Take back the power
One of my best friends works for the Civil Service and is very high up in her department. So much so, that when I’m on a video call with her and our other school friend, when there’s banter about how work is, projects we’re working on etc, she never contributes. Official Secrets Act and all that. Although there is another reason she doesn’t say much about her work. She is very bright, erudite and knows her stuff and yet, feels an impostor. Although highly motivated, I know that she doesn’t believe any of the credit that comes her way.
Sophie believes she’s only where she is in her profession because she’s been there years and so it’s by default. She thinks she’s half as good as those around her and got twice as far undeservedly. When challenged and asked how it can be possible to be so high up the ladder if not by merit, she says it’s by...
Our mental and physical health are intertwined – how we’re feeling can have a direct result on our physical wellbeing and vice versa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as: ‘… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ Mental health is clearly an integral part of this definition. Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness - it is vital to us all as individuals, families and societies. The WHO describes mental health as: ‘… a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’ In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for wellbeing.
If we’re feeling stressed, anxious or sad, this can manifest itself in a number of ailments such as high...
When the game plan goes to pot
I came across an article recently about the psychology of choking – or to put it another way - when someone loses their nerve. This is the essence of performance psychology and is widely studied in the world of sport but is relevant to so many other areas where we’re ‘performing’, such as job interviews, public speaking, or presentations. What makes our endeavours a success but equally, what can stand in our way?
Most often, the problem is not the ability – you’ve no doubt mastered the skill or technique after many many hours of practise; the problem is nerve – you’re in the moment and although you might have honed your skills and you’ve the knowledge to get through it, your mindset causes you to falter and perhaps, to put it nicely, you blow it.
We have seen examples of this in the world of sport. Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missed their spot-kicks during the Italian World Cup in 1990, meaning...
Play it again Sam
Chi-chi Nwanoku has a very interesting story as to how she became an internationally renowned double bass player.
Nwanoku, the eldest of five siblings from hardworking Nigerian and Irish parents, fell in love with playing music at an early age. At seven years old, whilst round a neighbour’s house, Nwanoku heard someone playing the Boogie Woogie 12-bar blues and insisted she be taught the song. Every day she’d return to play until in the end, the neighbours wheeled the instrument to Nwanoku’s house and said she could have it as a gift. Clearly her talent, dedication and determination were obvious, and Nwanoku’s dedicated parents worked overtime to pay for piano lessons.
Chi-chi Nwanoku’s talents didn’t end there. At the age of 8, she was spotted by an athletics coach and started training as a 100-metre sprinter. She describes the feeling of running fast as being ‘free as a bird’. And Nwanoku was fast. She excelled in...
On Saturday, I gave a TEDx Talk at TEDxNorwichED. This is no mean feat and is a roller coaster of a journey. I signed myself up for this months ago and even though I’d practised and practised and rehearsed and rehearsed, actually setting foot on that stage was one of the most frightening things I have ever done.
It’s ridiculous really because I gave a TEDx Talk last year with my Dad and daughter so surely I would be more mentally prepared this year. You’d think… Not so.
There’s been a LOT going on at home the past six months - some of which I have previously alluded to. My husband’s redundancy, SATs, both myself and my three daughters applying to do a TEDx Talk, being accepted and script writing to follow then hours of rehearsals for us all, school tests, all three children with rehearsals for the school summer production so lots to memorise, plus one mentally preparing to start high school.
We all face various challenges from time to time and...