This isn’t a Pollyanna special and I have no intention of getting #soblessed whilst talking about topics that are typically A Bad Thing. No-one enjoys depression or burnout. It’s not a happy happy fun time with the Scooby Gang. So why am I grateful?
This month has been tough for me and for business.
I joked about August being the month of tumbleweeds and empty purses but for me this year it's also been the month of big changes and life readjustments, trying to pull off big projects, followed by a full blown, clouds rolling in #depression and #grief blow up.
There, I gave it a label even though I'd resisted it. We don't talk about grief and depression openly and how are you supposed to help people when you're struggling yourself (oh hello my old friend #impostersyndrome).
Here's what I know. The work I do is as a result of years of struggle and even feeling as crappy as I do and have done the past couple of weeks, I am in a much better place with the knowledge I have about my own patterns, the tools that I have and the fact that I talk about it now.
I don't believe that anxiety or depression are weaknesses or that they devalue my knowledge, experience and expertise.
But I do know that they make me averse to leaving the house, spotty in communication and reduce my working speed by about half. Which is made worse when you're self-employed!
I know that this is situational, I know that I will bounce back. I would also feel like a fraud if I didn't talk about it.
Even as I write this I'm cringing, wondering just how many people will disconnect or decide they won't work with me as a result of this. I choose to believe that honesty and transparency make me a better mentor and trainer, because I've been in the trenches and, right now at least, I'm back there for a short spell.
I am not sharing this to be a martyr. It's simply where I am right now.
I love what I do. Sharing with this level of honesty does not come easy after years of trying to hide, fit in, pretend I was ok when I wasn't.
If you are going through a period of searching, feeling down or lost, struggling or even just feeling like 'is this it?' then please know you are not alone. Even with every tool I know, sometimes I get swept off my feet by circumstance and my own medical predisposition.
Don't make your mental health mean something about who you are, it just is, like a freckle or that weird toenail. It might not be something you love, but it is a part of you and you can do many things to help improve it and make it work for you.
If you've been thinking about working with me or would like to support the work I do, your help and support would be greatly appreciated, and I'll drop the link to my current offers below
PS Reading this back I also want to add - if you've subscribed to the belief that depression means you're automatically unable to function, then for the most part you're wrong. Sure, some of us end up sitting and crying and unable to pull on our pants. But there are so many people around you who are experiencing depression and still show up to work, still smile and still function, it's just more difficult and takes a lot more energy.
PPS You can access my courses and 1:1 work here: https://searchingforserenity.vipmembervault.com/teaser
Or if you love what I do and read my blogs regularly, feel free to send me a virtual gin to keep my work flowing http://bit.ly/Buyleahgin
Toxic workplaces are a constant source of stress for almost all involved but they often don’t appear in the cartoonish fashion we have all come to expect from media representations and, well, articles just like this one.
We all have employment rights now and near-constant media examples of power gone awry so very few of us have to work for long under a screaming bully of a boss or keep a blow up mattress under the desk for the deadline periods (as one friend of mine did in his job!).
However, if you’re a generally resilient person who is beginning to feel the mild nausea and constant pressure then maybe you haven’t realised the impact of your environment, or just how toxic the place around you is.
Here are 10 signs you are working in a toxic environment.
When you say 'I can't do that' I can't help but smile.
Because I know that that's not what you mean.
You mean one of two things;
I’ve been prepared for battle since I was small.
I was always ready to fight my corner, to stand up for the people who couldn’t. Even when I was beaten and bruised I still got back up and tried to fight a new way.
It was the desperate need to fight for what was right that first led me to law. I was a child in the middle of a battlefield and the lawyers led the way out. Made sense from the chaos. Created peace where there had been none.
I instinctively knew I wanted to be one of them because these were people who fixed broken things, found solutions to problems my tiny brain had no clue how to solve.
Somehow I equated being able to solve a problem with being problem-free.