Elfreda Manahan-Vaughan Confidence Coaching, Training and Consulting


Tips and thoughts on how to have a great life.

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Love of Learning

Posted by Elfreda Manahan-Vaughan on August 29, 2019 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I remember about 4 years ago attending some training and we were asked to discuss with someone beside us, what our goals for the future were. I have one goal that rarely changes even if the specifics of it do and that is to continue to study. I mentioned that I wanted to go back to study and do a Masters. The person was incredulous and couldn’t understand why I would do something like that for pleasure and not because I had to.

I have been engaging in some form of study every year since 1998. I realise that love of learning is one of my strengths and as a friend and colleague says, ‘it’s my drug of choice’. What I learn varies but there is a common thread, I am continually learning about myself and about they way in which people engage with the world and deal with each other.

According to Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model of Wellbeing, having a purpose and feeling in flow with what you do it an integral part of happiness and wellbeing. People who don’t have goals or who aren’t trying to improve themselves are less likely to feel their life is worthwhile. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter what you learn.

The internet is such a wonderful resource that you can fulfil your preference for learning and find out about pretty much anything. I love to read, I am not so good with videos or podcasts, although I do a daily yoga practice using video instruction. My husband prefers videos and talks, which gives us great insight when we share knowledge about the same subject as we often get slightly different perspectives. If you are into more academic learning you can download any course from Harvard University and study their course modules, although you won’t get any accreditation for it. The opportunities for learning are endless.

Another way I love to learn is through my meditation practice. As I teacher I find most people come to meditation to relax or de-stress. The reality is that meditation was actually for the purpose of self-awareness and is an essential tool if you are trying to develop your Emotional Intelligence. Time spent in silence can surface all sorts of thoughts and ideas about yourself and the world. It can also help you to identify the patterns of thinking that are most destructive to you and others. Additionally, meditation can improve inspiration. If you haven’t already checked it out, look at my earlier post about the ‘Eureka Factor’ by John Kounios. He explains how open awareness can give us ‘aha’ moments and help with problem solving.

As we start the academic year again next week, it may be time for you to set some goals. Perhaps it’s time for you to develop your strengths of ‘Love of Learning’ or ‘Curiosity’. You can find out more about strengths at When we are passionate about something it gives us the drive and momentum to keep going and it fill us with a sense of purpose. I know I am biased as both a teacher and a life-long learner but try it, you’ll be amazed at what you might learn about yourself.

Thank you for reading. If you want to get in touch or have any questions email, phone 00353868373582 or PM.

I hope our paths cross again in the future,







Exploring Authenticity

Posted by Elfreda Manahan-Vaughan on July 26, 2019 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Firstly, I want to apologies for the lack of blog posts recently. I know many of you have been very supportive in the past reading my posts. This year has been taken up with study for my MSc and so my usual time spent writing on a Friday has been spent reading and researching instead. Anyway, here’s a little pondering for you this week.

I had the pleasure of participating in some new research into authenticity in coaches and coaching. Although the results of the research won’t be available until next year it did get me thinking about authenticity again and as I spoke to the researcher it helped me to clarify some of my own thoughts about my own experience.

One of the key questions asked was 'how do I know when I am being authentic?’ As I answered the question, I began to realise that I am more aware of when I am not authentic than when I am. Which reminded me of the answer I often get when I ask clients what they are thinking about when they are in the moment or are not feeling stressed or anxious. The answer is always ‘nothing’. This is the same for me when I am authentic. For me to be authentic means I need to be fully present in the moment. If I am projecting my thoughts into a situation, or if I am trying to project an image that may be perfect or knowledgeable then it pulls me out of the reality of who I am. When I am authentic, I am present warts and all. I know only so much, and I am aware of how much I don’t know. It has taken me years to be able to accept myself with all my flaws and successes.

To be genuinely authentic one needs to be able to admit your mistakes, take responsibility for your actions but most importantly know that you are enough. Being and feeling that you are enough allows us to present the truth of who we are, as we are no longer afraid of the judgements or opinions of others. For me, it also an ongoing journey. I need to be mindful of the moments of when I slip back into old patterns of defending or trying to be something I am not. I love that I am awesome and crap all at the same time.

I was asked if I had any tips for being authentic for new coaches and my answer, is the same answer I would give anyone. To be authentic you need to continually work on understanding yourself, on accepting who you are and overcoming the misguided assumptions you make about yourself and others. You need to free yourself from blame and be able to sit with the sad, angry and crappy parts of yourself. You have to thrive on the feedback that tells you who you are, even when it means you have to admit that some problems or difficult relationships are as much your fault as they are others. You also have to be present. Get out of your head and the stories you tell yourself about the world and other people. As long as you stay in a place of judgement and assumption you will miss the beauty of the moment and wonderful lessons it may bring. Working on your self-awareness, whether it is through meditation, yoga or emotional intelligence practices, is so important. If you don’t know who you are, or why you do what you do, how can you be authentic even with yourself.

It was an illuminating and inspiring conversation as we explored my thought for the research. It’s funny when we talk about things out loud how much insight we can have, I guess that is why coaching works and why I love it. I’d love to know your thoughts on authenticity and how you know when you are authentic and when you are not. Please post in the comments.

Thank you for reading. If you want to get in touch or have any questions email, phone 00353868373582 or PM.

I hope our paths cross again in the future,