It’s mental health awareness week in NZ and feels like a safe time to tell a small part of my story and shed some light on what drives me to do the work I do. Once I push post, it’s out there. This is dedicated to all the leaders who truly care.
There is a reason my posts have been focused on Gratitude lately. We all have moments when that inner self critic jumps in to tell you you are not good enough, smart enough, successful enough or whatever it is for you.
Trying to push away that negativity can take a lot of energy and it's not always that easy. You could even end up in a "mental war" with negative thoughts, see sawing between telling yourself they are not true then flipping to trying to rationalise why they are true. It can take a lot of energy.
The best tool I've ever found to combat your inner critic is gratitude.
One major research project on gratitude showed that a gratitude practice resulted in the following effects on well-being:
Higher levels of life satisfaction
More optimism and vitality
Better progress toward personal goals and goal attainment
Reduced levels of stress and depressed mood
Greater alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy in young adults
More generous and helpful behavior, such as helping and providing emotional support to others
Reduced focus on materialism as a definition of success
Fewer feelings of envy toward others
Greater "positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one's life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality," in adults with neuro-muscular disease.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when describing the benefits of gratitude. Over at Career Reboot we've recently been running a 14 day Gratitude and Tapping Challenge for our clients. They are reporting feeling calmer and less overwhelmed and have seen dramatic shifts in mood and general life experiences as the result of a simple gratitude intervention.
We highly recommend a simple daily gratitude list. A task that may take five minutes will very likely have a drastic positive impact on your life and mental well-being.
Brenda James, Career Development & Energy Management Specialist
Pause, reboot and embrace life with meaning and purpose
Have you ever been
Enjoying forward momentum, then it came to a screeching halt, or something just didn’t feel right anymore?
Lately, I have heard from more clients than I care to count “I’m worried I might be depressed”.
I see this in job seekers and leaders when they have not connected with their purpose, their passion, or identified their authentic self. They feel flat, confused and lack energy. Life feels harder, uphill and less in the flow.
I love this saying by Carl Jung - The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
Statistics continuously say 70% of the worldwide population is unhappy or disengaged at work.
I’ve seen repeated evidence of people being unhappy at work because they have chosen a career or environment that prevents them from being their authentic self. They have never taken a pause to dig deep and look at what they are truly passionate about, what their values are and what their greater purpose in life actually is.
One of the hardest things to do in this world filled with comparisons, expectations and trends is to consistently be your authentic self. It’s even harder if you don’t know what your authentic self looks like. We live in an era that is jam-packed with reasons to try and fit in. We watch life via social media and see people putting their best smile on and most outrageously fun experiences online.
We can also put a lot of weight on what other people think, listen to their feedback and make changes because they say we should. Rather than stopping to take the time to look within and choose whether to change from a place of self-awareness.
Now, when it comes to work, there are certainly times when we need a bit more polish; perhaps when we are younger and learning about the world of work, ethics and professionalism. But what I’m talking about, is knowing yourself so well that you can make personal choices based on your passion, purpose and values. Your authentic self.
I believe it’s a positive exercise for all of us to think about who we are and what we stand for. Whether you know it or not, you have a brand; how you portray yourself to the wider world. The question is, is your brand aligned with your authentic self, or are you trying to fit in and follow trends by being or doing what other people think you should be or do.
The starting point to developing an authentic brand is to be clear about what you want and what you have to offer. They key word in that sentence is you. If you don’t know where you are going, your brand will be reactive and confusing rather than proactive and authentic.
A great start to defining your authentic brand includes:
- Getting clear about your aspirations, and
- Identifying what is unique about you.
Once you have clarity, you will be able to communicate your brand effectively both online and offline. You will display consistency and you will certainly come across as being authentic.
Getting clear about who you are, what you stand for and what you really want to do with your life will absolutely inspire you to live with more natural joy and happiness.
You are more likely to enjoy forward momentum, achieve your goals and enjoy positive thought patterns.
Living authentically and on purpose will have such a positive impact on your life. It will infiltrate all areas of your world including mental, spiritual and physical health.
What are you waiting for? You are worth it!