Digital transformation, globalisation, unprecedented competition, and shifting customer expectations are changing organisations. Employees are the most costly, complex and yet most precious resource of any organisation or business. Often though, they are the least comprehensible.
Endemic stress and burnout account for a large proportion of workplace absence and represent a huge loss of national productivity.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Some of you will be relieved to know that you are not alone in this, we all feel at least one of these things sometimes…
This is a typical inner dialogue for most clients and employers You Revolution works with especially those with hectic lifestyles with creative, innovative ideas wanting to improve their skills and to create new opportunities at work but believe they have precious little time to make them happen.
This fast paced, quick fix, target-driven, celebrity and social media obsessed Society we currently live is collapsing because people are starting to recognise that the reason they feel so overwhelmed is because the system they are living in is not designed to suit the human spirit.
This is why investing in your health and well being is much more important than say 15 years ago.
Google is, by all accounts (it was named Fortune’s top great place to work in 2014), a world-class employer. The organisation prides itself on being socially conscious, offering employees (known as Googlers) substantial benefits and perks like on-site cafes, dry cleaners, nap pods, and more than a dozen mindfulness courses. Google’s most popular “Search Inside Yourself” mindfulness course, offered since 2007, has a six-month wait list and thousands of Googler alumni.
The program consists of 19 sessions or an intensive two-and-a-half day retreat, and is designed as a contemplative training program that helps participants learn to better relate to themselves and to others. The training consists of three parts: attention training, self-knowledge development, and “creating mental habits.” Attention training focuses on developing the ability to bring one’s mind, under any circumstance and at any time, to a place that is calm and clear. Self-knowledge development focuses on becoming more aware of one’s self, creating a quality of self-knowledge and self-awareness that improves over time.
This self-awareness helps mindfulness practitioners master their emotions. The third part of the training focuses on creating mental habits – for example, creating a mental habit of kindness. Participants are taught to look at every person they encounter and think “I want this person to be happy.” Once it becomes a mental habit, kindness comes naturally (Baer, 2014).
Google says this and other mindfulness programs are good for the company because they teach emotional intelligence, which helps people better understand their colleagues’ motivations. It also boosts resilience to stress and improves mental focus (Baer, n.d.). Participants of the “Search Inside Yourself” program agree. They report being calmer, more patient, and better able to listen. They also say the program helped them better handle stress and defuse emotions (Kelly 2012).
In 2010, Aetna developed, launched, and studied two mindfulness programs—Viniyoga Stress Reduction and Mindfulness at Work—in collaboration with Duke University, eMindful, and the American Viniyoga Institute.
The goals of the programs were to help reduce stress and to improve how participants react to stress (Gelles, 2012 and Aetna staff, 2012).
As Google, Aetna, General Mills, and Target can attest, bringing mindfulness and emotional intelligence to their workplaces has decreased employees’ stress levels, improved their focus and clarity, improved their listening , decision-making and leadership skills, and improved their overall happiness and well-being.
Perhaps most importantly from an HR and talent management professional perspective, mindfulness can reduce employee absenteeism and turnover, improve employee and client relationships, and boost job satisfaction.
It can be exciting and thrilling pushing ourselves to and often beyond the limits of how much we are capable of. That said, doing too much too quickly can be exhausting, uncalled for, and potentially dangerous, for example, phone calls whilst driving.
In our relentless overloaded world, we often feel depleted and more tired when we get up in the morning than when we go to bed. Our productivity levels and the quality of our work depreciates with speed. The quicker we approach tasks the more likely we are inclined to make errors. When we feel up and high, we ride our hectic life like a high performing surfer in the flow of a great wave, but when we’re down often we wipe out, burn ourselves out and can’t seem to overcome exhaustion. Most importantly though this has long lasting and detrimental consequences for our health and well being such as high blood pressure, fragile immune systems and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you the mindfulness, emotional intelligence self help and personal development techniques and tools that helped me to:
Though I am now doing my dream job, living in a delightful Somerset village and have many tools at my disposal, life is occasionally still tough so I’ll also send you some tips to help you remain motivated, and focused when you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, lost or you are falling victim to ”l’m too busy and don’t have enough time” and procrastination trap.
Walk away from your desk and imagine you are pressing the pause button of a film entitled: “My work life”
Then, physically step to the right and ask yourself the following questions:
For me, the most important first step when confidence building is to ask yourself whether you are demonstrating the behaviours and are following the beliefs outlined in the quotes below
One “Life is too short to be spending it with the wrong people”
Two “Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers but most of all surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself”
Three “Surround yourself with people who champion and encourage you to do new things and who bring out the best in you not the stress in you”
Four “If you do please everyone you are not making progress”
You know who I mean, those people who say:
“you don’t want to do that it’s too risky”
“you don’t have the skills”
“you’ll never make it as a successful artist or author that’s for dreamers”
They also regularly use phrases such as
“have you thought about”
ETC ETC you get the gist?
In other words “success breeds envy”
An excellent Coach, Lynne Paris, I once worked with coined a delightful phrase for this type of behaviour: “The Cinderella Syndrome” Lynne was an expert naysayer spotter as she encountered hundreds of naysayers when she wrote a play shown in London at age 62. Good for her !!!
And how about J K Rowling? Before she became a famous Harry Potter author she was continually criticised by people close to her for having an over active imagination.
(Though I am using the word “sister” in this context I am actually referring to both males and females because it’s rife in both genders).
Put simply, no matter what you do and how well you do it, there will always be someone there to rain on your red carpet, so it’s important to know how to spot these so called ugly sisters:
They often display envy when you achieve success, then deny it, and express negativity towards you and your accomplishments.
They look for the smallest mistake, then attack, never acknowledging any of the positives.
They’re critical of absolutely everything, are insecure, under confident really even though they often present an assertive and confident facade and are unhappy with themselves to say the least
And most significantly they are ENVIOUS OF YOU
One I – ignore them
I appreciate that this is easier said than done what can be helpful as a first step though is begin to ask yourself what do I know?
I know that their criticism adds no value to my life, if I believe what they say to me, I may end up stuck where I am and not being the best possible version of me to fulfil my dreams and passions
I also know that it’s important to accept that ugly sisters will always exist because it’s their occupation and I cannot change this.
Two – don’t take it to heart
Occasionally, you may experience difficulties identifying constructive criticism and ugly sister behaviour because there may be a grain of truth in their remarks. If this is the case, remind yourself thoughts and opinions are not facts just someone’s version and perception of the world based on their past experiences.
Three – avoid counter attacking
This takes up too much time and energy and life’s too short, so don’t give these ugly sisters the satisfaction of getting what they want, ie your attention, they don’t deserve it. Also it this type of behaviour only brings you down to their level and that’s unseemly.
Four – Dodge apologising and overusing the word sorry
It’s not unreasonable for you to expect other people to treat you as an equal with respect and dignity and in the manner that they would expect to be treated.
Apologising and using the word sorry regularly is highly likely to make people take you less seriously and as being somehow inferior to them.
At its worst, it can lower your confidence levels so hold on to your hard earned self respect, value and integrity. Only say sorry when it is appropriate for example when you make a mistake or when you accidentally bump into someone on the train.
Five – Stop people pleasing
According to Psychologist Susan Newman People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to” keep it that way.”
Often, even if it means abandoning their own needs to meet the needs of others.
People pleasers yearn for outside validation. Their “personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,” said Psychologist Linda Tillman.Thus, at the core, people-pleasers lack confidence, she said.
As stated earlier – “If you do please everyone you are not making progress”
Worst case scenerio – when you’re walking on eggshells trying to please everyone, it’s impossible to be the best you can be and indeed to be yourself.
So is it worth it? No because you end up bending yourself out of your true shape and continually feel resentful and disappointed because of all the sacrifices you are constantly making.
Six – Allow yourself to feel flattered
If people are continually undermining or putting you down know that you are a star shining brightly and that it is a form of confirmation you are doing something right or that matters.
So, treat how they are behaving towards you as a compliment and remember you wouldn’t know how successful you are if it wasn’t for your entourage of ugly sisters.
I’ll end with one of my favourite quotes by Fritz Perls Pioneer of Gestalt Therapy
I do my thing and you do your thing
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations
And you are not in this world to live up to mine
You are you and I am I
And if by chance we find each other it’s beautiful
If not it can’t be helped
Also If you have any enquiries or questions then please do email me or call me on