Self care

Care For Your Needs First 1

In this weeks guest post Louise Gillespie-Smith focuses upon the coach as an individual:

Care For Your Needs First

by Louise Gillespie-Smith

"Care For Your Needs First" by Louise Gillespie-Smith

I am making a big assumption that most of us want to help others, we care about others and some of us thrive on being of service to others. This is all lovely, the world needs more people like us. What happens though when we give too much?

The helper/carer/nurturer personality type can have a tendency to put others before themselves, even when they know full well that in doing so they will deplete their own energy.

How can we best help others when we are feeling drained ourselves. Here are a few signs that I have learned to notice when I have been giving too much:

  • I don’t feel inspired and excited to teach/ coach
  • I am hoping the client will cancel (funnily enough on those days they often do…..the law of attraction is amazing!)
  • When I get a phone call from someone I know who will be wanting to chat about their problems I want to ignore the call
  • When someone is talking about their problems to me I am not fully actively listening
  • I just want to sleep or watch rubbish TV
  • I start to resent having to do things, like the volunteer work I do

Now this is all hard to admit. I really am not this person above…..but if I am not careful I can get like that!

I could write a list of suggestions now of how to care for your needs, but they would be based on my own. Only you know what you need, and that is the question to ask yourself. Sometimes I just need to go out and have some fun with my friends, sometimes going to a conscious dance session that gets me out of my head, into my body and shakes it all out really helps and other times I just need to do a digital detox.

By digital detox I mean just switching off from the outside world. Turning my phone and laptop off. Taking time for myself to do yoga, meditate, walk by the sea, cook yummy food, read and sleep.It is ok to say no to people. It is ok for people to give to you and you not give back. It is ok do just do something for you.

I know you know all of this. I know it all myself but still sometimes I fall down that rabbit hole of over giving, and that’s OK. As long as I then recognise it and take care of myself I know I can then have the best energy to help others.

Above all how can we inspire others to love themselves and do what is best for them, when we are not doing it ourselves? That’s something I love about being a life coach and yoga teacher, it constantly keeps me in check to practice what I teach!

About Louise Gillespie-Smith

Louise Gillespie-Smith is a life coach and yoga teacher based in Brighton. Her websites are: Create Yourself and Yogaclassesinbrighton

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Self Care

Many coaches run their business as a sole-entrepreneur. In today’s guest post speaker, author & business coach Carrie Greene shares advice around one of the potential obstacles to happily running your own successful solo-coaching business.

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Self Care

by Carrie Greene

"An Entrepreneur's Guide to Self Care" by Carrie Greene

The last four coaching calls I’ve been on have focused on one topic. Self care. But wait a minute; I’m a business coach so why do I spend time with my clients talking about self-care?

Guess what? Unless you take care of yourself you cannot take care of your business.

Entrepreneurs tend to put everything and everyone in front of themselves. When they do that, they risk losing it all.

Now before you tell me (or yourself) that you don’t have time for self care, take a look at the following seven areas to keep an eye on. None will take you more than a couple of minutes a day.

Go outdoors. It’s easy to spend your day stuck behind your computer or on the phone. Stop for a few minutes and step outside. Do this even if it’s really hot, cold, raining or snowing. It doesn’t have to be long (two or three minutes can make a huge difference).

Exercise. It’d be great if you had a serious fitness routine but what I’m talking about is simply to use your body in some way. Spend a few minutes stretching, walk down the block, or walk up a flight of stairs. Bottom line – do something.

Nourish yourself. Eat regularly. Stop for meals, don’t go hungry and keep yourself hydrated. Your brain can’t work when it’s looking for food.

Laugh. You can’t be serious 100% of the time. Yes, the work you do is important and the money you earn from doing your work is vital to your existence but take a few minutes to laugh each day.

Connect. A solopreneur’s life can get lonely so we tend to reach out to other solopreneurs. This is natural because we have common interests but then we talk shop. I encourage you to connect with someone and have at least one conversation every day that has nothing to do with your business.

Play. Do something other than work that you enjoy that takes you out of your every day routine.

Forgive. We tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else and that’s simply not fair. It’s okay if you make a mistake. What’s not okay is to beat yourself up about it. When you make a mistake figure out what next step you need to take and move on.

What can you do to take care of yourself? What do you need to add to your life

About Carrie Greene

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author and business coach. She is a business strategist and productivity expert for entrepreneurs.

Carrie spent fifteen years on Wall Street in marketing and product development for major brokerage firms and The New York Stock Exchange. She left after 9/11 to take charge of her life and start her own profitable business.

Being an entrepreneur is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not easy. Many entrepreneurs follow other people’s systems. They may make money, but they aren’t happy. Carrie believes that an entrepreneur should enjoy what they are doing on a day-to-day basis and if they aren’t, they might as well get a job.

Carrie helps business owners get clear on what they want and create simple and straight-forward plans to get them there. It’s all about doing the things they enjoy so that they are both profitable and happy.

Carrie is a frequent speaker on industry panels and serves as the lead coach for Suzanne Evans’ 10K and HY Stars program. Carrie is the author of “Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So you Can Create Ultimate Profit!”

Carrie lives in New Jersey and is amazed that her daughter is a junior in college and her twin sons just started college. She and her husband are trying to figure out what they will do with an empty house.

For free resources and to learn more please visit



Article Source:

Your Coaching Service Needs YOU!

In today’s guest post performance coach Marie Yates addresses something that is relevant to coaches in all niches of coaching.

Your Coaching Service Needs YOU!

By Marie Yates

YOU are your coaching service! So while you’re looking after the marketing, the planning, the finances, the diary… Oh, and the clients… How are you looking after YOU?

You know that the synergy between the mind and body is paramount for true health and wellbeing so do you put this into practice? Do you conduct a large percentage of your business over the telephone? What would happen if you lost your voice?

  • By maintaining a healthy immune system you are much more likely to fight off common viruses. Make sure you are well rested, drink plenty of water and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Also, managing your negative emotions and stress levels will prevent you from becoming run down and more susceptible to illnesses.

Do you spend a significant amount of time sitting down to work and driving to meet clients? What would happen if you needed to take an extended break from sitting down and/or driving due to back pain?

  • Monitor your posture and how you sit whilst conducting your coaching sessions, work on the computer or when you’re at your desk. The spine is designed for motion so if you find that you are sitting still for long periods of time, take a break and stretch your body. When you are sitting down avoid slouching or leaning forwards.
  • There are additional benefits to having a good posture… For example;

ο A good posture enables effective breathing – deep breathing acts as a stress reducer, releases endorphins (your own unique painkillers!) and focuses the mind!

ο Enhanced capacity for thinking – with correct breathing, there will be more oxygen getting to the brain, enabling it to do an effective job!

ο Improved self image – try slouching for thirty seconds and then sitting up straight, breathing deeply… Is there a difference in how you feel?

Do you feel your energy levels dropping throughout the day? What would happen if you were not giving your client 100% during their session or you a leading a workshop and the fatigue sets in? Eat well balanced meals throughout the day! Although you know that need to aim for your 5 fruit & vegetables a day – do you do this? Avoid the quick fix approach to energy levels that caffeine and sugar have to offer as what goes up, must come down!

  • Drink water and lots of it! Fill a 2 litre bottle with water every day and make it your aim to finish it!
  • Get plenty of sleep! Become more aware of your body and its natural rhythm. If you are an early bird – get up & start the day a little earlier to be your most productive self. If you are a night owl, stay up a little later and get the most out of your day!
  • Take regular exercise! The benefits of exercise are not a secret so incorporate it into your day… With all the exercise DVDs and computer based exercise regimes on offer you don’t even need to leave the house – although fresh air and a change of scenery is an added bonus!

Give yourself the BEST and look after yourself… Lead by example and make sure you have the energy in your mind and body to strive for your own goals!

About the Author/Further Resources

Marie Yates is a performance coach based in the Midlands and can be found at

Are you a coach that cares? 2

In a previous coaching post I’ve talked about what a coach can do to prepare for a coaching session. Each coach will develop their own answers and preparation for a coaching session.

As I shared in that previous post I look to answer the following before a coaching session “What can I do to ensure that I show up brilliantly?”

I know that doing “my job” as a coach to the best of my abilities and showing up brilliantly is much easier when I have taken care of myself. Today’s coaching post discusses self-care. As you read I invite you to consider how this works with your approach to coaching.

Let’s start by discussing what I mean by self-care. I once did a web search on the term self care and came across the following:

“Self care skills are the needs to manage day to day life. They include washing, dressing, cooking and housekeeping.”

Admittedly this was in reference to caring for someone else, and those things do all fall under self-care, and in this instance I am talking about much more than physiological need.

You may have seen Maslow’s hierarchy of needs usually represented as a pyramid, with the largest and lowest level of needs forming the foundations for the others to build upon. This theory of needs was proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1940′s and 50′s.

There is debate about the order that the levels are placed in, or even if there is a hierarchy at all. Rather than get involved in that discussion, I’m going to use it as a catalyst for thought. I’ll invite you to glance at the following synopsis and consider the emotional, physical and even spiritual effects and benefits that taking care of your needs for each category would have.

Physiological – What we, as humans, literally require to survive as a species. Needs that are seen to fall in this category include food, breathing, sleep and sexual activity.

Safety – In today’s society this does not only mean physical safety but can also include employment/financial security, health and security of property etc.

Love and Belonging – This category of “needs” covers aspects of feelings of belonging and building relationships, such as friendship, family and romantic.

Esteem – This heading covers needs such as self-esteem, confidence and respect – both of and by others.

Self-Actualisation – This, Maslow theorised, is the top of the pyramid, and is the section that covers what a persons potential is and fulfilling that potential. Dr Wayne Dyer describes it as:

i) To be free of the good opinion of others,

ii) To do things not simply for the outcome but because it’s the reason you are here on earth.

I include these not because I necessarily agree with every single aspect of Maslow’s theory myself, but to encourage a broader look at the things that when you take care to include in your daily routine you feel more alive and generally have a better day.

I’ll let you decide for yourself if taking care of yourself is something that would benefit your coaching.

If you want to play further with this:

What are the things that when you do them, you have a better day?

What are the things that when you do them you feel more alive and are more productive?

What would the difference be if you deliberately and consciously chose to incorporate more of these into your day?

How not to get dragged down by a clients negativity?

I recently had this question land in my inbox and I thought it was worthy of this weeks coaching related post.

When I asked myself this question I came up with the several points about how I approach coaching, some of the beliefs I hold and how they impact this potential situation. I’ve included 7 in the post below.

This is not intended to be a list that tells you how all coaches “should” approach coaching. If you read any of these points and find that you use a different approach then, as always, I’m going to say use the way that works for you and your clients. (Plus feel free to contribute your approach/belief in the comment section.)

If you find any points that you totally disagree with I invite you to consider it for a moment as a way of potentially increasing your own coaching flexibility or just re-affirm your own thinking.

The Meaning of Empathy

I know that many coaches think that being empathetic is an important part of how they coach.

If you look up the meaning of the word empathy in the dictionary you will find an entry such as: Noun: “The ability to identify oneself mentally with a person or thing and so understand his or her feelings or its meaning.” Note that it does not say – feeling the same as that other person.

If you had previous thought that you had to show empathy to be the coach you want to be, don’t get tricked in to thinking that means you have to be feeling the same thing as your client.

Look after yourself

It’s just easier to fully focus on your work and your client if you are looking after yourself. You probably already know that it’s a lot easier not to be affected by someone else’s mood if you are feeling well in yourself.

You’ll probably already have a good idea about what the things are that when you do them you have a better day.

Have a support system in place

That may be a system in place that alters over time. It can be individuals and groups that you pay and those you don’t. It may even take the form of a particular book, CD or media clip. The important bit is that it’s a system that works for you.

(I may be biased, but for me as a coach, one of the most obvious members of a support system is another coach!)

Non-judgemental listening

I have to be honest; my initial response was to rack my brains for examples of clients’ negativity. When I looked there were potentially several situations that I guess could be labelled as clients negativity.

You may read that and wonder if I am that unobservant not to have seen/heard that during the actual coaching session. During a coaching session I am listening/looking for what is going on for a particular client – both in “reality” and how they are perceiving a scenario.

I’m normally listening to influence – I find that judging and labelling those conversations and thoughts as positive and negative don’t add anything to my work.

Be aware of your own “stuck points”

If you find yourself feeling stuck at any time you’ve probably bought into the same story that your client is telling themself. Quite possibly because it’s a story you also tell yourself.

It’s a lot easier for someone else’s mood not to impact upon your own if you haven’t bought into their “story” – the things they are telling themselves about a situation.

Change can happen in an instance

I believe that change can happen in an instance. I think that being “dragged down” by negativity can be perceived as a much bigger problem if it’s a situation that you think is something you can’t change immediately. If I feel my mood shift in a direction I don’t want to go, then I know I can also quickly change it back.

Selecting the clients who work with you

If you find a particular client negatively impacts you, then I suggest you consider why you are working with them?

I know, particularly when you are first beginning your coaching journey and setting up a coaching practice, it may feel that you have to say yes to everyone that wants to work with you.

You will know your finances and situation best. You may want to consider what you could be doing with the time and energy you’re using with such a client instead.

If this is a common theme in the majority of your clients, is there anything in your marketing materials etc that is attracting such behaviour?

What else can you add to this list?