It is impossible for a man
to learn what he thinks he already knows
Life is complex and unpredictable. It can be challenging to achieve all our personal and working goals for reasons inside and outside our control, past and present. If they are not achieved, we can lack direction and purpose as well as missing out on the joys and positive memories of life.
This can lead us to feeling unhappy and at times experience emotions such as anxiety, anger, guilt, hurt, jealousy, shame, envy or possibly depression.
Very often, we may be:
unaware there is a problem
stick our heads in the sand, or
keep uncalm and carry on.
Asking for support can help move these emotions to healthier ones which allows us to re-focus on goals to build our joyful moments, positive memories and generally feel happier.
Based on what I have found working with other people, as well as my own experiences, I believe that our adult lives have distinct phases. Moving between these, where we have little familiarity or knowledge, can present big challenges in us achieving our goals. Also, within each phase, there are also specific challenges we face to a lesser or greater extent in our lives.
How many of these sound familiar?
Becoming a young adult
The challenges of; finding work or a college, being away from home, forming new friendships and relationships, fitting in, loneliness, fear of judgement, expectations to perform, achieving work/play balance, managing finances, peer pressure for health, body image and achievements, positive and negative effects of social media, perhaps discrimination and bullying.
Experiencing working life
The many challenges of: finding a vocation and job, forming work relationships, starting to perform, continuing to perform, achieving, excelling, pushing oneself, ambition, keeping motivated, creating work/ life balance, avoiding burnout, managing stress and insecurity, adapting to constant change, managing colleagues, not being recognised and rewarded, receiving negative feedback, feeling under-appreciated, managing disappointment, being discriminated against or bullied, finding new opportunities, being made redundant, disillusionment with work, changing career one or more times, finding a new job, learning new skills.
Developing our personal lives
The challenges of: loneliness, isolation, finding a partner, bonding, committing, settling, securing somewhere to live, adjusting, managing conflicts, building consensus and agreement, making ends meet, moving residence, keeping up with peers, the positive (connecting, helping others) and negative eff ects of social media (comparisons, FOMO), organising holidays, breaking up, divorcing, maybe having to do it all again.
Starting a family (if desired)
Deciding, coping with physical and emotional changes, changed priorities
and focus for parents, needing to provide and nurture, educate, create boundaries, keeping safe and secure, balancing work and family life / relationships, managing relatives.
What is the purpose of life, what have I given up, confusion, feeling unsettled, conflicting priorities, assessing achievements, comparisons with others, need to drive oneself less/more, health worries, managing menopause (which has dramatic effects on all sexes).
Feeling the empty nest syndrome
The challenges of: grown up children leaving home, letting go of offspring, refocussing and rekindling with partner now that “project kids” has finished, building financial security for the future, lack of focus, more free time, reassessment of what it’s all about, reconnecting with partner, identifying common hobbies/interests, inability to bridge gap with partner, loneliness, separating, finding love again.
Preparing for, and experiencing, old age
Challenges around: stopping / reducing work, , maintaining physical and mental health, having financial security, staying together, finding common or new activities, supporting ill partners, adjusting to loss of a loved one, new family responsibilities, acceptance of mortality, worries about what will happen to the world.
If you have been experiencing any of these challenges, and perhaps others, and feeling
disturbed or unhappy, please get in touch – we can find a way through together.
At work, we usually operate in groups. Most of the time these are effective in providing a stimulating, harmonious and fun environment in which we all enjoy, learn, develop and deliver. Sometimes, they do not.
The reasons for this can include individuals with unclear goals, different agendas, personality clashes between people, over or under inflated egos, political manoeuvring and inappropriate or no leadership. It can also be down to pressure, deadlines, demands by stakeholders and also personal challenges that spill over into theworkplace.
This leads to us individually, or collectively, feeling stressed, trapped,
demotivated, hopeless, undermined, intimidated, at worst being bullied,
physically affected, upset, angry, and occasionally depressed.
To cope, we may show anger outbursts, or withdraw, turn to over/under eating,
resort to excessive alcohol consumption or perhaps recreational drugs. These
are not the best way to manage our feelings within a group and can lead to
unhappiness and business impacts.
An example could be working in a department with a highly demanding person. That may lead you, or several people, to feel stressed, lose confidence, then become resentful, upset and demotivated. It could be fear of failure or negative judgement that makes you feel that way. Changing your beliefs around this, and using Mindfulness, can help manage your feelings in a way that improves the situation.
Psychotherapy for groups identifies the psychological impacts at an individual level by understanding people’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. This builds understanding of why the group is not working at its best. Once these reasons
are understood, an action plan can be developed, agreed and progressed
to improve the way the group works together. This leads to more harmony,
creativity, happiness and ultimately productivity.
The aim is to maximise your team’s productivity, harmony, motivation and well-being. If you are an HR specialist, department head, team leader, or someone in a team who is experiencing all this, please get in touch.
CBT and Mindfulness are proven approaches that can be embedded within organisations as pre-emptive tools to improve employee well-being and resilience. This is achieved by increasing awareness and building understanding of what psychologically disturbs us and why. Helpful tools on how to manage these can be delivered through:
“lunch and learns”
enhancing intranet site resources and
If you feel improving your organisation’s well-being is of value, please get in touch and we can make it happen.