LIFE IS SHORT, WHY WOULDN'T YOU SPEND IT BEING AS HAPPY AS YOU CAN?
You have a busy life that’s full of things needing your attention. Lots of those things are good, but you often find yourself feeling less happy with life than you thought you’d be.
You feel dissatisfied, powerless or frustrated with an aspect, or multiple aspects, of your life. You find these feelings negatively impacting other areas of your life, causing stress or low moods.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way
I love helping women to identify what’s actually causing those feelings so they can take targeted action to improve them, they regain control to create a happier life that enhances their emotional and mental wellbeing.
I truly believe that people are more stressed than they need to be and I help women to become better equipped to deal with stressful things more easily.
It is absolutely possible to reduce your stress, worry or anxiety levels by changing the way that you react to the things that cause you to be stressed, even if you don’t change the actual stressor itself.
I was where you are and I’ve come out the other side
I was stressed out, being pulled from pillar to post in my job and my personal life and I felt like the proverbial hamster on a wheel. I would often joke ‘stop the world, I want to get off’, it was only part in jest though, I really did want to stop living the life that I found myself in.
I was a Senior Human Resources (HR) professional, I’d worked my way up from an HR Admin role to Lead HR Business Partner over 10 years, working in the Telecoms, Retail, Financial Services and Professional Services industries.
As I started the Lead HR Business Partner role the world entered the financial crisis that started in late 2007/early 2008. I’d worked in pressured environments before but this was on a whole other level.
For the best part of 2 years I was on autopilot. This was my way of coping with the immense pressure that I was under in restructuring a business as a result of the collapse of the banking industry. My husband had been made redundant and whilst that was worrying on one level, it was actually a Godsend on another, he could manage our home so I ‘only’ had to show up for work. I genuinely think if I’d had to do home stuff too it would have pushed me over the edge.
I was exhausted by my commitments, I overthought EVERYTHING. I would wake up in the night and be awake for hours, worrying about work, about stuff at home, things I should do but didn’t have time to, something someone had said, what people thought about me, the list went on. I had enough energy to do my job, just, but that was about it. Trying to do more than put one foot in front of the other to get to work and get home at the end of the day just wasn’t possible.
We had 2 horses and at this time I probably saw them a few hours a week. It’d been my childhood dream to own my own horse, which I achieved at age 30. I barely saw them though, let alone be able to do anything more than give them a brush and a cuddle.
When the banking crisis abated and the business was on a more stable footing I was offered the position of HR Director, I was 34. I turned it down without hesitation. The previous 2 years had clearly shown me the difference between living to work and working to live. I knew without question that I wanted to work to live and few Director level roles facilitate that. I wanted quality of life much more than I wanted a 6 figure salary.
I wanted quality of life more than I wanted a 6 figure salary
I wanted balance in my life & took some pretty radical steps to make it happen
When I was offered the HR Director role myself & my husband had a very different plan brewing. We were sick of leaving home at silly o’clock and not getting in until late. Getting up at 4.30am to catch a flight or a train wasn’t unheard of. I often saw people in their 50s and 60s on the train platform before 6am and I knew that wasn’t the future I wanted.
We wanted more freedom from the corporate merry-go-round and to achieve a better balance to our lives. A couple of years earlier we’d bought a property in rural France. Our plan was to move us, our (by then) 3 horses, 4 cats and work remotely.
I left my corporate HR role just before we moved and set up a business supporting small & medium sized companies with their HR needs. My husband stayed in his current role but went self employed, meaning that he was able to operate from our place in France with a bit of commuting to the UK.
The difference that this move made to our lives was huge! We got so much time back from losing the daily commute alone. Having the horses at home had been a lifelong dream of mine and it more than lived up to my expectations. Getting to see them every day and care for their needs is honestly a dream come true. It’s hard work of course, but the most rewarding kind and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After years of missing out on so much time with them it’s incredible to finish a work call and just pop outside to see them. We are still busy but we’re creating a life that we want on our terms. It gave us the balance that we’d craved for so long.
My passion as an amateur horse rider drives me to improve
I have loved horses for as long as I can remember, it was a childhood obsession and I did everything I could to be around them. Whilst studying & work took over, horses took a back seat for 10 years, but they were never far from my mind. You know the question ‘what would you do if you won the lottery?’ my answer was always ‘I’d buy a house with some land and have horses at home.’ Even when I hadn’t been around horses for years, and with no immediate plan to change that, that was still always my answer.
By moving to France we achieved that goal without needing to win the lottery! By working less, cutting out the commute and not having the relentless pressure, I was finally able to start focusing on my riding. I quickly realised that I had an awful lot to learn about riding as an adult. Years of wearing heels for work had affected my posture, I was ridiculously unfit and as a result of lack of exercise and a poor diet, while I was coping with the insanity that was my corporate life, I was heavier than was good for me.
Just living in the countryside, walking our dogs, because more animals inevitably followed our move, caring for the horses and riding more meant the weight fell off easily. I had more time to ride and importantly I had the headspace to devote to improving my riding.
After a few years my thoughts turned to competing. In the years since we’d been in France I’d watched others show jump their horses but when I thought about doing it myself I ‘knew’ that I wasn’t good enough, I hadn’t tried but I ‘knew’ it… I wasn’t even upset about it, I just accepted my fate of being a spectator.
I had unwittingly told myself that I couldn’t do it & I believed that as if it was a fact
Slowly though the desire to try competing became stronger and I went in search of a coach to help me improve my riding enough so I felt that I could try. That coach became a great friend and without pushing me, she gave me the confidence to give it a go. At one of my first jumping shows I fell off, when my horse Bella stopped at the last fence! I was undeterred though and as we drove home, despite the fall, I felt amazing. I’d done something that I hadn’t believed I could and it felt incredible!
I quickly realised that I really struggled with nerves. I focused a lot on what could go wrong and although I tried to think positively, I came away from shows feeling shattered from the effort of trying to quieten the negative voices in my head. In a bid to improve my riding I started reading up about mindset and started to learn about how the mind works. I learnt tips to enhance my mindset and I practiced them to improve my riding.
With that mindset knowledge and by riding some more experienced horses my confidence started to grow. It happened slowly at first but once I started to believe that I could do it, it was a game changer! That version of me who was once terrified to jump 85cm recently competed at 1m15 at an international show! If you’d have told me a few years ago that I’d do that I would have laughed, believing that I would be more likely to go to the moon!
People often ask me what made the difference; 3 things, the right coach, the right horse(s) and the right attitude
More recently I gave Eventing a go, I’d always wanted to but I hadn’t had a horse that could, or a trainer to help me. I still didn’t have a regular eventing trainer and my lovely competition horse Kiki is a show jumper, but we decided to give it a go anyway and we absolutely loved it! I’m now completely hooked and based on Kiki’s excitement levels when she sees cross country fences I’d say she is too. When we had our first top 10 placing at only our fourth event I was absolutely over the moon.
Realising that I was the only thing holding me back was a real game-changer. I was the only thing in the way of something I wanted to do, how had it taken me so long to realise this? It was as if someone switched on a light and I saw that I’d been making excuses because I didn’t think I was good enough; I’m not ready, that show is too far, there’s no one to come with me etc. They were valid considerations but when it came down to it, if I wanted to do something then I could, I’d been choosing not to because I believed that I couldn’t.
Knowing the difference that understanding my mindset has made to me lit the fire in me to learn more. I continue to be fascinated, excited and amazed by just how powerful our minds are and the difference they make to how happy we are, and what’s possible for each of us, every day.
What happened next felt like a calling
Helping others to improve their lives and achieve their goals in the way that I had done felt like my calling. As an HR professional coaching senior managers to improve their people, to improve their business area, was my favourite part. It was the natural next step to create a business using that coaching experience alongside developing mindset skills.
I qualified as a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Be Your Best Yet Life Improvement Coaching was born.
Doing a job that I love alongside my horsey life is the perfect balance
Today I help women to improve their lives and achieve their goals and I love it! Seeing people go from being stressed out to calm, or from confused to having clarity, from feeling stuck to being free, or improving their life in any other way, lights me up every day. I help horsey people too, in a myriad of ways.
In all areas of my life I strive for progress rather than perfection, my goal is to be as happy as I can be for as much of the time as I can and to help my clients do the same. So many things are possible when we know how, so why would we waste our lives being worried, stressed, anxious or missing out, when we could be having fun?