When I Fall! A webinar

How to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and have another go

Setbacks and failures seem to be relentless at the moment, and this is taking it’s toll on our ability to keep picking ourselves up. This webinar is an opportunity to pause and rediscover what makes us resilient.

Lets spend an hour and a half rediscovering our superpowers.

Feeling Isolated in a Full House

Over the past 4 months many of us have experienced feelings of isolation, and for many of us it has been our first experience of loneliness. Living in a full house I never expected loneliness would affect me, but it did.

Since the end of March I have spent the vast majority of my time at home, for a number of different reasons. Firstly I got ill, and then my recovery took longer than expected and ended up working from home for the vast majority of my time. But I have had my family around me so why would I feel lonely? That is exactly what I felt, but I but I felt isolated from my workplace, and life was going on without me. I missed the small things like the incidental conversations in the kitchen or the corridor, the nods of acknowledgement walking between buildings. I missed my commute in, and seeing all those familiar faces. I missed being part of the hustle and bustle of the Hospital. I felt adrift.

Now I am still working from home on the whole, I do travel in to work occasionally, but it is not the same as it was, however for the vast majority of the time I feel more connected and less isolated. So what have I done differently? I started to pay attention to my well-being. I decided I had to take action to feel more connected with myself and with those around me. If I continued to view my world the same way I would continue to see isolation and disconnection. I took action by reframing my world. I did this by using a checklist for well-being written by Martin Seligman in his book Flourish. I use this checklist regularly when coaching people and you may have seen it appear in previous blogs. I like it because the mere act of completing it starts to shift your view of your circumstances. So here it is

Positive Emotion:

Have you smiled, laughed or felt happy during the past 24 hours?  If the answer is no, then when was the last time you felt that emotion, and what were you doing? What was it about that activity that created that emotion? When can you do that activity again?

When I asked myself these questions I started to smile, even though on that day I might not have felt a positive emotion I had a very recent feeling that I could visualise that actually created a positive emotion.

Engagement:

Have you done something today that has engaged you? Have you done something for the sake of it that required very little effort that was enjoyable?

This was easy for me as I at the time writing a blog daily which I enjoy doing and engaged me. As you are thinking about what engages you, think about all those small activities that you do just to escape for a while. That might be taking the dog for a walk, reading, watching a box set, going for a run or swim. If you are struggling to find something then think about what you enjoy doing and make a commitment to start doing that. To give you a bit of help I find ironing quite engaging, I set myself up in front of the telly and go into my own world for an hour or two.

Relationships:

Now this is the one we are all having an issue with. So what I did was create a mental map of all my relationships, their importance to me and when I last made contact with them. If you like I created a stakeholder map, but for people I like. I then asked myself who on that list I need to make contact with. I then made a commitment to make contact with those people. When I am working during the day I will make contact with my colleagues either by messenger, phone or WebEx. I have made a commitment to talk to my boss at the very least once a week. I talk to my mum on the phone every day, and I talk to my eldest son at least once a week. The key for me was to take action and make a commitment. However this is very much dependant on how I was feeling and that is why just concentrating on relationships is not enough.

Meaning:

What gets you up every morning? Do you have a purpose? When you are stuck at home it can be very easy to lose sight of your purpose, and I certainly did. This was one of the reasons why I wrote a blog. I had to connect with my core values. I always want to be useful and to support people. Writing that blog connected me to that value. It is important to remind yourself why you chose to do the job that you do, and why you miss what you do, and to use that meaning to drive you motivation to stay connected with people that are important to you.

Accomplishment:

What have you achieved today? Create small wins every day, accomplishments do not have to be big things. If you have spent 4 months in jogging bottoms and sweatshirts, then getting dressed up will be a win. I make lists every day and tick off each item as I achieve them. If I do something that is not on the list, I will add it and then tick it off. The aim is to let myself know that I am achieving stuff every day no matter how small, I am still moving forward.

Paying attention to all of you is vital to shift your view of your world and improve your well-being. What is important to remember is that is up to you to take action.

Connected Living Webinar 2: Connected With Others

This weeks webinar is on Saturday 1st August at 11 am.

The subjects covered will be:

  • Understanding your persona
  • Why we are attracted to certain people
  • Are we making the most of our connections
  • Why we need to make connections
  • Appreciate the complexity of others
  • Build trust

Don’t worry if you missed webinar one, each webinar is designed to stand alone. When you book on this webinar I will send you a link to a video presentation of the first webinar. You will also get a PDF of Connected Self.

26/07/2020 Firsts and practicing what I preach

Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky on Pexels.com

Last week when I was writing my blogs I was physically feeling quite rubbish. Well this week is completely different, I seem to be on an upward slope of the roller-coaster that is my symptoms. I now seem to have two weeks of feeling well then 2 weeks of feeling rubbish, however the weeks of symptoms are gradually having less and less impact, which is very encouraging. The only thing I have noticed even when the symptoms are less, that my exercise tolerance is very much reduced. This might be because I am so unfit, but I have noticed my breathlessness lasts a lot longer than it did (and I have never been an athlete). I did 5 minutes this morning of gentle exercise and was out of breath for about 20 minutes. The positive is that I am doing exercise albeit not as much as I would like. The next thing to tackle is to reduce my input. Both me and Lisa are now making a concerted effort to get healthier, therefore her determination and level of organisation has improved my self belief score dramatically. Once Lisa has a project she becomes an unstoppable force.

Outside of work my life this week has been taken up with mentally preparing for my first webinar on Connected Living. My level of anxiety and sense of vulnerability surprised me, and I have had to really dig deep to find the courage and have the confidence to follow through. Every evening and morning I would be check who had signed up and who was interested. I knew I had 2 people booked on and that made me really nervous. My ego was being tested and I contemplated cancelling the whole thing, to protect my blushes. I asked myself what would I learn if I cancelled, what would I be protecting if I cancelled? I held my nerve and advertised daily. I ended up with 3 people booked on. Now that is not a great return, and I could have chosen to see it as a failure. I chose not to see it as anything other than my first step. I chose to see it as an opportunity to practice my online delivery and how I interacted with my audience. So I jumped in. It was uncomfortable, I felt exposed, however I also felt comfortable and engaged in the process. My delivery was clunky, and awkward at times, the structure was looser than I wanted and I overran slightly. As I right this I am remembering something I said during the webinar which describes this perfectly. I was talking about the vulnerability I feel about driving. I learned to drive when I was in my late 30s, once I passed my test I hated driving and have avoided it ever since, because I hate feeling like a novice. This is exactly the reason for my vulnerability with holding a webinar. The difference is that I have managed to embrace my vulnerability about the webinar, I am yet to be prepared to face being consciously incompetent at driving.

By embracing my vulnerability about my ability to attract people to my webinars and my delivery, I can learn from my actions. There would have been very little I could have learned if I had done nothing. Now I am still feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious about yesterday. Instead of wanting to avoid this feeling I am accepting it and using it to learn how I will improve my delivery next Saturday. That will be awkward, and clunky and there will not be many people there, and that is fine, I am prepared to put myself in the arena, and I am prepared to fall. Now all I have to do is transfer this courage to other aspects of my life. Then again where would we be if we if we had no flaws in our life.

If I this resonates with you then why not join us on Saturday for my second webinar. This one will be about connecting with other people. So we will be discussing our persona and how that impacts on how we are viewed, why we need to connect with people and how we can be more effective at connecting with people that will make a difference for us. If you do book a place I will send you a PDF of my Connected Self guide and a link to a you-tube video of me delivering the first session. You will also get access to my transitions webinar for free.

To book just follow the link below

19/07/2020 Sunny Sunday morning writing, blogging and listening to podcasts

It’s Sunday morning, so the usual happened, Holly (my dog) woke me up at 6:30, she was hungry and lonely. I could have gone back to bed I suppose, but the sun was shining, so I got up. I thought about writing a blog at that point, but I really did not have anything to say, and I just could not be bothered, so I watched highlights of the FA Cup semi-final (Arsenal v Man City). I keep trying to engage with football now it is back, but to be honest the TV experience of football is very much dependent on a crowd. I just cannot get into it. Now watching football in person (live) is a completely different experience, the size and noise level of the crowd is much less important for me, but being removed in my own space, I require a large crowd experience. I suppose that is why they add the crowd noise, but it still does not work for me. Therefore after a couple of minutes I lost interest. I then watched a documentary about the first residential recording studio based on a farm, called Rockfield. Now that was much more engaging, I thoroughly enjoyed it. What grabbed me was not all the rock stars that had recorded there, it was the story of the brothers that founded the studio and their story of adaptation and agility of the decades that has seen them survive. They have never been there to make money or be really famous. It is apparent that the experience of living and providing an experience for the people they come in to contact with seemed to be their driving force. No doubt they have a just cause that keeps them going, as it is clear something bigger than them and the musicians that use the studio, that keeps this space going. If you want to watch it check it out on the BBC iPlayer.

After that gradual wake up, I took the dog for a walk and did a few chores, by the time I got upstairs to Jack’s old bedroom that is morphing into my office I was breathless, wheezy and had a banging headache. I was determined this was not going to get in the way of this glorious morning. I opened the window to let the outside seep into my space, filling the room with a cool breeze, and the sound of birdsong. I put my favourite radio show on (The Radcliffe and Maconie Show on 6 Music), opened my computer and started to think about what I was going to write. Now I have chapters still to write for my book, I have an assignment to write for my strategic coaching course ( well I have to tweak what I have written), and I have to review my slides and plan for next weeks webinar, and I have the prospect of writing a blog. When it comes to my own work (work that I do not currently get paid for, unfortunately, but maybe one day soon) I have a rule of following my interest, rather than following what I have to do. The assignment technically sits in the work work world, so it has to be done, but not today. Therefore I dismissed that for now. So I opened up what I had written so far in my book file. That was it, I was in, and just started writing and adjusting stuff in the content. This should have been a perfect moment. Now it was almost perfect, what was getting in the way, was what I was physically experiencing. My breathlessness, chest pain and headache, were just taking my attention. When it takes my attention I pause ( I have just done it now whilst writing this) and pick up my phone to do something mundane. I procrastinate for a few minutes either scrolling through social media or by posting a picture on instagram. Then I am back in the moment and go back to writing. The music helps to. I ended up finishing the chapter. I will take that as a win today. So I saved that file and moved on to follow my interest.

I am now writing this blog listening to a Simon Sinek podcast, I am sort of half listening, half writing. In between I am still having to pause as I lose concentration when I notice my chest pain and headache again.

In spite of feeling a bit pants today, I am taking this morning as a win. I have done what I wanted to do. The breeze is lovely, the sunning is shining and I am feeling productive and inspired. Living in the moment, choosing to be positive and following your interest and vital for our well-being.

If you are finding it hard to see the positive and live in the moment, then reach out and find support. I am running a series of webinars that concentrate on how we manage our lives. Click on the link below to book you place on the first webinar and get the next 2 for 3.

18/07/20 Trying to get back to some normality

It has been nearly 4 months since my symptoms began. They are much improved, they do not have a huge impact on my life anymore, however they are just not present enough to irritate. I get breathless, have headaches, indigestion mind fogs, and moments of irritation and anxiety.

I have decided to live with this and attempt to improve my lifestyle. It can not not help. So last week I started running again. The first couple of times I ran/walked for a mile. Today I decided to get some more structure today my training by downloading the BBC couch to 5k app. Just over halfway through I realised I have I have to go with my recovery. I found it really challenging, I have been back about 20 minutes and I am still feeling it. The endorphins are flowing however and I am feeling restored.

This week Uncle Boris said we could go back to the workplace in August, at work we have been preparing to welcome back staff that have been working from home and more importantly welcoming our colleagues that have been shielding. I went into our office last week to do my bit to making it COVID secure. This I discovered is a modern term for tidying you crap up. I might suggest that Jack makes his bedroom COVID secure.

When I went back to the office for only about the 4th time since all this began, I felt quite nervous and unsure of myself. If felt like a new boy. I have been talking to a lot of my people feeling that way, for feeling unmotivated and just worn out. We are realising that learning how to live and operate differently is mentally and physically exhausting. We do not realise how much we take for granted, until we have to do it differently. That was is one of the reasons why I have put on my connected living webinars, to help us all centre ourselves, learn how to connect with people that will help us and help us cope with all the changes that are going on around us. You can find the link on this website or on my Facebook page.

Stay safe everyone and remember if you are feeling out of sorts you are not alone.

Check out “Connected Living Webinar 1 Connected Self”!

Check out “Connected Living Webinar 1 Connected Self” on Eventbrite!

Date: Sat, 25 Jul, 11:00

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connected-living-webinar-1-connected-self-tickets-113189934140

12/07/2020 A week off and a visit to see my Mum

I have had annual leave this week. Annual leave when you work from home is quite surreal. Monday and Tuesday we stayed at home, which when home is your work place is very strange. I did however manage to avoid logging on to my work computer and going and I muted the work WhatsApp group. Normally when I have been on holiday I would not normally go that far, but when the lines between work and home are less defined, it is really important I think to impose distinct barriers between the two.

On Monday went out for a run for the first time since the end of February. It was really more a run/walk, to get me back into the swing of things and not put myself off on my first outing. I used a route I know that is a mile long. Before the lock down this had become my regular almost daily route, so it felt good to be out on familiar ground. It hurt, but not as much as thought it might. It was the feeling afterwards that I realised I had missed the most. As we come down from exercise we get a rush of endorphins, which is just the best feeling. If you do exercise you will know what I mean, if you have not done any exercise for a while (like me), I would strongly recommend you get out there and do something that gets your heart rate up. It has certainly improved my mental health this week. The 2 runs I have done this week have been added to my daily hours of happiness.

Wednesday was an emotional day. We went to Chester to visit my Mum. I have not seen my Mum since December. My irrational self had worried this day would never come. I know we are supposed to keep 1 to 2 metres distance but when I saw her I couldn’t help it. I gave her the biggest hug, and we held on to each other and sobbed. After half a year of being apart and with the prospect of never seeing each other again, that was the most heartfelt hug I had ever had. The days preceding our visit I had been impossible to live with (sorry Lisa). Ben had come with us for the day to visit his Gran it was lovely to see him with her. He didn’t stay as he needed to get back for work. Wednesday was a precious day as was Thursday. We spent the morning talking, crying and laughing just me and her, and then before we left my niece came with her daughter Ava (welcome to the family Ava). Those are 2 days that will live long in the memory.

As you will remember from my previous blogs that I am putting together a series of webinars about personal leadership and resilience (similar to what I write about in my blogs) based on a book I have been writing for he past 2 years. Well since Thursday I have been reworking what I have written so far to put into a companion guide to go with the webinars. I can then use that guide as the overview for the book. Preparing these webinars has given the book a new lease of life. Writing the webinar has refocused my goal, and I can now see my compelling vision much more clearly. If you are interested in checking out the webinars the link below will take you to he eventbrite page for the first webinar on the 25th July. If you want to sign up for all three and receive a copy of the guide contact me via my contacts page.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connected-living-webinar-1-connected-self-tickets-113189934140

I am going to spend the rest of this morning writing and looking out over my garden on this lovely sunny Sunday. Stay safe everyone

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