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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.

    How to Make a Positive Change for a Fulfilling Life 13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride How to Access Your Personal Power to Create Success How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 6 Types of Fear of Success (And How to Overcome Them)

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    Last Updated on March 30, 2020

    How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

    How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

    We all know the feeling—when you sense that you are not completely happy and fulfilled with your life—things are not where and how you envisage them to be. You go through the motions everyday, angry with yourself and the universe for throwing you such an unfavorable dice.

    You can’t help yourself but feel a perennial envy towards those who are smiled upon by karma—the lucky individuals who seem to have the Midas touch and everything they undertake ends up with success, recognition and greater opportunities. Life must be so exiting.

    Unlike yours.

    We call this sensation many names: I’ve hit a wall; I’m not making progress; I’m stagnant; I’m moving in loops; Something is off in my life; I’m off balance.

    Or simply: feeling stuck.

    In this article, we’ll look into the reasons behind this feeling and how to get unstuck in life and live a more fulfilling life.

    Is Being Stuck Really Such a Bad Thing?

    Is it really so bad to be stuck in the status quo? After all, not everyone can be a super-star, right? What’s wrong with living a quiet life, with not many turns and twists and just going with the flow?

    True—there is not much fun in this, but there is not disappointment, anxiety, stress and ill-ambition either. Life is easy and uncomplicated.

    So why do we keep hearing over and over from the greats that staying is one place is not a good thing?

    Tony Robbins gives us an elegantly simple answer to this question:

    “If you are not growing, you are dying. “

    “Progress equals happiness,” he says. “That ’s because reaching a goal is satisfying but only temporarily. Life is not about achieving the goals, life is about who you become in pursuit of those goals.”[1]

    There you have it—staying in one place makes us unhappy.

    We all know that the comfort zone can be great. It’s like a warm old blanket you wrap yourself around on a cold winter night, cuddled in front of your favorite TV show.

    But just because something feels comfortable, does it mean it’s ok to stick to it forever?

    Progress equals happiness, remember.

    You may not even fully be aware of the small voice in the back of your mind that’s been bugging you, but you better learn to listen carefully—because you may wake up one day and realize that your productive life is gone and you haven’t achieved many of the things you wanted for yourself.

    Pretty gloomy picture, indeed.

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    Simply put, what the wise men advise us of is not just some self-help fluff for them to gain more popularity or sell more books. It is true—as you will learn below—that not moving forward, not even making the effort to do better or become better—even if you don’t always succeed in these endeavors—is a mental demise and a waste of your potential.

    The Common “Stucks”

    There are many reasons why you may feel stagnant in your life—some may be completely out of your control even. The main thing, though, is to be able to identify the reasons and then try to take some remedial actions.

    But it starts with an awareness—because you can’t fix what you don’t know about, right?

    Here are some of the main contributors to your feelings of stuck-ness:

    You Lack Purpose in Your Life, or the “Why” of What You Do

    Simon Sinek, the best-selling author and motivational speaker tells us in his famous TED talk that every successful endeavor—be it related to an organization, your career or personal life needs to begin with defining the “Why.” You need to be able to explain to yourself why you do what you do and what drives you.

    It is the thing (s) that gives meaning and inspires you to wake up in the morning and to want to take on the world. It is your reason for being.

    You Like the Status Quo

    You may like your comfort zone. After all, it’s…well, comfortable. But as we established, the good old blanket is not necessarily going to make us fulfilled in life. You can watch so many TV shows wrapped in it before you get bored.

    We, humans, still carry our ancestors’ fighting instincts—for hunting, for self-preservation, for taking actions to make our lives better. Inaction is not what made the mankind create all the innovations we enjoy today.

    The Good-Old Fear of Failure and of the Unknown

    Admittedly, it’s not an emotion to be taken lightly—it can be quite real and powerful for many of us.

    According to a Gallup poll done a while ago among U.S. teenagers, the fear of being a failure and not succeeding in life was at number four.[2] More specifically, this feeling was described as “making mistakes that will mess up my life,” “not measuring up,” “not leaving a mark.”

    So, fear can be a powerful paralyzer and can elicit a “safe-mode” response—i.e. stuck-ness.

    Your Crowd

    We all know the famous adage that we are the average of the five people we rub shoulders with. So, if your in-crowd is similarly stuck as you are, although it may be consoling at times, you won’t be motivated to make much progress yourself.

    It’s called a social proof bias—if everyone around you is doing (or not doing) something, then it is ok for you to follow suit.

    Comparisons to Others

    While comparisons are not always bad, according to the Social Comparison Theory,[3] they have to be handled with caution.

    Faring against others can make you very unhappy with yourself. Failing to recognize that your path is not the same as others’ and that there are many ways to get to an end-point (goal) can be very discouraging to taking the first step to unstuck-ness.

    Personality

    Our temperaments can also contribute to a sense of feeling stuck. For instance, you may be more of a passive, dreamy kind of person who prefers observing to taking action, pensiveness to gregariousness, solitude to venturing out in the world.

    That is, you have more of a slow-burn personality vs. a fiery one—therefore, it takes you longer to contemplate all alternatives before taking the plunge.

    And that’s ok. But you need to recognize that this may also be the reason why you are not progressing as fast or as much as you would like towards your goals.

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    And while changing who you are is hard (impossible even, according to some psychologists), there are things that can be done to make it so much better for yourself, which I will discuss a bit later.

    A final point to note here is that, paradoxically, it is possible to feel both stuck and unstuck at the same time. For instance, you can have a great career, but your family life may feel a bit stale, or wise versa.

    As our personal and professional lives constantly fight for the top spot on our attention list, the feeling of stuck-ness may also depend on where you are on your life’s trajectory.

    For someone who is younger and single, stagnation may be felt more vividly in their professional lives, as opposed to someone who is in their mid-life, where family takes priority—such individuals may not feel as down-hearted that they are not progressing quickly enough professionally.

    How to Get Unstuck in Life

    The neat thing about your path to becoming unstuck is that it follows the so-called Principle of Equifinality,[4] which states that the end state can be reached by many means.

    It’s not just one thing that can help you to start moving forward again. There are many avenues you can explore to find out what works for you and with your own story and personality.

    1. Show up and Be Willing to Do the Work

    Woody Allen has famously said that “80% of success is showing up.” That is, you need to begin with the right motivation and willingness to take action towards unstucking.

    You must want to improve your current state. And you must follow through.

    2. Self-Reflection

    Spend some time alone. You need to figure out why you are stuck—that is, what is the root of your discontent. Meditation may help here too. But this step is essential:

    Packing on some self-knowledge and awareness on why you are where you are in life can help you discover a whole new universe of ideas on how to make it better for yourself.

    It is as the saying goes: Identifying the problem is half of the solution.

    Start to do self-reflection with the help of this article: The Power of Self-Reflection: Ten Questions You Should Ask Yourself

    3. Break a Sweat

    There is an avalanche of research on the benefits of exercising for the body and the mind. The latest research tells us that if you want to put your mind in the best possible focus shape, a 15-minute jog will do the job better than 15 minutes of relaxation and meditation.[5] It also clears your thinking, improves your attention spans, and can generally make you feel like a “brand new person.”

    4. Find a Purpose

    As I already touched-upon, the “Why” behind your actions is a prime driver of self-progress. If you link your goals—be them personal or professionals—to a “bigger-than-me” aspiration, then it will be so much easier to convince yourself to keep moving.

    According to recent research,[6] we all have a specific purpose-seeking style—similar to our own way of writing, dancing or speaking.

    There are four types or “Whys”—creative, prosocial, financial and personal recognition. The prosocial approach to finding meaning, though, which is based on kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others, is the best one in the long-run—it was shown to lead to greater caring, integrity and personal growth.

    Here’s How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person.

    5. Find a Passion

    It’s barely a secret that if you enjoy something, you will want to do more of it and it won’t feel like an obligation. You will have an internal motivation to keep going despite setbacks, despite the stress or the tiredness you may experience at times.

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    So, find what thrills you and makes you come alive and strive to become better, the best even, at it. The more progress you make, the more confidence you will have that you can apply the same passion and dedication to all other parts of your life that feel stagnant.

    Learn How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life.

    6. Nudge Yourself

    The Nudge Theory[7] has been around for a while and has shown some wonderful results in positively influencing people’s behaviors—from making us conserve more energy, to improving the payment rates of fines, to making job-seekers more engaged and involved.

    Small things as daily reminders in terms of micro-goals you can set on your phone, for instance, can have a profound favorable effect on becoming unstuck.

    Nudging can also help overcome some of these personality traits we talked about—like passiveness or acute proneness to procrastination.

    7. Seek Different Experiences

    Even if you are in a happy relationship, you may still feel stuck—i.e. you may be unfulfilled, uninspired, or bored even of doing identical things over and over. The same rings true for your professional life.

    The end-point is that you need to feed your brain different experiences if you want to get unstuck. If you repeat more of the same thing, you will end up with more or less similar outcomes. Change requires taking the path less trodden, experimenting, learning new ways, seeing new places, reading, travelling—it’s an endless list, really, to personal growth.

    According to research covered in Psychology Today,[8]

    “Activities that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people’s lives. Happy people, it seems, engage in a wide range of counterintuitive habits that seem, well, downright unhappy.”

    8. Leave Behind the Things That Are Not Constructive for You

    Arianna Huffington put it in a great way:[9]

    “You can complete a project by dropping it.”

    Assessing the things that make you feel stagnant is important. But equally valuable is to recognize that just because it may be hard or even impossible to get something that you really want, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you are necessarily stuck.

    Maybe it’s simply not your thing. For instance, you may want to become a professional golfer. You practice and practice but you can’t quite reach the level of Tiger Woods that you aspire to. Perhaps it’s time to take stock of your life and shift your focus.

    9. Compare Wisely

    Comparisons can often make you feel down and create a sense of stagnation, which may not always be valid. You must realize that your pace of progress differs from your friends’, neighbours’, siblings or even significant others’.

    Just because you are not a millionaire by the age of 30, or haven’t started your own business, or written your third bestseller yet, doesn’t mean that you are not moving forward.

    So, mind how you measure your progress and your state of stuck-ness. Your perceptions may differ from reality.

    Besides, it’s never ever too late to start things over! Here’s how:

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

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    10. Ask for Help

    Finally, remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. If you feel stuck in your personal life, you can speak to your close ones and find a solution together. Maybe they feel the same way.

    At work—raise your hand, speak to your manager, volunteer to do things that can help you learn and become more valuable.

    You don’t have to come up with all the answers right now. The most important thing, going back to the first idea, is to be willing to make a change.

    When Is Enough Enough?

    Seeking progress is a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to become a better version of themselves after all?

    But the pursuit of growth should be handled with caution. It can become very addictive and sometimes even be counterproductive.

    It’s true—you may experience a “runner’s high” and success can make you overflow with dopamine, but the constant chase of “more” can toss you into a never-ending spinning wheel.

    You will never be happy with the status quo and won’t accept things as they are—which, naturally, can open a Pandora box of mental health issues.

    That is, too much of a self-improvement drive may leave you unable to enjoy your life, to be fully present in the Now and to appreciate the person that you are.

    And this is not necessarily a good thing.

    So, should you strive to improve yourself, so that feel unstuck and free again? Absolutely.

    But remember to take a breather and be grateful for what you have.

    Summing It All Up

    The feeling of being satisfied or unsatisfied with one’s life is very personal. Similar to its cousins—happiness and success, it is best measured by and depends on our individual histories, personalities and paths—i.e. my trajectory is different than yours and what makes me feel content may not create the same feeling for you.

    For instance, you may be happy to be in a position where you help others and their gratitude is sufficient enough reason for you to wake up in the morning. But for someone else, this situation may create a sense of stuck-ness.

    The main take-away here is that you shouldn’t compare your story to anyone else’s because you may end up feeling constantly stuck. And this, speaking from experience, is not the best place in the world to be.

    Progress is great, but don’t forget that your life is here and now.

    So, try to enjoy yourself some too, while making your grandiose plans to take on the world, will you please?

    Featured photo credit: Camila Cordeiro via unsplash.com

    Reference

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