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Successful career + mental health diagnosis. It's possible

Are you concerned that a mental health diagnosis for you would sound the end of your career? If you are concerned that having a mental health diagnosis will negatively impact your career opportunities, you needn’t be. I have been fortunate enough to work with many successful people who have had mental health diagnoses and in my second career as a psychotherapist, I have had the privilege of supporting clients while they establish and grow their careers with a diagnosis. What these groups of people have in common is that they have accepted their diagnosis and chosen to build a career on their own terms, so they can leverage their strengths and build a sustainable career and lifestyle.  

 

A mental health diagnosis doesn’t have to define who you are or what you can contribute at work. Like many well people, you just need to find your way of working, that brings out the best in you and that supports you.

 

If you have been diagnosed with a mental...

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Prioritise your relationship with stress to succeed

anxiety career stress Apr 10, 2022

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you are ever going to have. It influences your other relationships, and it sets the tone for how you treat yourself and allow others to treat you. Your second most important relationship, if you want to do well, is how you manage stressors.

 

Stress is normal and inevitable

While stress is a normal and inevitable part of modern life, it doesn’t have to be the reason why you didn’t achieve your goals. In fact, it could be the reason why you do achieve them.

 

In my corporate career I worked with many smart people who had varying successes in the organisations I was a part of. And while they all had the same access to learning and development, few knew how to ask for help for fear of being considered soft or weak, and even less considered their relationship with stress as their biggest obstacle. Yet in my view, it was their relationship with stress that enabled them to take a broad view or...

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How to de-stress at work so you sleep better

career sleep stress wellbeing Mar 12, 2022

Work-related stress occurs when the perceived demands of your work exceed your belief that you are able and capable to meet them. It can be easy to under-estimate the impact of your daily work stress however beware as work-related stress is the second most common compensated illness/injury in Australia, after musculoskeletal disorders. You are experiencing stress when you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious. 

 

What is stress?

Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stressors can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the ‘fight, flight, fawn or freeze' response leading to a change in metabolic and cardiac processes. Continuous stress without relief can result in a condition called distress—a negative stress reaction that can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, loss of...

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Is Workplace PTSD waking you up at night?

You may not think much about waking up during the night, however if it becomes a regular occurrence, e.g. 4 out of 7 nights for a couple of weeks, then you may want to investigate it further. If normal sleep doesn't return after a week then you are starting to embed a new sleep pattern which could lead to unhealthy consequences. 

What is Workplace PTSD?

PTSD, the acronym for ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’ is most commonly associated with war veterans and jobs that encounter a lot of distress or trauma. PTSD is used to describe the lingering physical and emotional after effects of a shocking, destabilizing event. However, since the term was invented our understanding of trauma has grown. We now know that this a human response to an uncommon experience/s, and it is not a sign of weakness, rather an adaptive response to a traumatic experience or series of traumatic experiences.

 

Trauma is an umbrella term and includes one-time, multiple, or long-lasting...

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How to start speaking up for yourself at work

It’s no secret that people who speak up at work are viewed as more likeable by their peers, enjoy higher status and are perceived to be better performers by those more senior than them (Burris, 2012; Weiss & Morrison, 2019).

 

Often staying quiet and ignoring your feelings is an adaptive response to blending in and not wanting to draw attention to yourself. This strategy is only helpful if you do not have an opinion or the required knowledge to participate in the conversation. Otherwise it is working against you. 

 

3 Reasons you may fear speaking up for yourself

1. Unsure of what your contribution could be

Often, you are invited to meetings because the organiser believes you have something to contribute. So, if that is unclear to you then it’s important for you to understand what they believe it might be. This could be particularly helpful in preparing for a meeting and understanding when you are expected to contribute to the discussion, if...

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10 Signs you’re not standing up for yourself at work

How many times have you got cranky with yourself for not speaking up? Or perhaps, you chose not to say something in an effort to avoid a difficult conversation. In my experience working with smart, well-mannered people, this is a common problem. 

 

Jenny loved her job. She thought her manager was a wonderful person and she’d learnt so much working with her over the years. Her ability to know exactly what the clients wanted and how to provide it to them with it was real art in action. She made it look so easy. She always knew the latest trends and how to squeeze an extra dollar from assignments, even though clients initially said they had limited budget.

 

There was just one problem with her manager. She was opinionated about everything and she always told Jenny exactly what she should do in each situation, even when she hadn’t sought advice.

 

Jenny thought part of being a good employee meant putting up with her manager’s constant and...

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How to Overcome Perfectionism at Work

career habit perfectionism Oct 25, 2021

Being a perfectionist is like living with an internal genie. A genie that never sleeps. It constantly reminds you that only the best is good enough, continuous improvement is mandatory, giving up is not an option and nobody likes someone who brags. It’s an exhausting place to be.

 

The funny thing is that for many years I thought this genie was my friend and that it was helping me to succeed. And it was most of the time. However, some of the time it was working against me. There came a point I could no longer keep up. I had to admit defeat and allow myself to be me, whether the genie liked it or not.

 

What is perfectionism?

Perfectionism is one of five patterns of thinking that is attributed to Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is an ‘internal state of mind where the person believes they are unintelligent, unsuccessful, and incompetent even though this is not what others think of them’ (Clancy & Ines, 1978).

 

The other four thought...

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