When the wall seems too high

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

“Just when you think you’re on a roll…” “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…” “The Universe had different ideas…” These are all expressions that demonstrate how frequently we face challenges and obstacles in life. Sometimes the obstacles we face seem insurmountable. The wall seems too high. We can’t see over it or through it and it’s causing a hard stop in our journey. Here are a few things to consider about those walls: Two stacked bricks will seem like a wall when we are tired. ‘What we pay attention to expands’ – John Maxwell. Staring at the wall makes it bigger than it is. All the time we are staring at the wall, we are missing what’s going on elsewhere. Every wall ends. The Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the wall on the Mexican-US border; every one of them has end points and ‘loopholes’ in […]

RSVP – Noooo! But what will I say?

Posted Posted in Coaching, Resilience

Everyone’s out and about again, but you’re not ready? You may be still worried about your own health or the health of someone close to you.  You may be conscious that the virus is still out there, albeit in smaller numbers for now. I believe everyone has the right to make their own risk assessment.  I also believe you don’t have to go into great personal detail to persuade others to come around to your way of thinking.  They don’t have to agree with you.  They just need to know what your decision is and respect it. It can be difficult to know what to say when you get that invitation to the big family gathering where everyone is expecting you to turn up as per-pre-Covid-usual. So, here’s what to do. Consider the implications of increased contact. Reflect on what YOU want, the risk you are willing to take and […]

The Fog of Familiarity

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

I saw this picture and thought, ‘What a beautiful place to live!’. Then I wondered if the people who live there appreciate how pretty it is. Would they look at where I live and wistfully think the same thing?! Familiarity sometimes becomes a fog that prevents us from seeing what’s right in front of us.  When is the last time you looked at your home and surroundings with fresh eyes?  Can you think back to a time, years ago, when you day-dreamed about what your future home would look like, and wondered how on earth to make it a reality? Suddenly, having to clean and maintain it doesn’t seem such a chore any more, does it? This is a simple but powerful switch in mindset that helps us to feel more gratitude, more in control, more resilient and ultimately much happier. It even makes the ironing easier for me!  I […]

When a request feels uncomfortable

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching, Resilience

Have you been asked to do something that doesn’t feel quite right?  Maybe you can’t see the path ahead clearly?  Maybe your gut instinct is saying no, but you can’t find the right words to articulate that and explain yourself. Here’s a ‘get out of jail free’ card: You don’t need to see a path forward for everything straight away. It’s often not possible.  When you can, park a decision that feels uncomfortable, and certainly park having to give any explanation until you are ready. Reflect first.  And then take action. Reflection is good to a point.  It is crucial to give your mind time to process a tricky situation, to allow any stress hormones to dissipate (a process that takes up to 26 hours), and to allow first reactions to clear away and create the space for deciding your response. However, assuming the situation hasn’t resolved itself in the […]

Feed the Hope – Starve the Fear

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

John C Maxwell, internationally renowned thought leader and author, says that what you pay attention to, expands. This week as we all very tentatively and gradually emerge from the ‘lockdown life’, what do you want to expand in your future? Hope, opportunity, a safe future, health, reconnection with others? If you focus on the negatives, the losses and challenges – they will expand in your life.  Do you want that? How about instead focusing on what you want to feature more in your future life.  Then keep turning towards that. How? Put a picture of it somewhere you spend a lot of time. Put a reminder of it on your phone in an alarm or a screensaver or wallpaper. Write it down, with a pen and paper. Say it out loud, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  ‘I will….‘ Promise it to yourself. ‘I promise…’ When we […]

Are you ‘drink-driving’ through life?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

Drink driving has become so socially unacceptable now that I’ll bet you bristled when you saw the headline here. The vast majority of us don’t do it.  Most people judge those who do – silently or vocally, culturally and criminally. Yet, 1 in 3 of us operate our lives (and sometimes our cars) under the same conditions as a drunk driver, because that’s the number of people it’s estimated are sleep deprived. Scientific research tells us that after being awake for 18 hours or more, an individual’s performance equals that of someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.1% (the benchmark for drunk driving in many countries).  Some studies say that losing 2 hours of sleep is equivalent to having 3 beers.  The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates fatigue-related crashes that result in injury or death cost $109 billion annually, not including property damage.  Sleep deprivation was a factor in […]

A privilege, not a nuisance

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching

Last week I wrote about recognising any increase in demand for your input and opinions from the people around you – as being in fact a transition into being a ‘leader’ or indeed moving up a leadership level.  I suggested how you might manage these additional demands to make sure you don’t burn out.  I also suggested having a think about what kind of leader you would like to be. Another important reflection is to decide what kind of leader you don’t want to be. On LinkedIn a few years ago I saw someone in a senior role complaining about new graduates asking her to connect.  She said it was a nuisance and she hadn’t worked so hard and come this far to have a circle of connections at graduate level. I loved some of the responses she got from her peers, mainly pointing out that this was happening because […]

Why always me?

Posted Posted in Business Coaching, Coaching

Do you sometimes feel like the Grand Central Station of all queries and problems? Are you the ‘Encyclopedia of Everything’ for everyone in your world? If you have found yourself at the end of the day with mental overload, brain whizzing, unable to take in another single detail, and hoping that the next person you encounter doesn’t have too much to load on to your pile, you are definitely not alone. Here’s something to think about though… What does this mean? What does it mean when everyone comes to you for your opinion, advice, solutions, a sympathetic ear or another perspective? I’ve left a space here to prompt you to stop scrolling to the answer until you come up with it yourself! – – – – – It means you are their leader. If people gravitate to you and require – or even demand – your input, it’s because they respect […]

When cocooning hides procrastination

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

‘If this lockdown was completely lifted tomorrow, what would you be sorry you hadn’t done?’ A common question, even a challenge. I delight in hearing how others are forgiving themselves more now for stopping to smell the roses, noticing the Earth breathing, getting out in the fresh air more than usual.  Notwithstanding the real heartbreak of missing contact with family members outside our own home, it’s a nice way to live. Personally, I’m going to focus on what I did do: walked more, appreciated every day having both children home from college and school, the occasional lie-ins because there’s no travel, spending less.  I have breathed more than usual. But what about when, if we’re really honest with ourselves, this becomes an excuse not to do something that could be really impactful for our work, business or future life?  Comfort zones are perfectly named – it’s soooo comfortable for most […]

The Upper Hand

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

It may feel as is this virus has changed our lives utterly and in many ways it has.  Feeling that we have no control flags our stress response and we humans don’t like it! Each generation has endured major and catastrophic events that have changed lives and punctuated the decades.  Each one is ‘new’ and shocking at the time – airplane hijackings in the 1980s were new; flying passenger airplanes into buildings in 2001 was new; Foot and Mouth disease was new (ish).  H1N1, SARS and the spread of Ebola in recent years were new – or seemed new because we were experiencing them for the first time, maybe even first-hand.  Each of those events changed the way we behaved, operated and travelled.  Each challenged us to re-evaluate our mindset and values. The extent, speed and reach of this pandemic is new to our generation.  We’re astonished that something can take […]