Are you listening to your System?
Okay! Time for me to put my hand up…and explain why I’m in my cycling gear!!!
So some of you may have missed me for a month. I haven’t done a blog since 12 February.
I have a bit of a record of not listening to my system! I spent the last 3 or 4 years of my corporate career completely ignoring what the increasing stress was telling me…stop and change something. I ended up with a breakdown.
“3 years ago, despite all of my personal and 15+ years of client experience, I had a month of almost constant panic attacks. I was working too hard, seeing too many clients and not taking time out.”
Stress, anxiety and depression are not mental illnesses: they are signals from our system that we need to step back from our life, have a good look and make some changes. But we, and the medical system, think they should be managed or medicated. Sorry, but ultimately you can’t manage them or medicate them. They are a whacking great alarm bell from your system telling you that you’re not living your life in a way that makes you happy and you have to make some big changes.
OK so no breakdown or panic attacks this time, just utter, utter exhaustion culminating in good old dose of flu. And it’s taken me a month to fight my way back. I’ve taken time out and taken care of myself more.
To be fair to me, I was listening to my system months ago and have been making changes, but sometimes the changes take a while to come to fruition and you have to work doubly hard in the meantime to make the changes.
So, I’ve spent the last 6 months seeing more clients than ever, but at the same time working on developing the online mental health education and coaching programme that this website is based on!
I’ve been working crazy hours, but as well as the normal sprinkling of personal issues that life brings to you, I’ve been fundamentally let down by a trusted supplier that has led to a 4 month delay to launching the site and the programme, via a brush with legal proceedings. All sorted amicably now by the way!
“…I went to see the doctor about 3 weeks ago!”
Recognising that I was struggling, I went to see the doctor about 3 weeks ago. When I told her what I do and that I see clients for 3 hour sessions, she clearly thought I was a flaming idiot! “That kind of focus every day is unnatural” is what she said. Well I’ve been working that way for over 5 years! It works brilliantly for my clients, just not for me and of course it’s finally come home to roost!
Ok so, developing the online programme based on my 20 year and 3000 client experience on top of seeing clients was never going to be easy, but I’ve not been in a situation where I can simply jump ship, not worry about income and change direction. Which of course is where we all are: we have to pay the bills!
I’ve now listened to my system and am now seeing clients on a blended approach, using the online programme to do the teaching and the coaching online and substantially reducing the face-to-face time. The great thing is that the online programme allows clients to go deeper and wider into the coaching than face-to-face would have allowed because there’s infinitely more time.
If you’re struggling with stress, anxiety and/or depression, actively take some time out, talk to your loved ones and see what changes you need to make.
If you need some help doing that, then check out the online programme and the blended 1-2-1 approach that’s coming to the website soon.