Surfing the success and failure waves

I’m very pleased to share with you a great article, along with more article links, from a fellow coach and associate, Emma Grey. She is the founder and director of WorkLifeBliss, a brilliant Canberra-based business providing individual coaching, workshops and corporate seminars on life balance, stress management and time management. Check them out at

Last week was a fairly typical one for me – some good stuff happened and there were some disappointments.

Monday – Sent newsletter, had some encouraging feedback by email (Lovely!), then two people unsubscribed from it (Eek! What am I doing wrong?)

Tuesday – Received email from literary agent saying another author had just released a trilogy for Young Adults using the same titles as my series, and that my first two books are currently either too short (as stand-alone books) or two long (as one book).  (Waaaahh!  Should I give up? Am I good enough?  What’s on Foxtel?)

Wednesday – Invited to speak at an International Women’s Day event, prompted by one of my articles.  (I can write!  Stop with the re-runs of Wife Swap!  Where’s the manuscript?)

Friday – Had an interview published about my intimate thoughts on motherhood etc (read it here) and a positive response from the Deputy Ed of Mamamia re an article submission.  (Okay, back on track now…deep breath.  I can do this.)

Coaches talk a lot about ‘managing your state’.  It’s about accepting your initial response to a trigger as valid, (for example, the ‘I-can’t-do-this’ panic if something goes wrong), then consciously replacing this with a different emotional response that will better serve, support and nourish you (eg. This is a small set-back – I’ve had set-backs before and overcame them.  What’s the next step here…)

When it comes to dealing with the ups and downs of life, we can stay marooned helplessly on a surf-board, rising on the crests of some waves, and being dumped by others. Or we can stand up on that surf-board and ride as many waves as we can – regardless of the result.

It’s not about being perfect, or always getting it right.  We’ll catch some waves brilliantly.  We’ll miss others.   We’ll fall off.  We’ll be dumped.  Resilience is about getting back on the board when things don’t go as planned, taking feedback from the last effort, starting again and doing something proactive and different that moves us closer to where we want to be.

A Facebook friend posted this over the weekend: ‘I doubt myself possibly more than is reasonable, and wonder if I’ll ever be good enough for me…’

There are times when even the most optimistic and confident amongst us could write that.  Doubt and fear and this sense of not being good enough creep through our thoughts in every sphere of our lives at various times:

  • Am I good enough at work?
  • Am I a good enough partner/friend?
  • Am I a good enough parent?
  • Do I look good enough?
  • Am I healthy enough?

It’s not about avoiding these thoughts – it’s about what you do with them next.  Lie passively on your surf-board long enough, letting menacing ideas encircle you, and you’re going to get bitten.

Author Susan Jeffers says to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. This week, unless you are living in a perfect fairytale, a mix of things are going to happen – good stuff and disappointments.  Making the most of the week is easier if you choose to register your initial response to events, decide if it’s a helpful one or a hindrance and adjust your thinking quickly and decisively for the best possible result.

Most important of all – if something goes wrong – stand up on that surfboard anyway and catch the next wave, before that shark of doubt spots you lying there like a victim-in-waiting.

Recent articles in the media by Emma Grey:

When something isn’t right…

Call it gut instinct, intuition, a ‘funny feeling’ or a hunch – but there are times when we all get the sense that ‘something isn’t right’. I’m fascinated by the possibility that we can ‘know’ something, without knowing ‘why’ – and I love pondering the thrilling, slightly spooky idea of just how far our amazing minds could take us, if we tapped fully into the power of the subconscious … But that’s not what this article is about..[read more]

Rockin’ Mamma interview for ‘Happy Mums at Home’…

Leave your Wonder Woman outfit for fancy dress parties.  Model for your kids that it’s okay to fall over and scuff your knees, as long as you get up again, dust yourself off, say sorry if you hurt someone and move on. Life’s not perfect, so why should motherhood be?   … [read more]

I was in a work-triangle and someone had to go …

The sick feeling in my stomach when I thought of continuing that work for another twelve months, or even another twelve minutes – was one tip-off.  The fact that my house was becoming more immaculate by the day was another.  I was doing all that I could to avoid opening that report – procrastinating, sighing, whingeing – the full suite of rebellious teen behaviour. 

I’m not a recalcitrant teenager when I’m engrossed in WorkLifeBliss  – I’m an adult who loves what she’s doing.  My house is more ‘lived in’.  I’m nicer to my family!  The business fulfils my top professional values of creativity, variety, making a difference, helping people and passion.  Suddenly, the promise of all of those extra hours a week to devote to what I love (and do) best was irresistible... [read more]