Welcome to the March Personal Effects …… this month I am sharing the learning journey of a recent delegate, also an article on how changing your questions can change your life and inviting you to join Eden Valley Hospice’s Colour Run on 8th May…. read on !

The Lake District…Full of Surprises …Full of Learning !

This month we have been experiencing balmy weather in the Lake District for the NLP Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses…who would have thought it ?

Whilst the current NLP Business Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses are progressing I am planning dates for the next ones… if you are interested or curious to find out more about how you start or continue your NLP Learning journey… get in touch with me !

Working in the sun beside Ullswater….could this be you ?

My NLP Journey ….so far

Doug McGarr
Facilities Manager

My journey with NLP started at my appraisal last year. My line manager and I had identified the need for some training in assertiveness. Although I was confident in my role and communicating with my teams, my self confidence was low and I had difficulty expressing myself and offering my opinion, especially in formal meetings……….

I searched on line for assertiveness training but nothing really stood out. Luckily for me, my line manager had worked with Florence on a number of occasions and suggested that I attend the Personal Effectiveness at Work course. (Whilst this course is not solely NLP based, it is accredited by ANLP for the NLP content.) She spoke very highly of Florence and the difference the learning had made to her.
So, it was with some apprehension, and (I must admit!) scepticism, that I drove down through very heavy rain and strong winds to the training venue at Ullswater. The question I was asking myself was “how is Florence going to make me more assertive?”

The venue for the course is beautiful (despite the weather!). The welcome I received and the atmosphere for learning that Florence provides is like nothing I had experienced before and I was put at ease straight away.

After introductions, the first exercise was looking at the Johari window – what we know and don’t know about ourselves and what others know and don’t know about us – then on flip chart paper, we wrote about ourselves and then compared our findings. As I looked at the other delegates work it dawned on me that I had hardly written anything. My hidden areas and unknown potential were dominating who I am. This was the first of many revelations that came to me throughout the course. I was a turtle – withdrawn, a closed book, bogged down by limiting beliefs.

With the support from Florence and feedback from the other delegates, by the end of day three, I had the pre-supposition “I have all the resources I need” firmly in my head. Florence wasn’t going to make me more assertive……. but was facilitating my learning and providing me with the tools to unlock the assertiveness that was within me……my journey had well and truly started !

The day after the course I had been invited to attend an in house performance management workshop which would be attended by managers and senior managers. This is the sort of environment that would normally see me retreat into turtle mode! With the usual limiting beliefs kicking in – no one wants to hear what you have to say – I mustn’t say that, they will think I am stupid etc etc.

This time I was determined that it was going to be different. I visualised how it was going to feel to contribute more and offer my opinion and how good it would feel to be the one who confidently offered to present the group work feedback to the rest of the workshop. I hit the ground running and answered the first question that was offered for discussion. My strength grew and it felt great!
Several colleagues’ fed back that they had enjoyed seeing a change in me and that they wanted to see more of it….fantastic.

I drove home really pleased with the positive changes I had made and reflected on the positive feedback rather than driving home frustrated again because I hadn’t spoken up and made a contribution like I knew I was capable of.
Positive feedback from my line manager and colleagues continued which was really encouraging and when part two of the course came around, I couldn’t wait!

Being back in the environment that Florence provides is a special place which makes learning and sharing your experiences so easy. The first exercise on day four was to draw a picture of our journey from the start of the course until now, (Florence explained the link between symbols and the unconscious mind). I was the first to share my picture although I started by apologising for not being good at drawing! (Still need some work on those limiting beliefs?)
My drawing was of me with a padlock on my mouth and a closed book – moving on to a light bulb surrounded by a big smiley face representing Florence and the other delegates – moving on to another picture of me with the padlock off and an open book…….how my perceptions of myself have changed!

A key feature of the course is giving and receiving feedback from Florence and the other delegates and again, this was something that I found much easier on day five than I had on day 1
The feedback I received was wonderful to hear and giving feedback to others was really enjoyable….. and this is another piece of learning that I will continue

This course has changed my entire way of thinking and I will carry on my NLP journey, continuing to learn, grow and eventually be able to coach and mentor others, especially those with limiting beliefs
I have all the resources I need

Find out how you can support the work of the fabulous Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice by clicking on their website:

Cumbria’s Colour Run

Date: Sunday 08 May 2016
Start Time: 13:00:00
Location: Carlisle Racecourse, Durdar Road, CARLISLE CA2 4TS

In 2015 the hospice showered 1,500 people in a rainbow of powdered paint at Carlisle Racecourse; we hope you can be there for 2016!

“We wholly recommend the Colour Run to anyone thinking about taking part. You do not have to be an athlete and can take it at your own pace – there is no pressure at all put on you. The atmosphere was tremendous and the memories it has created for all taking part will be eternal.

“The event is well organised and the team from the hospice are there to support you if necessary. When we reached the end and got our medal we all felt such a sense of achievement. Do not think about it; do it! Sign up not and support a great cause in a great way!”
John McDowall, 2015 Colour Run fundraiser.

The vibrant event will see you, and thousands of other fundraisers, transformed from a blank canvas into a rainbow of colour as you all pass through the paint stations. At each station you will be showered in powdered paint, which is made from cornstarch and fully tested cosmetic dyes.
Katrina Sander, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, said “2016 is a special year for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary and the Colour Run is just one of the many ways the local community can join in the celebrations.
“As part of our 25th Anniversary Wishlist we would love to see 2,500 fundraisers covering themselves in powered paint at the event.”
The vibrant day of fundraising will not end at the finish line as we hops the bright and vibrant after party, This will provide you with the chance to dance the afternoon away enjoying the fantastic live entertainment and showering yourselves in even more paint.
The hospice 2015 Colour Runs in Carlisle and Kendal raised over £80,000 and we hope to exceed this amount in 2016. All of the money you raise helps the hospice make a difference every day.
To register click on this link: http://www.edenvalleyhospice.org/support-us/events/event/colour-run

Change Your Questions and You Change Your Life (Part 1)

Kenny Weiss
Certified Life Coach
Coaching To Clarity

What are you struggling with today? For me, it is in writing this article. The pieces aren’t fitting just yet. What would you do in a situation like this?

I find myself asking questions like:

“What’s the use?”
“This really isn’t that great of a topic now that I think about it?”

I’m picking up steam now,

“forget it, maybe I should just try a different one?”

Hmm, that feels a little better.

“You know how this works, you’re thinking too hard just go off and it will come to you”

“Yeah, actually that’s a great idea! I will just drop this and see what new ideas come up throughout the day and start again tomorrow?

Now I’m laughing. There it is again!

That exact dialogue is just what went through my mind. I was sitting here knowing I wanted to write an article about how the questions we ask ourselves sabotages our ability to have the life we want but all I could muster was one paragraph.

As you read my thoughts you witnessed firsthand two of the three stages of “fight, flight or freeze.”

Stage one happened when I “froze” because my brain could only generate one paragraph. I froze because I knew the only way this could be written was if I exposed my inadequacies and I sure as hell didn’t want you to see that.

In response to freezing, instinctively, like a child at bedtime, I became sweet and perfectly manipulative so I could stay up and play. I seduced myself with the thought that if I just dropped it, the “Gods” of writing would shower me with divine inspiration. That is stage two, create a fantasy so seductive that it further masks the true reality, I was feeling inadequate.

Luckily for me I leaned back and right there above my desk I began to laugh as my eyes found the sign I have taped on the wall which reads,

“If I don’t want to do something it means I need to do it.”

That sign was born out of a lifetime of moments like this and it is to remind me of three important things.
One, that if I feel the urge to flee it means I am afraid and the sign serves as a reminder of the first defence against my fear, get grounded and get back into the reality of what is truly going on.

Getting back into reality allows me to see point number two. ANY AND ALL fear is born from a feeling of inadequacy, start looking for it now! In this case, I was afraid to expose what happens to me, I did not want to risk being vulnerable because the image I want you to see of me can’t include that!

Finally, after years of running from that fear of being inadequate my unconscious response is to create a fantasy to divert me away so I don’t have to face it. Being in reality helps me see that.

There is a time and place for distance and perspective when writing but that time is never when you are looking for an excuse to ignore what needs to be said.

The day I made the choice to stop running and lean into my fears, one of the first things I recognized was that these negative rhetorical questions had to be changed. There wasn’t any option or any grey area. They had to be confronted continually, immediately and at all costs.
Throughout my personal life, my time as a professional athlete and in my time as a coach, the single most common way I see fear expressed is through these negative rhetorical freezing type questions and the resulting fantasy flight like answers.

These type of questions are so prevalent that most of us don’t even register them. They are powerful, subtle and so so seductive. So seductive that they have become as automatic and unconscious as breathing. Unlike breathing, they are killing us.

Think of what could have happened had I given into those insidious questions. I’m pretty proud of this article. In fact, I am really proud of it. I always feel better when I am transparent and authentic. Had I gone back to allowing fear to lie to me I would have never had this moment, this… gift!

In part two (which will feature in the next Personal Effects) I will discuss just what questions I asked to get things turned around.
In the meantime, pay attention to your questions, your feelings as you ask yourself those questions and notice how you want to respond to them. See what patterns you have created to avoid your fears (another word for feeling inadequate) and in the process, avoid the gift that comes when you lean into those fears and inadequacies!

Contact Kenny on: [email protected]

You might be interested in…………

For NLP enthusiasts, Practitioners, Master Practitioners, Trainers or the simply curious….. the NLP Conference is in The Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington on 15th -17th April 2016

For full details click on this link:


I recently had a delegate on a course who told me at the outset he hoped the course wasn’t going to ‘involve making a tower out of paper cups’… it didn’t… this TED talk is for you anyway Alan….and anyone else who is interested in what makes projects successful !

Tom Wujec “Build a tower, build a dream”… 6 thought provoking minutes… you need to see this ! Click on the link:


Thank you again to my lovely friend and associate Steven Cartwright of With a V for this recommendation!