How Do I Overcome Writer’s Block?

The truth is that I don’t know how ‘you’ overcome it but today this is what worked for me. Before I begin, let’s just clarify, what do we actually mean when we say; “I have writer’s block”

I imagine writers block like the author in the movie sat looking at the typewriter and nothing coming to mind. But mine wasn’t like that, in fact it rarely is.

Mine didn’t feel like a block it felt more like an inability to filter or block anything.

It was all coming out. I had the complete opposite of block, it was more like writing diarrhea. Sorry for that image, but it really did feel like it was pouring out and it felt like poo and my critic said as much. As soon as I notice my critic being critical I know it is worth checking in. Continue reading How Do I Overcome Writer’s Block?

Why Do I Cry So Much?

Before I learned to manage my critic, I would spend quite a bit of time crying. It was hard, I didn’t want to but the tears seemed to be constantly there just below the surface and the slightest of things would mean they would leak out. Sometimes it was the odd discreet tear and other times it would be floods along with this uncontrollable sobbing. (mainly at home I should add)

I do believe it is okay to cry. I am not advocating that it is weak or bad to cry. It is human and sometimes life is sad. But these tears were different. These were embarrassing for me and those enduring them. The triggers were almost random and even I felt that I was overreacting. Eventually people found themselves walking on eggshells trying to avoid upsetting me. I found myself walking on eggshells trying not to upset them because one sure way to start the tears, would be for me to feel I had done something bad to another human being.  Continue reading Why Do I Cry So Much?

3rd September 2018 Uncategorised
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Why Am I So Angry?

It is easy to think we should always be happy and that our sadness and anger is lack of education or poor mindset. It is in fact human to experience a range of emotions.

The art is learning how to experience them without imposing their affect on others. I believe the answer is to listen without judgment and let them have their space without letting them take up all your time and thinking.

Many find it hard to listen to anger, sadness or pain. It causes them to experience discomfort and so they stop listening and invariably the person telling the story suppresses that emotion instead of simply acknowledging and releasing it in the process of sharing.

And some let their emotions out either without concern for the impact or simply unaware of the pain it causes because they are able to listen to it and it doesn’t impact them.

We are all different. I often feel the pain of others and I have to release it or it stays inside me. What about you? When you listen to someone being angry or sad what happens to you?

#Curious

Thank you Mark 

I would like to thank my husband who is always so patient when I hit this point. It is familiar which makes it frustrating but today I am choosing to simply be fascinated that I am back in this familiar place and grateful I can get back out. At least we know why it is happening and can and do quickly get ourselves out of it.

The Power of Sharing

When I have time to share my story or time to reflect, I can and do make better decisions. I am also a nicer person. Despite knowing sharing works, I don’t always have someone to talk to in the moment. So I park the feeling and get busy and sometimes forget.

Today I woke and I was ‘really’ angry. It had been brewing most of yesterday and yet I ignored it.

Give angry space

When I gave angry my attention I noticed it was inside – tiny angry red face in my stomach. By the time I had finished writing/sharing/reflecting the red face had moved to my head and now my whole face was red. (metaphorically speaking)

As soon as as I saw my face red, it made me smile and I knew what the problem really was. One I was all in my head. It was all about the way I was thinking about the weekend and that was impacting how I felt and how I used my time.

And I smiled even more when I realised the angry red face was what I wanted. Only I wanted the red face to be from a really good workout that blew away the cobwebs. There is a saying that one of my clients uses which is “What you think about you bring about it”

I often say “Be careful for what you wish for” If you do not communicate with absolutely clarity you might actually get what you asked for just not in the way you wanted.

What brought it out was the fact I subconsciously knew I wanted to train. I had mentioned going to the beach last night but Mark didn’t seem that interested so I let it go. Then today I became really frustrated because Mark was going out mountain biking today without me because I committed to work and encouraged him to go, saying I am busy. What I didn’t do is listen to my desire to swim or workout yesterday.

I was saying I am working ALL weekend on the “FREE 7 Day Clarity Challenge”.

Chatting with purpose

As I chat/write to you, my story revealed that during the course of many conversations, watching TV, reading and client sessions this week somethings had sparked curiosity and some pain.

I have a metaphorical wicker bin that I throw Sheryl’s Crap in when I am working with clients and often by the time I have finished a session the stuff in the bin has dissolved and or resolved itself. And the weekend is also my time to process and let things go. When I don’t have time for that or when lots of things come in at the same time the content of the bin get transferred to critic headquarters filing cabinet at the front of my head.

Stuck Behind The Listening

When I park and file my emotions like this, it works but only for certain lengths of time.

It is all too easy to get stuck behind listening, listening to everyone else and neglecting to share/listen to your own stories.

I guess that is why I write and why I am now blogging daily again and it is why I run Clarity and Confidence Retreats to give others space to off load their stories and edit them and only put back that which is useful and serves them.

As I push myself outside my comfort zone again with new challenges I am having more buttons pushed and more things end up in the bin and it would seem even more things are ending up in the critic filing cabinet.

When I fail to stop and share those stories with myself or someone else they build up and get stuck in my system which doesn’t serve me. Today they arrived as anger, and it could have easily showed up as tears and or overeating.

What I know now is that I was telling myself a victim story of I am ‘working all weekend’ and my critic knew that I had somethings in my system that needed releasing and the way I was talking was inferring there wasn’t time to share.

When I listened I also realised that my body is craving movement, heart beating activity that makes my face red. My soul is craving the sea and fresh air and I have cabin fever. I feel like I have been glued to my laptop for weeks. (I haven’t, I just feel like I have)

 

Plan, Progress Praise

It is now 11.30am. I have been writing and editing this blog for 3 hours. Ironically it has taken much longer to process on my own than it would have been with someone who is skilled to listen. But that is where I am today.

What I do know is this. Even if I went to bed at 11.30pm I have 12 hours. I can actually do 5 hours of fun and relaxing soul nourishing stuff. I can have 3 hours cooking and that still leaves me 5 hours to work on the course. So my story is no longer “I am working all weekend” it is updated to I am working 5 hours today and I have already spent 3 hours nurturing my soul too.

That feels so much better and I can’t wait to be red face and enjoying a swim in the sea as the summer starts to roll away and we move into the season of Autumn here in the UK.

What about you? How are you today? 

The invitation today is to listen to your feelings, locate them if you can. Consider if they have a shape or size. That feeling is like what? And what would that feeling like to have happen? Whatever feeling or emotion you notice I would love to hear about your experience.

For research for book number two Do, delegate or Ditch – I would love to know if there is a relationship between your current feelings and the story you are telling yourself about time?

Step by Step Listening
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Please share below your thoughts as google likes to know you like me or join us for more private conversation in our closed Facebook group Manage your critic

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a FREE 30 minute call today to explore your next best step. Alternatively if you want to work through the process in private and would like to know when the FREE 7 Day Clarity Challenge will be available you can sign up here

I might be part of the solution you need and I might not, but by the end of the call you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_Finalpurchase a copy of my book here if buying in the UK. Alternatively you can go to www.smile.amazon.co.uk and purchase a copy here. If you don’t yet have your amazon associated with a charity I would love if you would support Square Pegs Charity. A local charity that I support as trustee and patron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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2nd September 2018 Uncategorised
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Challenges Love or Hate Them They Are Part of Life

Just think for a minute what does the word challenge mean to you?

What kind of feelings does it conjure up?

For me it used to conjure up an instant feeling of dread and failing.

And yet for many the word ‘challenge’ really motivates and inspires. They thrive on it.

I am always curious how differently we each experience an individual word and how one word can have such an impact on how people think and feel and ultimatly respond. Continue reading Challenges Love or Hate Them They Are Part of Life

1st September 2018 Uncategorised
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How To Conquer The Time Monster?

One of the most common causes for overwhelm is the fear of not having enough time. It can create this massive monster in our mind and before we know it all we ever seem to say is “I don’t have time.”

Our thinking can become consumed with how little time we have rather than with productive and effective thinking about how we can maximise the time we have.

Time in my experience is not the problem and it is more our perception of time in relation to our desired outcomes that is the culprit.

When we lack clarity of what we want, why we want it, what works for us and how long it will take we often get consumed with indecision and procrastination quickly follows. That can often mean we don’t have any sense of progress because it feels like nothing has been achieved and so the spiral of the time monster continues. Continue reading How To Conquer The Time Monster?

Why Planning Doesn’t Work Without Reflection?

The truth is that goal setting, planning and thinking positively on it’s own won’t work because it only provides one of the 3 perspectives.

It is purely focused on the future and yet in every moment we are experiencing present, past and future.

Besides the future is over there, in the distance and often means you are working towards something. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes” Continue reading Why Planning Doesn’t Work Without Reflection?

No One Should be Too Scared To Ask For Help…

It doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female – rich or poor it would seem we can all get a little uncomfortable when it comes to asking for help.

This years charity campaign ends 2nd Dec 2017 on the anniversary of the launch of my book “Manage Your Critic”. I really didn’t like admitting that I had, in someway failed and yet when I did reach out and ask for help – the magic started to happen.

Continue reading No One Should be Too Scared To Ask For Help…

What Happens In Spain Stays In Spain..I Don’t Think So!!

As we sat around the table near the pool on the final night of this years writing retreat the ladies shared what had happened for them during their stay with us.

Each lady talked, and everyone listened intently and then something happened. It is hard to describe but there was that moment when everyone seemed to consciously aware of what had been achieved. 4 books with the wisdom of these 4 woman had been developed and shared and in doing so a connection hard to describe had been made. What followed was moments of true joy represented with both tears and hysterical laughter. Continue reading What Happens In Spain Stays In Spain..I Don’t Think So!!

How to Take The Drama Out Of Your Communications?

My aim in this article is to help you:

  • Recognise when you are in the drama triangle
  • Reassure you that you are not alone
  • Resource you to get out of it.

 

What is a Drama? 

Drama is when you spend more time talking about someone rather than talking to them. Drama is when your insides feel permanently in a knot or your head is clouded and unable to communicate what you truly want. Drama is whenever you do speak it is misunderstood, misinterpreted and it causes conflict. Of Course their are many other examples but hopefully you get the idea.

 The Drama Triangle

The drama triangle is a psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis (TA) first described by Stephen Karpman, in his 1968 article “Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis”.  Below is an explanation from Caitlin Walker and Sarah Nixon’s   one year self coaching diaries and if you want to find out more I highly recommend the book From Contempt to Curiosity

The Ego States

 

Persecutor

You may blame or PERSECUTE someone else, from this position you are likely to believe it is the other person that has to change. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point. You are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

This is when you believe and we do truly believe in the moment our happiness or success or the lack of it is someone else’s fault. You will hear things like:

 

  • If they just did ……….everything would be okay
  • If they were motivated we would all be happy then…
  • If they were not so idle, rude disrespectful then…

 

 

Victim

A different ‘Drama’ role is that of VICTIM, from this position you are likely to believe you are powerless. You are likely to look for evidence to prove your point and again, you are likely to ignore any evidence that contradicts your point. You may be shouting and clearly angry. You may be calm or even smiling. You will be pointing out that someone else is in the wrong. You will be unlikely to be taking any personal responsibility for change.

You might hear:

 

  • Is it just me that can think for myself
  • It seems like it is only me they can’t get on with
  • I have worked so hard and given so much how come they don’t appreciate it

 

 

Rescuer

Another and often deceptive ‘Drama’ role is that of RESCUER, from this position you are likely to believe you are helping everyone else. You are  likely to look for evidence that you have to keep doing what you are doing.

You are  likely to ignore any evidence that you are maintaining a problem. You are likely to train other people to behave like victims or to dis-empower them. You are likely to pacify persecutors and build up latent anger towards them. You are likely to burn out as what you do is unsustainable.

You might hear:

 

  • If they are not going to do it well enough I will have to do it myself
  • I have to do that or they will feel left out
  • Can I suggest you do…

 

 

Do you recognise yourself yet? Do you recognise someone you know? 

I promise you,  you are not alone and if you can spot someone else in the drama triangle then it is very  likely that you are there with them too. Perhaps as persecutor because you think they have to change not you??(Just a thought)

Many businesses are stuck in drama right now. Many personal relationships fall apart because they end up in drama and of course  everyone is someone else’s difficult person. 

First Step, is to recognise when you are communicating with others from one of those ego states. You can share this with a trusted friend and ask them to notice if they think you are communicating from drama. You can also observe your own language and be mindful of your intention.

Activity

You can practice here by reading these statements and determining where in the drama triangle you think the person is:

 

  • If you they were a good employee they would make time for follow up
  • They just want to be paid for nothing
  • They want their cake and eat it

 

or

 

  • They don’t appreciate me
  • They don’t have the same pressures as I do
  • I have to come up with all the solutions and ideas, no one else ever contributes

 

or

 

  • I have to do it because they won’t get round to it
  • I have to do it because they will get stressed otherwise
  • I have to do it because they are not skilled enough yet

 

Can you recognise Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer now?

How to get out of drama?

 

  1. Get really clear what you would like to have happen. Ensure your language is solution focused. It is what you want not what you don’t want
  2. Have confidence in asking for what you want and need
  3. Develop compassion and understanding for the difference between what is said and what is heard and give evidence based feedback

If you want to know more about ‘how’ to get out drama check my video: “How to do, delegate or ditch with confidence?” where I share 3 communication tools that can help you take the drama out of your communications.

 

 About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to challenging conversations, lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult to speak up and have her needs met despite the fact she could and would encourage everyone else to do exactly that. A series of 3 events in her personal life forced her to stop and learn how to take her own advice.

Today Sheryl runs retreats and one to one sessions resourcing you to do more of what you love, delegate or learn how to do what you don’t and ditch the critic that says you can’t. Sharing a communication tool kit and collaboration tool kit that will transform the way you think, feel and understand those around you. Sheryl and her team will be your strength and solution detective whilst you train your inner critic and those that around you to listen in a way that motivates and inspires you.

Don’t know how call her now….+44(0)1329 286648

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What Is Clean Language?

What is Clean Language?

Clean Language is a questioning technique designed by David Grove in the 1980’s, who gave it a way on a generosity framework. As a psychotherapist he recognised when looking at many transcribes that the way a question was constructed influenced the ability of any given patient to answer. The ability to answer then influenced the patient’s ability to develop solutions and understanding.

With this in mind David cleaned up the questions, stripping them of any leading and where ever possible reduced the assumption. Let me put this in context for you.

When I ask the question what do you need to do to grow your business?

This question is ‘loaded’ with the assumption you have to ‘do’ something where as you might need to be more confident or have more time. This also assumes you want to grow your business.

 

So a clean way of asking the above questions would be:

And when business what would you like to have happen?

Clean Language is a framework of questions and principles that focus your attention on:

  • What you would like to have happen rather than what you don’t want to have happen
  • Resources and strengths you have already that maybe useful to achieve that outcome
  • Patterns that will give you greater clarity and understanding of ‘how’ you work and learn

The affect of asking Clean Language questions with a clean intention is that you:

  • Reduce the assumptions
  • Increase understanding

Clean Language questions and intention are one of the most efficient ways to resource an individual to resource themselves.

The principles of the process assumes the individual to have all the resources they need to solve the problem.

As a Clean Language facilitator we are trained to ask questions we don’t know the answer to but we think there is a good chance the other person will. Questions that are following the logic of the client rather than that of the facilitator.

It is not like any normal conversation and is a unique space to share with another human being – honouring and respecting everything they say or do. Never giving an opinion, suggestion or feedback even when asked.

David talked about giving all information equal opportunity. Not seeing anything as good or bad, negative or positive just information.

 

David Grove went onto to develop an awareness that we often talk in metaphor approximately once every 6 words and that these metaphors could be ‘brought to life’ if developed.

When you ask Clean questions of a metaphor, as though the metaphor were real it can give the individual the opportunity to really understand complex matters that are often hard to articulate with words alone.

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I can’t find the words to describe it”

Metaphors can bridge the gap between language and hard to articulate subjects like your emotions.

Metaphors can make it easier to understand ourselves and therefore make it easier for us to make ourselves understood.

I originally trained in Clean Language because I wanted to excel as a coach. I wanted to be the best facilitator I could be, little did I know the impact that would have on both my business, my family and me personally.

I would like to thank Marian Way of  Clean Learning and author of Clean Approaches for Coaches for introducing me to this wonderful process.

Marian was trained by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley, psychotherapist themselves who followed David Grove’s work and modelled ‘how’ is was asking the questions. They then developed a system to train individuals how to ask the clean language questions, this process is called “Symbolic Modelling” and you can find out more here Clean Language

Alongside this Caitlin Walker of Training Attention also met David Grove while working with youths in central London. Although the principles are the same in terms of questions and ethos her experience of how to practically apply it was  different.

Caitlin was working in a completely different arena and therefore had to adapt the way the questions were introduced and asked. Caitlin over 10 years has developed a way of working with groups using Clean Language questions and principles and this process is called ‘Systemic Modelling’.  You can find out more about Caitlin’s journey here and her book from Contempt to Curiosity.

At Step by Step Listening we now work with businesses, families and individuals who want to develop their own bespoke strategies to speak up and be heard without fear of upsetting others.

Sheryl – The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic – from Overwhelm to clarity in 7 steps

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happy set you up for success. I might be part of the solution you need and I might not but you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detectivedetective-happy-smaller

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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