5. What is your favourite self development book and why?
Blimey – that’s a toughie! It tends to be whichever one I’m reading at the moment. (Right now it’s The Five Second Rule by Mel Robbins – highly recommended, particularly if you have a tendency to procrastinate, or talk yourself out of taking action because your self-doubt, fears and worries gets in the way.)
I’m something of a book junkie – I can’t stop buying them and I can’t bear to throw them away. So I’m always picking up new books, in charity shops, from the amazing Barry the Book at Knowledge is King, on Amazon … Invariably whichever book I pick to read next (usually by standing gazing at the bookshelf until one leaps out or calls to me!) turns out to be the right one, the perfect next ‘good read’, with an answer or helpful take on whatever I’m grappling with at the time. There really isn’t one ‘favourite’ book. Some of my favourite writers… well, currently that would have to include Elizabeth Gilbert, Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Brene Brown and … stop me or I could go on and on!
6. What is your favorite quote?
I’ve got two. The first is attributed to Helen Keller:
‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.’
The second is attributed to Albert Einstein:
‘The most important decision we make is whether we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.’
They’re both a brilliant reminder that our choices make all the difference in how we view – and therefore experience – life. And who makes those choices? WE do! I do. I have the power. (So do you.)
7. What are your 3 tips for a great Mindset?
First of all, remember that everything in life is a choice. Even when we can’t affect our external circumstances, we can always choose how we respond, what we give our focus and attention to, and the way we interpret what’s happening to us. And the way we respond totally determines the outcome. That’s why it’s call our response-ability.
Secondly, always choose fascination over frustration. When someone cuts us up in traffic, it’s far more pleasurable and effective to wonder why they’re in such a hurry than to get hacked off and drive dangerously in response. When someone beats us to a promotion, instead of feeling jealous, overlooked or not ‘good enough’, we can ponder what we could have done better or differently, what we can learn that will stand us in good stead the next time. That will take us straight out of victimhood or self-pity. Whatever happens, get fascinated. It not only feels better, and more empowering, it’s also going to create more positive and productive actions.
Thirdly, never ever ever compare yourself to other people. Years of coaching and listening to people’s stories has taught me that everyone, EVERYONE, is fighting battles, struggling with demons, dealing with stuff. That saying about ‘walking a mile in other someone else’s shoes’? Absolutely. Comparisons are odious, pointless, disempowering and seldom fun. Don’t do it.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of mindset advice what would it be and when?
I would have told myself that I was enough. I probably wouldn’t have believed it, yet I would still have repeated it to myself over and over in the hopes that it would sink in. And I’m telling you now. You are enough. YOU ARE ENOUGH. I spent decades feeling I wasn’t enough – not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not old enough, not young enough … perhaps I thought that it would motivate me to become more. Rubbish. It’s the thought that we’re not enough that keeps as small and stops us from playing our biggest game. Giving up that thought (that really is all it is – I promise you it’s not the truth) and replacing it with I AM ENOUGH is a massive relief. Try it on for size. Does it make you smile? Good. Keep wearing it then. Keep reminding yourself. (You could even turn it up a notch or two – ‘I am amazing! I am magnificent!’) And notice what happens …
9. Do you have any top tips to help women work on their own self worth?
Without getting all overly-feminist (though of course I am!), I do think that the vast majority of women have picked up along the way a load of unconscious messages (from family, school, society, media, peer groups etc. ) about not getting too big for our boots, not blowing our own trumpets, putting other people first, not being too self-centred. We’re taught to dim our own light so that we don’t dazzle others. Well excuse me! What’s wrong with getting new boots! Who’s trumpet should we be blowing? Aren’t we advised to put on our own oxygen mask before looking after everyone else? If we’re not centred in ourselves, then surely we’re badly out of balance! It’s why I love that fabulous piece by Marianne Williamson, where she reminds us that “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”. And the world needs more shiny people.
10. How do you continue to grow and develop as a strong successful woman?
I believe we never stop learning and growing. There’s a great quote (I think attributed to Bette Davis):
‘You’re either green and growing or you’re ripe and rotting!’
Well I know which I prefer. And I intend to keep growing till the moment I drop.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading this interview as much as me.
What is your favorite quote?
Sarah Ellen x