Colette Stevenson talks about how sometimes our reboot stories are interlinked, and they help us with our next reboot and how we often have to reboot to get to the next level of our lives.
She doesn’t believe it’s a journey that’s finished. Some of the episode may be triggering for some listeners so please read the show notes if that could be you.
She shares a significant time in her life, where she was sexually assaulted by four guys on a crowded street and nobody helped her. Following this Collette struggled to process what had happened, got involved in unhealthy relationships because of a sense of undeserving and worthlessness, and then when she hit rock bottom, she had a dream that meant she woke up and knew she had to make a change.
She left the UK and built a hugely successful life in Japan, met and married her husband, and had their son, but there came a point after her father’s death when she thought that her Autistic son, aged 3 would be better supported back in the UK. Her husband wasn’t permitted a visa into the UK and this is when poverty struck and those feelings of worthlessness came back, causing her to pivot her business many times. Things have become much clearer since she realised she is ADHD and is starting to believe that she too is deserving of good things. There are key people that have been there at the right time, one of those being Helen Pritchard who Colette is now in business with. How Colette has navigated challenge and change is truly inspirational and there is something that everyone can take away from this episode.
“I feel like I’m at the stage of my life where I have to own those dark times. And I have to talk about them openly. Because when I have heard other people talking about their stories, I have felt like I have permission to find healing and move through it myself.”
“Even though you know that you might be able to do something different. You don’t know how to move from that point of being, especially when being mistreated, being undervalued, or being less than worthy in other people’s eyes is normal. When that feels normal. You can’t imagine ever stepping out of it or doing something different at all.”
“I don’t know why. But I knew I couldn’t go back. And then I was stuck against this cliff. And I didn’t know where to go in the dream. And then I looked up right at the top, there was this sliver of sky. And in the dream, I knew that I just needed to get to the top of the cliff, and I’d be free. And I woke up that morning. And I thought I’ve got to make a change. It wasn’t really a thought in words, it was a feeling or a hope or a realisation that I didn’t have to stay stuck. Surrounded by this darkness, I could get to the top of the cliff, it was the first time I saw the light. But I did, I saw the light. And I’m not saying it was easy to get from that point to changing things. But that was, I suppose, the beginning of a reboot that I didn’t know was about to happen.”
We didn’t qualify for any financial assistance at all. And at one point, I got a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions, telling me to move back to Japan. One day, I’m going to find that, hold it up and say, This is shameful. My mental health deteriorated rapidly. And I did not know how to feed my child.
“It felt like when I was in the UK, my life was dark. Because I then associated all this pain and all this darkness with when I lived in the UK before I left for Japan. I left for Japan and my life flourished. And I came back to the UK. And within a year, I was back in this dark space where I felt trapped with no way out. But in my mind, because of what had gone on before. I also knew that the sky existed. So even though things were really dark, and even though things felt really hopeless. And even though I didn’t know what was going to happen, or how it was going to unfold, I knew that it wasn’t forever, and things would improve. So I had this mantra, this ongoing mantra, it’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever, things change, things change. And just keep taking one step forward, just keep moving through it one step forward, and things will change. And they did, that was three years ago. And things have changed. And it’s got nothing to do with, you know, any help from being in the UK. But I also realise now that the darkness is not related to geography at all.”
“It was what I could do next, that mattered not what had happened before”
“ I had to find a way to generate an income. So I thought, Well, okay, I can make stuff because I used to make flyers and brochures and posters and logos for my own businesses. I can make stuff. So that was one thing I thought I could do. So at that time, my cousin said, Have you heard of Helen Pritchard? And I was like, No, never heard of her. Right? And my cousin’s like, She does this LinkedIn training stuff, you should have a look. So it was a five-day free challenge coming up. So I did that five-day challenge and was like, right, okay, I’ll use LinkedIn and try and get customers. So I went on LinkedIn and started advertising that I could help educators build, make resources, I got a client, and I was like, Oh, my God, this is magic. Right. So that was kind of my first set of income, it was a good contract I got from LinkedIn from that. And, I used that money to feed my son for the next couple of months, but also to then invest in my business so that I could take payments more easily online”
“So I got on a call with this woman. And I talked to her. And I was like, Oh, yeah, and she made some good points. And she explained to me a little bit more about ADHD and how it’s different in women and girls. And I was like, okay, maybe I’ll look into it. And then I sat on it again for a few more months. But I told my husband and he said, you know what it makes sense. So I started looking into it and reading about it. And then I read Janet Murray’s blog about when she’d been diagnosed at 45 with ADHD. And she had listed all these different points. And I was like, Oh, my God. “
“I joined ADHD groups, I spoke to women who were diagnosed with ADHD and when I talked about the connection that I felt when I joined the autistic groups, It was that magnified by 100,000. I didn’t have to explain myself anymore. I didn’t have to justify anything. I didn’t have to. I didn’t have to do anything. It was okay.“
“So it was probably around a year ago that I realised conclusively that I’m going to say I am ADHD because it’s the way my brain is, it’s not a condition that I have to just, it’s just an is, so I am ADHD. And when I discovered that and realised that I was not alone, and realised that I was not flawed, and there was something wrong with me, it made this massive, massive leap, in terms of that sense of not feeling like I deserve anything, it stepped me up, it gave me perspective, and it’s helped me to help me, it’s just helped me understand what I can do. And also set limits on what I can’t and just say, I can’t do that, and not feel bad about it.”
“Yeah, I think the last 12 months have been, I don’t think there’s a word for it. To be honest, I think I was set free. I’m not gonna lie, I still am going through a lot of discomfort right now. And a lot of you know, those old kind of blocks and those old kind of ideas of not being worthy and not feeling like I deserve great things are coming back and I’m having to work constantly to remind myself to actually ever if, if I was talking to anybody else, so of course you’re worthy what you’re talking about, everybody is deserving of good things, everybody, including me.”
“I wanted to ask about how I could sell my Instagram grid. Right. So that was my question. I was like, I’ve got this thing, but I don’t know how I can sell it to people, or what price I should sell it out was basically my question. And Helen Pritchard was in there, and I was really nervous. And I was the second person to ask the question, and also I can’t recall. And I was like, all shaky and nervous. But because of this self-hypnosis thing, I believed I could ask that question, and that my question had value in a way that I’d never believed before. So I asked that question. And a week later, I was in business with Helen Prichard. So yeah, I don’t necessarily switch off. But I do think that self-hypnosis is quite a powerful way to control my alertness, if that makes sense or to manage the way my thoughts are ordered.”
“With meditation, it’s quite passive. You’re following the instructions and you relax your body and you relax your mind. That’s the bit that I’ve always struggled with. ‘Relax my mind”, what does that even mean? But with self-hypnosis, you are consciously thinking about what you’re doing, and what you’re saying, and what you’re thinking. It means you don’t switch off you stay on, which puts me to sleep. Helps you switch off. It’s magic.”
“Just keep going, when things are great, don’t get complacent, when things aren’t great – Keep going. And even if you can only take a tiny step”
“Because like you said earlier in the podcast, things will change, things do change, always change, they always change, and we can have an impact on what kind of change is gonna happen, we can impact the change that we want to see, we can’t change circumstances.”
Helen Pritchard – https://getleadsfromlinkedin.com/5daychallengereg
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie https://amzn.to/3guo9Nn
Colette Stevenson is a graphic designer. She is a feminist, anti-racist, neurodivergent sis woman, a staunch LGBTQ plus ally, and a committed advocate for childhood and children’s rights. At 45. She learned that she is ADHD,
Colette is an enthusiastic wonky thinker who loves good coffee and chocolate. She is determined to do things differently and make the world a happier place.
Over the years, Colette has flourished and crashed multiple times but she remains steadfast in her belief that there is joy in every day and all things are attainable – especially a better life.
She is the founder of Postagrid, a simple and impactful way to manage your Instagram grid.
CONNECT WITH COLETTE
FREE Masterclass Tuesday, 31 August 10 am BST:
20 Content Ideas to Make Money From Your Grid
ABOUT THE HOST
Emma Last is a qualified Mental Health and Wellbeing Trainer and Coach. She has co-written both the First Aid Industry body’s accredited First Aid for Mental Health and Wellbeing training for Adults in the workplace and those working with children.
Emma also has over 20-years, experience in leading teams and developing strategies for change. She worked in senior leadership for a large corporate until early 2018, when she came to a turning point in her career due to being on the brink of burnout and wanted to gain more of a balance in her life. She then rebooted her life and founded her company Progressive Minds.
Emma also works with workplaces and schools on their Mental Health and Wellbeing strategies and provides training and coaching to support employees through challenging and changing times. Emma also works with individuals to help them to perform at their best by working on their mental fitness, which incorporates stress/burnout prevention and resilience and agility development through her Human Reboot Movement Coaching Programme. Her clients say they have become more mentally fit, happier and gain the results they want in their lives.
Her Human Reboot podcast achieved number 22 in the Mental Health category in Mental Health Awareness week
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