The Courage Blog


Vanessa May

The Courage Blog



Work and live well, whole, and with courage.


How to move through negative emotions

One of the common things I see in coaching is clients arriving in a tough spot. They share the story of what’s going on and how stuck they feel. They want to know the way out and when this feeling will pass. It’s such a human place. Who wants to...

How to embrace being a highly sensitive person

“You’re too sensitive.” “You need to grow a tougher skin.” “You’re made of sterner stuff than this.” Sound familiar? These phrases have been a part of my life experience and I genuinely thought something was wrong with me that I felt everything so deeply.   So what were some of the...

How to get rid of expectations

The dictionary defines an expectation as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case.” It is then followed by the statement, “reality has not lived up to expectations.” Herein is the conundrum: how do you have a strong belief that something will happen without being so attached...

Why your future won’t be found in the past

I noticed that over the past year I could find my heart and thoughts being drawn back to the past. Sounds, sights and smells would take me back to a remembering of life before my divorce, of a time when my income felt secure in employment, and I took my...

10 affirmations to help recovering perfectionists

Sometimes we are unkind in the way we talk to ourselves. We hold up high ideals and expectations and when we struggle or fail to meet them, we can give ourselves an incredibly hard time whilst pretending to the outside world we’re fine. We wear a fixed smile that belies...

How your relationship to support impacts your progress

Over ten years ago I was in California on a leadership retreat. It was an experiential leadership training with the Coaches Training Institute and whilst I had done their coach training, I hadn’t fully understood the impact of learning in this way. I was used to academic learning. The pursuit...
A photo taken above the clouds at sunset with text over it which reads approach your New Year's resolution with acceptance and challenge.

Approach your New Year’s resolution with acceptance and challenge

January is the season that many humans set goals for themselves. Perhaps you’ve set a work goal to get the promotion you want or find more purpose and meaning. Or maybe there’s a desire to be healthier and fitter or bring more mindfulness and compassion into your life. Whatever your...
Sunlit trees covered in snow. With text over that says 'How to set up lasting intentions for the New Year.

How to set up lasting intentions for the New Year

Do you recognise this cycle? It’s New Year’s Eve and you’re full of excitement for the possibility of a new year. You imagine all the dreams and possibilities. Fuelled by the happy hormones of excitement you define your new year’s resolutions. This year will be different. You’re determined to make...
A calm country road at sunrise lined with trees. Serene and peaceful on the mind.

Can’t think clearly? Here’s 3 simple ways to create space in your mind

One reason clients hire coaches is because they’ve got a lot going on, they feel overwhelmed and notice they’re stuck and procrastinating, churning over the same thoughts in their minds. It’s part of our shared human experience to land in these tight spots where the pressure feels huge and we...
Lemons on a lemon tree in front of a clear blue sky

A simple strategy to deal with self blame and sabotage

Up until this year I’ve never really understood the phrase when life throws you lemons make lemonade. How do you make something sweet when it is naturally sour? Is it about appreciating and accepting the sour moments? This year has thrown me many challenges that have taken me way over...

How to get out of overwhelm

Overwhelmed by everyday things Kate is a character from the first chapter in the book I am writing.  She comes to coaching complaining of working long days and feeling emotionally drained.  In her mid-forties, she is at an age where her hormones are wreaking havoc on her and are impacting...

Dare to let your inner critic out for the day.

Imagine you gave your inner critic full permission to say whatever the hell it wanted to during your day... You drop something, “ooh you stupid shit” You say something in a meeting, and a few people snigger, “ha, see what you’ve done now.  You’ve really shown yourself up. They think...

Track your simple moments of everyday courage

I woke up this morning with a simple and clear message for myself. Stop asking “how can I help?” Start asking “what do you need?” I have been around this loop many times and I’ve nailed it with clients and colleagues but with my daughters it still can be hard. ...

Make your second lockdown easier

Vanessa May · Make Your Second Lockdown Easier   We got through the first lockdown with cheers for the NHS and the knowledge that summer was on its way.  But now we’re heading for winter, days are darker and there’s the awareness that a clear end in sight is unlikely...

Supercharge your gifts

Vanessa May · Supercharge Your Gifts   Discovering core truths, aliveness and authenticity really matters to me. I believe we humans have a short earth walk and sometimes our conditioning has us hold back expressing our gifts.  Bronnie Ware in her book, The Regrets of The Dying identified the number...