Am I part of the problem?
It's 2023 - there are more self help books in our bookshelves & therapeutic modalities than ever before and yet, according to Mind; 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England and 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.
One question that keeps swirling around in my head is... what (if any) is the link between the plethora of self help books & modalities (including coaching) out there and the state of our mental health?
My musings below are just that... musings. Mental health is a hugely complex area with numerous external and internal factors effecting it. I have no answers (as usual!) but I do like to stir the pot to see what comes up. You may well wholeheartedly disagree with some of my thoughts; in fact you may well even press the unsubscribe button when you read what I have to say... and that's OK. In fact that's more than OK!!!
We are living in an age of unprecedented access to 'news', opinion, research, adverts, products, services, 'self help' etc etc and we can look at this from a positive angle and recognise how lucky we are to have all this information & 'help' at our fingertips. We can also look at the impact this can have on our ability to live in the moment, connect with others & the natural world, form our own opinions based on lived experience, not to mention the potential for overstimulation and overwhelm. We can also take a look at how all of the 'help' we have available is focussing us more and more as INDIVIDUALS who operate in our own independent worlds.
Now for the tricky bit... is coaching & the promotion of coaching another piece of the jigsaw adding to this view and to overwhelm? Adding to the 'not good enough' mixing pot?
I take lots of time off social media these days and I am always struck when I come back to it by the endless messages of how we, as individuals, should/could be living our lives differently... and for differently read better! If you meditate just 10 minutes a day your life will be transformed.... if you buy this eco deodorant you are literally saving the planet as well as smelling like an absolute sex magnet! 'Work with me and you'll get the job you want, be the leader you want to be, triple your income/confidence/resilience...' By having a cold shower, swimming in a lake, running 58 miles, waking up at 4am, planting trees, hugging trees, reading every book under the sun, listening to this podcast, watching that Ted talk, doing this course, that exercise and so on; then and only then will you be enough.
By the very nature of running a business, I promote my work. I look to entice clients... The irony is not lost on me that I'm doing it now.... basically I'm saying 'do you think a little like me?' 'Have I helped you in some way by writing all of this?' 'Maybe working with me might be really useful to you right now.' HOWEVER I am really conscious of the message that I give.... I do not have any type of magic wand (unless you count the numerous Harry Potter ones that my kids have!) that can change the wider systems we all operate in. I make no promises on the work that we might do together because I am not doing anything TO you... we are doing the work together therefore a lot rides on YOUR input. My main message is that you ARE ENOUGH just as you are, with or without working with me or reading my stuff or watching my videos. The other message is that WE ARE ALL PART OF WIDER SYSTEMS and we cannot operate effectively as a species within our own individual silos. Look at where that has got us!!
So next time you are tempted to book on a course, buy a 'self help' book or work with someone offering to transform your world via 5 simple steps keep some of the following in mind:
I would love to hear others thoughts on this - what has this stirred up for you? What message are you taking from this?
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AUTHOR: ANNIE LEE
Annie is a coach, coach supervisor & coach adventurer! Warmth, depth & joy sum her approach up in a nutshell!