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Boundaries: More Than Saying No

leadership wellbeing Aug 26, 2022
This topic comes up all the time and I hear people often say “I’m rubbish with boundaries because I can’t say no”
 
Why do you struggle so much with boundaries and why do you think they are just about saying no?
 
Particularly for women, we have had it ingrained into us that if we have boundaries, then we are selfish. If we are not always available for other people, then we are selfish.
 
In my corporate days when I became firm with my boundaries, I would get told I wasn’t a team player, I was being selfish, that I wasn’t helpful enough, that I was cold hearted, or I wasn’t committed enough. What I came to realise was that was their issue, whilst some were personal attacks on me, most were because people weren’t used to women setting boundaries. If one of the men said ‘give me an hour’ or ‘I don’t start work till 10am on a Wednesday’, that was accepted. But not if a woman...
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Manage Your Energy Not Your Time

burnout wellbeing Aug 19, 2022
I’ve had a number of new 1-2-1 clients come to me recently and all mention not being able to manage their time effectively. As I’ve introduced them to focusing on managing their energy instead, they’ve had some big lightbulb moments, Aha moments and made some quick changes for themselves.
 
No matter how much they try to plan their day and time more effectively, they are seen as successful but don’t always feel it, as they don’t think they have enough time to get everything done. They know they are lacking boundaries and this lack of boundaries is impacting how they spend their time. They spend a lot of time people pleasing and giving more time to others than themselves. They are spinning far too many plates at once. They are exhausted and their focus and energy is decreasing by the day.
 
All of these things are impacting all areas of their lives. When we focus instead on energy management, things can start to change. When we try...
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Neuroscience Saved My life

burnout wellbeing Aug 12, 2022
Understanding how my brain worked quite literally saved my life.
 
In 2015 I found myself burnt out for the second time and mentally it hit me much harder than the first time. The first was more physical and I was in and out of hospital for 7 months and undergoing 2 operations in 48 hours. If the physical aspect hadn’t been so tough, I don’t think I would have admitted or been aware of reaching burnout again for the second time.
 
During the recovery of those operations I was numb after lying on the sofa for far too long and watching too much day time TV. My sons came home from school one day and my immediate reaction was to say to them “don’t worry, I’m ok and I will be back at work soon”, but then one of my sons said “but mum your job is killing you”
 
That was the wake up call I needed and led to me doing a lot of inner work to understand what had gotten me to that point and what I needed to do to...
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The Great Resignation and Quietly Quitting, OR The Great Reflection, Boundaries and Balance?

When we hear about the Great Resignation and Quietly Quitting, we seem to think of our people as disengaged, unhappy or no longer committed to their roles, but, what if this is exactly the balance that we’ve been needing to create in the workplace for a long time?

When I first started my career, I worked my contracted hours. I worked in retail and I was either working when the store was open, or my contracted hours. I didn’t have a laptop or mobile phone to allow me to work from home, I worked at work. And when I wasn’t at work, I wasn’t working.

As my career developed I started to work additional (unpaid) hours, staying for longer in the workplace, but even then, when I left the workplace, I was no longer working.

I changed sector, worked in growing organisations and only in 2011 was I issued a work laptop and phone. Between 2006 and 2011, although I’d asked for the tech to allow me to work from anywhere at anytime, it wasn’t...

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Don't Let The Critics Count

leadership wellbeing Aug 05, 2022
It can be really hard to not take criticism personally. The more visible we are and the more we use our voices, the more criticism we can face and this can be really challenging.
 
Very early on in my corporate career I was criticised for the speed in which I worked. A number of my colleagues would tell me to slow down as I was making them look bad.
That resulted in me dealing with a lot of backstabbing and bitching and in some cases people were trying to stitch me up and gaslight me.
 
This made me look deep into myself and wonder what it was that I was doing wrong, what could I change? How could I modify how I was speaking and behaving so as not to upset people.
 
In my late teens/early 20’s I didn’t have the understanding as to what it really meant to stand out in my own power, to believe in myself. If you have a lot of people telling you the same thing, particularly when you are growing and developing as a leader and in your...
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My Two Speeds

burnout wellbeing Jul 29, 2022
The concept of slowing down.
 
I say the ‘concept’ for a specific reason; when I was nearly at the point of burnout, I had everyone telling me to slow down. My parents would tell you I came out of the womb doing things at 10,000 miles per hour. Constantly doing everything fast paced and picking things up quickly during my childhood and my career.
 
During my career, I had people telling me to slow down as I was making others look bad. But my natural pace in how I talk, how I walk, how I breathe and do everything, is FAST!
 
Yet, I had people around me during my burnout telling me to slow down and I couldn’t get the concept of what slow looks like. If you are a naturally fast person like me, how do you find ‘slow’?
 
I burnt out and as part of my recovery I went full pelt into learning everything there was about burnout. I wanted to know what had caused this? How could I stop others experiencing the same? How could...
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Be Seen, Be Heard, Be You

In 2014 I left corporate and started my consultancy, The Chrysalis Crew. At the time I knew that the organisation would be much bigger than me. In terms of the purpose and the work that we were doing.
 
Many people at the time asked me why I didn’t call that company Kelly Swingler, but I knew the company was much bigger than me.
 
I had this period when I first started the business of being able to hide behind the Chrysalis brand name and logo. This kept me quite small. It wasn’t until I started to recruit a team that they said I was the face of the organisation. The reality is, that I was. People wanted to ‘buy’ me. But at the time all I wanted was to hide.
 
If we think about some of the big brands; we can associate them to a person.
 
I didn’t realise this as quickly as I should.
 
Years went on, I then became comfortable being on stage, I’d recovered from my corporate hangover and burnout...
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Respect Your Boundaries And Others Will Too

The challenges that many clients face is that they think that boundaries are all about saying NO. Whilst saying no is a part of that, we also know that boundaries are about protecting our energy, time, space, our intentions and goals.
 
In order to achieve your goals, dreams and ambitions, it’s important to maintain your boundaries. If you don’t, you can end up worn out, burnt out, struggling and not having enough time to get everything done.
 
When those boundaries aren’t in place, it’s our goals that fall by the wayside. We extend the time frame on our goals or even forget about them completely. We then start to feel like we’re not achieving, with imposter syndrome and self doubt creeping in.
 
I also see that we create boundaries, but only try them once and life happens and we give up. Then we find it more difficult later on and think that boundaries don’t actually work, or wonder why people aren’t...
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Is It Time To Start Performance Managing Your Top Performers?

burnout coaching leadership Jul 14, 2022

“Lazy bastards don’t burn out”

I was part of a panel discussion last week talking about burnout and Lucyna Milanowska made this comment, “lazy bastards don’t burn out” and she’s right. I wrote an article years ago about who is looking after your top performers and said a similar thing, because it’s true. The ones who do the minimum, will not reach burnout.

A month or so ago I interviewed Denise Duffield-Thomas for my podcast and she’s a self-confessed lazy perfectionist, prone to burnout. When she talks about being lazy, she wants to make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort, and so she’s always looking for the quickest and easiest way to get her to her goal. We talked about the importance of boundaries, and when she pushes to hard and becomes exhausted, she’s prone to burnout, and this is a multi-millionaire with a lot of help and support, who also likes to do a number...

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Managing My Energy

burnout wellbeing Jul 08, 2022
In preparation for my Power Up event (that took place at the end of June), I took some downtime and alone time before the event and some reflection time after. I ensured that the weekend after was all about resting, reflecting, recharging, having a lot of time to myself and planning purposefully.
 
I talk about energy a lot. For me I do believe energy management is more beneficial and helpful than trying to manage time. We all have different lives, different priorities and responsibilities. We all have 24 hours in a day, but some of us have more free time than others. Time happens and carries on regardless of what we are doing and how much we have to get done. Regardless of what priorities we have or how we are feeling. Whilst some of us appear to manage our time more effectively, what they are actually doing is managing their energy.
 
Time is out of our control, so trying to manage it is useless. We can’t lengthen the warm summer days, as much as we...
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