This week on the podcast, I’m speaking with Sue Ritchie and Sue is a life transformation coach, author and a speaker. And when we say life transformation coach, Sue can explain this in a short while, but it’s very much with a holistic approach. Sue has written a book called Love your gut, and she’s co author on five other collaborative books as well. So welcome, Sue.
It’s great to have you here. So Tell me what is a life transformation coach?
Well, the way I see it is that too often life drives us, rather than us driving our own life. And certainly I see from my own point of view my own life, had I learned/known what I know now when I was 21 years old, I can be pretty sure that my life would have probably taken a different path.
So when you work with people, what are you helping them achieve Sue?
What I’m helping them achieve is really to create the life that they really, really want to live. I think so often we are always listening and being pushed by what other people think we should be doing. Or you know, and actually, I want to ban all of these words from the English dictionary and from language and thats have to must, should need
and we should only be you know, doing things that come from from I really want to do this. I really love to do this.
Yeah, perfect. I know one of the things I talk about Sue is how we are human beings, but we seem to Human doings and yes doing and doing and doing. And so, as with a lot of the subjects I discuss on the podcast, it is appropriate to fertility, but it’s appropriate to health and well being full stop. And one of the things that I find is, you know, people are looking at ways to address things to improve their fertility, but unless we’re actually improving our overall health, it affects everything, it affects us being parents and it affects us and our children and we’ve talked a lot about our children’s health and that that’s going to come up, I’m sure as we go through. One of the things that I want to talk about, something on your website, is your free giveaway, a free ebook, is that right? Correct. I do. Yes,
And I’ve looked at this and I’ve ticked a few of these. And it’s the 10 massive mistakes made by women who are busting a gut trying to be invincible, which is a fantastic title by the way, but I think we feel we have to be invincible. And and I think very driven women, often very successful women, have a plan for when they’re going to get pregnant. and actually that can be all women, very driven women, very plan orientated. Women tend to have a plan and then when they start trying, and it’s not working…. its why I thought these 10 mistakes might be useful to discuss today. Is that all right with you?
Yeah, that’s fine. Yeah.
Perfect. So shall we go through them one by one do you think
Do you want to kick off and tell me which the first one you want to go through
massive Mistake number one is my best is never good enough.
Yes, big one.
That’s a huge one of this is I guess this is really all about perfectionism.
And, you know, certainly for me, it’s something that’s ruled my life, big time for so many years. And took a long time to get to the point of, it’s good enough, and I can leave it. But I think what comes out of it is that it really what drives it underneath, and I only and I would encourage people to actually think carefully about some of their behaviours and really go deep into why am I really behaving in this way? What is it really about? Because when we take the time to actually get quiet, and just ponder and just review, you know, our behaviours and some of the patterns that we’re putting out there if we can understand what’s driving those patterns and this is what I work with a lot with, with my clients is to understanding what the, what the root cause is underneath. Because when you get to the root or root cause underneath it then becomes so much easier to actually let go of that actual behaviour and to change it and to and to look at it differently. But so many things come back to self value and self worth, what is my self value? And my self worth? And, you know, trying to make everything fantastic is, you know, trying to get that approval as well from from others. But actually I am worth something. Yeah.
Might not be on a conscious level. You know, it could be on that subconscious level
So, it rarely is on a conscious level.
Yeah. So what when you say you get to the root, can you give me an example of a root cause that you’ve come across for this perfectionism?
Well, I mean, it really does come down to trying to prove that you’re you know, you have you have self worth and self self value and that you are good enough and coming from my point of view and I’m sure people are listening might recognise this is that, you know, what I would find myself doing and it’s like, say I wrote an article for a magazine or something. And, and, you know, having written it and then sort of re read it and whatever, I’d always be wanting somebody else to look at it and say, yes, that’s okay. Rather than just trusting my own self that is absolutely fine. But then the strangest thing is I could leave that article and you know, maybe come across it in the magazine a year later. Read it again. And you know, don’t you know, sorry if it sounds boastful or whatever, but reality is, you know, I’d read it and go, did I write that? It’s pretty brilliant.
Good for you, we should be boastful. Boastful is a bad word. That is pride, isn’t it? Yeah,
I know better. But I know that and that’s equally you know, I know that. And I’m sharing that because I know that other people and as women were not very good at blowing our own trumpets and taking on board, our own successes and an hour worth.
this is something that rings true for me. I can remember her name, I can remember where we were. We were getting ready for a ballet lesson. I was 10. I’m from Lincolnshire, where Grammar School is still in place and where I live, it still is and I passed my 11 plus and this girl who was a year below me, so she was nine. And I heard her say, Well, if she can pass, there’s hope for us all. And I can still feel that, I’ve done work on it but it’s still there. And I’m aware of that. So when I’m self doubting when I was working wondering whether to do the podcast, I heard her. I’m really tempted to name her I’m not going to, y I heard her say that, well, if she can do that, and then the following year, she didn’t pass the 11 Plus, but, you know, karma, I believe was at play there.
So if we’re striving for this perfectionism, and it’s fueling us and our stress levels are high and the cortisol is high, we know that that as all these mistakes, I think we’re going to cover has a physical as well as an emotional effect on the body, isn’t that right?
It’s huge. And actually, you know, stress is probably in reality, one of the biggest issues that we have with in health today, and it has a huge impact on the whole physiology, all of the systems in the body because that’s why, I work holistically because everything is connected. You know, your emotions, your mind, you know, your gut, your brain, the whole body, all the organs, all the cells, everything is connected to each other. So everything has an impact on everything.
We spoke about this in a previous episode with Joanna Plant about inflammation in the body, and again, we come back to stress and one of the things within my programme and we’ve chatted about this, I know Sue is that our intrinsic fertility design is, if we are not safe, probably from Tigers Sabre tooth tigers, or because we’re not getting food. If we are not safe, your body will shut down non essential functions.
and if your life may be coming to an end, it’s not the time to reproduce. And if you’ve got Tigers all around you, you won’t birth a baby because the Tigers will eat the baby. Now, I know we don’t have Tigers now, but our body doesn’t know that difference. Does it? That’s the thing. So and also what’s key? And I’m sure we’ll come on to that as well, is that people say they’re not stressed. I’m not stressed, I’m just busy. But actually, it’s that busyness, isn’t it, that it is creating the stress,
it’s constantly being switched on. And you know, and also obviously, with that constant being switched on one of the, you know, the big issues is, is not sleeping properly, not having relaxed, restful sleep so that the body, you know, overnight can actually repair and heal and all of that. I don’t think people realise actually, you know, how important sleep is in the overall health picture as well. And you know, long term lack of proper sleep has huge damaging effects on the body.
Yeah, I’ve spoken about this before and it is huge, and it’s that Margaret Thatcher thing You know, I only need three hours sleep or whatever, you know, hey, I don’t need….
But Me? nine hours a night? Absolutely. I need my nine hours.
So that’s that’s an interesting one because what I’ve noticed is that you know, in this sort of busy world, and you know, its almost like people put it out as a cudous or is attached to all you know, here I am showing up today and I only slept for four hours yesterday. Yeah,Arent I amazing .
yes, like a badge of honour
I would rather you showed up having had eight hours of sleep and gave me your very best
because you made a commitment to sleep because it takes effort to get eight hours sleep. It means switching off your screens. It means getting stuff done. It means walking away from things that aren’t essential
it’s certainly as important you know, to be having a proper routine. If you like, the pre bedtime routine.
Definitely. So I’m going to move on to the next one we’re going to feed into the same thing is it’s going to feed into the stress it’s going to feed into inflammation it’s going to feed into sleep and worry as well.
So completing tasks comes before people and fun. So that’s Mistake number two.
This is that scenario where you’ve got a situation where you know, perhaps you’re in the office or whatever and this somebody comes up to you and says I really need this finished tonight you need to get this finished tonight is going to be on my desk tomorrow morning. But you know, you’ve you’ve actually arranged to go out your mate for me early in the evening. And you know, you’ve got your tasks to do already, but you haven’t quite finished and then you’ve got this other big thing that your boss has said, I need this tomorrow. And it’s a case of at five o’clock. Oh no, I’m gonna have to stay now to complete this because I’ve got to finish it. Because actually in reality, I can’t not do that because I don’t want to not get his approval or her approval, because I haven’t done what they’ve asked me to do.
So that’s when you start picking up the phone and go, Oh, really sorry, you know, I’m gonna have to get this thing works. And I’ve got to get this thing finished. But tomorrow, I’m sorry, but I’m gonna have to cancel tonight. And so that that social contact, you know, goes out the window, but actually, you know, having that time out with friends and having a bit of farm and a bit of laugh, bit of a laugh is, you know, is important to to, you know, mental health and well being. But it’s very easy to get caught up in that trap and that behaviour and it just, you know, it goes on and goes on for years and certainly, you know, for me that was a huge issue, and even important things like, I need I’m supposed to be going to the gym or I’m supposed to go swimming or, you know something that’s good for your health and exercise bit. That has to get go second because I need to get this work finished first.
And that’s approval, isn’t it, but also, security, you know, you’ve worried about your job,
you’re going to lose your job if I don’t, don’t actually do as I’m told.
And also praise. It’s that you know, she did great, she did great there. But the more that you get put upon, the more you can do, the more you get asked to do, don’t you? Thats really hard.
so if someone’s in a workplace and and they’re having all this pressure put on them from their boss, then it’s hard to know who to talk to and how to stand up for yourself necessarily, isn’t it so do you give people strengths when you’re get into these root causes, it gives them strength that they can put themselves first that they do find your way through it.
Yes definitely because we start to really look deep as to where are these patterns come from. And and I also do work with healing those past patterns if you like. So, you know, as for most people, a lot of these patterns start in our childhood, they might have been a response to one or other parent or both your parents or things that have happened in school. So, I really take them deep into actually looking at what that root cause might have been. And really healing that so that we can you know, move on from that and change the behaviour and look at things differently and have a different view, I suppose, different mindset about that, that behaviour and standing in your power to actually say no,
standing in your power, I love that
that for me, I have to put my hands on my hips. When I do that I stand in my Wonder Woman stance and
with your sparkly pants on. Yeah.
Oh, Wonder Woman I love Wonder Woman. That’s, that’s taking me back.
let’s have a look.
Mistake number three. Oh, this is a big one for a lot of people a lot of my clients
Mistake 3 taking time out is pointless. Tell me more. Sue, tell me more.
taking time out when you’re addicted to businessw it just seems like taking time out is just a waste of time because I’ve got this to do list as long as your arm all of these things I need to do and not necessarily it’s not just work things. It’s also things that need to be done at home.
And I’ve got to take all of those things off.
So, doing nothing, essentially, is absolutely you know, not possible because if I’m doing Nothing, I think it comes back to I’m not proving that I’m worth anything. Therefore doing nothing means I’m worthless. But doing nothing is absolutely humongously important for mental health, mental well being.
And you know, just our general health. Because when we get quiet, that’s when we start to connect to who we really are as an individual. And one of the things that I discovered from this constant business situation is that we really become disconnected to who we really are as a person. And I say, we become, you know, we’re living our life on someone else’s terms rather than our own terms.
And I don’t think we know a lot of the time who we are, It does sound very out there. But finding yourself is not as hippy as people would think about, you know, finding who you are. So, you know, I am me, I work with clients, I’m a therapist, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, I’m a friend, but who am I, within all of that, that is, and that can be scary because sometimes people don’t want to know,
that’s very true.
whats gonna come up in the quiet?
And I think a lot of the issue of and I’m going to say, actually, it’s a fear of doing nothing, fear of being in the quiet, quiet zone of not doing anything, is because actually, we get too scared of really wanting to look deep into ourselves. Because maybe we might not like what we see. And I don’t mean That in it, you know, in a negative way about us as a person, but we don’t like what we see in the way we’re actually living our lives. But we’re so caught up on the treadmill of living our life based on what other people think we should be doing and how we should be living our life. That to stop and think, actually, I could be doing this differently. I could be doing it from where I want to go and what my values are, has got to mean you have to let go of being worried about what other people think of you. And that can be very big
to do. And that’s a recurring theme in this isn’t it? Is that something else? Just came into my mind about number three, when you go on holiday, if you’re still checking your emails, are you checking your emails because you don’t like not being in control? Or are you checking your emails because you think you have to and you’re going to be in trouble. So
it could come from 2 couldnt it?
that’s Huge isn’t it? It is it’s
absolutely huge. Yep, yep, phones are a blessing and a curse in so many way aren’t they?
They are and it does require really learning to put yourself first really and knowing what’s important to your own health and your well being. Because when you actually put yourself first you show up as the best version of yourself. But I think what a lot of people don’t realise is that all you know other issues that are going on around you with the family with your sort of significant relationship with your partner. When you actually take care of yourself and look after yourself and just focus on yourself. Everything actually changes in the other areas. Without you doing you know literally anything except just taking care of you and and I’ve seen so many clients, you know, suddenly see their relationship with their partner just change because they’ve changed their behaviour. They’re doing things differently. And they come up to me after. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. I started doing this and now my husband is totally different. Like, yes.
Yeah, it’s such an incredible domino effect, isn’t it? Not just in your areas of life. So we’re talking about fertility, but we’re talking about business and we talk about health and relationships. It’s incredible, isn’t it? Yeah.
Right. Number four follows on.
Doing nothing is lazy.
Yes, yes. doing? I think this is because we think that we have to well, it it comes back to what you said actually, at the beginning about being a human and doing rather than a human being. And I think was so you know, culturally, everything around us is all about proving our Worth by how much we get done in the day?
Yeah. Oh, yeah., its competitive, isn’t it? Yeah. If you say to someone, oh, I cleared out a cupboard today, then somebody says, Oh, I cleared out three. And I got my weekly shopping. and its very much with women .
and I, and I did this, I did this all day. And I did that. And actually, now I’ve got to do this this evening. And then I’m gonna have to get up at six o’clock in the morning because I need to get this done. And as you say, it is like the more you’ve done, the better you are, if you like, and definitely it is a sort of competitive type scenario. Everybody’s trying to outdo each other by being more busy than the other one.
And it’s quite funny. My son started secondary school and he was doing some Spanish homework and they have to write a paragraph about someone in the family and I said what do you written then? And he said My mum has blonde hair and blue eyes and she likes to sit down and do nothing.
Initially I was really taken aback and I said what will your teachers think?
and he said but you do, and I said well that’s true and I wouldd say to them say to them that we just need to sit sometimes and be, it’s not all the time, you know I do you feed him and his clothes are clean, Im doing it now look, Im justifying it. I did I said you cant write that and then I I thought No, actually, yes, good on you. You can you can. And I think that links really into
number five, which is busyness equals appreciation. And we touched upon that earlier, so whose appreciation is business getting? Does that make sense? in being busy who is appreciating it
and I think each individual person has got to ask that question of themselves. And to actually take that time out, get quiet, and just ponder and ask the question and a great thing to do actually is mediatation. I’m a great believer in meditation. And certainly for, you know, managing stress on a daily basis, having a regular daily meditation routine at the beginning of your day is is absolutely critical. And meditation is also a great opportunity as well to ask a question before you start your meditation, because ultimately, the answer will pop out some point during the day, when you least expect it too as your subconscious and everything is working away in the background. Appreciation, and I think it is you know, in the workplace, I think A lot of people want that approval and appreciationfrom their boss but also from their colleagues. But you know if ultimately it generally goes back to wanting approval from a parent. Oh, yeah.
Oh, I hear you loud on this one. And like you say it can be a very conscious level. But generally it’s that subconscious. And when you’re a small child especially, and you’re storing these core beliefs away and often before you’re seven in the subconscious, if I do that Daddy will be happy it or if I do that, I won’t get into trouble.
and it’s usually not to get this to be that. Well, in my case, it was I wanted to be a good girl, and I wanted to be good all the time. So that daddy thought I was wonderful and amazing. But I’ll share this but you know, the ridiculous thing is I will say that I spent probably what, quite a quite a lot of years 40 or probably 40/50 years, hoping to get the approval from my dad, which I never got, and what a waste of time and energy.
The reality is the only person’s approval we need is our own. But as hard to get as a child, isn’t it when you’re not showing that love, and you’re not showing that appreciation, and you try and try and try and and that comes back, doesn’t it when we’re talking about the effect on children? And yeah, it’s huge, so huge, and it’s something that I really think about with how I talk to my children. I remember when I did my hypnotherapy training, and every scenario we were given , so somebody is afraid of social speaking and somebody is afraid of this and the teacher would always say, so little Johnny when he was five, His mum sad and I would be like, oh my,
yeah, the effect of the words that you use with with children how they actually embed themselves. And, and but I think a lot of things when I’m working with with my clients, we do look at some of these things and when we start to take them about and we go through some some healing processes and we actually look at it from a different point of view from now being an adult and not being a child, I can help people and I do help people to let go of the meaning if you like that, that has been embedded if you like, because the reality is that, you know, when you look at it at it today, it was like, well, that really didn’t need to mean what I took on board to me, it just means what it means
and it might not have meant it you know, and actually the big thing is you are in control of your own thoughts and emotions, you are in control of those and a lot of people don’t realise that, but you’re certainly not in control of other people’s thoughts and emotions. i dont think there are are many of us that are mind reader’s. But it’s amazing how we assume that that person thinks that about us and they think that about me, and if I do this, they’ll think that about me. Oh, my goodness, it’s huge, isn’t it
it is huge. But you know,what I learned is that I can say that my sort of inner judge is absolutely very vicious, I can remember times when, you know, I might have been outed event or something and I’d said something to somebody and my inner judge said you shouldn’t have said that. And then going home and going to bed and then spending all night, beating myself up about what I said and I should have said it differently. And I should have done that. I should have done something else. But actually, you know what the crazy thing is and I remember one occasion actually mentioning it to somebody, and they didn’t even remember what I’d said at all. And it’s almost a bit about ego and really in the sense that, you know, we put so much importance on what we said. But to other people it’s like been gone. Absolutely.
It really it was yesterday’s us. It was something we were up in the chips in wasn’t it?