Yesterday it was health and fitness and today it’s my whole life. Lisa Cherry Beaumont is a Life Coach and today we chat about lifestyle, fulfilment and life purpose alchemy. Lisa outlines a four step process for change, mentions gratitude practise, meditation, goal setting and brain training (among other things), and offers us action steps to fight off overwhelm and disillusion. She reminds us that everyone’s definition of success is different and it’s important to ‘have somebody there to guide you, push you over it, to talk you through it as you just keep going, keep making sure that you’re moving forward’. You can find out more about Lisa and becoming unstuck here.
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Melinda: It's welcome to another episode of Writer on the Road, yesterday I was getting my exercise coaching and today I'm getting my life coaching. Welcome Lisa!
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Hello Melinda, nice to speak to you!
Melinda: I'm speaking to Lisa Cherry Beaumont, life coach from sunny Florida but at the moment she's in San Diego, just come down from the rooftop swimming in her pool, or swimming in a pool, eating a nice vegan lunch to share with us how to get our lives on track and live with purpose. Lisa how did I go with that introduction?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: That was a good introduction. The only thing that wasn't accurate is that I've been in Florida but it's not from originally, I'm actually from the U.K. but I do love Florida and I have spent a little bit of time there. But it was a great intro otherwise, thank you. Very accurate.
Melinda: How are you going to help me as I make my transition from school teaching which ends in three weeks, moving on to a full time writer's life or a full time creative life and without all the pain and fear that goes with losing a full time income and living a fulfilling passionate life doing something I love?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Sure well the first thing that I do with people is take them through something that hasn't really got anything to do with their work but really to do with what lifestyle they want to achieve for themselves. So are they the kind of person that wants to stay in one particular place and raise children and whatever, are they somebody who wants to travel around the world, what really do they see as their ideal lifestyle, so that's where I'll start with you. I would ask you what sort of lifestyle and get really specific on what it is you want your life to look because ultimately that's what you're trying to achieve, a lifestyle and then your work and your purpose fits into that.
Melinda: Being specific and goals. Now that is something that we do as writers and we're encouraged to do as writers aren't we everyone, know what we're going to do, what we've got planned out for the next couple of years. We're a little bit, or I'm certainly a little bit more lackadaisical when it comes to my life because everybody else has a part of it. Focusing back on me and what I want to do, how do you encourage, I suppose we're talking today about women, encouraging women especially to focus on where they want to go when there's so many other people taking parts of them?Lisa
Cherry Beaumont: If you've got a partner, if you've got children, if you've got other work and so on then that has to, you have to take all that into consideration. But ultimately we've all heard the phrase you've got to put your own gas mask on first kind of thing. You've got to make sure that your needs are taken care of first before you can give to other people.
What I notice is really common with a lot of women is that we have a tendency to feel a little bit guilty if we put ourselves first like we shouldn't be doing that, but it's necessary because we're a happy wife, a happy partner, or a happy mother or whoever it is that's relying on you, that's the foundation, that's the foundation for you being able to give to others is making sure that you're happy first.
Melinda: I agree with you, I think it's on the airplanes where you've got to put your own mask on first and I always look at that and I think oh please don't let that happen. We talk about putting ourselves first, I was talking to an exercise coach yesterday and she was saying you just have to make the time, you have to meditate, you have to take ten minutes for yourself and everyone else around you will benefit. So I'm assuming with life coaching as well if we get our own heads on right and know where we want to go then everyone else around us will benefit.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Absolutely. There is a tendency as well for us to believe that if we have what we want that other people are going to be upset, other people are not going to like it, other people they won't get used to it. But the fact is if you don't follow your own dreams, if you don't decide what it is that you want then someone else is going to decide it for you and you're going to be the one that feels miserable, you're going to be the one that feels unhappy, you're going to be the one that has nothing to give and so ultimately all those around you that you think you're going to be upsetting you're actually going to be upsetting them more by not being happy within yourself.
Melinda: I was reading on your website this morning Lisa that there were signs that you're not happy. Can you take us through some of those steps because that was one of the very early things, I read those, there were four things there and I read them and I went yeah okay it is time for change.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: That's a blog post that I put up yesterday in response to hearing about somebody who is basically bashing their head against the wall with the same thing over and over again. The first point in that blog post is to get you to identify that there's something that you need to change. So one of those things is that you keep coming up against the same problem over and over and over and over again.
Another identifier is that people keep giving you the same advice and your friends or your family or whoever, or your colleagues are starting to get frustrated with giving you the same advice over and over again and you're just not listening.
One of the other indicators is any kind of what I call overuse or self-medication which can be anything whatsoever, it can be drink, it can be overeating, it could be shopping for things that you don't need, it could be staying up half the night online on Facebook or playing videogames or whatever. So this is when you know that something's not right, these are really good indicators that something needs to change.
Melinda: As writers I know we often have to have full time jobs and part time jobs, anything to supplement that income. When we take that leap into full time writing it can be really scary not only financially but to have the confidence to know that you can work and work to a plan from home. I guess there's a lot of fears around it or surrounding the issue of taking that leap.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: It's absolutely terrifying for most people. You're right outside of your comfort zone because you've been, unless you've been brought up with, in an entrepreneurial environment where perhaps your parents were entrepreneurs or whatever, if that's not the environment that you've been brought up, if the school that you went to and most schools do teach, you go to university and then you get a job and you have a steady income and that's what success means in society generally.
So something outside of that, it's almost like well there's no, there are no rules and regulations to this, there's no security in this good grief what's going to happen and it does take a leap of faith, it really does. If you don't feel that then you're quite unusual. If you don't feel that it's a bit scary then you're pretty unusual.
Melinda: I wake up in the middle of the night and I go oh what's going to happen that very question that you ask, I have enough income to get me through the next couple of months and then after that all bets are off and I thought why am I doing this and I thought because I can but in two months’ time I might be talking to you again going yeah shouldn't have done that. What are some of the strategies I guess to help you through that period of absolute fear? What am I going to say to myself when I wake up and go uh-oh I'm in trouble?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: That's a really great question. As a business owner you will come across it over and over again. So some of the strategies that I use with people are a lot of people try and run and hide from meditation but I'm afraid it really does work, it really does help. Bringing yourself back into the present moment is a really good strategy for removing the fear because the thing is Melinda when you're in a state of fear, when you're sort of feeling oh my goodness how am I going to manage, what's going to happen in two months' time, oh my goodness, what you're doing is energetically pushing away the good things that could be coming to you.
So what you have to do in order to attract the good things, I know this is, it's very metaphysical and it all sounds a bit airy-fairy if this is not the way that your mind generally works but this is how it works. When you are in a better frame of mind, in a more positive frame of mind and I don't mean delusional, I mean just feeling positive, putting positivity out there, then it's attracted to you and you will find the opportunities do present themselves.
But just going back to what we said right at the beginning of the call is about setting goals for yourself, what is it that you actually want because if you are floating and floating and floating, floating you are not necessarily going to get what you want because you don't know what it is you want and therefore you're not going to recognize it when it comes and sits right in front of you for you to take hold of.
Here's, let me just give you a little story. I'm moving around at the moment and I'm using, I'm staying in different properties because I don't live here, I'm traveling at the moment and I need to find somewhere to stay in the next few days and so I've been looking online for places to stay and I just couldn't find, it was like I can't find what I want, I don't understand it. Then it was like hang on a minute do you know what you want, have you decided exactly what you want? So what I did was I made a little short list of six or seven prerequisites for the place that I want to find. I found three within five minutes because I then had decided exactly what I wanted and I found them. That's what it's about.
Melinda: I think that's the crux of it Lisa when it comes to knowing what you want and then chasing it. I've written down here positivity versus delusional. Now many times I've been at this point where I'm going to jump off and take this leap. I have a very loving, kind sister who I absolutely adore who's in Paris at the moment and she constantly tells me I'm delusional and that I have to keep a real job. In the back of mind I've kept that and I'm thinking yeah you're right, I actually do.
So I'm wondering whether all these years we're I've stopped, I haven't made that leap because in my own mind I've trained myself, it's not my sister's fault, I've trained myself to think I can't go for this, that I'm going to fail. It's only at the ripe old age of 55 that I'm going I'm actually going to try the other approach this time, I'm going to try this positivity and meditate and pray that in two months’ time that I am open to the opportunities that do come my way because as you said if you put yourself in the position things actually do happen.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: We are trained to believe that we're delusional if we want something that's outside of the box, we're pushed into a box, society pushes us into that 9 to 5 job box and we are kind of lead to believe that if we want something different from that it's like well it's not possible but of course it's possible because a lot of people are doing it, I mean I'm doing it. There's a lot of people doing it, working for themselves, maybe they travel, whatever, being writers. It's entirely possible. I think what is the, I think your question there is what the difference between being positive and being delusional. Well goodness, it's a fuzzy line is that one isn't it? It's a fuzzy line, what is the difference between positive and delusional?
Melinda: It's my quote, it's my mantra. I look at it as Alice down the rabbit hole. I use Alice in Wonderland to run my life and we've come across this wonderful quote about the Cheshire cat and it's the grin without the cat and I just, I love that. So if you put your grin out there the cat will catch up and I thought we're just going to have to run with it and see what happens.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Oh I like that.
Melinda: You've got brain training exercises. Training my brain Lisa?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Train your brain, do you know what there's the simplest exercise that I do and I didn't design it myself, it's been going for years is a really strong gratitude practice and that is where you look for, beginners to this, so if you're listening and you're thinking what on earth is a gratitude practice, if you're a complete beginner to this, then what I want you to do is to get a piece and I mean piece of paper and a pen, I don't mean on your computer or on your phone, I mean actual pen and paper and write down every day three things to be grateful for and there is a ton of scientific evidence that this actually makes you feel better, it makes you feel more positive, it attracts greater things into your life, you become more successful in whatever it is success means to you. It's really, really effective.
When I say three things to be grateful for every day I don't mean that it has be a marriage proposal or winning a free trip to Paris or whatever, it can be just little things like I got up today and I'm having a really good hair day, I don't even need to do much with my hair, that's something to be grateful for. I got to the coffee and they were giving away free coffee or I got a smile from a stranger in the street or just little things. If you can find three things, if you can't find three things to be grateful for then you're not trying because everyone's got three things to be grateful for, just waking up with a roof over your head you can have, a cold refreshing drink of water.
What it does is it trains you to look for the positives instead of focusing on the negatives and the worry and whatever it is you feel is bringing you down and it gets you into that positive state where you are attracting more good things to and you're recognizing them and pulling them towards you as well. That would be, for a beginner, for somebody who already does that then ramping up to ten a day. If you're already doing ten a day and you want to ramp it up even further some people do a 100 a day that is a challenge I can tell you. Melinda I've done the 100 a day thing and you are like I am grateful for my eyelashes.
Melinda: Well I can tell you that as writers we'd rather channel those, I think those 100 gratitude things into a chapter of a novel. I think having that privilege of being able to write out our thoughts and write out our stories is something that we have as writers that can be very beneficial when it comes to I guess this life coaching idea. You have a book called The Life Purpose Alchemy that turned into a bestseller.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah, that's right, Life Purpose Alchemy: Discover what fulfills you and do what you love for a living. It's actually not a storybook, it's not a novel, it's not even an instructional book. What it is is a workbook and yes I've got a lot what some people call woo-woo going on with me, but I'm actually incredibly practical as well.
What this book does is takes you through six steps in order to figure out what it is you want your life to look like and what work you want to do and then how to get started. But it does also tackle that thing that you talked about, the fear. So what I did was I took the top ten fears of my clients, the ones that just keep coming up for them over and over again and I did some mindset work on, some exercises on being able to shift their mindset around these top ten fears so that when they do come across this, which inevitably they'll come across some of them if not all of them, then their mindset is in the right place already so they don't hit a brick wall and go running backwards.
Melinda: Yeah and that can happen as well. I think we'd all love to be living in our attics and writing our novels and living this very romantic life but reality needs I guess, we need to balance that with our realities don't we. One of the things I wanted to very quickly talk about with you is this idea of a life coach and why they're becoming more and more popular. Now I listen to a lot of podcasts out of America and life coaching and mentoring, those kinds of things, are almost dare I say a dime a dozen now. If you're looking for a good life coach, what are you looking for?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Well do you know I'm going to answer your first question why are there more of them. Why are there more them? I believe that there's probably a lot of answers to this question but I think one of the answers is that we are becoming less and less of who we really want to be, of who we really are. What a life coach does, what a good life coach does is gets you back to being who you are, who you want to be, what makes you happy.
What makes a good life coach? Well there's all sorts of different life coaches, there's all sorts of different coaches that deal with all kinds of different things and people help you with anxiety and depression, some people will help with your business, some people will help you around your money mindset for example, you've got writing coaches, you've got all sorts of different coaches.
Specifically what I do, I trained as a general life coach, personal performance coach which is, yeah that's what I trained to do. But as I did more and more of it I realized what it is that I am particularly good at and what I particularly enjoy doing. So what really authentic for me and that's life purpose coaching. So helping people to find their purpose and then get started doing it.
So what you’re looking for in a life coach is someone who is able to deliver the results of whatever it is that you're trying to achieve. So if you're wanting just generally to be happier then you might want to look for someone like a happiness coach. If you're looking for someone, if what you're trying to get in your life is just to be more effective, to actually get more done then you want a productivity coach.
There are some general life coaches and I would say all coaches can help you with most things but if there's something specific that you really want to deal with then I would say go for somebody who specializes in that, like you would with anything. You could for the specialist and you'll get the best results.
Melinda: Yeah, now you do this full time for a living. Are you finding that your business is increasing as we get, I guess we're outsourcing everything nowadays and we even, we need people like you to ground us. Are you finding that you are more in demand nowadays?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah, I am very much in demand. I would imagine I was probably in demand but my sales and marketing were not so great, I wasn't really sure how to put myself out there and these are things I've had to learn alongside having a business, alongside being an actual coach is you've got all the things that go along with it and marketing yourself and growing and audience is important, people need to know about you, people need to have heard of you. One of the ways, one of the most effective ways of me getting clients is referrals. So I've coached somebody in the past and then they tell other people me who then come and contact me and want to work with me.
Melinda: Yeah, I'm just looking at change is a four step process and you've got a couple packages, I know we were talking briefly about how you've got a short package coming up, but you do have this three month or this 90 day package.
Now I've got John Lee Dumas' freedom journal that as writers we, some of us know quite a bit about and filling out that journal every day. I fill it in about once every three weeks and it's got the whole gratitude thing and everything in it. I'm guessing with this 90 day course you're actually there reminding us, like my exercise friend yesterday saying she's going to send me something every day to say have I done my exercises. As my life coach you would be there prodding me gently along for those whole three months.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Oh my goodness yeah. Accountability's huge with coaching, accountability is one of the most important factors in coaching which is why a lot of people struggle with courses, sort of self-study online courses is they'll start off all enthusiastically and then something gets in the way and they don't do it. What you find is if you've got somebody just to be accountable to, you just say right these are the action steps that are going to be done by this date and you can bet your bottom dollar you're much more likely to get them done if you've told somebody about it. So if you've got a coach, then yeah. I do, with my clients for three months, I'm with them the whole time.
Melinda: Yeah and I'm guessing, especially in the corporate world and business women and men as well, having someone like you just to ground us, just to keep us going in the right direction and to keep that positivity up, I could see what it would be a very small investment to create that balance.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah, absolutely. It's usually around about after the first sort of four or five weeks of working with me, it's almost always the same for everybody, one of my clients recently took a little bit longer and I was wondered when it was coming is they have a total meltdown, a real freak out of like who, like an imposter syndrome, who am I to be doing this, who am I to have decided that I want to do XYZ, why on earth should it work for me.
So yeah, I help them through that because it can be frightening, it can be scary and just having someone to go it's okay, this is perfectly normal at this stage, let's just keep going with the action steps that I've given you, you don't have to see into the future, just put one foot in front of the other and it'll come and then they do and for the next week or two they put one in front of the other with me going having you do it, have you done it. They do it and then they're fine again. But it is really normally.
Melinda: Yeah and when you're in the middle of it and when you're living it it's very hard to get that outside view. I know for the last six months I've been teaching full time, looking after my beautiful daughters and running this business full time and I shake my head like I get up and I go what exactly is it I'm trying to achieve again and having someone on the outside going well this is your trajectory, this is what you're doing, actionable steps is something that I'm guessing is huge.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah, oh definitely. What happens each of my sessions, and I speak with my clients. The way that I work and I think the way that a lot of coaches work as well is that we have a call once a week for around about an hour and then what I do afterword’s is I've taken down, I don't have them taking any notes, I do it all for them and I write down all the action steps that they've agreed to take over the coming week and I just email it to them in bullet points, this, this, this, this. Then it just makes it tangible for them when they're like oh my goodness, what am I doing, where am I. They just go back to the email and they like right so they next thing I need to do is that. We make sure that everything is step by step. It's not, we don't have something like build a website, it would be decide on your website and then register your domain name. It wouldn't be like build a website when we could just know. It's actionable tangible, small step by step things.
Melinda: I guess, and I know this is over-simplifying but I think you're our human to-do list and prioritizing that to do list because overwhelm is so huge and I was just thinking what do you do next and how does it impact on the next three steps that you're taking. So we don't talk about cost so much as benefits because the benefits of having a life coach must be huge, especially with women, we tend to derail ourselves the minute we start to become a little bit successful.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah, definitely, yeah definitely. It's actually men and women as well. Both the same. I've noticed I have an almost even split of male and female clients and it's pretty much the same. They start to get somewhere and then that, it's called the impostor syndrome and me do have it as much as women. Who am I to be doing this, oh this is not possible for me.
I, one of the things that I've noticed about successful people have done the same as you, watch a lot of podcast and listen to what, in inverted commas, successful people have to say about it all and it really is not about talent and skill. Yes, you have to have a certain amount of talent and skill, good grief you just can't go into doing something that you're not any good at, there's got to be that there but the most fundamental, fundamental factor is persistence, is just getting on with it, it's just carrying on going even though it feels hard or it feels like you're not getting anywhere is just keep going.
Melinda: Yeah and worth every penny I should imagine to people who are brave up to put up their hands and get the help when it's needed. I think we're very arrogant when we think we can do it all by ourselves nowadays because the world is not the same as it was years ago. We want to achieve, we want to be able to do all these things, we want to manage these things. I think, I hate to use the word entitlement, but maybe we, it's okay to say to ourselves yeah we do need, we do need this outside person, it's not a failure to have a coach, it's actually probably a strength.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Oh absolutely. You'll find that the most, again I use the word successful in inverted commas because it really does depend on what it is success means to you. But you will find that all the successful people have a coach themselves, that they've had different, I've had lots of different coaches and mentors, I have a mastermind group at the moment so that we're all three of us are helping each other to move forward because it's essential because you find yourself getting stuck, you find yourself getting stuck when you get to the next level, okay right I've done that, I've achieved that and then you get to the next level and you're like oh my goodness and it comes to everybody, you get to a point where the impostor syndrome comes back again for your new level of success.
So having somebody there to guide you, push you over it, to talk you through it as you just keep going, keep making sure that you're moving forward. It's necessary, I don't think I've ever spoken to anybody who says, anybody who's really gotten anywhere with anything that's quite unusual or different or outside of the 9 to 5 corporate box, I don't think I've ever spoken to anybody that's outside of that box that's gotten anywhere that's said that they've never had a coach or a mentor. I just, it takes a long time and a lot of internal determination to do that. I think if you don't make it very, very difficult for yourself.
Melinda: Yeah and it's that living up, I do hear those again, those top podcasting guys and the books that I read as well they always say that they have their own coaches and that they need them to bring clarity to their lives. As you're talking there it actually shocked me a little bit because I'm looking at you and look I know I need someone to help me move up to the next level, I just know I do.
But with my kids, with my Story Slingers, with my online course, it's exactly what I do to them. Each week I make them accountable, where are you up to, what have you do. If I just sold them a course and let them go with teenagers I knew that that wouldn't happen so we have this weekly Facebook Live or we're about to take it to Google hangouts, whatever that is and I'm there every week saying oh wow what have you achieved, aren't you great, how about we try this for the next time. So I'm probably doing it myself already with my kids but I'm hesitating with myself to bring someone on board to help me get to the next level. Do you find that that's normal?
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yes, absolutely. Yeah I do. I always say a hairdresser doesn't cut their own hair, you can cut someone else's hair beautifully but you don't do your own, you get someone else to do yours. We all need, in order to up level for ourselves we need someone to else to it. I hesitate to say that we need but I'm sure there are ways of getting somewhere without having external help, I'm sure there are ways of doing, I just have never met anyone that has. Without that help it's just so much more difficult.
Melinda: Yeah and I'm from the country and in the olden days you sat around the kitchen table and all the aunts and uncles and I'm genuinely serious about this because I, we had big families and that's where it all happened but now everybody's out of work, everyone's leaving the house at 7 o'clock, everyone's getting home at 6 o'clock. I'm actually, I've shocked myself and I'm surprised at myself Lisa, having this conversation with you how it's clarified in my mind how necessary the service or the kind of service you provide is.
Now I wasn't skeptical when I brought you on board but I was sort of curious and now I'm a sort a little bit more zealous in going yesterday I was in exercise by the end of it I'm going oh of course I need this why didn't I see it and now I'm taking to you today and I'm going why didn't I see it before, it's actually going to move me forward more quickly than if I'd kept fumbling around on my own.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Yeah absolutely, absolutely. In the times when I've been between coaches, I've had a coach that's helped me with one thing and we've stopped working together and then I've needed then to up level to another coach and there's times when I haven't had a coach or I haven't had a mastermind group, I've been doing exactly what you said, just fumbling around in the dark, messing about, wasting time, not sure what I'm doing, not going anywhere and I've been frustrated and angry with myself and then I've said right, okay get yourself another coach or get yourself another mastermind group and as soon as I have, boom I'm off again and I think to myself why, why did I put myself through those weeks or months or whatever it was of just struggling on my own, why have I done that?
Melinda: Yeah everybody look, I'm really pleased that I brought Lisa on to talk with us today, I can certainly, I could talk another half hour with her but I've got to race off to school so I do apologize because Lisa's got so much more to offer us. I'll put your website up Lisa, you're put out a short course, you've got your 90 day course but you're pulling together a short course that is more of an introductory thing I guess.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: It's actually, it's an intensive, and it’s an intensive, yes. So yeah I'll put more details of that online once it's ready.
Melinda: Yeah and if you shoot them over to me I'll put them up for my guys as well. Look everybody I think we've brought a lot to the table this week, it will be one of my five day mini-series, exercise one day, life coaching another. I think I've got the morning coach, he's an American guy as well, he comes and tells us our morning routines which is pretty exciting. Thank you for your time today Lisa, I hope we stay in touch and I hope we become friends and that you get me organized.
Lisa Cherry Beaumont: Definitely, it's been my pleasure Melinda.
Melinda: Okay and that's it from Writer on the Road for another day. Bye for now!