TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR MENTAL FITNESS AT WORK
On 30th November 2017 I learned what the Mental Health agenda was all about, I had my own version of shock, caused though years of not understanding myself well enough, not respecting my own vulnerabilities and not dealing with a number of things in my life that had clearly hurt me more than I was acknowledging. As a result of this, I now believe that Mental Fitness is all our responsibility.
I learned that being proactive about our mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. We have to take personal responsibility for it. The past 30 years have seen massive growth in our awareness of what we should eat and how we should treat our bodies, now the shift we hear is in our nation’s awareness of how we treat our emotional and mental self.
The workplace is being blamed for many of the reasons we are suffering stress, depression, and anxiety, and there is, clearly a lot of pressure on the organisation to provide wellbeing and a culture that cares, listens and supports us all. I agree with this, and I believe it starts with the awareness that each of us are on our own journey, from the leaders of an organisation through to the new graduate, we all have personality and character strengths and over-done strengths, we have a diversity of personal vulnerabilities and we can often arrive at work with personal situations that are impacting our resilience and how we deal with situations at work. The workforce is not a set of robots (yet) and therefore we must allow the emotions of humans to be respected.
Imagine, at home, you were dealing with the death of a loved one, financial challenges, marital issues, a child that is unhappy. Before you enter the workplace your cup is already half full. Your mind is distracted and your ability to manage more worry, challenges and fears in the workplace are competing with the impact of home-life. Add to this the fact that we all have self-worth issues at varying levels, our belief in ourselves and our ability to perform well varies according to the last meeting, the last interaction with someone. Imposter syndrome, comparison with others and self-doubt is rife in this overwhelmingly fast world that we all try to keep up within.
My belief is that mental fitness is a formula and we can all learn it. When I broke, I had to put myself together, I didn’t work for anyone, I was my own boss. I learned how to do this and I am now helping others to, not as an expert, but as a torchbearer and as someone who had to take personal responsibility for where I was in my working life and what I was going to do to make things change, improve and lead the business life that I wanted, I had to take control of myself, to do that, I had to understand myself and acknowledge the things that I had put away in a drawer that was still hurting me.
I read a wonderful quote while I was going through this “to be whole, first allow yourself to break” Lao Tzu 601BC. This doesn’t mean become a “broken person”, this means acknowledging the parts of you that need fixing, I did, and now I feel more whole than I have ever felt.
The role of a business is to create a culture for this and to shine a light on this, encourage the workforce to take personal responsibility and guide them in how to achieve a happier life, that enables them to shine. The workplace cannot take away pain and challenges, but it can listen and it can guide.
To contact Penny about her Mastermind program or as a speaker, please WhatsApp +447771543478