I am Matt (Matthew if you prefer full names). I was born in 1971, so that puts me at the back end of my 40s. I have been married for nearly 24 years and have two boys (who are both young adults now). I have worked as a healthcare professional for 30 years. Nearly 20 of them have been in leadership roles. I am currently the Lead Coach for a busy inner city NHS University Hospital. If I am honest there have been many occasions over those past 30 years as a professional, a husband and a parent when I have really struggled to hang on in there. I have had to learn how to adapt and see the world differently. I have seen parts of me that I would rather have not. I have had to acknowledge the part I played in my difficulties. Using my Nursing skills and learning how to be a coach has really helped. Having people around me that could coach me by kicking me up the arse and putting their arm around me was invaluable. But most importantly they did not advise me.
So that brings me to what I now offer as a coach. Because of my lived experience I want to support men that may be struggling with what life throws at them as they progress in their career and personal life. What I have recognised is that there is not a lot out there to support middle aged men before things get really bad, that does not force them to be someone they are not.
It’s not always OK not to be OK, OK?
I see this meme a lot on Facebook, saying it’s OK not to be OK, or men need to talk and share more. I agree completely that men should be able to feel comfortable to express their feelings and struggles in an open way. But the thing is that the vast majority of us have not been brought up to view the world in that way, and we are just unable to see the world that way. So let’s make sure young boys are brought up to share emotions, and have high emotional intelligence, but let’s stop making men feel bad for not expressing our emotions in a certain way.
It is possible to be emotionally intelligent and be able to manage them without talking to people about how you feel off the bat. There are many ways people can understand and articulate what they are feeling. What has to happen is to accept that shit happens, and make space in your mind for this eventuality. There is no point in avoiding it, just face it and know that it is not a permanent state. Next make sure your day is full of activities that require your full attention, something that keeps you in the present and does not allow you to dwell on the past or worry about the future. What is happening now is the most important thing. Obviously we have to learn from the past and plan the future but they are not permanent residence.
Check your thinking, when stuff happens that knocks you for 6, understand the emotion you are feeling, what you may assuming, what you are in control of, and what is beyond your control.
Realise the only person that is in control of what you think and do is you. You choose what to do, how to respond and what to think.
Know what you is important to you, what gets you out of bed? What gets you through those difficult jobs? What got you to where you are now.
Make a plan for your life and start to take action, not tomorrow, not next week, not when the conditions are right but now.
Finally when things go tits up again, start again, and keep at it. It is not a race, it’s life.
So it’s not OK, not to be OK if that is all you are going to be. It is OK to pick yourself up take action and make it better.
By all means take that and use it. Or go buy some of the many books that are out there like The Chimp Paradox and SUMO. They are brilliant and will help.
There is no substitute for one to one conversations and someone to hold you to account. So message me if you want the one to one approach, face to face or remote.