Jenni Osborn

Finding Your Flow

Since I began my business supporting those who support young people, through mentoring, training and writing, I have come across many people very unhappy in their job. Not always because of the specific job they do, but more usually because of the pressure being placed on them. Sometimes that’s from other people, but equally sometimes it’s pressure we’ve placed on ourselves, to show up, to be responsible, to be the person we’ve always been.

I experienced this myself recently. I was taking on a role that I’d always assumed, leading a team because that’s what I’ve always done, desperately wanting to show up to the role in the way I would have done 5 years ago or more. But, I had to face the reality that I no longer have that capacity, the way my brain works now is different to how it did even 2 years ago. In my case, this is due to a mini-stroke I had almost 2 years ago. I can try to brush it aside and carry on as if everything is the same, or as if I can make it all fall back into the same place it was 2 years ago, simply by ‘trying harder’. Ha, nope. That doesn’t work. I quickly found that out after leading a two hour meeting which was in no way difficult or strenuous, after which I ended up in bed for 4 hours. I have had to pull away from this role, sad though that makes me.

Now, you may not have had a stroke or experienced any significant brain changes recently, however, you may still be fighting the way your brain would really like to work. I’ve spoken to those with ADHD, increasingly being diagnosed in their 30’s or 40’s, or Dyslexia, again with a later diagnosis, who have said it was like being able to understand themselves better than ever before. The understanding of the way their brain works means that they can change their working pattern, ask for help with bits they find difficult because of their dyslexia or dyscalculia (affecting work with numbers) or ADHD.

It’s a game-changer.

You may not have a particular condition that has a label, but you will have strengths and weaknesses. You will have a way of working that really makes you feel happy and efficient and useful and as if you could do this thing that you’re doing forever.

As we approach the end of September, a month often considered as ‘self-care September’, we need to recognise that knowing our strengths and weaknesses is an important part of looking after yourself. Understanding where we feel pressure and why is key to being able to work well, to work in that ‘flow’.

Why not begin today? Make a list, ask a friend or trusted colleague if you’re really struggling to identify things you’re good at. Our brains have a negativity bias that means we’re far more likely to be able to name the things we find difficult!

I can help too by offering mentoring sessions, to help you offload pressure, unravel thoughts and feelings around work, to help identify your strengths and find your flow! Contact me using this page