I have always loved the hypnotherapy and coaching that I do with clients to help them achieve their ambitions and dreams. I enjoy both the face-to-face work and the studying, researching and writing about the methods we can all use to get over our mental blocks and find the motivation and determination needed to succeed.I often told myself that I would like to write more and yet it took me a long time to get around to writing a book. Although I write a lot in the forms of blogs and articles, I kept putting off focusing on getting a much larger piece of work together. I gave myself all sorts of excuses from “I won’t have enough to say for a book” to “I don’t even know how to get an ISBN”. The reality though was that I wasn’t taking my own advice as a therapist and coach – the very advice I share in my book “Life in the Driving Seat: Taking Your Road Trip to Happiness”. I was making excuses and I wasn’t taking full responsibility for getting it done.
Fortunately, I met a book coach who works with authors of fiction and non-fiction, and she told me she was running a workshop for business women to learn how to write a book for publication. That workshop was a real turning point for me. Finally, I understood the process of putting a non-fiction book together and was able to recognise the amount of material I already had. Finally, I was on my way.
I knew what I wanted to share – the tools and techniques that I use with clients to enable them to discover and use their own abilities to achieve whatever they want to in life. I was keen that this shouldn’t be a dry, self-coaching instruction manual, but a book that could inspire as well as be of practical help. For that reason, I wrote the whole book using the metaphor of going on a car journey. From working out where you want to go to, through getting everything you need for a successful journey, to arriving with energy and excitement – looking forward to future journeys.
Writing the book was an education for me. I developed an even greater admiration than before for writers of fiction – the dedication, time and planning required to make a cohesive and interesting fictional tale is way beyond what’s needed to write non-fiction. The length of fiction books is greater too. Fiction authors really are amazing!
As I wrote, I also learned that there were a couple of areas of my advice that I was ignoring myself. The main one was a realisation I had when I came to write the chapter about the need to tell others about our plans in order to get both support and accountability. I realised that, other than my husband Steve, my book coach and one other person, I hadn’t actually told anyone that I was writing a book. I had held back from telling friends, family and other contacts partly because I’m an introvert and so often keep quiet about projects, but also because of a bit of fear of failure and judgment. Just what I was writing about letting go of! From that point on, I started to let everyone know – and the support I received was fabulous and really spurred me on.
I’m pleased with the reception my first book has had, and the feedback from readers who have said that it has provided both the motivation and the practical advice they needed to achieve their personal, business and professional dreams. Since its publication, I’ve also written two short guides – “Getting a Job: a quick guide to the important bits!” and “Anxiety: a quick guide to understanding and management”. I also have a therapy-related haiku book currently in progress.
As with so many dreams and ambitions, the first step for me was having a coach and mentor who could enable me to believe that I could achieve my ambition and then to help me to find my own way of achieving it. After all, every achievement starts with changing our limiting beliefs from “I can’t…” to “I can…”