Know Thyself Blog

Know Thyself…is a quote from Socrates, in fact the full quote is ‘To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom’. While Socrates was credited with this insight it was in fact Aristotle, his teacher, who gave birth to this concept.

Another worthy quote from the Greek philosopher (384-322BC) which ties into this is ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all’

And this is the crux of it all, the two are linked – brain and emotions. For every thought there is a corresponding emotion which has an impact on our actions. You might be saying that’s not the case with me and some thoughts might not resonate or even register. But consider it….think about something…your parents, kids, friends, a fun time, a terrible time, a flower, a scent, a memory. What come’s up…warm feelings, emotions such as happiness, anger, a postcard image of that time, golden light, flowers, taste. Good or bad, our thoughts are hot wired to our emotions.

So here’s the rub. With 60,000 random thoughts every day do you know what you are thinking?

These thoughts represent a mix of unconscious and conscious belief systems, cultural and family norms thrown in, patterns of positive and negative thinking, old wounds, memories. If our thoughts have an impact on our feelings, they also impact on our actions.

We choose our thoughts. This can impact positively or negatively depending on which thoughts we choose, impact on how we see are ourselves and on how we impact on those around us. What we choose to think about or even more important – how we decide to think about things can prevent worry, spinning out on negative thought patterns and repeating old learned behaviour. Choosing your thoughts allow some perspective and positive intervention enabling you to feel and create the actions and results you want.

So what are you thinking?


Accredited Executive & Life Coach

Accredited by the World Association Of Coaching with Neuroscience

QQI Award Professional Coaching Practice & Ethics

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

Why We Humans Need To Process Our Emotions

Part 1 looks at the why
Part 2 your coping mechanisms, yes you
Part 3 10 easy tips so you too can learn to process your emotions

Uh-oh, as humans we really only want the good emotions, don’t we! As a life coach we typically focus a lot of our attention on the mental and behavioural levels to assist our clients achieve the changes they desire.  What we think has a direct impact on our actions/results – please note!

However we have 2 other vital parts that make us human beings – the emotional and spiritual levels. These 2 parts play an important part in how we live our lives and are Uh-oh, as humans we really only want the good emotions, don’t we! what makes us uniquely us.  These are also the sum of our lives and where messy lives, where the joy, happiness, peace is but also sadness, anger, guilt and fear.  Fact – life is full of ups and downs and we are made up of mind and body.  So, for transformative and lasting change I coach the whole person.

Unresolved Emotions

As humans, we spend most of our time trying to feel good and avoiding things or people that don’t.  We learn to repress, suppress our emotions if we don’t have an outlet for that expression.  EMotion is Energy in Motion, it travels within the body.  Unexpressed emotion needs to be released.

An unprocessed emotion can have an impact on your wellbeing. It also has a tendency to be recycled again and again. Do you ever wonder why unwanted patterns within your life/relationships keep repeating?  Do you self-sabotage but don’t know why? Well your nervous system runs the show – anxiety, old traumas and emotions can get stuck in the body.  When we feel that warning signal we tend to move away from whatever could potentially cause that feeling or potential harm again – this is a learned response. When the emotion is pushed down or ignored we miss the opportunity to understand, to be curious, to be uncomfortable, or experience emotional pain (yes, I did say that) and that’s how we develop coping mechanisms. 

Did you know there are 5 coping mechanisms which us humans adopt that can result in some unhealthy habits. For example the no 1 coping mechanism is ‘over’ doing things – eating, drinking, sexing, exercising, working – do any of these resonate with you? 

Don’t beat yourself up, you are not alone – anything to avoid emotional discomfort or look within. We reach for the thing that numbs us or elevates us from our life-angst.

Holding on to negative emotion from your past require a lot of energy, the more you hold on it the more exhausting and harmful it becomes. Ask yourself wouldn’t this energy be better spent in learning acceptance, open honest communication, learning to speaking your truth. Allow your pain so it can draw to its natural conclusion and see if off on its way, uncovering a lighter, happier, freer you. In this and the following 2 posts I hope to break it down to show you how you can work on processing your own emotions.

We all know life is full of ups and downs. Learning to live a life to the full is totally achievable when you learn to manage and process your emotions, enabling you to take the right actions towards yourself and the people you care about.

Your life is a reflection of your ability to process your unresolved emotions

The key to inner harmony is living a heart-filled life.  It takes courage and authenticity and having healthy boundaries in place.  If your boundaries are too low, you are not protecting yourself.  But if your boundaries are too high, you are not only avoiding feeling negative emotion but also protecting yourself from allowing the amazing stuff too.  For me, as someone who struggled with expressing her emotions, living a successful life is one that is focused on letting go of the past, living in the present and creating my desired future.

Try life coaching…it will change your life.

At this point it’s important here to make the distinction between counselling and coaching. As a coach my focus is on my client’s present and future to help them achieve their goals. I work with the whole person and so help my client process their emotions should they arise as part our coaching session.  Counselling/therapy focus on helping people process a trauma in their present and past.   Sometimes the client might require this type of care and/or medication which, as a coach I am not qualified to offer.  One of the reasons for the free 30 minute chemistry check call is to ensure that my clients goal/agenda is suitable for coaching, that we are a good fit or if necessary redirect to someone who better suited for their needs.

Tracy O’Keeffe
not a writer, just passionate about coaching


Accredited Executive & Life Coach
Accredited by the World Association Of Coaching with Neuroscience
QQI Award Professional Coaching Practice & Ethics

Coaching For Covid

We find ourselves in uncertain times….times that can impact on the way we think, feel and therefore live our lives.

Some may be finding it difficult to regulate stress levels, eating and staying productive. Brain fog or difficulty making decisions can be a challenge. Current circumstances may be forcing some to look for a career change, which was unexpected. Is this a pipedream or an opportunity.

The impact on our freedom, the uncertainty of what’s next and the underlying levels of stress affects us all. Take control of your life, your purpose and your thinking through coaching. Get clarity. Identify what you really want and take actionable steps towards owning your life and fulfilling your purpose.

Some simple tips to stay present….

We get approximately 60,000 random thoughts per day. Some positive, some negative. Think of the brain like a computer, quality in, quality out. It serves you what you feed it.

We choose our thoughts – be aware of your thoughts and notice if you are choosing negative thoughts to listen to.

Ask yourself ‘is it true’. Byron Katie The Work https://thework.com/ beats the inner critic or and even worry by asking this simple question. Her quotes are worth the cost of the book alone. The basis are 4 simple questions and are 100% responsible for the absence of my brain ‘spinning out’ anymore. Game changer.

Focus. Start and complete one task at a time. Multi tasking depletes focus. Congratulation yourself, tick boxes or just feel the pleasure of getting stuff done.

Don’t forget who you are and what is important to you. If possible, spend time on the things that make you happy – people, hobbies, nature, sport, you know what they are.

Meditation – yes I know, people always go on about how good this stuff is. It can calm the nervous system by restoring the energy centres and healing the heart through gratitude practice, help brain focus and eliminate negative thinking. If you haven’t found one you that resonates, keep trying, there are so many free meditations available. My personal favourite is Dr Joe Dispenza’s Blessing Of The Energy Centers. It costs $25 https://bit.ly/39IyqSU

Lastly, be kind. It can be underrated and considered a bit soft. We all wear masks in life – and I don’t mean the pandemic kind. Those masks we present to the world as we would have it see us. But we never know what the other person is managing or how they are coping. Old habits of smiling and a gentle hand on the arm is not possible at the moment. But a kind word can be a worth so much. Harold Kushner said it best “When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world”.


Accredited Executive & Life Coach

Accredited by the World Association Of Coaching with Neuroscience

QQI Award Professional Coaching Practice & Ethics

Why Life Coaching?

When I tell people I’m a life coach invariably they scratch their head and make some vague reference to counselling or mentoring.  They might have the word ‘goal’ somewhere in their description.  They have heard of it, know it’s got ‘good stuff’ but have no idea of what it really means. 

This post will tell you…what is coaching, why is it growing in popularity, what motivates people to choose it, why should everyone do it once in their lives. 

What is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as:

An interactive process that helps individuals and organisations improve their performances and achieve extraordinary results.

Sounds wonderful but what does it mean?  Coaching promises a shift in thinking and being.  Sounds like hard work?  Not at all, what better fun than to invest some time in yourself. Be honest…when was the last time you gave yourself time to really think about your life?

Using a combination of tools, techniques and skills coaching offers you an opportunity to step off the grid for a moment. To have a conversation about what you really want in life with a personal guide who is trained to provide you with perspective and clarity to enable you to get to where you want to go.  This 4 x session process gives you the space you to step back in with a new understanding of your part in it all.  I liken it to an osteopath for the mind! 

4 valuable, enriching, illuminating conversations.  Every conversation is different because each client is different and your life is different.  However 4 x sessions can change your perspective, energy and zest for life, if you let it!

Why is it growing in popularity?

Coaching is now the second-fastest growing profession in the world, rivaled only by information technology

Establishing Key Differences between Coaching and Counselling. Jan 18, 2010. Aoife Harrington (MSc, BA Psych,  Reg. Psychol PsSI). https://bit.ly/31Znjlm

In the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Summary it was estimated that there were approximately 53,300 professional coaching practitioners worldwide. This represents a growth of 14.11% in 4 years.  

What motivates people to choose it?

People participate or seek out coaching because they want things to be different. They are looking for change or they have important goals to reach. 

Co-Active Coaching. Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, Laura Whitworth.

There tends to be two reasons people choose coaching – life and career.

They might have all the trappings of success but aren’t fulfilled.  Sometimes its peace of mind they desire or more fulfillment.  It could be for a better work/life balance.  Usually it means they are ready for change.

Why should everyone do it once in their lives?

While coaching might be focused on an outcome or a goal, clients can find the path to achieving these can be more rewarding than the goals themselves.   It might start out with a business focus but migrates to bigger topics like core values, boundaries and purpose.

Coaching offers an alternative to counselling or mentoring.  It provides a perspective to understand who we are and why we do what we do.  It enables us to move forward by establishing clear goals with vision and purpose. Coaching assesses where you are now, looks at where you want to be and helps you to build a bridge to get there. 

Why coaching? Because the results will change your life.

Tracy O’Keeffe
not a writer, just passionate about coaching

Are you living your best life?

Accredited Executive & Life Coach

Accredited by the World Association Of Coaching with Neuroscience

QQI Award Professional Coaching Practice & Ethics