Every time I work with a client, the same concerns come up time and time again:-
- “I don’t want to feel guilty!”
- Guilty for leaving work on time
- Guilty for not fulfilling commitments at home
- Guilty for not being the perfect mum
- Guilty for putting myself first from time to time
- “I don’t want to be so stressed all the time!”
- “I don’t want to feel like I’m being judged by everyone all the time”
- “I don’t want to feel like I’m juggling commitments”
- “I don’t want to worry all the time about everyone else, or what they might think of me.”
- “I don’t want to feel like I’m running at 100 miles an hour just to keep up.”
- “I don’t want to feel like that swan – serene, calm and in control on the surface, but paddling like fury under the surface, just to keep moving”
- “I don’t want to feel like life is a battle all the time.”
This are the things I hear when my clients first come to me, but also they are all feelings I’ve experienced working for myself and in the corporate world. Life is so demanding and hectic these days, is it really such a surprise?
I had a very interesting conversation with another Coach recently. I was telling him about when I worked in the IT Industry and it never occurred to me to go to HR to ask for help when I was struggling
“Why not?” he asked.
“I would have felt like I was failing, I thought they would see it as a weakness, that I couldn’t do my job”. I replied.
I felt like I had to at least appear in control, even when I struggled just to get out of bed and face the day. I would never have admitted to my boss I couldn’t cope. Why not? fear of failure I suppose – but when you think about it logically, that is ridiculous and in my case was a self fulfilling prophecy – I backed myself into a corner; I didn’t have the answers, but I wouldn’t ask for help!
The fear of being judged and The fear of failure
I’m not unique in feeling these things; I used to tell myself “I should be able to cope” “I should be able to work it out” “I should …..” It can feel very lonely.
Is this all a bit too familiar to you?
It’s interesting to observe that people will tell us, “You don’t have to be Superwoman” you don’t have to do it all – be the high flying exec, “supermum”, the perfect wife. We hear it, but will still try and we make ourselves miserable in the process. But do you know what? You can be superwoman, you can be great at it all, all at the same time – it’s just a matter of knowing how and how to do it feeling relaxed, calm, happy and in control.
Well, there is help and what I have now learned through experience is that it is not only OK, but essential that you invest in yourself. When I first worked with a Coach, it was a revolution to me – why on earth hadn’t I done it before? Of course, we can’t go back and change the past, but we can choose to do something different and change our future.
These are some of the things my clients have said:-
“Before working with Emma, I struggled with delegating tasks to my team and found myself taking on more than I should in order to get things done on time, working long and longer hours. Things were getting out of control I was doing too much and feeling alienated from people around me.
I realised I was building myself a reputation for being difficult to work with and I didn’t like myself very much because it wasn’t me.
Within a week, I had received positive feedback from my Director who had already noticed how much calmer, more focussed and effective I had become. Not only that, because I’m no longer battling with colleagues to get work out of them, things happen much more smoothly, we have a laugh, I’m able to leave the office on time and get home in a good mood – my husband is happy and our relationship has also improved!
Looking back, I must have been a nightmare to live with but now thanks to Emma I have a much better work/life balance. “
“I never had enough time in my work day to achieve my never ending workload – which resulted in putting a huge amount of pressure on myself constantly. But since working with Emma I sleep soundly every night and I no longer wake early with a sore tummy or thoughts running through my mind, I have more energy and focus on myself first, meaning everything falls into place and I’m so much more confident and carefree. I feel so grateful for meeting Emma who helped me turn my life around. Emma helped to coach me in believing in myself and I am also now very proud of myself. Each day I remember to be grateful for all the small things which are actually the most important things. I am completely rejuvenated and my purpose in life in back on course.”
Emma Joanne Smith
“Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I used to get myself worked up over meetings, presentations and other people’s perceptions of me in my work place and I would often worry about the worst case scenario. But now I feel calm, centred, happy and I find there is generally less anxiety in my life at home as well as at work. I no longer worry about the outcome of a meeting and I’ve become much fore efficient at my job and I am better at influencing colleagues, even those who I didn’t get on with before. I am grateful that I decided to invest in myself and contact Emma, I am so much more positive and logical now, its wonderful.”
Jennifer Merritt, Swindon
“Before contacting Emma, my biggest challenge was to appreciate myself for the efforts I was making towards my big challenge – to enjoy the journey not punish myself for never being good enough. I learned I was imposing limits on myself and those limits applied to other aspects of my life too. But now I can work harder and trust the process not be dismay by incremental progress. I’ve also totally rethought my attitude to my job, rather than focusing on the frustrations I now see how well it serves my other purposes and feel rather smug! I’m also more confident at work and trust in my instincts and abilities much more; I take other people’s opinions for what they are, instead of assuming their ideas are better than mine.
I feel grateful I’ve learned what fulfillment means to me in time to achieve lots of it.”
“My biggest challenges were focus, problems dealing with ‘strong’ character types and unable to switch off, I always felt I should be somewhere else. But I have learned to deal with other people better by changing my behaviour rather than attempting to change them. I have also learned to find time and plan activities that I enjoy. I definitely have more focus now and I can now deal with other personalities much better as I now understand others, even family.”
“Before working with Emma, I had difficulty remaining calm and focused in stressful situations and I would always blame myself when things went wrong. But now I am much more able to function in an unemotional way, yet feel active and can make decisions easily and I see that other people have limitations, it is not always my fault when things go wrong. I feel grateful that I invested in myself and learned how to be calm and confident, happy and professional at work and I feel loved and appreciated at home.”