Being Part of Something
I write, tweet, and talk a great deal about mental health, that's because I have been there, I took a long hard look at it, and came back, and I know so many people who have as well all the better for it. I also write, tweet and talk a great deal about the value of coaching and the value of therapy for similar reasons. There is nothing more important than relationships, studies have shown this to be true, and in a more disconnected world, we need to work harder than ever to reconnect with each other. It's not always easy to trust, to share, and to forgive, especially if we've been hurt or told otherwise, but we are capable of it and all the better people when we do.
The work I do now is about being there with people as they explore more about themselves, to help them to recognise and then drop the masks they've developed over the years to help them fit in better, so that they can be themselves without fear. In this we talk a great deal about what they need, how they feel, and what their instincts and intuition are telling them. We learn to listen and to trust better. And I'm there with them every step of the way. It's not always easy but it is the most worthwhile thing I know how to do.
From my own experience and from the growing network that I'm a part of I believe that in my working lifetime, those with lived/survived experience of depression, anxiety, trauma and severe stress reactions, who have continued to be successful and learnt to live and cope with these, will be considered normal and it will be seen as an asset and positive selection criteria for employers. I believe that the reaction to people talking about it will be a non-issue at worst and positive at best.
I work with, support and am an advocate for people who also believe this to be a truth.
Between us we coach leaders, executives, managers, teams, groups, who have either personal, direct or indirect experience of these mental health challenges or perhaps even aren't sure where they're at yet. It’s not therapy (that may already be or have been part of your or their journey), it’s professional executive coaching, but the experience forms a shared foundation, direction and increased awareness necessary for a trusted and effective coaching relationship.
It is about a developing a trusted safe and professional relationship working with you to continue to grow in your success and use this experience and skill to your advantage.
You cannot be truly authentic, genuine and vulnerable, professed by many as key leadership qualities, unless you have awareness of yourself, your triggers, your reactions, and actively choose your actions. Those with lived experience often have great self awareness developed through their experience and the journey they’ve been on in understanding it.
One of the greatest challenges beyond coping with the reality of these experiences is the first step; recognising it is or has become a part of you, in many cases others notice it a long time before you see it or are willing to acknowledge it. The journey to acceptance, coping, managing and thriving can only start once you've recognised it and are willing to embrace the challenges it will inevitably bring and are excited to see where that might take you!