How To Find Your Mojo

Today I was curious about the expression “I have lost my mojo” I have heard my clients say it many times. I work with clients to help them explore what they mean by what they say and the impact those words have on their clarity and confidence to take motivated action. I believe our own system is always listening and interpreting what it hears. Learning to pay attention to this feedback can often make sense of why we say one thing and do another.

Then today I caught myself saying it. Ironically, I thought it was the first time in a while and decided to write about it. Only to discover I had a part written article that I had started a few weeks earlier. I guess I lost the mojo to complete it. 🙂

When I work with my clients we start by getting clear on the definition. When I looked the word ‘Mojo’ up in the dictionary it said “Your mojo is your personal power or influence over other people”  Continue reading How To Find Your Mojo

Dealing With The Shame Of Missing Deadlines

I have been really struggling with the shame of not meeting my book deadline. It feels like I have been working on this book all my life. I am bringing together all that I know about motivated action, into a system that is not only easy to understand but also easy to remember. This deep dive into how I do what I do, has resulted in me discovering things about myself that I didn’t know before. It is all great learning, but it has resulted in some soul searching and having to rewrite big sections of the book.

It got me thinking about the importance of time and deadlines. I love a deadline to work towards and eve more so if that deadline means that it will have a positive impact on others.

But there are times when I can see and hear the deadline crippling my confidence and sending me into a tail spin. I can become so focused on what other people think of me and letting people down that I lose momentum. I can’t think clearly or make decisions well. That impacts productivity and the result is that the deadline becomes even harder to achieve.  Continue reading Dealing With The Shame Of Missing Deadlines

Stop People Pleasing For Good?

I was fortunate enough to interview a lovely lady called Helen Snape of for The Listening Detective TV on the subject of people pleasing. It is not a term I personally relate to and yet as she started to describe the behaviour of a people pleaser, I was thinking “Oh my, I used to do that and still do sometimes”. Perhaps I am or was a people pleaser, perhaps my desire to make everyone happy is the same. Now as many of you know I believe that listening can and does transform lives but what you might not know is that I also believe and have evidence to support that, three different people can listen in almost identical ways and yet they will generate a different insight. They might ask the same questions or nod at the same time but each person brings with them their own magic.  They have their own process and line of inquiry and their own energy. All of which can and does evoke a different response inside us and therefore gives us access to new information. Which is why I have no problem introducing you to lots of different coaches and therapist. Even if we did exactly the same thing it would never be identical because we each bring our own magic. Continue reading Stop People Pleasing For Good?

What Is Coaching?

What Is CoachingDictionary definition of coach:

“A large comfortable vehicle for a long journey”

I am still bemused how coaching has been in the UK for 30 plus years and yet the dictionary online or offline still does not formally acknowledge or support my own experience of it. Instead it still refers to coaching and a coach as a large comfortable vehicle for long journeys.

In this article I aim to share my experience because I feel that many are not able to ask for help because they don’t understand what coaching is and how it works. Some have perhaps experienced one coaching session and assume that all coaching is the same.

Others assume coaching is like counselling and talking therapy and as such think they should be able to sort themselves and not need ‘that’ kind of help.  Continue reading What Is Coaching?

23rd March 2020 coaching
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Switching Off


switching off

Dictionary definition for switching off:

“Cease to pay attention.”


I want to be able to switch off; is a common statement from my clients as they unravel what is holding them back from doing more of what they love.

In this article I want to explore:

  • What does it mean to switch off?
  • Why do you need to learn how to do it?
  • The cost of not switching off
  • Inside stories
  • Next steps

Continue reading Switching Off

Managing Yourself Through Grief

Managing yourself through griefLoss and grief are part of life; be it the death of loved ones or loss of business they evoke emotions in us all, to varying degrees. How we listen to and support each other will often determine how well we work, learn and live with those that matter to us.

When my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2006, work was a safe place. I did tell my District Manager because she needed to know and she was super supportive but I asked that my team not be told. I didn’t want people to ask if I was okay. I obviously was not okay and talking about it did not make me feel better.

What I needed was time and space to focus on things I could have a positive impact on and things that made me feel good.  I was probably the most effective manager and parent at the time. I would switch from roles effortlessly. I would show up and listen and be with my mum; rock up for my team meetings with lots of ideas and play with my children with a smile. I had it all together or so I thought. My mum passed away 30th Nov 2006.  Continue reading Managing Yourself Through Grief

Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?

Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?As a listening skills coach and trainer I work with my clients to be able to listen to all kinds of information in a way that works for both the listener and the speaker.

One of the most challenging things to hear is when someone is criticising you personally and sometimes as challenging is when they are criticising themselves.

In this article I want to look at why that is. Continue reading Why Am I So Sensitive To Criticism?

Guilt Free Living

Guilt Free LivingI have been experimenting this past couple of weeks with listening to the emotion of guilt as a warning light. I have noticed that I feel guilty when I don’t do what feels right to me and I feel guilty when I don’t live up to what I perceive to be other people’s expectations. This difference was highlighted and clarified more as I read the book – Journey Through The Guilt Trip – by Lee Lam who talks about guilt that moves and guilt that glues.

Guilt that moves

When I listen, the guilt that is triggered because it doesn’t feel right for me is, as Lee suggests, guilt that moves. I am moved to take action to correct things. This is because the guilt is a result of my own core values or as she refers to them as my personal code being broken. Continue reading Guilt Free Living

My Six Principles Of Change

My Six Principles Of ChangeOver the past 30 years I have had many roles supporting others to create change. The hardest thing to change is often how we react to and respond and generally feel about change. If it is change we choose then there is the lovely exciting dreamy bit at the beginning when you think and perhaps talk about what you would like to have happen. For those with a great imagination you might start to visualise and imagine it as though it has already happened and many coaches and goal setting techniques suggest that you do this. That is the lovely part; your mind and body start to embrace the feeling of success and start to react as though the change has already happened.

Then there is the lovely part at the end when change has happened and you achieve your desired outcome and all the hard work proves to be worth it.

Sometimes though change is imposed on us and we have no time to dream we are in the midst of it all. And even when we did plan for it, there is often the bit in the middle between dreaming and achieving that can be quite challenging.

If the change doesn’t happen as quickly as you would have hoped, or you get exactly what you asked for but it is nothing like you imagined it in your mind, you might start to doubt yourself. Maybe others start to ask questions (because they are interested) but you start to take offense because you feel they are challenging you and they don’t believe in you. You might start to lose motivation. It is during this time that I have learned that we need a few simple principles to get us through.

Here are the 6 principles that I now adopt every time I am creating or managing myself through change.


It takes courage to admit that you need to change and even more so if you feel you’ve been trying everything you can to be the person everyone you needs you to be and still nothing works. It takes courage to be willing to try one more time and another time and another time. It takes courage to ask for help, which is often needed especially when wanting to change ourselves as we often cannot see and hear all of us.

When you know you cannot give up you have to be able to tap into your own resource of courage. Where does courage come from for you?


Courage works in harmony with curiosity. When you have courage you can and will look at yourself.  You will ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable at times because you know that curiosity is the only way to expand your current thinking. Your willingness to ask and be asked questions you don’t know the answer to can and will give you access to new information. Learning to ask and be asked questions, then listen without judgment, can sometimes challenge the current status quo. Your ability to be curious and fascinated at the patterns and processes can provide you with access to internal resources and tools.

What is happening to curiosity now?

Chatting with purpose

Change can be uncomfortable, frustrating and it can create all kinds of emotional triggers. During this time it is easy to either withdraw or to get stuck in the cycle of venting your frustrations.

Whilst talking can be, and is, therapeutic for some, in time even we get fed up of the same old story and we can drive people away when we fail to chat with the purpose of feeling better, getting clarity or simply noticing and sharing the smallest of change.

When you talk are you really listening to yourself? Are you paying attention to how you feel before, during and after? Is it working for you? Is it working for the person listening? Is it assisting and serving the process of change? If it is then nothing needs to change. However if you notice you are chatting and it lacks purpose and you feel worse and potentially emotionally drained after it then it is worth changing the focus and reason for chatting.

Start chatting with the purpose of truly listening to yourself; noticing patterns; noticing what is happening inside and out and more importantly noticing change. Even if there is only one small change for a nano second notice it and talk about it. Give the change, the what is working and what is improving, as much air time as you did frustration.

If you find it hard to notice change then ask a friend to notice what is improving and be willing to listen, really listen and notice what they notice.

If you are someone that often keeps things to yourself, then you might want to be mindful of the chatting in your own head and experiment and notice what happens when you chat out loud to yourself or someone else.

Consider what kind of chatting is happening now? What is working about that chatting?

Conscious thinking

Sometimes we say all the right things, we ask all the right questions, we keep quiet and we look like it is all going well on the outside but inside we can be having a very different conversation and our emotional buttons can be pushed. Having the courage to go within and truly listen to your own inner thoughts and emotional responses with the purpose of communicating what is happening for you and what you would like to have happen does take courage. It requires questions that focus your attention on identifying what is happening, what is working about that and what is not working.

The more I practice this, the more I catch the very thing that is stopping me. I might say out loud one thing but then inside there is another commentary. It can often be very quiet and almost a whisper at times, so I have to really listen. I might say outside I am fine, but inside I am struggling. When you have courage and curiosity what happens is that the inside and outside become more aligned, especially when you are with people who make it safe to speak, safe for you to express your unprocessed thoughts with the purpose of gaining clarity and confidence in your next best step.

What is happening to conscious thinking? Are you aware of your thoughts and are they the same or different to what you portray outside?

Celebrate change

This is a big one. Once you start on a journey of change, progress will be made. Even when you discover that something you were doing isn’t working, that is progress. You now know what doesn’t work for you.

The trouble is that when we are unhappy we tend to talk about and get our whole system involved in the frustration. We might cry, shout or simply clench our fists. We might scrunch our nose up or shrug our shoulders. We seem more adapt and willing to use our whole body to complain and yet not so keen for the celebrations. Unless you are a sports person. They are very happy to cheer and shake their fists.

Learning to get your whole system involved when even the littlest thing is going well can and will embed the change and impact your performance. Next time something goes well, try telling as many people as you do when things are going wrong or try talking about is for as long as you did the problem. If you are not one to talk to others and you keep it to yourself, still give it equal opportunity and never underestimate the impact of a good fist punch or happy dance. Which is just enhanced when done with a friend, once you have the courage to get out of your own way.


Peer support without peer pressure. There is nothing quite a like a peer support network that have got your back and notice the change when you don’t, good or bad. Peer support that will ask questions, will celebrate with you and will hold space when you are sick of trying again but they know you will.

Sometimes you just need to vent and other times you need someone else to remind you to look back and forth to remind you where you are going and where you have come from.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and with so much advise and controversial marketing, it is easy to lose sight of what you want, what works for you and lose faith in your decision making process which in turn makes change more difficult.

I hope you have found this article useful and would love our comments below.


Sheryl Andrews – The Listening Detective

Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate, manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than helping others feel heard understood and of value by training them in the art of non-judgmental listening and practical ways to turn overwhelm and frustration into a clarity and confidence.

But what many didn’t know is that in private behind closed doors she was not always able to do that for herself, she was fearful of upsetting others and often did not ask for her own needs to be met. She was no stranger to lapses in self- belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. A mother of a blended family of 5, a business owner and friend she was often surrounded by people who cared about her but she found it hard to ask for help. That was until she hit crisis point and found herself on the floor sobbing wondering why she could help others but couldn’t help herself. That day her husband asked her what she would tell her clients to do. The Solution was to attend her own programmes and step by step learn to take her own advice. That was back in 2011 and now she continues to be someone that is consistently walking her talk. Sheryl says; “Change is always uncomfortable and our system naturally resists it; the solution is not avoiding change; but learning to embrace it and developing the right support network to get you through it”

At Step by Step Listening we are not always the right support and sometimes the first step is understanding what you want; what you don’t want and what kind of resource or support you need right now.

Our goal is to leave you with clarity and confidence in yourself, your decision and your next best step for now.

We runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course to suit every budget; style of learning and location. Space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst developing your ability to listen to yourself and others without judgement or assumption.

For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter


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