Category Archives: Personal development

Navigating the stuck state: understanding decision paralysis

We’ve all been there: standing at the crossroads of choice, feeling stuck, indecisive or even paralysed by the prospect of making the wrong decision. Whether it’s choosing, or changing, a career path, making a significant life change or even deciding what to have for dinner, the experience of decision paralysis is a common, albeit frustrating, part of the human condition. This state of being stuck can stem from an overwhelming number of options, fear of the unknown or the pressure to make the ‘perfect’ choice.

But what exactly happens in our brains during these moments of indecision? And, more importantly, how can we navigate through them to reach a resolution? This article delves into the neurophysiology of decision-making, offering insights into why we sometimes struggle to make decisions and proposing strategies to overcome this mental gridlock.

Cara McCarthy and Rose Padfield

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How to overcome Impostor Syndrome

Have you ever felt like you’re masquerading as someone more competent than you truly are, fearing that one day you’ll be exposed as a fraud? If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that this phenomenon plagues seven out of 10 of us at various stages of our lives and careers. It’s the persistent belief that your success is not deserved, attributing it instead to luck or other external factors.

In this month’s article, we explore the impact of impostor syndrome and, most importantly, how to beat it.

Cara McCarthy and Rose Padfield

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White wolf

Navigating the inner game of Self-Leadership: insights and strategies

Last month, we delved into the world of self-leadership, setting the tone for a year of purposeful growth in 2024. This month, we’re continuing our exploration by focusing on the ‘inner game’ of self-leadership – gaining a deeper understanding of self-awareness and honing the skill of self-regulation.

Cara McCarthy and Rose Padfield

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How’s your play life?

To kickstart my Autumn reading, I’ve been delving into a business/leadership book by Stuart Brown called Play, How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination and invigorates the soul.

He talks about our ‘play life’ as essential to the quality of our human experience.  As an adult, I’d never thought of having a ‘play life’ before!

Being playful is so good for us, but how much space do we allow for play in our adult lives?

This article explores why and how you can lighten up your work and life through play.

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How to lead in a world that’s gone beyond VUCA to BANI

This month’s article is written by a special guest author – Cara McCarthy. We met about four years ago when we were both certified to use the Leadership Circle profiling tool, and have collaborated several times since then. Like me, Cara is a coach and facilitator who helps organisations develop, leaders grow, and teams be more effective.

The subject of ‘moving on from VUCA’ arose in a recent conversation, (and was very well received in a talk we prepared for a network of senior Executives), so I have invited her to share her thoughts in this area. I think this is a fascinating read! As usual, they are mixed with practical ideas you can implement in your working life, and link to related reading on the topic.

I’m sure you’ll find this information useful and look forward to your comments.

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People pleasing

How to stop being a people-pleaser

We all need to feel loved and accepted, however, this is exaggerated in someone who’s a people-pleaser, and they may avoid circumstances that cause them to feel conflict with others. Because they’re worried about being rejected, they generally seek approval to reassure themselves.

This isn’t the most constructive way to be, so this month’s article is about people-pleasing and how to escape it.

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How to make anxiety your friend

Anxiety is something we’ve all experienced to a greater or lesser extent. Through the pandemic, it’s probably touched everyone.

This article contains advice on how to deal with anxiety on both a practical and a mindset level.

Disclaimer: I’m talking here about general feelings of anxiety. This is different to having an anxiety disorder, which is outside the scope of this article.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”`


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The science of attachment and its effect on relationships

This month’s article is inspired by the book Attached: The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find – and keep – love.

This topic might seem as though it’s not strictly work-related because it deals with romantic relationships. However, as well as giving you insights that might be useful for your personal life, it also covers behaviours you might recognise from the work setting.

When you have someone you attach to, they become the anchor on which you can build your life. You can be vulnerable with them. Without attachment, you only have yourself to rely on – this might seem the safer option, but it may also mean you miss out having someone to lean on and share life with – the joy, the sadness and the journey.

This analogy could also be stretched somewhat, to apply at work – relying on colleagues helps you learn, feel good and create something better than if you went alone (as an old African proverb offers: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”).

When you understand the traits you see in yourself and your colleagues, you will have more compassion for yourself and others, and can adapt the way you work so that you, and they, feel more secure and can thrive.

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Self-motivation and wellness for your people

Failing to focus on employee wellbeing can cost your business dearly:

  • Average 15% to 20% of total payroll is lost in voluntary turnover due to burnout
  • $20 million lost opportunity cost for every 10,000 struggling or suffering employees
  • $322 billion global loss of turnover and productivity due to employee burnout

Source: Gallup

It has been shown that how you engage employees has a powerful influence on their wellbeing.

When you make an emotional connection with them, you will get to know them and understand what motivates them. Then you can create the correct climate for them to thrive – one that’s linked to their values and purpose. That way, they can be themselves, minimise their stress levels, and are more likely to do their best work.

This builds on my recent articles Skills and mindset for the future world of work and How is your self-motivation and wellness?

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