ASK THE EXPERT: HOW TO GO TO FROM ARGHHH TO AHHH!

Ebonie Allard is a misfit turned maven and now helps others on their journey from ARGHHH to AHHH. We thought we'd borrow her clearly very in control brain and find out her top ten tips to dealing with this little old thing we call life! 

(If you'd like to hear more about what Ebonie does or would like her to help you further, which quite frankly we think we could all do with, check out her website: www.ebonieallard.co.uk)

1. How did you get into coaching?

Its kind of a long story. I have always been curious and I like to ask a lot of questions. I guess you could say that coaching is my third career. I worked in the TV industry in the art department, mainly doing standby props and then being a buyer and set decorator. Later I started a company called My Girl Friday – which provided VA and PA services to creative and businesses and individuals. I went through burnout and breakdown and ended up in a place of needing to reevaluate everything. I’ve read allsorts of personal development books, done retreats, courses and a yoga teacher training, but after I took some time out in Bali,  and put myself back together, I then went and got a qualification from The Coaching Academy.

2. If you could go back and give your 18 year old some advice what would it be?

Oh gosh, my 18 year old self would not care what I had to say or listen, but I would tell her that she is lovable and beautiful and that if she cares less about how other people perceive her and more about what she thinks and feels about herself, inside that she’ll be happier. I’d tell her she matters. That one day the very things that she is scared of exposing are what will give her what she craves. Follow the fear, everything you desire is on the other side of it.

3. You talk a lot about ‘burning out’ can you explain what it is and when we should be worried?

Burnout is exhaustion, it’s when your body starts to shut down because it needs to stop and recharge – but you aren’t listening to its needs and keep on pushing through. Eventually it will force you to slow down, or completely stop.

I also talk a lot about breakdown and the distinction between the two. Breakdown is when whats going on internally and whats going on externally are not a match for one another. You want one thing and youre doing another and again eventually something has to give.

4. Apart from 2 years holiday or sleeping for 4 weeks what is your top tip for someone who’s exhausted?

Be kind to yourself. Learn to listen, deep inside you there is a little voice that will tell you what to do to take care of you. And reach out and ask for help, or just share how you are feeling with someone. Think of the last time someone shared something vulnerable about themselves with you – afterwards did you feel more or less connected to them? You are not burdening them, if you pick wisely you’re deepening a connection and gifting someone with your truth. The law of reciprocity says that you will be gifted in return.

5. We’re big believers in positive thinking here at Pretty Normal Me, but sometimes we just don’t feel good enough, whats a girl to do?

Oh I know this one well! This is going to sound a little weird, but take time to honour all of your feelings. They’re wise deities with something to teach you about yourself, life and each other. Believe me when I tell you that we all feel that way sometimes and it is really ok. The trick is not to avoid it, or wallow there. I have found that if you do the complete opposite of what feels intuitive – and lean into the feelings of not good enough, really go there –  There is wisdom waiting for you. Explore the feeling with curiosity and it will pass and you’ll bounce back with renewed appreciation.

6. Sometimes being brave and facing the world seems like the hardest thing in the world, is their a magic key to killer confidence?

These questions are killer Em! Um, I’m afraid the answer is no, there is no magic key. Some people will tell you to fake it til you make it, but that can be isolating and feel horrible – that's how I ended up in using drugs and feeling worse and worse about myself. I would say that the key is learning to value and love yourself, and the key to that is trusting yourself. And trusting yourself comes when you know yourself so well that you know what to expect and know that you can rely on you to be you. And that means having a look at and exploring all the places – not just the shiny pretty ones, but the dark moody sad, angsty, shamey ones too. Once you know who you are, and you have made peace with all that you’ve found then you can be confident that you have always got your back no matter what the world throws at you.

7.We’re all guilty now and then of bypassing the jobs that we just can’t face, whether it’s calling the plumber or answering the tricky email is there a knack to grabbing the bull by the horns?

Yes – remind yourself what doing that thing is a stepping stone towards. What’s the big win? What is this tricky thing leading to, and what's that leading to, and what need, desire or outcome is it supporting long term? My nemesis is doing my bookkeeping, it’s just SO boring, but knowing where the business is at financially enables me to sleep better at night because I have clarity on how much work I need to do to reach the goals, which have been set to enable me to travel and take some time off and help people. When I remind myself of the bigger picture and what it all means – then I can spend a couple of hours with my accounts. 

Finish the sentence – I am calling the plumber so that…. or I am answering this tricky email so that….

I hope that helps?

8. We’re all taught to clear our minds before we go to sleep, easier said than done. Any advice?

I keep a journal next to my bed and I write down everything in my mind so I can pick it up tomorrow. If I wake up in the night with a thought, I roll over and jot in down and go back to sleep knowing it’s caught and I can deal with it tomorrow when I’m rested. 9 times out of ten it’s irrelevant tomorrow, but sometimes it's a great thought or idea that I’ve captured.

9. In a world where we are all waking up to our iPhones what is the first thing you do in the morning to give yourself that ‘get up and go’ attitude?

Actually I give myself half an hour to myself just to be, I lay in my bed and set my intention for the day – what would make today a good day? What one thing is going to be my focus. I do a scan of myself and see how I feel, what my energy is like and I organise myself to make the best use of the mood or energy levels that I have. Now I realise that I am my own boss so being able to reorganise my to do list is a luxury I have afforded myself, but you all can check in with yourselves and set your own agenda before allowing your email or social media to set it for you. Your email is not your to-do list.

10. Oh, and because we’re nosy Em’s lucky item of clothing is a comfy sweater, Frankies is a pair of knickers, whats in your wardrobe that you think boosts your luck?

 I’m a big believer in making your own luck but I have a beautiful necklace designed by Rosita Bonita which when I wear, I can do anything!!