SO – in the words of Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter – “I’ve only gone & ruddy done it!”.
I have taken the plunge into self-employment – after being inspired for many years by the likes of your very own Marc Woodland of WInbox – plus a lot of you guys out there who I know read, listen & share my posts.
I have NEVER been so scared, excited, overwhelmed, nervous & spaced-out – all at the same time – than I have for the past couple of weeks – since I took the leap of faith!
As keen observers of my little space on WInbox.co know – I have always had a passion for promoting positive mental health, stepping up & sharing Mental Health challenges – in your personal & business lives – & also empowering people to thrive – to a life of their choosing – not one that’s been dictated to by situations, conditions or other people.
In the past couple of years – I have been a Keynote Speaker on Anxiety – picking up the tag ‘The Anxiety Guy’ along the way – which I believe is a compliment! ☺
So, my aim now is to take my raw, brutally honest & heartfelt message into workplaces – alongside trusted partners who deliver solutions, techniques & expertise.
But – in the words of Simon Sinek – I’ll start with my why…why I have I followed my passion to do this as a career – not just a personal calling?
Because I believe that businesses have an obligation to treat their people like people – acknowledging everything that it takes to support them to achieve.
Wellbeing in the Workplace should not just be a box ticking exercise – so it seems that they are doing the right things.
It should be a passion for those companies too – the very best companies that I have worked with so far have someone who shares the same emotional drive about Wellbeing that I have – they positively champion strategies & courses by including their people in that process.
Surely, we should all know that healthy, positive & vibrant workforces deliver the very best product/service/solution available.
I believe the biggest challenge is a very simple to understand one – it’s enabling people to be able to speak up, have a voice & not to be judged when they say exactly how they are feeling.
We all wear masks – whether that be in business, at networking events, with our friends, our families – we try to portray what people want us to be – not necessarily how we are feeling, truly.
We get that especially when we meet people;
“How are you today, Nick?”
“I’m great thanks Bob*, you?” *Names have been changed to protect the innocent ☺
“Yeah, great thanks – couldn’t be better…”
We all know how that conversation goes. And hopefully – that will be the case – that everyone is actually great!
BUT – what if we aren’t?
We don’t tell people. Why?;
- We are scared of being judged
- We are afraid of not being liked
- We don’t want to upset/offend the person
- We feel we aren’t able to be honest
The list goes on!
The truth is – in my experience – if you are honest & open – people will only queue up to help you!
Despite what we are led to believe – people are still genuinely good – in the clear majority!
However, in the workplace – Mental Health is still considered a taboo subject – even if they company or organisation is paying lip service to it.
So people remain scared to speak.
I believe that if given the freedom to speak – even anonymously to a neutral person – people have the power to change their own workplaces without the need for a top down process.
When I have hosted anonymous forums for workers, by forward thinking employers – & fed back anonymously the information & insight gathered from their workforce – it has proven invaluable.
However, the most powerful change that I see – is from the ground up. People, especially men it has to be said, who start speaking up in a closed environment – really begin to open up outside in the general workplace – where they would not of before.
It encourages a groundswell of honesty, wellbeing & true change – because it is driven by the workforce – not as a tick box exercise. Your culture is shaped internally.
True revolution in Mental Health Awareness happens when the stigma is banished – and as an employer – you can positively impact the lives of all of your people – whilst increasing the productivity, profitability & fun in your business!
Now – doesn’t that sound like a great thing?
Thank you for reading this & until next time, have an amazing month ahead!
Nick Elston ‘The Anxiety Guy’
Founder of the Nick Elston Group