We Cannot Change The Seasons, But We Can Adjust Our Clothes.

Wow! October already, time for trick or treat, or as we used to call it years ago in Scotland “Going Guising” Dressing up and going door to door telling jokes or stories for money, sweets, or fruit.

The trees are turning a beautiful array of colours, cosy jackets, scarves, and hats are being worn and we are gearing up for the cold nights and dark mornings.

And do you know what, there is no better time to book your float, to experience the magic within and rest for the new season ahead. I love the turning of the seasons, it’s a reminder that change happens whether you like it or not and before you know it we will be transitioning into the next season – the seasons do not wait until we are ready, they are a steady flow of change that lets us know that when we surrender and allow ourselves to be guided by these changes we experience a greater sense of autonomy.

On Thursday 26 October I have the honour and privilege of hosting my short film, The Magic Is Within You, in partnership with Ulster University Apprentice Association. This will be followed by a Q&A with myself, a panel discussion with some industry experts including Professor Paul Miller, Colin Durling and Emmett Watters then an open floor discussion to invite courageous conversations from the audience where we will explore the topics of:

  • Work-Life Balance: Explore strategies for achieving harmony between your personal and professional life.
  • Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Learn how to conquer self-doubt and embrace your true potential.
  • Understanding the Cause of Burnout: Gain insights into the factors that contribute to burnout and how to prevent it.
  • Psychological Security in the Workplace: Discover the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment for mental well-being.

All of these are an expression of rejecting change, of being stuck in a behaviour or way of thinking that no longer serves you effectively. Here is an overview of what we mean by these terms.

Imposter syndrome is that uncomfortable feeling you experience when you think you’re unqualified and incompetent. You might look around and assume everyone knows what they’re doing except you. And if you achieve something good, you’ll chalk your accomplishments up to “good luck.”

Research states mostly women live with this, and usually women who have had a successful career and who have worked hard to get to where they are in life, that being said, I have spoken to young men who talk about feeling inadequate, unworthy and the need to produce all the time to prove their value. Imposter syndrome is that feeling of being exposed as a fraud at any given moment, usually originating in an adverse event reaching back to childhood.

Psychological safety describes the creation of an environment where people feel able to express themselves without fear that others will think less of them. In the workplace, this translates to employees feeling comfortable speaking up, whether they’re sharing ideas, asking questions, expressing concerns, or acknowledging mistakes. When you show your colleagues, you’re engaged, you demonstrate this by being present during meetings or interactions. This includes making eye contact and coming away from your laptop. It’s easy to get distracted by emails, text messages, or Slack during a meeting or conversation—but these small acts of disengagement can negatively impact your colleague’s psychological safety.

Work life balance – A healthy work-life balance rests upon maintaining a harmonious relationship between your work and personal life (Family, and Social and recreational). It involves consciously managing your time and energy to meet both professional and personal commitments while prioritising your own self-care and well-being. Not only is achieving a healthy work/life balance an attainable goal but employees and employers alike see the rewards. When colleagues are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs. Work life balance is achievable and a necessary part of a nurturing human experience.

Preventing burn out – As humans we are not infallible, therefore it is essential to replenish your physical and emotional energy, along with your capacity to focus, by prioritising good sleep habits, nutrition, exercise, social connection, and practices that promote equanimity and well-being, like meditating, journaling, and enjoying nature. I don’t believe in the term burn out, we don’t burn out, we simply lose self-compassion and believe our worth to be in what we can produce and deliver, we make others experience more important than our own. When we lose self-compassion, it isn’t something that just comes back on its own. Rather, it can worsen unless you address the underlying issues causing it. If you ignore your own needs for alone time, family time, rest etc it can cause further long-term harm to your physical and mental health – remember you matter and you deserve to take up space.

Why not come along and join in with the courageous conversations that facilitate the movement and direction of change? We cannot change the seasons, but we can adjust our clothes.

All tickets sale proceeds will be donated to PIPs suicide charity, this is a Northern Ireland based charity carrying out vital and lifesaving work – Click here for tickets.https://www.eventbrite.com/e/navigating-work-life-and-self-with-tedx-speaker-vivian-mckinnon-tickets-727848312897

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