Building Emotional Resilience

Building Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience means having the ability to manage pressure and to recover quickly and effectively from setbacks. This article explains how you can learn the tools of resilience and improve your wellbeing.

First – Identify Your Stressors

Most people lead fast hectic lifestyles, with the result that multiple sources of potential stress can occur in the workplace, family and social life. My clients often report their tipping point comes when ‘that something extra occurs’, such as unexpected demands at work or experiencing the emotional changes of a death, divorce, redundancy.  Emotionally resilient people have the tools to manage pressure and therefore do not suffer the negative effects of prolonged stress. Without resilience, a person may find that prolonged bouts of stress can harm confidence and self-esteem and may even lead to worse mental and physical conditions.

Second – Identify Your Beliefs and Behaviours

A person’s belief structure is important. Emotionally resilient people retain a positive outlook on life, and they have a belief in their own ability to return to a normal state of wellbeing. 

So, the next time pressure starts to build up and you experience the negative effects, note the changes in your perception. For example, stress can manifest itself in varied forms, through physical, psychological and social dysfunction.  In other words, people with stress may experience symptoms of increased respiration, palpitations, headaches and they may present changed and negative behaviours to other people, suffer self doubt, and even withdraw from social activity. 

Third – Just How Balanced is Your Mindset and Lifestyle?

Emotionally resilient people bounce back quickly. Some have good defences against adversity –  they have a history  that has formed a narrative for coping mechanisms; others, have learnt the tools, gained through having a  better understanding of themselves.

In learning the tools, it is very important to set realistic goals in our daily life and not to over face ourselves.  Different personality profiles adopt different behaviours – and behaviours can be modified. People with absolutist mindsets who are unable to compromise increase their own expectations with deadlines and self-pressure.  Whereas, people who seek to please tend to lack assertiveness and take on too much work.  Many people procrastinate endlessly over decisions – and this increases pressure. The result is that when goals are not met, negative behaviours can arise and self belief can become affected.

So, when we have a narrative or the tools to cope, we move in a balanced zone of wellbeing.

Regular exercise and a support network are very important to a balanced life, along with the knowledge that we have other skills and abilities we can be proud of outside the workplace – such as a hobby, and thus creating the idea of ‘work-life balance.’

How to Work Towards Resilience

It is key that we recognise the importance of enabling behaviours

  • Maintain our self belief and feel a sense of control
  • Have motivation during difficult times
  • Set ourselves realistic goals we can achieve
  • Be empathetic and caring towards other people
  • Communicate well and feel good about ourselves
  • Accept our own mistakes as part of our learning framework

If you would like a more in-depth discussion on the subject of Resilience and how you can learn the tools to increase your well-being and become more effective contact Executive Coach, Sara Howard for a free phone consultation. Tel: 07827 505389 or email

The Successful CV – How to Improve Your Chances

The Successful CV – How to Improve Your Chances

The Successful CV – How to Improve Your Chances

Are you wondering how to promote yourself? Do you find it a bit daunting that some recruiters receive hundreds of applications for each job – sometimes more?

Much is written about producing the successful CV and you may be someone who is looking to make changes which could be…

  • transform your career into a new role
  • just starting out in working life
  • taken redundancy and seeking a new path
  • returning to work after a long break 

Whatever the current stage in your working life, it is good to have the knowledge to improve your chances.

First let’s start with the CV itself. Having worked with human resource managers and directors in a previous career as a highly successful senior recruitment consultant, I advise the following: 

  • Make certain you match your skills to the core competencies of the job specification.
  • Keep your application to two pages; one of relevant career synopsis and one page of qualifications, skills and memberships.
  • Have knowledge of the company or corporate culture and how your personality or skills match, this will add value.
  • Make sure your covering letter is succinct and ties in your core skills to this ‘match’.

So, perhaps imagine your job recruiter, sifting through endless applications. He/she will be looking fast to match up ‘core skills’ and, depending upon the position, a suitable transfer of a candidate’s other skills along with their cultural ‘fit’. The precision of this selection process is important to prevent wasting time for the many parties involved in the interviewing and recruiting process.

Frequently, I see a diverse range of clients and some may not have all the core competencies listed for a job, however, they may have the ability to offer value by transferring skills from other roles they’ve had in their lives.

For example, if returning to work, or just starting work, it is essential to present aspects of character to the recruiter that are relevant to the job specification, therefore, show your abilities to focus, concentrate, apply determination and importantly, people skills – engage in teamwork and/or leadership; all of which may be gained from outside work activities such as…

  • voluntary work and related achievements
  • music grades and performances
  • sporting abilities and achievements

Quite often, a voluntary sector, or an organisation with a collegiate spirit, is more likely to want employees with a broad background, therefore the emphasis may not be on academic achievement or the ability to score high net worth deals.

There are many ways to improve your career chances.  Good Luck!

Sara Howard, LLB Hons, MISMA, MAC, is a leading business, executive and lifestyle coach with over 20 years experience. Sara works with corporate firms and private individuals and designs and delivers training. She is also a registered therapist.

This article has been published on the business internet portal – Life Coaching Directory.

Sports Performance Coaching

Sports Performance Coaching

Would you like to improve your focus and concentration?  Did you know that many successful Sports Personalities have used techniques from Sports Performance Coaching to help improve their performance. The benefits from coaching, psychology and talking therapies have been widely documented by people in the world of equestrianism, tennis, golf – to name but a few.  Sporting success requires many elements including focus, concentration, self belief and motivation.

You can improve your concentration and perform at your best. 

I see many people who express concerns about rising levels of anxiety spoiling their focus and concentration and ultimately their physical ability, due to the spiral of tension that anxiety creates.  We all know that loss of concentration spoils our ability to perform at our best.  The object of Neuro Linguistic Programming  (NLP) and visualisation techniques in sports performance is to free up your motivation from negative emotions and restraints and to help you construct an enabling way forward and therefore increase your personal confidence; this way you can perform at you best and develop self belief.

Coaching techniques can help you towards confidence and self belief

Coaching and therapeutic techniques are successful in helping with emotional and psychological problems that may be holding a person back. There are different methods available to help change unwanted strategies and behaviours which are actually disabling us and causing anxiety.  For example, have you ever wished away the old states of anxiety or caution that regular creep back into your thoughts,  such states that may well be linked to past events and that actually really have no bearing whatsoever on your present situation?

When we function in our normal everyday behaviour, we do so without even thinking about it.  So, having asked yourself this question, “am I running old strategies that are disabling me? ” Now ask,” “what would I like to change?”  Start now to make notes and to become more aware of any negative behaviour patterns you could change.

The benefit in controlling unwanted anxiety and emotions to increase your focus

We’ve discussed that first it’s about recognising negative emotions and sometimes we don’t know what’s going wrong.  Remember, you’re not alone!   So now the question is, what would you like to achieve?  Perhaps there’s a sportsperson you admire. Most of us have read various media stories of top athletes who have used therapies or sports psychology and we admire those with the most mental control.  Whilst few of us will reach the Olympics, most of us want the pleasure in setting ourselves certain achievable goals and feeling the pleasure of success.   And success increases our confidence and our sense of well being.

NLP can help you to model successful  behaviour ….NLP  is an  effective constructive tool in helping a person to move away from limiting behaviours and to re-frame an enabling position.  From this enabling position of growth we can use our motivation to set up states of confidence towards achievable goals .  NLP provides the tools to model the selected behaviours of successful people and in so doing you can construct new conscious processes which include re-framing your position by the following: –

  • Recognising and disabling negative states and fears thereby …
  • Enabling yourself to remove mental obstacles to your success
  • Replacing disabling states with new enabling strategies
  • Freeing up your emotions by future pacing your realistic new goals

Tailored  Coaching for Confidence – An experienced coach has the training and the knowledge to use an integrative tool set to achieve maximum success.

Please contact Sara Howard for a free phone consultation to discuss how coaching may benefit you.

Tel – 07827 505389

Further information on the coaching methodology can be found under Coaching.

Are you suffering from workplace related stress?

Are you suffering from workplace related stress?

Does unwanted workplace related stress have a negative impact in your life?  If you are reading this then the likely answer is, yes, it does. This article is to help you to recognise what may be happening in your life.

Stress is defined by ISMA UK as, “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.”

Whilst many companies are aware and vigilant to the signs of stress in their employees and even have procedures in place to help cope with and prevent stress – it has to be said that some companies do not.  A further problem is that many employees deliberately hide the signs of rising anxiety levels due to fears that their stress may be negatively interpreted as an inability to manage their workload. This includes hiding the truth from loved ones and friends.

You may already know someone suffering stress. The Health & Safety Executive’s 2016 Statistics conclude that work related stress accounts for 37% of work related ill health and 45% of days lost in the period of 2015/16.

Some of the main issues people report regarding workplace stress include: –

  • The perceived pressures linked to workload, deadlines and expectations
  • A belief in insufficient support from line management and colleagues
  • Fears of change, pending mergers and acquisitions and new leadership styles
  • Conflicts between personal beliefs and corporate culture demands

The physical symptoms of stress may vary from person to person (and are discussed in my earlier article); they can include – raised heart rate, palpitations, perspiration, feeling a rush of adrenaline, irritability with colleagues, poor sleep patterns and tiredness, stomach upsets headaches and migraines.

When excessive pressure goes ignored or unnoticed over an extended period it can have a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. For some it can lead to depression and more serious physical conditions.  Stress can also affect us psychologically and in our changing behaviours.  The behavioural aspects that increase pressure include lack of assertiveness,  procrastination and absolutism – perhaps these sound familiar?

The anxiety of constant worry about past or future events can lead to unwanted habits and addictions, sometimes in a misguided belief that they help us to cope, for example, the use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, chocolate etc.  Some people engage (often unconsciously)  in habits such as nail biting, skin picking, mouth chewing, teeth grinding, hair pulling without realising the link to their anxiety levels.

In managing your workplace stress – A stress audit will help you to develop a plan to enable you  to recognise and identify problems and to make suitable behavioural changes to help you regain a sense of control in your daily routine.  It is also about how we believe we interface with ‘our world’  the ideal of course being in a satisfactory and productive way in which we are supported and can complete our tasks and achieve our goals… and find time for the importance of  work/life balance.  

Effective stress management increases our self belief in our ability to cope and to develop ‘resilience.’ In simple language, resilience can best be achieved and built on sound foundations, when we have recognised and moderated our emotional self demands to a new understanding in harmony with our values and a position of control.

Sara Howard has designed and delivered large scale training programmes in stress management and resilience to leading multinational companies.  She also works with private individuals as an executive and lifestyle coach and hypno-psychotherapist.

Sara is available to see private clients in Highgate London, Wheatley Oxford, Kings Langley Herts. and Aston Clinton Bucks.

Please call to discuss how she may help you with your stress management plan.  Tel – 07827 505389.

About Stress

About Stress

Coaching can help you to Manage Unwanted Stress.

How does Stress Impact your life?   I often hear people describe their experience of stress as a feeling of emotional upset and pressure which increases until it becomes a sensation in being out of control.  For example, what may begin as an anxiety about a pending situation can build up in pressure over time when the signs are ignored.  Typical physical descriptions of unwanted levels of pressure include, symptoms of an increased heart rate, palpitations, heat flushes and visible blushing, or headaches, digestive problems, skin disorders, increased blood pressure IBS  – to name but a few.  Most people have heard the simple explanation of stress as the ‘fight or flight response’ in reference to the physical feeling we experience in our reaction to a situation. However, few people realise the extended implications of daily anxiety and stress on our health and extended wellbeing. Stress can affect us physically but also psychologically and in our behaviours.

How would you define your stress?   Stress is defined by ISMA UK as, “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon them.”   One way people try to cope with the feeling of excess pressure is to ignore taking time off to rest and instead, race on in the hope of staying on top of things.  Most of us have been there!

A person’s stress may be driven by external stressors, that is, in relation to the expectations we feel others place on us.  For example, our workload or family responsibilities, and our endless lists can seem too great sometimes for the time in which we have to carry out these tasks.  Alternatively, our internal stressors and our personal self-expectations can become too excessive if left unnoticed or unchecked, both for ourselves and for others.  Many of my clients find it surprising when we discover just how much self-pressure they are placing upon themselves.

How do people cope with a feeling of too much pressure?  All too frequently this can involve turning to habits which can become addictive. Such habits give a false feeling, even a belief, of temporary respite from the anxiety of our workload and the pressure we feel to complete tasks. We get a temporary feeling of a buzz to continue.  However, these habits can become addictive, such as caffeine, comfort eating and a sugar rush, smoking, drugs …  and not to forget Workaholism is also addictive!

To recap, habits and addictions can physically affect us and impact upon our lives in different negative ways. Some habits can lead to addictions in the misguided belief that they provide a means of  relief from pressure; whereas, they can give rise to yet another set of problems, such as changes in our behaviour;  health and weight problems;  relationship breakups and ultimately, failed communication levels.

The first important thing to learn is how to moderate our behaviours and self expectations. Learn how to calm out thoughts and to alleviate this pressure. This can be achieved though the incorporation of easy various stress management techniques into our daily lives such as stress audits, and progressive relaxation and Mindfulness techniques.  The next stages will be discussed in further Blogs and these includes remove unwanted procrastination, improve communication skills effective assertiveness, and the reduction of those unwanted habits.

I have designed and delivered training courses for leading multi-national firms and am registered with leading industry bodies as an Executive Business and Life Coach, Stress Management Consultant and Hypno-psychotherapist.  I will be pleased to advise you on how to best manage anxiety and stress.

I hope you have found this information helpful and if you would like any further information please contact me at   If you would like to engage in coaching, I can offer a free telephone consultation of up to 20 minutes. I have four locations in Aston Clinton, Kings Langley, London and Wheatley.