I am delighted to introduce Emma Last, our newest Change Maker at The Change Maker Group, and share Emma’s Story – She is resilient after all – or is she?

Emma’s story…………she is resilient after all or is she?

Emma has a wealth of experience in change and resilience. She has been working alongside The Change Maker Group for the last 3 months and is now formally joining the team. I already know she is a passionate advocate for resilience, not just during change but for our overall wellbeing.

By way of introducing Emma to you, she and I (Jill Whittington) will present a series of four articles and conversations over the next few weeks about our stories and why we are both so passionate about mental health, resilience, and overall wellbeing.

Picture this:

  • Career woman with the credibility and results many want – Passionate and driven to get the best out of people even when it looks like they won’t succeed.
  • Married, 3 children (including a set of twins), practiced at balancing work and home.
  • Travelling all over the UK, leaving the house as early as 5 am and not returning until after the children are in bed.
  • She misses out on some important firsts for her children even though her children’s future was a big part of why she wants the big career.

She is resilient after all……………….or is she? 

As a senior leader for a large Corporate, amidst huge organisational change, desperate to demonstrate her worth, pulled in so many directions, it is likely she will break. Many others had, but she thought she wouldn’t.

A superwoman who has it all. She is resilient.

Whilst, she is lucky to have worked with some of the most driven and amazing individuals, she sees some of them driven to the brink of being broken, burnout, stressed, and unclear of their paths. Their control is taken away through immense ongoing pressure and a balance completely weighted towards work. That is just not healthy.

But she will be fine, because she is resilient after all.

She has a wealth of tools and experience in her ‘change’ kit bag. Emma is however not taking breaks. She is not really looking after herself. She recharges by taking time off work but usually ends up being ill. She keeps going.

She is resilient after all.

And just like that………….

  • She is finding it more difficult to keep a positive mind.
  • She becomes distrustful of her environment.
  • She is completely exhausted and on the verge of serious burnout.
  • The passion and drive that she has for her role, seeps away.
  • She pushes her feelings to the side.

She carries on and tells no one how she is feeling.

IF……she listens to herself she might have the courage to tell someone how she is feeling………but no, that is too weak and too vulnerable a place for her to venture to.

So……..she arrives at a place of feeling nothing. She is numb. She cannot see a way forward. Burnout happens even to resilient superwomen.

She found that she wasn’t as resilient as she thought after all.

That WAS Emma’s story.

Emma’s ‘Reboot’ 

Emma realised that resilience isn’t something we can take for granted and expect of ourselves, without understanding how to build it and take action to work on it.

This prompted her to take stock and review her life. She absorbed herself in learning about mental health and wellbeing with a view to fixing herself and building her resilience.  Not just to bounce back but to bounce forward.

And wow did she bounce forward!

After what she calls was her own ‘human reboot,’ which resulted in a whole new way of life and career whereby she draws on her own very real experiences in order to help support others either deal with burnout, but more importantly to ‘prevent’ it in the first place.

Emma is now a qualified Mental Health and Wellbeing Trainer and Coach. As a result, she started her own business in 2018, dedicated to preventing stress and burnout with her own ‘Human Reboot’ programme.

Working with workplaces and schools on their Mental Health and Wellbeing strategies, Emma provides advisory support, training and coaching to assist employees through challenging and changing times.

In addition she is:

  • Co-author of the First Aid Industry body’s accredited First Aid for Mental Health and Wellbeing training for adults in the workplace and for those working with children
  • An approved provider of ‘Fully Funded’ Senior Mental health Lead Training to schools
  • An Amazon no.1 best-selling author.

and

  • Her podcast ‘Human Reboot’ got to number 22 in Mental Health Awareness week in 2021

Emma’s Passion

Emma is passionate about helping leaders to connect with their more vulnerable sides.

‘Being in check with your emotional wellbeing, having a way to express your emotions, through means such as talking, journaling or sharing your story is important for building your resilience and distress tolerance.’ 

A meeting of Minds!

When Emma and I met, and when she met fellow Change Makers also passionate about resilience, there was a meeting of minds!

Emma worked alongside us for a few months to see if she and The Change Maker Group were a good match. It became clear very quickly that we are!!!

Although my own story is different, it led me to having a passion for supporting people to be their very best as a way of life.

Emma and I will be exploring both of our stories and the topic of resilience in general with some very practical tips over the next few weeks in articles as well as conversations you can listen to. However, we just want to highlight vulnerability.

Vulnerability

Before we close this article, we want to highlight the fact that in her story Emma opens up about how she feels, showing her vulnerability.

In her book, ‘Daring Greatly’  Brené Brown describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure“. It’s that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.

This article also supports the benefits of being more vulnerable in leadership.

Opening up about the difficult or challenging times in life, as well as the good, may make us more vulnerable in that moment. It does however help us connect not only with ourselves but also with others, making us stronger in the long term.

We will be exploring vulnerability over the next few weeks in articles and conversations.

  • Have you had times when you showed YOUR vulnerability?
  • If so, how did that feel? What was the outcome? What did you do?

Jill Whittington

We’d love you to join the conversation to encourage us all to open up – email me here.

Jill

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