I have had a fantastic experience in the beginning part of 2019. Thanks to everyone who’s helped make that happen.
So good have you all been, you’ve helped me detach from naysayers, critics, disbelievers and those who don’t regard who I am or what I do.
Yes, #inside is the one word for this blog post.
Ironically published on the day when we don’t have to do that (keep it inside).
Time to Talk day is about mental health issues. Often issues we totally have locked up inside of us.
Now I’ve not had a terrible or punishing time in the past 3+ years but inside of me, it’s been tougher than some might realise. Doubts, credibility issues — a far cry from bi-polar or anxiety issues don’t get me wrong. A few confidence knocks might be the worst of it but it’s felt impairing somewhat.
But as it’s Time to Talk day I’m going to share that you don’t have to keep it inside of you. The whole idea of Time to Talk day is to let your thoughts out — however jumbled, or incoherent, you may think they are.
I keep a lot inside. I don’t let things I’m bothered about show; so others think I’m good, ok, fine whatever. So again, I’ve not had anything like the issues and challenges some people I know have faced (and many others I’ll never know have faced).
But people being hurtful, harsh, nasty, ostracising you and cutting you out, taking advantage, and resenting you or what you do is tough to take. For 3 years I’ve carried around stuff inside. It’s not been nice but it’s been there.
In between that, I’ve written a book. Something some people have been super kind and nice about; and others deafeningly unsupportive in their silence or barbed words. I kept a lot of that inside. Elation and hurt.
I’ve been all over the world with my work. And experienced some amazing people and places and felt enriched with different cultures and experiences of HR in all sorts of places. I shared it with some, but like to think I haven’t made a show of this. It’s not easy being away from home and duties of the caring side when it looks like you’re “swanning around”. It’s not easy, it’s nice but has its downsides. Which I kept, largely, inside.
I’ve helped a lot of people and clients. I’ve had a lot of successful projects (and a couple not so good or impactful) and I’ve chosen not to make a song and dance about it until now because it’s between me, the client and their impact.
Some people seem to think that because I don’t have a “real” job, my views or contributions to the HR profession are not that credible and all I do is speak at conferences, use buzzwords and have no evidence of impact. That hurts and I’ve kept that inside.
I’ve got clients who’ve won awards, changed their entire business and been really successful — but that’s about them not me, yet I’ve helped and I have a credible impact in many ways. Just because it might not be like the work you do, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. When you don’t believe I do any good it hurts. Inside. When I do good I celebrate. Inside.
I’ve also made it to Number 5 in HR Magazine’s HRs Most Influential Thinker list. I was so proud of this I had a deeply moving emotional reaction. Some people think lists like this are pointless, useless, biased and again, some people I thought believed in me were deafening in their lack of acknowledgement of this amazing accolade for a council-house boy from Northampton. When they did that, it hurt inside. When others were joyful for me, it moved me. Inside.
I have kept frustration, anger, disappointment, upset, joy, elation, success, achievements and much more inside. For a long time.
I don’t feel the need to show off, but it seems some people don’t see your credibility unless you have a showreel, stats, and lots of outward gushing from others.
Inside though, is where success and appreciation lies.
Inside is where you feel most at ease with the world.
Inside is also where you hide your darkest most troubled emotions.
Time to Talk is for people with really hard lots in life through mental ill health.
I’m NOT having it that bad. Yet, that people can be cruel doesn’t help me in anyway, and I’m sure some of that harshness might impact on others more than it does me.
Inside, there’s a lot of people hurting and people might be adding to that.
So be nice.
My Time to Talk advice is to sometimes keep some stuff inside of you. Because you really don’t know what your actions, words and deeds might be doing to others. Inside of them. Be more considerate. Less punitive. Less sarcastic. No more damning. Stop being hurtful and unkind.
Think more, inside yourself :
“Are my comments or actions kind?”
“Are my comments or actions helpful?”
And if they’re not, keep them inside you.
Time to Talk day is about destigmatising issues you may feel you have, about your mental wellbeing. Some of which could be caused by others. Time to Talk day is also (in my view) a chance to curtail hurtful ways that you could keep inside (of you) and not inflict them on others.
Because inside others, is where the real joy and pain lies.
Inside others is something you’ll not know enough about to understand if you’re causing pain.
Inside can be a marvellous place if we take more time to think, allowing others who need it, time to talk.