BLS Mental Health Week by Rebecca Mander, GuruYou™

Ever felt stuck? I have. I remember feeling like I was sinking in quicksand many times in my life…

In 2007, we lost our beautiful boy, Charlie then 18 months later, after celebrating coming full circle a year later with the christening of our baby girl, my beautiful Mum was killed in a car crash. On top of grief and maternity returning, I was asked to run a multi-million-pound company with no previous MD experience whilst it was sinking in the 2008 recession…

We survived, we thrived, the business as well as our family grew beyond expectation and a few years later I was supporting psychologists by sharing my journey of infant loss and delivering key notes to huge audiences. How on earth did we do that? When I reflect on 31st March 2007, I see subconsciously…and miraculously that I realised we all have a choice…no matter what awful things happen to us we are responseABLE. Standing in that hospital with the gut-wrenching punch of loss, I feared how I would cope, how life would look now the lights had gone out and how frightening it was to believe I would forever be defined by my loss, that our happiness had ended and that I would always be a victim. Don’t get me wrong, if you had asked me to climb a mountain in a pair of Jimmy Choo’s I would have felt better equipped! I didn’t have a clue how to get to back ‘happy’ or how many years it would take but I knew I had a choice of what to add to my backpack in order to help me get there. Unknowingly, I began a journey from victim to victor, meeting some wonderful people along the way who topped up my energy and gave me new resources to help me climb the mountain and I got rid of the Choo’s and anything else that was dragging me down!

Motivated by my experiences, the first coaching tool I developed when I founded GuruYou™ was “Charlie’s Star”- a 5 point coaching model to support others through setback or to help them climb out of their comfort zone…like the water bug before it becomes a dragonfly. As part of Wellbeing Week, we thought we’d share Charlie’s Star for you to keep, reuse and share when you need to bounce forward in any way!

Using the link below you can work through 5 perspectives, the first is seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who admires you- “The Admirer”. When we do this, it is easier to see our strengths. When we look back and see what these are, we have faith that we can move forward given how far we have come. Next is “The Inspirer”-someone you look up to, maybe someone climbing slightly ahead of you…what are they doing that works so well and what advice would they give you? Maybe they are using a strength you could do with tapping into? Your Inspirer may operate outside your comfort zone but there is a reason they inspire you and it is not because they live in comfort!

Quite often we prevent ourselves from moving forward because we are scared about what might happen without really analysing the probability of this. I hate to encourage catastrophising but often when we play the video to the end of “What’s the worst that can happen?” and adding “and then what?” we see that at some point we are well and have learned from an experience. This point of the star that covers the worst that can happen if you do (or don’t) bounce forward is called “The Firer”. The best that can happen is next- “The Hirer” and my best that could happen is in the photo here, taken to the children’s utter embarrassment a few years ago when we thought we’d take them down memory lane and show them where Craig proposed!! Oh well, isn’t that what parents are for? At this point in the star, we consider the best that can happen if you move forward in your brave new way, and the best that can happen if you don’t. This area of the star really can help you stretch your imagination and weigh out the pros and cons of bouncing forward when you need to make a big decision.

Finally, when we are struggling the most important thing we can do is ask for help. Many of us hate doing this for fear we are disturbing someone or will look stupid. This is ironic when we consider how flattered we are if someone asks us for help, that we feel privileged and get a boost of confidence if we are sought out. 5 brains and 5 pair of hands are more efficient than one. If I hadn’t asked for help, professional and personal I do not know where I would be, but it certainly wouldn’t be at the top of the mountain!

To get your FREE copy of Charlie’s Star, click on the link here and become part of the Bounce Forward Brigade!

CharliesStar© and all associated materials are copyright of GuruYou™ Ltd.