Liz Goodchild is an online life coach.

LIFE COACHING FOR PEOPLE

WHO GIVE A SHIT

Now taking bookings.

From feeling less stuck to making decisions that feel good, it’s all about doing the things you think you can’t—with me as your life coach by your side and new confidence in your shiny red sidecar.

After all, I know what your nagging little whispers say, speaking up in the back of your mind when the world goes quiet. “I need to change something. It’s time to show up. But where do I start? Can I start? Should I? I mean, things are fine. And fine is fine. Right? Juuuuuuust fine.”

The mediocrity is sucking out your damn life force – likely with a bendy straw.

But through life coaching, I’ve learned how the heck to turn fine into fantastic.

I’ve been running a full-time life coaching practice via Zoom since 2013. I’ve worked with hundreds of people over this time, from all walks of life, helping them to shake their lives up and feel more bolder, excited, confident and content. I get frustrated that we live in a world where asking for help, or admitting we haven’t got it all figured out, is seen as self-indulgent or fucked up, when in fact, I know the exact opposite to be true. And it’s this belief that forms the foundation of my writing and coaching approach. I’m honest and say it as it is. With kindness and a dash of kick-up-the-ass.

I work with men, women and gender diverse people. I’m a certified life coach, and yet beyond the qualifications nailed to my wall, I’ve learned how to help other people lead better lives through the lessons I’ve learned by living my own. From wanting to stick pencils in my eyes while sitting at the desk of my 9-5 in a corporate career that stifled me, to running ultra-marathons, to moving to a country I didn’t speak the language of—with a 4 month old baby in tow—I know that daily life can be fucking hard.

But I also know that we can do hard things:

My wife, our son and I spent the afternoon on the marketplace of our local town here in Germany, protesting against the far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD).

There are growing fears here that the burgeoning popularity of the AfD—especially due to their links with neo-Nazi ideologies and extremism—could spark a repeat of Germany's dark past.

Only 3 kilometres from our sleepy farming village, sits "Wewelsberg", a castle famously associated with its role during the Third Reich under the Nazi regime. During this time, Heinrich Himmler, one of the highest-ranking officials in Nazi Germany and the head of the SS, repurposed Wewelsburg Castle as a centre for the SS, intending it to be a place of spiritual significance and ideological indoctrination. It was also used as a concentration camp and Gestapo execution site as part of the systematic genocide aimed primarily at European Jews.

There are stories amongst my wife's family, who were born and raised in the same village that the castle stands, that after American soldiers liberated the concentration camp prisoners in 1945, the villagers—people who knew of the unparalleled horrors that happened inside the castle's walls—were forced to watch as the prisoners were led away from the castle. 

"Never again" became a rallying cry in the aftermath of the Holocaust, serving as a global commitment to prevent such atrocities from ever occurring again. 

And yet here we are, 80 years later, and I am wondering where the never again is for the people of Gaza? People who have faced unimaginable and barbaric trauma at the hands of some of the ancestors of people who were also subjected to mass murder, starvation, torture and deplorable, inhumane cruelty.

Nothing makes sense anymore. I feel like I am living in a parallel universe. Why are our cries for a ceasefire being ignored, no matter how loudly we're shouting?

And yet today we went to the protest to shout loudly. We wanted to show our son that amidst the darkness of prejudice, hatred, and intolerance, there is power in using our voice for justice and change.

Keep emailing your MPs. 
Keep protesting. 
Keep using your voice.

Never again must mean NEVER again.
In a session with a dear coaching client today, we were discussing the resistance she often feels to trying new things in her life. “I think I am just super lazy”, was her conclusion. But I wasn’t so sure. I asked her to describe what happens when she attempts to start the ‘new thing’ and she described a ‘flooding’ of thoughts and feelings that centre around not being good enough, failing, and having to get things just right. “I want things to be absolutely perfect”, she said.

I notice this a lot with my clients: Their drive for perfectionism, which, in my decade of working with clients, I’ve observed is generally always a sophisticated strategy for a deep belief that they’re not good enough. In essence, perfectionism becomes a shield against the fear of not measuring up.

Turns out, the “super laziness” my client self-reported, was actually procrastination. In a study (Kurtovic, et al,. 2019) on college students, the research examined whether procrastination can be predicted by “academic achievement, self-efficacy, and perfectionism dimensions”. In other words, “how are grades, confidence and perfectionism connected to putting off tasks (procrastination)?” The researchers found that the students who felt less confident were more likely to engage in “maladaptive perfectionism and procrastination”. 

My client was fascinated by this new perspective. She wasn’t lazy! Her resistance to trying new things was completely understandable and made so much sense when we looked at both her beliefs and the protective strategies that stemmed from them, under a new light. Understanding the root of her behaviours was, in her words, “a total game-changer.” 

Helping my clients to unravel the intricacies of their inner worlds and illuminating the hidden narrative and beliefs that dictate their behaviours, feels like such an honour and privilege. I really do bloody love my work.

I’m working on a coaching programme to help people, just like my client today, who also often feel they’re holding themselves back. If you’re interested, send me a quick DM (just say HI! or give me a thumbs up) and I’ll be in touch when the programme launches.
At band rehearsal the other night, during a break in playing, one of our guitarists asked me if he could try out a few songs on my bass guitar. "Yes, of course" I said as I handed it to him, before sitting down and scrolling through Instagram on my phone. I expected him to perhaps know a few power chords, or to attempt a simple bass riff, but no, this is not what happened. 

Turns out, he's an amazing bassist, and instead of just sitting there and enjoying his playing or learning from him, my old childhood belief of not being "good enough" resurfaced, and I found myself spiralling into a shit-show of shame. Ever been there?

Ugh.

Upon realising that my number was up—that the guitarist who I had presumed could not play bass and therefore would not know how ropey my bass playing actually is— most definitely would know (ah!), I proceeded to activate my very old, but very effective* coping mechanism which is to leave (sometimes emotionally, sometimes physically) and in this case, by deciding that the only rational thing to do was to go home, email the band to tell them I wanted to quit and to find themselves a new bass player (preferably one who was good).

Once home, and after half an hour or so of crafting the email in my head informing them of my decision, as well as utterly confusing my wife, who couldn't understand why I was so upset, I managed to calm myself down and re-regulate. I did this through tending to the kid in me who had completely taken over my "adult" and filled me with so much shame. Know what I did next? I'm glad you asked. 

I went and got my bass guitar (and apologised to it for momentarily abandoning it), sat down in my livingroom, opened Youtube and learned the bass riff from the very song that had triggered such a whirlwind of emotions. 

The parent in me wanted to show little me that, with a bit of practice and self belief, she could play that riff too. 

Turns out she could.

Guess what? In the face of self-doubt, resilience prevails, as well as a boat-load of self-compassion (even if at 42, I still need to re-learn this from time-to-time.)

*not really that effective.
Last month, Silja died. She was a pony that lived on our little farm here.

Silja was calm, gentle, and sweet. While I love and enjoy all the horses that we tend to, she had a special place in my heart. 

So I was naturally devastated, when she became unwell, and the vet said there was nothing more we could do for her. 

While it didn’t look like much from the outside, I devolved into a state of internal panic. I was scrambling around to avoid reality at all costs, which was that Silja was going to be put down in the yard outside my door.

I didn’t like the thought of that. Nope, not at all. So I avoided Silja while trying to work out how I could physically remove myself from the situation. Could I book a hotel for the evening she was going to be put down, or stay with friends?

I went about in circles for a few days until it hit me. Yes, grief is hard. Awful, in fact. But there was no point trying to avoid the reality of the loss I was about to experience. 

We all do this in one way or another. We’re only human, after all. Whether it is through binging on Netflix, burying ourselves in work, prioritising everyone else’s needs over our own, drinking…we all do it. And it’s because the actuality of it feels far too overwhelming. Painful. Heartbreaking.

Once I realised what I was trying to do, I made the decision to face reality instead of trying to pretend it didn’t exist. I spent a few moments with Silja every day, saying goodbye and telling her how much she meant to me. I helped with the preparations leading up to the event in any way that I could, making sure all the other horses were away and helping her owner light the yard so that the vet could see what they were doing. 

Once Silja had been put down, I went into the yard as she lay there. I sat with her, stroked her and stayed with her as her spirit left her. 

Was I heartbroken? Yes. Would I do it all over again? Also, yes. 

Through my tears, I realised that being present is to be human. The moment I surrendered to my feelings and stopped trying to avoid them, I stopped spiralling. I felt far more in control, and far more at peace, even through my profound sadness.
This is the face of a 42 year old woman who just fell flat on her arse trying to pick up her dog's shit in one hand, while trying to stop the dog from running off with the other, on a precariously icy hill.

Hi!

24 years ago today, my mum died.

I am feeling really grounded and steady despite it being such a sad and thoughtful day.

Every Tuesday night, I gather on Zoom with 8 other trainee psychotherapists for group therapy. It's a PARTY, let me tell you - because nothing says "fun" like a bunch of deep-thinking, analytical types dissecting each other's childhoods and turning our virtual gathering into a surreal mix of Freudian bingo.

In the group last night, I spoke about my mum's death and the impact it's had on my life over the last two decades, and our therapist asked, "Have you truly said goodbye to her, Liz?"

"Well, yes." I replied. "Many times."

But I woke up this morning with that question ping-ponging around my mind, wondering if I have truly said goodbye. How do you know? What happens if I haven't?

In the middle of the night, when I can't sleep sometimes, I fantasise that she didn't die, and that she'll just turn up again one day—having been on a 24-year long trip. I lie there in the dark, my wife snoozing beside me, trying to figure out how my mum could fit into our lives again. So much has changed.

In 9 years, I'll be the same age as she was when she died. This feels very, very weird. How can you be older than your own mum? Surely I can't bend time?

And yet her I am, bending time somehow. 

I am also now a mum. To a wild, creative and thoughtful boy.

It's been 24 years since I heard my mum's voice, but I hear her words tumble from my mouth when I talk to him.

It makes me smile.
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“I found the whole process a million miles away from a stereotypical “therapist’s couch” and got a funny and engaging person who threw down the right questions to get me thinking.
Just what I needed.”

James

“If you’re wobbling in life and need a practical, helping hand, Liz is absolutely the person you need in your corner.”

Sarah

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