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Project Slippers Volume 3.0 Part D

It’s time for Part D of Project Slippers Volume 3.0, and we do seem to be making progress….

We’re not in a place of normality yet, and indeed, I’m not sure I remember was ‘pre-Covid normal’ was even like, so Project Slippers continues for a little while longer….

Part D starts with a winning instalment, and celebrates some exciting wins, care of Kieran, the new Apprentice.

I then talk about being battered and bruised… I won’t ruin the story by telling you anymore here, so zip down to week 17 to find out what I’ve been up to!

It’s then onto a blog about the difference a week makes, then onto a post about the importance of mental health, which tied into Mental Health Awareness week.

We end on a treat, and a very exciting moment in the lockdown release measures…

We’re apparently on track for all lockdown measures to be removed on 21st June, but I’m not making any plans, just in case it all changes again.

 

Volume 3, Week 16 - Week Ending 23/04/2021 - "Winning!"

It’s been a week of wins this week…

Kieran, the new Digital Apprentice, has already attended his first Masterclass, completed his first assignments, and this week, he had feedback on those assignments. We were both nervous. I was aware of the amount of effort he’d put into the exercises, so I really wanted him to get a positive result.

And I’m pleased, and very proud to say, the feedback was excellent. In fact, the Coach commented about the “professional and high quality” outputs.

Well done, Kieran!

The second win came in the form of website updates. In recent weeks, clients had kindly sent me testimonials of the support I have given them, and I had planned to add them to the website, but I hadn’t got around to doing it. Not enough hours in the day as the saying goes!

So, this week, after learning the necessary skills, Kieran updated the website with the testimonials, and also published a blog post that I had written, but again, never got around to publishing.

Check them out here:

https://akenoadventure.co.uk/the-magic-of-mentoring/

https://akenoadventure.co.uk/testimonials/

Kieran doing these website updates meant I could cross items off MY list, which was definitely a win! (Those who know me, know how much I genuinely enjoy crossing items off my list!)

Thank you Kieran!

And it seems wins come in threes, because this week I also hosted the first in a series of career masterclasses with John Niland from the Self Worth Academy.

The session was well-received, and attended by over 50 people, which was wonderful. I’m looking forward to the next one, which is being held on the 18 May. If anyone would like more information on the masterclass, feel free to let me know anytime.

Thank you to all that came along!

And talking of winning, I came across this quotation recently, which sums it up a treat….

 

Volume 3, Week 17 - Week Ending 30/04/2021 - "Battered & Bruised”

This week I look like I have been bopped on the nose by a boxer…

 

Or that I have stepped on a rake, which had clocked me in the face….

But it’s ok, I haven’t upset someone, it was intentional….

At the end of last week, I had an operation on my nose. Due to the nature of the operation, I was left with a splint on my nose and black eyes! The operation itself went well, and the bruising was expected, so I had cleared my diary of any video calls to save the embarrassment of being seen looking so awful!

However, by Monday afternoon, I was itching. Not physically itching, but itching for some of this new normality we find ourselves in. A new normality that sees us being able to ‘jump on a Zoom’ and discuss something with all the hand gestures and facial expressions that you’d get from a physical meeting.

So, on Tuesday morning, I joined a call and after a quick explanation about my operation, turned on the camera to have my discussion with a client. He didn’t recoil in horror, and in fact, we were able to have a little mutual chuckle about my appearance and immediately got on with the job. By the afternoon, I was back in the flow of jumping on video calls when I was needed, and I had mastered my quick explanation about my appearance - I didn’t want people to think I’d been in an accident, or worse still, beaten up!

I still took it much easier than a usual week though - on doctor’s orders. Although I felt better than expected, I was reminded by my medical team that I’d had a serious operation under general anaesthetic, and I really did need to take it a bit easier than normal….

As preparation for writing this instalment, I took a few minutes to consider why I was happy with joining a video call whilst looking so poorly. After all, I normally pride myself on looking smart, whether working at home or in an office!

The answer?

Satisfaction.

I’m really satisfied with my work, with my network, and my colleagues, and with the value I bring to my clients (regardless of how I look!), and all of this is underpinned by a solid foundation of self-worth.

It doesn’t matter that I look like I’ve been bopped by a boxer; I’m happy to have a chuckle about the situation, which in turn puts my virtual guests at ease, and we can get straight to the purpose of the meeting.

What fascinated me most though, was how quickly I missed the video calls. Lockdown has normalised video calls and has probably accelerated the normalisation of remote working by at least 5 years, if not more. And of course, video calls and remote working also meant I was able to get straight back to the work after the operation, albeit not quite firing on all cylinders. If I had been in the old world of commuting to client sites, I would certainly have needed to take the entire week off.

Right, talking of doctor’s orders, it’s time for me to rest again, so have a great weekend….

 

Volume 3, Week 18 - Week Ending 07/05/2021 - "What A Difference A Week Makes"

Dinah Washington might've sung about what a difference a day makes, but for me, it's what a difference a week makes.

Last week, I was writing this update with a splint on my nose and black eyes, after an operation, and I felt as though I'd lost a fight with a professional boxer!

This week though, the splint is off, the stitches are out, the bruises have faded, the pain killers have stopped, and I feel much better!

So, what do you think the moral of my story's going to be this week?

The magic of medicine?

Yep, that goes without saying, but it's actually the power of trusting in professionals, and how we build that trust.

I put my trust in an entire team of professionals when I agreed to have the operation. I wasn't sure if I even needed it. Other people had told me I didn’t, but I listened to the professionals because I trusted them.

I was lucky enough to be able to choose my surgeon, and how do you think I selected him?

It was in the same way we choose a hotel when we book a holiday or decide what restaurant to go to; I researched online, and I even read reviews and testimonials!

It meant I was satisfied with the surgeon's capability, and I trusted him and his judgement.

And I'm glad I did, as he's clearly done a great job for me to be recovered so quickly!

Testimonials and reviews are so important when it comes to making a purchase or an important decision, which is why I'm grateful to my clients who have taken the time to leave me a review.

Here's what they've had to say:

https://akenoadventure.co.uk/testimonials/

https://www.akeno.co.uk/testimonials

 

Volume 3, Week 19 - Week Ending 14/05/2021 - "Mental Health Matters”

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, so I decided to make mental health the topic of this week's post; not because I'm struggling with my mental health (thankfully), but because so many people have experienced, or are experiencing, challenges with their own mental health, and a global pandemic hasn't helped!

Kieran created a graphic this week, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week:

 

I particularly liked the words on the side of the building in the image:

"How are you, really?"

Not just the usual "how's things", but a more sincere, "how are you, really?"

In this strange and difficult world, we find ourselves in (thanks to, but not exclusively because of, the Global pandemic), it's important that we check in with people around us. It can be really tough to speak out unprompted, but sometimes being asked, helps to unlock our ability to talk.

A key turnaround for my own mental health struggles was when I learned about the importance of self-worth. The best way I can describe self-worth is like the roots of the tree. Having strong roots mean when the challenges or doubts come and shake the branches of your tree, your strong roots of self-worth help you to stand firm. You might wobble sometimes, but you soon right yourself. Self-esteem is like a tree without roots. When the challenges come, it's all too easy for the tree to topple.

In fact, the strong roots of self-worth inspired this piece of art I have on the wall in my office:

 

And self-worth hasn't just helped my mental health, it's helped my business too. If you're interested to find out more, feel free to book a complimentary discovery session:

https://akenoadventure.co.uk/discovery-session/

If you're struggling with your mental health, please reach out for support. Speak to a friend, a family member, a work colleague, or a professional. Here are some links that may help:

https://mentalhealth-uk.org/

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/nhs-voluntary-charity-services/nhs-services/

https://www.rethink.org/

 

Volume 3, Week 20 - Week Ending 21/05/2021 - "What A Treat”

It’s been a very exciting week this week…

I’ve been out for a meal….

INDOORS….

....WITH a FRIEND....

....who is NOT in my bubble!

WHAT.A.TREAT!

(And yes, that did require all of the capital letters!)

It’s amazing how this global pandemic has taught us to appreciate the simplest things in life. 15 months ago, I would’ve thought nothing of going for a meal with a friend, and I certainly wouldn’t have considered sitting outdoors in the cold like we’ve had to for the last month or so!

So, this week, meeting a friend (indoors!) for a midweek meal, and a lovely natter was a genuine delight. We were still cautious in terms of contact (better to be safe than sorry), but it was really lovely nonetheless. 

However, the next phase of lockdown release - which was due to take place on 21st June and was intended to bring back ‘normal’ life - is at risk due to a new strain of the COVID virus that seems to be spreading quickly.

So, who knows what the next few weeks will look like as we enter June…

Rather than worry about the future though, I’ve decided not to plan anything (no plans means no disappointment if things change!), and instead, I’m going to be grateful for, and embrace, everything we CAN do right now, rather than worry about what we CAN’T do.

At least that’s the intention! Although, if this rain carries on much longer, it'll be difficult to embrace! Some sunshine would certainly make this lack of freedom to travel an easier pill to swallow!