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Building Resilience

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I have wanted to write a blog on ‘Resilience’ for a few months now. I threw the topic “out there” with friends and colleagues and what became apparent is that this is a subject matter that seems to attract lots of different viewpoints and opinions.

I asked, “WHY do we need resilience?” Again, the response was varied as we all face and experience different stressors in our day to day, but it did come down to one thing: survival.

  • How do we survive our day to day without feeling overwhelmed?
  • How do we survive the chaos that is being a working parent?
  • How do we handle rejection? (this could be the job seeking process or a child who no longer wants your help!)
  • How do we manage tricky relationships (personal or professional) or even some challenging behaviours?
  • How do we deal with bad news?

There is no doubt that reminding ourselves on how we can build resilience will benefit us all.

 

Developing resilience involves 5 key areas:

  1. A mental shift in attitude and outlook. Changing how we think about a challenging task or situation can optimise our resilience- perhaps you’ve come across the saying “it’s not the issue but how we view the issue that can be the problem.” So, instead of sighing “why does this always happen to me”, reframe with “this is not personal, I can move on from this…”

 

  1. Adapting to your environment and being flexible. Consider a bamboo tree- even in the strongest wind, it will bend but not break. It’s deeply rooted but flexible enough to deal with adverse weather conditions. Being able to “go with the flow” while facing life’s challenges is important in building resilience.

 

  1. Sometimes, resilience is all about the recovery– how do we recover when we fall off track? Resilience comes from our ability to learn from “the fall”, restore ourselves and renew. Growth is the core message in recovery. Empower yourself. Ask yourself- what is your healthy way of coping? Make a list and review when needed!

 

  1. Ask for help!! Having awareness around when to ask for help is important in building resilience. “A problem shared is a problem halved”- who is the person that you turn to? Is it a friend? A sibling? A Partner? Maybe it’s your Life Coach or GP?

 

  1. Healthy body = healthy mind. A good diet and exercise will help to build your resilience. Patrick Holfords book “The Feel Good Factor” offers a useful breakdown of food groups and how they can benefit us. Of course exercise feeds both the body and mind, so try to get that blood flowing- there no excuse now that there is a stretch in the evening!

 

The 5 key areas listed above are my tips but I’m sure it’s not definitive, get in touch and let me know what boosting resilience means for you! Let’s share the message and stay strong for ourselves and each other!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Life and Business Coach and Trainer and founder of www.changegrowsucceed.com who resides in Cork. For more information, please contact her on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com

DIY Career Change

February is upon us.

It’s the time of the year when people really begin to think about their careers. January’s atmosphere of change has dissipated and we begin to slow down and start reflecting on where we’re at, where we want to be etc. Have you found yourself saying:

  • Nothing has changed, it’s still the same ‘ding- dong’…
  • Today was crazy busy but I feel like I got nothing done…
  • I suppose it’s a job so I’ll just stick with it until something better comes along…

Feedback from the women I meet is that this feeling can often trickle into their personal lives and they begin to feel that the load they are carrying is heavy. Their personal lives are impacted by the frustration and the stress of being in a job that they don’t really like anymore. Changing job or even career is definitely on the cards but where to start? Recruitment Websites? Update a C.V.? And then, there’s the challenge of time “I’m already up to 90 with meetings/clients/ the kids- where would I find the time to research a new job- I wouldn’t even know where to start!”

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My advice is to start at the beginning which is around identifying your skills and interests. If you think about it, your skills and experience are catalysts in evolving who you are. They change. So, do we. Thus, what may have attracted us to a position a few years ago may not appeal to us anymore.

Here are the tips I would like to share with you if you feel the need to professionally re- evaluate:

  1. Buy a notebook (create your own ‘Career Change 2015’ portfolio!)

 

  1. Reflect on your previous roles/ jobs and make a note (in aforementioned notebook!) of the aspects you enjoyed while working there- think specifically about the tasks and responsibilities, the environment and the people

 

  1. Make a note your top achievements in your career history and what gave you the greatest sense of pride

 

  1. Complete an interest inventory. These questionnaires are designed to capture your interests and map them onto career sectors! There are some great websites out there and I would recommend http://www.careersportal.ie/ and navigate to the ‘Self- Assessment’ section. Remember the input will determine the output so take the time to answer the questions and go with your gut!

 

  1. Psychometric Assessment is a fantastic resource to further understand your strengths and abilities (and areas for development!)- alot of the ‘good ones’ are licensed and thus, come at a fee but there are some nice freebies out there which will help to boost your awareness. I recommend http://www.humanmetrics.com/ and http://www.cmi-lmi.com/kingdomality.html

 

  1. Start looking for patterns in the feedback above and align this with your own notes from pointers 2 and 3 (above). Start harnessing your strengths!

 

  1. Now, you have the opportunity to make informed choices about employment sectors/ roles or maybe you have now decided that you need to retrain? If this is the case, look no further than qualifax.ie which is a centralised resource for ALL COURSES running in Ireland. Enter your county, some keywords (again, based on your research) and away you go!

A career coach will assist you in this journey, provide support through your research, educate you on tips and tricks of the trade and offer you choices and resilience as you prepare to make the change.

Make a change. Grow. Succeed.

Good luck with it!

 

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business coach who also specialising in career change. She is founder of www.changegrowsucceed.com. For more information, please contact her directly.

 

Working Mom – Tips to manage the transition back to the Workplace

Tremendous feedback to my article which featured in last weeks online website: theworking mother.ie

Did you press pause on your career to welcome a bundle of joy? Did you take six months maternity leave plus a few weeks unpaid? Maybe you decided to take extended leave to nurture the little ones until school going age…

Inevitably, many of us return to the workplace after this time out. In my capacity as a Life Coach (and being a working mum myself!), I often meet moms ‘pre’ and ‘during’ this transition.

Many women have the same doubts and anxieties before and during this period of re-adjustment: fear at the thought of returning to work; the perceived “irrelevance” of skills; the guilt; having a ‘baby brain’ (“I find it hard to remember where I put my keys!!”); and sometimes, an overwhelming sense of anxiety about how to juggle family and work commitments going forward.

Can you identify with some of the feelings above? I know that I can…

Here are some of my tips for how to survive the transition back to work after maternity leave:

  • Source plenty of SUPPORT (emotional and physical) during this big transition – confide in your partner and/ or gal-pals. Tell them what you need. Ask for their encouragement – it will get you through!
  • Call in those FAVOURS! Did granny promise to babysit? Then take her up on her offer – this will allow you some downtime!
  • Engage with your NETWORK, ask other working mums for their practical tips on tasks like cooking or school runs (I remember ‘straight-to-wok-noodles’ were a godsend for me!)
  • FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE ASPECTS of your workplace (perhaps it’s that child- free cup of coffee or some adult company).
  • NOTE how you’re feeling during this transition; consider journaling your thoughts in a notebook. It can be helpful and practical to capture what you felt went well for you on a particular day.
  • PLAN some family fun at the weekends – whatever that is for you!
  • ALLOW for at least six weeks to pass before making any kind of decision around the viability and impact of the new transition – don’t rule anything out and lastly
  • Be KIND TO and BELIEVE IN Trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and really try to go with the flow as quite often, stress comes with resisting change!

And if you decide after trying all of the above, that the old job does not integrate with the revised you, make that choice, take control and make a change.

Change. Grow. Succeed.

Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and founder of ChangeGrowSucceed.

For more information, please see www.changegrowsucceed.com.

http://theworkingmother.ie/survive-transition-back-work-maternity-leave/

 

Top 5 Tips for getting the most out of your coaching session!

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Coaching is all about assisting you in reaching your true potential. Through the process you will develop an increased awareness about yourself and the options you have to empower you to lead a happier and more fulfilling life!

Hereunder are 5 tips to help you get the most out of your coaching session.

  1. Arrive early. Turn off your cell phone. This is your time. If this is your first coaching session, have something in mind that you want to work on. What matters most to you at the moment? Ask yourself “what would be the most relevant thing for me to leave here with today?”  If you’re in between sessions, review your notes from the last session or any communication you may have had from your coach.
  1. Open Up. The coaching process is based upon dialogue. Talk. Be honest. Think out loud. Trust that the relationship you have with your coach is safe and free from judgement. Equally, understand the moments of silence. Your coach may want to provide you with the opportunity to reflect or pause.
  1. Creating change takes time. Behind every role we play (mother, employee, wife, sister, friend, daughter etc.), there is a person and issues that arise in one sphere are often paralleled in another (do you ever take work home? Or does being worried about the children creep into your day to day?). Again, this is your time so give yourself permission to explore the different roles you play and the impact they have.
  1. Stay committed. Ask yourself: “how committed am I to making a change?” Follow- through on any action steps you prioritized with your coach. With a fresh awareness, the ‘real’ coaching can often happen in between sessions. Often, days after your coaching session, there may occur an ‘AHA’ moment as something resonates with you. Committing extra time to new ideas will move you closer and more quickly to your goal or aspiration.
  1. Take Responsibility. Just as you have taken the action to meet with a coach. Be accountable for engaging in the session and following through on your action steps. This is the space where the empowerment will come. Relax and enjoy your new way of being!

Gillian McGrath is Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. Contact her directly for advise on how coaching can help you.

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“Is the Try Line the Goal?” The 6 Nations- A Goal Setting Master Class

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Surely, there’s nothing more exciting than a bit of test rugby? I love watching the 6 Nations tournament. It’s an exciting display of skill, speed and patience. It makes for great debate within the staff room and classroom and of course, it’s a sign that spring is here. 

Last weekend was a little different however, as it marked the ‘almost end’ of an illustrious international career for Brian O’Driscoll. What a sense of occasion! But did it distract the players? Year after year, we listen to the interviews given by our rugby heros’ O’Connell, Heaslip, O’Driscoll and ROG. Year after year, they dismiss any talk of a Grand Slam or Triple Crown and instead comment on the match at hand- ‘building phases’, the ‘set piece’, ‘having patience’. Then it occurred to me that this is Goal Setting at it’s finest!

In my January post “M is for Measurable”, I blogged about keeping New Years Resolutions and the importance of identifying the mini steps that drive our journey. The comments by our rugby heros are no different- they certainly have a goal (tournament win!) but they commit their energy and effort to the mini milestones (each match at hand). What would happen if our rugby players focused only on winning the tournament? They would lose their here and now and thus, their ability to have impact.

So, have you thought about what you want to accomplish by the end of the week/month/season? Are you building your phases? Are you being patient? Focus on your here and now and you too, will have impact!

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‘M’ is for Measurable

Following my input on New Years Resolutions featured in last weeks Cork Evening Echo, I started thinking about reasons behind people not keep their resolutions, and even, why in the past I had abandoned some of my own! Having spoken to a few of my friends on this, I found the reasons to be long and sometimes colourful!

Perhaps an alternative way to look at this is, what would help people in keeping their new years resolutions? What has helped me? The answer? Seeing Progress. We inhabit a culture of high- performance and high- activity and thus, success often translates as the ‘end- goal’ (anything less just doesn’t cut it!) But what about those mini milestones that keep us on track along the way? Its these mini steps that drive our journey so, by identifying these and breaking them down into bite size manageable chunks, and by manageable, I mean committing to and engaging with them. This surely is where the real success lies. By investing in and committing to the smaller steps, the larger ones will take care of themselves! Coaching assists clients in identifying and managing these mile stones and clients have often relayed the impact of changing their thinking in this space. They see results.

Yesterday I began the MAMMOTH task of de-cluttering my 4 year olds’ daughters room. I began to empty, sort, rearrange, wipe down etc. After a spell, I took a break and paused to reassess; there were still many things to do to optimise space and storage but I felt great! The task wasn’t complete so why was I so happy? It dawned on me, I had started it and I could see progress.  What’s more, I had a clearer understanding of what I needed to do to complete the next step! I was motivated, I had engaged with my ‘Goal’ and could see progress.

So, what New Years resolution did you make? Is it working for you? Make your list, break it down, engage and keep it fluid! Let 2014 be your year!