Every story is unique. Everyone has their own unique history, beliefs and desires. However, there are some common themes:
All stories are anonymised… the content of each coaching relationship is highly confidential. These clients were happy for me to share their story to convey just how much has changed for them. And could change for you.
Sarah came to me after a painful breakup that she just couldn’t seem to put behind her. She was gutted. He felt like the right person. Maybe the wrong time. But also, a nagging feeling that there was something to learn from this.
Her worst fear, that this break up (from her best relationship yet) might mean that a relationship was not for her, that she might always be alone. She was aware that her logical and driven approach to life might be to blame. Recognising that she was not an emotional or creative person, she desperately wanted be able to be more feeling, empathetic and confident in her emotions.
We started with an utterly cathartic exercise to say what she needed to say to this ex, take her lessons and then let him go. Next, was understanding who she thought she was and wasn’t: this idea that she was not feeling or emotive, like a robot. These are identity beliefs which were ‘programmed’ so we re-programmed them to shift Sarah’s sense of who she was and her feeling of ease with trusting her emotions. We indulged some time travel, back to childhood to understand where these labels came from and how they didn’t need to be valid for her anymore. An exploration of how truly creative and feeling she can be, consolidating this into defining who she really is without old ideas and labels which were not hers.
The ex isn’t given a second thought. She now has a revised sense of identity, recognising her creative, playful and quirky sides. She has been able to more clearly talk and show her emotions which has shone through with friends, dating and also her work: now much more listening and less directing with team members making her role much more rewarding.
Now Sarah is getting to enjoy the real person she always was underneath, the Corporate PM job she thought she was so attached to seems less and less for her. We’re now exploring different career directions that are completely congruent with who she now recognises she is.
“Before meeting with Fiona I felt I was at a crossroads in terms of how I processed a difficult breakup and I had a sense that I needed to take an alternative path.
From starting with Fiona on this one facet, we began to look at broader areas of my life where I had been holding onto unhelpful beliefs.
I feel more comfortable expressing myself emotionally, instead of rationalising everything, and allowing my more playful side to come out.”
Rich was worried he was stagnated and stuck despite his new and demanding role, defining and executing risk strategy. Underneath he was wracked with lack of confidence that he could actually DO the role. He knew he was juggling too many things, without clear direction. That meant people didn’t perceive him as capable. He was worried that his work wasn’t good enough.
He wanted was to actually be making progress and delivering something which both meets the boards expectations, and can be carried through into actual change. More than that, to stop the constant internal questioning, trying to do too many things in parallel and not really feeling like he was succeeding at anything. He felt vulnerable and exposed.
We started with framing this fear of not being good enough and juggling as a positive and protective unconscious pattern. Rich’s propensity to juggle and not quite deliver was all about protecting himself from the fear of failure and not being good enough. His mind both wanted to protect him, and prove that his theories about himself were right.
We uncovered a strong feeling that this was about Dad. That whatever he did (as a child and now) wasn’t good enough to attract Dad’s praise. He felt Dad had played down or not recognised his achievements, fuelling that belief of not being good enough. We used a specific technique to enable a (metaphorical) conversation with Dad, and build a more probable and helpful concept of what Dad had really wanted for him.
This piece of work alone massively unlocked that old idea of ‘not be good enough’. Suddenly much more clarity at work. Feeling assured and confident in his role and ability to position policy to the board and execute it. What’s more, on spending a weekend with Dad:
“Things have changed with Dad. We sat and talked and he actually asked me about my work. It used to feel like an interrogation. Now it feels like a conversation between two equals. For the first time, I felt his respect for me. I felt recognised.”
“Fiona and I worked together over the course of 6 weeks to help me shift some problematic beliefs and behaviours that were limiting my ability to progress my work and career.
Fiona gently, but firmly, steered me through a number of techniques to effectively rewire my thought patterns in order to create more positive belief structures and affirmations.
These have had the effect of profoundly shifting my view of myself and my attitude to my work and career. It was almost dizzying comparing the shift I’d undergone at the end of the 6 weeks compared to my beliefs at the start of the process.
We addressed issues I wasn’t even consciously aware of at the start of the process. I would recommend Fiona to anyone who is suffering from self-doubt or, imposter syndrome.”
Linda was stuck in worry and overwhelm. On the one hand she found herself mothering people and giving too much of herself. On the other she took things personally and sometimes tipped over into anger, taking it out on friends and colleagues. Terrified of admitting vulnerability, and seeking attention all at the same time.
We explored what she wanted to feel instead: to not take things so personally, to be more balanced with her emotions, able to switch off the overthinking, guilt and doubting herself and instead feeling more self worth.
We quickly made the link between what she believed about herself and others, and her unconscious behaviours. Straight away there was a link to events from growing up. As a child she was always told she took things too seriously; and now this was living out in over thinking how people reacted to her. Once we severed this old idea and created new ideas around feeling valid, emotions being ok and other peoples judgements being a product of her own thinking and not necessary true, things started to shift easily.
She found that people who used to hit her buttons before didn’t seem to bother her in the same way. At work she felt a lot more tolerant. Her team and colleagues seemed to be responding well to her and she could feel she was managing form a much better place.
We went on to explore this relationship with oversharing some things but being uncomfortable showing vulnerability with others. I used my model for setting good boundaries; deciding who could come into your ‘night club’, who was allowed into the VIP area and who wasn’t allowed in through the door. This gave a model to experiment and learn who could be trusted and how to manage what she shared with others.
Now she feels calmer, much more balanced and comfortable to be herself. That overthinking isn’t a think so much of a thing anymore; instead she can be confident in her emotions and actions.
“Working with Fiona really changed the way I perceive the world. There was nothing much “wrong” but after a big year with lots of life changing events I wanted to focus on the future.
Fiona honed in on what I wanted to achieve, using key events in the past to disassociate negative emotions.
The sessions gave me a sense of relief that has continued going forward. For the first time in years I am happy and confident in who I am and where I have come from.
Fiona offers excellent support, is easy to speak to and extreme astute. Her view on the world could give insight to anyone and I would really recommend anyone undertaking a few sessions, it would amaze you what is niggling and the calm that Fiona can unlock!”
Paula was feeling pretty disappointed and stuck in life. But actually she knew so much of her life was actually pretty good so felt guilty. She was tired all the time. Aware she was turning to food all too often with massive fluctuations in her weight and fitness. She identified herself as someone who wasn’t a leader, who never wanted to be at the front, but knew she was capable. By staying behind she was not doing as much as she could with her life.
She wanted first and foremost to get her energy back and start losing weight. To re-find her confidence and stop hiding.
She confessed she’d always wanted to be a Mum but it wasn’t to be. After losing weight and doing everything to conceive she and her husband had given up. What was her life about now that a family was off the cards?
We went back in time, to her childhood where she learnt not to stand out… Family events had taught her that being seen was a bad thing. We cleared this old unhelpful belief and created a new belief around recognising that she is ‘OK’ and deserves to have emotions and exist.
Through a gentle process we said goodbye to the life that would have been with children and started to create a compelling vision of what could be instead. This involved building a sense of self, value and passion. No longer being held back by that idea of needing to be hidden, many more options started to come. Building on these visions, they became so attractive and something she knew she could achieve.
Paula’s confidence started to grow at a deep level. Feeling she could not only be seen but stand out. With a new found sense of purpose and future visions she started to naturally want to exercise more and lose weight without it feeling like a battle.
She’s selected redundancy from her corporate role and negotiated herself into a role in a smaller organisation where she can truly shine and add value. As well as focussing her energies on developing her love for training dogs and bringing her knowledge to others.
“It’s a challenge to put into words how different life is, since I started working with Fiona!
Over the past few months, I have lost weight, improved my fitness, I am changing my career and have more confidence and energy than I have felt in years!
Fiona is insightful, patient and just amazing at what she does. I have felt completely at ease and each session has been both transformational and fun!
I would recommend Fiona to anyone who is looking to make a real change!”
Jeff had been long term unemployed since a crush injury whilst serving in the forces 15 years ago. He was left with some permanent pain, felt he could do much and got tired easily. So much stemmed back to this accident and the idea that he would never recover, physically or mentally.
He was fed up with feeling stuck and not very satisfied. He really wanted to find some confidence. Also some ‘get up and go’ to get back into better habits with exercise and diet; looking after himself, making friends and perhaps one day being able to do volunteer or paid work.
We explored Jeff’s personal history: not just to the accident but the events that had shaped him up to that point. We explored who he was before the accident and who he could be without feeling limited by it.
At this time he was still experiencing regular night mares. I used a visualisation technique designed to calm and leave behind pain from past trauma. Immediately he felt lighter, with improved sleep and energy.
We then started to focus on looking forward. Creating a vision of what life could be like with more energy, more interests and better wellbeing. We focussed on small steps all designed by Jeff. These supported daily exercise, forming stronger social bonds, letting go of people and situations which dragged him backwards and developing an inner sense of self confidence and self support.
Over the course of these sessions, Jeff found he slept better and didn’t need to rely on daytime naps. With more energy he started to volunteer and increase days working at a charity shop and ex forces member café. He is losing weight, regaining strength, physical fitness and self esteem. Next… paid work. Something he thought he would never dream of doing again.
“My life has moved forward considerably while receiving Fiona’s help.
Life is going pretty well. I’m still not smoking and my weight is more in control. I’ve just bought a new e bike so that’s really positive too.
I have made big changes and in a short period of time.”
Becky told me about her stalker. Over a period of 6 years a man had systematically invaded her life. From following, tarnishing her name, sending threats and abusive messages to actually hacking her social media accounts. She knew she should leave it behind but the flashbacks and very real fears wouldn’t go. She was paranoid and lived in fear. She was frustrated at the impact it had on her life.
She desperately wanted to be free from the nightmares, flashback and feeling that she couldn’t trust anyone anymore. With a young daughter and husband, she wanted to be free to enjoy her family – not being on edge all the time and instead able to smile, enjoy life and trust her intuition.
After exploring what happened, it was clear that Becky blamed herself for a lot of what had happened. She couldn’t let go because she feared she’d bought it on herself. We got to work untangling where this wasn’t true; this man was highly manipulative. And where it might have some truth, how this came from a place of low self value to have perpetuated the drama. Using a variety of visualisation techniques, we worked through seeing the events for what they were, his role in it but more importantly her role; forgiving and healing what had happened. We went on to work on the original source of this feeling of low self worth. Time travelling back to childhood and exposing the whole idea to simply not be true. Using affirmations and gentle techniques to recognise her value, we started to build a sense of self love and pride.
Becky can now sleep at night without that overwhelming sense of fear, guilt and paranoia. Feeling good in herself and empowered to no longer engage in relationships that foster manipulation and abuse.
Becky’s confidence and transformation has led her to explore how she can help other women affected by stalking. She is exploring setting up a charity and studying techniques which will allow her to use her experience to help others.
“I was in a very dark place. I barely had any confidence and was shattered.
With Fiona’s help I switched my mindset to a better place than it had ever been before. I used to carry around a very negative and heavy victim mindset and drama seemed to follow me wherever I went which left me wondering why me?
I now have a deeper understanding of myself and have a clearer view on how I could have avoided negative situations yet walked right into them without realising it.”