Some people will always be making fun of you and laughing behind your back.
Some people will always be happy to see you fail.
Some people will always be polite to your face and then tell the world all of your shortcomings.
Those people are not your responsibility and your failures do not define you.
Staying true to yourself and your dreams despite what other people do defines your character.
Learning from failure and overcoming it is what defines your success.
Like all coaches, I believe in encouraging my clients to grow and stretch themselves. It’s important to extend beyond the walls of your comfort zone because this is where change occurs. It’s invaluable to stretch from who you’ve ever known yourself to be, because it’s from this new place that you’ll achieve your dreams.
However, there is a trend in the coaching industry which has never sat right with me. And that is the trend for pressuring and guilting clients into spending far more than they can afford on coaching programs. I’ve heard all the justifications and it still doesn’t sit well.
For example, most coaches with high end packages will have a story about someone they know who once wanted to do a coaching program that cost far more money than the client had. But they signed up for it anyway, and suddenly the money appeared from nowhere. Apparently, this was because they were ‘committed’. However, there are even more stories, the ones you don’t hear, about clients who went into serious debt by trying to pay for coaching they could not afford.
Some time ago, I attended a coaching weekend where many speakers were invited to talk on stage about their products. Nothing wrong with that. However, the sales part was something else. The guy who ran the seminar attempted to shame and almost bully the audience into paying for products which may not even have been right for them. People were told that if they didn’t part with several thousand pounds, then they weren’t ‘serious’ about their dreams. Which strikes me as extraordinarily arrogant. Who was he to tell them they weren’t serious about their dreams? Did it occur to him that people have their own gut instincts about what is right or wrong for them, and maybe – just maybe – these people are incredibly dedicated to their dreams, and they don’t believe that the product being sold from the stage is the one that will help them get to where they want to go? My friend and I stared at each other in disbelief throughout his frequent lectures. This guy was so shameless, it was almost fascinating to watch.
I’ve also frequently heard that clients should be able to do whatever it takes to get the money to sign up for a high end program, on the grounds that if they needed to have a life saving operation, they’d manage to find the money. In that situation, they’d have no problems with borrowing from everyone they could get their hands on, so they should be able to do the same for this coaching package. There’s a bit of a difference between needing to have a life saving operation because you could die at any moment, and signing up for a coaching program which won’t literally result in your death if you don’t buy it. Much as I believe in coaching, it is NOT as important as a life saving operation. Nobody needs coaching. It’s something you want, because you want to stretch yourself beyond who you’ve known yourself to be, and you have dreams you want to achieve. It’s not something you need.
I think high end coaching packages are a fantastic way to stretch yourself and reach your dreams. I’ve signed up for several of them myself, some of which were of massive benefit to me, and others which I regretted. And the ones I regretted (admittedly, very few and these were when I first started out, so was still very green) were the ones I felt pressured and guilted into signing up for, with the hidden implication that I was a failure who would never amount to anything if I did not. I once had to explain to a coach that I could not afford her high end package (which she was trying to sell me, even though I hadn’t asked her about it) because I had to pay my college fees. Her response? That by going to college, I was subconsciously trying to avoid the result I was looking for, and my Inner Knowing was telling me this, and crying out for me to choose her coaching instead. If she hadn’t lost me before, she definitely did then. My Inner Knowing was telling me nothing of the sort. In fact, it was telling me the exact opposite. This woman claimed to acknowledge the importance of listening to your Inner Knowing, but apparently only when it said what she wanted it to say. And she thought it was her place to decide what it was really saying.
The vast majority of coaches who offer high end packages are incredible people with enormous integrity. However, this is about the select few who don’t seem to have their clients well-being at heart. Who are more interested in lining their own pockets than they are in helping their clients live the life of their dreams and achieve the results they are looking for. I’ve interacted with many coaches, including ones who were clients of the ‘high pressure tactics’ coaches and many of them were still struggling, despite all the promises of their coach. For every client story they tell you of a client who had no money, but begged, borrowed or stole to sign up with them, and is now making millions, they have many more clients who are under serious financial stress, struggling to make their credit card payments every month and are still no closer to their dream, despite what they’ve been sold.
If you can afford the high end package, but you’re just uneasy about spending the money then that’s a little different. That may be the perfect chance to stretch yourself. Even if you don’t have the money,but you’re really committed to doing this program, then go for it. However, don’t consider going deeply into debt because you’ve been told you ‘need this’ and without it, your life will fail!!1! Do it because it feels right to you, not because you’re being strong-armed into it!
Tune in to your own inner knowing and ask yourself if this is right for you. And wait for the answer.
Most coaches like myself, have low, medium and high end packages. My recommendation is to pick the one that’s a bit of a stretch for you. The one that is outside of your comfort zone, but won’t bankrupt you. So for example, if you can easily afford the low end package, but the medium package is a bit of a stretch for you, choose the medium package. And use the results you get from the medium package to enable you to go for the high end package.
I hope this is of value to anyone who’s been struggling with this issue. Be wary of anyone using lots of fear tactics and pressure to get you to give them lots of money. A brilliant coach who can get you the results you’re looking for, does not need to twist someone’s arm into signing up with them. They will likely be encouraging and enthusiastic, and of course they will want you to sign up with them, if you’re also the right client for them. But there’s a big difference between enthusiasm and high pressure manipulation.
And as always, practice self love by listening to your own deeper wisdom.
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Elizabeth Bennet
One of my all time favorite heroines in literature is the dazzling Elizabeth Bennet, of Pride & Prejudice. It’s hard to find many people who aren’t captivated by her. Even the proud Mr Darcy “had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.”
What is it about her that makes her so enchanting to us, even 200 years later? She has little wealth. She is considered pretty by those who know her, but not compared to the ravishing beauty of her sister, Jane. Her manners are not “fashionable” and she has never been professionally tutored. By the standards of the day (and let’s face it – probably by the standards of today too) she should have had very little to recommend her.
And yet millions of people, not just Mr Darcy, have fallen hopelessly in love with her for the past 200 years, and will continue to fall in love with her for centuries to come. So, what is her timeless appeal?
It’s pretty simple. Lizzie Bennet unapologetically loves and values herself. Even when she’s surrounded by those who mock her. In the company of those of a higher social sphere, she speaks confidently whenever there’s an opening. She refuses to see herself as less than anyone else. Even though Darcy is her social superior which had an importance in this time that we can scarcely understand today, she considers herself his equal. She never considers herself ‘lucky’ to have caught such a man. She’s a prize and she knows it.
She is also radiantly authentic. She says what she thinks, and her honesty and wit are noted by everyone around her. She refuses to sit quietly by and be seen and not heard. Because of this, she stands out in people’s minds and becomes unforgettable. She is completely grounded in who she is. She knows herself very well and isn’t afraid of what she sees. She owns her flaws, admits her mistakes and fully embraces the chances to learn from them and be a better person.
The effect of her deep self-love and authenticity on those around her is blindingly obvious. Scarcely any man who comes into the book escapes her charms. Even in the company of her much prettier sister, Jane, or her louder, more out-going sister, Lydia, Lizzie is the woman almost every man is irresistibly drawn towards. The people who are repelled by her authenticity are the very people she would not wish to deal with. She’s perfectly comfortable with someone thinking badly of her. She doesn’t need anyone’s approval or permission to love and honor herself.
This is one of the greatest truths we can remember when it comes to anchoring into unshakable self love. Faces will come to mind, of the people who would argue with you loving yourself. After all, you’re much harder to control when you love yourself so passionately that you no longer care what others think of you. So remind yourself of this truth several times a day. Embrace Elizabeth Bennet’s attitude. You do not need anyone’s permission to love and honor yourself. You do not need anyone’s permission to be your full, authentic, radiant self, fearlessly embracing all parts of you.
Elizabeth would be proud!
We have the most incredible breakthroughs when we realize that we have all the love we need, already within us. When we realize that we don’t need to look for love outside of us, because we are love, the negative emotions and hurts from the past tend to naturally fade away. It also frees us up to allow ourselves to be drawn to the relationships that are right for us. We lose interest in tolerating relationships that are bad for us, as a way to get love. It’s pretty incredible.
I experienced this not so long ago. I came from a background where I was rarely listened to. I felt like I existed to plug up the holes in other people, rather than being a person in my own right. If a troubled or disturbed character came into my life and decided he wanted me, then he got me. My own agreement was never considered necessary. Even some of my own family and friends would pressure me into handing myself over to this person, regardless of my own feelings. It was as if I didn’t exist to have my own needs and desires. I was an object to plug up other people’s problems, to shield them from having to do their own work. I hated this role, but it never occurred to me to refuse to take it on. It felt like this was my life’s purpose, so I just needed to suck it up and do it.
I learned to stand up for myself and say no. I learned to walk away from anyone who didn’t treat me well, or who refused to get help for their problems, while expecting me to carry them. However, the feelings of frustration, helplessness and victimization had been in me for so long that they were addictive. I noticed that I tended to seek out situations that would trigger those feelings. If I heard a narcissist complain about people not having enough empathy for him because they expected him to take responsibility for his own life, I’d snarl and jump right into the discussion.
Looking back, it was a knee-jerk reaction. Subconsciously, I had a fear that I was going to be handed over to this person against my own desires so I was already on the defensive. Also, for a long time, this is what I thought love was – a mixed feeling of pity and revulsion for an emotionally abusive person who spent their life wallowing in self-pity and complaining about how victimized they were.
Recently, I heard a man complaining about how his attempts to pretend to be friends with women so they’d feel obligated to date him weren’t paying off, and about how women didn’t appreciate how wonderful he was. It was clear from listening to him that this guy had an massively high opinion of himself and felt entitled to have the woman he wanted, regardless of whether she wanted him. He also clearly felt himself to be above every other guy out there. He figured any guy who wasn’t him must be an abusive asshole. This man was clearly nowhere near as nice as he claimed he was. Normally, this would trigger me immediately. I have little tolerance for manipulative behavior. My blood would boil and I would jump straight into the discussion.
However, this time something felt different. If all the love I need is already within me, then I no longer need to be threatened by behavior that triggered me before. This guy has his own path to walk in life, and his own lessons to learn. There will always be people like this in the world, regardless of whether I’m here or not. I know how to stand up to people who try to pressure me into undesired relationships so I don’t need to react with fear as soon as one of them comes into my experience. I don’t need to tolerate abusive behavior to get love.
It felt amazing. I felt very soft and calm. The feelings of frustration and anger were a shield to keep me safe. As long as I stayed angry, then I was always felt prepared for people like this. However, by anchoring into deeply loving and valuing myself, and listening to and trusting my intuition, I can still be aware of red flags while also feeling love and calmness.
What changes do you notice as you sink into greater love for yourself?
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear.
For a while now, I’ve been taking myself on a profound journey to consciously choose Love over Fear. This means that I don’t make any decisions which are Fear-based. When I feel that sense of urgency and panic, that I MUST DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW OR SOMETHING BAD WILL HAPPEN!! I stop. Breathe. And remind myself that any decision based on Fear is almost guaranteed to be the wrong one and taking me further from my true path. This is a lesson I’ve learned over and over again in life. I can either graduate from this lesson now, or it will keep repeating itself until I learn it in the future.
Heroines choose from Love. Think of some of the best loved and timeless heroines in literature. Think of Elizabeth Bennet’s confidence, and self love when she states : “I am determined that only the very deepest love will ever induce me to marry.” She declares this, clearly and without apology at a time when a marriage, even a loveless one would have ensured her comfort for life, whereas remaining single could have meant a life of poverty and ridicule.
Think of another heroine, Jane Eyre, who declares in one of the most difficult moments of her life: “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” That quote takes my breath away.
My biggest regrets from the past are from times when I’ve chosen Fear. When I ignored my own inner wisdom and allowed myself to be pressured for fear of losing the person who was pressuring me. I ended up in relationships which were not only toxic, but some were outright abusive. I played small and allowed Fear to dictate how I responded to someone because I didn’t want to lose their friendship. When in reality, I know from experience that the people who are only in your life as long as you’re living from Fear are the people who will leave eventually anyway. They are not meant to be in your life. And if someone is destined to no longer be in my life, I’d much rather they left because I came from a place of such self love and self respect that they knew there was nothing they could to do control me.
Love is the emotion that leads us to the things that are right for us at the level of our souls. Do you think you’re soul mate will come into your life when you choose from Fear or Love? Is your soul mate likely to be the guy you tolerate, who doesn’t see you or support you? W ho expects you to meet his needs while offering nothing in return, but you choose to be with because you’re afraid if you leave, you’ll never find anyone else again?
Or is he likely to be the guy who sees you and adores you, who opens you up to an even deeper love than you’ve ever known before, who you choose to be with because you love him, and because you can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with him?
How about discovering your true purpose? Which is more likely to give you the greatest level of satisfaction, joy and abundance? Staying in a dull, gray office, looking out your window at gray skies and a gray business park because you’re afraid to risk leaving and step out into the unknown?
Or throwing your heart and soul into that thing that lights you up, which wakes you up at night, buzzing with excitement, which you can’t wait to share? Which is likely to be your gift to the world?
Which one is the Heroine’s path?
Heroines choose Love over Fear. And they choose it consciously, one step at a time, day after day until their world has changed and they can no longer imagine any other way to live.