6 Ways To Help The Man In The Mirror

Start Change With The Man In The Mirror - Picture From Jusben From Morguefile.com

Start Change With The Man In The Mirror – Picture From Jusben From Morguefile.com

True story.

One Thursday morning commuting on the train, I picked up a copy of Shortlist magazine left on the seat next to me. Flicking through the pages of the latest shiny, products I was expecting I got emotionally ambushed by Andrew Dickens’ deeply personal story about depression* (there’s a link below).

I couldn’t finish reading this unexpected article in public. It struck a chord. It was too emotional for a Men’s lifestyle magazine. 

Bottom line: I didn’t want to be upset in front of other people.

Men and boys face unbelievable pressure

Fast forward to now and according to the Standard newspaper almost half the men in London feel like crying once a month* (more than anywhere else in the country).

The emotional challenge isn’t a London thing. It is universal. There is just something challenging about being a 21st Century man.

The Movember Foundation understands that. The Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier and longer lives. You might be aware of their November campaign to encourage men to grow mustaches for the cause.

Interviewed by The Standard their UK director Sarah Coghlan said

Men and boys face unbelievable pressure to live up an archaic stereotype of what it means to be a man, and in the process they neglect their own mental and physical health.

Release The Pressure

It is ok to feel what you are feeling.

In fact neglecting your health has bad consequences. I have coached guys who have been tearful with frustration about their lack of career progress, or lack of life purpose. Who wants to feel drained by the demands of their working day?

Paying attention to health related goals makes more sense. You gain confidence. You feel better. You start performing better. Your work improves. Everyone is happier.

The first step is taking stock of what is going on in your life.

6 Ways To Start Helping The Man In The Mirror

  • Ask yourself what is the source of the burden you are carrying
  • How does the burden disrupt your time at home and at work
  • List the worst-case consequences if you continue to do nothing about it
  • Write down all the results that could come your way if you take action
  • Decide who is the best person to talk to about tackling that goal (doctor, therapist, coach)
  • Get in touch with that person and start making your life better

Want To Start Changing The Way You Experience Work?

If you are ready to start improving your life you can click the link, leave your contact details and download a FREE report. It will help you pay attention to your self improvement goals and get you connected to someone who can help you move forward.  

https://experienceyourlife.coachesconsole.com/

References*

http://bit.ly/Shortlist_Andrew_Dickens_Depression_One_Mans_Struggle

http://bit.ly/The_Standard_Hannah_Al_Othman_Half_Of_London_Men_Feel_Like_Crying_Once_A_Month

 

Are You OK Mate? 3 Ways In Which Receiving Support Lifts Your Mood

Road Signs Showing Men Working

Men At Work From Morguefile.com

Here is a sobering statistic.

This year 75% of people in the UK taking their own life will be men.

That is 3 men for every 1 woman.

Strong And Silent

Generally men in mid-life say ‘Yes’ if you ask ‘Are you OK?’

It is best to be strong and silent. Man up. Keep working. Or get wasted. Or withdraw.

Tears are best kept for football. That’s a crying shame.

Those 40 somethings are the ones at greater risk.

Potential To Grow

I am lucky enough to have supported some men working through their personal development goals (and received support myself).

It seems obvious that men’s actual inner state can be weighing them down while outwardly there are no signs of distress.

Behind the facade there can be turmoil. Turmoil does not lead directly to self harm. It doesn’t help though.

Life is better with fewer obstacles to growth. It is hard to believe that you can grow if you don’t feel like you can exercise leadership in your own life.

What Could Men Learn From Women?

As a rule women will look for and find support. Women talk about their stuff, where guys will keep their hurt to themselves.

Maybe part of masculinity is being open to help?

Benefits Of Being Listened To

Today seems like a good day to start talking about the benefits of receiving help if you are carrying a heavy burden.

In my experience being listened to deeply can be an intense experience. It changes things. It is a big victory for some guys to take action on their goals.

Here Are 3 Ways Guys Initially Benefit From Support

They experience

  • caring help as they set priorities
  • more confidence as they tackle priorities and move past long standing blockages
  • fewer burdens and more happiness

After their confidence increases it becomes easier to keep moving forward. Doors keep opening once they practice their action-based skills.

Share This Information

Thanks for reading this post. Comment below if these ideas have struck a chord with you. Use Twitter @RogerD_Said if you perfer.

If you are sharing the post with your followers on Twitter you can use the hashtag #RUOK to be included in the wider conversation.

Finally, follow this link for more information on 10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day

 

http://www.samaritans.org/wspd

Goals 2014: How To Be #Mindful And Confident Before Tackling A Change #Goal

Tai Chi Exercise

What New Challenge Will You Take This Week? Picture credit The Tai Chi Club on Morguefile

I’ve recently been posting on LinkedIn and elsewhere about the feel-good benefits of taking action. Action can mean getting an enterprise of the ground, or encouraging others to make effective use of your time

If you follow the links you will see the context for those posts is making the most of yourself in the world of work. However, in the real world work and life co-exist. Making any kind of change in one part of your life opens up the possibility of a positive outcome in the other.

Starting an exciting new work project adds spice to your social life. Getting people to respect your time at work increases your confidence generally. Having a reserve of confidence to draw on helps you prepare, step forward and change.

How Do You Know That You Are Ready To Change?

Being mindful about your inner state and your readiness to change something significant in your life involves knowing what is in both your head and your heart. Procrastinating about change goals is understandable Taking action on a change goal involves accepting the discomfort you will experience.

Starting a social or commercial enterprise involves making connections; sharing your ideas; overcoming problems; being resilient. It is not a head-based issue. Your heart is involved too. The big question is: How does the idea of changing your situation make you feel? What small, but important, step can you take to increase your confidence levels?

What’s Confidence Got To Do With It?

Like I said you need a reserve of confidence to call on to help you picture your success. You won’t take the first step and plan – let alone undertake – effective action without it. Some people are too low on reserves of confidence to make the first step. Their life goals are low priority items. Their goals lie low on the list, behind the day to day pressures of an agenda topped by paying the bills.

If those pressures persist for long enough they can contribute to health problems. Those problems can escalate to an extent that they become mental health issues (according to the Mental Health Foundation 1 in 4 of us will have a problem like this in the course of the year)

Tackling Mental Health

Great then to see that Sport England is directing £2m ($3.2m or 2.5m Euros) into improving the lives of people with mental health problems.

Their project director (a former boss of mine) Mike Diaper says:

There is compelling evidence that participation in sport and physical activity has a positive influence on mental wellbeing and mental illness. This includes enhancing day-to-day moods, reducing the impact of stress and enhancing self-esteem”.

Obviously there is a long way between under-confidence and serious health conditions like anxiety. I’m just glad some work is being done on these debilitating issues.

How Do You Ensure You Are Taking Good Care of Your Health?

What’s your secret for remaining healthy under the pressure of your personal and working life? If you are preparing to make a major change in your life how do you build up your energy reserves?

  • Is it by ensuring you eat healthily and sleep well?
  • Do you make time for your weekly mind and body work out of Tai Chi?
  • Is your main priority relaxing with your family over the weekend?

Share Your Secrets To Getting Stuff Done

In the pressured world in which we live it is good to know how people maintain their day to day balance. If you are ok sharing your story please add a comment below. You can continue the conversation on Twitter @RogerD_Said too.

Goals 2014: What Can You Do To Improve Your Sense Of #WellBeing ?

Robin Williams

How Are You Taking Care Of Your Own & Others’ Well-Being?

I first came across Robin Williams’ work on the 1970s US tv show Mork & Mindy.  I remember liking the cartoon energy in his performance.  He was larger than life, well my life in the UK anyway.  I was young though, so the subtle side of his work went over my head.  I grew to appreciate the breadth of his talent over the intervening years.

Robin Williams’ death, at 63 years of age, made me cry.  It was shocking.  Shocking in part because he was relatively young, much loved and hugely talented.  Shocking mostly because of the link to mental health.

What Is Your Well-Being Strategy?

You can never tell what mental health challenges someone might be facing.  According to the Mental Health Foundation  1 in 4 of us in the UK will have a problem this year.  These challenges cut across age, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation and other barriers.  Men in particular can end up stoically suffering in silence.  Men’s Health magazine offers a unisex slideshow on actions that result in feeling happier  What is your strategy?

Well-Being Goals For Leaders And Managers

The ordinary pressures of life can have a very hard impact on some people who are already feeling vulnerable.  The concepts of austerity and more-for-less are permanent features of the employment landscape now.  What impact do they have on your sense of well-being?

As the Men’s Health slideshow suggests being mindful of our own mental-health needs and taking action is important within the workplace and outside of it.

Leaders and managers also have an important role to play in contributing to healthier workplace outcomes.  They can create an authentic workplace culture which supports staff engagement; a sub-set of which is well-being.

As a large UK employer the Civil Service outlines their engagement strategy here for their 463,000 plus members of staff and millions of customers.

Staff in any sized organisation are more confident if they know that their bosses support their well-being as they are seen as people, not just workers.  There is a relationship between confidence, resilience and productivity.  Confident leaders make it possible for colleagues to have conversations about managing workplace pressures more effectively.  What are your leaders doing to facilitate those conversations?

How Do You Help Others Through Their Day?

Finally, I like the idea of positively influencing others.  One of my goals is to treat others as I wish to be treated myself.  Being thoughtful towards others feels good.  Plus, it might lighten the strain on anyone who is having a tough day.  How do you help the important people in your life manage the pressures in their life?

Here are 10 quotes courtesy of Mashable  related to Mr Williams.  I hope you find them inspiring.  Feel free to share this post, comment below and keep the discussion going @RogerD_Said

Rest in Peace Robin.

Goal 2014: 3 Questions to help increase your well-being in the Year of the Male

Plug In To Access  Support

Plug In To Access Support

Have you heard the one about the man who asks his best mate for emotional support during a difficult period, and receives consistent, empathic care from his friend?  Chances are you haven’t.  Women may follow Sheryl Sandberg’s example at Facebook and ‘Lean In’ supporting each other, men don’t traditionally plug into their networks like that.

In fact British men may be spending nearly £1800 on making themselves look good outwardly according to 2012 research , but they aren’t making similar efforts to connect with their inner feelings and improve their emotional well-being.

Luckily there are new options men can adopt to tackle their well-being goals.  Those options are being explored by CALM , the mental health charity.

The charity is focusing on suicide prevention this year.  Here’s a sobering number CALM comments on , taken from a recent Office for National Statistics bulletin: suicide is the leading cause of death for British men under 50.  Such men are 3 times more likely to kill themselves than women.  That rate is comparable to the United States, where men are nearly 4 times more likely to take their own lives than women, according to the World Health Organisation .

Under the Year of the Male banner – that’s @yearofthemale on Twitter, or online at www.yearofthemale.com – the UK organisation is looking to challenge the range of influences which contribute to men’s less positive life experiences.  Perhaps we can all recognise that modern life has the potential to lead to high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

If you are a man and the experiences above ring bells, ask yourself how do your age, class, disability or employment status, ethnicity, family situation, religion, sexual orientation and upbringing affect your well-being?  What are you prepared to do change your well-being status this year?  Here are three more questions for you to reflect on.

  • What can you include in your health and well-being goal to make it more achievable?
  • In what ways will your goal help you live life with a greater degree of authenticity?
  • How will your goal add value to your dealings with the important people in your life?

Good luck with your actions.  Remember to check out the Archive section for more inspiration.  There are further ideas On Facebook and Google+ too

Goals 2014: What Kind Of Management Do You Want To Receive?

Here’s a question to ponder as the end of the reporting and financial year draws near:  How much does your progress at work depend on the effectiveness of your manager, or supervisor?

Some people want a line manager who is closely involved in the day to day aspects of their career.  This can reassure the job holder that their performance and development needs are at the front of their manager’s mind.  That could be crucial if progression, development or bonuses depend on the supervisor’s feedback.

Other job holders are content with a different approach.  They prefer being set realistic tasks, whose delivery is discussed at quarterly reviews.  This approach gives them breathing room.  They get on with delivering tasks that are within their capability.

The Guardian’s Work blog has just highlighted a worst case scenario.  In this situation a line manager is so ineffective that their job holder is becoming ill through over work.  The customers needs are not being effectively met and team morale is suffering.  The manager is an obstacle to the job holder achieving their goal, of being productive and happy at work.

See what you think of the feedback offered in the Tweet (then have a go at the bullet point questions)

  • How do you influence your manager to give you the support you deserve?
  • What do you say when their input isn’t quite right?
  • When do you know it is time to take action to change your situation?

A Healthy Balance

One Portion Of Five A Day (c) R Dennison August 2013

One Portion Of Five A Day (c) R Dennison August 2013

It isn’t fair.  You work really hard, get the job you always wanted, start to enjoy your success and then your weight becomes an issue.

If you are David Cameron (photographed on holiday recently displaying a bit of middle aged spread) there will always be someone to remind you about your weight and the impact on your health.

All this in a climate in which: Central government promotes a healthy diet including five portions of fruits and vegetables per day; Birmingham council has promoted free sessions in their leisure facilities to encourage good health http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22350807 ; the Royal College of Psychiatrists draws attention to the link between physical activity and positive mental health.

Since the consensus is that being healthy is a good thing, how might an average person use coaching support to form a health goal?

Well, any success goal will be more powerful if it is phrased in a positive and forward looking way.  So the plaintive cry of ‘I don’t want to drag around this middle aged spread’ will benefit from some further thought.

To help the coachee refine their goal the coach might ask some questions to establish what the personal benefits of ‘feeling healthier’ would be.  For instance: what has the coachee done already to change their situation; how many steps are there to get from where they are presently to the healthier state; what will friends and family be saying when the coachee reaches their healthier state.

Answering these questions starts to build up the background to the healthier state the coachee hankers after.  It also may start suggesting what powerful initial step he or she could take to move them in the right direction.

Ultimately, the coach can help the coachee clarify their situation.  Taking the action necessary to start to attain the goal is the coachee’s responsibility.