankful for?’ If you can set up a daily gratitude practice even better, and if you have children it’s a wonderful thing to do at the end of the day, you each say three things you are grateful for, it means that rather than worrying, you can fall asleep feeling blessed.

 

F6A9052-profile-circleHow you start the day will definitely have an impact too, Alison T Smith is a wellness coach who says… “I used to awaken feeling really depressed, and that black feeling never eased much throughout the day; but developing an attitude of gratitude changed that forever. So before getting out of bed, write down at least three things you’re grateful for, and as you walk to the bathroom or kitchen, repeat ‘thank you’ to yourself with every step you take”. www.alisontsmith.com/gratitude/

 

GP_1035-copy“Gratitude is one of the top spiritual laws for both awakening ourselves, clearing our karma and to attract the blessings of the Divine” says author and healer Paulette Agnew. She believes that it’s the easiest principle to practice when life is going well but very hard when everything in our life seems to be going wrong. Paulette says “Challenges come to us all and when seen from a spiritual perspective we should still be grateful because we came here to learn and evolve. Often, we grow the most through suffering and even when we feel we have been abandoned by Spirit it is still a gift and deserves our thanks. Practice makes perfect is a good solution to this dichotomy. Create for yourself a daily habit of thanking the people around you, mother earth for her shelter, water, air and food and most of all the Great Spirit for whatever we are given” www.fabhealthbook.com

 

jo-de-rosa-8001-smIn her award-winning book ‘Quantum Sobriety’ Jo De Rosa says,Gratitude is one of life’s currencies, and when you give it out to others the quantum immediately creates more situations to feel grateful for. It is one of our building blocks to the amazing future that we are carving out for ourselves, opening us up to so much more. Gratitude is a seed and therefore catalyst for more of the same to grow. We are saying YES to life rather than no, and we can quite literally change direction through gratitude.” www.quantumsobriety.com

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Gareth Stubbs co author of ‘The Big Mindful Colourful Book’ runs detox retreats and agrees on the ‘currency’ principle. He says “A Gratitude List is like a Savings Account for a rainy day. It’s so easy to be thankful when things are going your way but it’s during the storms that we really need to dig deep. I find that it’s a reminder of difficult times that I have gotten through and that the storm always passes – especially when it seems darkest.” www.d-toxd.com

 

MummyWhisperer-e1510066251113Lisa Pearson therapist and ‘Mummy Whisperer’ believes that gratitude is hugely powerful. Lisa says… “In my own life I had a really miraculous experience of gratitude. At 19 I was told I couldn’t have children. I met my husband soon after. It’s easy for young people to think that something like that doesn’t matter, but it did become a problem for us in my mid-thirties. We had to look deeply at our lives and our relationship. I remember distinctly the weekend that my husband said ‘I love you just as you are – without children – lets sell up and move to London and just enjoy our freedom’. The next day I realised something was different and had to call him to tell him not to put the house on the market; I was pregnant at 36! www.mummywhispererblog.com

 

Maggy Whitehouse is a Minister and Stand Up Comedian, she says….’I call gratitude ‘appreciation’ because when I was a kid I was told to be grateful for stuff I wasn’t grateful for at all and such things can stick. When I was sick with a cancer I wrote out daily at least 25 appreciations for my life on Facebook and it helped me focus on what really was good. Nowadays I say 100 appreciations each morning before I get up and another when we go to bed at night. I use rosary beads so I don’t have to do actual counting so it’s great fun’
https://maggywhitehouse.com

Gratitude Jar

 

So, its official gratitude works, try a Gratitude Jar or Gratitude Box. Find a huge glass jar or vase or a pretty box and every day, or even more if you feel you want to, jot down something you are grateful for and pop it into the box. You can add coloured pebbles or crystals too if you wish, but over time it becomes a fabulous resource for the days when you are feeling blue.

 

Purpose by Jessica Huie MBE

Whats your purpose? I’ve written a lot about this, as I meet so many people who know there’s something more for them but they just can’t seem to locate it within the chaos and the overwhelm. They find themselves asking…is there something more? And do I count? I loved interviewing Jessica Huie MBE for Hay House radio recently; Her own journey to finding purpose is hugely inspirational. The book is called Purpose, Find your truth and embrace your calling. (Hay house)

You may know of her of course, she is the founder of JHPR, an award-winning PR agency, (she has worked with Simon Cowell and Meghan Markle no less) and she is the creator of Color Blind cards, a multi award winning multicultural greetings card company which drove an early conversation around the importance of ethnic representation in retail and became the first independent brand to secure a high street presence in Britain for multi-racial cards. The Evening Standard called her one of Britain’s ‘Most inspiring Entrepreneurs’ and she sits on Glamour magazine’s Power List as one of the UK’s most influential women

Jessica is brutally honest about the impact of caring for her father as he died, and the fact that despite having what most people would call the ‘perfect’ career and lifestyle, she realised she has been a control freak and a relentless workaholic perfectionist. Her life transformed when she realised that we are not merely our bodies, and the importance of reconnecting with our true selves.

Jessica has also done lots of work to help female entrepreneurs scale up their business and be authentic in their visibility – so you can see why I felt so connected!

I asked Jessica what our starting point should be if we find ourselves constantly busy and yet not ‘connected’ with ourselves, unhappy, unfulfilled and knowing there is something more.  She suggests that should start by recognising that we need to ‘positively disrupt’ our lives, be honest and real, don’t use the ‘PR’ spin.  The truth is we all use our ‘stories’ to excuse ourselves from moving forward, so many of have the ‘imposter syndrome’ and while the exterior  seems shiny and productive, underneath we are struggling and barely coping.

Jessica says we should ask ourselves what makes us happy? What lights us up?  It’s important because once we are aligned with our truth, that’s when we get into the flow.

The book opens with a quotation from Ernest Livingstone Huie (Jessica’s Dad)

‘Some of us on this earth are the candles and lanterns, flickering lights reassuringly pointing out the way in the bends within this vast funnel which is life on earth’.

So have you found your purpose?
Purpose Find your truth and embrace your calling by Jessica Huie is published by Hay House
Purpose: Find Your Truth and Embrace Your Calling

If you want more clarity on your purpose in your brand check out this one day workshop

Don’t go breaking my heart! your urgent action needed

Due to the new GDPR rules which come into play on May 25th we need your permission to be able to be able to continue to email you, I’m sure you have been sending out emails to your list and are probably feeling equally frustrated if people are deciding to…deal with it later!

As you know I send you emails twice a month max usually, and love being able to communicate with you about blog posts, special offers, competitions, events I am speaking at etc, if we stay connected you will be the first to hear my news.  (watch this space I am soon to be launching a low cost way of helping you gain more visibility for your business)

You will have been sent an email from us asking you to do a ‘one click’ action to keep signed in, but I’m guessing it may have in some cases gone into a spam folder or promotions folder. SO if you can’t see the email and do the one click thing, please would you consider signing up again…it will only take you a minute…  HERE

I SO hope we can continue to stay connected.  Of course if at any point you wish to unsubscribe you can easily do that too.   Just a note also to say that we NEVER sell data, please do check our privacy policy and we are registered with the ICO.

Don’t go breaking my heart! Please stay….

Once again, check the email which came recently, click once to stay with us, OR if you can’t find that or you don’t mind signing up again (will only take a minute) please click here 

 

Health Works! Join us for an event with 3 leading health experts

So thrilled to be sharing a stage with Dr Marilyn Glenville (one of the esteemed judges in the Janey Loves #platinumawards) and Dr Patrick Holford.

There are two separate talks both at the London School of Pharmacy.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH A HEALTH & WELL BEING BRAND…..

Health Works – Nutrition and Business Tools for Successful Practice

Sunday 24th June 2018

Price: Early bird: Full Day £85 (Early bird ends 31st May)

Talks:

Marilyn: Women’s Health – using nutrition to balance hormones (part 1 & 2)

Patrick: New Approaches to Cancer plus Weight Loss/Diabetes

Janey Lee Grace: Business clinic for healthcare professionals

Book Here 

This is a special event for practitioners as it combines two top speakers in the nutrition world together with an expert who will show you how to have a successful practice.

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If you want to look after your health…(who doesn’t?)

Saturday 23rd June 2018

Improve Your Health Naturally – With the UK’s 3 Leading Health Experts

Price: Early bird: Full Day £65 or half day £37  (Early bird ends 31st May)

Marilyn: (2 talks) Balancing Your Hormones and Stress

Patrick: Disease Proof Your Life

Janey Lee Grace: Imperfectly Natural Woman

Book Now

The 3 leading experts 

Patrick Holford will cover how you can help your patients disease proof their life as ‘recent advances in cancer research have identified that most cancers have much less to do with aberrant genes and more to do with the environment, primarily influenced by nutrition, in which cells live and grow’

Women’s health nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD will cover the nutritional protocols (including diet, supplements, tests and herbs) to the most common women’s hormone problems including menopause, osteoporosis, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS and PMS.

Janey Lee Grace, Radio 2 presenter and PR and media relations coach will discuss how you can achieve the visibility you need to succeed in your practice. She will share with you how you can be confident and authentic and get the inside track on making the right connections with your community and also journalists.

Book NOW 

Getting Older is Inevitable But Ageing is Optional!

‘Time has not been kind’ is the phrase I fear most being said about me. As I get older I feel an increasing urge to stay as youthful as possible, but on the other hand NOT try and be anything I am not.

It’s tricky getting older if you are in the media. I was aware of the vulgarity of ageing from as early as my late twenties, when after I had just had a hit record, (Cola Boy – 7 Ways to Love) a whopping number 8 in the charts I will have you know…my manager tried to secure a new record deal for me and was told rather bluntly…ah, sadly she is ‘over the hill’

Getting Older

Thankfully with the likes of Seasick Steve, the combined age of the Stones, and the continued success of much-loved iconic actresses like Helen Mirren, I think it’s becoming less of a stigma to not be – well young. Yet I still feel a compelling urge to lie about my age. After all, I spent so many years doing it once I realised I wouldn’t be taken seriously unless I did!

I started as a singer, was lucky enough to tour the world as a backing singer with Wham and George Michael, and a whole host of other artists. Despite being in the background I had a ball, and then I got catapulted into the spotlight and ‘went to the ball’ as it were when I had my own hit record in 1991. I carried on being a session singer but then gradually moved into radio because I loved it. My first radio job was as a presenter on BBC Radio London and I progressed from there to Virgin Radio and then onto Radio 2 where I have been for a staggering 18 years!

My Children Keep Me Young

I never intended to have children. I was always such a career girl and honestly the biological clock wasn’t ticking, or if it was I wasn’t listening. Somehow fate had other ideas, and what the doctors thought was an ovarian cyst turned out to be my first baby. I went on to have three more too, to the amazement of my friends, well and to me really.

There’s no doubt that having children transformed me, and it’s definitely kept me young. My husband is a few years older than me and our third child Rocky aged 14 had a bit of dig about our age as his parents (his dad had just turned 60). Honestly! why are you SO old? My friend’s parents are 35! You could be her grandparents! Our answer? Well you will get your inheritance sooner…

Age is Just a Number!

The truth is, age really is just a number, I know people in their thirties and forties that seem grey and tired, and I know a few 76 to 90+ rockers who squeeze every wonderful moment out of life.

We are a society obsessed by ‘labelling’ people by their age. I heard an excellent presentation a while back from Dr Christiane Northrup, the author of ‘Goddesses Never Age‘. Her Top Tips? Don’t celebrate milestone birthdays (well not after 25) and don’t put a number on your age!

She believes that getting older is inevitable but ageing is optional.

You really are as old as you feel, and true beauty really does come from within. I’ve interviewed lots of Hollywood stars who it’s accepted are ‘beautiful’ but they don’t radiate a beautiful energy. In many cases they don’t even have ‘sex appeal’. Yet I’ve interviewed older actresses who have an incredible energy. They literally ‘light up the room’ and everyone is attracted to them. Someone once said as you’re getting older, your kindness will show in your face. There may be good days and bad, but don’t choose to be in ‘normal health’, choose optimal!

Be Kind to Yourself

That’s my passion really, to be as healthy and live as holistically as possible, and to encourage others to be in rude health too and to live their purpose. I’ve been banging on about ‘wellbeing’ for years, since before my first book came out (Imperfectly Natural Woman was a number One Amazon best seller in 2006) – and before Kale had its own publicist!

Most of us do know the basics:

Refuse to grow up! The phrase ‘grown up’ seems to suggest that we have stopped learning! Christiane recommends that when people ask you your age, look them in the eye and say..’What’s your real question ?’

Goddesses Never Age by Dr Christiane Northrup (Hay House)

Janey Lee Grace is the author of Look Great Naturally Without Ditching the Lipstick (Hay House) and You are the Brand (PR secrets for entrepreneurs)

This article was first published on Mr and Mrs 50 Plus – April 2018 –  www.mrandmrs50plus.com

Can Hypnosis Help You Write Your Best-Selling Book?

‘I am enough; it’s a phrase we hear a lot about, but how many of us really feel that way?

I remember reading an article in a daily newspaper where ten high profile women wrote a letter to their bodies, it made for heart-breaking reading, one by one they criticised and attacked the parts of themselves they hated, barely managing to find even a measly moment of satisfaction as they eschewed everything from the size of their bottom to their unruly hair.

Over the years, as I have been a Hay House author I have become steeped in the ‘love yourself first’ theory, Louise herself was a staunch advocate of looking in a mirror, regularly (she kept a tiny one in her bra so she could whip it out at opportune moments) and saying…”I love you…xxx” (your name).

It doesn’t come easily to us, most of us have the inner critic berating us loudly in at least one ear, and in truth, if the words we said to ourselves were spoken out loud to a child, we’d be had up for abuse.
Of course, it’s not only about looks, we constantly run the stories of…’I’m not good enough, talented enough, successful enough, and confident enough’…

These limiting beliefs can massively impact on our wellbeing and our success, as we constantly reinforce to our subconscious mind that we are not ‘enough’ of whatever it is we feel we are lacking in. Recently I have had some disappointments in my career, nothing too terrible, but enough to leave me thinking…’I’m not enough.’ I’ve written a novel, and despite having written 5 books before, with two Amazon number one best sellers to my name, fiction is very different and my first attempt at securing the agent I wanted didn’t materialise. Instead of shaking myself off and trying again I literally ‘sat’ on my book for months and felt a bit sorry for myself. I made lots of jokes to the kids ‘I think I’ll go and eat worms’ when we went out for a coffee and snack, hubby would joke…Want worm pie? Oh, how we laughed, but actually this was reinforcing these negative beliefs deeply into my subconscious mind. I felt steeped in self-pity and lack of self-belief and I felt unable to shake myself out of it.

Enter into the frame Cat Raincock, a transformational hypnotherapist and coach. Cat has been there herself and got the T-shirt. As a new mum she felt overwhelmed, she realised she was at breaking point with negative self-talk and she went on a mission to transform her life. Cat made the commitment to herself to rewrite her past, visualise her future and each day she took daily action to achieve her goals. Cat now offers transformational hypnosis along with coaching. Cat explains that hypnosis unpicks the subconscious and gives the client the answers to their current emotional state i.e. anxious, angry, depressed. Her coaching then takes this new-found information and she applies it to their daily life so that they can consciously break the patterns.

I booked Cat for a 90-minute Skype session to have a look at my ‘confidence’ issues. It seemed a little odd, because clearly I am already a confident person, I am regularly on air speaking to 9 million people, I’m a regular on stage speaking in front of thousands, and I have no problem saying what I think!…but when it came to putting my novel out there and pitching to agents, something was holding me back. We did the session by Skype and started by discussing my situation.

I had to be very honest with Cat and admit that I am a funny mix. On one hand I wholeheartedly believe in manifesting your dreams, in magic, and being in alignment with energy flow, but on the other hand I am very realistic, and recognise that it could be that my novel is in fact a crock of s**t and that’s the reason I was turned down by my chosen literary agent! Cat answered this calmly; for starters, she asked me directly, “Do you honestly believe your book is good?” I had to acquiesce I really did. ‘Are you aware of the amount of rejections J.K Rowling had?’ She asked… Ah yes! I’d forgotten about that. I also remembered that the wonderful Julia Cameron, author of ‘The Artists Way’ who I interviewed for Hay House Radio, told me that her first novel was rejected 43 times! There was a publishers bidding war on the 44th attempt. Cat suggested that I was suffering from a classic case of lack of self-belief, it’s very common.

‘We all pick up limiting self-beliefs in our early childhood. Children are naturally narcissistic and when they feel unloved, not worthy, not enough, they turn it on themselves and believe it’s because of them and that they aren’t loveable, when in fact it’s simply the parent who is preoccupied, addicted and doesn’t feel enough. We take these beliefs through to adulthood until they are healed’

Cat began the hypnosis part of the session by ‘counting me down’ into a meditative state. Despite being in my home office, and on the camera via Skype, I did feel relaxed, she has an extremely soothing voice! She ‘took me back’ to various childhood memories of times when I didn’t feel ‘enough’ and asked me to say how I felt. It was quite eye-opening, after a few revelations it became very clear that I had – like most people, taken a bunch of knocks in childhood, been unfairly treated by teachers, been at the mercy of well-meaning parents, failed at certain tests and exams that had been important to me, been let down in relationships, there was in fact a plethora of ‘not enough’s’ rattling around my sub conscious mind.

If you’re thinking “I could never be hypnotised” there’s no need to worry, you are ‘conscious’ throughout, but it’s surprisingly relaxing and definitely enlightening as Cat works to free you from judgement, release you from the clutches of the inner critic, and as her words embedded into my subconscious mind I found myself feeling more self-belief, and feeling….enough.

Cat encourages you to embrace the feeling of alignment within your body, to embed those feelings of self-confidence and self-worth into your subconscious mind. She pointed out that when you feel and know you are ‘enough’ it radiates out from you and others start to believe in you too.

A week after our session, I am still listening daily to the recording Cat made exclusively for me, it’s so helpful to put that on, to reinforce the beliefs into the subconscious, and I am feeling a bit better. I feel closer to my dreams, I feel a sense of excitement about going after them, and if I fail to attract the perfect agent and publisher …because just like JK Rowling it’s likely for the first few attempts ….then I know it’s because they weren’t the right connections for me, and I will carry on. If I’m rejected I will see ‘NO’ as n for next and o for opportunity, and I look forward to the Next Opportunity.

Cat is practical though too, it isn’t all floating around being ‘woo woo’, she states the importance of putting the work in. Cat believes it’s important to ‘take action every day towards your goals, because the act of beginning starts the flow of ideas, it’s just that most of us procrastinate…

Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron – The Artist’s Way

As Cat reminds us, (and this will resonate with lots of you), If your goal is to write a book, remember its one sentence at a time, write for 15 mins if that’s all you have. Julia Cameron says, ‘steal time’…don’t buy into that concept of ‘I must go away on a long holiday to write my book’ she says if you have a ten-minute bus ride, write a few sentences, if you’re in a waiting room, grab your notebook and knock out a paragraph or two.

Whether you want to gain more confidence, start your business, or even want help with healing a condition, Cat is a remarkable practitioner. I’m definitely feeling stronger, no more ‘worms’ on the menu, I’ve got my mojo back and I am doing a bit every day, whether that be researching agents, publishers or re-editing my work. Watch this space – literary fiction chick lit world…I Am Enough…. best seller here  I come!

Oh and in the cafe…Mine’s a coconut flat white…hold on the worm pie…

www.catraincock.com

Janey Lee Grace is the author of the forthcoming novel ‘Love, Lies and Enlightenment’.

 

Valentine Self-Love Tips From Some of My Experts

Love is in the air! It certainly will be next week when the commercial side of Valentines Day will go into overdrive. True love is a splendid thing and so is self-love, not to confused with arrogance or self-absorption, you may wonder what self-love has to do with Media and PR?….So many people can often be held back from growing their business due to lack of self-esteem and self-love. Here’s a range of insight and tips from my #changemakers…

Let’s start with some tips and wisdom from Cat Raincock who is a woman who has changed her life, from feeling totally overwhelmed, neglected and unhappy, to now living the life she dreamt of as a kid. Cat can help you prioritize yourself and guide you to transform into the best version of you! She suggests the following:

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We hear the term self-love all the time and I am a great believer in it. To learn to love yourself is the greatest empowerment there is but it is such a blanket term that it can be confusing about exactly what we need to do to self-love. That’s why I talk mostly about self-care as it is the act of self-love. When we self-love, we nourish ourselves on an emotional, spiritual and physical level and it’s the commitment we all need to make to ourselves.

Self-care is free, it’s immediate and it’s available to you! Start today, it is greatest gift you can give yourself this year – why not start this Valentine’s Day.

What constitutes self-care? Stop saying ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, accepting invitations to things you ‘should’ go to rather than you ‘want’ to go to, burning candles at both ends, consuming toxic food, taking on more than you can manage because you won’t delegate.

Start, taking a bath and having some peace and quiet to rest your mind, cancel plans because you need to rest, eating clean nourishing food, do exercise you love, tuning in to yourself, meditating or doing yoga – all of these help to rebalance and reset your system.

www.catraincock.com

 

Cai Graham Parenting Expert suggests learning the art of saying ‘No’ and putting yourself first, this one is especially for mums.

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We are ALL busy people – and there are very few of us who get the balance ‘just right’. However, what I am finding is that women, and in particular Mums, are the worst offenders. Whether it’s our upbringing, society, or just plain old Mother Nature (my guess is that it’s a combination of all three), we are programmed to Nurture … our children, our partners, our friends and family, our colleagues … but we forget about ourselves.

We end up ‘running on empty’ feeling frazzled and exhausted and often even a little bit resentful – and as a result are unable to give of our best to anybody. So, I encourage you to look after yourself a bit more, be kinder to yourself and put yourself back on your to-do-list. Dare I say it … put yourself first for a change. Do what makes you SHINE: Go to the gym, stop working so late, meet up with friends, learn to say No – whatever works for you. It’s certainly not selfish – your family and friends will thank you for it!

www.caigraham.com

 

Judith Quinn, is a public speaking and vocal confidence specialist, and sound healer, and she says:

Judith Quin Big Smile

It is vital to remember the things that we love about ourselves because what we focus on, we create more of. Surely, we all want to create more love?

“I hate my thighs.” “I hate my teeth.” “I hate the sound of my voice.” “I hate my….”

How many times a day or week do you say you HATE something about yourself? “STOP! Now!”

Words have their own power and energy because they have their own physical sound vibration. Take a look at the work of Dr.Emoto and the incredible experiments he did on the shape and energy of words in water crystals. If even a written word can create either distorted (Hate) or beautiful (Love) shapes in water, imagine what you are doing to the water that makes up most of your body, every time you say or think you hate something about yourself. Instead try finding things to love, or the next time you say something derogatory, counteract and balance it by saying out loud three things you love about yourself. You will create an energy that is higher vibration. You will carry yourself differently. You will sound different in your tone of voice. You will create more love. So always choose your words wisely when speaking to, or about, both yourself and others; the words you use help shape the energy of the space you’re in.

www.yourwholevoice.com

Liz Hancock helps struggling and overwhelmed entrepreneurs, coaches, therapists and practitioners charge their worth and feel fabulous about it! She says:

Liz 2

I used to think loving yourself was vain and self-indulgent. I now know it’s the complete opposite. It’s a SELFLESS act! Why? Because it makes you a MUCH NICER, KINDER, BETTER person! Friend, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunty, Employer, person that someone has to interact with on the roads, in the carpark, the supermarket etc! Self-love is NOT always putting your own feelings and annoyances before anyone else or thinking you’re better than anyone else. It’s about making time for yourself – to nurture your own health and wellbeing, whatever that means to you.

For me, self-love is setting myself up calmly and lovingly for the day ahead. Not beating myself up if I’m slower than usual, practising gratitude or praying. It’s ensuring that I have healthy food in the house and allowing myself to have chocolate if I really want it! It’s not allowing others to upset me, to calmly address something if it needs to be addressed and not having it eat away at you. It’s about having boundaries and saying if something doesn’t work for you. It’s letting go of total control and allowing myself to USE the tools I have at my fingertips to calm me when I’m stressed.

Self-love is not self-indulgent, selfish or vain. Self-love is essential to the care and nurturing of not just ourselves, but our loved ones and humanity as a whole too! Love Yourself first, and you can love others a whole lot more!

www.elizabethmaryhancock.com

 

Nadia Smith, author of “How did I get These?”, monthly columnist for the online Healing Energy Magazine, and Founder of True To Our Roots Qi Gong says this about Self-Love:

Nadia

“Being willing to love ourselves means that we are greeting life with acceptance rather than resistance. By resisting we see life through the fog of our pre-conditioned beliefs, opinions and a veil of mind-stuff, keeping life complicated and painful.” (Learning to Love Yourself” by Gay Hendricks.).

Dropping resistance means reconnecting with our true self and really feeling alive, it means that rather than paddling upstream we turn our canoe and start flowing downstream with the current.

When we feel sad, angry, worried, anxious or fearful it is best to allow these emotions to emerge from the depth of our being and honour them rather than suppress them, otherwise they become medical conditions. This is something we address in True To Our Roots Qi Gong as in Traditional Chinese Medicine our internal organs are very much the home of our emotions. Learning to connect with them and allowing the expression of these feelings to emerge helps us to heal and nurture ourselves at a deep level.

Becoming our own detective as to why we have trapped emotions and their origins, could be a clarifying exercise in helping remove the resistance of loving ourselves, for example what happened to our mothers as far back as when we were unborn, which could have affected our emotional state, or how we were treated and taught during childhood, adolescence and adult life. All circumstances which could be at the root of us feeling unlovable, unworthy, angry, sad or fearful.

Anita Moorjani (author of “Dying to be Me.”) suggests we treat ourselves as if we were our own best friend, instead of bullying and berating ourselves – after all we would never speak to a friend the way we talk to or about ourselves?

According to Anita “We don’t have to earn love – it is our birth right.”

Here are some tips from her second book, “What if this is Heaven?”

Questions to ask yourself.

  • – How can I love myself more?
  • – What would I be doing right now if I did love myself?
  • – How can I support myself more through whatever challenge I’m facing?
  • – How can I best be an example to youngsters around me in showing them the importance of self-love?

Once you begin to make choices which are fun to you rather than worrying about what others think of you, you stop feeling guilty when things go well for you, you accept compliments graciously, and you learn the art of saying “no”, then you know that you are heading in the direction of least resistance and that of self-love.

www.truetoourroots.co.uk