I first connected with Tracey about two months ago when she found my blog. Her story really inspired me, so I thought I would ask her to be a part of this series. I’m delighted that she agreed to share her thoughts. Thanks Tracey!
Tracey Carmichael is a Life Coach and Author of Happy Mind Formula – Your Action Plan to Mental and Physical Wellbeing. During Tracey’s 15 years as a Natural Therapist, she discovered a missing link between depression and happiness. Through her own personal experience, she discovered a formula to break this debilitating condition. With a holistic approach to food, movement, and exercise, she was able to create positive change in her own life and in the lives of her clients. Her passion is to share this message with the world to help people understand that they do have the power to move from depression to happiness. You can check out her website at www.happymindformula.com.
1.What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is to “get out of my head and into my heart.” I love my life when I am living from the heart space. Everything is easier and more peaceful. I received this advice from Vanessa Bragg, whom I did some coaching with a few years ago.
2.How important is mentorship in terms of your success?
I feel that mentorship or coaching is extremely important, as it gives you focus, support, and clarity toward professional and personal goals. It helps you to clarify where you are now, where you want to go, what needs to change, and how to get there.
3.What has been the best moment in your life so far?
Ooh, that is hard one! I have had so many lovely moments: meeting my husband, giving birth to and raising my children, the day my new puppy arrived, winning a business award. I guess the best, most recent, moment was having a lady tap me on the shoulder in a shopping centre and tell me that her husband had made amazing progress with his depression since reading my book Happy Mind Formula. It really makes me feel good inside to know that I have helped someone move forward from depression to happiness.
4.What tips would you have for living a healthy life?
Good nutrition; lean protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Eliminate wheat and sugar.
Minimal alcohol; lots of water.
Exercise every day for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Practise yoga at least 2-3 times per week.
Spend 15-20 minutes in quiet contemplation daily.
Find your true purpose in life.
Live life from your heart and not your head.
5.How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?
I find I can handle most setbacks if I look after my mental and physical wellbeing. I follow the basic principles that we have just talked about above, and this gives me the strength to move forward. Meditation is extremely powerful in creating a positive mindset in challenging times. All of these strategies really help to build and maintain a strong emotional platform, which is helpful when setbacks do arise.
6.What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?
My biggest setback was in 1992 when my first marriage broke up. I had always had problems with ongoing anxiety and bouts of depression, and this scenario sent me over the edge. I really struggled emotionally, mentally, and financially. It was a slow road; however, the love for my children was what made me get out of bed each day and find my way to a better life and a better me. By implementing lifestyle changes, focusing on looking after myself, being kind to myself, and loving my children, I found my way back. From this experience I learned that I am a little different to others with my mental health problems, which means I need to take more time to look after myself. These changes have now become a blueprint for the way I live my life. I like being strong, capable, and healthy, and I never want to go back to feeling helpless.
7.How do you deal with critics?
This one took me a long time to get a grip on due to having very low self-esteem. When self-esteem is low, any criticism appears to be an attack. As I worked on myself over the years, my self-esteem improved and so did my resilience to critics. I love this quote by Michael J Fox:“ What other people think about me is none of my business”; I now live my life by it. I still slip back into old patterns now and again, but I give myself a quick reminder with the above quote.
8.How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?
I feel social support is important, but should not be relied on. I believe that we need to take responsibility for our mental and physical wellbeing to become healthier and stronger and in the process improve our coping mechanisms. If we rely too heavily on social support, then when this support is not available, we crumble. I live by the philosophy that “When we change; everything changes.”
9.What advice would you give others about goal setting?
When setting goals, you should make sure that they are realistic and achievable. If low self-esteem is already an issue, then setting your goals too high and failing is a recipe for disaster. We can have long-term goals (big picture goals); however, these must be chunked down into manageable and achievable portions. Always do one thing, no matter how small, toward your larger goal each day. It may be as small as making a phone call or sending an email.
10.What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?
The biggest life lesson I have learned is that I am totally responsible for me and what happens in my life. The way I operate and conduct myself in this world has a direct impact on the outcome. I have learned that it is important for me to love and respect myself, treat others with kindness and compassion, and follow my purpose and passion in life.
Thank you Tracey for sharing your story with others! Keep up the great work!