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I Attempted Suicide Twice but Today I’m a Professional Coach Who Leads People to Success

I Attempted Suicide Twice but Today I’m a Professional Coach Who Leads People to Success

I woke begrudgingly with the sun shining in through the curtains, as I moved my feet to the floor I looked down to see the floor scattered with empty medicine packets. Lots of them. Then I remembered, last night I’d taken all my medicine. The medicines that made me get up, the ones that made me go to sleep and anything and everything else I could find around the house too. I was so angry.

Looking back to that dark day 13 years ago, I can remember the anger felt so engulfing I didn’t think I’d be able to speak to anyone without losing it. “How could I take that lot and not die!” I thought. It should have been a fore gone conclusion. I was so mad that I remember picking up the medicine guideline leaflet that can be like war and peace and looking for the pharmaceutical company’s telephone number so that I could phone them and complain, “This was false advertising, it clearly states that “in the event of an overdose, go straight to hospital. Risk of death.”

This may sound mad, but I was a poorly woman. I really hadn’t got a grasp on my mental health illness and I can remember that feeling that I just wanted it to end, life, me, just stop and let it go black for good. Thankfully I didn’t get my wish that day.

Looking back and remembering that moment, it’s like I was a different Mandie Holgate. I’ve learned so much about me, life, mindset and how to live a powerful happy life. And as awful as those 18 months of severe mental health illness were, without them I would not be changing lives around the world and have a book that’s sold around the world.

I wish we could learn the lesson easier that to be successful in everything we do, it has to start with self love. I often remind people that I can help them create the greatest marketing strategy or the best goal plan of action. However, if you don’t believe in yourself, you will find a way to damage your results and ultimately your success.

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Self love also enables us to keep our confidence and self esteem high. Without this, it too will damage our success. We will suffer far more when experiencing failure, which is an ingredient to the recipe to success.

However, the pre-depression Mandie never really grasped what she had been was not what she could truly be. And if this resonates with you, if you feel like you are struggling with mental well being, it’s not something to be ashamed about; it’s not a weakness (as I saw it to be). As scary as it may be, know that when you take that massive leap to tell someone and talk about it, you will be putting your foot on the road to making it easier and a better for you. The right people do care, if you give them chance to let them.

Here I’d like to share the tough life lessons I learned and how they could change your life without nearly losing yours.

Telling people you are struggling is not a sign of weakness.

The hardest lesson I learned from my own adversity and obstacles to happiness is that, I don’t have to do it all on my own. I’m terrible at asking for help. When I was ill, it was because I felt weak if I asked for help — useless and pathetic. “Poor Mandie, can’t deal with life” I thought.

However, I’ve learned that we all need someone to lean on sometimes. It’s a sign of strength to be able to say “I need help”. Strong and confident people trust that they are liked and respected. They know that if they ask for help, they will get it so as to get the results they want.

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The voices in your head will always aim to revert to negativity.

When I was ill, the talking therapies I accessed not only changed my life, but are changing my clients’ lives too since I also use the talking therapies with my clients now every day.

Of all the things I could share with you, I think being aware of the inner voice is a very powerful one. Learn to hear what your voices say to you. That internal dialogue can be a power for good or bad, but only if you become aware of what it is saying. I often point out to clients that at the start you don’t need to work out how to change that negative voice, just by being aware of it you could change it. It likes to go untested and unchecked, so note what you are saying in your own head.

Saying no is not selfish, it’s selfless.

We think we are being epic when we do everything everyone asks us to. When we constantly say yes, it does wonders for other people’s success. However, it can greatly impact on our own well being and success. A feeling of guilt and frustration can creep in, and you can feel like no one respects you or what you want to achieve. Learning when to say no and how to say it in the right way for you is a powerful way to achieve greater levels of success.

Getting it wrong is good for you.

For me, it was hard to accept that failure was going to be good for me. I felt like Mandie Holgate had to perform to perfection every time. The problem with this is that we are less likely to open ourselves up to mistakes and getting it wrong. We don’t want to lose face so we don’t risk failure.

However, failure is such a valuable lesson to success. It’s a chance to learn, appreciate your tenacity, determination and dedication. Without failure, you can’t hone your skills or even appreciate the depths to which they go. As long as you keep working towards your success, people don’t have a habit of concentrating on your failures. You, on the other hand, have an inherent ability to hang on to failure as a distinction of your success. Accept your failures as much as you do your successes to really achieve more.

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Changing your mind is allowed.

Becoming an entrepreneur, I had clear goals from the start on what I wanted to achieve and what success looked like to me. I rarely shied away from sharing what that definition of success looked like either. You are after all, far more likely to achieve success if you tell people what you are looking to do. However, sometimes I would find myself doing things that I didn’t really want to.

Learning to be honest about what matters to you in life and going for true passions can mean that you change your mind and there is no law against that. How much do you want this? Is this really for you? Having the strength to follow a clear path is powerful, and knowing when that path is just taking you further away from what you really want is just as important. It feels easier to change course than change your mind and skill set. Be aware with this top tip that you aren’t changing direction because you aren’t getting results.

Stop assuming that you will fail.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a coaching client that has said to me how awesome it’s going to be. They always start from a place of “What if we can’t cope with demand?” “What if I can’t do it?” “What if it doesn’t work?” or “What if they don’t like me?” The reason relates to top tip number 2 in that we tend to revert to a negative train of thought. And thus we assume we will fail. We never assume it will be awesome, that they will love us, that we will be a sell out success. (On the occasions where someone has assumed they would sell out, they’ve only thought like that because they’ve assumed that they wouldn’t be able to cope with demand, and so would still fail by damaging their brand and reputation!)

The “What if game” is a great way to challenge the assumptions you are making and find out if they are true, or only an unhelpful perception that is distorting your view of the results you can expect. What could you assume that could be positive and how do you ensure that this happens?

Doing more does not always compute to more success.

I love how the standard reply to “How are you?” is usually “really busy thanks” It used to be “fine thanks, you?” Being busy has become the curse of the 21st century. Woe be tide the person that admits to finishing work early or not hustling, toiling, pushing, working hard or giving it your all. As a society, we’ve learned to look over our shoulder and assume what the next person is doing is what we will need to do to be successful—wrong.

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We need to learn to think and work smarter. This summer, I turned my phone off and had 24 days holiday. The list of what I achieved in that time included a free holiday in a German Castle and opportunities I’d not even considered! No one need to know how many hours you work. The person you need to impress most, is you. If your way of working is delivering what you want out of your personal and professional life, stick with it. If it’s not work smarter, don’t just work harder. It will damage your long term health and happiness.

    And lastly this may sound fake or salesy, however 2017 has personally thrown my family some very challenging times that have had me looking to the heavens and thinking “Really? More stuff dumped on us?” I’ve used my own book that is packed with the tools and techniques that I started learning all those years ago when I nearly died to keep my mind positive and still achieve despite life throwing obstacles and adversity at me. I truly believe that we can achieve anything with the right mindset. I was rather proud to re-read my own book and think, “wow, there’re some seriously good ideas in here!”

    I don’t tell you this to sell my book, I tell you this because we are so fearful of being proud of ourselves and risking looking arrogant that we risk losing our self confidence and damaging our self esteem. Thirteen years on I’m very proud to be Mandie Holgate, and to be changing lives around the world for the price of a book. I wish that every reader of this article can learn the power of being able to say “This is me, and I’m damn good at it!” What could that do for your personal and professional success?

    Buy Mandie’s book Fight the Fear – How to beat your negative mindset and win in life on Amazon

    More by this author

    Mandie Holgate

    Coach, International BEST Selling Author, Speaker & Blogger helping thousands around the world.

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    Last Updated on September 23, 2020

    I’m Stuck! 7 Steps to Take When You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

    I’m Stuck! 7 Steps to Take When You’re Feeling Stuck in Life

    Life can throw curve balls your way and challenge you even when the best of conditions have manifested in your life. Whether you are a middle-aged working parent, deep into your retirement, or somewhere in between, there are times when we all find ourselves saying “I’m stuck.”

    I have a strong familiarity with this feeling of low energy levels, a lack of motivation to the point where getting out of bed can be a struggle that you are fighting each morning prior to work.

    I often deal with my own struggles of feeling stuck when it comes to writer’s block. At times the words can flow out of me like lava gushing from an active volcano, but in other moments, my motivational levels and willingness to engage in thought feel absolutely dormant.

    What are some of the tools or techniques that one could lean on in these moments where you just can’t seem to get out of the hole you feel stuck in?

    One major emphasis that I’d like to make in discussing ways to beat that feeling of “I’m stuck” is that this feeling is extremely normal. We all will experience it at some point or another as we navigate this journey in pursuit of happiness.

    Too many individuals experience this diminishment in encouragement and joy and allow it to alienate them from the people who care about them most. This brings me to the first step in beating that feeling of being stuck in life.

    1. Embrace the Feeling of Being Stuck

    You’ve got to recognize that this idea of “I’m stuck” is a natural feeling that we all experience whether in our work life, a relationship, or perhaps a scholarly pursuit or business endeavor.

    You have to allow yourself to realize that life is hard and there will be days, weeks, or months when you don’t feel like you have enough fuel in the tank to push onwards and upwards.

    Whatever obstacles you face that are giving you this inability to get excited about your weekly movements, you must first understand that these aren’t abnormal thoughts to have, and you aren’t alone in experiencing them.

    If you can allow yourself that small but vital realization, then you will be well on your way to breaking out of the cycle of feeling stuck and unable to move forward in your life’s pursuit.

    2. Identify the Source of Your Obstacles

    Struggle is an obstacle that will never be fully gone no matter where you find yourself in life. We all have to face adversity at some point.

    How you handle struggle, however, is going to be a key point in managing your emotions, temperament, and the overall outcome for your life as you try to regain your internal confidence and start breaking out of the mental chains that you’ve found yourself in.

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    “We act like wind-up toys, repeatedly bumping into the same walls, never realizing there may be an open door just to our right or our left,” Susan David, a psychologist at the Harvard Medical School, writes in her book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life.

    Essentially, what Susan is saying, is that we often get stuck in a situation but continue the same approaches that got us stuck in the first place, instead of searching for an alternate path forward.

    When you start saying “I’m stuck,” it’s time to start a full evaluation of your situation to try and better understand what the source of that feeling is.

    If you are feeling stuck or in a rut, try to trace back in time and determine what got you in this mental headspace in the first place[1].

    Maybe your office has a new boss who is more critical than the last, so you are feeling a lack of confidence. Perhaps you’re considering going back to school but are stressed about the cost. It could really be any number of things.

    Knowing the why and working to understand the internal foundation for this moment of apathy will empower you to make the changes necessary to get out of that funk and begin your climb towards a more productive self.

    3. Re-Organize Your Time

    It can become all too easy to fall into a trap of negative routines or unhealthy habits that can contribute to that lull in your life where you just don’t feel like doing much at all.

    In working to identify the root cause of being stuck, you should start evaluating how you utilize your time.

    I often hear “I don’t have the time to work on [fill in the blank]” as an excuse to continue down a path of unproductive behavior that will only entrench the individual further into a hole that they never wanted to be in to start with.

    For this reason, it is important to analyze your time usage. Create a budget for your time in the same way that you should have a budget for your finances.

    I don’t just want you to make your time budget for what you want to accomplish in a week. I also think it’s important to create a time budget that accurately reflects your current week-to-week behavior.

    Seeing how you are utilizing your time in the present moment might be eye opening if you have been over binging on Netflix shows, overly consumed with social media, or working yourself to death.

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    By creating a time budget, you are establishing a plan that can help guide you through the moments when you’ve actually had enough and don’t feel as if you can continue onwards anymore. With more established schedule for how you will utilize your time, you can train yourself up to be more naturally productive and block those “I’m stuck” thoughts from getting to you again.

    Take a look at this article to learn how to budget your time better: The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

    4. Talk to Yourself Frankly

    Don’t you find it interesting that we can often readily provide solid advice to a friend, family member, or co-worker without much reservation or issue, but when it comes to our own decisions, we often feel paralyzed and unable to make a decisive move?

    I like to employ a strategy that I call talking to the mirror. Essentially, I try to step outside of my own internal monologue or perspective and give myself the sort of advice that I’m usually able to readily produce for a close friend or family member.

    Often times, when I step outside of the confines of my own mind and feeling of being stuck, I’m able to better gauge my perspective and whether or not it’s healthy or realistic.

    By committing to such an exercise, you have the potential to increase the success of reflecting on your path through life. You also potentially learn more about yourself and why you may be feeling trapped where you are.

    According to authors Kross & Ayduk in their study of Focusing on the Future from Afar[2]:

    “Prior research indicates that self-distancing enhances adaptive self-reflection about negative past events.”

    Very much in line with the idea of “talking to the mirror,” you need to understand that it is important to treat yourself with the love and compassion that you deserve as a human[3]. People will quickly work to ensure others around them feel loved and cared for but neglect themselves in the process.

    Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas drew the conclusion that “self-compassion involves treating yourself just like you would treat your friends or family members.”

    When you say I'm stuck, use healthy self-talk.

      Much like the simple idea of treating others the way you’d want to be treated, it is key to have self-compassion and build yourself up with positive self-talk rather than viewing yourself only through a negative lens[4].

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      5. Distract Yourself a Bit When Necessary

      I spend a lot of my time in the creative areas of my mind, working hard to create original music for myself at home or even working on writing for my blog. It is a healthy release for me that allows me to step outside of my normal day-to-day operation and escape.

      If you are feeling stuck in a particular area of your life, try to step away from that area for a moment and refocus your attention on another area that gives life and energy.

      When I’ve been working on one song for many weeks at a time, it helps to try and write a new song or revisit an older track to shake things up and keep them fresh.

      We all have daily routines that can grow stale at times and leave us feeling frustrated. Shaking things up and finding new ways to distract your mind is a perfect way to break out of that mental cycle!

      If you find yourself at an impasse, and you can’t break off that inability to garner up motivation to continue forward, then taking a little side quest might be just the thing to get you back on course.

      It’s similar to an academic trying to solve an equation that just seems impossible to figure out. Sometimes, you have to step away and zoom out.

      Taking time to distract your mind with something new can give you that motivation to then revisit what was once feeling tired and worn out, and renew your passion to pursue it! If you’re thinking, “I’m stuck,” try taking on a new hobby, playing a sport, or trying out a new family activity. Who knows what will change your perspective.

      6. Turn That Productivity Up!

      Next, try to find ways you can productively utilize your time when you feel stuck in another pursuit.

      When I’m feeling trapped at work and unable to continue with the 40+ hour work weeks, I try to come up with some productive ways to use my time outside of work that give me something to look forward to.

      Sometimes that is as simple as playing with my daughter for an hour and letting go of the stresses and anxieties of work, even if for just a brief moment.

      Other times, I find projects to work on at the house, such as hiding the wires behind the TV or building a new side table for our bedroom. It doesn’t take long for me to realize that when I work to find more effective ways to spend my time, I feel more fulfilled and better prepared to handle the ups and downs of life.

      Productively using your time in the evenings after work helps to stave off any feelings of apathy or laziness that might lead you down the path of that all too familiar stuck feeling.

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      Keeping busy with productive things in and out of the workplace in moderation can be a great way to occupy your mind. It can also help you to establish better habits in your free time that will be more conducive to feeling like you can achieve your goals and experience new found levels of success and motivation.

      7. Look Back and Look Forward

      The last word of encouragement that I’d like to leave you with is to remember that no change comes fast in life. I wish it were as easy as saying, “1, 2, 3!”, snapping your fingers, and all of a sudden you feel like your best self.

      But like anything worth striving towards, breaking out of a funk in your internal perspective takes time, energy, and a strong support group of friends or family.

      If you attempt to break out of your feeling of “I’m stuck” but seem to be failing after a short amount of time, don’t give up. Keep working at it and keep trying to adopt a more positive attitude about your situation.

      I typically give myself at least 30 to 60 days to try and implement a new strategy within my approach to life. Then, I pause to evaluate my progress or lack thereof.

      The key to success isn’t just in the doing. It is also in the analysis of your actions prior to a change, during the adoption phase of a change, and after the change has started to take root in your life.

      If you fail to reflect on where you were, then you will miss out on important insights into your own path through life.

      Journaling can be especially useful in this area as you’ll be able to look back and see exactly where you were a week, a month, or a year ago. If you want to give it a try, check out this article.

      Final Thoughts

      We all move at different paces through life, and in doing so, we will all face struggles and moments where we just want to throw in the towel. I can’t emphasize enough that these moments are absolutely normal, and you are not alone in feeling this way!

      I hope that these steps help you to consider your own behavior and make the necessary adjustments to live a more fulfilled life. Instead of feeling stuck, you will feel empowered to be the best you that you can be!

      More to Help You Get Unstuck

      Featured photo credit: Yoann Boyer via unsplash.com

      Reference

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