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Winning at, or worrying about life?

It’s been a great week. Being my own boss has facilitated the following:

  • I had a weekday off to visit my parents.

  • I have scheduled and completed all my training runs in daylight hours, indeed in sunshine.

  • I had a catch up with my ex-CFO from BMW, someone I still count as a mentor to me

  • I similarly caught up with a dear to me, previous client – who is just, well, thriving

  • I have been confirmed as a guest on an upcoming podcast

  • I delivered 2 sessions of “my career and how I did it” to about 30 16-year-olds at a nearby secondary school

  • I’ve had some powerful coaching sessions – I have seen and heard the impact my coaching is having

  • The sun has shone, and I planted some seeds - literally – tomatoes and broccoli.

Here’s the rub. It’s been a really tough few days and I have had moments where the familiar memory of what despair smells like, has been wafting about my nose. And I’m ok. And I am already emerging from this place, which I liken to coming back to the surface after being underwater. The senses sharpen and the ‘muffledness’ abates.

So, what’s this about? Where am I headed in this blog?

This week is about being honest, being open, being real and by sharing, I hope to alleviate some pressure that you may be placing on yourself. It’s about demonstrating that we can be achieving and not feel it, that others can compliment and admire, and we can deny and be blind to it ourselves.

From last week to this, nothing tangible has changed – except my mood, and the effect of this small shift has been profound. I lost motivation and direction; I started to ruminate that I don’t, after all, know what I am doing, that I could fail through indecision and inertia. The result of this has been procrastination and anxiety [1].

My little critters are reminding me that, as a coach, and in some of your cases, as your coach declaring this is BONKERS and a sure-fire way for my entire business to crash and burn about my ears. I am choosing to trust my gut, my knowing, that I have an opportunity to help by “putting this out there”. Insert soothing words to the little guys who are wailing and rocking in the corner at this prospect. (I note an immediate comment from them, that this is just writing it, and they ample opportunity to prevent me from publishing it... bless them, they mean well).

My point therefore:

I am not your guru. It’s a phrase I just read in the book Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas and variations along the same theme pop up here and there. Indeed, a Google search will take you straight to Tony Robbins – a somewhat in your face motivational speaker; he’s marmite I'd say 😉.

I’m a coach, I’m a buyer, I’m a mentor and I’m a founder and I’m good at it. I am also on the rollercoaster with you, learning, growing, and adjusting as I go, trying not to vomit too often at the steep bits.

As such, it is important for me to truly demonstrate that there is space to have these emotions and to be doing and being at the same time, to be moving forward. What holds so many of us in inertia, is this pursuit of perfection, the belief that to start something, or indeed to carry on with something, we need to be or have something specific. I have heard many of them and thought some of them myself… is this good enough? Am I good enough? Should we have yet another qualification before we start? Should the website be more polished before I publish it? And on it goes.

There was real potential for me this week to doubt myself and what I am already achieving and hope to achieve in the future. Should these periods be prolonged, it’s easy to see how we might be persuaded to give up on something important to us, or not to start it in the first place and remain in our comfortable status quo.

How can I calm my anxiety? How can I worry less?

Learn what works for you. I am proud of myself for this past week. Here’s why:

  • Awareness – I felt the shift and I reflected on what was actually going on, how I really felt. Tune into the emotion

  • Judgement - oh it was there alright, but I was able to catch it and keep it small

  • Name it – I had a chat with hubby and got it all out. If that’s not for you – try writing it all down… so cathartic

  • Get physical – it’s just the last thing I want to do when I feel like this, I get sluggish and sleepy. But I am in the midst of a training plan and this structure really assisted – I have to train – ergo I had to run, and boy does exercise and fresh air help

  • Dig for joy – for me it’s literal – I headed to the allotment and the garden. It’s one of the few places (other than running) where my brain shuts up. For you – seek out what brings you joy and jump into it

  • People – my first reaction is always to isolate myself and it’s absolutely not going to help me. I know it and yet I do it anyway. Seek out company – do it now!

  • Food – the better I eat, the better I feel. So, in these periods I try to maximise the fresh and the colourful and for me, fish. And it’s well documented- booze is not your friend here [2]

You know I love mindfulness… and I’m not dedicated at meditation. I barely ever do it, I practice in other ways, but for those of you that do practice I can thoroughly recommend Professor Mark Williams. Here is his guided meditation of Exploring the Difficult.

This too shall pass

Just like a weather front, these times of worry and of feeling down, do move and shift. My past experience not only taught me this, but now helps me with early warning signs, meaning I can double down on my strategies to give it a helpful onward shove.

There is a transience in all things in our lives, some things we want rid of as soon as they show up, others we want to hold onto tightly. This week has been a reminder to me that sometimes we need to stand in the wind and wait for it to blow itself out, often aided by the tools we have practiced for just such these moments.

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

And for those things we want to see more often, well here too we have tools- we have the ability to practice, to build our muscles and create new behaviours and habits. This one made me smile:

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily – Zig Zaglar

My coach said to me “don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides”. We see what people choose to show us and this can sometimes have us believe that everyone, but us, is winning at life. We are all working our path out, I know I am! Stay kind to yourself and know that the worries don’t have to immobilise us, we can achieve through it.

If you are curious about how I can work with you, you can speak to me directly, you can book a free initial one hour coaching session with me here

You can learn more about me on YouTube

And I am on Instagram and Facebook @start2thrive where I post nuggets I hope are of help 😊

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