How do you judge your progress?

How do you judge your progress?

There’s a misconception with coaching that as soon as you engage a coach your life will start to get better. And luckily for many it does. But unfortunately for many the journey to better is through a long dark tunnel of worse.

Of course if you’re already at rock bottom, get a coach because the only way forward is up.

But what if your pain is internal? What if nobody knows you’re even afraid?

Th clients I work with in coaching are not the weak ones, they’re the strong ones. The ones that have kept everything inside for so long that nobody even knows they feel broken. And their carefully constructed surface self masks a deep unending fear of being found out.

True transformation can’t come when we take what you have and slap a fresh coat of positive paint over it; it comes from truly facing and healing the damage and crud covering our core.

So for many of my clients, happiness is the problem not the progress.

Progress comes when they admit they feel afraid and find the root cause of that fear.

It comes when they admit that they are hurt and sad and let go of the suppressed tears.

It comes when they face the hatred and the anger at the people who stole their innocent years.

It comes when they release the guilt, resentment and regret that they were the ones who let the pain continue.

For me the first sign of progress is when you do something that feels like the opposite. For the brave to be vulnerable, for the sad to express their anger and the angry to cry their tears.

Progress may be falling in love with a new hobby or falling out of love with an old one.

It is not a journey to be entered into lightly because if our outer world is created by our inner world, and it is, then when we transform and heal our inner world chances are everything in our outer world must change.

Change happens in an instant, it’s the fallout of the change that takes time to come to grips with.

It’s learning new skills, practising new behaviour and questioning everything you used to accept as true.

It’s not quitting the job, leaving the relationship, moving to a new place and hoping it will go away. It’s healing the voids that caused you to choose them and then deciding which things are still a match and choosing when and where to stay.

One of the hardest parts about progress, especially for the strong ones, is that so few people will ever know.

This entire journey that could take months or even years may not even be visible to the people in your life. Your greatest breakthrough may have been the day where you said no instead of yes or yes instead of no and nobody even noticed it was different.

But you did. Your coach will.

So honour your Own progress.

Nobody has your trauma or limitations, your beliefs or possibilities.

Don’t look sideways at what “they” are achieving – comparisons will feed the flaws.

Keep focused on who you are becoming, what you need to get there and an occasional glance at how far you’ve come.

And remember – if everything in your old life suddenly doesn’t seem to fit, good.

You’re making progress.

Truth Hurts, Truth Heals

Have you ever held back a moment of honesty with someone because you were afraid it might hurt?

Afraid that the honest truth would hurt them, or they’d hurt you or a relationship would be damaged?

Only to later have the hurt and damage happen anyway?

More people are hurt from lies than from truth.

Not even just the big lies – those are easy to expose. It’s the little ones that are infinitely more dangerous.

The “I’m Fine’s” as someone’s world falls apart so nobody notices until it’s too late.

By the time they’re ready to admit something is not right, by the time other people start to notice, the surface facade is so far from what is really going on that to admit one truth is to open up a can of worms and expose often years and years of half truths and white lies that all seem too much to handle.

What started as just admitting they’re not ok has now become admitting that they’re not ok AND that they’ve been lying to their loved ones all this time about it, long beyond the time where it would’ve been an easy solution, embarrassing perhaps but solveable. To a point where the hole is so deep that there will be many casualties in climbing their way out.

In many cases people hold back their truth to protect the relationship but what relationship is it if you can’t be honest?

The people with the problem hold back the truth for fear of judgment, embarrassment, blame or shame. The people suspecting a problem hold back asking deeper questions for fear of hurting the other and instead find it easier to hope that the surface story is true.

But deep down the rot is festering.

There is a reason so many people say they never saw it coming when a friend commits suicide.

It’s because neither were brave enough to be honest about the signs.

There’s a reason why the suicide rate is so much higher amongst Men.

It’s because “real men don’t talk about their feelings” and the ego on both sides would rather be dead than admit they’re not perfect, they made a mistake, they have a problem they don’t know how to get out of.

Well congratulations Ego. In many cases that is exactly how it turns out.

But there are always signs.

There is always someone who didn’t believe the “I’m fine” but didn’t have the courage to be honest and delve deeper for fear of the resentment. For fear of losing the relationship. For fear of not being loved – the only true fear that exists.

News flash- we ALL fear not being loved. We ALL fear judgement because to be judged would mean to be cast out from the tribe and to be cast out from the tribe would have meant death by Sabre tooth tiger.

Our creature comforts may have evolved but our emotional brains have not.

If you truly love someone you have to trust that creating a safe space without judgement for the truth will be more important for the long run and show them there is a way back.

As the friend who picks up the warning signal, you have to make a call – is it preferable to risk losing a friendship and keeping them alive or keeping a fake friendship and standing at their funeral saying “I wish I’d said something?”

Avoiding the little truths helps no one. They just build up to become the big truths and those are usually way harder to fix.

As the person with the problem – face it. In most cases problems seem so insurmountable in our heads because the thinking that created the problem can’t notice the solution. It’s like not being able to see the wood for the trees!

But it is true when they say “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Not with everyone but when you share the problem with someone who cares about you and your happiness they can help you come up with options to find a way out. That doesn’t mean they have to or even should fix it for you, and it means sometimes copping a dose of “well that was dumb wasn’t it” and taking a hit to the ego.

But it does give you the opportunity to have some help to unravel the Christmas lights as it were.

Regardless of how big we let the problems get, there is still a way out. There are always options, no matter how painful, but the longer we avoid honesty the bigger the problem gets, the longer it takes to heal.

Most people see life either better than it is or worse than it is but very few face life as it is.

Most people live in the past – blaming or resenting what they can’t change, or in the future intending or hoping things will get better, rather than in the present, observing, understanding and changing current behaviour which is the only true power we have.

Intention only matters in the context of behaviour and behaviour only matters in the context of intention. How long should we let people with good intentions get away with bad behaviour? How long should we be blinded by acceptable behaviour as a distraction from bad intentions?

How long will you tolerate someone causing pain to others before you say something?

How long will you tolerate someone causing pain to themselves before you say something?

How long will you tolerate Being in pain before you say something?

Truth Hurts.

But Truth also Heals.

And it might not even be that life or death of a situation yet.

It could just be a relationship you’re unhappy in and don’t know how to let the other know.

It could be a Child you’re trying to protect but tolerating behaviour that is out of control.

Kids are designed to test boundaries, it is how they learn to understand who they are and how to be, but if we’re not honest with what is acceptable and what is not – how will they learn? And what hope do they have as adults? They will continue the behaviour until someone stops tolerating it – don’t let that be a jail warden or their future children or when they can’t hold down any job or relationship and end up all alone.

At what point do you say enough is enough? At what point do you say “I love you but your behaviour is unacceptable” even if it makes them cry? At what point do you say “no, we will not be tolerating this anymore” even if they get angry or hurt?

At what point does the risk of silence finally outweigh the risk of honesty?

When they hurt you? When they hurt themselves? When they hurt others?

What if the truth you could’ve said is something that would’ve prevented hurt later? What if the honest feedback about someone’s behaviour allowed them to change it before it caused serious damage to themselves and others?

What is your honesty threshold?

When you first notice it?

When it’s gone on too long?

Or when it’s really too late because they’re not around to hear the feedback?

The past is done, can’t change it.

But next time you’re presented a choice between protecting egos or honesty, think long and hard about the decision you’re about to make.

At the end of the day you have to live with them resenting your honesty or you regretting your silence. Which one will hurt you more?

Honesty with others starts with honesty with ourselves. Anything less than this will lead to an incongruent and unfulfilled life where we’ll always be afraid of being found out.

It leads to a void we try to fill with addictions and more lies because if we don’t like who we are how can we believe others will?

It is a neverending snowball until we draw the line in the sand and decide that the honest relationship with ourselves and possibility of that with others is worth more than anything else.

There are no Sabre tooth tigers threatening our day to day life anymore. We aren’t limited by location and needing to be accepted by people in our immediate vicinity. We are not a tree, we can move. We can risk false friendships for the sake of real ones.

We can risk saying what needs to be said if it means protecting others in the long run.

We can risk the resentment from others for the possibility that a grain of truth may take root and be the one thing that allows them to change something for the better.

We just have to face the truth. Even when it hurts.

Or not and accept the possibility resenting yourself for your silence.

Your choice.

Our four planes of awareness 


There are four levels that we experience our existence through and therefore our decisions and our change. According to metaphysics there are actually a couple more, but these are the four that most of us can comprehend and therefore are useful to help us decipher our experiences in this world.

Spiritual is simply a belief that there is something out there bigger than us. You can call it god or source or the universe or some alien kid doing a school science project but there is a faith and knowing that we are part of some greater design than just this single existence .

Mental is all things logical, our beliefs, our formal and informal education and the language we use and things we tell ourselves about the problem we have and why it’s so unique to our perspective.

Emotional is the energetic states we experience, our values, our trauma our fight or flight response.

And physical is the manifested reality our physical bodies exist in. This is the bit where gravity is real and doors are solid no matter how much we believe we are particales of light vibrating at high speed.
Our physical bodies are weak, fragile. We cut, we break, we bleed.

We can strengthen them to a point with gym workouts and great nutrition , But when our emotions are engaged, they can make us superhuman. Just think of a mum lifting a car off her baby, or outrunning a bull to save your life.

Emotions can make us strong but they can also make us weak, emotional trauma is stored in our body as disease, kinesiology shows us that lies and negative emotions drop our strength, while truth makes us strong.

So logic allows us to combat that weakness, it builds shoes so we can walk on fire, it builds shelter so we can avoid the cold. It equally sets us free and sets us up to fail – have you ever wondered what would happen if the power went out? Or tried to walk barefoot on the first hot day or summer?

Our spirituality, faith, gives us strength to go on when we are physically broken, emotionally devastated, logically making no sense, our faith in a higher purpose allows us to find the most important of human conditions- hope that everything is happening for a reason and the stronger our belief that there is a reason, the more we’ll use logic to search for it, the more passion and determination will fill our emotional tank and we’ll push our bodies through untold pain.
All four areas are operating and influencing each other at all times which is why it is ludicrous to thing we can heal our life only focusing on one.

And yet So many therapies do.

We are not separate we are one.

We are not a symptom we are a system.

If you have a challenge then you have a gap or block in one or all of the four planes and it needs to be cleared so you can move forward.
Do you need to find faith? Start with the Law of Attraction

Do you need to learn more tools? Try The Coaching Institute or books

Do you need to process your emotions? Call us for 1:1 coaching

Do you need a physical adjustment? Start with your nutrition at fionaellis.myzija.com
It doesn’t necessarily matter where you start to make change as long as you start, but if you want a professional opinion and some help to narrow it down give us a call and we can help.

F.E.A.R

Fear is the most debilitating of human emotions.

It’s critical for our survival but with that part of your brain on constant surveillance for anything that could be dangerous it can get to a point where the definition of “dangerous” is simply “anything that is different”…

Now this was really useful when our RAS (the bit that filters in what is important to be aware of, and keeps out the rest aka the gatekeeper for your conscious mind) was used to scanning thousands of acres of African Savannah looking for the subtle movement of a sabre tooth tiger, but these days – with less animals waiting to eat you and with more rapid change and new things everywhere it can get a little out of control….

Even that wouldn’t be a problem if the fear part of us was rational and logical because it would make sense that of course things are newer more often because we’re inventing things all the time, but it doesn’t matter that there’s a new technology breakthrough because it’s obviously not life threatening – sabre tooth tigers are extinct now so there’s nothing to worry about….right?

Wrong.

See the modern “advanced” human brain actually has 3 different parts that have evolved over years of mutation under the Darwin principal -survival of the fittest. The newer neocortex areas of our brain allow us to reason and use logic, and are what has given us the ability to create such an range of tools and resources far beyond our needs for pure survival – one of the distinguishing features of human society over most other species.

Unfortunately the newer, analytical parts of our brain operate a little slower than the original “Croc Brain” which is the part responsible for all things survival.

This is the part that is deeply unconscious and controls all the things that if you needed to think about them before you did them would be too late. Like breathing, keeping your heart pumping and – reacting to life threatening danger.

When it comes to reaction speed, emotional instinct trumps logical analysis every time.

See while our brains evolved, our fight or flight response to danger remained the same.

The problem is that sometimes the fear sensor triggers the fight or flight response before we have time to rationalise that the danger isn’t really life threatening. In fact, thanks to our mirror neurones, sometimes we’re in fight or flight before we realise the danger isn’t even real! (Ever had a nightmare?)

When that response goes off, chemicals flood your body, preparing you to run away or punch danger in the face – And When you’re in real mortal danger, this response can save your life (cue Mick Fanning’s shark punch)

Most of the time it’s not a big deal but in times of heightened stress, the RAS kicks into danger hyperdrive and you can find yourself caught in the fight chain of Anger,when the last little thing causes you to lash out at someone either verbally or physically in a way that is a complete overreaction to how logically your response should have been.

Anger is the second core human emotion that we need to survive because it’s the one that defines our boundaries and fuels our strength when those boundaries are crossed. Unfortunately it is stored in a chain, like a string of pearls, and if we don’t deal with them as they come up the chain gets longer until finally the tiniest pearl at the end sends all the anger flying at whoever is closest.

Cue sadness, the third of the fundamentally human emotions that allow our society to function because it is what gives us the compassion to care for others. And with it remorse, regret and asking for forgiveness.

This compassion drives us to want to learn from our mistakes for the good of our loved ones, our community, our world. It drives us to seek the ultimate fulfilment through contribution to the good of others.

But if we’re too afraid to expand what we know to be safe, or say what needs to be said to change what needs to be changed – then we just stay stuck still, a “victim” in tears, waiting for the danger to get us and feeling powerless to stop it.

The more powerless we feel, the more we crave safety, certainty and the less willing we are to leave the familiarity of our comfort zone.

Unfortunately the more you try to keep things the same, the more anything new looks dangerous to your fear sensors.

Your whole body goes on the defensive, high alert, ready to react instantly to the first sign of danger. But when your comfort zone shrinks, that first sign of danger is often nothing more than a look, a tone of voice, an innocent question from a loved one that was never meant with judgement but you feel is an attack on your safety.

So you react with anger, sadness, fear and so the cycle continues.

There is a way to stop unreasonable fear ruling your life though, and the first step is awareness.

Let’s put aside the real dangers In Life for a moment and talk about the threats that trigger the other kind of F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real.

If you know and accept that no matter how much you don’t like it, we’re still – and always will be in our lifetime at least – emotional beings, then you can learn to master your emotions rather than wishing they’d go away.

Fear, Anger and Sadness are not something to ignore, suppress or get rid of because they will always come out at some stage – they have to, it’s evolution baby!

While you can’t always take control of your fear response, you can take control of your RAS, or at least what it is searching for, and you must because If you don’t tell it what to look for then everything new is danger.

So when you feel the Fear, Anger or Sadness about to overwhelm you and explode, just STOP.

S- Stop. Just stop whatever your saying or about to say, doing or about to do because the only possible outcome of a fight or flight response is that someone gets hurt. Either someone/thing hurts you first; or you hurt it first – that’s the point. Whether it is physically or emotionally – fighting always hurts. Even flight hurts – it hurts you. So just stop and take the time to…

T- Think
– you need time to force your rational brains to kick in and override the danger signal. You need to notice it’s not really life threatening. Take a moment to suspend your emotional response and think that just maybe there is another perspective. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and…

O- Open your heart
– Love is the only antidote to fear. Love is the opposite side to the coin, they cannot exist at the same time, love will always win out because the core of fear is lack of love. So if you consider that the other person may also be reacting from an emotional space of fear then you can be open enough to hearing both sides of the story. It does not make them right but without being open, the real truth can never be told. And without the real truth, then there can never be a common ground to stand on to start to move forward. For some people, their love for you is not worth moving forward together so you simply need to get to a solid ground for you. But for others, for important relationships this is a must because it is usually these people we take our fear out on the most. They have to safest ground to be tested because you can push further with each other before giving up. Parents, husbands/wives, children, close friends – the stronger the love the stronger the tests it can withstand but there comes a point where the testing must stop. Where you must stop trying to win against them, and truly embrace the common ground to stand together so you both can win against the world. The true danger is out there, not in here, and we’re always stronger together. When you realise that then you can start to look for the…

P- Positives
. There is always a silver lining, there is always a positive in every situation because love and light always exists even in the darkness and it is so much more powerful. A single candle can shed more light than a single shadow can shed dark.

If you trust that everything happens for a reason and look for the positives, even in the potential worst case outcome, then it makes starting the thing you’re afraid of easier. If you trust that there is always a way then you will find it together.

But you must consciously look for the positive because your RAS is set to default to negative. Looking for the positive is and always will be a manual override function. Even for the most optimistic person, their default setting is to survive and that means be always on the lookout for danger. Look for love, and practice patience and gratitude as a stepping stone to love.

Remember there is no universal truth and no single common danger. Even the universal truth that the sun will come up tomorrow is not true in many parts of the world.

Our truth is simply that which we believe to be true based on all that we’ve experienced so far, and our RAS will continue to look for evidence to remind us of that truth because that is our safety, our beacon of certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.

All possibilities exist in the world in every moment. Doubt or trust. Lack or abundance. Fear or love.

The more positive universal truths we accept, the more positive our world will be as our RAS uses these as guidance to filter in and out everything else.

So look for love and trust that you are loved. And every time you find someone who loves you, hold onto that truth and never let yourself question it. Look for evidence that makes it true instead.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the decision there is something more important than the fear”

RAS – click here for the science
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reticular_activating_system