Tag Archives: growth

DEALING WITH STRESS

suspicion
Since my last post on recognising stress. I have been asked if I have any more tips on dealing with stress. Here are a few more of my thoughts, They may not tick the box for all of you reading this. However it might help you to create your own strategy – after all if you ‘own’ the strategy, then you will have more change of success. If these do tick the box for you, then start that change process – NOW!

If you look at my previous blog, the main thrust of it, is that someone has a need to recognise the symptoms that are actually stressed. This in turn will then enable that individual to make two choices. Address the stress or simply get on with it. Remember me saying, that we all need a bit of stress to make us function as Humans, to create and achieve our goals for ourselves and our loved ones.

There are some simple things you can do to de-stress yourself:-

1.) Exercise.
This might take the form of joining a gym. When you do go, work at your own pace, do what you want to do. Be yourself and work to your needs not the people around you. Or simply put on your coat and go for a walk – whatever the weather.

2.) Take a snap shot of your life.
Simply look at some of those things that could be causing your stress. A sudden shift by you will not be sustained, as you will revert back to type in time. A small shift on a regular basis is all you need. Remember that phrase “If you do what you have always done, you will get the same result.” Therefore if you don’t tackle stress – you will still end up feeling stressed.

3.) Me Time.
When do you ever have ‘Me Time’? This is very important as you can give yourself some quality ‘Me Time”. By the very fact you are assigning yourself this time – will give to yourself a huge feel good factor. ‘Me Time’ can simply mean listening to music, going out with friends and/or socialising, or doing a bit of mediation or reading.

4.) Give yourself a Challenge.
You might decide to enrol at College and do a basic language course 1 evening a week. If this challenge is a physical one – this will tick this Challenge Section – the ‘Me Time’ Section and the Exercise Section. A win – win – win.

5.) Accept the things you cannot change.
This might be the most challenging aspect. Some things are completely out of our control, there is nothing we can do about them. So why stress about it? Accept the fact and work with it.

These are just some ideas to ‘kick start’ your thinking. If you want me to help you think through your new way of thinking – simply contact me via this blog.

This is your life – your body – your mind. You owe it to yourself to ‘own it’.

Have a great stress free day.
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Rock Bottom – The Next Chapter

Richards Rock
Now that you have read about how I hit rock bottom. The next chapter is what I did next. When I returned from Beaumaris after sitting on the beach in November, totally numb about my whole situation. I had an old VW Passat. I had a quarter tank of petrol and £10 in my wallet, and, I had to get back home. So I drove the whole way at 30 miles per hour – just to save fuel. If I had driven at normal speed on the motorway – I would not have made it.

A while went by when I decided to give my car a darn good cleaning – top to bottom inside and out. I allocated a whole weekend for this. So I got prepared and did it. When I got to the boot I cleaned the boot carpet and even polished the inside of the boot lid. In a VW Passat there are two little recesses at either side. I removed the bits that had fallen in there and vacuumed it. The vacuum when into overdrive – I wondered why. It was trying to suck up that rock! I had forgotten all about it, as it had rolled out of a bag and fell in the recess – it had been there for a long time.

When I held it up to the sunlight, I just smiled. That is when I realised that this rock was shaped by all sort of forces and had become the shape it was. Again, the thought struck me that I was shaped by other people, other situations – leading a life where it was not me.

When I was running one of my Accredited Diploma Courses in Coaching and Mentoring. I had the notion to tell my Rock Story – so I did. I took this one stage further by giving each person a little round rock of their own before they depart for home. This was my personal present to them – they now had control of this rock, not me. I informed them that they are in charge of that rock – as they are now in charge of themselves. The metaphor here is that they and no-one else, now shapes their future. They can facilitate this with the tools that I had given them on the course. Oh, they may decide to throw it away, put it in their sock draw or put it on their rockery in the garden – the important thing was, it was their choice to do that not mine.

I have still people who still have their rock. In fact I met a lady the other day who said to me “I’ve still got that rock you gave me”. This particular person used to be the MD of a multi million turnover business in the UK. In turn this company was bought by a global player in their field of expertise. She decided to leave and set up her own Global Technical Marketing Organisation. She is doing very well in her new venture, getting clients and imparting her marketing knowledge across the globe.

I am also in contact with another lady who used to have a global role in a German Pharmaceutical Company. She re-shaped herself also when she had her own rock; she gave her old self back to herself. Which is exactly what I did. She subsequently changed to another Global Pharmaceutical Company, and she now runs their Far East Division. She informed me in a recent email that her rock sits on her desk in her office and has pride of place.

For me, when I do something for someone, either Coaching or Mentoring I do not expect anything in return. However, it is lovely when I hear that my Rock Story itself has now gone Global!

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How I Survived Hitting Rock Bottom

Richard - Rock Bottom

Richard – Rock Bottom

I found this on our server today – it was an interview that I did in 2009 after reaching my own ‘rock bottom’. I hope the story gives you some thoughts as to how you can deal with ‘stuff’ and provide a way forward.

As the recession bites, increasing the risk of unemployment and putting greater strain on relationships, one man’s story is proof that there is hope for the future, even when life hits rock bottom.

Within a matter of months, Richard Cockell lost his father, was made redundant from the job he had held for 23 years, split up from his wife and discovered that his mother was suffering from breast cancer, leaving him in despair and virtually penniless.

Depressed and seemingly without a reason to live, he found himself sitting on a rock, staring at the bottom of the ocean with the waves lapping around his legs.

But, remarkably, a seemingly innocuous event prompted a shard of humour to break through his depression and set him on the road back from the brink. And he is now keen to share his story to provide hope for others.
The fall into despair had been quick. Divorce had left him living in the back room at his parents’ home in Wakefield and then, one day, his mum went to the doctors for a routine breast scan and discovered that she had all the signs of breast cancer. She underwent a mastectomy and a month after she came out of hospital Richard’s dad passed away after a long deterioration in his health.

Then the management team announced redundancies at the plant where the father-of-two worked. He said:
“My blood ran cold when I went to the allotted room. ‘Would they really get rid of me after 23 years of service?’. “The answer was ‘yes’. I sat quietly whilst I was told that I was going to lose my job as a buyer. I am normally quite a controlled person and yet, at that point, tears streamed down my face and I couldn’t stop shaking. Afterwards I wasn’t angry or sad. I just felt numb. I was just so stunned at the news.

“When I received the letter that would provide details of my redundancy payment I once again felt stunned as I stared at the figure on the page – £6,079.00 for 23 years service – with no discretionary payment at all.
“So there I was, marriage over, father dead, mother recovering from breast cancer, no job and a cheque for £6,079.00, which mostly went on some outstanding bills from my divorce.

Richard, 55, who now lives in Harrogate, said: “Appropriately, I was sitting on a rock when I hit rock bottom.
“I had gone to a place on the coast which held happy memories and started to reflect on all the stuff that had happened to me.

“And I found myself saying out loud: ‘Well Richard, your dad has died, your mum has had breast cancer, and you’ve no job and nothing in the bank!”

“And I found myself replying: ‘Well Richard, things can’t get any worse!’

“That small drop of humour pulled me round.

“Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed a rock. This rock was round – tan in colour – and was rolling in the surf. It inspired me somehow. I waded into the waves and picked it out of the water and put it in the car.
“I was later to realise that, just as that rock had been shaped by other elements, such as contact with other rocks and the action of the waves, my life had been shaped by other people, others’ needs and others’ expectations. I had been moulded into something that I was not.

“That day on the beach was the beginning of me taking control of my life for the first time.”
Richard was born at his parents’ home in Pinderfields Road, Wakefield, in 1958 and was a pupil at Thornes House Comprehensive, Wakefield.

He spent 23 years working for Linpac Plastics, in Wakefield Road, Featherstone and was married with two children when his life began to go off the rails. But, after hitting rock bottom during the trip to Beaumaris, Anglesey, Richard’s life began to improve. In 2005 he was working as a security officer based at the Emmerdale television set in the grounds of Harewood House.

He was looking for further inspiration when he got hold of a Neuro Linguistic Programming Diploma course leaflet run by a company in Harrogate – it intrigued him.

NLP uses the power of positive thinking and visualisation to improve people’s lives as well as improving businesses’ performance by aiding team work and communication. One Friday night fate played a part in helping to complete Richard’s journey from despair to happiness. Some of the cast and crew went for a drink after work and invited him along as his shift had finished. In the pub, he bumped into the owner of the company whose leaflet he had picked up just a few days earlier – Sonia Saxton, of Saxton Partners Ltd.

Richard said: “I did an NLP diploma and started to make the connections about people and their behaviour and what we do to ourselves in our heads. Out of the blue I thought of my rock. The one I’d retrieved from the sea and that’s when I realized what that moment had meant to me.

“Now, with my learning and new set of NLP tools, I have taken control of me. I shape me and what I do – no-one else.

“I saw how I could change my future. I grasped that future and have moulded it the way I want it. Now, I help other people to get to where they need to be by One-to-One Coaching, and delivering NLP courses.”

And the owner of the company, Sonia Saxton, is the woman he now shares his life with after they fell in love whilst working together. It’s a far cry from the dark days and, with the recession hitting people hard, Richard has some timely advice for people going through tough times, at work and in their personal life.

He said: “Somewhere you will have your own rock. All you need to do is shape your own future and not wait for someone else to shape a future that, after all, belongs to you.

So the moral of the story is – if I can do it, so can you.

FOOTNOTE – Richard is now am Internationally Qualified Coach and Master Practitioner in NLP Coaching and Mentoring. Helping others to reach their true potential at Saxton Partners – Harrogate – UK

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Healthy Entrepreneur – Healthy Business

The health of people in a business or organisation is very important. A business is generally described as being ‘healthy’ when it posts good profits. However what about the people running and working in that environment?

I am 55 years old and in my experience we tend to look after and maintain things that are important to us. The $64,000 question is – “What to you do to keep you healthy?” For example most of us own or have access to a vehicle. That vehicle has to be looked after – we put oil, water and petrol in the engine. We may even send it to the garage for a service. In the UK every car has to have an MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate, to show that the vehicle is healthy. New cars are exempt from this MOT for the first 3 years of its life. This legal requirement forces us to do this annually as without it you cannot tax and insure your vehicle. If we check our cars over every week – we will notice those little scratches – bits of rust, little jobs that can be dealt with there and then. If we do not check the car as often – and only put water in it when a light comes up on the dashboard – you might have more issues with your car than you had first thought.

I used to work for a multinational company, based in the UK, that made food packaging. They had a whole line of machinery that produced packaging 24 hours a day – almost 365 days a year. They would produce 40 x 40 foot trailers of product per day. As you can imagine a very hectic schedule to maintain. They used to run the machines until they broke down. Then the OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) of that machine was lowered because of this issue. Down time = lost production = customers are let down.

They then changed their approach as this was clearly not sustainable. They brought in a system where they had diagrams of every machine in the production hall. I am not an engineer – so forgive my terminology – they looked like ‘exploded diagrams’ with all the parts identified and numbered. Every single breakdown was recorded, the part replaced and the part number was also noted. This in time enabled them to build up a picture of what parts would fail after say XXX hours of running that machine. The production planning team then set up a TPM (Total Preventative Maintenance) system and planned into the production schedule TPM downtime to change the part BEFORE it broke. They used my car story to clean down the machines every shift and noted everything – the benefit of this was that they did not get ‘rusty holes in their bodywork’.

Taking this analogy further. There are some of us who maintain our bodies in a similar way – there are some who do not. I am sure, that as you are reading this you will know people who may take vitamins, eat organic food and exercise. This is helping to maintain or TPM our ‘machine’, our body. There are some who do not TPM their bodies and they run and run until they break, the individual becomes ill or worse.

So how does all this fit in with a Healthy Entrepreneur I hear you ask. If you maintain and nourish your mind and brain – you are TPM’ing the whole. Simple things like having a coach or mentor. To make time for yourself to connect with the real you. (That may sound very ‘tree huggy’ – not the case.) We have to evolve and nourish our bodies and mind right through the day. (Lets face it there are some of us that only get time to themselves when we are in the bathroom!). To recognise, and work through those unhelpful behaviours that are getting in the way of you having a better performance at work or with loved ones at home. Just chilling out. This list can go on and on – it will be different for each person. Why? – our individual needs are different. What works for me, will not work for another.

This article on this blog – is just to stimulate your own thoughts and ideas as to what you can do to maintain the wonderful you. I have received coaching and it helped me. So much so 8 years ago I changed my career path to go into 1-2-1 coaching and team development all over the UK. This coaching enabled me to give my old self back to myself. I am a lot happier and more content with life.

So, a healthy entrepreneur, both in mind and body are wonderful attributes to have either for yourself or for your colleagues and co-workers.

Have a great day.

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Motivated People

I am sure that you have come across motivated people in the past. They come from all walks of life and from all sectors. The one thing that they have in common, is that their motivation have been sparked by something.

That something is a connection with what they are doing and what is important to them. Sounds simple does it not – not so simple as we would all do it. We have people in industry who are motivated by climbing the corporate ladder. To get a better job and reap the rewards that those roles bring. However some of them are being motivated by what they think the company wants. Not necessarily in line with what that individual is truly motivated by.

They will give the appearance of being motivated by success, achievement and / or money. In truth they are individuals who are really motivated by people first – then money / achievement second. These are people to are tigers in the office – driven and can come across as quite rude or aggressive in the role they play for the company. Then when they go home, they give themselves a hard time about how they have treated the staff that day. This is an internal conflict – not good for anyone to have going on for them.

I am sure we can all put our hand in the air and say “Yes – I know someone like that”. The truth is they are operating out of what I call conditioned values or conditioned motivations. As I said before, they are acting this way – because they think that’s the way the company wants them to behave. rather than their own personal motivations.

This internal conflict can lead to stress, excess use of alcohol, short fuses and the like. These issues can be sorted by identifying the individuals motivations first and then align them with the company’s. This way the person concerned knows where the boundary’s are – making a calmer more motivated employee.

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