Who inspires you? Who do you use as your motivator to get things done or to make valuable changes to your life?
There are thousands of women who stimulate our need for greatness. They appear on our television and movie screens, we listen to them on the radio, or we read their encouraging stories in articles or books. It’s easy to put a celebrity on a pedestal and desire their lifestyle, skillset and strength of character, but we don’t need to turn to the glossy magazines, or the big screen, to find inspirational women who can motivate us to succeed. They live next door, work alongside us, and talk to us at the supermarket.
The Real Women, Real Lives feature highlights the incredible individuals who have succeeded on their chosen path, or turned misfortune into positivity. Ladies who have conquered illness or gone above and beyond to help others, and made a difference. Women who have stepped out of their comfort zone and launched a business, or ventures that have an impact on their environment, or community.
These remarkable women are your friend, co-worker and neighbour and I’m delighted to be able to share their stories with you.
Today, I am delighted to invite Clair MacKenzie to share her story.
Tell us a little about you and your story.
Thank you, Shelley it is an honour to be invited to share my story with you and your readers.
My name is Clair MacKenzie. I am 44 years old, wife to my husband of 21 years, and Mum to two children 12 and 15, and doggie Mum to our golden retriever, Lucy.
I’ve worked in business-to-business marketing for more than 20 years, with 10+ years working for large global corporate blue-chip company, and 8 years running my own marketing consultancy business.
Recently however I decided to make a total transition from business women to Life, Health & Weight Loss coach and set up TheBestYou.Coach. I’m currently business marketing specialist by day and Life Coach on the evenings and weekends but will transition to full time coaching next year.
What’s your biggest dream in life?
My dream, my life’s purpose right now, is to have a hugely successful life coaching business and help 1000s of women feel better, about themselves and their lives.
And I envisage doing this on several levels.
Firstly, I want to help women who may feel like I used to, and that was that I had a good life and nothing to complain about, but that something was lacking. Life as a working Mum was hard work, with moments of joy being rather fleeting. And sometimes, when everything got on top of me I would want to hide away and not face the world.
More specifically, I want to help women who struggle with their weight. I had so much frustration and shame around not being able to lose my own weight (or losing it and regaining it) for so many years.
That was before I discovered life coaching and learning how to manage my thoughts and feelings. Previously, when I tried to lose weight through dieting there was always this internal battle going on. A fight between the sugar/dopamine loving part of me and the part of me that knew I would regret it later. Now I get my dopamine hits elsewhere, by living a full life that I love. And I don’t use food to stop me feeling boredom, frustration and anxiety. I chose to either let those feelings ‘be’ and experience them as a vibration in my body that will soon pass, or I ask my mind to find a thought that will help me to feel better.
I want to help as many women as possible to change their relationship with food and eating, so that they too can lose weight without the internal conflict and feelings of diet deprivation.
If you chose a power word for this year what would it be and why?
My power word for this year is VISIBLE. When I was over weight I wanted to hide. I hated photographs, videos, even felt uncomfortable contributing to conversation with a group of friends.
But to help as many women as possible, as a Life & Weight Loss Coach I need to be visible. And I’m loving that being visible challenges me every day. I get a real sense of achievement each time I do something new outside of my comfort zone.
What helps me is the thought that ‘what others think of me is not about me, it’s to do with them, that they can think what they like its none of my business’. The visualisation that helped put this into perspective for me is the thought of walking into a room full of people and starting to tell them all a story. The people in the room will all have different thoughts about me. Some may love what I’m wearing, others may not. Some may think I’m funny, others that I’m pretentious or boring. Ultimately, everyone thinks something different – hence what they think about me is based on their experience of life and has absolutely nothing to do with me and mine – learning this has given me so much freedom to be visible.
Who inspires you and why?
My Life Coach, Brooke Castillo, of The Life Coach School. I can honestly say she has changed my life. I’ve lost three stone since discovering her (five all together), but its much more than that. I am happier, I feel more confident and I am less negative about life and other people.
Her approach to life coaching – based around separating out our Circumstances from our Thoughts and Feelings about those circumstances, and then managing our Thoughts and Feelings to empower our Actions and Results, has taught me how to ‘feel better’ about myself and life in general.
What, in your experience, motivates you best? Can you give an example?
Within the last few years I’ve lost two very close friends (both in their early 40s) to cancer. They had children the same age as mine.
What my friends and their families have been through, and are still going through, is a constant reminder to me that life is a gift. And this helps motivate and inspire me. I feel I owe it to them to appreciate and enjoy every day.
I love the Vivian Green quote, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain”, and I have it on the wall in my kitchen.
What actions/events/environments would adversely affect your motivation? Can you give an example and how you coped?
I once read that as a Mother you are only ever as happy as your unhappiest child. This really resonated with me and I am naturally inclined to find it difficult to be motivated when something isn’t going right for either my son or daughter.
However, at ages 12 and 15, things are frequently not going right for them! I am slowly learning to accept that that this totally okay – and that I don’t need to try to fix it. It’s a part of their ‘human experience’ and that just like the rest of us, the down days make the up days better and brighter.
I’ve also realised what a burden I would be to them if I relied on them to make me happy. I wouldn’t want that for them. We are all responsible for our own happiness and motivation. It’s not created by some external event or situation, it comes from within us, we just need to learn how to find and nurture it.
How do you ensure that your personal level of motivation is high on a daily basis?
I have a morning routine that I love. I get up early before anyone else is awake, usually 4.30 am during the week and 5.30 am on the weekend, put a wash load on, and make myself a gorgeous cup of coffee with cream.
I then do some self-coaching work and plan my day. My self-coaching work has a different focus each month. This month it is Living my Life’s Purpose. Each morning I write down my thoughts on whether my day-to-day is aligned with my life’s purpose. I then take a few minutes to dream and brain storm ideas, make a list of what I will do during the day to support my purpose, and then notice and address any negative thoughts I may have. For example, I may have a work meeting that I’m not looking forward to and I will take a few moments to shift my thinking about the meeting so that I feel better about it.
I also take a few minutes to write down three things that I am grateful for and to consider my goal for how I want to show up in the world in the coming day. Sometimes I want to show up as disciplined and empowered and get a tonne of work done. Other days I want to be patient and engaged for my children.
My wash load, coffee and thought work take me 20/30 minutes but having done them I feel totally motivated and ready for the day ahead.
Clair MacKenzie has a new 12-week Lose Weight for the Last Time Program starting in September. To find out more about Clair, and her life coaching and weight loss programs, connect with her here: