Meet Ashton. Ashton is a mindset & well-being coach, and a positive psychology enthusiast. As soon as I noticed Ashton's Instagram, I was instantly attracted to her bright and uplifting content/personality and knew her contribution would be a fabulous addition to The Coaching Corner. If you need some practical tips and tricks to help you gain better control of your mind and push yourself towards reaching an improved version of you, keep reading. Ashton does not disappoint with her invaluable insights!
Let’s get started – Ashton,
What tips and advice can you give to those who want to overcome negative thinking and have better control of their emotions?
Negative thinking can manifest as unhelpful thoughts, a harsh inner critic or worry, and self-doubt for example. If left unchecked it affects our self-imagine, self-belief, our relationships, careers, and health to name but a few.
The first piece of advice I would give would be to firstly start to recognise your negative thought patterns and when they come up, try to separate them from you. Ask yourself is the thought helpful or hurtful and if it's hurtful then why would you want to continue to let it carry on unchecked?
“We don’t need to believe our negative thoughts and one technique to try is to prove them wrong or to challenge them.”
We don’t need to believe our negative thoughts and one technique to try is to prove them wrong or to challenge them. For example; if a thought I had was; ‘everyone in this meeting is going to think I’m inexperienced or too young to know what I’m talking about’, I would challenge my thinking by saying actually, 'I have many years of experience, I have a wealth of knowledge and feedback from others also shows I’m always received well and bring value'. This demonstrates that the initial thought is not only wrong but also unhelpful.
Positive affirmations about self or the situation are helpful in ‘fooling’ our subconscious into thinking differently about ourselves. Try things such as I am successful, I am confident, I am worthy of XYZ, I am able to do XYZ.
Research shows we have a more natural disposition towards feeling more negative emotion and without a conscious effort to generate more positive emotions, it’s easy for us to be defined by more negative aspects of things.
Why don't you try to explore your thoughts and work on changing your negative thinking habits using our Bright Ideas Journal.
How did you find your passion for coaching and know that this was the career for you?
I’ve always had an interest in people and the mind and how our psychological makeup impacts how we do things. I have a degree in Psychology and I am also a qualified Social Worker, so all of my work has always been in helping and supporting people in a capacity that enables them to live a life that is meaningful to them.
My Particular interest in coaching was a natural development from reading self-help and mindfulness books to Ted Talks and Tony Robbins videos to eventually working with my own ‘Life Coach’. Honestly, until I had a coach who I worked with over a sustained period I would not have believed how impactful and life-changing it was going to be for me. Coaching helped with my development on a personal level and helped to empower me to work towards my own goals and achievements. Prior to this, I had already undertaken some coaching training but my experience with a coach just cemented it all with me and I then went on to pursue further training.
How do you stay focused and motivated on your path towards happiness and success?
It’s an everyday task, I think naturally I'm an overthinker and have a tendency to consider the negative or worst-case scenario as I always told myself it’s better to avoid disappointment. What I didn’t realise was that my perception totally shaped my reality, of course things are not going to feel good if I'm not opening myself up to that.
“…I think it’s also important to acknowledge that it can be difficult to always ‘think and be positive’, especially when going through really stressful situations.”
Although I'm a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, I think it’s also important to acknowledge that it can be difficult to always ‘think and be positive’, especially when going through really stressful situations. I believe as humans we will always experience a full spectrum of emotions – the good and the bad. We should acknowledge what feels negative or uncomfortable and lend some time to not only understanding this but then consciously making an effort to shift ourselves out of this state if we find ourselves in it for too long or too often.
I have found the more I've practiced things such as gratitude, being more present, and understanding that each set back is merely a redirection I've been able to maintain my motivation towards happiness and success.
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the current situation that we’re all dealing with in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lives have all changed massively at the moment and it seems hard to get away from it in some ways; even just down to the fact that we have to stay at home, sometimes in highly stressful or tense households.
It’s normal to acknowledge that this situation is scary or stressful for a variety of reasons but within this, it is also important to take some time out to take care of ourselves and our state of mind so that we’re not always in a state of worry or absorbing bad news, but looking for the good or positives in all of this. This could be appreciating that there is no pressure to be anywhere or to rush around at the moment, and having more time to connect more meaningfully with friends and family whilst also remembering that this situation will eventually pass.
Related product: Gratitude Journal
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about coaching?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about coaching is that there will be some judgement from the coach or pressure to do something that the person is very uncomfortable doing. Yes, coaching is about helping you to move forward and an aspect of this is stretching your zone of comfort; how can we be expected to grow if we don’t push ourselves. However, the coach to coachee relationship is one built off of trust, understanding, genuine support, and a wish to see you succeed. Everything you achieve with coaching comes from you, we just help you to extract the answers, skills, and drive that you already have inside of you.
What is your favourite word?
My favourite word is discombobulated, I don’t know why but I just like the sound of it and that it can be a mouthful to say. It’s a fancy way to say confused and I think we can all be a bit confused at times, even coaches.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of water; waves of the sea, a waterfall, or rain outside. I find it so peaceful and relaxing. I don’t know if this is because I love the water and it has connotations of washing things away and refreshing things.
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
I would love to try interior design. I’m big on aesthetics and putting things together and have really enjoyed recently buying furniture and accessories for my flat. I also enjoy cooking so a stint as a TV chef would be fun, again creating something and putting things together.
Thank you so much for your contribution Ashton, I'm sure our readers will find your insights very helpful (as have I!). I have learned so much from reading your contribution and especially love your connotations of water! I had never thought of it that way but it is so true.
If you are interested in the services Ashton provides, you can contact her via Instagram @coachedbyashton. Don’t forget to check out Ashton’s blog for more amazing content on wellbeing, self-development, and self-care: www.ashtonsays.home.blog.
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