What happens during an exploratory conversation?

One of the first questions people tend to ask when they call me to enquire about my offer for a free exploratory conversation is,

“What happens during that conversation?”

It’s so common that I thought I’d write a blog about what actually goes on in an exploratory or chemistry session.


The idea behind such a conversation is to clarify where you’re now – what your current situation is, how you feel about it, what you might already have tried to make things better, what worked, what didn’t and why.

If you tried something and it worked why did you stop?  Perhaps it wasn’t enough or you did sort out that particular situation but a new one popped up.  This is your chance to find out.

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Why mistakes can be a confidence-booster

There was a time when I believed that, if only I had no more problems, challenges, disappointments and setbacks, then I would be happy.

shutterstock_220820908Of course, that was never going to happen. Problems happen, setbacks happen, I make mistakes, life happens. That’s unavoidable and part of being human.

It took me a long time to figure out that the only way to learn and grow, the only way to become wiser and more resilient is through problems, disappointments and setbacks.

But there’s a lot more to it.  It is said that a person who never failed, never tried anything so, when life happens, how do you know you can handle it? You know because

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Are you successful?

hOver the years I’ve noticed that, as I change, my definition of what success means to me changes too.

When I was young it was a question of the image I presented. I spent time, effort and money to look professional, warm and approachable – expensive clothes, jackets with padded shoulders, warm colours and natural fabrics. Part of the image included spending money on things I couldn’t really afford, all in an effort to appear ‘successful’.

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How changing my story changed my life

hHere’s a question: What story are you telling yourself about yourself?

We have stories we tell ourselves about anything and everything – ourselves, other people and life in general. A personal favourite of mine is the ‘helpless’ story. This one is

– or could have been – mine:

“After 37 years, I decided I deserved better and finally left my marriage.

Of course, it was his fault. I had a list of complaints as long as my arm: everything he said or didn’t say; everything he did or didn’t do – that left me feeling resentful, frustrated, angry and hurt.

People I thought were friends walked away.  I felt abandoned. I kept talking about my feelings all the time; I just couldn’t help it. It all seemed so unfair.”


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The Gremlin: the great debilitator

A while back I posted a number of blogs introducing the concept of the Gremlin (your inner critic) and suggested ways to manage it.

I’ve been familiar with my Gremlin for as long as I remember, even when I didn’t have name for it.  I even commented how important it was to be aware of how it works because it affects the quality of our life like nothing else can.

Probably the most important point I made was that, even when we learn to master it, we will always have to watch out because it will never be defeated.

How true that statement is was brought home to me over the

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A new model for ageing

Ever since I decided to work with senior and professional people nearing retirement – who are dreading it, I started a process of my own around my own age – 67.  Although nothing in me fits any of the criteria as dictated by social norms such as appearance (I’m blessed with great genes), health and wellbeing, and the way I think and act, I was still wondering “is this it?”

Surveys into the perception

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Am I Lying to Myself? – From Confusion to Clarity

I grew up believing that telling the truth is something we tell another person. But that’s only part of the story.

In reality, the most important person we actually need to tell the truth to is – ourselves.

We lie to ourselves all the time. In my younger days my self-deceptions revolved around my self image. Every time I opened my mouth and started a sentence with “I like to think I am (honest, truthful, reliable, loving or a good friend”), that was my way of trying to look good to myself.

Read moreAm I Lying to Myself? – From Confusion to Clarity

Self-Awareness: How to Wake Up

One of the main advantages of being coached is that I’m now quicker to notice when I’m doing something that doesn’t work for me.

Two weeks ago life hit me with a huge challenge. It felt like a punch in the stomach. My instant knee-jerk reaction was to think the worst and I was plunged into a dark pit of fear and despair.

I stayed there for a whole day. Then I though, “Wait a minute. I’ve been here before – actually I’ve been here more than once and somehow I overcame the challenge. I know there’s nothing to worry about. I trust myself enough to know that I can handle it.”

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Turmoil – Friend or Foe?

Here’s a radical proposition: Turmoil and confusion are the foundation of creativity.

Ask anyone how they feel about it and you’re likely to be told: ‘It’s horrible!’, as they thrash about in uncertainty and not knowing which way to turn. I know that feeling very well.

Not knowing is deeply uncomfortable and there is an urge in us that drives us to fill

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Why There’s No Such Thing as Reality

As far as I know, nobody questions what is real. Reality just is. Full stop.

Ah, but is that true?

How come different people experience the same event in completely different ways?

It’s because what we believe is reality is actually a combination of how we perceive and interpret everything that happens to us. In other words, if we chose to change the way we interpret something we would experience that event differently. But, to make things a little more complicated, our perceptions

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Grow Your Confidence and Fabulous Relationships will Follow