A thought for October

It is October. Autumn is here. The dahlias are beautiful; there are gorgeous berries and leaves everywhere. The days are getting short. Children are looking forward to half term already! And Hallowe’en is coming. Ghosties, ghoulies and bats are everywhere and parents are dreading carving pumpkin lanterns. Whether we like it or not Trick or Treat is now part of our landscape.

And what about you? What are your demons?

There are things in each of our lives and in every job, that we do not like doing. Do those tasks first and get them over rather than leave them until you have completed the rest of the list. When it is the last item on the To Do list you will not have the energy or the inclination to start it today. The task will either be left to terrorise you tomorrow or be done when you are tired and done not very well. It will probably take twice as long as it should. Do it early and bask in that feeling for the rest of the day!

However, that is not what I am talking about. I am pointing to the things which you dread because you are not trained properly to do them or do not have the necessary equipment or proper work place. How long are you going to host this ghostie? Make this the October when you face the problem and decide how to exorcise it from your life.

Is it training? Invest in yourself. Define what you need and go looking for a training programme to fill the need. If you cannot do whatever it may be there is a good chance others will not be able to do it either. There will be courses available. Remember to start at the right level, if there is a basic, intermediate or advanced course choose the right one. Learning is hard enough without making it more difficult by going in at the wrong level.

It might be that you choose one to one coaching because you want the personal touch and nowhere to hide. It might seem expensive but it could be money well spent if you define your objective carefully and select a coach who is an expert and has good references. Always go on the rule of three – get three proposals and choose the person who comes closest to your objectives and with whom you think the chemistry is best.

So far, it is all straight forward. Now I want to tackle those gremlins that will not disappear. These are the really scary ones; the little devils that perch on the end of the bed at 3am and will not leave you alone. They keep pricking you with spiky questions about issues that you have been avoiding or not allowed yourself to think about. Usually it is our subconscious trying to get our attention and if it wakes you up and keeps you awake it is serious. We all know these gremlins they will not go away and they will not let you get back to sleep. They natter, they nag and they frighten. Their modus operandi is to refuse to leave you alone until you take notice; they terrify you and paralyse you. There feels to be no way to escape.

These gremlins must be dealt with differently. If they were easy you would have tackled them already. These are problems where you cannot see an obvious answer or a good route forward. There are arguments for every answer and no clear winner. They can be huge issues where the gremlin is muttering that you will run out of cash soon; or they may be frightening crossroads where every road takes you outside your comfort zone; each option paralyses you rather than letting you choose a way and move forward.

The trick here is to share the problem with someone else and soon – I would suggest a mentor because that person will be objective and will respect the effect the issue is having on you. Family members and friends want you to stop worrying and to make things OK. Their emotional involvement makes it impossible for them to drive away the gremlins permanently. Find that independent person who has the knowledge to help you unpick the issues, understand your fears and craft a plan you can follow to chase the demons away. Sharing a problem like this really does bring it back into proportion. Once someone else helps you collect the facts and face them they are not so scary. A mentor will also find ways you have never thought of to solve the problem.

None of this is original.  Your relationship with yourself is unique. What frightens you is unique too because of your history and experience. Being frightened is not a weakness but sometimes the wisest response to a threat. You just need to find the best solution to the problem that poses that threat.

If this has been interesting, please share it. Think about working with a mentor and please chat with me about what you are hoping to achieve. I might be the right person for you or I can help you find someone who is. In the meantime, life is good; let’s live it to the full and be the best we can be.