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In challenging times we are going to get stressed and when that happens we are going to go into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn (trying to placate/please people). What that looks like in practice is this:
– Narrowing your focus to only the action you need to take to protect yourself, instead of action you need to grow
– Trying to learn how to do things the ‘right’ way and pander to your market, instead of continuing to be innovative and offer quality stuff
– Avoiding being vulnerable, instead of expanding your capacity to connect and to embrace your own flaws and other people’s
– Obsessing over the bare minimum and compromising over what you want, instead of keeping your vision and connection to self on point
– Descending into chaos and forgetting what deeply matters to you, instead of keeping clear on your needs and wants – and going after them!
Stress: it is gonna f**k you up if you let it. And it will f**k your clients up too.
So who do you think your client is going to need in stressful times? A) Someone else in flight, fight, freeze or fawn?? or B) Someone who kept focused on being able to see themselves and other people clearly?? Someone who kept honing their ability to support people instead of fighting fires??
The answer is kind of obvious when laid out in black and white…
You don’t need emergency strategies, you need ways of staying centred, clearing your own s**t, learning how to support people on a deep level, and generally just honing your ability to be the eye in the storm.
When everything else is going to s**t, people just want to be seen. YOU YOURSELF JUST WANT TO BE SEEN. Don’t be tempted to abandon yourself or your clients!
So instead of focusing on survival you need to be focusing on this:
Honing your craft
Yes, it is possible to be successful and a charlatan. However, that either leads to the demise of your business or the demise of your own wellbeing – or both. The other route to success is to really really love and respect your craft. You can hustle your way to the top and end up stressed and eventually caught out. OR you can get really good at what you do, focus on your results, and get more satisfaction out of your work in the process.
It is easy to ignore skill and craft. It really is. Especially when the world starts squeezing and stressing us out. But without that gift of an artful and solid foundation, you will always have less to build on… Less opportunity, less success in the long run, less of a shot at REALLY shining. And when the world is chaotic or cold or stressful for a client, they NEED you to be the light.
I’m not advocating that you abandon yourself and be a rescuer – instead I am advocating that you keep completely focused on your brilliance and what you are bringing to the world instead of letting it derail you. You don’t have to be perfect at it either… 😉

Dr. Helen Johnson

Dr Helen Johnson coaches creative, complex thinkers, and leaders in their field to challenge themselves, be more effective, and lighten up. Through her group programme, Deeper, she offers a way to hone your coaching and personal development skills while also doing the powerful work on yourself.

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