My Mum Suzie was a strong independent woman. She showed me how to stay strong. “Others have it so much worse than we do Georgia”; “There are so many kids out there that are not good at sport too”; “It doesn’t matter if you got a C. You can try harder next time”; “You’re good. You’ll be fine”.
When my Mum got Leukaemia 15 years ago, well that was when I found out anyway, she said “It’ll be fine”. She said that there are others are sicker than she is, that she has so many great friends, support and love that she’ll be good. She left us when I was 6 months pregnant with Jacko, my first child. It wasn’t all good. But I was. I went in to action mode, made sure everyone else was ok. Organised my Dad and his life and made sure I was there for my brother. I got on with being ‘luckier than most’.
Mum taught me to maintain the old school ‘stiff upper lip’. It’ll be fine. It’s all good. Therefore I dealt with everything by soldiering on. I suspended dealing with my pain and really acknowledging how hard things were. I believed that if you think you’ll be ok then you will. It’s not true.
What I now know is that we can hide behind things being ‘all good’ and never really deal with stuff, have the real conversations and make the real connections with people around us. We wear the mask so people can’t really see us, or be able to help us.
The Universe can’t do his best work in you, if you are think you are good with where you are at. That’s like trying to steer a parked car.
‘Are you OK?’ Day in September came from a tragic story where the Founder, Gavin Larkin, lost his Father to suicide and he didn’t see the signs, or ask when he saw them. Consequently, he wanted to create more awareness of mental health through this once a year ‘Are you OK?’ Day. To remind people to ask – what’s on your mind? Really. To show them you care and ask the question.
So make no assumptions about where people are really at. Tell no stories in your head. Be brave enough to ask and then to listen.
Beyond Blue tell us that in any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety. So statistically there are people you work with struggling.
Where are you ‘all good’ and it’s holding you back from coming into your own? And are you checking in with those around you, and having the real conversations?
Want to know more, download my White paper Fixing Feedback; Rewiring the workplace, mindsets and productivity or download the first chapter of Fixing Feedback my book.