Don't be afraid to ask for help, writes Niamh Ennis
God but Instagram is a noisy place right now. Come 8pm each night now the notifications start jumping out of my phone with the amount of people doing ‘lives’.
So many are doing them, that I’m left wondering who is actually out there listening to them? Now I’m not having a go, I do them myself, but it’s the notable evidence of how quickly we have all had to re-organise our lives and be online in ways we hadn’t really thought about before this pandemic.
The biggest part of me thinks ‘thank god we had this alternative marketplace’ to jump on to. I honestly can see that having a place for people to present their businesses, their services and their offers is such a positive thing, whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.
Yes, I know that the negative aspects to social media are already well documented, but we also need to acknowledge the positive opportunities it is giving people in business right now. For many right now it’s a lifeline.
Equally, it is helping people to connect with one another at a time when they need it most. Physical distancing is correctly being insisted upon and online gatherings are therefore being welcomed and encouraged.
Whether it’s WhatsApp, Facetiming or Google Hangouts we can all do something now to enable us to talk to our friends and our families. Just be sure to stay on top of it!
This connection is critical. The added beauty of this is, if someone starts to bother or trigger you, you can always claim a faulty connection and hit the disconnect button– oops, sorry, not sorry!
I lost each of the people that were closest to me in a short period a little over 10 years ago
There are ways that we can all adapt now to what is slowly becoming our new normal, our new reality. We are all struggling in our own way and at different times. The peaks and troughs, in time, will also become part of our everyday routine and that’s okay. It’s totally natural given everything that we are trying to process.
When I feel myself slipping into that negative zone, I remind myself that I know change very well.
Change has not been kind to me.
I lost each of the people that were closest to me in a short period a little over 10 years ago. I was left alone in the world and honestly felt broken. I grieved, for quite a while, and then as I was gradually beginning to heal, I remember acknowledging that all that had happened to me was change that I couldn’t control and I asked ‘Imagine what I could do with the change I was able to control’?
And so it began. I left my permanent and pensionable job and a career of over 25 years. I took time out and moved to Spain for a year while I tried to figure it all out. I created space for the sadness and it came.
But the answers also came in that quietness.
I knew I needed to take this opportunity to change where I was going and what I wanted to do with my life. I started to listen to myself, to what it was I was interested in, what lit me up, what excited me. I kept asking myself who do I want to become at the end of all of this?
The message kept coming to me, to use all of these experiences, all the lessons I had learned, the tools I gathered along the way and share these with others.
This began to take shape in the form of Coaching and Mentoring and I knew that this was my calling.
I retrained and am now fully qualified and accredited in Personal, Leadership, Executive and Life Coaching. I have spent the last four years working with hundreds of women who were learning to live with change – some had chosen change and some had had change forced on them.
Together we navigated the change, and subsequent transformation, that this brought about.
I know it sounds a little twee when people tell you that they have found their calling. Well, I’m sorry to add to this, because in my work as a Change and Transformation Coach I am very certain that I found mine.
Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than accompanying these women on their own journey of change. I love to share the tools, the practices, the practical steps, the Mindset techniques – everything I know that helps with adapting to change. Everything that helped me.
I believe now more than ever that this is definitely the work I was sent here to do. I not only enjoy it but I humbly declare that I’m damned good at it too!
Some of us take longer than others to process things initially, to accept the inevitable
I say all this, not to big up myself, but to show that in times of change we eventually find our stride. Some of us take longer than others to process things initially, to accept the inevitable, but with a little bit of support and a lot of faith in ourselves we can adapt to most things.
This is an exceptional time. None of us can draw on evidence of having come through an experience like this one before, but in time I believe we will start to see that behind the worry and the inevitable concern for our well-being – physical, mental and financial – we will come through this.
Our government are putting so many structures in place to help us all and this gives me great confidence, but also remember the support that exists all around you.
Your family, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, your community and your tribe — they all want to help you. All you have to do is ASK.
So that’s my message for you today. Ask for help.
Share your worries and your concerns, let them out. If you keep them to yourself they will fester and will make themselves felt somehow.
Ask those close to you to listen so that you can feel heard. We all deserve that.
Allow yourself to be supported. Give yourself permission to ask.
And in return, also offer to be the person that others may want to share with. Ask those around you how they are doing and can you help them?
Scientifically, we know that when we help others it helps us. It also helps to get us outside of our own heads and our own lives.
As the saying goes, “be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it”.
Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Transformation Coach, www.niamhennis.com, working with women who are adapting to major changes in their lives.
She has just launched THE NEW YOU – a four-week programme designed to support those who are considering making their passion their business and creating a business online.
Read more: 'I lost the 3 most important people in my life in a matter of years. This is what it taught me about the grieving process'
Read more: How I learned to stop being a people-pleaser (and how you can too)
Read more: How I finally learned how to set boundaries and say no