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Last Updated on February 28, 2018

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

    Internationally endorsed, Fight the fear book in 5 languages helping thousands around the world.

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    Published on November 12, 2018

    10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When You’re Feeling Extra Stuck

    10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When You’re Feeling Extra Stuck

    We have all felt stuck at some point in our lives. Perhaps you feel stuck right now.

    Maybe you’re feeling a little stuck working on a creative project, like writing an article or painting a piece of art. Perhaps you started a new business, took on a major project at work or began a new health or fitness regimen.

    Your initial excitement has worn off and you’re now feeling stuck, confused or overwhelmed by how to keep progressing forward. Or maybe, you’re a lot stuck. You feel trapped in a job you hate, a relationship that isn’t working, a boatload of debt, or a life that has little resemblance to the one you’d imagined.

    Let’s be honest. Regardless of how stuck you are, it’s a terrible feeling. Feeling trapped and unsure how to move forward can lead to feelings of, confusion, angst, hopelessness, insecurity and overwhelm.

    Sometimes we just want to throw in the towel and give up. But don’t give up just yet.

    Whether you feel just a ‘little stuck’ or like you’re stuck in dry concrete; trying to make a small or big decision; wondering what you’re doing with your life), feeling trapped in a job, overwhelmed by debt, unhappy in a relationship or life that isn’t the one you want to live, these 10 strategies can help you move forward again.

    1. Take a step back

    Your first step forward when you feel stuck is to take a step back. Often, we try to get unstuck by pushing forward with sheer force or just trying harder. But as Einstein said,

    “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

    Access a different level of thinking by assessing your current situation from a new viewpoint. Whenever I’m working with clients who feel stuck, this is the first thing I ask them to do.

    I have them think about where they are, what got them here and what they really want. When you step back from your life, career, and challenges and look from a bit of a distance, you see things from a different perspective.

    Your Turn:

    Imagine you are lost in the woods. You could keep moving forward looking for your way out. You could panic and go in circles. You could head back the way you came. You could, as I learned in camp, just sit still until help arrives.

    Imagine instead that you could stop, take a deep breath and zoom out from your situation. Imagine you could fly above it all as if you were in a helicopter and look down at yourself among the trees.

    What could you see or notice differently from this perspective – a different route, people there to support you, the way out is closer than you thought?

    Another way to ‘zoom out’ is to look at your situation as a neutral observer. Imagine you’re a fly on the wall watching your life. What insights or advice would you give yourself?[1]

    2. Get specific

    It’s hard to move forward until you fully understand why you are stuck. You have to get specific and identify what’s really going on. You must name it to tame it.

    A great mentor of mine once said,

    “A well-defined problem presents its own solution”.

    If you want to find a solution, you must truly understand the underlying problem. This is one of the premises of coaching. When you dig a little deeper to the real issue/challenge/blockage, solutions tend to present themselves.

    For example, there are big differences between, ‘I feel stuck’ and ‘I feel stuck because I’m overwhelmed with the details’ or ‘I feel stuck because I’m worried what people are going to think of me.’ Once you name it, you are more likely to be able to tame it.

    One of the most important questions I ask clients is, ‘What’s getting in the way?’ When they answer, the next question is always, ‘What else?’ We continue along this route until we feel we’ve gotten to the real, underlying issue(s).

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    Your Turn:

    Seek to uncover the underlying issues that are getting in your way and stopping you from progressing. You can do this by journaling, talking to someone who knows you well, or simply taking the time to ask yourself these questions.

    Once you name it, perhaps the solution will then present and tame itself.

    3. Reconnect to your ‘why’

    Feeling stuck is often because you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and what’s important. You’ve lost your why.

    Why did you start this in the first place? What reasons, values or passions drove you to make this change in your life? What picture do you have for yourself, your business and your life? Why are you wanting to achieve or accomplish this?

    By reminding yourself of your original intention and purpose, it gives you the intrinsic motivation to get back on track and move ahead.

    Connecting to your deeper ‘why’ will be the fuel that keeps you going, even through tough times and roadblocks.

    Your Turn:

    Whatever you’re stuck on right now, grab a journal and ask yourself, “Why is this important to me?” ,”Why did I start this in the first place?” “What am I trying to achieve here and why is that important to me? “

    4. Brainstorm Your Options

    We often feel stuck because we don’t see any way out from our current situation – we feel we don’t have any options.

    By brainstorming ideas and possibilities, you expand your mind and open your thinking to finding a new solution. When you can see potential options, you won’t feel so trapped anymore. 

    This is not about deciding the one thing or making the right choice, it’s about allowing your creative mind to expand and see all the potential possibilities. We often dive straight into finding the right one and eliminate anything that doesn’t feel perfect.

    That’s why so many people feel stuck. They are attempting to find the next right career, the best way to handle a situation or the one perfect idea. This can lead to a lot of stress and analysis paralysis.

    The reality is that there is no single best or right. There are many possibilities that could work for your situation. It’s about the next step right now.

    If you hate your career, what new potential careers are on your mind? List them all out – even the ones that seem unrealistic or silly.

    If you’re unhappy in your relationship, what can you do? There are likely a lot more options than you’ve considered. What are they?

    Your Turn:

    Make a list of options for your current situation – as crazy or ‘out there’ as they might be.

    When you think you’ve thought of everything, ask yourself, ‘What other options are there?’ This allows you to dig deeper and see ideas you might not have otherwise explored.

    Then, and only then can you start to identify the way forward.

    5. Take a brain break

    Full disclosure, I’m stealing this strategy from my 7-year-old daughter’s second-grade teacher.

    The other night I was helping my daughter with homework, she was getting super frustrated and wasn’t sure what to write in a letter to her big buddy. She was on the verge of tears when she looked up and asked, ‘Mom, can I take a brain break?’ She got up from the table, walked downstairs to her room and played with her stuffed animals. When she came upstairs a short time later, she was as happy as could be and jumped right into her writing.

    We could all use a brain break when we’re stuck. A chance to shift focus gives our brains a chance for quiet; it takes the pressure off so we can come back with a fresh mind and new perspective.

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    When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. The brain break actually helps to incubate and process new information.[2]

    A great brain break is to do something physical that gets you in flow. Take a hike, a run, a walk around the block. Another well-known brain break is meditation – which has so many proven benefits I can’t even begin to name them all. Try it, it works.

    I have one friend who says taking a shower helps her get unstuck. ’Somehow good thoughts come up in that silent space.’

    Your Turn:

    What kind of brain breaks can you give yourself? Which would be most helpful?  It’s not just for second graders anymore.

    6. Let go of what’s not working

    Have you ever walked through the mud and had your boot get stuck and your foot fly out? When this happens, you usually have two choices: either put your boot back on and keep plodding through, repeating the frustration as it continually gets stuck, or you can take off that boot and move forward.

    The same is true in life. When we get stuck, we often stay in the mud and try to drag our boot along. We keep doing what’s clearly not working. The boot represents limiting beliefs, old habits, or stories you’re telling yourself.

    Remember in the movie “UP” when Mr. Fredricksen is trying to get his house to fly? It was too heavy. He had to dump out his belongings until the house was light enough to lift off.

    Same is true here; you’ve got to get rid of the emotional baggage you’re carrying so you can move forward and fly.

    Take my client *Lucy for example. She was stuck trying to figure out what she wanted next in her life and career. She was having trouble finding a job she was interested in. Through our work together, we uncovered that Lucy had an interesting belief: that having a job and being happy were mutually exclusive.

    She believed she couldn’t have a job and be happy at the same time. This meant she was either going to be jobless and joyful or employed and miserable. In order to move forward in her career search, she needed to take off this ‘boot’ and believe she could find a job where she could, in fact, be happy.

    Your Turn:

    What’s holding you back? An old habit, limiting belief or story you are telling yourself? How can you reframe your thinking in order to change the direction you are headed?

    7. Know what you need to get unstuck

    We all have a way in which we operate that is unique to us. When you understand how you’re wired, you can understand more specifically what you need to get unstuck. It’s like your own personal formula for moving forward.

    For me, I need a crystal-clear picture of what I’m trying to achieve and a big, tangible goal to reach for.  When I don’t have a clear picture of the end result or challenging target I’m trying to hit, I feel stuck and demotivated. 

    Here are some common needs: 

    Astep-by-step plan, to understand why something is important, deadlines and impending pressure, unconditional encouragement and support, to think things through, connecting to a deeper meaning, freedom, and flexibility, and certainty.

    Do you relate to any of these?

    Your Turn:

    What do you need to get unstuck? If you’re not quite sure, you might want to check out the I.D.™ (Instinctive Drives™). It’s a tool I’ve used for almost 20 years (and have all my clients take). It helps you understand what you need to be at your best, including what will help you get unstuck.

    8. Shift your state

    When you’re in a stuck state, it actually creates a cycle of ‘stuckness.’ Get yourself out of there!

    Instead of placing all your focus and energy on the problem, shift your focus and energy to another area of your life. Go do something that brings you joy; spend time with someone you love.

    Do anything to shift your state and mood. This will switch your downward cycle of ‘doom and gloom’ into an upward cycle of ‘hope and possibility’.

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    A great way to shift your state is to practice gratitude. So, you hate your job. Practice gratitude for other areas of your life. Does it support your family? Allow you to work remotely?

    I’m not saying you should stay in a job you hate, I’m just recommending that you get perspective. A state shift brings energy, hope, and positivity into your mindset…keys to getting out of that dreaded stuck cycle.

    Your Turn:

    What always puts you in a good mood? What brings you joy, happiness or fulfillment?   Do it! And make sure to practice gratitude. Try this: each morning for the next week, write down three things you are grateful.

    9. Take action

    Getting into action is critical to getting unstuck. There’s no substitute for momentum. Action enables further action, while inactivity creates inertia, self-doubt, and confusion.

    I love this quote from Simon Sinek:

    ‘If we think of everything we have to do, we feel overwhelmed. If we do the one thing we need to do, we make progress.’

    My client *Marcus had just made a career move and was setting out to start his own wellness business. The biggest problem getting in his way? Inertia.

    The more he thought about what he was going to do, the bigger the endeavor began to feel. The more he explored the risks, challenges, and his extensive to-do list, the more he felt overwhelmed. He was stuck. 

    However, once he took action, starting with quick wins, he gained momentum and was able to move forward and tackle bigger and more challenging steps. Once he broke through his inaction, he was on a roll.

    My grandfather always told us: a path leads to a path. We can’t know what the future holds and trying to figure out everything before we start is a recipe for disaster.

    Know that a path will lead to a path, a step will lead to the next step, but you have to start walking first. 

    Your Turn:

    What’s the next step you can take to move forward? Where is there a quick win?

    When you think about your first (or next) step, keep it small and achievable to get the momentum going.

    10. Reach out for help

    This summer, my Dad took his new truck and my twin daughters on a trip to the Oregon sand dunes. Only a few minutes into the adventure, they got really stuck. They tried shoveling sand and getting out on their own, but they couldn’t. Nearly an hour later, (which felt like an eternity stuck in the middle of a pelting sandstorm), a little dune buggy came along. My Dad’s truck was six times its size, but all they needed was a little pull. They hooked up the wench and within minutes, they were free.

    We can all use a little help when we’re stuck. This might be talking to a good friend who knows and understands you or reaching out to get advice from someone who’s been in a similar situation to yours.

    Maybe it’s hiring a coach who will ask powerful questions to help you see things from a different angle, a therapist who can uncover hidden roadblocks or a consultant to share opinions and experiences.

    When you’re on your own, it can feel hopeless, overwhelming and just plain impossible. But, just a little push or pull from someone can quickly change your trajectory.

    While this may seem like one of the easiest strategies, it is actually one of the hardest to do. Why? Even though we are biologically wired to help each other, many of us find it challenging to reach out.

    There’s a reason for this:[3]

    ‘Asking for help exposes us to numerous possible social threats, which is why it’s so uncomfortable. It can feel like a tacit admission of weakness, which lowers our status, and can be an invitation for scorn. It creates uncertainty, and invites the possibility of rejection.’

    Your Turn:

    Who is your dune buggy? Who can you reach out to ask for help right now?

    Not ready to reach out to someone just yet? Maybe you can try asking the universe. Some call this prayer, others spiritual guidance,  others faith.  Whatever you call it, reach out to someone, somewhere, somehow…now.

    Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

    Bonus: When all else fails, be patient

    Sometimes when we’re stuck, we just need to practice patience. Patience that the answer is coming; the shift is going to happen. Patience that you’ve done all that you can and now, it’s time to wait and see what comes back to you.

    I’m not suggesting you wait for months or years; but sometimes we expect things to change quickly, yet things take time. This is especially true for big life decisions and transitions or when there are others involved, like your relationships or job.

    I love the line from Max Ehrmann’s’ Desiderata:

    ’…whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.’  

    Trust the unfolding and know that sometimes it may take a little longer than you’d like.

    There’s usually a good reason, even if you can’t see it. Maybe it’s not time to move forward or make changes just yet. Maybe you don’t have all the information you need, and when you do, you’ll quickly make progress. Maybe you’re actually stuck where you need to be right now.

    When I was in my most recent major career transition, feeling stuck and wondering if I would ever figure out my next step, this quote from Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu was exactly what I needed:

    ‘Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?’

    Stay strong. Be patient. The more stuck you are, the greater the freedom will feel.

    You’re going to be okay. It won’t always be like this. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Hang in there and trust the process. Your breakthrough is coming.

    Final Thoughts

    Which of these strategies feel like they will work best for you and your current stuck situation?

    You don’t have to use all of them, it just takes one.

    Remember, any movement, momentum or shift will help get you unstuck and moving forward again. Besides, it’s never too late to start things over! Here’s the proof:

    How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

    Featured photo credit: Michał Parzuchowski via unsplash.com

    Reference

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