How to say no.

How to say no.

I’ve got a confession to make.

I’m your fool. [Name that song!]

But I am not foolish.

As a yes person, the word no, hasn’t come naturally to me. I’ve been overly generous, I have enjoyed sharing my knowledge and I have been burnt by lifes takers.😣

Saying no isn’t always easy—but it is a necessary boundary we all need as leaders, friends, family members and as humans.

Saying yes and grabbing life by the ⚽’s sounds great and all. But what happens to you when your yeses start to impact your career, friendships and worst of all, your mental health?

I can tell you: you start to flake out, burn out and cry out – for help!

 So, how do you say no without compromising your values and relationships?

Yes, I mean, No.

‘No’ can be a full sentence.

However, imagine the look on your colleagues face when they have asked you help them out with a project or when a friend has invited you to their wedding and your response is just a plain ‘NAAHHH!’

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No, Nope, Nah…

Here are 3 easy ways on how you can say no, without coming across as rude whilst protecting your boundaries and building respect.

1. Be direct and avoid excuses

Yeah, but, no, but, yeah, but…

You want to say no!!

Offering an excuse may seem like the polite way to decline a request but it sets you up for an awkward situation. The problem with offering an excuse is it gives people the opportunity to change their request so that your excuse doesn’t justify your no.

See the problem?

So instead of ‘I can’t I am washing my hair’…

Try out ‘I don’t have the capacity and I am not the right person for this, have you tried reaching out to the X team?’

2. Offer suggestions as solutions

Sometimes it is easier to get the job done yourself. Or perhaps you have lived experience of doing a task, so why don’t you share your journey to help others not make the same mistakes. All great values, but don’t let that cloud your judgement.

Over the weekend Kim asked if I could help her friend with the techie bit for LinkedIn Lives, just a 15minute call. Old me would have said yes which would have added another item to my weekly to-do list, on top of my already busy schedule and I would have stressed out about finding the time, because we all know a 15 minute call with me, isn’t 15 minutes.

So I responded with:

“Best thing to do for X is to send her the links in the shared sheet for all the techie bits – and if she is still struggling / needs some help suggest to her to check out the help function – that how’s I figured it all out with the tech support. 🤓 or Contact LinkedIn directly.”

And Kim replied ‘Thank you!’ – I did’t say no, but I offered a suggestion as a solution.

✅This still helped out my friend, to help hers.

✅ I was able to share my knowledge.

✅ And I didn’t have to panic about finding the time.

3. Don’t apologise

‘I’m sorry, but no.’

Are you really #sorrynotsorry? You shouldn’t be apologising for protecting your boundaries. Sorry should be used when you really are apologetic over something that has caused someone pain or you’ve made a mistake.

You get where I am going with this…

Don’t use sorry as a filler. Because, you don’t need to apologise to say NO.

I don’t think that is part of my journey today

So before you say no, make sure you are not filling it out with a sorry or an excuse. Offer suggestions as solutions and if the person on the other side really isn’t getting the word ‘no’ then I invite you to consider whether that person is taking advantage of your good nature?

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**All images are from

Coaching Method: What is NLP?

Coaching Method: What is NLP?

As well as being an ICF accredited Coach, I am also qualified and experienced in a neuroscience-based and therapeutic coaching techniques: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

What is Neuro Linguistic Programming? :

Also known as: NLP. 

What does it mean?

N = Neuro is the physical components as well as the mental and emotional components of our neurology.

L = Linguistic is the language that we use, and more specifically, how we communicate with others and ourselves.

P = Programming is the way our past experiences, thoughts and emotions affect all areas of our lives.

What does it look like in practice? 

As an example, we may use the following NLP coaching methods in your sessions:

Timeline Therapy: We find where it first happened which will help you work past any limiting beliefs that are preventing your progress. Unwanted negative emotions and feelings, and limiting beliefs can have a huge effect on our mindset and progression.

Anchoring: An anchor for when you want to feel calm, confident, motivated, or any other powerful state of being. One that you do for yourself. This technique is about harnessing a good feeling to pull on, in times of self-doubt.

Reframing: Mastering the ability to look at something differently. First, we will look at the habit such as mindreading then develop ways to alter your mindset to open for more flexibility and understanding around situations.

Want to find out more about NLP? Email me, to find out more.

Coming to terms with Imposter Syndrome

Coming to terms with Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever felt inadequate? Suffered from self-doubt? Felt like you shouldn’t be in the room? 

Then you are not alone.

Many women (and men) experience the constant nagging feeling they’re going to be unmasked as a fraud… any… minute… now! This is all despite overwhelming evidence saying otherwise.

It’s a phenomenon that blights humankind– and it is called imposter syndrome.

The term imposter syndrome has wriggled its way into my vocabulary over the last 5 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly since I started to progress further with my purpose and career. I started seeing articles in magazines, adverts on social media and recommended reads on Linkedin… (Oops, I am now adding one to the mix!)

Where the term came from

Psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term “imposter syndrome” in 1978 when they were studying successful women who believed they were not worthy of their achievements. 

Their definition:

A feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” These people also “live in fear of being ‘found out’ or exposed as frauds.”

The facts and figures

📣 The Independent performed a study which stated it found a third of millennials experience self-doubt at work, with 40% of women saying they felt intimidated by senior people, compared to 22% of men asked.

📣 HR news stated ‘Imposter Syndrome has impacted a whopping 62% of people at work, according to a report by Access Commercial Finance. The survey of over 3000 adults in the UK shows over two-thirds of women (66%) have suffered from imposter syndrome compared to over half of men (56%) within the last 12 months’.

📣 The Telegraph reported that research showed that 28% of working women feel like imposter syndrome has stopped them speaking in a meeting. It also found 21% have been prevented from suggesting a new or alternative idea at work, and 26% have failed to change career or role.

📣 In a WITI article, it stated that research eventually showed a majority of people (70%) will experience imposter syndrome at some point in life, often during transitional times.

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Women and Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is pretty darn serious.

Beyond making you feel like an utter failure, imposter syndrome can limit your career and personal growth. It can lead to other health issues such as burnout, anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion. Hinder you further with loss of motivation and poor achievement. It can knock careers off-track and also harm team morale and organisational performance through micromanagement, slow decision-making, and perfectionism.

What has been found is that the problem is more common among women and minorities within the workforce.

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‘It is crucial to remember that women are not born feeling less-than. But if you are continually treated as though you are, you eventually internalise it. And this is not merely a synonym for low confidence – imposter syndrome is the logical outcome of a world that was never designed for women to be successful. It is time we stopped seeing the problem as being women’s refusal to believe in themselves and rather a world that actively refuses to believe in women’. *The Guardian Yomi Adegoke.

For me, there is a mindset shift needed across all genders. We must all strive to create a world of balance, equality and justice. There is also a view of organisational cultural change: Embodying and implementing Servant Leadership opposed to traditional leadership of hierarchical dictatorship.

Fundamentally, to move on from imposter syndrome we need to change behaviours.

How you can start to overcome imposter syndrome today

Here are my personal top 6 hacks (that I have tried and tested) to overcome imposter syndrome:

1. Start with you.Take time out for yourself and be consistent with regular breaks. Work on your self awareness as well as your physical and mental health. You may want to invest in coaching, mentoring or even join networking groups to build a tribe of support.

2. Find allies both in work and in your friendship circles. When you start using self-doubting language ask your allies to use a code word like ‘pineapple’ 🍍 to bring you back in the room and capture the moment you started to doubt yourself. Perhaps at this point you may want to keep a diary so you can start to build any patterns and recognise any triggers

3. Create empowering beliefs: Try this NLP technique: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🧠 Think of a belief that would be really useful to have. This is your desired belief. E.g. I am Confident. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

🧠Think of a belief that is absolutely true. E.g. The grass is green.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

💡 When thinking of your true belief get a real picture of what you see, hear and feel.

🧠 Now put your desired belief into the same picture as the absolutely true belief. ⠀⠀

Do this any many times that feel comfortable. How do you feel about your empowering belief? ⠀⠀⠀⠀

4. Ask for feedback. I like to ask for 360 feedback. It is a process where your manager, your peers and direct reports and sometimes even customers can evaluate you. Ask 3 simple questions – What should I start doing? (This will capture what you need to do) What should I stop doing? (This will give you something to work on) and What should I continue to do? (This is your positive feedback that you can save in your brag list).

5. Listen to podcasts, speak to friends, colleagues and family members about Imposter Syndrome. You will be surprised in how many people are willing to share their stories and you will truly realise you are not alone. I obviously recommend listening to: Speak Female Podcast ™️

6. Ally or not – it is time to embrace that mindset shift. It it also time to banish the pink jobs and blue jobs. Set the world and the workplace up for success. You can do this by actively promoting females within, collaborate with your diversity boards and educate yourself by reading, listening to podcasts and watching Tedx talks.


Chasing Female Empowerment

Chasing Female Empowerment

I will always remember that one woman I worked with, who just scared me. Her rudeness made me feel uneasy, self conscious and actually a little bit frighten. The blunt, direct yet bullish approach really isn’t the management style I aspired to. In fact, I found that it alienated colleagues and made a very cold atmosphere in the heated office.

There is also another woman in my old role, who, is just obnoxious – hear me out. She used to stomp across the office to her desk, she never held the lift for you and not only did she once let the door slam in my face, she actually physically pushed me to get through that said door. Every time she breezed by desk, she looked at me as if I am something on the bottom of her shoe. The scary thing was, we don’t even know each other… I don’t even know her name!

I have armed full of more examples dating back to school years of women/girls (and the opposite sex) being unpleasant… which sparked a thought for this post.

When I first started to pull this article together, I was simply going to write about how some women should stop being so damn mean. But once I started to dig a little deeper into the topic, I started to question and explore around the support, empowerment and encouragement we have within our world of work, family and friends.

With the rise of female networking groups such as Allbright, The Step Up Club and The Coven. Insta pages like Boss Babe (and of course mine) with social media hashtags #womenempoweringwomen #womenempowerwomen #womenwholead – should I be surprised that some women still don’t support other women and really couldn’t care?

Since writing posts for my blog, coaching clients and hosting networking events, I have always been solely focused on empowering and supporting women as well as learning and progressing. Leading a feminist platform that opens doors, gives advice and provides a sense of belonging.

It’s funny, I used to hesitate on the term feminist, because there are so many varying understandings of what the term means. Thus, perhaps a Modern Feminist is more appropriate for me. I don’t hate men and I will not be burning my bra outside parliament. I believe in striving for equal rights and opportunities of all people. For me, feminism goes beyond gender and is more about diversity, humanity and accountability.

I have had and still have female friends, and yet for much of my adult life I would find myself saying “I get along better with men than women” and recently a close girlfriend and I announced, almost in sync : “there’s only certain types of women I get along with”.

Interestingly, we used women as our friendship term, if you will. Upon reflection and to correct what I said – There are certain types of people I get along with better than others.

I don’t agree with how the media portrays women.

For example, Theresa May. When she gave her resignation speech the media captured pictures of her at the worst points and used emotional, weakening words in their articles. In fact throughout her time as the UK Prime Minister, I don’t remember anything positive that anyone wrote about her – I only remember her shoes and that she ran through a corn field.

Another example is reality TV shows. It bugs me how the BBC have started to portray women on The Apprentice. So much so, I refuse to watch the programme. I get that it is a competition, blah, blah, blah, but the screeching, bullying and poor management manners isn’t how I see myself as a business woman.

So what we see on our televisions are conditioning our brains to have a perception of women (and men).

I once had a manager tell me, that he doesn’t think women make good leaders. When I pointed out that I am a woman, who manages a team under his leadership, he said he wasn’t referring to me. Yes, I too gave that confused look.

Throughout my career, like the stories I opened with, I have had challenges with colleagues behaviour yet I have had times of great success, encouragement and career enhancement wins with the support from both male and female colleagues.

To me, it is clear that an unsupported work culture towards diversity is damaging. Not only towards the individuals but to the company and brand itself.

Women are not often encouraged to be supportive of each other, at least not in a consistent way. From beauty pageants (which are not commonly in the UK), to the reality TV shows like Love Island and The Bachelor (women fighting over a man). And, of course social media where we now have to look, talk, dress all a certain way. And ever heard someone say “oh she just looks like every other girl on instagram…” (Cringe).

When it comes to female friendships, the bonds that were created come from different elements. I have learned which friends I can talk to about work, business, blogging. And those who I can talk to about babies, boyfriends, husbands and makeup etc. I have also changed my expectations from what I get from them as individuals. Why should I expect one of my girlfriends who has just had a beautiful baby girl to listen to me ramble on about work, coaching, blogging and career aspirations. Although I see she is pleased for me, it is about having that mutual respect for each others opinions and stages of life. On the other side, I will say, that whatever stage of life you are in. The support for your female friends is key – whether that is promoting an article they featured in or celebrating that they got a new lipstick!

Empower the women in your life!

Start with you, Give yourself a break: Before you can start supporting others, spend time getting yourself mentally strong and grounded. Know your values and arm yourself ready to spread the empowerment.

Let the Women in your life know you value them: This can be a simple act of complimenting them, listening without trying to solve their problems, and most importantly telling them you value who they are and why.

Remember the golden rule? Well here is a remix: Treat other women how you wish to be treated. Basically be nice. You don’t know what is going on with that other person – smile at someone on the tube, ask the cashier how their day is going, hold the door open for someone, tell a stranger you love their hair and give your seat up for the lady who looks like she had a rough day.

When I was at GOSH with my friend and her son (he’s fine), passing by, the female of Brain Specialist (ok, she had a much fancier title then that and I can’t remember it) updating my friend, as she walked off, I hooted “Go you, with your great career and thank you for everything you do for these children.” She probably thought I was a bit odd… But hopefully she walked away feeling good and recognised.

Support that girlfriend who is starting a business or going for an interview or even a date. Offer advice, time and experience. Share their post on your own social media and check in with them especially if you know they are having a rotter of a day!

Being a woman who is supporting other women is something to strive towards. Being a feminist, however you see it, you own it! Empower women in your life.

Although, I see we have come along way, there is is still a journey ahead of us. It is unrealistic to expect all women to support other women, but how I and you chose to be – well that is up to us! #womensupportingwomen

The Speak Female Podcast

It’s Curious, isn’t it…

It’s Curious, isn’t it…

How I am the most unhappy when I am trying to conform. ​​​​​​​​
☹️ Finding a niche because everyone told me that I had to. ​​​​​​​​(But I now know how bloody important it is).
☹️ Dressing in black, white and grey – because “pink isn’t very professional”​​​​​​​​
☹️ Getting depressed because the MBA prices are ridiculously expensive and actually don’t offer any more than I already know. ​​​​​​​​
☹️ Trying to be someone else, because someone told I am too “aggressive” “sensitive” “ambitious” !!!​​​​​​​​
Can you relate? ​​​​​​​​
I decided to open up to a friend of mine and explain how I have been feeling. I told her that I had my fringe cut and I hated it, I didn’t know what to wear and I wanted to do further education, but I hated doing my degree… the list went on. ​​​​​​​​
She said “But you are different Lucy. That’s why people are drawn to you. You stand out whilst everyone blends in”​​​​​​​​
I let that sit and percolate … I then took this to my coaching session. ​​​​​​​​
“Can I offer you a reflection Lucy?” my coach said. ​​​​​​​​
“Of course” I replied ​​​​​​​​
“Have you noticed that when you are trying to conform, it has an impact on your mental health?” ​​​​​​​​
Since then, I have took stock of who ‘Lucy’ really is. And actually, being different is my USP. Being authentic, is what’s needed. ​​​​​​​​
And by accepting and acknowledging that… I am feeling pretty darn happy. 😁​​​​​​​​

Doing it all

Doing it all

I get asked at least once a week – ‘how do you do it all?’

And every time I get asked this question, I always stumble on the answer. I start to mutter something along the lines of how I don’t have kids yet, then start making excuses for my success and mention that doing things virtually has made things easier…

Then it hit me, why am I apologising?

I do, do a lot. And I do it darn well. Yes zoom has been a huge enabler, but that isn’t why or even how I do it all.

In this blog post I am going to let you in on how I do it all and how you can too.

Insiders secrets

⚡️ Since reading Robin Sharma’s book – The 5am Club, I have embraced the key learnings. The creative in me designed my own version on elevating my leadership and coaching:

No, I don’t get up at 5am.

And No, I don’t always stick to the rules.

But I do follow the leadership empires. I am huge believer in being self-aware and taking care of myself. For me to be the best for my clients so they can achieve their results, I need to make sure I am healthy, emotionally stable, educated and my inner spirit in nurtured.

⚡️ Who you have in your tribe matters. And gosh, don’t I know it. My partner is incredibly supportive when it comes to my career, ambition and needs. In our household there is no such thing as pink jobs and blue jobs. Just a balance of support, ambition and love.

Someone said to me last week – ‘if you can’t solve a problem with your 5 closest friends, you need to get new ones.’ This is true, over the last 3 to 5 years I have surrounded myself with the right people who I know can help and support me. And, I have parted ways with those who no longer support my growth.

⚡️ I manage my time well: I have a full time job, I coach between 2 to 3 clients a week, I am involved in speaking engagements, I prep/record/edit a podcast, attend or lead networking events, I read lots of books and I write a blog… etc.


I don’t waste time scrolling through Instagram (anymore). I don’t binge watch Netflix. I pre-plan most evening activities e.g. 7pm networking hubs. And, I pick and choose what I do. I no longer feel obligated to attend every single damn networking call. I only attend ones where I can provide value and/or go there with a specific purpose.

Side note: I recommend reviewing this sense of obligation. We are always striving to do more, be more and say more because society is telling us to. But, is that what you want to be doing?

Are you a bad mum because you didn’t bake cookies for the school bake sale? – NO, who doesn’t love M&S buckets?

Are you a bad friend because you rescheduled dinner plans? – Nope.

Are you a bad leader because you didn’t work a 12 hour day? – Hell no, and if you do normally – we need to talk.

➡️ When I start to feel overwhelmed or burnout creeping in (because I have worked on my triggers and I know what to look out for) … I take a break, go for a massage or a walk or journal.

Why I do it all

Someone asked this week – ‘What is your why?’ And wow, what a questions.

The reason I work so hard is because I want to empower, encourage and grow other people. I want to enable others to be the best of versions of themselves. Because I know we all have the potential to be in that top 5% of leadership and the human race.

Oh and whilst I am on the subject of leadership, I am still on a mission to change the face of it.

So my why: Empower and enable others to progress whilst changing the face of leadership.

When I asked the question back, I was blown away with her response: ‘Everyone is welcomed at my table.’ Backed up with a strong story of female empowerment.

Now over to you

We have all seen that saying: ‘You have the same amount of hours as Beyoncé’

I have the same amount of hours in the day as Oprah. And, hell yes I make them count.

What will you start to do with your hours in the day?