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25 Years On – Advice to My Younger Tennis Playing Self

25 Years On – Advice to My Younger Tennis Playing Self

Yesterday was 25 Years to the day since I reached the 3rd Round of the 1994 Australian Open Singles event and appeared on A Current Affair.

This week, I ventured back to the Australian Open for the 2nd time since I finished playing in 1997 (the other time was when I graduated from the Elite Coaching Course and attended the Coach’s Conference).

Wow, so much has changed at the tennis and also in my life. I have been on the rollercoaster of life for many years, trying to discover who I am as a person, what I valued, how I can make a difference and transform the shame I so deeply held within about my tennis career (which I only recently realised)

Subsequently it got me reflecting, what would I say to myself now as a 46-year-old to that 21-year-old who played on centre court? This is what I came up with (in no particular oder)…


27 Things I Would Want My 21-Year-Old Tennis Playing Self to Remember

1. You Are More than a Tennis Player!

Playing tennis is what you are doing at the moment as a profession, it is not WHO you are. You are so much more than a tennis player and your achievements do not relate to your worthiness as a human being. You are already worthy of love, connection and belonging and you do not have to prove your worth.

2. Be Honest

Be honest with yourself and when you feel safe and comfortable, be honest with other people. As they say, the truth will set you free.

3. Know Your Responsibilities and Be at Cause

Discover what are your responsibilities and what are not. Then when you discover these, embrace them, be at cause, know your boundaries and live above the line with your inner circle around you.

4. Manage Your Self and Be Accountable

I know you are already managing your self. Continue to align your priorities and day-to-day activities to your values, vision, mission and purpose. Then be accountable with your actions.

5. Develop Your Life Skills

Throughout your life there are many important life skills you need to master. Some of these skills include emotional intelligence, communication, teamwork, self-management, forgiveness, planning and organising.

6. Train Your Mind

Yes you have a strong mind and are focused, however there are thought processes which drain you (e.g. limiting beliefs, comparison, control, overcommitment and self-doubt) and do not serve you. Learn mindfulness as this will help you defuse from these draining thoughts.

7. Listen to Your Body

Learn to tune in and listen to your body. Your body gives you so many signals and it is important to listen to it, so you can minimise injuries and burnout.

8. Trust Your Imperfections

Yes, you do not have to be perfect! Perfectionism is very draining and creates stress and suffering in your life. You are already worthy and life is not meant to be perfect as you are here to grow an evolved.

9. Invest Time in and Develop Your Inner Circle of Trust

Your inner circle of trust are the people who really know you, allow you to embrace your imperfections, vulnerabilities and have your back when things don’t go accord to plan. Invest time in building these relationships.

10. Continue to Express Gratitude

I know you already do this, however continue to show appreciation and gratitude towards the people who are supporting you.

11. Actions Speak Louder than Words

Just like your Grandma used to say – “actions speak louder than words”. Another way of looking at this is-

“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

12. Practice Self-Compassion

Even though it is unfamiliar to you, practice self-compassion NOW! In Dr Kristin Neff’s book – Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, she talks about –

Self-compassion entails three core components. First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental. Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering. Third, it requires mindfulness – that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it. We must achieve and combine these three essential elements in order to be truly self-compassionate.”

13. Manage Your Money

Stay connected with your money and develop your relationship with it. Know where it is flowing from and where it is flowing to. Have a team around you whom you trust and will support you with its management as your money matters!

14. Believe in Yourself

Yes, there will be some very challenging times and you will make “mistakes”. These times will push you to the brink and you will wonder if you can go on. Trust me, you can! You have the strength and resilience to get through the darkest days and nights. You are here for a reason (just like everyone else) and the world needs your gifts, so focus on them and believe in yourself (and remember number 11).

15. Embrace Change

Life will continue to change (that is part of the adventure), so embrace it and remember to –

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

16. Question Everything

Be inquisitive and question everything. Learn for yourself to discover your truth.

17. Continue to Move and Take Care of Your Body

Moving your body is important, so continue to find ways to move it and take care of it through adequate nutrition etc., maintaining it and listening to it.

18. Develop Your Passions Outside of Tennis

Even though you enjoy tennis now, it will not be what you do for the rest of your life. Develop your passions and skills outside of tennis (e.g. complete educational courses / qualifications) as they will help you transition to life after tennis.

19. Give Unconditionally

When you give, give unconditionally. Yes truly, do not expect anything in return – just give (of course, as long as it feels good).

20. Celebrate Your Achievements

Maybe at the moment, you are not proud of your achievements, however it is important to celebrate them as you work hard.

21. Have Fun

Yes really, have fun and enjoy what you are doing.

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” ~ Dale Carnegie

22. Always Do Your Best

Show up and do your best. Mary Lou Retton was reported as saying it this way –

“As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can; by making the best choices, by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.”

23. Take Time Out to Reflect

Reflection is a great tool that allows you to take notice and become more mindful of what is happening in your life. You can reflect on many areas of your life including – your day, week, match, training schedule. As you take time out to reflect you can discover what works for you and what doesn’t.

24. Patience is a Virtue

Continue to take small steps every day towards your vision. One day all of those small steps will add up, however remember patience is a virtue.

25. Healing Starts from Within

The most important relationship you have is with yourself. Healing starts from within, so invest your time to know, like and trust yourself 🙂

26. Be Kind

Yes, you know actions speak louder than words, however still be kind and treat people the way you want to be treated.

27. Begin Each Day With a Beginner’s Mind

Each day is a new day with new opportunities, so begin with a beginner’s mind.


So there you have it, 27 points to support you over the next 25 years. And remember –

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


Reference –

Neff, K. (2011). Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. New York, USA: HarperCollins Publishers.


Expanding Your Identity – What Makes You, You?

Expanding Your Identity – What Makes You, You?

How do you define yourself? How do others define you? Do these match or they different?

One of the things I struggled with in the past, is the label of tennis player. Yes, I achieved a lot as an athlete, however when I finished playing the sport, who was I then?

People were still asking me about tennis and as I was no longer playing, I didn’t know what to say as who I was as a tennis player appeared to be much more exciting to them compared to who I was becoming post tennis (yes that is my interpretation).

A few years ago I came across the work by Robert Dilts on NeuroLogical Levels – this made so much sense to me and helped me expand my own identity and make conscious changes in my own life. Dilts’ Neurological Levels is based on Gregory Bateson’s Logical Levels of Learning.


Expanding Your Identity – What Makes You, You?

So what makes you, you? Here is a visual based on the NeuroLogical Levels by Robert Dilts.

As you can see by the above image, human beings are complex and are made up of a variety of elements – an identity is made values and beliefs, and then each value and belief relates to different capabilities, those capabilities relate to behaviours within environmental conditions. Some of these elements are internal and some are external, so is it any wonder expanding your identity can take time!


Over to You…

Now that you have read about what makes you, you, what are you going to do with this information in order to BE who you are born to BE? If you are ready to make a change in your life and create a life you love, it would be wise to align all of the NeuroLogical Levels.

Remember – you can choose to be at cause or effect in relation to change – the decision is yours!

Stop waiting for the perfect moment. Start living and creating your dreams today. Start making empowering choices and doing what brings you joy. Remember, it’s up to you as you are the Sovereign of your own life.


Reference –

Dilts, R. (2003). From Coach to Awakener. California, U.S.A: Dilts Strategy Group.

The Law of Cause and Effect – Where Are You Living?

The Law of Cause and Effect – Where Are You Living?

The Law of Cause and Effect is also known as the law defined by Isaac Newton that “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Another way of saying that, is the law of cause and effect suggests that for any cause, there is a result that occurs.


Which Side of the Equation Are You On?

Where do you sit on the equation of cause and effect? Are you on the Effect side or at Cause?

The Effect side of the equation is where people often –

  • Think or believe life is happening to them (i.e. you feel as though you have no power),
  • Complain a lot (e.g. how people do things to them), and
  • Blame other people for their situation (i.e. the Government, their boss or partner).

The Cause side of the equation is where people –

  • Are being responsible for the outcomes and results they are getting in their life.

People who are living at Cause have results and those who live in Effect have reasons about why they didn’t have a result.


Over to You…

Now that you have read about the Law of Cause and Effect, what are you going to do with this information in order to BE who you are born to BE?

Remember – your thoughts, feelings, behaviours and actions create specific effects that create life as you know it. If you are not happy with the effects you are experiencing, then you have a choice to change the causes that created them in the first place.

Stop waiting for the perfect moment. Start living and creating your dreams today. Start doing what brings you joy. Remember, it’s up to you as you are the Sovereign of your own life.


What is Self-Care?

What is Self-Care?

Do you take time to look after your holistic wellbeing? Yes, your social, emotional, physical, mental, financial, environmental and spiritual health and wellbeing?

If you do, congratulations! If not, maybe it is time for some self-care?


What is Self-Care?

Self-Care –

  • “refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.” – according to Wikipedia
  • “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”Dictionary.com
  • “care for one self”the Miriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “These are our daily activities in looking after ourselves. The process of looking after one’s self. Avoiding all threats and issues that may make a person face irritable and uncomfortable circumstances.”Psychology Dictionary
  • “activities and practices we engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and enhance our well-being” ~ unknown
  • “something that you do often or regularly, often without thinking about it”MacMillan Dictionary
  • “the practice of activities that are necessary to sustain life and health, normally initiated and carried out by the individual for him- or herself.” – “self-care.” A Dictionary of Nursing. 2008. Retrieved June 07, 2014 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O62-selfcare.html

A simple way to think of self-care is putting your face mask on yourself, so then you can assist others.


What Self-Care is NOT –

  • about adding more to your ‘to-do’ list – it can be about identifying your essential needs and then prioritising them
  • about a ’emergency response plan’ when stress becomes overwhelming and are close to burnout – it is about creating behaviours or healthy habits that you can do to nurture yourself
  • being selfish – it is about looking after yourself, so you can then give your best and provide value to the world by living your purpose and sharing your gifts.



The 8 Areas of Self-Care –

When I start working with clients who have a focus on self-care, we have a look at where they are in the following 8 areas –

  1. Physical self-care: involves movement of the body, health, nutrition, sleep, rest, physical touch, and sexual needs. Some examples of physical self-care include –
    • going for a walk on the beach,
    • having an epsom salt bath,
    • learning a new dance routine,
    • getting enough sleep, and
    • eating nourishing foods.
  2. Psychological self-care: involves learning new things, applying consequential thinking, engaging intrinsic motivation, practising mindfulness and creativity. Some examples of psychological self-care include –
    • practising mindfulness,
    • journalling,
    • reading a book,
    • learning or teaching a new skill, and
    • doing a digital detox.
  3. Emotional self-care: involves enhancing emotional literacy, navigating emotions, increasing empathy, managing stress effectively and developing compassion for self and others. Some examples of emotional self-care include –
  4. Social self-care: involves having a supportive group and network of relationships around you whom you trust and turn to when required. Having caring and supportive people around you builds a sense of belonging and connectedness. Some examples of social self-care include –
    • belong to 3 groups or communities outside of work;
    • honouring your commitments to other people (i.e. do what you say you are going to do);
    • ask for help when you need it,
    • meet new people, and
    • go walking with family and/or friends.
  5. Professional self-care: involves sharing your strengths and gifts, having clear professional boundaries, whilst living your purpose. Some examples of professional self-care include –
    • eating a nourishing lunch each day at work,
    • negotiating your needs,
    • having clear professional boundaries,
    • knowing your roles and responsibilities, and
    • attending professional developing or having coaching.
  6. Environmental self-care: involves having an organised, well maintained and clutter-free work, business and home environment, having clean clothes and a clean and well maintained mode of transport. Also minimising waste and monitoring technology time. Some examples of environmental self-care include –
    • decluttering your home or work environment,
    • recycling as much as possible,
    • monitoring technology time,
    • cleaning up after a meal, and
    • maintaining and clean and safe living environment.
  7. Spiritual self-care: involves the beliefs and values  that are important to you and guide your life. This includes pursuing your noble goals and the practices that support you developing spiritual awareness. Some examples of spiritual self-care include –
    • meditating,
    • reflecting in a journal,
    • volunteering at a local organisation,
    • going on a retreat, and
    • walking in nature.
  8. Financial self-care: involves being responsible with your finances (i.e. living expenses, income, insurances, savings etc.) and having a conscious relationship with money. Some examples of financial self-care include –
    • knowing where your income is coming in,
    • knowing where your expenses are due and paying them on time,
    • keeping your insurances up to date,
    • completing your tax responsibilities on time, and
    • opening and saving money wisely.


Questions for Reflection –

  • What does self-care mean for you?
  • How do you currently take care of yourself?
  • Do these strategies include your physical, mental, social, financial, emotional, environmental, professional and spiritual health and wellbeing? If not, are there any helpful strategies you can include to look after yourself?
  • How do you take care of yourself whilst you are at work or in your business? For example – do you take time out to eat lunch everyday?
  • What self-care practice (or 2) can you incorporate in to your life today? Feel free to share it in the comments section below!


Please note – self-care is a personal journey and each day life is changing. So it is important to continually look after yourself (i.e. make it a habit) and reflect on your health and wellbeing.


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Are You Holding Yourself Back?

Are You Holding Yourself Back?

Do you feel that something is holding yourself back?

Have you ever gone out of your way to NOT look after yourself?

Or repeated the same patterns of behaviour over and over again and expected a different result?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, don’t worry you are not alone. Maybe you are not alone and could be holding yourself back without realising it!


What Does It Mean to Hold Back?

If you have a look at the meaning of hold back, you can see the following –

  • “hesitate to act or speak.” ~ Google
  • “If you hold backor if something holdsyou back, you hesitate before you do something because you are not sure whether it is the right thing to do.” and To holdsomeone or something backmeans to prevent someone from doing something, or to prevent something from happening.” ~ Collins English Dictionary
  • “to stop someone or something from moving forwards” ~ MacMillan Dictionary
  • “to not do something, often because of fear or because you do not want to make a bad situation worse” ~ Cambridge Dictionary

There are also similarities between holding back and restraining…


What Does Restrain Mean?

There are a few definitions I found when it came to restrain, including –

  • “to prevent from doing, exhibiting, or expressing something” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “prevent (someone or something) from doing something” ~ Google
  • “to hold back from action; keep in check or under control; repress” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “to control the actions or behaviour of someone by force, especially in order to stop them from doing something, or to limit the growth or force of something” ~ Cambridge Dictionary

What resonates with you – are you holding yourself back or restraining?


7 Quotes On Holding Yourself Back

Following are 7 quotes that also add to understanding what holding back means –

  1. “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” ~ Barbara De Angelis
  2. “No more holding back.
    Be reckless.
    Tell your Love to everybody.” ~ Rumi
  3. “Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns…We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.” ~ Tara Brach
  4. “If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, then you suffer.” ~ David Deida
  5. “If I hold back, I’m no good. I’m no good. I’d rather be good sometimes, than holding back all the time.” ~ Janis Joplin
  6. “Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back.” ~ Pema Chödrön
  7. “I don’t believe in sort of holding back, you know, life isn’t a dress rehearsal!” ~ Kate Winslet


How Do People Hold Themselves Back?

People can hold themselves back in many areas of their lives! Some examples of where people can be holding you back is in –

  • their communication (i.e. by not speaking your truth or standing up for yourself in conversations as you don’t like conflict),
  • their finances (i.e. overspending or underearning),
  • their relationships (i.e. not sharing your truth for fear of rejection and/or disapproval),
  • their community (i.e through not sharing your talents and sharing your knowledge within the community).
  • their emotional health (i.e putting off looking after yourself or acknowledging your emotions),
  • their career (i.e. not going for that job promotion you would like, sharing your knowledge or settling for less than what you really want in your life because you think you are not worth it),
  • their business (i.e scared of expanding or creating a new business product),
  • their physical health (i.e. letting your exercise and wellbeing needs fall of the radar).


Question for Reflection –

  • What does holding back mean for you?
  • Are there any areas in your life where you are holding back? If so, what is your next step, now you realise it?


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Please note – life is a personal journey and each day it’s changing. So it is important to continually look after yourself (i.e. make it a habit) and take time out to reflecton where you are in life and your overall health and wellbeing.


What is Courage?

What is Courage?

Ever felt like giving up as you don’t seem to be making any progress? Want to make a decision, but don’t feel you are up to it?

Maybe you are losing patience as you are not getting to where you would like to be quick enough?

Don’t worry – you are not alone!

Today we are going to being talking about courage and courageous steps, including –

  • What is Courage?
  • 7 Quotes on Courage
  • Every Courageous Step Counts
  • What are Courageous Steps?
  • Remembering Your Courage

However, you have to remember the steps you have taken to get to where you are today. Before we discuss those, let’s talk make sure we are on the same page about courage.


What is Courage?

There are many definitions of courage including –

  • “the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery,” and “strength in the face of pain or grief.” ~ Google
  • “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” ~ Dictionary.com
  • “the ability to control your fear in a dangerous or difficult situation” and “to be brave and confident enough to do what you believe in” ~ Cambridge Dictionary
  • “The ability to do something that frightens one; bravery” ~ Oxford Dictionaries
  • “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty” ~ Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.” ~ The Free Dictionary
  • The Latin origin of cor means ‘heart’ and middle English denotes the heart, as the seat of feelings.

So looking at the definitions of courage, would you agree it would be useful to have some courage in your toolkit for your life, career/business and your relationships?


7 Quotes on Courage

Following are 7 of my favourite quotes on courage –

  1. Courage doesn’t always roar.Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says ‘I will try again tomorrow’.” ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
  2. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney
  3. “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.” ~ Brené Brown
  4. “Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  5. “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  6. “The best way out is always through.” ~ Robert Frost
  7. “Courage is moving forward even when you feel afraid.” ~ Joyce Meyer


Every Courageous Step Counts –

Sometimes life can be challenging and you can feel as though you are not getting any where. However you have to remember that every courageous step counts and if you “Take small steps every day and one day you will get there.” ~ Unknown.


What are Courageous Steps?

Courageous steps are small actions that take you outside your comfort zone. Some examples of courageous steps or actions could be –

  • being honest with yourself;
  • apologising to someone you hurt;
  • asking for help;
  • forgiving someone who has hurt you;
  • going on a trip;
  • creating personal boundaries for yourself;
  • starting something new;
  • believing in yourself for the first time;
  • learning to love again;
  • learning to say “yes” and “no” when you really mean it;
  • speaking up for yourself or a cause you believe in;
  • walking away from gossip or negativity; or
  • following your heart.


I hope this post has given you some insight in to what is courage and ideas about taking courageous steps.

If you are ready to take yourself on the adventure of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life.


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