Surprisingly Simple Stress Trick: How to Get Out of Your Head Fast!

 

‘Faith is an oasis in the heart that will never be reached by the caravan of thinking’

Khalil Gibran

 

How often do you find yourself overthinking when you’re stressed?

Totally stuck in your head or going round in circles with no end?

It makes sense to think we can think our way around things but sometimes, getting out of our heads and into our bodies is the best thing we can do. Y’see, without learnt tools to master our minds, our brains are designed to keep us stuck focusing on the negative and continuing to do what we’ve always done. Not very evolved, hey?!

Case in point – a career coaching client who was so stressed she was really quite depressed and unable to move forward had a 360 about-turn when she took her focus off thinking about careers and instead reconnected with doing the things that brought her fun and joy in life.

All the things that took her out of her head whether cooking, drawing, running or seeing her friends.

And boom! Then the clarity came – from being more and thinking less. Like a counter-intuitive detour around stress. The renewed energy and clarity came from moving her body rather than just sitting in the stasis of thought. Ironic, isn’t it, that when we stop thinking so much, sometimes we unlock feelings that guide the way.

As the legendary Dr Wayne Dyer says: ‘Think less, feel more’.

What do you do that brings you joy and gets you out of your head? When did you last have this experience? And what were the results?

For me it might be things like travelling, local adventures, meeting new people, working in new cafés, or doing a new activity like paragliding in the wilds of Italy above. Connecting with free spirits in sublime nature is always a sure fire way for me to change my state and get clarity on confusion. Note – most of these things involve movement – as Tony Robbins says: ‘Motion equals emotion’.

What one change can you make today to get out of your head and into your body?

How would that feel?

And what’s the best possible outcome?

 

 

 

Executive Coaching: The Fortune 500’s Best Kept Secret

“For years, CEOs of some of the most successful and largest companies have relied on executive coaches. Henry McKinnell, CEO of Pfizer, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, and David Pottruck, CEO of Charles Schwab & Co., are just a few who rely on a “trusted adviser”

The Business Journal

Did you know that between 25 and 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies use executive coaches to help their leaders peak perform? I was surprised this figure was so high — not because I don’t understand why successful companies would invest in coaching for their CEO’s and C-Suite — but because it’s one of the best kept secrets around.

These clandestine connoisseurs described an average return of more than $100,000, about six times what executive coaching costs them. That’s the equivalent of six round the world business class flights.

But that doesn’t explain why savvy business leaders invest in something that sounds suspiciously like mumbo-jumbo.

Maybe because “executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing lasting personal change”.

So what makes coaching so special?

The answer is simple.

It’s because of what it’s not.

Instead of being another top down programme forced on over-stretched employees, coaching empowers people to develop their own solutions to issues and goals, with a dash of mentoring thrown in. This increases the chances of action tenfold.

In other words, it’s the missing link to high performance leadership success.

So what are the benefits?

“Workers at all levels of the corporate ladder are enlisting coaches for guidance on how to improve their performance, boost their profits, and make better decisions about everything from personnel to strategy”.

Whether strengthening business development, presentation and leadership skills or facilitating target attainment and peak performance, coaching increases confidence, self-awareness and resourcefulness, bolstering company growth, profitability and market share.

But if, like some initially sceptical clients, you still think coaching sounds a little like hot air, you might change your tune when you learn:

The business demand for coaching is nearly doubling each year. Out of the $80 billion being currently spent on corporate education, FLI Research estimates that $2 billion is spent on executive coaching at senior executive levels in Fortune 500 companies.

Not only that:

IBISWorld research reports that the size of the US and UK corporate wellness industry is now more than $8bn — and growing.

If you’re still not convinced, that’s ok. I had to see it to believe it myself.

But when I did — let me tell you — the idea of being a hot shot lawyer became far less appealing than helping professionals transform their lives and businesses.

Want to find out more? Book a discovery call with me here.

Podcast Episode 11: Why Becoming A Parent Doesn’t Have to Mean Sleep Deprivation

Episode 11 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! An inspiring and eye-opening deep-dive into why becoming a parent doesn’t have to mean sleep deprivation!
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This interview with the accomplished Baby Sleep Consultant, Creator and Author of The Sleeping Baby Routine teaches you:

– top tips around the key pain points that stress new parents out;
– what’s really going on in most mums’ inner monologues in the early days;
– myth-busting around the trials and tribulations of breast-feeding;
– the impact of birth hormones on women’s bodies and brains; and
– the surprising impact of birth on men
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This is also for you if you have an interest in how to optimise sleep in the early days of parenting, why how couples interrelate with a newborn is so key and the ups and downs behind jolly social media posts many new parents don’t share. This is also for you if you’re not sure what a Baby Sleep Consultant is and the main benefits of investing in one!
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In this super informative interview, Charmian shares her expert wisdom from over 20 years as a Baby Sleep Consultant working with clients across a whole host of industries and countries on why getting a baby’s sleep right is the greatest luxury you can give yourself (and your relationships!)
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You can find Charmian at The Sleeping Baby Routine on Instagram and at www.thesleepingbabyroutine.co.uk
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Podcast Episode 10: How to Re-Wire Your Sub-Conscious to Transform Your Life

Episode 10 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! An inspiring and eye-opening deep-dive into how to re-wire your sub-conscious to achieve transformative life changes from weight loss and fertility and relationships to career success and beyond.

This interview with the accomplished founder of Anna Lancaster Therapy, Anna Lancaster teaches you:

– how stress works in the brain and why the brain can change;
– where our thoughts and beliefs really come from;
– why re-programming our internal monologue is critical to true happiness and success;
– why early childhood is so key in shaping our identity and top tips for parents;
– the 3 root causes that lie at the heart of all dysfunction and how you can upgrade your life through re-wiring your sub-conscious

This is for you if you have an interest in what makes us us, why we behave the way we do and how we can uplevel our lives to achieve true mastery. This is also for you if you’re not sure you have what it takes to change your life and don’t know where to start

In this super informative interview, Anna shares her expert wisdom as a Licensed Rapid Transformational Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist working with clients across a whole host of industries and with a whole host of sticking blocks to reveal why transforming your life may not be as hard as you think

You can find Anna @www.instagram.com/annalancastertherapy/ on Instagram and at www.annalancastertherapy.com/

About Me: Coaching + Workshop Specialisms

A lawyer turned Success Coach and Corporate Wellbeing Trainer at Melanie Pritchard Success Coaching, Melanie helps clients peak perform in their personal and professional lives.

Melanie has a particular interest in the high-stress culture of our increasingly ‘always on’ lives and the growing need for successful wellbeing strategies. Having worked in a variety of cultures and organisations and with a range of clients across the world, she’s skilled at stepping into different people’s maps of the world, helping to uncover what makes you tick and how to activate lasting change.

Coaching Specialisms:

  • Fast-Track Coaching: Empowering young professionals and middle managers to conquer obstacles, achieve professional goals and move towards promotion.
  • Performance Coaching: Helping professionals at all levels optimise performance in the workplace by supercharging confidence, resilience, communication, leadership and personal branding.
  • Career  & Exit Coaching: Supporting professionals who are unsure of their role fit to explore options, develop a clear vision and strategise for change whether optimising the current role, moving within the industry or a total career shift. Includes CV, application, interview and LinkedIn coaching.
  • Life Coaching: What happens at home impacts on work and vice versa which is why supporting employees in the round  breeds results. Whether optimising personal relationships, bolstering wellbeing or improving confidence or resilience, happy employees are productive employees.

Coaching Approach:

Melanie’s approach is integrative, which means that she tailors her training and experience to your personal and professional development needs, whether coaching, NLP or mental health related. Melanie believes that once you understand what drives you and what’s keeping you stuck, you can create an action plan which really works and change your life from the inside out.

Corporate Workshops:

A Mental Health First Aid Trainer (Mental Health First Aid England) and a certified Telephone Counsellor with Bristol Mindline, Melanie’s interest in wellbeing extends from individual stakeholders to team coaching and wider organisational effectiveness. She delivers corporate workshops including:

  • Certified Mental Health First Aid Courses: 1/2 Day Awareness Course, 1 Day Skills + Awareness Course + 2 Day Mental Health First Aid Course
  • Manage the Conversation: A half day workshop designed to help managers spot the difference between stress and poor mental health and how to start and manage conversations with a complex workforce in a supportive way. It also equips managers with a toolkit to optimise their own leadership style and bolster their own and employee wellbeing and performance.
  • Mindfulness + Resilience Masterclasses (2 Hours)
  • Bespoke Careers Bootcamps: For universities and schools.

Clients:

Melanie has successfully worked with clients including Osborne Clarke, Simons Muirhead & Burton, BP Collins, The Bar Standards Board, Chadwick Nott, Network Rail, EDF, Nato, Shell, Ford, Microsoft, The Natural History Museum, Hearst UK, Balfour Beatty, The Princes Trust, Bluefin Group, The London School of Economics and Political Science, BPP Law School, The University of Law, The University of Bristol, Imperial College London and HM Prison Service.

Kind Words: 

“The last time I felt this inspired after a coaching session was when I was lucky enough to join a group coaching session at Google with the in-house coach, usually only reserved for very senior employees. Mel’s energy is infectious. I cannot emphasise enough how finding her has made all the difference”

Star | In House Counsel

“I was referred to Melanie at a point when my I felt trapped in a frustrating role and working environment. She proved to be a lifeline and a joy to work with. I could not recommend her enough”

Vanessa | In-House Lawyer

“I was constantly stressed and feeling overwhelmed in both my professional and personal life, unable to clear my mind and change my practices. Upon one session with Melanie, I was able to recognise my strengths and identify patterns within my own behaviour that both help and hinder me. Obstacles have now been removed and my thought process has completely changed. Within weeks, I was performing better at work and am no longer ‘taking it home’ with me. Seek opportunity. Melanie has genuinely shifted the way I think and feel about myself and the life I am living. The things I want are clearer and within reach now thanks to her guidance”

Chloe Chambers | Careers Consultant | Imperial College London 

“I signed up with Mel after reviewing a few firms within the London area. I found her program to be the most comprehensive and proceeded accordingly. Her personal experience working in a corporate and then undergoing a career switch was very relevant to my own journey. Her positive energy and professional / structured demeanour really helped me clarify who I was, what makes me ‘tick’, and gave me an approach for my job search. I would highly recommend Mel. Her insight and capability were second to none”

Sandrine Palmer | Business Development Associate | Amazon 

“Phenomenal. Best training attended”

Gavin Jones | Head of Immigration | Osborne Clarke

“Informative, educational and inspiring! Superb tutor!”

Matt Calladine | Land + Development Director | Barratt Developments PLC

“Excellent, dynamic presenter, clear, pacy presentation slides and good amount of interaction”

Maryann Devally | Station Support Manager | Network Rail

“Mel was very personable and spoke with real passion and experience”

Mark Walker | Head of Assets | Network Rail

 

Qualifications & Certifications:

  • Qualified family lawyer (Mishcon de Reya and Burgess Mee)
  • Certified coach with the Coaching Academy, the world’s largest training organisation for coaches
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner with The American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming
  • Telephone Counselling Skills Certificate for work on Bristol MindLine, a confidential freephone helpline providing a safe place to talk for people in distress
  • Certified Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England and MHFA Trainer. This helps clients identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health issue, reducing stigma and financial cost in the workplace
  • Member of The European Mentoring and Coaching Council, The International Coaching Federation, The Career Development Institute and The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services
  • First Class Degree in English Literature and French, a Distinction in International Business and a fluent French speaker

Press & Publications:

Melanie writes a variety of articles on mental health and wellbeing for the FT, The Huffington Post, Grazia, The Lawyer, Legal Week, HR Zone, The Law Society Gazette and Elephant Journal and produces The School of Success podcast on a range of topics from relationships and careers to confidence, resilience, communication and wellbeing in the workplace.. She has recently co-authored a soon to be released book, Shift: A New Era Begins.

 

Why Businesses Can’t Afford Not To Be Kind

Be kind

In the face of a global pandemic, kindness has been revealed to be the greatest currency of all.

Nurses and carers continue to be revered for putting their lives on the line for others.

Companies like Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Crocs have gone viral for offering free products and services to frontline workers.

Innovative movements like Scrub Hub South East London have garnered praise for creating personal protective equipment for our medical professionals from their kitchen tables.

On the other side of the coin, business owners like Richard Branson, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham have drawn scorn for their seeming disregard for employee and taxpayer wellbeing when kindness should seem like a drop in the ocean of their privilege.

In short, against the backdrop of one of the biggest crises the world has ever seen, kindness has been feted as the jewel in the crown of humanity, lending credence to the notion that: “Your dreams will have greater meaning when they’re tied to the betterment of others.”

And with the pandemic putting mental health on everyone’s agenda, there has never been a more powerful time to reflect on the power of kindness to organisational success.

Read the full article for GD Consulting here

Maintaining mental wellbeing in the legal profession

The legal industry is a beast of its own making.  The profession attracts high achievers with skills in abundance, who thrive under pressure, are first class problem-solvers and add real value to over demanding and stressed out clients. In the thrust of it all, we sometimes forget that they are still human beings with lives of their own.

I understand this all too well.  I was one of those over-worked, stressed out, high achievers.   I was a lawyer at a top UK firm and while I loved the work initially, I took the decision to change my career path and become a corporate wellbeing coach to the profession instead. Read my full article for The Lawyer here.

‘COVID-19 Has Put Mental Health On Everyone’s Agenda’: The Former Lawyer Turned Corporate Wellbeing Trainer

I am often asked why I left law to train law firms in Mental Health First Aid. In aid of U.K. Mental Health Awareness Week, I would like to share my story.

The truth is, many lawyers are confronted with the same career paradox that I was: they are high achievers who have made the cut, they have skills in abundance, thrive under pressure, problem-solve and add real value to clients.

Yet they are still human beings with lives of their own. The challenges of juggling an intense workload, managing relationships, caring for family and other life stresses have never been more apparent than during the pandemic. COVID-19 has put mental health on everyone’s agenda. Read the full article for Legal Week here.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Moving Mental Health to the Top of the Legal Agenda

The legal profession is widely known for attracting high achievers, those with excellent grades, drive, attention to detail and resilience. There is no denying that the legal industry is built on extremes; think the A-Type personalities driving Magic Circle revenues north of a billion pounds a year to the cut above intellect which sees only a third of student barristers securing pupillages.

It is with irony that these stellar qualities can also be many lawyers’ and barristers’ Achilles’ heel. For while the high-powered legal industry thrives off outstanding professionals, this same unrelenting standard for excellence can leave legal professionals feeling imbalanced, burnt-out and more vulnerable to mental illness than employees in other industries.

You certainly don’t need me to tell you about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the legal profession. This crisis has disrupted the workplace like nothing before. As an industry, law firms are scrambling to plan for the post-coronavirus working environment. There is a real danger however that, whilst the physical aspect of returning to work under a ‘new normal’ will be respected, the mental wellbeing of staff may be overlooked. Read the full article for The Law Society Gazette here

THE GREAT CAREER REVEAL: WHAT COVID19 TEACHES US ABOUT SUCCESS

“Often in the chaos of daily life we don’t have an opportunity to think about our purpose”
Jonathan Moult, Lawyer turned Counselling Psychologist
 
Despite the many negatives of the pandemic whether financial, professional or human loss, Covid19 has revealed one great pearl of wisdom: that the best paid are not essential, raising some serious questions around the notion of purpose, meaning and value.
 
Turning commonplace norms around social status, service and worth upside down, the pandemic has triggered soul-searching among financiers, lawyers and other esteemed white-collar workers who may have previously measured value (and been valued) in terms of net worth and social status. This begs the question, what is success?
 
Read my article for Thrive Global here to see the fatal flaw that causes most career unhappiness and harness this universal pause to get clear on what purpose, value and meaning mean to you.
 

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Warmly,

Melanie