Pre Pandemic – Team Picture 2020

So as we begin to move slowly out of lockdown and we can see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel, what does that mean to you? How will life be for you after lockdown?

There is no doubt that what we have been through the last year is unprecedented! We have never been in a situation like it!  Forced to stay at home, social distancing, unable to see family and friends, unable to travel or go to events or for some of us go to work, unable to shop or go to the pub!

And the anxiety and fear we have been through because of this awful virus, worrying that we or our loved ones may become infected and that the worst could happen.

And each of us will have got through the days in the best way that we could for us. And now, we can look forward with the hope that we can at last get our lives back and the world will return to some kind of normal!

But what does that mean for you? What would be normal for you after all this?

There will be some of us who are anxious about returning to “normal.” Going into the office and having to commute after working from home for a year could induce panic and distress because we are leaving our “bubble!” Going to the pub, meeting friends, going shopping for clothes, could all produce feelings of anxiety! Remember we have had the message rammed into us to “Stay home” and “Stay safe” for a year!

And we have built this protective “bubble” around ourselves to keep us as safe as possible, the best way we know how, whatever that entailed, so to now come out of it, is a risk!! (In our minds!)

 So if we now leave home does that mean we are not safe? These sort of thoughts are quite normal, given the number of times we have heard the message, which then becomes ingrained in our subconscious and installs itself as a belief! Which has worked because the majority of us have done! So to uninstall that belief is not going to happen in a day!

In order to uninstall it, we need to plant a new belief built around being safe even if we are not at home! And looking at the evidence to back it up! So what is the evidence that says it is now safe to leave that bubble and return to work/meet up with friends/go to the pub etc.?

That is what you need to focus on, if you do have feelings of anxiety and fear about returning to “normal.” A shift in belief!

It is easy for that “bubble” to become a prison! So we need to make a break for freedom!

It has been tough! And we have had to be tough to get through it and survive! So if there is some anxiety and concern about life after lockdown, then just allow yourself to feel it and acknowledge it, not push it down! Then you can deal with it! So you can then begin to enjoy life again as you want to! Without restrictions!!

I’m sure the majority of us who will never take things for granted again! Meeting up with friends, being in crowds, a full pub, a concert, holidays, travelling, being with friends and family and many, many other things that we did without even thinking about it!

There are five questions that you can ask yourself that you may find helpful as we look to a brighter future and begin to finally take the road to freedom.

What am I going to stop doing?

What am I going to start doing?

What am I going to do more of?

What am I going to do less of?

What am I going to keep doing?

And maybe the good things that comes out of this and a lesson we will learn from it, is to be grateful for all we have and not to waste time worrying about things that just aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

Spend more time with our families and friends, do the things we always wanted to do but were afraid to, take more risks, opportunities and give thought to our purpose in life.

Understanding that life is meant to be lived, fully, totally, abundantly, gratefully and with great joy and happiness. Enjoying every moment and not wasting a second, or holding back because of fear.

Then we really will have Life after Lockdown!

Article Blog Written by Janet Wilks, NLP Coach and Practitioner!

It probably would be fair to say that the last year has been like no other we have ever experienced! It has been a time of uncertainty, worry, doubt, anxiety, fear and has also produced a huge number of ANTS!!!

Little wonder then that our happiness and confidence levels in ourselves, the world, the situation may have dropped during these times!

Beliefs are influenced by what goes on around us and what we choose to believe. We are not born with them. Beliefs are not reality, they feel real, but that is just a perception. Beliefs exist because of the way we think, not because the world is that way. Worries and fears are only tricks played on us by our minds.

Our inner critic influences our view of the world, filtering experiences and shaping beliefs. We are much harsher on ourselves than on anybody else or how anybody else would be with us.

Automatic negative Thoughts (ANTS) pop into our head from the subconscious. These are the negative thoughts that criticise us and tell us what we can’t do. They tell us we are stupid, a failure, that we can’t be and do what we want.

They also have the ability to creep into our minds with sentences that start with “What if?” or “I should.”

“What if I lose my job?” “What if we never come out of lockdown?” “What if life never gets back to normal?”

“I should be more patient with the kids” “I should have seen my friends and family more when I could” “I should have made more effort to find a job.”

The more of these ANTS we have, the more we believe them, the more it becomes self- fulfilling. When we think of ourselves as stupid, a failure, or whatever other negative label we give ourselves, the more we start to feel and behave that way to prove ourselves right. The more “What ifs?” or “I shoulds” we come up with the more we start to believe them to be true!

 And that’s all these pesky ANTS need!  They can then build anthills that grow higher and stronger, until they become mountains!!!

So we need to challenge the ANTS, from the start and stamp them out, so they don’t get chance to build!

When you experience a colony of ANTS exterminate them by replacing them with thoughts that are more constructive and empowering. Choose alternative thoughts that are feasible and realistic given the situation, instead of the totally negative thoughts such as “I’m useless,” “I’m a failure,” “What if….?” “I should….”  And the list goes on!!

Consciously monitor thoughts and spot ANTS for what they are. Pests!!!!

To be happier, you only need to live in the present moment and tackle thoughts that bother you now. What happened in the past can stay in the past. It’s done. Over. And the future is something we cannot predict! But what we tend to do is to try and control the future by worrying about it! Which simply does not work!

Beliefs are just one way of thinking about situations and circumstances. Not right or wrong, but empowering or disempowering.  So the trick is to replace those disempowering thoughts with empowering ones.

A good way to do this is wear an elastic band on your wrist and every time you notice an ANT creeping in to your mind ping it!! Yes, it may sting your wrist a bit! (ANT bites do!) but the more you practice, the more you will notice those ANTS and the more you can then stamp them out as you change those negative thoughts to positive ones! Resulting in a happier and more confident you!

The difference between confident and less confident people is not how much anxiety or fear they feel, it’s about recognising those feelings for what they are, just a perception, not real. Then they start doing what they need to do!

 Exterminating those ANTS by taking action, taking control and building confidence,  rather than Anthills!

 Give yourself credit for your strengths rather than beating yourself up for what you perceive to be weaknesses. And stop the negative thinking about “What ifs?” and “I shoulds.” Let it go!

Confident, happy people believe in themselves and because of that they tend to achieve what they put their minds to!

You can improve your confidence and happiness levels by consciously changing your thoughts to a positive, more empowering take on both yourself and the world!  

And get rid of those pesky ANTS once and for all!!

Imagine you have an ongoing problem you want to solve and you have called a meeting with three people that you are hoping will be able to help with ideas and solutions.

Two of these people, chatter non-stop, coming up with the same old ideas and solutions and the more you listen, the more you feel frustrated that they aren’t coming up with anything new or anything you haven’t already thought of! Yet they still keep nattering away!!

The third person sits very quietly not making any contribution, mainly because the other two are doing all the talking so they don’t get chance to! You would really like to get their thoughts on how to solve this problem, because you have a feeling they could come up with some great ideas but you know that if you do ask them, the other two will just keep butting in! So this third person won’t get a chance to put their ideas forward in the way that could be useful!

You are getting more and more frustrated at the rubbish that is coming out of their mouths and you decide that the best way to talk to this third person, is by getting the other two out of the room!

So you come up with an excuse as to why they need to leave the room. Maybe to get coffees, go to lunch, get some information, whatever it is, once they have gone, you can totally concentrate on what this third person has to say, without being distracted by the other two!

And before too long, this third person has given you the ideas, insights and plenty of information to be able to solve the problem, without the other two being there!

  Now think of the two people as your conscious mind and the third person as your subconscious mind!

Albert Einstein said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

We create our problems in our conscious mind and then we try and solve them using our conscious mind, so we end up not finding a solution! We cannot solve it from where we created it!

Our subconscious mind has all the ideas and all the answers. It has stored every single bit of information we have ever received in our lives! And yet, we leave it sitting around, twiddling its thumbs and not contributing. Instead we struggle to find the answer from our conscious thought, which is where the problem has manifested in the first place! Our subconscious already knows the answers and solutions we just don’t know that it knows!

And just as the two people (your conscious mind) in the room were nattering non- stop and not being very helpful, the third person (your subconscious mind) was not able to contribute because of the other two not giving them chance to! So nothing was getting resolved.

Until you distracted the other two and sent them out of the room!!! Then you were able to talk to your subconscious, which came up with everything you needed!

So the trick is, when you are doing your best to resolve something in your life, it is your subconscious mind that you need to be speaking to and in order to do that you need to distract that pesky conscious mind, as it is not going to come up with the answers you need!

Once you have the answers, then you use your conscious mind to drive them forward, as it is logical, analytical, aware and will get things done! So it does have its uses! But because it is very structured, it is very difficult to make changes using the conscious mind!

How many times have you forgotten where you left your keys? Or seen someone you know and just can’t remember their name? Or watched an actor in something and it drives you mad trying to think what you saw them in before? And then you start to do something else, washing up, reading a book, writing a memo, playing with the kids or any other activity and suddenly the answer comes to you! You remember!! It’s because your conscious mind was distracted doing something else, so it gave your subconscious mind the chance to come up with the answer!

There are four questions you can ask yourself that may seem a bit weird, repetitious and confusing, especially question four, but that is the point! Asked in the order they are written they are a great way to muddle or distract the conscious mind, leaving the subconscious mind to come up with hidden answers and perspectives. After you answer each question dig deeper and keep asking yourself “What else?” until you are satisfied you’ve captured everything you need.

You may find the answers don’t come straight away or that you get stuck on one of the questions and that’s fine as the questions may take a while to fully register. Just have the faith and belief that your subconscious will come up with the answers! When we give our subconscious mind a command, it will carry it out to the letter! It never questions our orders, it just gets to work on it straight away!

  1. What will happen if I do…………….(fill in the blank)?
  2. What won’t happen if I do…………(fill in the blank)?
  3. What will happen if I don’t ….……(fill in the blank)?
  4. What won’t happen if I don’t…….(fill in the blank)?

After each question keep asking “What else?”

So now you can go straight to the third person for answers and insights, rather than putting up with the nattering or chattering of the other two as you’ve managed to get them out of the way!

And this third person will come up with answers and solutions, through their unlimited power, intelligence, ideas and wisdom.

And they will report back to you when they have those solutions, through hunches, perspectives, impulses, intuition, insight and feelings.

You have decided to make changes. You know what changes you need to make, the decisions to be taken. You have decided on what you want to do. You have told yourself that in taking this action, it means success, happiness, a sense of achievement, freedom, fulfilling your dream and yet…….. You still haven’t done anything about it! You are still where you were!

You are full of self-recrimination, think of yourself as weak, a failure, you’re miserable and at a loss. “Why can’t I do it?” You ask yourself, “Why am I stuck? Why am I trapped in this situation? Why aren’t I doing anything about it?”

 The more it goes on, the worse you feel about yourself. The more you beat yourself up over it, the less likely you feel about doing anything about it, which makes you feel more of a coward, a failure, weak………….STOP!

STOP RIGHT NOW! Give yourself a break! Take a step back! Take a breath!

 If you are still in a situation, because you haven’t done anything about it, you are still there because you want to be! For whatever reason, you are exactly where you want to be. There is a reason why you are still in the same place!

The first thing to do is accept this as true. That may be hard! You may experience self-denial, however if you do deny it to yourself, you are not being true to yourself. Accept it and more importantly, accept yourself and be proud of yourself for having the courage to face up to the truth. Once you do this, it will be as though a huge weight has been lifted. You will be free. As the saying goes “The truth will set you free!”

Once you have accepted it and accepted yourself, you can begin to explore what’s really going on. So ask yourself

“I am being totally honest and truthful with myself, so I am asking myself, what are the real reasons I am still…………………?” Fill in the blank.

Then write those reasons down. Be totally honest and truthful, even if you find it hard. Get them out and down on paper.

Then take each reason, examine and explore it in an honest and truthful way.

For instance, if one of your answers is “I don’t have a choice” think about how true that reason is. Have you not already made the choice of thinking you have no choice? So you do have a choice! Is it then perhaps that the real answer is “I choose not to do anything, as it avoids an outcome as a result of that choice, therefore I have chosen to think I have no choice.”

Once you are totally honest with yourself and examine those reasons in a truthful way, you have clarity and authenticity. You are being true to you. With clarity and truth, you can make informed decisions that are right and true for you.

You may be surprised at your answers. They may uncover a truth you weren’t consciously aware of. Previous decisions you made may have been based on what you thought to be true, because you hadn’t been totally and completely honest with yourself.

Accept those reasons, whatever they are. Whatever the truth is. Congratulate yourself for having the courage to be honest. For being authentic. Respect yourself for seeking and finding the truth. Be proud of yourself for your authenticity!

Once you have uncovered and dug out the true authentic answers from within yourself, you are able to make a choice based on absolute truth for you.

If you decide you are making the changes, you will have more courage, strength clarity and focus on the how and why.

If you decide you are not yet ready to make the changes, whatever that reason is, you will have the courage, strength, clarity and focus to know that.  It may not yet be the right time for you. It may be you need to explore what needs to happen for you to make the changes, whatever it is, know it is right for you. You decide, you choose. You have been honest with you and that takes courage.

In doing this, you will be more accepting and kind to yourself. Your choices and decisions will reflect what is true for you at this moment, rather than being made because you feel it is what you ought to do, otherwise it means you are weak, a failure, or any other negative trait you give yourself.

Whatever that choice is, it will be right for you as it is based on your truth. As a result, you will be strong, courageous, a success for having the courage to uncover and accept what is really true for you. Whatever that truth is.

It can be a hard, sometimes painful exercise to do. It may mean admitting a truth to yourself that you had previously denied or didn’t want to admit.

Once you are totally honest with yourself and explore the real reasons for what is stopping you from making changes, the answers can be surprising, unexpected, a revelation and always, always true!

Then you can make a choice based solely on that truth. It will help you know and understand yourself in a way that empowers you. You will have insight, clarity, courage, strength and an acceptance of who you really are, not who you think you should be.

You will truly be your authentic self!

Article written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and Coach

At long last, the end of the road is in sight! And what a long road it has been! And even though there may still be a way to go, we do know we are heading in the right direction!

Martin Luther King said “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

And although we can’t see that the steps put in place for the roadmap out of lockdown mean that by June we will have the freedom to live without fear and restrictions denied to us for what seems so long, it is all about taking the first step with faith, hope and optimism for the future.

It may still seem a long way off till June, but this is about baby steps, a small amount of progress to achieve something worthwhile and wonderful! And so each baby step taken should be celebrated because it is moving us ever closer to our glorious outcome!

Baby step 1 in March.  Includes Schools opening, two people meeting from different households outside, later in March people allowed to meet outside with one other household or rule of six! Celebrate!! Getting closer!

Baby step 2 in April.  Includes Shops, hairdressers, nail bars, gyms, and spas open, restaurants and pubs will be able to serve people outside! Celebrate!! Getting closer still!!

Baby step 3 in May. Includes groups of thirty outdoors, six people or two households indoors, pubs, restaurants serving indoors, hotels open! Celebrate! Even closer still!!

Baby step 4 in June. The outcome!! All legal limits on social contact removed!!!  Celebrate!! Celebrate!! Celebrate!!!

And I’m sure we would all agree that the outcome is so worth celebrating!!

Meeting up with friends and family again, being able to socialise, travel, go to the pub, all the things we took for granted, that were suddenly taken away from us because of this awful pandemic.

I’m sure we will never, ever take those things for granted again and will be thankful and grateful and hug our friends and family close and celebrate our freedom!

We have come through so much! The road has been dark and terrible! Thousands of lives lost, the economy suffering, businesses closed down, jobs lost, loneliness, isolation, anxiety about the future, cold winter days. We have paid an enormous price!

And yes it is so important, that on the last stretch, we do all we can to ensure we are celebrating the end of that road and the start of a new one that is full of joy, happiness and freedom.

We still have our bit to do. Social distancing, staying at home where possible, wearing our dreaded masks, but each of these things we do, those baby steps, is moving us closer to that day in June in a few months time when we will finally have achieved what we wanted! Life without lockdown!!

So although it may seem a while off, slow progress and a lot having to go right for us to be able to get there, just look how far we have come!!

We have come through a year that has been like no other and hopefully never will be again! The start of the pandemic with no end in sight, no vaccine and no hope and yet we kept going, trudging along that dark road that has now given way to the hope of a bright new road, just baby steps away!

We just need to hold our faith and belief a little while longer!

We’ve done a year, so we can certainly do another few months! And we have the baby steps in between now and June to encourage and motivate us in getting to the end of that road.

And once those baby steps are complete and successful, we can make the giant leap to living life how we choose! Without restrictions!! Without lockdown!!

The situation we find ourselves in at the moment means we are all having to compromise in different areas of our lives. Unable to see family, friends and loved ones, unable to go away on holiday, having to work from home, instead of being in the office with our teams and colleagues, unable to do a bit of retail therapy. The list goes on. We have all had to make huge compromises.

But…….even before this situation, when we were free to come and go as we pleased, shop where we wanted, travel, meet up with friends and all the other things we took for granted, there were still many of us not living life how we want to live it, because of the compromises we made!

 We start with high hopes and dreams and as our lives unfold, those hopes and dreams begin to disappear, as we compromise what we really want to do or be in order to keep others happy, through a sense of responsibility or duty, through guilt, to keep the status quo and not to rock the boat. Each time we compromise and tell ourselves that life is not all bad, those hopes and dreams we had for ourselves fade a little more, until they have gone completely.

How many of us have stayed in relationships or jobs, because to leave would have such a far reaching effect, that the guilt that would consume us and the responsibility we believe we have for other people’s happiness means it is not an option? So we stay. We live with feelings of sadness, despair, resentment, frustration and depression. We are deeply unhappy. And yet, we stay and we compromise our lives further, until our life is no longer our own.

Deep down inside we know. We know we would like to break free and live the life we dreamed of, we know we are worth more than we have allowed ourselves to be, we are painfully aware of all the compromises we made and as the years pass we then come to believe it is too late to change. We made our bed, now we must lie in it. It will be our death bed.

When we are betrayed by people we love and respect, we experience deep hurt and heartbreak and yet we betray ourselves every time we make a compromise in our life, that takes us further from the life we want to have. Is it any wonder when that happens we are unhappy, frustrated and angry? We are constantly being betrayed by ourselves. Breaking our own hearts.

Neale Donald Walsch the American author of the “Conversation with God” books says “More damage has been done to others by persons leading lives of quiet desperation (that is doing what they had to do) than ever was done by persons freely doing what they wanted.”

When we are desperately unhappy, when we have compromised, who is getting the benefit of our unique gifts and talents we were born with to share with the world? We were given these gifts, to make a difference!

He also says “Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another, is betrayal nonetheless. It is the highest betrayal.” 

It is the highest because when we betray ourselves, we are destined to live that life of “quiet desperation.” 

When you give so much of your life in compromise, then you are unable to give others the benefit and value of your own unique true self. High betrayal indeed!

Many of us believe we are in a position where we have no choice and that we have to stay in an unhappy situation because of that.

The truth is though, there is always a choice! We are always making choices! If we decide to do nothing, that is a choice!  Often we will make a choice that will create or avoid an outcome!

When we say we have “No choice” we are choosing to believe that! Our choices define us!

It does not mean that all our choices are easy ones! We wish! Some are very tough! When hard choices have to be made it takes courage to make them! But we owe it to ourselves to make those choices and no longer live our lives by the compromises we have put on ourselves.

And yes, it is easy to blame the current circumstances for not living life as we choose and having to make compromises, but how many of us were not living that life long before this? How easy is it to blame what’s going on for that not to be happening? When the truth is, it gives us a great excuse not to make those hard choices and decisions that we need to make, so we are not living our lives by the compromises of our own making any more.

Neale Donald Walsch goes on to say “If you feel trapped, decide to live your life. How much of your life are you willing to give away? How much of your life are you willing to reclaim? Once you reclaim your life, how much more do you think you will have to give others?”

So are you ready to be one of the courageous ones? Will you live your life your way? Are you ready to reclaim your life and share your unique gifts and talents with the world? Will you define who you truly are by the choices you make?

Most importantly, are you willing to stop betraying yourself at the highest level and live a life free from your own compromises to live the life you want to live?

Of course you are!!!

Article Written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and coach

Transactional Analysis! It was founded by Dr. Eric Berne and although it sounds a bit of a mouthful and may look a bit complicated, once you have a basic knowledge of how it works, it’s a brilliant way to improve communication by understanding how we communicate and behave as well as how others do.

Basically, it works on the idea that our brains have three distinct ego states, the parent, child and adult and in any communication between two people, each person will tend to move into one of those particular ego states.

So it means whenever we communicate with another, we will operate from one of these three ego states, as will the other person.

When we communicate with another, each exchange is known as a transaction. (Hence Transactional Analysis! Which is simply examining communication!)

A lot of this does go on at the subconscious level, we are not aware of the “ego ” we are talking from or the “ego” we are talking to. So having an awareness and taking notice in any communication we have, helps to improve our communication skills and rapport.

Complimentary transactions occur when both people are at the same level such as Adult talking to Adult. Both are in the same ego state, so both are thinking in the same way, making communication easier. Problems can occur in what is known as crossed transactions, where someone is talking to another, without knowing or understanding the ego state that person is in. For example, if an individual in the ego state of Parent, starts talking to someone as if they were in Child ego state, (Could be a telling off or dressing down), the conversation is not going to go well if that person is actually in an Adult ego state and will not appreciate “Being spoken to like a child!” Many of our problems come from transactions which are unsuccessful, due to being crossed.

By understanding and recognising which particular ego state we are in when communicating with another and more importantly, recognising their ego state at that time, it enables us to have  much more successful transactions, resulting in much better communication.

So a brief insight into how these ego states work.

Tone and volume of voice, words used, posture, gestures and emotional state are a good indicator of the ego state you or someone else is in. So they are worth paying attention to.


The Parent ego state is based on our own childish understanding of what parental rules and nurturing are. Nurturing, which is positive, or Critical which is negative.  When we are in Parent ego state, our communication is subjective and has emotion attached. If we are using a soft, warm and gentle voice, it’s a good indication that we are in the Nurturing Parent ego state. We may say something along the lines of “How are you feeling?” or “Are you ok?” On the other hand if the voice we are using is harsh, loud and critical, then we are likely to be in the Critical Parent ego state. We may say something like “You need to listen to what I’m saying” or “You are doing it wrong!” And you may also accompany this with the dreaded wagging finger!!


In the Adult ego state, we are rational, objective and unemotional. The adult ego state functions by gathering information and making decisions based on fact. Tone of voice in this ego state would be even, unemotional, calm and clear. The language used will be factual with no emotion attached, such as “Would you tell me what time the meeting is?” And our expression is likely to be a thoughtful one.


The Child ego state is actually the part of the personality we keep from childhood. Free which is the fun loving, spontaneous, inquisitive child who wants to be liked. Adapted in which we respond to the world around us and either change to fit in or rebel. As with Parent ego state, Child ego state is subjective and emotional.

In Free Child ego state we are likely to have cheerful and/or emotional voices and use language made up of short phrases or one word such as “Brilliant!” “Wow!” “That’s great!” And we may use excited gestures such as clapping, jumping up and punching the air, a few little dance moves! If we are in Adapted Child ego state, particularly if we are in the rebel state, our voice may have a whining tone to it and we may use phrases like “Why should I?” “I don’t want to” “I’m not doing that” all said with a surly expression on the face!! In the fit in state we are likely to nod and agree with what is being said, without questioning it as we want to comply and fit in! (An example of this may be the boss giving you extra work, even though you may have more than enough of your own, you take it on, because you want to be seen as the good girl/boy!)

A few tips on how to recognise and respond to these ego states.

If you were asking somebody directions, there is no emotion involved, so it is likely to be an Adult to Adult transaction. You ask, they respond.

If you were having a conversation in Adult ego state with a work colleague, about a mistake they had made and they get angry, chances are they will be in Child ego state. To get communication back on track, you could speak to them from Nurturing Parent ego state, then switch back to Adult ego state.

If you and a friend were on a night out (remember them??) enjoying yourselves, giggling, joking around, you will probably both be in Free Child ego state, so communication between the two of you will be just right!

You may have something you are worried or upset about and need reassurance. You are likely to be in Child ego state, so ideally the person you are confiding in, needs to be in Nurturing Parent ego state, for you to feel reassured and comforted.

If you are in Adult ego state and somebody is speaking to you in Parent ego state, it may feel as though you are being patronised. Just continue to speak to them from an Adult ego state and you will probably find they will switch to that too.

If you are in doubt about which ego state the person is in that you are speaking to, the safe rule to follow is Adult to Adult. An adult acting like an adult is difficult to argue with, even if the other person is quite obviously in Critical Parent ego state! At least you are aware and can do your best to influence and change their ego state, even if they are unaware of it!

Having a basic understanding and awareness of how these ego states work and how to recognise them in yourself and others, means that you will not get lost in transaction!

Article blog written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and coach.

There is no doubt the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore is a huge loss of a remarkable character who captured the hearts of the nation in such a massive way when at the grand old age of Ninety-nine he decided he would walk round his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. The rest as they say is history! He raised over £32 million pounds, was quite rightly knighted and became a National Treasure.  He was a true hero and an inspiration to many in the early days of the pandemic with his courage and determination to walk one hundred laps of his garden by his hundredth birthday!

He was Sir Captain Courageous! And the legacy he leaves means he will live on forever in the good the money he raised is doing and in our hearts! And the courage it took to embark on such a feat will inspire so many for years to come! A true legend!

So what is courage? What is it that makes somebody courageous?

Courage takes many forms. Some acts of courage are instantly recognisable. Soldiers fighting on the front line, risking their lives for their country. Somebody who suffers from a terminal illness and yet refuses to give in and inspires people in how they deal with it. The person who protects themselves, their family or the vulnerable against threats made to them. These indeed are examples of great courage!

Some acts of courage are less recognisable, which is perhaps why we don’t perceive them as such. They are great acts of courage all the same.

Courage is doing something you really don’t want to or are afraid of doing.

Courage is when you keep going even though you may feel overwhelmed and that it’s all too much.

Courage is holding your course when all the physical evidence says otherwise.

Courage is doing what you believe to be right, despite everybody else disagreeing with you.

Courage is staying true to you, your values and beliefs. It is about holding to these in the face of mounting opposition.

Courage is taking the first small step to make big changes.

Courage is overcoming fear and doubt to act on what you believe in.

Courage is admitting to yourself and others “I was wrong. I made a mistake. I’m sorry.”

Courage is being truthful and authentic with yourself, even if that hurts.

Courage is letting go. Letting go of people, events and situations that are holding you back.

Courage is being prepared to get uncomfortable, knowing that when you are uncomfortable, you are growing.

Courage is forgiveness of yourself and others.

Courage is keeping your faith and belief in your goals and doing whatever it takes to move you closer.

Courage is learning from setbacks and having another go.

Courage is seeking to understand others. To have empathy, compassion and being


Courage is taking on new challenges, even if you are scared and fearful.

Courage is working out how to overcome any obstacles that may come your way and not giving up.

Courage is strength! You are strong when you act feel and do everything with


Dale Carnegie said “Most of us have more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.”

When you live your life in courage, anything is possible! It propels you forward and drives fear away. It gives you strength to keep going…even in times of doubt. Fear and doubt are banished when you acknowledge your courage within.  When you know that courage lives inside you, it is part of you and it is there for you to bring out and use any time you choose, just like Sir Captain Tom, who acted on his courage you can act on yours to embark on your own journey! You can own it and make use of this great gift we all have somewhere inside!

To bring it out, just think of all the times you have acted with courage. However small you perceive that act to be. No act of courage is small and insignificant! Each act is huge!  So celebrate each act of your own courage in a big way! You deserve it! You are a hero!

And Captain Sir Tom Moore we celebrate your courage, inspiration, determination, commitment, enthusiasm, legacy and your life in a big way! We salute you and thank you, our own special hero!

Article blog written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner

You are unique in your own person and how you experience the world!

Each one of us will “Filter” information we receive, we will delete, distort and do what we need to do with it to make it “fit” into our own unique version of the world and our own unique perspective on how the world is. In NLP these are known as Meta programmes.

Answering the following questions will help you understand a little more about your Meta programmes or filters which in turn can help you understand other people’s filters! Please answer the questions before reading on, (no cheating!)  It is important to understand there is no right or wrong answers and just answer the questions based on how you perceive them, and all will be revealed!

What’s important to you in a job?

How do you know if you have done a good job?

What’s the relationship between this job and your last job?

Why did you choose this job?

If you are not working at the moment, then you can apply the answers to a previous job. It doesn’t have to be a job you were paid for, can be a volunteering role.

This is an NLP technique that is designed to establish an individual’s filter programme.  

The first question “What’s important to you in a job” relates to the Directional/Motivational filter.

We are motivated by either going toward something or moving away from something. The answers given to this question, will help establish which one is yours.

For instance

“I am at my best at my ideal weight” would be toward, it is moving towards what I want

“I am better at my ideal weight” would be away, as it implies moving away from where I am now.

“I want to achieve my target” would be moving toward

“I want to improve so I can reach my target” would be away from as it implies I want to improve from where I am now.

Any answer that includes “Get there” “Be there” “I will” “achieve” is toward language.

Any answer that includes “More” “Better” “Improve” is away language, it states the individual wants to move away from where they are now.

Of course, this is not set in stone, and these filters can change, particularly if we feel under stress, which we do want to get away from!

Your answers may not include words that can be immediately identified as toward or away language, so you may have to do some digging to establish. Ask a question such as “Why is that important?”

The second question “How do you know if you have done a good job?” refers to our Frame of Reference filter.

 We are either external or internal. External means we would seek evidence outside of ourselves to know we have done a good job, such as stats, praise, other people, feedback etc. Internal means we just know within ourselves if we have or not, despite what anyone else says.

It is important to remember when dealing with an individual who is external, that they do thrive on praise, feedback, being told what a great job they are doing etc. The internal person on the other hand, may find it quite patronising and uncomfortable. They would not for instance, enjoy being singled out in a team for special recognition, with a huge fuss being made in front of others, whereas an external person would. The internal would prefer a quiet well done in a non- patronising way out of the spotlight.

If the answers you give are 50-50, then ask “What’s more important, feeling it inside or what other people think?” to help establish.

The third question “What’s the relationship between your current job and your last job?” refers to the Relationships filter.

 In any situation and in life we are either seeking the similarities, or seeking the differences.

The word relationship is used in the question, so as not to influence the answer. If the question asked “What’s the difference between your current job and your last job?” your answers would focus on the differences, even if your filter is similar.

Again, the answers will give an insight into your preferred filter. If you answer dealing with people in both, customer service in both, similar hours etc., then your filter is seeking the similarities.  If you answer that the job is totally different, different role, different people etc.,   your filter is seeking the differences.

It is interesting to note that you can have two people who do the same job, come up with different answers, because of their relationship filter. Some will mention the similarities, some the differences.

The fourth question “Why did you choose your current job?” relates to the choices filter.

 We either make a choice through a logical, step by step process, which is the Procedural filter or we look at  our variety of choices that are available that appeal to us, without having any connection, which is the Optional filter.

The answers given, will reflect your preferred filter. If your filter is procedural you will tend to give a longer detailed answer, with related reasons. For example, “I was working as a customer service agent in finances in my previous job and felt I had gone as far as I could in that area and I wanted to develop my skills in another area, so this job has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge in billing, which means I have gained further experience in order to help me become more knowledgeable in all round customer service, which means I can further develop my career.”

If your filter is optional, you will tend to give a shorter answer, with unrelated reasons, such as “Experience, more money, better working conditions, meet new people, develop new skills, better company.”

It is important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers. Everything relates to how we perceive the world from our point of view. How the world is for us.

Understanding this will help you to improve your communication skills and build great relationships, as you are relating to people, based on their own meta programmes/filters and their own model of the world!

  And remember! You truly are a totally unique, one off, individual and that is exactly how you experience the world and the world experiences you!

Article Blog, written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitionor and Coach.

To really help us in building good communication skills, one of the key things to understand is that every person is unique and that means that how we each experience the world and what is true for us is also totally unique. We each have our own individual model of the world.

One of the frameworks of NLP is “The Map is not the Territory.” This basically means that what we perceive as reality, is not reality itself, but our own unique version of it.

How we uniquely experience the world, is through our senses. Each of us has preferred senses for communicating and also learning and the three senses we tend to use are visual, audio and kinaesthetic (Feeling, doing). There is no right or wrong or better or worse one to use and each of us will have a preferred sense, even if we are not aware of it!


Visual people have a preference for things that can be seen or observed. This includes pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, handouts, films. Preferring to read and make notes. They will use phrases such as “I see” “Show me” “My vision” “My view” “I’ll look into it” etc. 


Auditory people prefer receiving information through listening. The spoken word of self or others, audio recordings etc. They are happy taking instructions over the phone and will probably know all the words to songs they hear! They will use phrases such as “Tell me” “Let’s talk about it” “I want to discuss”  “I hear what you are saying” “That rings a bell” etc. 


Kinaesthetic people prefer the physical experience! Touching, feeling, doing, being very hands on. They will experiment and go straight in to assemble something without looking at the instructions first! They will use phrases such as “I feel” “Get to grips with” “I’m in control”  “I’ll pull some strings” “I want to get it done” etc.  

Generally, individuals will have a main preferred communication style, although they will use a blend of all three, with one being more dominant. Some individuals have a very strong preference, others have a more even mix of two, although it is likely one will just be slightly more prevalent, much less common is a mix of three.

Our unique perception of how the world is and how we perceive it, also applies when we are given information.

When we receive information in “chunks” we filter it to match our unique reality, or our model of the world (known in NLP as a Meta programme General – Big Chunk Specific – Small Chunk) so that we are able to communicate and learn easily and comfortably.

If the information presented is too general or too detailed for our liking we lose interest and often start feeling uncomfortable and/or impatient. This causes difficulty in communication and learning.

Big Chunk Little Chunk

 “Big chunk” people like an overview first. They talk in generalities and are bored with very detailed information. Once they have the whole picture, they make their own connections easily and jump from idea to idea. They can be vague about giving, or following, instructions. They will “switch off” if having a conversation with someone who is “small chunk” as they are receiving too much information. They may also become resentful and impatient if asked for more information by someone who is “small chunk” as they believe the information they have given is enough and will not understand why more is needed.

“Small chunk” people like lots of details, lists of information, and specific instructions. They are uncomfortable with vagueness, generalities and overviews. They reach conclusions and decisions based on small pieces of information and details. They become impatient in conversation with someone who is “big chunk” as they are not receiving enough information from them. They may become resentful or even angry with someone who is “big chunk” as they believe they are being deliberately vague or purposely withholding information from them.

Understanding and being aware of our own preference and the person we are communicating with, allows us to “adapt” to that person’s preference. For example, if you are “big chunk” and the person you are speaking to is “small chunk,” adapting to “small chunk,” will be more likely to result in a successful exchange.

When giving information to a group, where there is a mixture, using “big chunk” is preferable, as long as it is made clear in letting the group know that further information can be obtained if required. This will then meet the needs of individuals who are “small chunk,” without losing the interest of those who are “big chunk.”

Once we understand that everybody perceives how the world is in their own unique way, we can adapt to another person’s reality in our communication with them, which really helps to build rapport and encourage engagement, trust and openness, leading to good relationships. 

Article Written By Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and Coach.