Checking in….only to check right out again.
This article is part 2 of a series of musings on the subject of Resilience - is it cultivated through nature, nurture or just what does the concept actually mean? If you haven’t read it, part 1 is here: Resilience by nature, by nurture…or just what it might mean.
This is more of a personal reflection in the here and now relating to daily function and effectiveness in both life and my coaching practice.
Recently months seem to have been quite a tumultuous time for me and my coaching practice.
Here’s the backdrop:
Whilst I have more than 20 years experience relating to and underpinning my coaching practice, as an entity of business practice, it is a relatively young thing, about 18 months old so it’s a feisty young toddler finding its feet still, with the odd stumble and wobble along the way. Actually, lets be honest; regular tumbles and wobbles like any other toddler out there! But more importantly it’s also navigating its identity.
What makes it unique for me is that it combines a number of areas of passion into a new proposition where previously they’d been discreet, separate entities, some of which sat under the umbrella of larger, well known corporate names where I had been working, like Deloitte, for example. It has all come together as an offering which is a bit different in the coaching marketplace - who would think how relevant the psychology of those engaged in extreme/action sports is to sustainable function, learning and development in business and executives, and how this also relates to health rehabilitation, for example. It’s my little child, it sits close to my heart and I can’t help but take things rather personally too.
So, the last few months have been pretty hectic. I’ve had a string of challenging client work but at the same time I’m spending most of my time doing the business development stuff, digesting my experiences so I can communicate what I do better whilst simultaneously breaking much more out of the box that is ‘Simon who sorts the racing heads out in motorcycle racing and action sports.’ It’s got a lot to do with making people more aware of all the contexts where I do my work, especially in business & organisational ones with Executive Coaching. However, technically speaking, apart from a small number of retainers, I don’t make money while I’m sleeping, so it’s not truly a business - I’m a self-employed one man band right now.
Add to this a current house renovation and development project as well as family life and bringing up two young boys (or is it the other way round, I wonder sometimes), it all adds up.
Reflecting this process in my own stuff, I had also been engaged in some client work that was along the same lines. This work has dealt with the stresses, anxieties and pressures of young businesses in the start-up/entrepreneurial domain as well as some work around personal branding and authenticity in competitive sports. The themes resonated with each other.
One component of this work revolved around client self-awareness. Taking them through a process of checking-in with themselves to assess where they’re at - what’s going on for them and whether there’s anything they need, or don’t need - then acting appropriately on that.
It’s funny to find myself reflecting on this, as my philosophy of work is fundamentally based upon the development of ongoing self-awareness. An almost continuous process of awareness informing us about ourselves and our relationship with the world. A process which provides the various in the moment streams of feelings and emotions to guide our function.
I became quite alarmed when during a session with one of my clients I found myself struggling to be truly present. I see complete presence as imperative in all my work and if I’m not entirely there, I’m not delivering my side of the bargain.
It was time to take a double dose of my own medicine; critically reflect on where I’m at; probe my current perspective; and check-in with myself beyond my head…..
I was feeling under pressure, I was feeling a bit stressed out, I was working long hours, but frankly not producing comparable output. I was lost in my business world, getting sucked into the ‘what I should’ be doing and how much, and the relentless I-don’t-quite-know-what rather than what made most sense to me etc.
It was a timely reminder that any obsession around action and doing is neither healthy, nor effective, nor performance enhancing, nor creative.. without the requisite balance of:
1. Stopping to check in;
2. Engaging in some critical reflection (which is not judgmental);
3. taking a break, doing something totally different and nourish the system for a bit;
4. letting the other stuff percolate somewhere else for a while.
It was time to check out for a bit.
This, my Tai Chi, and the mountains above, is the kind of place I like to check out to:
I'm also enjoying some Sci-Fi by way of the The Three-body Problem by Cixin Liu.
What about you?
To be continued in part 3...