Teaching young people how their minds work, giving them the strategies to face some of life's biggest challenges and making sure they always have someone to turn to along the way
Learning how to make big decisions
Knowing who I am and what I need to be happy
Controlling focus to manage emotions and achieve success
Being Young Is Tough
If life was being re-designed, it would make much more sense if we could leave those big decisions of youth for when we're a bit older and wiser. Passing life-defining exams and choosing a career are big, but what about learning how to support yourself after 18 years of being looked after! These are times of constant change and the demands on you to grow or get left behind are unrelenting. And that's just your career! As a young person you're also constantly working out who you are, adjusting to the expectations of your peer group and building up your very fragile self-esteem. Teachers are busier than ever before and many young people feel unable to talk to their parents about everything.
Having worked with young people for over 15 years, both in schools and children's homes, I have a real passion for making a difference in this area. Many of my clients are young people whose parents want them to have the best possible support structure in place. These parents realise that they're not always the right person for this job and that there are enormous life changing challenges ahead for their child. Having a coach means always having someone there to offer support. However, this doesn't mean making them dependent. A well trained youth coach is not an agony aunt but someone who will teach a young person strategies to be more self-reliant. They ask powerful questions to get the student to think for themselves and share tools for more effective independent living.
The Mental Literacy Programme
As part of my services I run what I call the Mental Literacy Programme for young people. Young people finish the course with an expert understanding of how their mind works, and a greater awareness of what it takes to live a fulfilled and mentally healthy life. I set this programme up in response to the massive spike in mental health issues among young people in the last few years. But I've also found it makes a massive difference in the development of emotional maturity and readiness to enter the world of work. The programme is available for schools, sixth forms, and universities across the country and involves lectures, seminars, and retreats on the topics listed below.
- State Management. Here, young people are taught how to take control of their emotional life through a number of state management techniques such as daily gratitude rituals and mindfulness strategies. They're also given time to discover what their personal triggers are and what they can do to prevent future onsets of negative emotional states, before they gather momentum.
- Gremlin Awareness. In this seminar, young people are taught how limiting beliefs stored in the subconscious actually affect - and normally limit - our decision making in everyday life. Awareness enhancing techniques are taught and young people are given time to explore, challenge and replace their own limiting beliefs.
- Effective Goal Setting. With science increasingly linking fulfillment with progress toward a meaningful goal, this programme teaches young people how to goal-set, effectively. Young people learn simple goal-setting strategies and practice the process with their own real life aspirations, until they begin to master the skill for themselves.
- How To Build Self-Esteem. We could all do with having greater self confidence, but first we have to understand the process by which it's built. Knowing how this works from a young age is an invaluable asset which can give the feeling of no challenge too great and also a much improved ability to build friendships and relationships.
- Dealing With Pressured Situations. Whether it's exams around the corner or that big job interview later on in life, learning strategies for dealing with pressure is absolutely essential. In this workshop, young people will be provided with tools for keeping cool when the going gets tough, and given mock, high-pressure situations for them to work through.
- Decision-Making. Being young is saturated with important decisions, all of which have massive implications for the rest of life. Many youngsters, because of a lack of sense of self, either fall back into the world of I don't know or they let their parents decide for them. This part of the programme gets the young person to think about who they are and what they really value in life.
Other Topics In The Mental Literacy Programme
- The benefits of taking personal responsibility for your life, versus the blame game.
- Taking care of yourself first as a means of helping others.
- The importance of having a role model and how to find a good one.
- The hallmarks of successful and happy people.
- The importance of environment and the people you spend most of your time with.
- Building self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Developing emotional intelligence.
- What makes you a likeable person?
- Hallmarks of successful relationships.
- How to find balance and the art of time management.
- The benefits of talking through your problems.
- What are our basic emotional needs as humans and what does science have to say about their links to fulfillment?