In 2009 my life dramatically changed, I burnt out. Total physical burn out; the culmination of long hours, weeks, months and years merging into each other, that were in equal measure demanding, challenging, stimulating and highly stressful. Every day was a high-octane sprint and I responded like a machine that didn’t seem to need much rest. I functioned just fine on 4-6 hours’ sleep a night. Following 20 years of this, inexplicably, my body decided to stop working.
I got unlucky. Whilst living in Hong Kong, I got a virus from contaminated water which led to chronic fatigue (M.E.) and the scary multitude of symptoms it brings as the body goes into shut down. Initially I refused to give into illness, always being such a firm believer in mind over matter. I carried on, dug deeper, pushed myself harder, went to work, had responsibilities, a team to run; I refused to accept defeat.
This ‘type A’, perfectionist attitude to failure, or what I then perceived as failure, added many months to my ill health as I pushed my body to the absolute limit. Eventually my body let me know exactly who was boss and largely stopped working. It simply refused to co-operate.
Time takes on a very different meaning when life moves from the vista of working in Asia for a global brand and running a 50 man team, to the stillness and smallness of your bedroom.
What I learnt
This ‘sabbatical’ as I like to positively re-frame it, really gave me the time to think about the life that I wanted to carve when I got my body ‘back’. My definition of what 'success' looked like changed. The measure was no longer about being hyper-stressed and spending 12-14 hours in an office reliving 'groundhog' day, doing work that I didn’t truly love, had no real long term meaning nor could imagine doing in the many years to come.
In that time I learnt a vast amount about burn out, managing stress and its impact, the signs, how to recognise, avoid and deal with it, emotional intelligence and, of course, the importance of balance. And simply to listen to what my body was telling me. Sounds so very obvious I know….
Despite this endurance test, I felt that burn out bought me back to me. To my touchstone and the core interests that had always been there since my teens. An immense interest and curiosity in positive mind-sets, behavioural development, psychology, coaching conversations, yoga, mindfulness and emotional intelligence as a means to gaining self-knowledge and mastery of the mind. My purpose and long abiding passions became my profession.
I believe my deep-rooted belief and learning in these disciplines, combined with the experience gained of massive personal change provide a strong foundation for my coaching work. My unwavering focus on results and the ability to support clients through transition from the very big life changing events to the smaller, more everyday ones is absolute. I understand burn out, high pressure work environments and big transitional change, with the complexities that they throw up at a fundamental level very well.
our coaching Partnership
We will work together to raise awareness of your choices and resources. We will take the time to reflect, step back to survey life’s scene with more clarity. Sometimes it’s moving way too fast to do it on your own. How would it be to have support? To be championed, while you change gear from autopilot to pilot?
I work with a wide range of clients to meet life’s challenges, both professional and personal, to be as big as they can be; to step outside their comfort zone, be brave, prevent burn out, live authentically, gaining a more fulfilled, happier and successful life along the way.
This is why I do what I do. Mindset really does matter and together we will make changes and breakthroughs.
One Mind begins with Knowing your Own.