All Posts By

Kelly Samson

Relationship Happiness: Braving the Stormy Seas to Achieve the Impossible

By | Relationships | No Comments

Julie was cold and alone in a dark and stormy ocean.  She was desperately treading water but each new wave threatened to take her last breath away.  The more she struggled the more her energy drained away.  Feeling alone and worn out.  She wasn’t sure how much longer she could carry on.

Then she caught sight of her husband, John.  She was surprised to see that he was only a few meters away.  He’d been right there all along.  She could see that he was also struggling in the stormy sea. He too was exhausted and just like her he was striving to stay afloat but the life was going out of his eyes and she knew he was losing the battle.

They swam towards each other, reaching out and connecting at last.  Their embrace felt warm and comforting and with that connection they felt the strength of being together.  They were still in the cold, stormy ocean but now they were able to stay afloat by supporting each other.

As they embraced, battling the elements that were assaulting them, they looked around and as they did so they noticed an empty rowing boat bobbing in the stormy ocean only a short distance away.  Swimming to this beacon of hope John was able to help Julie climb into it and then Julie was able to reach down to pull John up.  In the boat they felt the immense, sweet relief of security and safety from the rough sea.  Not a lot, but enough to make the difference that they desperately needed.

In the boat they were able to work together to row towards the glimmer of sunshine they could see in the distance poking through the heavy dark clouds.  When Julie was tired John took the oars and when John needed to rest Julie was able to row so they continued moving forward. In this way, working collectively and supporting each other they made real progress towards where they needed to go, together.

Before long the storm blew itself out and the stormy water that had threatened to engulf them became calm and tranquil.  The dark clouds and biting wind gave way to sunshine and blue skies with the sounds of birds calling above.

Working together, they had rowed through the storm to find sunshine, safety and security. They could both enjoy the feeling of relief, accomplishment and success.  Surviving this arduous experience meant they were much stronger for weathering the storm together.

Often when we find ourselves battling a situation, where we feel alone, it is not easy to see how we will ever find a way out.

In these difficult times we might feel the people closest to us are part of the problem but by reaching out

and connecting we find that we share so much more and together a solution can be found.

By expressing our vulnerabilities, connecting with others, working together, supporting those around us and being supported we are capable of achieving what we thought was impossible.  We also expand our horizons to achieve so much more in the future ahead.


Assertive Communication – Standing Strong in Your Own World

By | Communication, High Performance Coaching | No Comments

Communication, there’s no escaping it.

It’s the main way we connect, with everyone.  But how do you stand strong in your own world while respecting others?   Even not speaking is actually sending a message.  How often have you said something only to be met by a raised eyebrow, grin, frown or laughter?

We all have our own natural style of communicating. You may not be aware of it, you may be more aware of the style of other people’s communication rather than your own.  You may even think you are a naturally amazing communicator and any misunderstandings are due to the other person (obviously!).  I thought my style of communication was in this category until I began to notice some not so healthy reoccurring patterns with my interactions.  Luckily some honest feedback gave me a moment of glaring illumination and the motivation that I needed to tune up the way I communicate.

As you’re reading this you can probably think of someone’s communication style that you appreciate and someone’s that you feel a clash with.  You’ll recognise the usual suspects.

Communication, aggressive

Mr/Mrs/Ms Aggressive: We all know this one, not physically aggressive but verbally they can be a steam roller…. “my way or the highway”.  Often it’s not even the words that are said, the tone alone can make it very clear that this is not an open, even, democratic conversation.  This is enough for you to feel that your opinion is not needed or valued.  Often this suspect sounds loud, sometimes even angry, controlling, stressed, (self) important, intense, domineering and strong.  The aggressive communicator justifies his or her behaviour by saying he gets things moving, ignites action and gets results, which are all positive things overall.  The cost is often the connection with the people who feel flattened in their path.  People on the receiving end regularly feel dominated, undervalued and hurt.  In a nut shell the aggressive communicator only wants to focus on his or her goals and can be unaware or insensitive to the needs and wants of others.


Mr & Mrs Passive: Mr & Mrs Passive also goes by the name Mr & Mrs Nice and everyone likes them.  Again we all know someone like this.  They’re the friendly, caring souls that sacrifice their seat so you can have theirs, forgo their plans because yours sound better.   This suspect often sounds and appears soft, quiet, small, obliging, nice and polite.  Nothing is a bother, they’re here to Ms Passiveplease others and people like that….. until one more burden is taken on, one more sacrifice is made, all the time outwardly smiling but inwardly disappointed and increasingly angry.  Then Mr & Mrs Passive are transformed into a Martyr.

It’s hard to view Mr & Mrs Passive as anything but good but in the context of constructive conversation being passive is not helpful.  Often Mr & Mrs Passive won’t put forward their views or give honest feedback.  The costs are that others are frustrated by the lack of authentic and open conversation.  Others feel they always have to make the decisions since Mr & Mrs Passive just agrees and won’t cast the deciding vote when it is needed and would be valued.

The benefits may seem that Mr & Mrs Passive keeps the peace and on the surface people are happy but the costs are their own needs are not valued and resentment builds and bubbles under the surface.


Mr/Mrs/Ms Assertive: Mr & Mrs Assertive are a rare breed, not often witnessed but when they are you see and hear someone who is confident, balanced, assured, respected and calm.  In contrast to Mr Aggressive who does not care about the views of others and Mrs Passive who sacrifices her own views, Mr & Mrs Assertive stand strong in their own world.  They respect their own views, ideas and goals and also those of others.  They are confident in saying no, or that doesn’t work for me, that’s OK, you do your thing and I’ll do mine.   Mr & Mrs Assertive know what thAssertiveey are comfortable with and are self-assured enough to communicate this in an even adult manner that leaves them feeling heard, understood and respected, even if they don’t receive the answer they  wanted.

There’s no escaping communication and we all have our natural style and that style will vary with each situation we’re in.  Often you’ll see and hear someone who is assertive at work but passive with their family.  The good news is we can all learn to be assertive in every situation and when you do it’s valued and you will feel better for it.  Being aware of your communication style and its costs is the first step.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority” Kenneth Blanchard

By being open to developing your communication style you will achieve the outcomes you want, whilst maintaining the harmonious and effective connections with your spouse, family, friends and colleagues.


Learn more on how to harness your assertive communication on the Authentic Communication & Conflict Resolution course.



Communication Frustration? How to Find the Win/Win Solutions

By | Communication | No Comments

Julie felt mad.  No……she felt steaming mad!  How many times did she need to have this ‘discussion’ with her boss Mike?  You could almost see the steam rising from her head as they threw words back and forth at each other.  No matter what she said he just didn’t seem to get it!

It had all started so well, she knew what she wanted to say but it came out all wrong, and then Mike got all defensive and now she felt like she was in the wrong.  What had happened?  As they went back and forth the words became louder and sharper, it seemed to be a downward spiral.  They both were talking but no one was listening!  The argument was bad enough but afterwards their working environment that had been so nice now seemed cold and distant.

To make matters worse, she noticed that her kids didn’t seem to care what she said anymore either.  Getting them to listen to her was all but impossible – she was at her wits end.

And then a ray of light shone through the dark clouds.  Julie heard about ‘Authentic Communication’ and it was like suddenly getting the instruction manual for having successful communication that actually worked.  It turned out by really listening to her kids and then helping them solve their own problems they are all happier.  What a relief to figure out she didn’t need to take their on their problems after all and they were delighted!

Rather than arguing about some surface distraction she now pauses to figure out what was really troubling her, fully owning that and then honestly talking about it with Mike and it feels like a new lease of life.  Plus by doing this Mike now really hears what she needs, and she hears him.  It’s like a breath of fresh air on a summer’s day.  They have their connection back and it feels wonderful for them both.

Now instead of feeling the distance between her boss and family she feels like they are all moving in harmony and growing together.  The sound of yelling at work and in her house has been replaced by laughter, warmth and smiles.  By harnessing her authentic and effective communication, life now feels great.

~Authentic Communication is ideal for anyone who is committed to improving

their professional and personal relationships to enjoy life fully~


The next Authentic Communication & Conflict Resolution course starts 6 August.  Contact Kelly for further details – 027 5555 907 |

5 Steps to Find Your True Courage

By | Coaching | No Comments

I recently saw a story that made me stop and take a good look at what I was complaining about. Eight year old Bailey Matthews has cerebral palsy. This makes what we take as the most basic daily things, such as walking and getting dressed, difficult. Yet despite this disability he has made a habit of conquering all of the challenges in front of him. In fact, he’s not content with conquering the challenges life has dealt him, he’s gone out and found more. He recently completed a triathlon which is a remarkable achievement for anyone. You can watch the video here.

Watching this I felt some embarrassment. The things I thought were large hurdles in my life are really only molehills compared to what Bailey has achieved so far in his 8 years of life.

What really inspires me when watching this was seeing Bailey approaching the end of the race when he decides to let go of his walker to run towards the finish line. As he does so he stumbles, falls and lands face first on the ground only to push himself back up without missing a beat. He jogs a few more steps and again stumbles and falls to once again push himself up to successfully finish the triathlon. All with an amazing huge smile on his face.

The wonderful lessons I take from watching Bailey are:

  1. Courage, Trust and Letting Go. Coming to the end of the race Bailey knew he would stumble yet he let go of his support to run unaided over the finish line. It takes a huge amount of courage to let go of our security to achieve our goals. Sometimes it is what we think is our security that is actually preventing us from achieving our goals.
  2. Accepting Life’s Challenges. For many of us not fitting in and being ‘normal’ (whatever that really is) is a scary thing. Bailey’s Dad said that as a child Bailey would see other kids get up onto their knees and crawl. While Bailey couldn’t do that, he didn’t want to miss out so he would use his arms to drag himself around. He shows a determination and a will to not only accept life’s challenges but to conquer them.
  3. Getting Back Up. The thought that I might stumble or mess up in public often fills me with dread. Bailey fell over twice on his run to the finish line and he also fell on stage at the BBC awards. He knew that to fall was likely, yet he walked on stage with enthusiasm and determination in front of thousands of people. Having seen this I can see that my fear of falling is my ego talking. Bailey has reminded me that tripping over happens to us all and that getting up and carrying on is what is important, especially with a smile on your face.
  4. Self-Leadership. Bailey’s approach to life is one of diving right in to face the challenge, living life and enjoying it all. Not only does he face the challenges he says to himself “let’s push it a bit harder”. By doing so he continues to grow and improve and actively pushes the boundaries of his comfort zone.
  5. Genuine Support. When someone believes in you fully and supports you to reach for the clouds, you accomplish great things. That wholehearted support and belief from his family has empowered Bailey to fully believe in himself and to do activities that a lot of able bodied people wouldn’t even try. Who can you support and empower today?

Thank you for all these wonderful lessons Bailey, you inspire me to challenge myself, aim higher, smile when I stumble and enjoy all that life has to offer.

Which of these valuable lessons from Bailey resonate with you the most?

How can you apply Bailey’s outlook on life to your goals for 2016?

Change Your Story to Write a Better Future

By | High Performance Coaching, Self Development | No Comments

I couldn’t.

I can’t do that.
I’m not good at that.
I’ll never be able to be the person who can do that.
They’ll laugh at me.
I’m a fraud.
I’ll fail.

Says who?
What evidence is there?
What if you could do it?
What if you are the person who can do it?

And then,
What does success look like?
How does it feel when you step forward past your fear to do it?
What will you say to yourself when you pause and look back?
What do you hear from others when you do succeed?

It sounds empowering.
It feels amazing.
It looks great.
You will radiate!

~ Change your internal story and you’ll write a better future for yourself ~

5 Tips on How to Live beyond Failure

By | Coaching | No Comments

Failure! What a heavy word! It sounds so final. I’m a failure, I’ll fail, I knew I’d fail. It takes me straight back to those school days when I dropped the ball in PE class or when I made a mess of that speech in front of my classmates and all the laughter and embarrassment that followed.

Failure, it’s a harsh word that cuts deep.

Yet we use it with ourselves all the time (often it’s that pesky unhelpful internal dialogue). “I’ll fail, why bother”, “Damn, I failed big time”, “They didn’t like that, I knew I’d fail”.
But if we step back and take a reality check, is what we label as failure really failure? On a scale of 1 – 10 (10 being catastrophic), it’s probably a 2 or maybe a 3. What we label as failure is really a bump in the road of your life.

5 Keys Ways to Live beyond Failure:

Learning to live beyond failure involves accepting that life doesn’t always work out how the way we want it to and that’s OK. These 5 key lessons helped me to learn the tricky art of living beyond failure.

  1. Look at the bigger picture. Just because you ‘failed’ at a task does not mean you are a ‘failure’. Putting it into perspective, it is only one task/event out of all the other successful things you’ve done in your life so far and are yet to do. So this time it didn’t work out… that just means it is a small bump on the road of your life’s journey. A bump that next week no one will think about and in a year’s time you won’t even remember.
  2. Appreciate your courage to act. To step up, to venture out of your comfort zone and to move from thinking to actually doing takes courage. The easy option is to sit on your hands and to watch others take risks trying something new. It takes courage to test your limits, to push your boundaries and to explore further. Not everyone has the courage to act so give yourself a moment of appreciation and recognition for your courage and action. The real failure is not having the courage to act. See what true courage and inspiration looks like here.
  3. Realize that failure is not fatal. Mistakes are part of life. We all stumble and fall at times. We all make mistakes, some small, some bigger. For most of us messing up is not fatal, we will wake up tomorrow and the sun will rise. The world will still be turning and what we call failure will only be a temporary side step in your path forward. Owning your vulnerability is a powerful act of leadership.
  4. Learn to appreciate the lessons. Sure it didn’t work out and you might ‘fail’ again. Heck I’ll go out on a limb and say I’m positive you will ‘drop the ball’ at something in the future (I know I will). What really counts is taking the lessons from the experience to become wiser for it. There are always valuable lessons in the experience, they may be hard to see and appreciate at the time, but they will be there. By learning to appreciate the lesson, you have moved forward and are better equipped for your next challenge. By appreciating the lessons ‘failure’ is never failure, merely a small hiccup on your path of progress.
  5. Build Resiliency. If you go through life succeeding in everything you do, that’s great, you’re a star. But what happens when you don’t succeed? You tend to fall further. When things don’t go as you’d planned, you have the opportunity to tap into other resources, to adapt, to be creative, to reach out – all essential skills in your future successes. When you ‘fail’ you tap into your reserves of strength and you learn to get up again. This is where the extra 10% that separates you from the pack comes from.

By changing how you think about failure, from it being a catastrophe to a learning gift on your path to success, you will not only enjoy your progress more but you will also transform yourself into a person who moves ahead in leaps and bounds.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

If you enjoyed this article, if it added value to your life, please leave a quick comment below and share with someone who will also benefit and enjoy.

Perfection Torture? – 5 Ways to Tame Your Perfectionist Tyrant

By | Coaching | No Comments

Neil got results, he was a high achiever.  He knew it and everyone around him knew it.  He was the one who arrived 5 minutes early to the meeting and the one who always had the answers. He prided himself on having the right answers at the right time, every time.  However there were times he didn’t know the answer and then he really gave himself hell.

Perfection was the standard he strived for and perfection was the only standard that mattered.  It seemed like he’d almost get there, 99 things out of 100 would be bang on but always there was something that he couldn’t quite nail.  And it was those 1 or 2 things that he would focus on, replaying them over and over in his mind.  As these ‘failures’ got bigger in his mind the heavy, negative feelings of regret and anxiety seemed to grow in his chest.

Neil felt this relentless need to ratchet up his efforts by 20% every day.  He drove himself harder and harder but he could never reach his ideal level of perfection.  And then after all that effort only to ‘fail’ (in his mind) he collapsed, exhausted.

If only he paused, he would see that underneath his relentless urge to be better there were some very real fears lurking (although acknowledging them might be another challenge for Neil).  The biggest fear that had been driving him for years was the Fear of Failure (FoF) – a dark fear that came from Neil’s huge self-expectation to prove himself worthy.  To do that he always had to be better than everyone else, not better than one specific person but better than everyone!

People saw the great results, they saw Neil achieve success but they didn’t see the effects that followed.  His relentless drive for perfection came at a cost.   For each high that Neil drove himself towards, there was a bigger low that he sank into afterwards.  Driving for constant perfection was an emotional roller coaster.  The lows meant he was tired, moody and irritable – which was a tough and un-enjoyable place for his loved ones to be around.  It was actually damaging and tearing his family apart.  The other big cost was to his health.  Constantly pushing himself to reach his ever higher expectations was hugely stressful.  With all that stress he had less energy and less time for his family and the other key areas that really needed it.

Neil loved the highs of his successes but the lows were too much of a price to continue to pay, both for him and his family.  He wanted a way to see his success AND to enjoy a calmer more harmonious and healthier life.  Neil wanted to feel his relationships with family and friends grow rather than alienating them with his extreme moods.

5 Ways to Tame Your Inner Perfectionist

  1. Reset your internal expectations. Where do they come from? Who’s driving the bar so high?  How can any one person live up to be compared to everyone?
  2. What is success for you? Is perfection ever really obtainable or is 90% still awesome?  Or is just taking the first step into something new for the first time a success in itself?
  3. Observe your inner dialogue. What is it saying?  What tone is it using? Is it negative or helpful?  Take control of your negative self-talk to turn it positive and supportive.
  4. Practise self-care techniques, such as giving yourself acknowledgement for what you achieve (big or small).  Give yourself rest and time to recharge your batteries.  Write daily gratitude and successes lists and watch yourself flourish.
  5. Perfectionism is often inbuilt from a young age and can make up a core inner belief but it doesn’t have to be this way. Pausing to open up and say we’re not actually perfect is a courageous act that takes real strength and gives you vital breathing space to be human.

Perfection is an unobtainable goal that comes at a heavy price both to yourself and those around you.  By pausing to look internally to identify what specifically is driving this need for perfection and then weighing up the costs against the benefits you can release that un-serving pressure and really enjoy the journey.

We all have our own old lurking beliefs that aren’t serving us.  If you will benefit and grow from shinning the light in to the dark corners and putting those limiting beliefs truly in your past you will accelerate forward into your bright future.  Contact me to find out how easy this can be.