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iStock 000032730722XSmallOne of the best things we can do to help ourselves achieve what we want in our lives is to model people who have achieved those things – to find out and copy the strategies they have used to achieve what they have achieved. This is why reading biographies and listening to or watching interviews of people who inspire us is so enjoyable! This came to mind for me again as I was talking to someone close to me about a musician he greatly admires and had the opportunity to meet and talk to.

It got me thinking about creating music, and how when someone has complete mastery of an instrument, how much creative freedom and imagination that allows them. I thought about how, though I don't consider myself particularly visual, I sometimes visualise choreography when listening to music, imagining people dancing. It got me thinking about visualising notes, chords and scales as patterns, and how much fun it is to create music, and how that level of fun would increase with one's proficiency in the instrument.

And of course it got me thinking about how the same ideas used to achieve mastery of a musical instrument can apply to mastery of ourselves – of our thoughts, behaviours and strategies and therefore our emotions and quality of life.

And it got me thinking about the personal qualities of this musician which would be valuable to emulate. Hearing him speak in interviews he comes across as a very nice guy, amiable, considerate, articulate, and also very focussed on the outcome he is setting out to achieve – his creative vision for a concert, album, composition, orchestral arrangement. He's achieved great success because he set himself up to do it and decided to do it. He imagined what was possible, and also what would be required along the way to achieve it.

iStock 000000807067XSmallHappy New Year everyone!

As I write this we're in the middle of a heatwave in Melbourne and the kids are on school holidays. The Christmas/New Year period was busy as usual with family stuff, and a time to remember how fortunate we are and enjoy time with the kids.

As this is my first article for 2014, I wanted to write something inspiring, getting in touch with highest intentions, positivity and inspiration. It ended up rather too long, and evolved into four separate articles, so I'll put them out closer together than I usually do.

This article is about how we choose to think about last year, and how that will impact on our experience of the current year.

As I contemplate the year that has just ended and what has happened, and the vast list of things I want to achieve this year, I can choose how I think about it.

I can create a story that casts me as a victim, or I can create a story highlighting growth, achievement, love and happiness.

For the year that has passed, I can focus on what I didn't achieve, what I didn't enjoy, what went wrong, what was sad, what hurt me and so on, or I can focus on what I am proud of, what went well, what was joyful, what was fun, and all I have to be grateful for.

Last year, like so many people, I experienced disappointments, stresses, crappy things happening, feeling anxious and afraid, feeling rejected, feeling not good enough. People were mean to me, my kids were naughty at times, I freaked out a bit about some of my study stuff, I moved house to somewhere which is not really ideal and may have to do so again, my house got pretty messy at times, I put on weight, I had disappointing experiences, I felt lonely, my vertigo returned for a while, I felt sad at times, I felt overwhelmed sometimes, I felt the full weight of being a single mother, struggling at times, feeling judged (and actually being judged), having big plans but doubting myself, crying when my jeans wouldn't zip up and looking for new grey hairs and lines in my face.

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I recently dug myself out of yet another email backlog, and felt so much lighter, so much more energised, and experienced actual excitement and enthusiasm, and it got me thinking (stuff gets me thinking all the time) – whenever I get some annoying thing sorted out, it does me the world of good, whether it’s cleaning the oven, (yeah, it’s finally clean – but had to have the parrot sleep upstairs in my room so as not to poison him), taking a load of old clothes to the charity bin, making a phone call I’ve been putting off, or a whole day’s worth of niggly little errandy detaily things, or whatever it is I finally realise has been bugging me.


Is there an area of your life where you're feeling fed up, frustrated, or giving up? Perhaps deep down you know that there is some kind of fear holding you back.

Do your fear response mechanisms start to kick in when you even think about it?

It might be falling behind on a project (cough cough, aahhm...), an area of your home or office that's getting messy and dirty, goals related to your weight, study, or how you relate to your kids or your partner. Is it affecting your self esteem and even impacting on other areas of your life? Blegh!

It might be a small thing or it may have gone so far it's causing real problems. Perhaps it's something like:-

- Putting off exercising

- Over eating

How You Experience Your WorldThe way each of us experience the world around us is unique and different from how any other person experiences the same things. This is important because our own individual representation of reality determines our thinking and our actions. Understanding this, and understanding that we have choices about how we experience the world and what meaning we give to our experiences, is vital to making positive changes for ourselves.

Information comes to us every moment of every day, millions of bits of information, every second, taken in with our senses. It's not possible for us to have conscious awareness of all the stimulus we are receiving, so we filter most of it out, noticing only what is "relevant" to us according to our individual filtering system.

The message here, is that there is tons of stuff we are not noticing, even though the information is all going in. Have you ever been

OverwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is such a familiar strategy to me. Do you know the feeling? It's all too much, you don't know where to start, there is more to do than you can possibly get done, it's all coming at you at once, you feel stuck, paralysed, overloaded, weighed down, unable to choose between two or many more tasks, confronted with insurmountable obstacles, as if you're wading through mud. It all looks like a big mess, sounds like a bunch of noise, feels chaotic and a logical way through is not obvious.

Did you notice I just called it a strategy? It's inevitable that my coaching training will start to appear in my articles. If you tell a life coach that you're feeling overwhelmed, she is likely to ask you how choosing to run that strategy is working for you. Huh? You mean I'm choosing it? Does that imply that the answer to the question: "how do I stop feeling overwhelmed" is simply don't choose to do it?


Typewriter question markI’ve said before that the best motivation for doing something is a conscious knowledge that it is in our best interests.  That’s a sensible, positive source of motivation, as opposed to negative ones like fear.

How do we get that knowledge.  It’s one thing to know that if I go for a walk every morning it’s good for me and is consistent with my goal of being healthy, but what if I don’t know exactly what to do for the best in some situations?

What if there are days when you really don’t feel like there is something definite you can do right now that is the best thing to do?  What do you do when you’ve got that blockage thing going on?  You want to do something constructive, important, useful, practical and which you feel confident in.  But none of your options seem to fit in with those ideas.

There is always the routine, the mundane, the necessary, the essential to fall back on.  And that is certainly what I recommend as a way to keep moving forward, not do any damage, keep it all together whilst waiting for the immediate problem to dissolve. 

carrot on a stickA lot of readers tell me their biggest hurdle in getting organized is motivation.  (Yes, I actually did a poll). 

Do you feel like your motivation is something that’s out of your control?  I know exactly how you feel.  But I have to keep telling myself that it’s not true. 

You can control your own motivation, and all it takes is increasing your level of interest and awareness in what affects it.  If you care about improving your motivation, you can.  And I’m not talking about listening to some ra ra motivational hype.

External motivation won’t stick.


"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