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Welcome mat at an open front doorHow are you feeling at the moment about your home?  Are you feeling prepared for extra visitors or does the thought of people dropping in stress you out? 

Here's an idea for a quick fix I call the Mother In Law method.  Just imagine your Mother In Law (or subsitute appropriate person, say Vogue Living coming over to do a photo feature) is on her way over and will be here in 20 minutes. 

Tidy up or do what needs doing quickly just for that amount of time. Repeat daily, or twice daily until you are ready for the actual Mother In Law.  If that doesn't work to motivate you, you could try inviting your actual Mother In Law over for real.

Being ready for visitors doesn't mean you need to repaint the house and have the garden landscaped.  Start with what really matters.

Household items on the back of a uteThis has been a very busy month for me.  We moved house just before Christmas, so there’s a big test of my organizational skills. 

I’m happy to announce we are all in one piece and most things have found a new home in the new home. 

It’s always a great opportunity to let go of a good lot of junk as it’s uncovered in the packing and unpacking, and invariably some furniture needs changing. 

I worked my way through my change of address checklist, making a couple of phone calls each day.  There’s only so much waiting on the phone pressing 1 for this and 2 for that I can take in one hit.  I’d love to be able to say I multi task and do other things while I’m on hold, but I tend to need all my concentration to listen to the recorded messages over the sound of my little ones playing.

Running a Home


Big or small, if we are lucky enough to have a place to call home, we want to take pride in it, make it comfortable and welcoming, and keep it organized and running smoothly.

Running a home is not something that just happens by itself, as anyone who does it will know.  It takes dedication and work, and good self esteem.  Yes, self esteem.  You need to feel you are deserving of a comfortable home for yourself.

Partners and children often seem unaware of how much work goes into it, but certainly enjoy the benefits of a well run home, and seeing our families enjoy the home brings a great deal of pleasure.  

GuiltI know so many people live with this bullshit emotion as I have, and I don’t wish it on anyone.  Mothers can be particularly prone to it, women in particular are prone to it, and plenty of men are burdened by it too, and this is something I believe is in our culture and needs to change.

The idea of giving up guilt might concern you if you equate it with having a conscience.  It’s not the same thing, so relax.  You don’t need guilt to be guided by your moral compass.  It is not a requirement.  Really.

Guilt, I was taught in my NLP training, is not a natural emotion, it’s a man made one.  It serves no useful purpose.  Again, separate it from empathy, from caring, from knowing right from wrong.  We can have all those useful things without the guilt.  If you’ve stepped on someone’s toe, you’ll say sorry.  If you’ve clipped someone’s car in the car park, you’ll pay your insurance excess.  If you know you’ve done the wrong thing, you’ll make amends or at least stop doing it.  Guilt will not help you with this.  Empathy will.

The good news is, if you experience guilt, you’re probably not a sociopath.  A sociopath may be able to express moral outrage, a part of the projection behaviour they utilise to avoid facing what they cannot face about themselves, as they may skilfully portray themselves as a victim, but this doesn’t mean they actually experience the feeling of empathy, and they are certainly not bothered by guilt.  But becoming a sociopath is not the answer is it.

iStock 000022028767XSmallSomething that comes up in many of the self development books I read is the idea of self talk. It's the chatter that goes on in the background in our own heads.

It matters how we talk to ourselves! Language is a powerful tool for change.

But what if, like me, you find it quite tricky to notice your self-talk? What if sometimes it's fuzzy and so far in the background that it evaporates as soon as you go looking for it. Surely I'm not the only one who has an issue with this. I know that when I make a mistake or don't follow through on a decision, I don't say to myself "oh, you idiot!", or "stuffed up again eh?", or "well of course you didn't go to the gym today, you're just naturally lazy" etc. But I do recognize a feeling that says pretty much the same thing.

Learning to notice and identify those feelings might be easier for some than trying to identify specific words said to yourself. Do still look out for any bits of actual words you may say in your head, or even the occasional ones you may say out loud or to the cat about yourself, but worry not if you feel you're just not getting them all. At those times when you sense there is some negative self talk in there somewhere, but you're not quite sure what it was or if it was even in language, just pick up on what the general feeling was.

Poor self esteem seems to be the root of all evil these days. I sure as hell know mine has been rotten and although it's improving I wouldn't mind it still getting much better much faster. So, how to improve your self esteem.

The important thing to understand if self esteem is an issue for you, is that you still have to take responsibility for it yourself. Yeah, sorry, you don't get to use it as an excuse unless you want to live out your life wallowing in self pity and blaming the world and not actually achieving any personal growth.

Making Your Own DecisionsGathering information and even opinions is often sensible preparation for making a decision, but using the opinions of others as a basis for decision making is not the way to go for a few reasons.  Trust your own judgement, make your own decisions, decide for yourself, and you’ll come out better off.  Self determination is worth having.  

I know, it’s not easy, especially when you lack confidence and you’re really not sure.  But have you noticed that a lot of the time the more opinions you seek, the more you get the feeling that the people you are talking it over with don’t have the answers either, and in fact seeking too many opinions can just confuse the matter and distort your judgement?

Ok, so you may not be too confident about some things, but in order to be more confident you must form your own, original opinions about things and trust your own judgement.  If you’re not capable of forming your own conclusions, that’s a sign that your self esteem is way messed up. 

PeacockSelf esteem is such an issue for so many people, me included.  If we can get it to a healthy happy place, our life is so much better.

But it’s affected by so many things, different things for different people, and different things for each of us as we change and grow throughout our lives, or succumb to the bombardment of influences and information we’re presented with in this modern world.

Some of my main self esteem affecting factors are:-

 - My appearance.  Yes, I’m a vain woman obsessed with ageing, my weight, my hair, my wrinkles and general attractiveness.  There’s a lot of it about.

- How my children are behaving.  Are they all healthy, happy, doing well in school and kinder, having fun, have nice friends, safe, enjoying their lives?  Are they getting on with each other, with me, being polite, doing their chores, minding their manners?

- How my house looks.  Is it clean, tidy, well organized, do I know where everything is and is the clutter under control?

Woman looks sadly at her reflection in a windowIf you're anything like me, your self esteem at times can be up and down all over the place.  It's no fun, is it.

What is self esteem anyway?  I've marked it as a category topic for this blog, because it's something I know matters a lot and I want to explore it.  Is it just our mood?  Is it habits of thought?  Is it our underlying beliefs about ourselves?

Yes, it's all these things and more, I think.

Mood must be involved, because it changes with our mood.  I know when I'm feeling positive generally I have much more confidence.  Feeling emotionally low seems to bring out all our negative assumptions and judgements about ourselves. 

It can also bring out our negative assumptions and judgements about other people, but even if our negativity is directed at others and not ourselves directly, it's still an indication of low self esteem. 

Duck leadingThis article is a tad self-indulgent. I’m letting myself get away with it. I have a feeling many women (ok, maybe men too) will relate.

Leadership is a word I’ve shied away from ever since I can remember. Even as far back as primary school, when asked to collaborate with fellow students on a project, I hated it. I intuitively knew that someone had to take charge in order to get the job done, and I was willing to have a go, but my personality was definitely not suited to asserting myself, so I would tend to withdraw, sit back and let things unfold however they would.

When I worked in the corporate world, I soon learned to connect expressing ideas for innovation or improved efficiency with pain and discomfort, and just stopped bothering. I would quietly brood and feel frustrated at what seemed to me to be an illogical way of operating unfold at the whim of egos and who had the most dominant personality. I saw my suggestions in meetings (when asked for them, by the way), ridiculed, and then implemented later by male managers. Don’t even get me started!

As recently as my coaching training, this pattern was still showing up. I got bogged down on technicalities, I was a “yeah but”, a mismatcher, a “what if”. I often felt I was the exception, I was different, and that I didn’t fit in. As I feared, every time we had to get into groups, my heart sank! It all worked out though, and was exactly what I needed to face this thing and tug away at some of the threads which were holding this limiting belief together. One group I was in, in a public speaking training which was particularly challenging, gave me a beautiful feeling of empathy and contribution with my group. At another time in the same training, I actually hid in the toilet!


"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."


Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia