Tracey is the founder of Inspiring Solutions. A qualified Learning and Development Consultant, a Strengthening Personal Resilience Master Trainer and a qualified and licensed DISC trainer, Tracey has studied Psychodynamic Counselling, Coaching and Psychology and is passionate about human behaviour.
Now running her own Learning and Development business, Tracey is building a reputation in the world of psychometric testing, her goal to make DISC profiling and the benefits it can provide available to everybody. Tracey believes everybody should have the opportunity to be the best they can be and to feel happy and fulfilled in their work.
I had displayed a lot of self-destructive behaviours throughout my teenage years and my twenties; however, the need for concern regarding these behaviours had gone unnoticed by me. I thought my ability to ‘go without’ showed discipline and a strength that I could feel proud of, and it was one area of my life where I felt ‘in control’.
I had gone from too shy to speak at all, to standing in front of a group of people delivering training sessions at work. My need to be better always ensured that I entered my ‘stretch zone’ with regularity. Consequently, I had therefore gained a lot of experience in different areas, and always received opportunities to try that ‘new thing’.
In 2007 I was successful in gaining my first Learning & Development position, and I discovered that I loved to help people feel confident in their role in the workplace. I enjoyed training people and giving them the support and encouragement that I had not received. I loved working with the supportive people that were my new colleagues, and completing the mandatory Certificate in Training Practice that the role required. This was the first job that I truly enjoyed and it was also the first time I had done something for ‘me’ - and it felt fantastic!
I lost my mum to meningitis and septicaemia at the age of 17, her sudden death reinforced the message to ‘not put things off’ as you just never know. It was with this message and the memory of her never allowing herself any time ‘just for her’ or to ‘be spoilt’ that I studied facials, make up and eye treatments in 2001. It was in this environment that I learned to speak to people and be comfortable with the physical contact the job required, (I was well and truly outside my comfort zone in these areas back then!) The company that provided the products for this training also provided invaluable training with regard to speaking in front of a group of people. They held big seminars where different ladies within the organisation spoke on stage and told ‘their story’ in front of hundreds of people. These ladies truly inspired me, they were absolutely amazing. Some of the obstacles they had climbed over, dug their way under, or simply blasted straight through, were incredible. I never tired of listening to these awesome women. They taught me that success was actually a matter of attitude and belief: make the ‘inner chatter’ positive, reframe those thoughts that shape our attitude and believe in yourself.
My mum was always reading a book about ‘positive thinking’ and when she died I kept these books, I began to read them when I had heard these inspiring stories. I completed all the exercises within and found them difficult and yet uplifting and inspiring at the same time. However, I did not share the information with others at the time, I would not have dreamed of sharing ‘weaknesses’ or asking for help in those days. In truth I always felt quite ‘slow’ on the uptake, it took years of reading different books before the common messages truly began to embed themselves in my mind. There was not one particular event or activity or question that ‘changed me’, however there were some key points:
- Writing – just ‘getting it off my chest’ really helped. When I embarked on my counselling qualification we were given assignments which focused this writing. The books I read as part of my study sometimes felt like they had been written directly about me. Having it there in black and white and feeling that somebody understood, even though it had been written before I was born was powerful for me. Sharing my vulnerabilities with others and receiving no judgement, only support was hugely powerful too. The day my tutor said, ‘you seem to give away all your power in your relationships’ was a key realisation, and from that day forward I saw my relationships in a different light.
- Exercises which I still use in my Resilience Training today: One exercise allows you to see yourself as an individual and everyone else as they are with the reasons why we’re all different and that this is ok, I found this very liberating. Others that encourage you to discover your true values, what really brings you peace and happiness plus those long term goals, this knowledge really gives me a vision and direction which I find vital for my own resilience.
I believe that women, in particular, need to feel that emotional connection with others. The sharing of stories and information really builds strength and inspires others. I kept quiet for so long and it was only when I took the risk and opened up that I truly established rapport and connections with others. There was support and understanding without judgement in the majority of cases, as so many others have had experiences of equally challenging times. I see that asking for help is not a weakness at all – it takes true courage and strength of character to allow others to see ‘you’. Independence is not the real strength, interdependence is and with it we can achieve so much more than we can on our own. Start challenging your ‘beliefs’: believe in yourself; believe that you deserve to achieve your goals. This will affect your ‘expectations’ in life and your ‘attitude’ towards situations and events. Your ‘behaviours’ will then alter as a result as will the ‘outcomes’, and finally (and very importantly) your ‘self-esteem’ will be boosted. Each time we go through this cycle in a consciously positive way we will be re-setting our beliefs to serve us more effectively in the future.