Linda Bonnar is a wellbeing consultant, a life coach and an author. Her first book was a self-help guide for teenagers and her newest book is dedicated to adults! Just Three Things is a down-to-earth guide for busy adults – aimed at helping them develop self confidence.

We had the greatest pleasure of talking to Linda Bonnar herself about her writing journey and her book. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

1. Why is the book called ‘Just Three Things’?

The book is called Just Three Things for a few reasons, three actually!

The first reason is that when it comes to creating change in any part of our life we just need three things to get started on that journey: we have to know what it is that we want instead of our current situation, we have to know how to achieve that new status and we have to want that change. If any of these pieces are missing, we can get stuck or stay stuck.

The second reason is that even though there’s often controversy over the word “just”, I feel it works beautifully here to remind the reader that you know what, it’s just three things and that makes it sound even more doable, more manageable and simple because when it comes to creating change, we want to tell ourselves that it is just that.

 The third reason for the title of the book is from a conversation with a coaching client who one day said to me — as we were talking about tasks to do before the next session — “I can do… those three…Yup, three is good. Anyone can do three, right?” He laughed. “But five? Five  is pushing it!”

2. Your second book was written based on the feedback for your first book – ‘Press Play’. What are some of the questions that this book answers?

Just Three Things answers so many questions including:

1.    How can I be happy?
2.    What do I need to create change in my life?
3.    How can I create change in my personal life?
4.    How can I create change in my professional life?
5.    What stops people from creating change?
6.    What is mind-management
7.    How can I learn to manage my thoughts better?
8.    How can I learn greater mind-management?
9.   What are some better questions I can ask myself?
10. How can I deal with my past?
11. What is NLP?
12.   How can NLP help me to create change in my life?
13.   How does the language I use affect how I feel?
14.   How can I choose more constructive language?
15.   How can I develop greater self-confidence?
16.   How can I deal with a difficult boss?
17.   How can I deal with a  difficult person in general?
18.   What are some simple NLP techniques I can use to manage myself better?
19.   What is the Impostor Syndrome?
20.   How can I deal with the Impostor Syndrome?
21.   How can I overcome my desire for perfection?
22.   How can I improve my relationships at home?
23.   How can I improve my relationships at work?
24.   What are some tips I can use when giving feedback to others?
25.   I struggle when receiving feedback, what I can do about it?
26.   How can I control anxiety?
27.   How can I quieten that negative voice in my head?
28.   What are some techniques I can use to make sure I respond more positively rather than reacting?
29.   How can I gain a different perspective on things when I’m caught up in them?
30.   How can I manage stress better in my life?
31.   How can I set clear and compelling goals for myself?
32.   What do I need to do to make sure I achieve my goals?
33.   How can I stay motivated when facing challenges?
34.   I’m great at starting things, but not finishing them, how can I change this?
35.   I often wake up in a bad mood, how can I change this?
36.   What are the benefits of practicing gratitude?
37.   How can I learn to understand others better?
38.   How can I learn to have more realistic expectations of others?
39.   How can I create a better work-life balance?
40.   How can I learn to say no without upsetting anyone or feeling guilty?
41.   How can I deal with guilt?
42.   I worry all the time, how can I stop it?
43.   How can Mindfulness help me?
44.   What are some Mindfulness techniques I can use?
45.   What are some things I can do to boost my mood quickly?
46.   I struggle when it comes to making big decisions, what can I do?
47.   What are some better daily habits to practice?
48.   How can I deal with uncertainty in life?
49.   How can I become more resourceful?
50.   How can I become more productive?

3.      Who should be reading this book?

There is something in this book for absolutely every one of every age, including:

  1.    People seeking to create personal change in their lives

2.       People interested in personal growth

3.       People seeking to create change in their professional lives

4.       People interested in professional development

5.       People who feel stuck in life

6.       People looking to enhance their levels of self-awareness

7.       People looking to become better self-managers

8.       People seeking inspiration to change

9.       People interested in personal coaching

10.   People interested in relationships

11.   People interested in mind-management

12.   People seeking a step-by-step guide to creating change

13.   People seeking a personal story about change to relate to

14.   People seeking to understand how to create change in their lives

15.   People looking for simple and effective ways of creating change

16.   People looking for short, snappy, powerful pieces of reading on personal growth

17.   People interested in goal-setting and motivation

18.   People keen to develop better habits

19.   People interested in Neuro-Linguistic Programming

20.   Human Resource Managers

21.   Team leaders

22.   People who want to learn how to deal with their past

23.   People who want to learn how to deal with their anger

24.   People who want to manage their stress better

25.   People who want to manage anxiety better

26.   People who want to learn how to manage worry

27.   People who find it challenging to make big decisions

28.   People who would like greater self-confidence

29.   People who would like to be more assertive

30.   Parents/ Partners/Spouses

4. How do you keep your books authentic and real? Please share some examples if you will.

This is a great question… and a hard one too! There are a few ways I keep my books authentic and real such as:

  1. Being honest. I never want anyone to think that I have it all figured out at all; I’m always adamant that people know I’m a work in progress myself — as are we all. So I do my best throughout my books to be raw and vulnerable myself and while that sounds so simple, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. But by being honest about things I have struggled with or things I continue to struggle with, I’m hoping it makes it easier and gives someone else the space to say, “Actually, me too”.  I do this especially when I talk about perfection, being vulnerable, or choosing to respond instead of reacting in situations in the book.
  • It’s my voice. This is an aspect of the book (and my writing in general) that’s so important to me. My voice shines through in the stories that I tell about myself, in the experiences I share and in the way that I share them and I love that about this book. One of the things I hear frequently from people who have read my book is that they hear my voice. Even if they’ve only met me once and they’ve read the book, they tell me, “I can totally hear you saying that now!”  People who’ve known me a long time have said that reading the book is like sitting down with me for a chat and I love that. I love the warm, friendly and colloquial feel the book gives people too. There’s a sense of comfort about that, a sense that you’re not alone in whatever it is that you’re experiencing in life and for me, that’s really important. I often felt alone in my journey and it was horrible.
  • Owning my story. I remember when the first set of edits came back from my editor and she asked me to “Be more raw; be more me”. At first I leaned back from that and said to her, “But if I do this, then everyone knows, right? I’m laying everything out there” and when you do that, there’s no hiding from things anymore and THAT can be scary… but also incredibly freeing as it nothing has a hold on you anymore. It’s incredibly empowering when we reframe to call fear out and shed a light on these things.
5. Letting go is something that everyone struggles with, and also something you have talked about in your book. What is your number one advice for people who are struggling to let go of their past?

It’s got to be acceptance of it; we’ve got to accept our past in order to move on from it. If we don’t accept the past then it’s going to continually show up in some way, shape or form, it’s going to be this constant source of unease, anger, sadness etc in our lives and that’s just not conducive to living happy and fulfilled lives. From this space of holding onto the past, we end up surviving in life but not thriving and personally, I want to be thriving! People often think there’s something to be gained from holding onto the past, but I believe the real value is in taking the lessons, the learnings, the insights or the awareness the past has given us, not the pain.  It’s not about pretending the past didn’t happen, or sugar-coating it, nor is it about living in fear of the past either. In accepting the past for what it was, just like shinging a light on fear, it reduces the power and the hold it used to have over us.