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Psychology : Applied

How To Show Up And Thrive In Your Personal And Professional Life: Part One


Aaron and Nathalie Laughing
Aaron Balick and Nathalie Nahai Producing Time To Show Up

The Current Challenge: Mental Health and Work


Few would argue that any of us are living in an environment that promotes personal or professional thriving. Whether it’s the consequences of austerity and the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, the global horrors that seem to worsen every day, the uncertainty of elections across the world, or the ongoing ominous shadow of climate change – let alone the rapidly changing world of social media, AI, and other new technologies – thriving can seem a long way off.

There is no work/life balance – there is really only life – and work is an expression of that. 

If there was any good that came out of the pandemic is was the disruption it caused working practices that had largely remained unchanged since the second world war. For many of us, the idea of commuting and showing up at the office five days a week seems unthinkable today. However, while many businesses have pivoted to more flexible working environments, most have not formalised these into a thoughtful new way that supports employees. For most of us, the situation may be better in terms of flexibility, but is it any better for our mental health? Not really.

 

According to recent research from Mental Health UK almost a quarter of UK adults feel unable to manage stress and pressure in their lives.

 

  • 90% of adults experienced high or extreme stress in the past year

  • One fifth of workers had to take time off due to poor mental health

  • More than twice as many younger people (18-24) suffered mental health issues than their older (55plus) peers.

  • 71% of workers do not feel adequately supported for their mental health in the workplace.

 

Mental-Health-UK_The-Burnout-Report-2024
.pdf
Download PDF • 5.49MB

Download full report here.


While trying to achieve a good work/life balance (in the usual sense) has been a continual preoccupation over time, things seem to have become more unhinged in this area recently. Pehraps this has something to do with the way many people describe how the Covid pandemic has “broken them”. Part of this may have to do with the way the pandemic broke the work/life pattern for so many of us (a situation in which many thrived and many suffered) making it impossible on the one hand, to return to the status quo, and on the other hand finding it difficult to create a replacement for that which is rational, pragmatic, and financially sustainable.

 

However, to see it this way is to see only part of the issue – the one that’s on the surface. Government and businesses are certainly concerned with the rising rates of burnout and inactivity due to mental incapacity because it affects all of us in terms of economic growth – with “growth” being the ultimate solution to conquering our chronic shortage of resource (we’ll have to approach the problem of capitalism at another time!). But to see productivity as the main problem is to miss the deeper one – the human one.


This is something that Nathalie and I are passionate about. While we're both pragmatic enough to understand that there are real structural problems that make flourishing in work and life difficult (and for some more difficult than others) we also believe that each of us has the capacity to increase our capacity to flourish - and help to impact others to to the same. That's why we created Time To Show Up


 
Time to show up logo


Finally, a podcast and community to help you thrive in your personal and professional life.





 

As a psychotherapist with more than 20 years of experience I have come to learn how utterly fundamental the zone of work is for individual fulfilment. In essence, because so many of us spend more time with work than we do with our families or pursuing personal interest, it’s nearly impossible to address personal satisfaction outside of considering work. While there’s a lot that can be accomplished in the therapist’s consulting room, a simple scanning of the worrying mental health statistics listed above indicates that something much larger outside the wider world needs to happen.

 

These are the very concerns that united Nathalie Nahai and myself to create Time To Show Up with the aim of combining our different skills to approach this problem in a more public way, through a podcast, video series, and online community. Our aim? To help you thrive in your personal and professional life. In our first series we speak to some incredible people who have cracked this problem for themselves (though for all it’s a process that never ceases) alongside others whom we’ve helped to unstick what is holding them back.



Our main aim is to get at the personal stories that led these individuals to pursue their personal passions through work and upack the theories, practices, and models that explain or illustrate that journey. Each episode includes a deeply personal interview where you’ll hear a person’s backstory, followed by a “Review” episode where Nathalie and I pull out models and practices that our listeners can apply to their own situation.

 

We’ve interviewed a wonderful diversity of people who’s stories you will learn from. Whether it’s how psychologist and psychedelics researcher Dr. Ros Watts found her way into creating the ACER Integration community for psychedelic psychotherapy; how SJ Watson become an international bestelling author; how musician and artist Hamed Sinno’s sensitivity let to his creativity; the incredible drive that drove Brian Solis to create an extraordinarily unique career path (check out what Brian had to say about his experience of being interviewed in his blog); to what best selling author Oliver Burkeman learned about himself after devoting decades to studying productivity and pop-psychology – and so much more!


Check out our content on your favourite platform via the links below. If you like what you hear, we'd be grateful if you subscribed and - and rated us so others can learn about what we do, and so we can sustain our project.



Doing these interviews has been a great learning experience for both Nathalie and me. As a fan of long-form print I've decided to take my learning further through a series of blogs I'll be releasing across the reflecting on the concepts we've learned along the way. These will be released regular on our LinkedIn page, so please follow along if you're interested. You can also subscribe directly to this blog at the bottom of the page.

 

But Wait, There's More?

Transform Your Career Bootcamp on our TTSU Community

 

For those of you who really want to commit to personal and professional change, we’ve created an online community to help you take that learning even further. This is an intentional community that we have designed for those of you who want to start taking those first steps into fulfilling their personal passions in their professional lives. It’s full of extra content, Mindful Deep Work Sessions, and resources to help you evolve your career towards personal thriving and positive impact in the world.


Our Transform Your Career Bootcamp will be run across the community from April through July, and is a structured programme of talks and experiences designed to help you work through your own desired professional transformation! You can try membership for two weeks absolutely free (no strings - we don't even take your payment info in advance) and if you came to our community by way of this blog, you can get your first month free using this code at checkout: AARONSBBLOG. Never any obligation to stay and membership can be cancelled at any time.

Members of our community have the opportunity to experience a Deep Enquiry Interview just like our guests Athene, John, and Antonio. You'll also find extra content, further resources, and regular Mindful Deep Work Sessions hosted by yours truly, to help you really get some work done (how do you think this blog was written!).


For those seeking a lighter touch, keep up with this blog series. Next up I'll be discussing themes from our interviews with Dr. Ros Watts, SJ Watson, and Alison Coward. Not to be missed.



 

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