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Annie Hayes



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Extracts of a Life Coach: The Queen of the Jungle


Fledgling life coach, Emma Ranson Bellamy draws some learning points from the latest reality TV hit: I’m a celebrity get me out of here and reflects on the domino effect of change.

I was recently asked to highlight what I consider to be the greatest lesson learned throughout my Life Coaching journey; for me it was the first light-bulb moment on my debut coaching session. This lesson has had the most amazing effect on my life and has changed everything about me including my relationships, perspectives and dreams. It was a moment in time that had a domino effect.

’Change’ is a fairly innocuous word which can mean a number of things, and certainly within the context of life coaching it has a big impact. It depicts the change that occurs when the coachee begins to see how to tackle a situation, not just for that place but from then on. It’s a bit like being pregnant. Things will never be the same again!

Looking around us and in particular at the media there are a lot of people prepared to do a lot of things to instigate change in their environment and their lives. Reality TV could be called coaching TV as this is what is really happening.

The range of reality TV programmes or coaching sessions include to name a few: learner drivers, wife swapping, body and home make-overs, to how clean is your house, how well behaved are your children, big brother, and the X factor. All these offerings are showing ordinary Jo public and celebrities going through a process to change something about themselves, their careers, their circumstances and/or their relationships.

Many of the celebrity shows (ignoring the cynical view of “I’m in a career rut can the camera’s get me out of here” for a moment) show public figures of varying degrees of importance and stature doing something which pushes them out of their comfort zone.

The biggest of these being that they have no control of the editing process and thus what the viewers see, their environment or the agendas, the producers or the other contestants. Maybe there is more to this than a dumbing down of TV, – are they the ultimate Zen Warriors creating enlightenment opportunities for the participants and audience?

So where does all this change leave the contestants and viewers? I imagine that it must leave a lasting impression (if not a scar, I’m thinking of Nicole Appleton, did she or her agents not watch the previous shows?) I hope they have support and time to reflect on the challenges these shows throw at them. Time will no doubt tell and I’m sure the first episode of: “The jungle changed my life” is probably being scripted as we speak.

So do we ever learn the lessons? Do we give ourselves time to reflect on learning outcomes from situations we have been in and allow those lessons to have the biggest potential impact on our lives or do we look at each task as just that, a task to be completed towards a set of objectives. If this is the case whose objectives are they? And how can you collaborate with these objectives to fulfill your own potential?

If you have time after your next meeting reflect on any learning that you can take with you to make positive, long lasting change in your life and environment. You never know you may create a light-bulb moment or a domino effect that transforms your thinking forever.

And as for my biggest lesson well that was that I can change nothing. The only thing I can control are the thoughts in my head. This is empowering, and a lesson that I think Carol Thatcher who at 33 to 1 has learnt. By just being herself, having no agenda and collaborating with her fellow ‘contestants’ to get though the various challenges she wowed the nation and her mother into seeing her with different eyes and challenged I’m sure the perception she had of herself too.

Emma can be contacted at [email protected]

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Annie Hayes


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