5 Things I have learnt about feedback

We all have opinions. I have plenty of my own. However I know when it may be ok to share them and when it wouldn’t be. 

One of the most common obstacles my clients face is ‘What will people think?’ It’s a fair comment. So many of us have a driver of ‘I want to make my friends and family proud’. 

From an early age, we can be labelled and pigeon holed… due to our physical appearance, our intelligence, our interests, our attitudes, where we fall in our family or other people’s expectations. 

From a young age, I had a great sense of self; however quite often I felt stifled as so many people around me had a different set of interests and values. 

As an actor, I learnt pretty quickly that feedback, ‘honesty’ (often without kindness) and rejection would be part of the job. I have found a way to dance with it but it still pokes you in the eye sometimes. 

As a ‘personal brand’ I have learnt how to manoeuvre the ‘being brave at putting myself because I know I can do a great job’ vs ‘What happens if they say no because there is someone better’. 

Ultimately my ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ mantra bellows loudly so for the most part I have to send the email :) Plus my skills, expertise, experience and testimonials speak for themselves. Sometimes you have you read your own testimonials you know… :)

Here are five things I know about feedback: 

1) It is always going to be there to a greater or lesser degree. Some is going to be said to your face. Some behind your back. You can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths. Only your own and your reaction going forward. 

2) Question the source of the feedback and are they the expert? Both pregnancies I have been told ‘I look huge’ and then five minutes later that ‘I don’t look pregnant at all.’ These are passing comments. Unless they are being said by a medical professional who knows me and my situation, I simply have to smile. 

3) Be discerning about when and how much you share. A few years back, I used to get really excited about ideas and throw them into the conversation. Sometimes they were just a seed of an idea. Much of the idea hasn’t been figured out yet. However I left myself open to questions, doubts from others, judgement and logistical queries. All of this got in the way of creation mode, which is such an important part of the process. I have to be in control of any potential leaks. I don't want an idea to dilute too quickly. 

4) Most people are not paying much attention, they have too much going on in their own lives. There will be a small proportion that are paying every attention. I read a quote recently which I am afraid I can’t remember accurately…it was something along the lines of ‘Those who judge you will always be doing less than you, those who are doing more will always encourage you’ Apologies for the hashed together version, but I hope you get my drift. 

5) Finally not everyone is going to get you and what you are doing. In fact, you changing your lifestyle, your habits, your hopes, your dreams and your boundaries may be very triggering and annoying for some people. This may show itself in less invitations, clicky behaviour where there is unsaid exclusion, or a passive aggressive comment or a loud disinterest in what you may hold very close to your heart. Please don’t let any of this slow you down, alter your path, question your abilities or ignore your instincts. The next chapter is waiting for you. 

Where's my dream- is it on its way?

Do you ever suffer from impatience? Yes, me too. We now live in such a fast paced world – we don’t like to wait a second.

So you have done the work i.e you know what you are going for. You know what your dream or goal is. You know exactly what it is looks like.

But where is it? Most importantly is it near or at least on its way?

You’ve probably taken a lot of action up until now.

You have overcome some hurdles, had some successes and stepped out of your comfortable zone. It may have been a challenging time so you are keen to see results now.

You are now at the point where you may be starting to question things and doubt may be starting to set in? Is it worth it? Is all the effort going to pay off?  Or should I just stay as I am?

Never fear…

Here are five strategies to help you keep the vibes high and speed up the process.


This is absolutely key. You have to keep believing and this starts from the moment you wake up in the morning. Take some time to take stock. Mornings are notoriously busy- but keeping a positive mindset can have tremendous results on your day. Notice what you are saying to yourself- are you being kind? Eliminate anything that makes you feel negative or stuck and do what feels good for you.

2.Get even clearer

You will probably know what you want to achieve- now I want you to drill the goal down to a simple sentence. By x date I will be x. So if you feel stuck throughout the day this short sentence can help you regain focus. It will also be a measure for decisions if you receive an opportunity. Will this take me closer to my goal?

3.Start a daily habit

You may have been taking consistent action that is going to take you closer to your goal, but what if you started to do something every day. How would that change things?  Look at your diary for the week ahead and schedule daily actions. Notice the results every night so you can keep track of what is effective.

4. Do something different

You may have heard of the phrase- throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks? It’s now time to get throwing…. Try something new. Let your imagination run wild. Don't let yourself get stuck...just because you've always done something doesn't mean you should continue doing that. 

5. Start a sentence with ‘what’

Following on from step four, I want you to start to brainstorm alternative ideas and play around with them. What if someone gave you £100- what would you do then? If you had a free day with no commitments- how could you use it to get closer to your goal? If you could interview with your role model, what would you ask them? What help could they give you? What if? In exploring these options you may find you can execute the ideas ie you can find an extra £100 or your role model may have a book or an audio you could purchase.

I would love to hear about your progress. 

I'm a big geek and a big rebel

I’m a big geek and a big rebel all at the same time. 

I am ace at the Countdown numbers. Even when the big number is 75

I have a weird and extensive knowledge of the TFL network…if you are ever drunk and lost at 2am, call me- I will direct you onto the right bus. 

I love ironing. 

I have folders for everything. 

I rub out unnecessary apostrophes on pub chalk boards. 

I have been known to borrow a pen to add one in if required. 

I don’t subscribe to age requirements…by the time I am x…I have to be y. I will be that poem, the old woman who wears purple…

I have invented my own job as I knew I wasn’t suited to one that already existed.

I can get deep really quickly. There are so many people I have met at weddings, airports, in waiting rooms and at conferences that I know waaay too much stuff about but have no idea where they live or which motorway they came on. 

I think about my green Doc Martens a lot. 

And as for Blue Monday or other social calendar date that puts an odd societal pressure on things, I’m not into. Rarely has the ‘best night ever’ been on New Year’s Eve. I really like Mondays. Sometimes I want to have a bath, read a book and get an early night on a Friday night. Sometimes I want to get really drunk on a Wednesday date night. 

January is a time of limbo. We are all desperate for some light and warmth on our faces- even I am saying that as a ginger, pale person. We know we are supposed to be working on our big, bold 2019 goals but the cold weather is suggesting otherwise. ‘Come my sweet friend, it is warm under here in this cloud like duvet’. 

I know I am in a small percentage of people who don’t get the appeal of pancakes. Nor Yorkshire puddings. Too spongy. Too rubbery. On Shrove Tuesday, I will probably be having a lasagna. 

Basically it is all about what works for you…if you are springy in January, spring. If now is your hibernation time, use it wisely and set some deadlines. 

If setting yearly goals is too overwhelming, set 6 monthly goals. Or monthly or weekly or daily. Just get clear on what feels good. Most of our bills are paid at the end of the month and sometimes that is a great time for me to set the next round of goals for the following month. It makes it real.