A-Head for Success

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The Stress of Keeping Up Appearances

The Stress of Keeping Up AppearancesThis is the second article in the Sources of Negative Stress series and, in the light of the tragic suicide of the gifted and successful designer, Kate Spade, I thought it would be timely to talk about the stress of keeping up appearances.

Struggling alone

Early reports say that Kate Spade was unwilling to risk the public discovering her depression if she sought help, so she struggled alone, self-medicating with alcohol. The problem when we self-medicate is that it doesn’t help us deal with the underlying problem – it simply masks it. The underlying problem just festers and festers until you implode, or seek the right kind of help.

The burden of trying to keep up appearances could not be heavier, or the consequences worse. The façade of the perfect life, perfect business, perfect relationship is just too much for anyone to sustain.   And the price is just too high.  

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Sources of Stress: Overwhelm

OverwhelmWho doesn’t experience overwhelm sometimes?  Although it doesn’t happen to me often, when it does, it is as though I am driving in first gear, without my Satnav and only brain fog for company.  It is a sign I have left things too long and I need to start taking control now, if not sooner.  Is this something you recognise in your life?

If only we could have demands, duties and deadlines flow in at exactly our preferred work rate.  Enough to keep us engaged and feeling productive.  But not so much that the stress of it damages our results and sense of worth.

But this is the real world.  We can rarely control the amount of work and demands we experience, but we can control our response to them so that we feel more productive, more empowered and less stressed.  In this article, I share my top ten:  ones I use with my clients and also on myself when overwhelm strikes.

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Are you a statistic?

One in three suffer mental health at workI’ve been doing talks recently about stress, mental health and wellness at work.  And one of the statistics which people find most alarming is that almost one in three people have experienced either unmanageable stress or mental ill-health at work (depression or anxiety).  62% of people attribute this in full or in part to work.

It isn’t surprising when we consider our VUCA world:  volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.  Never has it been harder to get ahead, stay ahead and enjoy the journey.  We expect more from less and the scope, scale and speed of business is an ever-changing landscape.

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Mental Health and Wellness at Work: It’s time to grow

Meeting increasing demand for mental health and wellness at workPart of any success strategy is knowing when you need to increase the resources to meet demand. And that’s where A-HEAD for Success is at the moment. Mental health and wellness at work are becoming increasingly recognised as a high priority for businesses. Not just because it’s just sound business sense (you want your most important asset to be functioning at its best, whether that’s you or people who work for you) but also to meet legal obligations.

Mental health and wellness are essential components of the A-HEAD for Success 5D Coaching Model: Clarity, Skillset, Mindset, Stress Resilience and Health/Energy.

When your team are firing on all cylinders, 

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5 Reasons You’re Not Reaching Your Goals

5 Reasons you are not achieving your goalsBy now, your year is well under construction whether through conscious effort or not.  Not deciding on a direction is still a decision and still a direction.  Most people, though, have goals, whether in their business lives or personal.  But actually achieving them is less common.  Whatever goals you have under construction, if you feel blocked, these are five of the main but surprising reasons why: 

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If Coaching Saves Lives, What Could it Do For You?

Blue Monday CoachingIn a world of such complexity, competitiveness and relentless change, it can be tough just staying where you are.  Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing date of the year.  As well as the factors I have already mentioned, the cold weather, post-Christmas debt and failure to stick to New Year Resolutions can all lead to a significant drop in motivation and mood.  The wish for things to be different are matched only by a lack of energy or ability to make it happen.

I recently watched a TED Talk which was about coaching called ‘Want to Get Good at Something?  Get a Coach’.  The speaker talks about how it was used to save lives in the third world and it got me thinking about all the ways that coaching can help people like you.

What difference has it made?

If it can:  

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Have you had enough yet?

Have you had enough yet? Avoid burnout and breakdown.Are you the kind of person who just gets on with it?  You think you can do no more but, here you are, doing more?

You know you need to make changes, but it never seems to be the right time.  And you don’t have time to make it happen anyway, what with everything else that’s going on.

Well, you may not know it, but you are a member of The Keep Going and Ignore the Risks Club.

 

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Time: Spend, Invest or Fritter?

Time ManagementWe all have 1440 minutes every day.  Yet some people seem to achieve so much and others barely make a dent on their good intentions.  And yet others seem to be incredibly busy achieving absolutely nothing, least of all a sense of achievement or fulfilment.  There are many reasons this could be true and one way to think about it is to consider how you use your time according to how much you do of each of the following:

Spend Time

Spending time is doing things which are either nurturing to the soul or maintaining.  They are necessary for balance and to keep you on track.

Examples include

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