Communication is vital and essential in the modern world. Unfortunately, most of us are not doing it effectively, which influences all areas of our lives. I talk to Danielle Serpico, Life & Mind Coach, NLP Trainer & Hypnotist, about the importance of communication in terms of effectiveness, how to become the Blackbelt Of Our Mind, and ways to help rid ourselves of fear and doubt and replace it with a growing sense of excitement and confidence.

Danielle, can you tell us a bit about your background to introduce yourself?

Someone once said that I was like a modern-day Pollyanna, bringing smiles wherever I go. So I’ll go with that, as I believe imagination with a sprinkle of humour goes a long way towards that happiness we all desire. I’m an Irish/Italian woman with a passion for making people smile and I do that ultimately by helping you discover how to effectively speak to yourself and others in the most beneficial way. With 30 years of experience in business, with my own start ups as well as mentoring many others, coaching and leading people has been my forte. As a Mind Coach, Hypnotist and NLP Trainer I founded The BlackBelt MasterMind Academy, a school which teaches you self defence for the mind and spirit. As a BlackBelt and European Champion, an Author with the Book The BlackBelt Mastermind and my weekly Radio Show MindMatters on Dublin City FM, I share my methods and the strategies to win in life.

When did you realise that life and mind coaching is your passion?

Like many things in life, it is only looking back that we can join the dots. 11 years ago my life fell apart in the crash of the Celtic Tiger. At the time I was a restauranteur with three businesses and many staff. I lost everything and hit rock bottom but somehow one of my favourite quotes, “A blackbelt is simply a white belt who never gave up,” spurred me on again and I decided I would become the blackbelt of my mind. I got back up and wrote the book, so as to share with others an easier way. This grew as did my discoveries about life and before I knew it, I was coaching. It was only then I realised all my years as a business owner with my restaurants were my degree. I had learnt how to lead, motivate, listen, communicate and counsel. My qualifications and training after that in Hypnosis and NLP were simply the next obvious step into the subconscious mind, and I knew from the moment I felt that little shift in my mindset that I would be sharing this with others.

What is your unique approach?

Life Coaching is what I call somewhat two dimensional, wonderful – however somewhat ‘flat’. When you can read what is happening subconsciously, even outside the other’s awareness, you can then truly communicate effectively and make real changes. I use The BlackBelt Method, which is, of course, my way, or …is it? I believe there is nothing essentially unique. All the secrets of the universe are there, screaming at us to listen if we know how to spot them. And I spotted them, thankfully, and now I share that with my unique style. Humour, terrible jokes, some very deep subconscious methods and a lot of love.

Who would you say is your ideal client?

Anyone with a good heart that truly is ready to make their life better. A human, although I do have a fondness for animals. Jokes aside, someone who is able to admit what they ‘think’ they know may be wrong.

You teach how to become the Blackbelt Of Our Mind, can you share some tips?

It’s very like Martial Arts – when you start you have to start with the basics. Establishing a good strong base is number one. In life terms, this would come down to our rituals and habits and being aware of them. Awareness goes a long way. You may have heard of the quote ‘You get more of what you focus on‘ – well, knowing what to focus on is key to this. Start by focusing on what you DO want versus what you don’t. Sounds simple and it is, it just requires consistency, like building any muscle or habit. Watch your words, for they have power! Replace … ‘I don’t want to feel bad,’ with ‘I want to feel good.‘ This is effective thinking and using your brain beneficially. Ask yourself good questions. Instead of ‘Why is my life this way?’ ask ‘What one thing can I do to change things for the better?’ The direction you choose to look or focus matters, a lot.

You run The Blackbelt Mastermind Online Academy to help rid oneself
of fear and doubt in an easy and fun way and replace it with a growing
sense of excitement and confidence to go after a big dream. How does
it work, and can people join remotely now?

The BBMM Academy offers both individual or Group Coaching & Training, in Life & Business, as well as Neuro-Linguistic (NLP), Certified Courses, both Practitioner and Master Level. There is a Mentorship Package which includes both 1to1 and Group Training, and this is the most popular approach because you get the individual coaching and support as well as the learnings and your Certification. Both Live Trainings (when possible), as well as Online, are available. Currently, due to obvious demand, the Online is extremely popular and many courses are being repeated.

Do you think the right communication is the key to get better
results in life?

We all speak to ourselves and others, therefore communication is vital and essential. Unfortunately, most of us are not doing it effectively and in fact, often unbeknownst to us, we have sabotaged ourselves with the words and communication styles we use. When you know how to do this in the best way, everything changes. You get more of what you want and you attract better relationships into both your business and your personal life, as well as most importantly creating a respectful, wholesome and loving relationship with yourself.

Stress, anxiety and overwhelm have become essential for many of us
this year. Do you think we can overcome it as a consequence of
negative communication?

Any feelings of stress or overwhelm come from simply creating a story in your head with a negative ending. This is the same for any feeling, good or bad. Once you know how to use your communication is the best way, then these feelings change. Take a simple example – the word .. SHOULD –  Think of something you would like to do more of that is beneficial for you but that you procrastinate over. Now say the sentence in your head – “I SHOULD do  …….. ” How does it feel? Now repeat it again but simply replace the word should with WANT.  “I WANT to do …… ” How does that feel? Notice the difference. Remember, words have power.

As a professional expert, how do you think coaching has changed
after the pandemic?

For me, nothing in my coaching has changed per se, except being busier as I am online more. What I would say is that everything that I did offline before, I now bring online, and I believe that is the difference. Some coaches find the online world hard to come to grips with. I teach coaches how to continue to bring themselves fully with their practice into this space. It’s a wonderful big world and now we can reach everyone, so I think this pandemic, like any adversity, has taught me great lessons and I have grown from it, as I believe most coaches have.

In terms of mental health, what do you recommend for readers during
the lockdown?

Communicate, communicate, communicate. We are blessed to have a voice and be able to interact, even if not physically close. Speak up, people want and need to hear you and they do genuinely care. I fully understand running away, depression and hiding from the world – and this lockdown can breed this habit if we are not aware. Make it your daily business to get dressed, get out, interact and speak. You will feel better.

 Why do you think life coaching within mental health and wellbeing
is important nowadays?

Everyone can benefit from a coach. Someone to guide you, keep you accountable and be in your corner. I have always had a coach in my life and I know how much it has helped me. Nowadays more than ever we need this. Someone to listen without judgement and guide us gently into recognising our potential. There is so much fear, anxiety and loneliness at the moment and because of this, it is the time to get yourself the right coach.

How can our readers contact you and follow on social media?

I am always happy to hear from people, so you can contact me at [email protected] or follow me on Facebook, or of course

Finally, can you please share your motto and your favourite quote?

Besides  … “A blackbelt is simply a white belt who never gave up,” I love theses simple words to live by, “Listen to understand, not to reply.” As to my Motto, albeit a little humorous, it is “Even if you don’t mind, you still matter.” And you do. You matter.