Well, hasn't this year been a weird one, so far. I know many people have had to find things to do that they perhaps wouldn't normally turn to and the outcome has been positive but for many this may not be the case. I'm sure at some point in 2020 each of us have struggled whether it's been for just a day, a week, a month or it's a continuation of something that was already there. This is where author Cat Williams, the founder of Stay Calm and Content, can help. Cat is a relationship counsellor, coach, writer, speaker, trainer and author of the ground-breaking ‘Stay Calm and Content No Matter What Life Throws At You’. Read on to find out more about Cat and her latest book and how you can get in touch with her for FREE. If you're finding things hard then Cat may be the person for you to reach out to.
Before we talk about your book ‘Stay Calm and Content’ can you share with us what your career involves.
I am a therapist, coach and speaker specialising in resilience, relationships and strength psychology. I work with adults, children and teenagers both privately and in schools and workplaces via presentations and workshops. Can you tell us the sorts of problems your clients go to you with?
Clients seek my support with all sorts of issues. The most common ones being anxiety, stress, depression, relationship problems, phobias, lack of self-confidence / self-esteem and preparation for speeches, exams or interviews. Had you always planned to write ‘Stay Calm and Content’?
No, it came out of the blue really. What sparked it was my husband being on-tour in Afghanistan and me realising that, despite having dealt with many absences and tours before, I wasn’t feeling calm and okay about this one as he was on the front-line and I was also feeling very isolated, living far away from family and friends, with two children under 5 years old. As I looked at a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster on my kitchen wall I found myself asking “what’s the secret of keeping calm and carrying on no matter what life is throwing at you”? So I set about finding out and along with the psychological research I included stories from fellow military wives, and clients I was working with, about how they had come through seemingly impossible circumstances and yet managed to remain ‘calm and content’. I deliberately don’t mention ‘happiness’ in the title, because we won’t be happy if something awful or difficult has happened, but it is possible to remain calm and content, so that’s why I chose that title. What has been the highlight of writing this book?
Everything that has come from it. I’ve been on Radio 4, ITV’s This Morning, I’ve given a TEDx talk and been featured in magazine and newspaper articles and podcasts. It’s been exciting! The truth about being on This Morning is funny though, I was the ‘relationship expert’ during an interview with Ingrid Tarrant and has to talk about sex live on national TV with my friends, family, and even Grandma watching!
Who can benefit from reading your book?
Anyone can benefit, especially if they are feeling stressed. I aimed the book at aged 13 to adult and the stories within it are those of real clients (names have been changed) so everyone should be able to relate to the tips and exercises I include, and to somebody’s individual story of the challenges they have faced and how they found a way to come through them stronger than ever. What has been the general feedback from readers and is there a success story you can share?
I’ve been really thrilled with the reviews and response. One highlight was meeting someone for the first time at an event and being told that the person’s whole family had read my book and loved it! I was also asked to attend a local book club who had all read the book! How long did it take to write your book?
It took me 9 months to write and edit. Most of that time my husband was away on the front line - it was my way of creating something positive out of a scary situation. By the time it was published we had been posted to Canada and I was so excited when the first copy arrived in my hands! Has anything come as a surprise to you since launching your book?
It surprised me how scary it felt to have it published. I put everything into writing the book and the thought of people reading it was exhilarating but also pretty terrifying! Has your book triggered any other work for yourself?
Yes definitely. Probably the most glamourous was being invited as a speaker to a mainstream women’s magazine evening in a very posh hotel in London! Has lockdown had any sort of affect on any aspect of your work or book?
I have really missed speaking in schools and workplaces. I reduced my client numbers as I was home-schooling, but many clients were happy to transfer to video calls so I’ve continued working, which has been great. Can you share a snippet from your book that doesn’t appear in the blurb?
“Emotions come from within us. We could all watch the same event, such as a wedding, and feel differently about it, positive or negative – depending on our perspective. Emotions are created internally and not by external events or circumstances, which are neutral. As Shakespeare observed “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet II,ii) If anyone is reading this and feels they’d like to get in touch with you, how can they go about that?
Via my website is easiest www.staycalmandcontent.com or I am on Facebook ‘Stay Calm and Content’, Linked In (Cat Williams) and @catstaycalm on Instagram and Twitter What marketing strategies have worked best for you?
Being featured as an expert in magazines and on radio shows and podcasts has been the most fun and effective way to spread the word about the book. What do your friends/family think of your book?
They are all proud that I’ve published a book and tease me at times when I am perhaps not completely calm, but that’s okay. I don’t follow my own advice all the time!! Is there another subject you’d like to write about?
Yes, I plan to write some more relationship and mental health books, in particular one called ‘FIERY situations’ for people wanting to improve their relationships and communication, and also one called ‘A Hot Air Balloon’s guide to Resilience’ which will accompany an online course I have just launched on ‘Minimising Stress and Maximising Resilience’ using the metaphor of a hot air balloon to explain my take on what I think resilience really involves. How do you balance the demands of writing with other aspects of your career and life?
The best way I have found to write is via the notes section of my phone. This way I can always write down thoughts or paragraphs whenever they spring into my mind, and I transfer them to my laptop later when I have a few hours to bring them all together. Sometimes it’s a week or months later, but that’s fine. Do you self-publish or use a publishing company?
I self-published my book as I was excited to share it and didn’t want to send it off and wait for it to hopefully be accepted, so I just went for it! Lastly, is there anything else you’d really like to share with our readers about you or the work you do? I have just launched a FREE webinar on: Minimising Stress and Maximising Well-being so if anyone would like details they can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org – it is being launched in conjunction with a colleague via his website which is www.helpingreachpotential.co.uk so keep an eye out for it there! Finally, if anyone is interested in a FREE SESSION I will be running some monthly offers on my social media pages and I also offer a FREE 15 MINUTE DISCOVERY call if anyone has any questions in particular, just email me via email@example.com or contact me on social media.
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