Motivation through connection
My story is one of overcoming and then thriving.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family and this created many challenges. My mother was bright but a procrastinator, my stepfather a child abuse survivor with deep, unprocessed scars.
My role growing up was one of coach, listening to their troubles, empathising, offering advice. Trying to hold the dysfunction at bay long enough so it did not spill over onto my siblings and me. Of course, it did...and frequently. Physical and psychological safety could be achieved through avoidance, detecting the subtle changes in the environment, observing behaviours and their ability to navigate daily life emotionally.
With so much uncertainty, a clear difference in core values, a deep sense of not belonging to the right group I left home.
In my early 20s, with big life challenges and a difficult past, I struggled with both my physical and mental health. When you met me, you had no idea what I was facing. I became quite adept at hiding the trauma, the problems. Nothing to see here. Inside, I was feeling lost. I was ill-equipped to deal with my situation. Yet, I survived.
To me, it was incomprehensible how I could turn my situation around.
At a particularly low point, a friend took pity on me and invited me for a run. I had been smoking heavily for years, I was overweight and unhappy. I think he could tell I was a bit of a mess and he wanted company.
That day changed my life forever.
I remember running up this hill with him at least 20 meters ahead of me talking to his friend on his mobile phone. I remember feeling low, my lungs burning in my chest. I wanted to cry. I stopped frequently, he kept talking, I started again, stopped again until we finished. Somehow this run reflected the shambles I was in. I hated myself, at the same time something clicked inside me.
I said to myself, I'm not taking this anymore.
Thankfully, my friend didn't mind my coughing and spluttering during his run. I joined him regularly and with others too. I made new friends. I found a tribe that accepted me. I kept turning up. As the months passed, I smoked less and lost weight. I felt my overall well-being increasing the more time I spent with my new running community.
Running started to become a vehicle for me to change. I could feel my body and mind getting stronger. I became the best runner in our group and this had a profound effect on my confidence. Instead of just being delighted with this result, I knew I could go much further. I kept pushing, 10km, 13 miles, marathon. Competing wasn’t enough, better times, better splits, more, more…deep down I wasn’t going for better times, I was growing. Every mile was one more step towards finding me, the Alex I had never met before. I knew he was in there somewhere. I continued my pursuits by going to the Himalayas, overcoming back injury to race middle distance, competing for my age group and more.
I eventually grew enough confidence to heal the wound of not finishing my education. I embarked on a crazy plan to work full time and do my degree full time in 3 years which I did and then went on to do a Master's Degree, which I completed with Distinction.
Eventually, I started to become content and positive, committed and determined but I also realised these qualities were always within me. This tough transformation helped me build a successful career journey.
My drive for self-improvement led me into coaching and helping others to thrive. With my experience across the hierarchy and my work experiences in global companies, I have always been able to see and understand people's setbacks and failures at the workplace. The more I analysed my peer's and colleagues' attitudes towards work; the biggest revelation was the lack of awareness of their own potential and how little they focused on their ‘well-being’. This is solely is the root cause for shoogle.
Regardless of its size, a good organisation strives to keep their employees happy and productive, yet many do not succeed in their attempts. Why do organisations fail in these attempts?
Motivation through connection. Organisations need to create safe connections, acceptance and belonging.
I bring with me not only 13 years of coaching and mentoring experience, but I also turn up with a razor-sharp awareness of safety, a deep sense of what it feels like not to belong and have been highly successful in creating teams that ARE safe, are accepted for who they are and we do this with laughter and joy in our hearts. In every successful commission, our clients have benefitted not only from hugely motivated teams, unrivalled commitment, never before seen achievements, but the bottom line isn't too shabby either.