Think Feel ACT…"Write your own story"

The story so far…

The story so far…

It’s been weeks and weeks since I’ve had time, head space or energy to write a blog. And lately I’ve been asked about that. It’s really touching to know my blogs are missed. But let me assure you all, it hasn’t been personal, it’s been life!!

It’s been a time of rapid change for myself and for my family. Not only did I resign from work and open a consultancy, but it turns out we’re moving cities too. I really wasn’t expecting that one to crop up in my life.  From January to now (the beginning of November) I can’t quite comprehend how much has changed in my life…and how quickly. I keep getting asked how I feel about all this. And truthful the answer is numb, overwhelmed, excited, scared…all of the above – and more.

So a change in job, plus a change in city, all on the background of a period of illness earlier in the year, means I score quite highly on the Stress Scale. It’s no wonder I haven’t found a minute to blog – or even had energy to put a thought together that wasn’t related to managing all the changes going on.


I absolutely couldn’t have managed to stay relatively sane through all this without the help and support of so many special people in my life. I really want to say thank you to you all.

Family. Old and new friends. Old and new colleagues. People near and people far. You know who are. I won’t call you out by name – but I thank you. I do want you to know how much I appreciate that you have been there. Every meal and coffee, every email, tweet, or text have all helped. And though these things may seem small, they are not small at all.

I’ve learned many things about managing change over the past few months. One thing I’ve learned is that connecting with people and relationships can help hold you constant while everything else seems to be shifting and moving underfoot. And relationships with family, with friends and with colleagues, have (each in their own way) provided me a connection to hold on to. That’s why such a small thing as a text, email or coffee can be so powerful. So never be afraid to only do a small thing for someone – a small thing may mean the world.

People often talk about independence and how good it is. It’s what we achieve as adults as we emerge from the dependence of childhood – and that is surely what teenage rebellion is about. But what this period of life has taught me is that independence can only go so far. What I’ve learned is the real state to strive for is interdependence – where we support and care for each other as autonomous beings – and in doing so we all grow – we are all better off.

A force for good

There’s also been another force for good in my life, helping me manage all this – my executive coach. I’ve kept the fact that I have a coach private. That’s because coaching has been one of the most challenging undertakings I have done. And I needed to do it, not talk about it. But now I’m ready to share this experience.

I hired an executive coach because I was really interested in learning better skills that would help me succeed at work and work out how to take the next step in my career. Here’s just some of what I’ve gained:

My coach has helped me develop strategies for managing difficult work situations, as well as managing the process of resigning from work and setting up a consultancy. I’ve learned strategies around managing change and taking a solution focussed approach to problems and issues.

Coaching has helped me become more assertive, confident and courageous (I’m sure I would not have had the courage to resign and set up a consultancy otherwise). And I’ve learned to better recognise my resources in a given situation and use them appropriately. And I like the fact that I have got a much clearer idea of my strengths, so I can set things up to play to them. And it makes it so much easier to see why a given work role would or would not work well for me. So as challenging as coaching has been (and it’s been really challenging), it has also been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve engaged in.

And whilst coaching on the face of it is all about maximising performance at work, dealing with work and career issues (that sort of stuff) – it has had a halo effect, spilling out into the rest of my life. So getting better at making difficult decisions at work, has helped me make better decisions around other aspects of my life – like moving cities. And all that has absolutely helped me manage the changes in my life.

So coaching has helped me grow, and helped me become a better person. The challenge has been totally worth it. And I thank my coach for his skill, talent and kindness in helping me swim, rather than sink, through the challenges, chaos and complexity of life at the moment.

Stay tuned

So that’s the story so far! Stay tuned for next installment coming soon…we’ve still got to move, settle in, and I have a business to run…

Who knows what the next blog will bring 😉

(Oh yeah – the photo is Bondi…)


  1. Rob Burnside

    Hi-ho, Dr. J., and welcome back. Feared I’d had my readership revoked (a combination of numbers 2, 8, and 41 on the Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale) for the “Winston Churchill” remark. Glad it’s apparently not so, and that’s you’ve come through this onslaught so well. Life often seems to me to be a great deal of sameness punctuated by occasional (and ever-increasing, in some cases) s- – – storms of change. The best many of us can do is hang on, but I think you’ve done better, and that’s a good thing. Thanks, as always, for your encouragement and for the R&H Scale. Now, when I teach corporate CPR class and get to the prevention part, I’ll have a very good handout. Your post included. Rock on! Rob

  2. Rob Burnside

    It’s not a euphemism, Doc. I’m not involved in reviving large businesses, or anything like that. Just teaching actual CPR (“one, and two, and…”) to workplace first aid teams. In listing CAD risk factors, I get stuck on “stress” and usually say something like, “Stress reduction is good for the heart, but I don’t know how to tell you to do that today..” which is a tad unsatisfactory for me and my students. Now, thanks to your post, I’ll have much more to say on the subject. A hearty “Merci bien!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: