Everything going wrong?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

You know those days, sometimes weeks, when everything seems to go wrong, fall, drop or break? Things that are usually embedded as habits and memories, just fall out of your head.  You forget important stuff you have had on your mind for ages beforehand.  Time moves faster unexpectedly and you find yourself late, and can’t believe how it happened?  You notice that things just aren’t panning out as they should. It can feel very disorientating.  You doubt your memory, your organisational skills or even your sanity. There are some perfectly logical explanations for this.  There is also one question that makes it all seem better and more manageable. Possible explanations: You are overtired or sleep deprived. You have been depriving your brain of the nutrients, hydration or oxygen it needs. You have said ‘Yes’ too many times instead of ‘No’ or ‘Wait’ You need to update your systems and habits […]

Honouring the urge to hibernate

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

Some say the holiday season is tough for them.  Most say early January is even harder.  It’s getting colder.  Sparkly decorations are gone.  Bank accounts are empty. I came across a beautiful post on Facebook the other week about what are bodies and minds yearn for in the depths of winter.  It explained that for weeks before and after the winter solstice, we are supposed to be resting, reflecting on the year gone, allowing our mind to gently move, at its own pace, towards the opportunities and hope of the spring season ahead. It described perfectly why our natural inclination is to sleep for more hours and get up later in the mornings; how winter is a time for ‘hibernation…for tired limbs’ and ‘burdened minds’. The author of the post goes on to say “Our modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, comfort food […]

Battleship vs Lighthouse

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Coaching, Resilience

One of the things that fuels a happy life is knowing what our values are. There is a story that often does the rounds on the internet, of the battleship out at sea.  The lookout reports to the Captain that there is a light in their sea-lane and it won’t move.  The Captain gets agitated and tries to exert his authority by stating his rank and commanding the other party to change course to avoid a collision.  The reply comes back – This is the Lighthouse.  Your move. We use this story a lot in coaching for various reasons, and one of them is as a metaphor for your values.  When you know what your true values are, they are your lighthouse. They don’t move. They are anchored fast to the ground.  Storms and even ships that are bigger in size can crash into the lighthouse or crash around it […]

A model for changing habits, for good!

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

In this post I’m going to introduce you to a model for behaviour change that’s often used in healthcare for people who need to overhaul their lifestyle in order to achieve better health. It’s a formula based on the process our thoughts go through before, during and after a change of habit is needed. That process is: Pre-contemplation. Contemplation. Preparation. Action. Maintenance. This model can help you if you can easily spot the stage where you tend to fall back, so that you can get over the hurdle and end up successfully putting a new habit in place. Pre-contemplation is the period where you know you need to make a change in the future.  You can harness this period by gathering facts, paying attention to your feelings, labelling them so you really understand what you are up against and so that you can start to develop confidence in your ability […]

When life throws a curveball

Posted Posted in Coaching, Online Training, Resilience

If you noticed there was no Resilience Guide last week, my sincere apologies.  If you didn’t notice, I’m glad you were occupied and hope you were happily engaged elsewhere! All is well now, but last week I had a family emergency that needed my full attention. My diary had to be hastily cleared.  I had to ramp up my own self-care to be sure I could hold the fort and hold the ‘safe space’ for everyone else to cope and recover.   I had to be really aware of the effects of stress, that it was acute and severe, that my immune system would dip when the crisis was over (and indeed it did try to!) and I needed to mitigate that. But that all worked out fine, because over the past number of years I have paid regular attention to developing my strengths while practising a flexible and positive mindset. […]

How to control public speaking anxiety

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Coaching, Event, Resilience

If you have ever been nervous or anxious about public speaking, join the club – there are about 7.5 billion of us! Public speaking is often listed among the top causes of anxiety, but you can totally manage those nerves using your own physiology.  You don’t need medication, liquid courage or your favourite lucky charm in your pocket.  You already have what you need. Most of the anxiety during public speaking is caused or exacerbated by forgetting to breathe.  Our brain then goes into panic mode about that, which we interpret as panic about speaking. The average adult has a lung volume of about 6 litres of air. During normal breathing, when we are not thinking about it, we exchange about 500mls of air during each breath. However, when we focus and take a long slow deep breath, we exchange at least 3 litres of air. As we breathe in, our […]

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (of stress)

Posted Posted in Uncategorized

I had a couple of big speaking gigs last week and I was nervous.  (Yes, I’m a coach who works with people to help them overcome their speaking nerves but I’m human too!  Also, I’m actually glad that I still get a little nervous because a) it keeps me sharp and b) it means that I totally know what it feels like for my clients.) So when I felt nervous last week that was okay.  Also I know lots of stress management techniques! So I took myself out for a walk to ground myself in nature, breathe deeply, clear my head, reaffirm positive messages to my subconscious and practise my speeches in my head. On the way home I was attacked by a large dog.  There was growling and biting….and he was pretty aggressive too. But it was brilliant!  For two reasons: Firstly, because in that moment I wasn’t the […]

Confidence follows courage

Posted Posted in Awakening, Business Coaching, Coaching, Resilience

I was privileged to be a guest speaker this week at the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust’s Annual Leadership Conference in Belfast this week, on the topic of how to be a resilient leader and build resilient teams. Two fellow speakers at the event were truly outstanding and their messages need to be shared as widely as possible. Amanda Oates from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spoke about our tendency to jump to blame the ‘who’ of a mistake or error, rather than look at the whole picture – how and why it happened.  She has worked hard to implement a different approach, (click link to watch YouTube video that explains the concept of a ‘Just Culture’), where through structured processes and a compassionate approach, the person, their team and the organisation set out on a journey of learning together, so that the individual is supported and the […]

The Right to Disconnect – how to set boundaries today

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching, Resilience

This week there was a call by the FSU in Ireland for the ‘Right to Disconnect’ to be introduced as legislation.  The Right to Disconnect would mean that workers are not obliged to answer calls, reply to emails or engage in work-related activities outside of paid working hours. It followed a survey of 2,000 workers which found that a quarter of them reported that their employer expected them to answer calls or emails outside of work hours. It made the news on Mental Health Day, but was also flagged in August when Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys announced that an interdepartmental group had been set up to explore the issue and make recommendations before the end of the year. You don’t have to wait for the end of the year, or for Ireland to follow France and introduce legislation, to put some boundaries in place if this […]

Do you trust your own wings?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Online Training, Resilience

We often think that other people are more resilient than us.  We look at people around us, well-known people, role models of resilience throughout history and we assume we would not be able to handle their challenges as well as they did, or still do. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or don’t have. It involves behaviours, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in everyone. Resilience is about being adaptable. It’s about being flexible. It’s about recognizing that we’ve got strengths that perhaps we never knew we had until we have to use them. And like many things in life – the more we practise, the more we learn. You already have EVERYTHING you need within you to be resilient, you just need to be aware of it, work on it a little bit and keep doing that even when you think you aren’t […]