Blue Sky Update – September 2023

I have been easing myself back into work mode while helping our daughter settle into her new university, so here is my round-up for September as a coach, writer, and human being.

Tip of the iceberg

 The image that helps me to understand ADHD is the tip of the iceberg because most of us don’t fully appreciate the work it takes as a neurodivergent individual to show up in a neurotypical world.

The energy it requires to appear neurotypical at school, college, university and work – the level of masking needed to navigate life in general. I’ve seen first-hand how exhausting it can be and the level of stress it can induce.

I am still learning about ADHD and how it might present in both men and women. For the past three years, I have been quietly gathering, learning, and seeking information about ADHD because it is in our family. And paradoxically, the more I understand, the more I realise my knowledge is just at the tip.

So, let’s all consider how our actions might exclude people, whether intentional or not, and then what we can do about it – whether it is National Inclusion Week or not.

Be like water.

In other words, find a way to keep going when times are tough or the path ahead isn’t entirely clear. I say this with my tongue firmly in cheek after discovering a leak in our family home a few weeks ago.

It always amazes me how water can persist and how a small amount can find its way through several layers and cause such havoc when it finally reveals itself. Still, there is something about the persistence of water that perhaps we can all learn from. This week, I was thrilled to hear about a client’s success in landing a new role. One piece of news that lifted me and showed how focused persistence can pay off.

Jumpstart your creativity

What do you do when you need to jumpstart your creativity? How do you make the time and space to think and innovate?

I am increasingly convinced of my need to take bigger chunks of time away from the screens to introduce more relaxed thinking time into my day.

I include daily walks, playing the piano, and journaling, and I will soon add swimming to my weekly routine. Invariably, doing one thing sparks an idea in another.

It is essential, I believe, to recognise that our brains work best when we get out of the way and provide them with the fuel and conditions they need to thrive and do their job.

And if you are looking for ways to jumpstart your creativity, then look at the list compiled by Forbes.

And, especially at this time of year as we move into autumn, I am considering number eight on their list – what new skill or hobby could I pick up to shake things up?

Time to get curious, time to get creative.

What drives you?

While coaching with a group earlier this week, one of the participants asked me about my purpose. I love the two-way nature of coaching, so I was happy to answer. My response was to talk about my values, my drivers, and their role in my purpose. It also reminded me that changes in my drivers have coincided with crucial points in my life – perhaps no real surprises there.

The question also prompted me to return to an old blog post, driven rather than motivated – because the issue of social mobility and how I might contribute to this agenda is one of my drivers. Work is not always, not necessarily the escape route it was at the start of my career.

I am not interested in people barely surviving; we all need to be thriving.

 So, what do you think?

Getting your ‘working head’ on

If, like most of us, you have had a break over the summer, what are you like now as we start the new season? Are you struggling to get back into work mode, or did you never leave it in the first place?

For those of you who might be struggling to get your ‘working heads’ in place, it might help to consider the following:

  • Recognise and celebrate those parts of your role that excite and energise you, the bits you ‘leap out’ of bed for in the morning. Could they become an even more significant part of your role? What might you be able to do to make that happen?
  • What about those parts that don’t excite you so much? Can you minimise these? Do you need to put them into context? E.g. Ultimately, tracking my expenditure helps me to feel more in control.
  • However, maybe it’s time to look at the ‘bigger picture’, reconsider your current role and ask whether 2024 is the year for you to do something completely different. Maybe it’s time to make some radical changes and start doing the things that have been in the ‘back of your mind’ for years. If that is the case, what are you waiting for? Start taking some of those steps today.

The picture is my homage to Worzel Gummidge, played by the inimitable Jon Pertwee, from the 1979 TV show based on a scarecrow that comes to life and known for his collection of interchangeable heads 😊.

Until next month