Archive for the ‘Educational Motivation’ Category

The Power of Positive Change

Depending upon the meaning we give to situations or events, we feel and behave differently. It is amazing how we can be motivated by what gives us meaning and purpose. Your mind has a massive unconscious control and influence on what you think, what you do and how you feel. So is the glass half full or half empty? You have the ability to change the way that you look at life, events and relationships. When you view something in a more positive way , we use the term re-frame.

Advertising is based on the power of encouraging you to view a product in  a positive way, to persuade you to feel good about buying a product. Public relations, marketing and spinning  information and even the shopping experience all place emphasis on providing you with a relaxed, enjoyable environment or ‘frame’. You are more likely to buy, be persuaded or convinced when you feel good.

Values: Create the right path for you: We need to accept that we can change and we have the power to create those changes for the better. Use the table below to help identify your barriers, spark ideas that could motivate you to positive change, then set your intentions to create that change.


What is holding me back from positive change?


My positive values that move me to change


  • It’s hard to change
  • I’ve always done it this way
  • I don’t deserve good things
  • I feel helpless
  • I’m a failure
  • I’m not clever enough
  • I can’t change
  • Life is always against me
  • I am afraid of the unknown and taking risks
  • I have an inner voice holding me back

  • Change is exciting
  • I choose change in my life
  • I deserve the best
  • I take responsibility for my life
  • I am successful at what I chose to do
  • I have the skills I need
  • I can change
  • I create my own options
  • I am ready to take a step into the unknown

The brain has a negative bias. In evolutionary terms we have to be ever ready for anything! This creates a fear, a need to have our minds concerned about other things. This can be hard work and there is a tendency to be negative in outlook. Knowing this means we have to be clear about ‘setting our intentions’, just as we would ‘set our sat-nav’ when setting out on a journey.

It’s the journey, not the destination that brings the joy!


Posted in: Educational Motivation, Happiness, Mindfulness, Motivation
August 3rd, 2016 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Making that positive change today

As a life and motivation coach, I work with many wonderful clients, some of whom have reached a crossroad in their lives and experience feelings of regret and wasted opportunity. I worked with a man who worked so hard to  build up a career and to the outside world he appeared to have it all.  Nice house, big car, wife and children, member of a golf club. The trouble was he did not seem to be happy and his relationship with his loved ones was poor. He had little time for the really important things in his life. He talked about all the things that he would do when he retired and the places to visit and the hobbies to develop. He mentioned that cruise, the visit to China and taking his children to the football. Everything was based on the idea that, one day he would do all these things. The trouble was that he was still a young man, and before long his children would be up and away. We worked together on ‘work- life’ balance to think about the ‘moment’. He needed to think about today and being happy today.

It is never too late to make that positive change. So what are the most common ‘regrets’ mentioned by people?

  • Not travelling more and seeing more of the world.
  • Not spending more time with loved ones, especially watching the children grow and develop. 35% of those over 55 mentioned this.
  • Not keeping in touch with more friends
  • Not looking after your body by eating unhealthily, starting to smoke, taking little exercise and drinking too much.
  • Not asking parents and grandparents more about their lives before they died.
  • Not working harder at school and a poor choice of career.

How do you feel about this list? I believe that life is for living and it can start anytime, even today! Make up your own list of regrets and reflect on it. Make a commitment today to do something about it. You need to make big plans which can then be broken down into smaller action points. Life is for living. Rather than think about all the things you want to do, make a positive change and start to think about the things that you recognise as being important to your happiness. Take control and learn how to have more fun, less work and fulfilling relationships.

So what went wrong? 34% of those surveyed said that a lack of money had scuppered their dreams, and 24% blamed ‘loved ones’ including parents, partners and family for holding them back. But of course it is not about blame. A friend regrets giving up a house that she and her husband built from a bare plot. They put all their energy and money into it, ending up physically exhausted and hating the house because of the stresses associated with it. After one month in their dream house they sold it. She regrets that decision some 40 years later. ‘If only I had….’ With mindfulness, instead of re running the past, you can accept that there is sadness but you can change and move away from that way of operating. Neuro-science research indicates that Mindfulness, a form of meditation now accepted within the NHS, Mental Health and by motivational therapists like myself, shows that you can change the physiology of how your brain works. There can be real life changing events to set you on a new path.


Posted in: Educational Motivation
August 3rd, 2016 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Work Life Balance by Susan Chan and Ian Geddes

Lifestyle surveys identify work life balance as the number one concern. When that balance is wrong then you have a problem.

Burn out. Overwork.  Stress. Ill health. Depression. Sleeplessness. Relationships. Performance.

Living the Dream. How to manage your lifestyle.
Take control. Make decisions and gain some power
Never take your personal life and family for granted. Complete this simple task. Make a list of all the things that are important in your life. Now attempt to place them in order of importance to you
Be choosy. Do not try to balance work and life. Adjust according to their value to you

So where lies the problem? Know your limits. if you are concerned about your work life balance then what can you do about it?
Review your situation every 4 months. Review your priorities
Allow space in your life. Stop and relax. Dedicate time for yourself every day

  • Have you actually accepted a pattern out of habit? You do not need to accept that. Allow your brain to be re-programmed to accept that your life is in many parts.
  • Do you have an addiction to work? What are you trying to avoid?
  • Be unavailable for a part of each day and for at least one day a week, to appreciate all aspects of your life.
  • Recognise that you need to look after yourself. Only then can you look after others. If you are healthy in mind, body and spiritually, then you will be happier.
  • Practise relaxation, self-hypnosis and mindfulness every day Remember you can say no! Why should you do something you don’t want or like?

Re-evaluate your perspective on life. Give yourself a regular check up by completing the ‘Wheel of Life’, every few months. Establish where you are and where you want to be.
Remember the most that you can ever give is 100%
What can you do  this month. Make an action plan. Remember the little steps add up to make the big leap.

You can get the balance right. How to manage your time. To focus on your priorities. To ‘de-clutter’. To change bad habits. To regain control.

The rewards make it worth the time and commitment to take far more care of your self. as the advert says, ‘you’re worth it!’

It’s your life and your balance. You have to do it your way. We can help you.

Excepts taken from ‘Living the Dream….The secret of being happy’, by Susan Chan and Ian Geddes

Wheel of Life analysis:

Coaching: Present situation: self analysis
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being poor and 10 being fully achieved/ happy], grade each of the categories below, as they are at
this moment.

  • Social/ Leisure
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • Marriage/ Partner
  • Spiritual
  • Health and Well Being
  • Relationships, Friends and
  • Family
  • Wealth, Job and Money
  • Careers/ Job Satisfaction
  • Outlook in Life/ Attitude
  • Physical Environment/
  • Home

Total Score /100                                                    Date

• How has this changed since the last time you completed the chart?
• How do you feel about your life as you review this sheet?
• Which elements are you most happy with?
• Prioritise. Which elements would you like to improve?
• What steps can you start to make today to make those changes?
• What would a score of 10 feel like?
• How would you describe your work/ Life balance?

Posted in: Educational Motivation
December 1st, 2015 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Living the Dream. Dealing with Stress with Ian Geddes and Susan Chan

Living the Dream. Dealing with Stress
Stress affects us all in different ways. Before an exam, some people have to go to the toilet all the time, whilst others don’t go for days! A great scholar once said that it ‘does not matter whether you pass or fail….until you fail!’ (I think it was Homer Simpson.)
A little stress is good. It increases the levels of hormones flooding through the body and this improves thinking performance. Too much of it is bad. In the animal world we talk about the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response’. But there is a point where stress levels increase beyond the body’s ability to deal with it and performance drops quickly and people face ‘burnout’.
So how can we be strong and be able to overcome all the negative aspects of stress?
One of our courses for individuals and groups is that of ‘Stress Management’

Over the day we cover many issues:

  • Understand the effects of stress (physical, emotional and psychological)
  • Recognise the signs and symptoms of stress
  • Psychological responses to stress.
  • However the bulk of our time is spent on the techniques and strategies to deal with:
  • Challenges of life and work
  • Developing a positive self-image
  • Challenging negative thoughts, behaviours and attitudes
  • Applying practical mindfulness and relaxation techniques and motivational skills to remain positive

Brian Dyson, former CEO of Coca Cola, talks about us juggling 5 different balls at once! I’ve adapted this analogy. One ball is labelled relationships and family, one health and well-being, another spirituality, one marked work, and the final one ‘me’. Four are made out of crystal, and if dropped will shatter. Only one is made out of rubber and bounces back, the work ball. That’s not the way it should be! So what are you juggling?
Relaxation and the Mind. Have you ever noticed how it sometimes seems like your brain won’t switch off? Also, your ‘inner voice’ is constantly nagging, criticising you and you can’t get relax. You can use a combination on modern psychological techniques and relaxation methods to improve your general feelings of happiness and motivation.
Tips on dealing with stress
If you are under stress, stop what you are doing and apply any of the following:
Stop worrying about the future, think about today. You can influence the future, but stop worrying about things you have no control over.
Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? It may not be so bad.
Remind yourself that you are hurting your body. Take ten minutes out.
Do not let the trivia get to you. It is trivia!
Laugh at yourself. Make decisions and act on them. Share your fears and tears with someone close to you.
Return to the sources of stress and act on them
Cut back on the caffeine
Listen to music
Watch the diet
Practise a range of relaxation exercises including mindfulness techniques, visualisation and deep breathing exercise.
Remember that it is easier to overcome the symptoms of stress with a ‘healthy body and a healthy mind.
Listen to the Relaxation CD
*Adapted from the fantastic work, ‘The Motivation Method’ by Matt Ferguson

Posted in: Educational Motivation
November 25th, 2015 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Happier Children. Free from stress and anxiety.

As adults we have days when we are anxious and having it tough. Many of us have developed the resources to pull us through. So what can we do as parents when our children start to show the same symptoms of unhappiness and anxiety? As I write this, children around the country are about to return to school. It is an anxious time for them and their parents.  There have been many recent newspaper reports about bullying and cyberbullying. Anxiety problems are becoming increasingly common in children, with 24% of 5 to 14 year old children showing symptoms.

The medical model of pills and treatment is not often appropriate nor realistically achievable. So what can you do as a parent? A search of the web will reveal some really interesting programes available to download.  We use Mindfulness and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) The NHS defines CBT :   ‘Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. CBT cannot remove your problems, but can help you manage them in a more positive way. It encourages you to examine how your actions can affect how you think and feel. Talking and changing your behaviour can change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour). This can make you feel better about life.’ Also the NHS says: ‘CBT has been shown to be particularly helpful at tackling problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and drug misuse.’

We work with parents (and occasionally children) to help them to challenge anxious thoughts, face their fears and plan for the future. A recent report  indicated that children, whose parents had full training were twice as likely to show reduced levels of anxiety, when compared with traditional pill/ counselling treatment. A Millenium Cohort Study invloving 6,500, 7 year old children who had a very sedentary lifestyle concluded that they experienced higher levels of emotional stress, anxiety and depression than those children who were more active. There appears to be a correlation between well- being and physical activity. Anxiety is a normal part of childhood and we have all gone through tough times, which tend to be temporary and harmless. However  children who suffer anxiety disorder tend to experience fear, nervousness, shyness, avoidance, sleeplessness, clinginess and emotional numbing.
We all have the gift of creating absolutely anything. There’s no limit to what we can do or be.

So what can you do?  Pay attention to their feelings.  Stay calm when the child becomes anxious. Practise breathing and relaxation techniques. Never punish mistakes or lack of progress. Avoid belittling the child when he/ she fails to take part in an event or holds back. Modify your expections and plan for difficult times. (e.g. take more time to get your child to school). Be aware of some of the stresses that your child may experience, school or on social media sites.

There is no doubt that Mindfulness practice can help children to become calmer and moe focused. It is a natural process that can be practised by children from a young age. Even before a child learns language, they can see things as they are. All actions are spontaneous. They laugh, cry and sleep. They can instantly let go of the immediate past and move on.

As the child  grows and develops he/ she can lose the sense of focused calm and their mind may lack the attention to ‘stay with it’. This is where mindfulness exercises can give the child relief from an over active mind.  This is where we can help either the child directly or teach the skills to the parents. We have a  course on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which is validated through  the Mindfulness Association as well as individual sessions for the parent or child.

Give us a call for more detail and information.

Posted in: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Educational Motivation, Happiness, Mindfulness, Stress Management
August 30th, 2013 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

How Personal, Business, Life Coaching can help you

You have possibly reached a point in your life, whether it is business or personal, when you would like to make positive changes. You may feel that you could achieve more of your potential, and that you feel positive about tackling issues that are holding you back.

So how can a personal coach help you?

I can listen, guide and support you to achieve your chosen aims. There may be something missing from your life and you cannot see your way through. Find out what you really want. Perhaps you don’t know yet.

Work at what is important to you by examining your goals, interests and choices. Don’t compromise your values, put them first. Realise your sense of purpose. Don’t allow yourself to be put off working towards your dream.

In recent sessions I have worked with clients who have reached that special point in their journey, covering themes such as:

  • Career change
  • Promotion
  • Starting your own business
  • Returning to work after a break
  • Health and Fitness
  • Work – Life Balance
  • Relationships
  • Stress at work
  • Goals
  • Relocation

Whatever change you wish to make, individual, personalised coaching can help give you focus, motivation and support.

Just imagine how life would be if you could take control and do the things that you really wanted to do.

Posted in: Educational Motivation
September 15th, 2012 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook


Confidence, Coaching and NLP

Boosting your Confidence  with NLP                           by Ian Geddes and Susan Chan

Remember when you were about to sit your driving test? Or about to enter an examination room.  The positive power of the mind is so important. If all you visualise is failure, fear or rejection, then inevitably that is what will happen. You may feel happy one day. You meet up with a friend who sees everything in shades of black and grey. So what happens to your mood? You get dragged down. This short article concentrates on one step that you can take today to be more confident.

You have had many successes in life so far.  Create two lists now. One with your positive attributes, qualities, successes and achievements. Now make a list of your shortcomings or weaknesses. Which list was easier to create. 7/10 of our clients say it is easier to compile a negative list! Why are we so reticent about how good we can be? Here is a short list of some strengths that many people often forget about:- creative; calm; loving; good at listening; a good friend; honest; strong; good at dancing/ playing the guitar/singing/ driving/ being a parent; caring; funny; photography and so on.

How does it feel to celebrate your positive qualities? It feels good and you gain confidence about a job well done.

So identify an event or issue that is giving you some problems at the moment. It could be your image, or speaking in public or passing an exam.

Identify and think about how you would like your life to be 6 months from now.

What needs to happen to get to that point?

Identify and think about how you would like your life to be 1 month from now.

What needs to happen to get to that point?

What can you start to do today to shift your mind from negativity to be more positive?  One of our techniques that we often use is NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming…. Neuro for what is going on in our minds, Linguistic about how we use language and Programming our patterns of behaviour.

NLP is about real life and becoming successful. It is about allowing you to get better at what you do.  It has a real, immediate and powerful impact. The path to personal excellence starts with you working out what you want. It can be personal, social, financial, relational, work related or anything.Remember an important issue with NLP.……. If you continue to do what you have always done, then nothing will ever change.

Posted in: Coaching, Confidence, Educational Motivation, Happiness, Motivation, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Passing Exams, Relaxation
September 6th, 2012 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hypnotherapy and Social Networking

Addicted to Facebook?

By Ian Geddes and Susan Chan

We were watching a Panorama programme recently about Facebook and the impact it has had on social interaction.  A recent article by Nick Collins in the Telegraph, also commented on the growing numbers of people affected by what has been labelled as ‘Facebook addiction’. Research by the University of Bergen identifies the profile of those most likely to encounter addiction symptoms of anxiety and insecurity and a compulsive need to use such social networking sites. We have recently worked with clients who have recognised their reliance on Facebook, spending several hours a day checking and writing. A common feeling is that they ‘need to know what is going on’.  The University of Chicago investigated the ‘desires’ and ‘urges’ from over 250 people and found that alcohol and tobacco prompted lower levels of desire than the need to check social network sites! 80% of parents (as reported by Matt Warman from the Telegraph) fear that their children could get addicted to social network sites. 30% of parents stated that they believe that the web can ‘rewire’ a person’s brain. There is no evidence for this. Of course it can be fun and can be so useful when keeping in touch with friends and family. I was in a school over the lunch interval recently.  The weather was nice yet the indoor space was packed with lots of students (mostly girls) busy on their phones and ipads, busy networking away. It seems that the desire, for some young people to do this, is more appealing than actually interacting with the person sitting beside them! Where will we be in 10 years time? Will the bubble have burst or will we be even more hooked into virtual interaction?

Hypnotherapy can be very successfully used to tackle addictions.  Social networking, like other habits or compulsions, can similarly be worked on using a variety of techniques and approaches.

We would be delighted to receive your comments about this and your experiences in this contemporary issue.

Posted in: Educational Motivation
May 23rd, 2012 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Tags: , , , ,

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction …with Susan Chan at New Horizons

We are about to start two exciting new programmes, firstly 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programmes (MBSR) which start on Thursday 7th June, 10.00 to 12.00. This is a series of 8 experiential  workshops. £160 for the complete course, including Guided MBSR/ Mindfulness CDs and Refreshments.  A second set of similar workshops willstart from Wednesday 13th June, this time, running in the evening between 19.00 and 21.00

Mindfulness Workshops, which runs over 4 Sunday afternoons. (13.00 for 13.30 to 17.00)     Each afternoon will be different with new techniques and skills being covered.
20th May
17th June
22 July
26th August

London Road, Kilmarnock          £25 per workshop, including refreshments and complimentary relaxation/ mindfulness CDs

Posted in: Educational Motivation
May 20th, 2012 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Tags: , , ,

Gastric Band Weight Control

Weight Control with Susan Chan Following positive media reporting in a variety of newspapers, magazines and Breakfast TV, there has been an amazing amount of interest in the Hypnosis Induced Gastric Band as part of a weight control programme. For a number of years I have been using this technique, combined with a holistic approach to well being and weight control. When I talk with the client, often they identify issues that have occurred over a long period of time. Together we work to overcome all of those issues.  I use a number of techniques in an integrated way. All programmes are designed to suit the individual. I can use hypnotherapy and NLP, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness to help you to make that change. The programmes are confidential, ‘one to one’ and with coaching support. I offer a free initial 30 minute consultation and all clients will receive a  complementary MP3/ CD for Relaxation, Confidence and Weight Control. It is also good fun! I am registered with both the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR) and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). I am based in Kilmarnock, with easy access from the M77/A77.

So contact me today at
01563 528801 and 07980 849321

You can unlock your potential since you hold the key to success.

Posted in: Educational Motivation
May 14th, 2012 Share On Twitter Share on Twitter Share On Facebook Share on Facebook

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Newsblog Menu

Latest Articles