DB Coaching & Consultancy Limited

Business & Personal Coach

Is ‘consistency’ one of the greatest acts of kindness?

I spent the last six months or so of 2016 coaching and developing frontline Social Care Practitioners around the concept of Strengths-Based Practice. On my last day one of the coachees posed an interesting question, which led to a fascinating debate on the day and has left me reflecting on it ever since. What did she say….

“I must say that you are one of the most positive individuals that I have ever met. Positivity is your strength. You are so lucky to have had the training that you have had to enable you to have this mindset consistently.”

 Now, I’ll leave the full debate about nature versus nurture for another post in the future, and I would love to hear your personal experiences in the meantime. I’m sure that there will be the whole spectrum of responses. There certainly was on the day: obviously this lady was in the 100% trained positivity camp, whereas the guy sitting next to her was of the 100% opinion that it was an innate skill and that I was born with a positive mindset. As a professional Coach, I imagine the answer is somewhere in-between. I know oodles of strategies for developing, nurturing and sustaining a positive mindset; perhaps the ‘nature’ part makes it easier for some than others depending on their baseline. Anyway I digress – this is not the nuts and bolts of my personal reflection..

Please don’t get the wrong idea about me either…..I’m not the skipping down the corridors, beaming from ear to ear, irritating type of positive (well I hope not anyway)!! I prefer ‘understated and effortless’ positivity. I have my bad days like everyone else. I have my strategies for resolving negativities quickly; and above all I endeavour to never show that side in front of my clients or training attendees.

They deserve to see the best version of me, and only ever that version.

I would be a terrible trainer, facilitator, Coach if I took ‘baggage’ into the session with me, yet I am sure we have all experienced it first hand. You probably only need to think back to a conversation with a partner who’s not listening to you properly or is obviously distracted following a tough day at work. Their mind is elsewhere but you need them to be truly present. And what happens next? Feelings of resentment, annoyance, irritation, guilt perhaps. You feel like you have been short changed somehow.

I’ve always been quite a natural ‘compartmentaliser’ and my journey to become a Personal Performance Coach through The Coaching Academy really did harness the skill (so my attendee was right in a way, although I really am adverse to the word ‘lucky’). There are a lot of techniques out there to support oneself in de-baggaging, or as an ex-Cabin Crew friend recently said: “Emptying your Capacity Bucket.”

There’s relaxation, visualisation and mindfulness techniques. There’s stories of individuals who write their frustrations on a piece of paper and then lock them in a box, ready to be picked up later. You may have also heard the story of the The Trouble Tree:

” The Carpenter I hired to help me restore and old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.”

“On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.”

“Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.”

“Oh, that’s my trouble tree”, he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

“Funny thing is”, he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ’em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

What I actually think the lady in my session was commenting on was my ability to behave in a consistent manner. The positivity thing might actually be a bit of a red-herring. This got me thinking about consistency (not necessarily positivity) as an essential leadership skill.

So what did I do? I googled it of course!! There are so many great quotes to chose from; my favourite has to be “we become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.”

I have had some great and inspirational managers in my career; and reflecting back I think their consistency might have been their greatest attribute. If they were consistently positive all the better! In fact I have met some seriously miserable managers – and when done consistently it weirdly sort of works. At least their staff knew exactly what they were going to get and were respectful of that. It becomes trickier for employees when faced with an inconsistent manager – up one minute, down the next. As leaders don’t our staff deserve the best version of us, consistently?

And why stop at leadership or business; aren’t we all looking for a little bit of consistency in all aspects of our lives?

I’m not a parent and I am certainly not going to start dishing out parenting advice. But I was a child once, and I know that one of the kindest things my parents did was to apply boundaries and rules consistently. And what about our other personal relationships too – how do they benefit from a consistent approach (of course allowing room for spontaneity and surprise)?

I’ve consistently become a little bit obsessed with the word ‘consistent’ as a result of this experience and now writing this article… I’ll sign off here. I will leave you with one final thought though……How could you become more consistent? It might just be the kindest thing you do!

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What Would Your T-Shirt Say?

Great news! I’m two months into delivering an awesome coaching programme for thirty-two leaders and managers in an Adult Social Care setting. Following a high energy whole-day group session (one for Team Managers and another for Lead Practitioners), the group were able to recognise themselves as a group of individuals with shared roles and responsibilities, and equally as a team in their own right! They defined their legacy, their values, behaviours and areas that they needed breakthroughs in.

One of the greatest light bulb moments that was created in their 1:1 coaching sessions came about as a result of a simple metaphor. If you’re a visual person, this is perfect for you too and I’d encourage you to give it a go to change your thinking, actions and behaviours.

Imagine you have three t-shirts, each t-shirt with a different slogan on it. The slogans represent pieces of advice or lessons learnt that when followed consistently would have a positive impact on your thinking to create more successes and fewer disappointments.

Take a piece of paper and start writing whatever slogans come to mind. Ignore the desire to start filtering and editing when doing this. What do your t-shirts say? Don’t worry if they don’t make sense to anyone else, these are just for you!

Examples of some of these slogans might be:

“I’ve got this”

“Move forward glamorously”

“Get Out Of Your Own Way”

“Preparation Reaps Rewards”.

It’s time to test whether these t-shirts are right for you. Start by imagining yourself putting on of these on and think of yourself as possessed by the slogan (you have no choice by to abide by what the slogan says). The slogan should drive your thinking, your actions and behaviours! How does the t-shirt feel?

Did you want to put the t-shirt on? If it’s boring, dull, scary, challenging, ugly or undesirable then you won’t even open the wardrobe to put it on… it’s the wrong t-shirt for you! If you have opened the wardrobe and put on the t-shirt does it feel comfortable of baggy? If you answered yes, it’s the wrong t-shirt. You’re probably abiding by the slogan’s advice already… if it’s too much in your comfort zone it won’t stretch you enough to make changes.

The right t-shirt is one that you want to put on but feels a little tight and uncomfortable. Read back over your slogans and find the right ones then start wearing them right away!

I did this exercise about seven months ago! Now my t-shirts are my home screen on my mobile phone and laptop. They are a constant reminder of the change I wanted to create and why they were important to me. I’m honestly having my Best Year Yet and I can see that the thirty-two coachees I’m working with are heading that way too!

Here’s an interesting thought… what t-shirt would I have created for myself in early pregnancy to counteract ol’ Preggie Debbie? I’ll have a think and get back to you.

To celebrate my new coaching programme I’m giving away one lucky winner their very own t-shirt with their own slogan! Try the exercise above and once you’ve found your perfect slogan pop over to my social channels and enter to win!* Find me on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.



*T&C’s: One winner will be selected at random. Competition closes 30th November 2017. Only complete entries will be entered. Prize non transferable, no cash alternative.

Why Leaders Should Have A Positive Attitude

As a leader or manager of a team, your attitude will directly impact your employees’ and the team around you. In turn, it will impact their success, how productive they are, how happy they are and how willing they are to do their job well. Therefore, no matter how great you are at what you do, having a negative attitude can hinder your own success and that of your team’s. Use these tips to create a positive outlook and attitude:

  1. Lead With Energy: Whatever energy you bring into the office will reflect on those around you. Your team is looking to you for guidance, which is why you are the leader! No matter what’s going on in your life, adopt positive energy into every mundane task and new project to get your team focused and on board.
  2. Positivity Attracts Positivity: Use the law of attraction, think positively and positivity will be attracted to you. Encourage your team and focus on their achievements. At the same time if something has happened where they might feel disappointed, show them how to learn from this and change a negative mindset into a positive one.
  3. Motivate Through Positivity: Have a clear goal in mind and use motivational quotes to inspire your team to think more positively and do better. Maintaining this attitude is key to your own success and that of your team. You might even want to consider putting up reminders on the shared noticeboard, rewarding achievements and sending out positive emails to the team for great work!
  4. Surround Yourself With Positive People: There’s most likely that one dreary negative person in every team and unfortunately you can’t get away from them! Surround yourself and your team with positivity to help change and improve this person’s attitude. Not everyone will be open to making changes but a stream of positive thoughts, positive outlooks and motivation might even help turn the most negative person into developing a happier outlook at work.

If you want to find out more about the programmes I run for developing teams, click here or pop me a message via or on social media TwitterFacebookLinkedIn to discuss your requirements and how a programme could help you and your team.



Affirmations And The Unconscious Mind

How often throughout your day do you stop and listen to your unconscious mind? Are you talking to yourself in a positive way or is it negative? If you’re popping out to the shops do you say “don’t forget the milk”? Or, “remember the milk?”. How we talk to ourselves can have an impact on both our happiness, and outlook. As of late, Preggie Debbie hasn’t been around much to grace me with her negative thoughts… to be honest I’m quite pleased about that and I’m feeling so much better in my second trimester. I’ve even learnt that maternity jeans are THE most comfortable things ever, might consider wearing them post pregnancy!!

Recently however, I was watching a re-run of the US drama, The Blacklist. Towards the end of the episode ‘Philomena’, Kaplin in reciting a saying to baby Agnes “You are safe. You are loved. You are wise.” This got me thinking about affirmations and in the early days of my pregnancy, I started to think about how the words of a parent can impact the unconscious thoughts and beliefs of a child.

Lately, Tom and I have been discussing what words and affirmations we should display in the nursery, why? Because we want to build a positive aura around our baby right from day one! We want our new baby to feel like he/she can do anything, creating a positive person who can take on any challenge and be anything they want to be in the future. With that in mind, we started putting together some quotes we love including;

“Be a pineapple. Stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside”

“When it rains look for rainbows. When it’s dark look for stars”

“There is something that you must always remember. You are braver than you believe; stronger than you seem; and smarter than you think”

“Keep shining beautiful one. The world needs your light”

I also have a very strong attachment to the lyrics of the Robbie William’s song ‘Love My Life’. It’s had such a strong important meaning to me all through my pregnancy and I sing I to my bump whenever it comes on.

“I’ll pray that I’m giving you all that matters

So one day you’ll say to me

I love my life

I am powerful

I am beautiful

I am free

I love my life

I am wonderful

I an magical

I am me

I love my life”

In fact I love the lyrics so much that I chose it as my last song on the radio show Everyday People (it was in fact the real reason why I chose this song).

As a parent-to-be and business owner, I regularly use affirmations to turn lessons learnt into my own pieces of advice. If I have encountered a disappointing situation, I take the lesson from it, understand it completely and create a positive quote for myself which I repeat regularly to empower me to make better decisions in the future. I want to be able to empower my child to do this too. So that when my child is off to school, feeling a little scared he or she will know that they can take on anything! Going into school with a positive attitude to accomplish whatever they set their mind to and have a good experience.

As a parent or leader of a team are you aware of how your inner thoughts are impacting your success, your team’s success or even that of your child? Join me for a Best Year Yet programme which is designed for individuals or, if you’re part of a team consider The Curve programme. To read more about positive attitudes, take a look at my latest post- Positive Attitudes In Leaders.


It’s all hush hush

I’d always thought that Tom and I would be the sort of couple who would wait until the infamous 12-week scan before sharing our pregnancy news with friends and family. As you probably read in my earlier post, I’m quite the traditionalist although, I did happily sacrifice one particular tradition on this occasion.

Anyway, I can honestly tell you that the 12 weeks leading up to it were the longest I have ever known! Have you ever counted down a holiday or special event? It’s not terrible even when you’re being impatient! These 12 weeks, however, were particularly strenuous for me, made worse by nausea and tiredness it was a psychological battle with time. I realized just under halfway through that I am completely envious of ladies who miss their time of the month (or two) before even contemplating taking a pregnancy test! This would have definitely taken off a good few weeks of waiting for the 12-week mark to confirm if what you know is actually true. Catch up on my previous blog about knowing but not knowing here.

It got me thinking one evening as I was reading through some pregnancy articles, probably around the 6-week point, of who came up with this 12-week scan tradition? I guess that it boils down to a tradition of avoidance! Although not a nice thought – pregnant women are at the highest risk of a miscarriage during the first trimester, so whilst you might want to start telling everyone your news it could perhaps end with a lot of upset and difficult conversations. So, I completely understand why most women prefer to wait until the 12-week scan! But, there was just one problem – I was lonely! In fact, I was pretty much the queen of this very lonely place that only I and Preggie Debbie inhabited! I felt that I was lying to my friends when they asked me how I was and I started avoiding their contact in case they noticed how terrible I felt (and looked). To pregnant women before you’ve had your 12-week scan – I sympathise, really, I do (read more here)!

We decided, for purely our (my) own selfish reasons that we would tell a few close family and friends at the 6-8 week mark of the pregnancy. After all, these are the people who would support me should the worst should happen!

All of a sudden I wasn’t lonely anymore, I had my friends (and social life) back – they came over if I didn’t feel like going out, we had dinner and they ordered for me because they knew that just the thought of food would leave me disinterested, even though I really did want to eat (just to add, I love food)! But nagging Preggie Debbie stepped in to ruin things with a not-so-delightful surprise! I started to doubt friends and their support when some of them didn’t respond to my news.

In my NLP training, we were taught that there are two types of people, the ‘at cause’ and the ‘at effect’. I’m a very ‘at cause’ person, which means that I live my life completely responsible for creating what happens to me. But, for a brief moment, Preggie Debbie had turned me into ‘at effect’! I felt as if I was helpless, I was a victim of this terrible situation where my friends didn’t respond and I questioned our closeness and friendships. More importantly, Preggie Debbie reminded me that in this situation there was nothing I could do about it!

I gave myself (Preggie Debbie mostly) a good shake up! There was one way to get back to ‘at cause’ and it was taking back control of my own mindset! I realized that everyone has a life, things to do and they are busy. Just because I announced my pregnancy that doesn’t mean they should or will stop what they are doing to respond. If I wanted to see someone, I should just message them. It doesn’t make them any less of a close friend because they didn’t respond immediately.

My question to you… are you feeling like the victim of your own life right now? Take control and change your mindset. I run Best Year Yet programmes where you learn to shift limiting beliefs to think of yourself as successful, capable and worthy. Get in touch via email, or on social media: TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

“Just because something is traditional its no reason to do it”

5. There are two gifts a parent should give their child; one is roots and the other is wings.I’m very much a traditionalist and what I’ve always wanted is marriage before children and men to do the proposing!

Tom and I have always discussed getting married and starting a family together, we’re one of those couples who have made sure we want the same things out of life! We’re usually (not always) on the same page and when we find ourselves at a crossroad we’re very good at getting back on track. I have a great exercise for parents-to-be to help you get on the same page- read on, it’s included the end of this blog.

Back to my blog post now… You might remember that I told you about my ‘Best Year Yet’ goals in a previous blog, you can read that post again here. Whilst having a baby featured in my goals for the year, I also really wanted to get married. The problem (or challenge as I call it) is, that this goal is completely out of my control.

One day late last year, it dawned on me that in order to achieve my baby and marriage goals in the order I wanted them, there would be only a small window of opportunity where Tom could propose! Of course, I’m not a control freak so I would never force him to make this decision so I decided that I needed to let something go and prioritise which goal I wanted more – on this occasion, it was children before marriage!

In a perfect world, I would have loved a traditional scenario… getting married and announcing our 3-month pregnancy at the wedding reception. It sounded great, my family and close friends would be so happy for us. But, things change and for one reason or another it’s just not meant to happen in the way we (more I) planned. As Lemony Snicket said “Just because something is traditional its no reason to do it, of course”!

I was content with my decision, but unfortunately Preggie Debbie had other plans for me, negative thoughts started to consume my mind and she constantly reminded me of my traditions! In my mind, Preggie Debbie was adamant that marriage should come before children, but given my experience the last 3-months who would want to feel exhausted, nauseous and pretty frumpy on their wedding day? Not me, thanks!

Admittedly though, Preggie Debbie did have a point that I was abandoning my traditions, but on this occasion I had decided to change them and create a wonderful new vision of what my dream wedding would look like! I’d love to get married with our own little baby as THE cutest bridesmaid or pageboy, and I think that’s a far better picture that even Preggie Debbie can’t argue with! Yes, I’ve always dreamed of my big day planning out a little differently, yes I would probably have a child-free wedding, but things change and it’s important to go with it and create new dreams for something even better than you’d initially hoped for.

I’d love to hear from you! What traditions have you sacrificed to prioritise your pregnancy? Do you believe in keeping traditions or is it Ok to try something new for a change? Get in touch via email, or on social media: TwitterFacebookLinkedIn.

Parents-to-be Exercise:

For those of you going through the pregnancy journey now or already at the early parenting stage I have a wonderful coaching tool, which I have practiced on Tom and myself! It’s wonderful for getting you both on the same page and makes a fantastic reference tool for the future.

  • Take a piece of paper each (one for yourself and one for you partner)
  • Work independently and then share your answers
  • On the right hand side draw a big stick man and on the left a small stick man
  • Around the small stick man, write down all the words that you would like others to describe your child as in the future. For example; well mannered, kind, self-aware
  • Then, around the big stick man, write down all the words that describe the parent you would like to be. For example; fair, fun, in the moment
  • Now compare your answers!



Living the 65% Version of Myself

4. FedupEver have those moments when your weekend is spent lounging around at home, eating lots of food, perhaps a stroll in the park and then back home for an early night? Well, I don’t! If I sit on the sofa I would do some invoicing or perhaps organise emails… I never have lazy weekends! With a career in efficiency and effectiveness, it’s hard for me to just be lazy, my mind is always active and I love being productive. As I write this, I have recently had a midwife appointment and I’ve already decided that (should it be required) I can offer them a new process on how they do things to improve their productivity too!

You may have heard of a fantastic equation created by Tim Galway: Performance = Potential – Interference

I tend not to let a lot of things interfere with my performance and productivity; I’m actually quite good at getting things done. Lately though, I’ve had all sorts of interference from 24-hour nausea, negative reactions to foods (which are occasional, but completely without warning) to extreme fatigue. Add to the mix, Preggie Debbie who doesn’t like to miss an appearance and happily provides her negative thoughts whenever she can! I’ve basically been reduced to living a 65% version of myself, which is not my ideal situation and I feel as though my brain has checked out and parked itself on the sofa permanently (or at least for the remainder of my pregnancy!).

So, you might be wondering… what’s the problem? As a business owner, I don’t want to sell anything less than the 100% version of myself! I pride myself on consistency, I need to feel great and know that I’m not letting clients down. I don’t like wondering if I’ll feel nauseous tomorrow or halfway through a meeting- this is by far not an ideal situation for me and I don’t like wondering ‘what if’s‘. As you may have gathered, I don’t try- I always do so when I realized my diary was packed full of commitments I was adamant that I wouldn’t need to cancel any of them. The ‘what if’s’ kicked in of course but, I decided that I needed to put on a front!

For the best part of 4 weeks I maintained this ‘fake’ 100% version of Debbie out in public, at meetings and with clients but in reality it was quite the opposite, I’d been reduced to a 30% version of myself, which was in full swing at home and my poor family didn’t have too much choice unfortunately. It was so terrible at one point that I was completely unable to put the shopping away in the fridge and sobbing because I was so useless! Yes, we all have ‘that’ moment we can relate to when it all comes crashing down, hopefully just a one-off!

And, at the end of this ‘fake’ period what was my take-away? I gave myself permission to be sensible with my diary! So I can’t go on a race car experience day or a holiday right now and perhaps I need to space out my appointments a little more… that’s fine! My ‘what if’s’ never came true and I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a victim. I’m not ‘suffering’ with nausea and fatigue, I’m ‘experiencing’ them… no need to be dramatic Preggie Debbie! Language can really change how we feel about ourselves and what our inner voice is saying… shutting down words like suffering and, training the brain to be nicer to itself can have a huge impact on the way we feel and how we project ourselves!

I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your pregnancy? Has it interfered with your productivity or are you soldering on? Get in touch: or connect with me on social media- TwitterFacebookLinkedIn

The best thing about it all? My feeling of rubbish-ness is proportionate to my baby’s contentment and I did find the most awesome ‘pick-me-up’ survival kit- rich tea biscuits, lemon sherbet and skittles!

Debbie doesn’t do ‘what if’s’…

OverwhelmedI have always wanted to own my own business; this has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember! And, to be honest, I never really pondered ‘what if’s’ so I didn’t even know what product or service I wanted to sell as part of my business dream. All I knew is that, I would be a business owner, live a life of balance and be passionate about whatever I do… Just ‘Go Do It’!

I worked for a number of years in change and project management, this was a very fulfilling role for me but it wasn’t mine, I didn’t work for Debbie in something I wanted to do! I specialised in a methodology called ‘Lean Systems Thinking’; it put customer value at the heart and encourages a holistic overview. I loved it! At this point in my life, I was yet to come across any other approach which even compared to this, it was new, exciting and a breath of fresh air. It ignited a passion within me and I realised that I wanted to work with people.

Not long after, I signed up for a Coaching Academy course. It was just another day, just another string to my bow, I thought. But, I was very wrong! I left the course feeling invigorated and on a mission- I had found my second passion, coaching and I then decided that I wanted to place both of my passions together in a business of my own. A little while after my course I came across a quote, one that has stuck with me every since and I use on my business card today “to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often”. Both of my passions require looking at the holistic picture, gaining knowledge about the current reality before generating creative ideas and solutions and then moving individuals or teams from the present to where they need to be to improve their performance.

The early days of business were busy, I anticipated a 50/50 split, between consultancy and coaching although the rules went out the window and I said yes to all projects and consultancy that came my way. Travelling up and down the country and not returning for days, I would get home; shower, eat, sleep and go again! I learnt from this first attempt, I never saw it and still don’t see it as a failure. As long as you can make improvements from the experience and prevent it from happening again, it’s not a failure!

It took me some time, but I eventually managed to find my own work-life balance. I created rules and stuck to them. Five years on, consultancy still formed the bread and butter of my income. Whilst I was able to utilise many of my skills from coaching to NLP and I loved working with people, it niggled at me in the back of my mind that coaching had still not formed the dominant part of my business. It was the missing piece of the puzzle. At the beginning of 2016 I managed to secure a major coaching contract with a corporate client, I thought this was the turning point for my business. I designed the learning and development approach and built in coaching and facilitation- it was perfect! The exact work I had been looking for! Three weeks into the programme, the project manager moved on and I was asked to take over (they already knew my skill set), whilst I could have declined the offer, a lesson to be learnt here! I did, in fact, say yes.

At this point of my business, I had consciously decided to decline all consultancy contracts and would only be marketing and securing coaching interventions with teams and businesses. This was a huge change, I’d already built up a network of great contacts and I was fortunate enough that I no longer needed to look for work, people knew when I was coming available and I’d managed to choose a lifestyle that suited me, working three or four days a week. The niggling doubt in my mind meant that I’d shift my business model, which was working just fine so that I could secure new and different clients in my portfolio. This whole aspect was completely new to me, a different level of sales and marketing. But, I gave myself permission from January 2017 to earn nothing for four to six months whilst I concentrated on a new strategy. If I cracked the new strategy it would mean that in the future I’d have a more sustainable business model for myself and my family, it made sense! But then, came Preggie Debbie. The news was wonderful, but I’d be lying if she wasn’t testing my decisions and my patience at times! In the back of my mind, much like the niggle for a change to my business model, there sat the other Debbie asking;

“Have I made the wrong choice?”

“If you stuck to consultancy these last few months, you would be better off financially. It not too late to change your mind”

“What if no one wants to secure a 12-month coaching programme with you when you’re visibly pregnant!”

“What’s going to happen when you reapply for a mortgage, your business income needs to remain stable?”

Not only was Preggie Debbie beginning to get on my nerves, but also I had never had strong negative conversations going on in my head before. I applied my rules and handled Preggie Debbie the logical way…

  • Keep a positive mindset – take that Preggie Debbie.
  • I don’t do ‘what if’s’; jump in… it will be fine!
  • I’m listening negative Preggie Debbie, but I don’t agree and construct the argument.
  • Most importantly the last rule, believe in the return argument – wholeheartedly!

So, for those who want to know what the conversation is like between me and Preggie Debbie, it goes something like this:

“Have I made the wrong choice?” – “No! Stop thinking if’s and but’s, it’s a logical plan and it will work out fine!”

“If you stuck to consultancy these last few months, you would be better off financially!” – “perhaps Preggie Debbie but I’m doing this for the future. My strategy is solid and this will give me and my family a sustainable business.”

“What if no- one wants to secure a 12-month coaching programme with you when you’re visibly pregnant!” – “That might happen, but they’ll be others! And in any case, they can book on to work with me in the future”

“What’s going to happen when you reapply for a mortgage, you need a stable income!” – “True and thank Preggie Debbie for reminding me, but I’ll be fine. People will work with me and I will have a stable income to show.”

I’d love to hear from you! Are you struggling with your negative inner voice? Get in touch via email or connect with me on social media- TwitterFacebookLinkedIn. With a logical plan in place, we can all overcome the negative thoughts and get back to positive thinking!




Knowing, but not knowing…

2. QuestionYou’ve probably read my first blog, which introduced you to the new series I’ll be writing every week- ‘The Inner Game of the Pregnancy Brain’. If you missed the first post “Dealing with the other Debbie” you can pop back to it here.

Let’s start right back at the beginning! Have you ever heard of the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”? As a Coach, I understand and recognise the importance of setting goals, in fact, if you’re looking for a little inspiration you can check out my previous series of blogs where I provide some very useful goal setting tips (click here). So, this year I decided that I would be participating in the “Best Year Yet” programme, as a part of this I started to think about one year on from today! What’s it going to look like for me? What will I have achieved? How will I feel when I get there? Just as a side note before I tell you about my own plans for the year, for those who want to join the BYY programme you can contact me at I’m delivering this product for my clients already so I’d be happy to help you get your year into tip top shape!

Now back to my story… The BBY Programme got me thinking, what is the one thing at the top of my list for my best year yet?

“Being at least 6 months pregnant with our first child”.

So, as I do (jumping straight in) I got to work on my plan immediately and had it completed in March of this year. It included everything you would expect any project to include; tasks, lists and timelines. I put on my project manager hat and worked out exactly when I would need to get pregnant to achieve my goal. Now, I’m not saying that we are one of those ‘getting pregnant’ obsessed couples, but I put the work in and planned! Because, as I see it, Franklin makes a pretty good point and I wasn’t prepared to get to the end of my Best Year Yet without achieving my top goal! Tom and I had the obvious ‘ let’s get pregnant’ conversation and I started doing the maths! I reviewed calendars, researched and rather annoyingly discovered that all the planning in the world suggests that there are only six days every month when you can actually get pregnant! Yes, six! Just six little days- who knew? Not me, obviously! Especially since we were taught in school that we can get pregnant just by looking at a boy.

Fast forward to my one terrible night! I didn’t sleep at all and for those of you who don’t know, sleep is very important to me and I love it! Nothing interrupts my sleep, ironically enough I sleep like a baby (usually). Getting up that morning, I knew something was different… I hoped and sort of knew what it was but I couldn’t be sure from a few signs and a bad night’s sleep, could I? After all, I’m not a psychic! My emotions were running high… all over the place to be quite honest. I was excited- I knew, but didn’t. Let’s say I suspected I was pregnant! I feared disappointment incase I was wrong, even though I knew I couldn’t really be that wrong, it was really playing on my mind. I didn’t want us to be the ‘super obsessive getting pregnant type couple’ so I was even trying to convince myself that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I was wrong! It was a very strange morning indeed.

So fast forward a tad further and I take the ‘early pregnancy’ test, its positive!

“Yippee? A small yippee? Can I at least give myself a little clap?”

But you can’t can you? I really couldn’t quite believe the test, after all, it was just an ‘early’ test. Thoughts were running crazily through my mind…

“Is this true?”

“Did I get the maths right?”

“Should I take another to be sure?” Yes, let’s do that! I took another three tests to be extra extra sure. They didn’t help! Same result.

Deep down, I knew I was pregnant… but could I be wrong? Maybe? Could the test be wrong? Maybe? I decided to take the appropriate steps in checking, of course, a medical professional would 100% be able to confirm it.

I called up the doctor’s surgery to book in for an appointment. On being asked by the receptionist what the problem was my response was;

“I’m pregnant!”- damn, I thought to myself, the first person I’m telling is a faceless voice on the phone?! Anyway, must continue… in a very nonchalant way the receptionist continued;

“Just come in and collect a midwife pack”. “Oh!” I exclaimed, “and doesn’t the GP need to confirm it?”. To my surprise, the response came back “No not at all, if you’ve taken a home pregnancy test that’s all you need!”.

Right then… so a medical professional won’t be confirming it for me I thought as I hung up the phone feeling quite disappointed and not reassured at all. Of course, at this point Preggie Debbie stepped in – she has the perfect timing!

“Did I read all four test results correct?” Yes there were four!

“Was my maths right?” Please let it be right, but not in a super obsessive sort of way.

“Why can’t I just have a straight answer today?” It would really help and then I can get back to planning!

“Am I really going to be stuck with this feeling of knowing but not really knowing and for how long?”

There I was, knowing but not knowing… wishing, hoping, trying not to be disappointed or obsessive and basically stuck in this moment in time where no-one (not even me) could really be sure about what the future holds.

It took a great deal of effort but I managed to calm myself (and Preggie Debbie), I told myself they’d be an appointment in a few weeks with a midwife, a blood and urine test – of course this is for checking you’re pregnant! All will be absolutely fine Debbie. Little did I know that it wasn’t the case, and only at the 12-week scan your pregnancy is confirmed. Ok, I thought… I’ll just have to withstand the pressure until that time.

The story turns out well, let’s just say that by the time this blog is uploaded the 12-week scan does in fact confirm I’m pregnant (the 24-hour nausea and fatigue were a big giveaway)! A big ‘yippee’ for us and, the huge takeaway- I’ll be able to achieve my Best Year Yet goal which is very exciting on so many levels. In fact, the baby will already be here by March 2018 so goal fully achieved thank you very much! We even joked that the baby might make his or her appearance at 00:01 on the 1st January 2018 as I’ve been so clear on wanting to have a baby in 2018! I’m keeping my legs crossed if it’s any sooner.

I’d love to hear how you felt when you found out you were pregnant! How did you cope with the ‘knowing, but not knowing’ situation? Get in touch or find me on social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.


Dealing with the other Debbie…

1. GoodVsBad Debbie

I’m Debbie, a coach, facilitator and change manager and recently I found out that I’m pregnant… at the time of writing this blog, I’m 14 weeks pregnant, for those interested!

Whilst this is the most wonderful news I could have hoped for, it has impacted my life hugely, it’s really putting my plans to the test and annoyingly for the first time in my life, I have to deal with the other Debbie… the one I call “Preggie Debbie”!

So, who is this other Debbie? She is the annoying voice in my head that commentates constantly with a series of negative thought processes. She makes me doubt who I am and what I’m capable of. I can honestly say, I’m a little fed up with her so I have taken it upon myself to use my own coaching techniques to put her straight again, find my confidence and most importantly find “normal Debbie”.

In my latest series of blogs, I’m going to take you on this wonderful journey through every week of my pregnancy, discussing thoughts of Preggie Debbie, her doubts, fears and annoying little habits but most importantly helping you overcome your inner voice. I hope that each week you’ll leave this blog feeling more calm, confident and self-assured knowing that your “pregnancy brain” is completely under control!

Before we get started I need to paint you a picture of who I am… there are a few key things you should know about me. The first is that I am a business owner and my work has helped me to achieve a life of balance. I work with clients to help them achieve their goals, remove their fears, manage negative emotions and build their confidence. My work with business clients supports them in problem-solving, team building and leadership development, whilst my work is incredibly varied, I absolutely love every aspect of it.

The second thing you should know is that I talk to myself a lot! Just to clarify, this is not out loud… (That’s the first sign of madness!), I mean in my own head. In the coaching world we refer to this as being highly auditory digital, my partner Tom, on the other hand, affectionately calls it “being in my something box”! He’s the complete opposite, a “nothing box” so he never talks to himself. A very strange concept to me and something I could never imagine myself doing.

Another thing you should know is that I don’t do “what if’s” EVER! If a decision needs to be made, I jump straight in. I don’t like to ponder or wonder what might happen, so when I found out I was pregnant and Preggie Debbie asked me “can I deal with this right now?” my answer was simply, “Yes, of course, I can!”. In addition to this, and much to Tom’s dislike I always follow this quote; “There is no try; there is only do or do not do!” So, move over Preggie Debbie I’m doing this baby thing.

Finally, and this may shock you… I don’t know very much about babies or pregnancy at all. In fact, I know so little that when I found out I was pregnant; I made an appointment with my GP to confirm this “diagnosis”. Unfortunately, I was completely unaware that no one actually checks you are pregnant in the early stages, so you have to completely figure this out on your own. Ok, so I’m sure it’s not the hardest thing to work out… eventually, I’ll be in labour and then a baby will arrive, but a little reassurance would have been great, especially in this odd transitional period I was going through.

So, that’s pretty much all you need to know for now. I hope you find my coaching techniques helpful along the way, and if you need additional support or have any questions you can always pop me an email at Plus, I’d love to hear how many weeks pregnant you are, do you have a nickname for your inner voice? Is she beginning to irritate you and get in your way? Connect with me via my social channels; I’d love to hear from you- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

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