Taking Control

On Monday morning I felt ashamed, to be honest I have held this shame for quite some time, this has been the motivator and blocker for my sporadic running and attempts at healthy eating. I weighed myself on Monday morning and felt an enormous sense of shame.

The thing is with shame that it dis-empowers us, shame makes the assumption that you are somehow flawed and are unable to change. Last Monday as I stood in the bathroom I felt weak, useless, and so, so sad. You may remember my Doctor last year told me I was pre-diabetic, and I needed to take action. Well I had failed. I could feel the shame taking hold. I had a choice whilst stood in the bathroom, I could bury the shame and carry on, or I could face it. I chose to face it, face the discomfort. I decided to sit with the uncomfortable embarrassment, and focus on what I was going to do about it.

A few people I know around my age had taken action and lost weight. This gave me the spur to do something. If they have done it, then so can I. This gave me a mental picture of what I want to see myself. This gave me my starting point. I am now in the process of shifting that shame to being accountable. Now I know that I am accountable for the choices I make, when I thinking rationally, however I do not always think rationally. That is why I am in the process of shifting shame, I have to consciously check myself when my reptilian and mammalian minds kick in that they are not always working in my best interest. I have downloaded an app to track what I am eating and how much I weigh, that along with my qualitative goal. I have given myself six months to look and feel the way I want to feel.

Shame is a powerful emotion and at the moment it is a constant struggle to resist the urge to suppress these feelings and tell myself that I will always be fat and unhealthy so just accept it. My rational mind knows this is not the case, I am accountable for the choices I make, and I can choose to have a different lifestyle if that is what I want.

I have blogged about my health and weight before, this has been my blind-spot. I suppose I have never really, truly wanted to face it. I have built a habit of retreating back to the comfort zone of eating rubbish. I have a goal for me that is more attractive and compelling than crisps and biscuits. It is however going to be difficult, and I am certain I will have failures on the way. This time I am prepared for them and will no longer fall into the shame trap of believing that those failures are proof that I am not strong enough to achieve my goal.

If this has inspired you and you want to talk about how you can set your goals that will be meaningful for you, get in touch to arrange a remote coaching session.

Letting go of the old and embracing new beginnings

When you are about to embark on a change do you ever wish that you could click your fingers and you could suddenly transported to your new beginning?

It never happens does it?

No matter what the change is we have to leave the old way behind and start to move over to the new way.

This is rarely smooth and is often a painful process, sometimes we are so unprepared for the difficulty and pain that the change never happens and we drift back to the old way of doing things. Now if it is just you involved in the change it can be at best disappointing, however if others are involved or it is part of a bigger project the consequences can be far reaching and devastating.

Some changes will just happen regardless whether we want them to or not. The changes to our way of life at the moment are out of our control. But we still have to leave the old way of doing things and navigate to our new normal.

Drawing on the work of William Bridges, Brené Brown, Simon Sinek and Steve Peters I will help you navigate your way through the transitions you are experiencing.

To book a place click on the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connected-living-webinar-3-letting-go-and-new-beginnings-tickets-113194235004

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

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