What is challenging you right now – survey results

You answered, I listened!

Did you know that professionally trained coaches are trained to listen in 14 different ways during a coaching conversation?

Just an aside…

Last week I asked my newsletter readers and my wider network for insights and inputs via online survey about what is challenging people right now.

Many answered for which I am incredibly grateful, thank you very much!
(and thank you for the lovely comments, it helps to know I’m on the right track – usually!).

Below is the first of 3 results graphs which made for interesting reading and definitely food for thought and content over the weeks to come.  I have put notes under them in the hope of answering your worries.

Thank you again – please feel free to send other suggestions or comments any other other time, my 14 pairs of ears are always open!

Until next week, stay safe,


“Uncertainty about job/work/income/business”
Of course, totally understandable. What’s really important for your health is to learn how to park this, at least sometimes. It is true that worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet means at best we are putting our bodies through a stress response once; at worst twice if the thing we are fretting about comes to pass. What would it be like to:
a) take a deep breath and then let your breath out carry that worry out of your body. Visualising it as a coloured steam may help.
b) put the worry into your hand, then raise the hand to the sky and let the Universe take it. Give it away to someone bigger and more able to handle it than you.
c) set a time limit for the worrying. Pick a time on the clock, set an alarm on your phone and at that time say, ‘I’ve done enough worrying about that for today. I’ll revisit it tomorrow’.
d) learn to live with uncertainty.*

*In my business, work is not constant or guaranteed. I met a neighbour a few months ago and she asked how business was. I lamented that I never had a full diary for months in advance as I’d like. She very gently pointed out that for as long as she has known me I’ve been saying that, and yet I have been running my own business for 9 years now. Talk about an eye opener! I thanked her for pointing out what I couldn’t see myself. Yes, my diary is changeable but I’ve never not had work. For 9 years! To add to this, a much respected colleague who is in the same sector as me pointed out that people come to us when they need us, which is usually semi-urgently, not usually 3 months in advance! She also has been working constantly for years, but with a diary booked for only a few weeks in advance.

Learning to accept it and live with it has made a huge difference to my own anxiety about work continuity. It hasn’t changed my workflow one bit, but it has released me from needlessly worrying. Now every morning I wake up with hope. I open my office, my e-mails and my phone. And work comes.

If you are an employee and worried about your long-term security (indicated by a significant number of responders in the Other Comments section), remember all that you carry in your head. All the training, qualifications and experience. You take that with you, wherever you go. In and out of work, in and out of job interviews for other roles. You don’t leave it behind. Be aware of it, calculate it, label it and don’t forget it.

“Generally sad or low, don’t really know why”
I asked this question because it’s very common to feel this. Life ebbs and flows usually. We encounter big stressors when someone dies or is very ill, or if we experience unemployment, addiction, bullying or accident, to name but a few. These are known in the coaching world as ‘crucibles’ because we feel melted, broken down and no resemblance to our former self. This pandemic is a crucible, but while most of these events are a short sharp shock to which we eventually acclimatise, the pandemic is constant. Every day there is more bad news and consistently negative impacts on our lives so it’s like hundreds of bruises on the same spot. Awareness of this and consciously taking steps to inject more joy into your life will help your body and mind to deal with this.

An important note here:
If you are feeling sad or low for a prolonged period of time and you have noticed other changes that you can’t shake, such as too much or too little sleep, too much or too little appetite, not liking the music you used to love, being irritated by things you used to enjoy or not notice, not able to feel joy, feeling like someone else’s brain has been transplanted into your head – please talk to your GP or engage directly with someone qualified to give mental health support such as a support line, counsellor or psychotherapist. Prolonged sadness can lead to depression but the sooner you can nip it in the bud the quicker you will recover. Why suffer needlessly? You may not even need medication. There are many effective therapies but unless you yourself are qualified in this area (and in fact even if you are qualified in this area!) you cannot treat yourself any more than you could operate on yourself if you had a broken bone. Resilience development is appropriate for those who are generally well and it can complement other therapies and treatments but it’s not a replacement for them if you need clinical or medical intervention.

“I’m not a bit stressed – all good!”
EXCELLENT – I love it! Keep going!