This episode is with Rachel Maunder, Rachel works with people who want to learn how to craft their stories for speaking, helping them to find and craft their stories for greater engagement, and ultimately, more business. She believes we all have a story that we all sit on a mountain of extraordinary ordinary everyday stories that illustrate a point that you’re wanting to make, they are every bit as valuable as those other bigger stories. She shares how she found her authentic self after comparing herself to her sister for many years and some great tips on how she flourishes in life.
“I was only four years old. Because literally in those days, you started school in the term in which you were going to turn five, and I’m a June baby. So I started after Easter. So I’d only been there two or three weeks. And I was enjoying it, you know, I was the third of three children. So I was more than ready to go to school when it was my turn. But what happened was, I know this doesn’t happen in schools now. But our toilet block at the primary school was out in the playground. So if you needed to go from the classroom, you would have to go out of the building on your own to the loo block and make your way back in. And so after I came out of the loo block, I looked around and there was nobody about; not even the caretaker. And I just thought, ‘I could go home. Who’s going to stop me’. And off I went. And the point that I tell that story to illustrate is that as a four-year-old seeing an opportunity, I didn’t give a single thought to the fact that I had four roads to cross. It was a 10-minute walk from the store to my house with four roads to cross. I didn’t even think – Would my mum be at home or not, which she wasn’t. I didn’t think about how worried people would be or that my class teacher may or may not get into trouble for not keeping a close enough eye on me. I didn’t give any of that a thought. And my point was that as we get older, particularly as women, I think we start to put all those blocks in of maybe I shouldn’t because I might get run over? Or what would I do if my mum’s not at home? So yeah, that’s the little story that I tell and I tell loads of little things like that. They’re inconsequential.“
“So it’s a long time ago, I was living on the outskirts of London, working for one of the Inner-London Boroughs. I loved my job, was living in my own flat that I had recently bought. I had a very busy social life. So on the surface, everything was absolutely fine. And I was really surprised to wake up on a Monday morning, feeling, I can’t get out of bed today. And I’m not somebody that’s prone to that kind of feeling at all, it really took me by surprise. And I knew that therefore, it was something a bit different, but I didn’t quite understand what it was. And I somehow knew intuitively that it wasn’t just a day off that I needed. I needed, maybe a week or whatever. So I phoned the office and spoke to my line manager who happened to be a woman, and I don’t know what the rules are now. But at the time, you could self-certify for up to eight days. I think it was and she said, Well, what do you think is wrong? I said, Well, I just feel absolutely exhausted. I don’t know what it is, I just can’t come in. And she was surprised because as I say, that’s not something that people expect from me or that I did either. Then she took her line managers hat off for a moment and said, Rachel, I would just advise you, if you are taking time off for something that is essentially emotional or a mental health issue, that you go and see a doctor so that if anything comes back on this, you have been to a doctor and taken it seriously, which was the furthest thing from my thoughts, to be honest. But I thought okay, well, I better take her advice. So I did luckily for me, I think because I saw it as a tick box exercise really to have been to see the doctor because I thought oh, he’s probably going to offer me some antidepressants or something which I absolutely do not need or want to take. But actually, what he said was what are you hoping I can do for you? So I was so taken aback by that I said, Well, I was hoping you might be able to refer me for some counseling, which is what happened. You had to wait a little while to get that counseling appointment. I was living in London at the time and working for the London Borough of Southwark, which is where the Maudsley hospital is so in a sense, it was our local hospital, but that kind of freaked me out a little bit because in the south of England, the Maudsley hospital is one of the major psychiatric units. It’s literally across the road from King’s College Hospital. So it’s a big teaching psychiatric hospital, but it kind of freaked me out that that’s where I was going for these counseling sessions. But so I went along, went to my first session, and didn’t know what to expect. I had never been for anything like that before and just sat there for a while. And there was the counselor plus he had a student sitting with him, and they didn’t say anything. And I thought, well, this is a bit weird. So eventually, I said, Are you expecting me to start? And he said, Are you expecting something else? Anyway, in the end, and I don’t know where this came from, it was the first time it had even come into my head. But I heard myself saying yes, I am absolutely exhausted from trying to be like my sister. And that really took me aback. So my sister is two and a half years older than me, we are very, very good friends and very, very close and kind of always have been, but she was always a sweet, kind, gentle person. I was a bit more feisty, a bit more of a go-getter. A bit more outspoken. I was the sporty one, all of that stuff. And my dad used to nickname me, I don’t know why as Hard Annie. He used to call me Hard Annie. And it was certainly in his eyes that I felt I fell very short of those qualities that my sister had, and everybody loved my sister. She was always nice, whereas you know, sometimes I could perhaps be a little bit awkward as a teenager because I would come out and say what I thought was cool. She never really did that. I guess she knew when to be quiet as well because it wasn’t that she necessarily thought any differently from me, particularly on politics and things like that, but she knew it wasn’t worth the squeeze as it were to say it. So that whole episode kind of started me on my journey to find who I was, I suppose, because what I realised through those counseling sessions was that I didn’t need to be like my sister. I was fine as I was. And I understand that on an intellectual level. And of course, there is that lovely quote saying you can only be you because everybody else has taken. But you know, it’s an ongoing journey.”
“This is why I suppose bullying is something that can be so damaging in terms of mental health, it can stay with us and impact our confidence for many years to come. It may not be intentional, and it may depend on where our mindset is, at that time when we were a child as to whether we interpret it as something that is deemed to be bullying or not, or whether it’s deemed to be just something that we are very sensitive to.”
“I suppose it’s this whole curiosity about why we are as we are. The first thing I wanted to study when I was doing my A’ levels was psychology. So I’ve always had this interest in what makes us different. I didn’t in the end study psychology as such, but my first proper job, if you like, was working with juvenile offenders out of curiosity about what it is that goes on that makes a child become an offender. So there was all of that. But on the back of that, I then trained and became a counselor, and then became a coach. So always that thing of wanting to help people explore why they are as they are was there. And then as coaching came more into my life, I don’t think it was any accident.”
“Counselling, if you like, looks back to see why we are as we are, whereas coaching looks forward from where we are, and how we are going to get where we want to get. And when you’re busy with young children in particular, actually, we haven’t got time to look back and worry about why we’re in this pickle that we’re in, it’s like, how are we going to get out of it, we went forward. And it kind of really reflected where I was in my own life in that sense. Also, of course, when you look back on the counseling thing it has more of a pathology with it. Whereas coaching is, it doesn’t have that stigma, if you like, which, sadly, is still around for some people, although I think it’s improving massively, but I think there is still a little bit of a stigma in some people’s minds around counseling and the mental health treatments.”
“I moved to work with women in the industries and professions where they’re underrepresented at leadership, again, wanting women to step up and be on an equal plate with the men never about wanting, you know, men pushed sideways or anything because I could always see the balance between the masculine energy and the feminine energy, but just really wanting women to be the best they could be.”
“It is your story that makes you ‘you’ and when you share your story, and this is the same for you. And for every listener to this episode, when you share your story, somebody else needs to hear it and they will make a change in their life. Because they’ll identify with what you say. That change might only be a tiny, tiny little step, but who knows where that can take you, what that can trigger and where it leads to. So yeah, it is all about being that authentic. You be proud of your story because it will help somebody else.
“I’m a Gemini, and therefore I can always see the other side of a situation, which mostly is a huge blessing and a huge asset, I think. But it can be a curse because sometimes my friends don’t want to look at the other person’s side of things when they’re upset with somebody. Therefore my message would always be there’s always another way of looking at a situation. So whether that’s about what was going on for somebody when they said something really hurt or did something really hurt for or whether it’s a situation where you feel you’re up against a wall, there’s always that question, How else could I see this? What else? You know, what else could I do to get myself out of this? So that I think has served me really, really well.”
“The other thing is something that I used to say to my kids, particularly regarding education and job applications was keep saying yes until you get to a stage where you need to give a no because who knows what opportunities keep coming as a result of that.”
“I think certain books resonate with us at certain times, don’t they? It’s a little bit like that saying, the right teacher appears when we’re ready to learn the lesson.”
Focus on Why Podcast with Amy Rowlinson
The Athena network. https://www.instagram.com/athenawarks
The professional speaking Association. https://www.thepsa.co.uk/
The road less traveled by M. Scott Peck https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Less-Travelled-Arrow-New-Age/dp/0099727404
Becoming by Michelle Obama https://www.amazon.co.uk/Becoming-Michelle-Obama-ebook/dp/B079Z661B7
Rachel works with people who want to learn how to craft their stories for speaking, helping them find and craft their stories for greater engagement and ultimately more business.
Originally thinking she didn’t have a story to share, Rachel gradually came to see the value in her own story and in ordinary everyday stories. An experienced coach and trainer, she has developed her unique and simple StoryCRAFT process to help others do the same.
She is an active member of the PSA (Professional Speaking Association continually works to develop her own skills both as a speaker and a coach.
CONNECT WITH RACHEL
Details of Rachels online program Story Telling Made Simple, which follows the Storycraft process: https://www.rachelmaunder.com/story-telling-made-simple
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.maunder.73/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rachelmaunderstorycoach
ABOUT THE HOST
Emma Last is a qualified Mental Health and Wellbeing Trainer and Coach. She has co-written both the First Aid Industry body’s accredited First Aid for Mental Health and Wellbeing training for Adults in the workplace and those working with children.
Emma also has over 20-years, experience in leading teams and developing strategies for change. She worked in senior leadership for a large corporate until early 2018, when she came to a turning point in her career due to being on the brink of burnout and wanted to gain more of a balance in her life. She then rebooted her life and founded her company Progressive Minds.
Emma also works with workplaces and schools on their Mental Health and Wellbeing strategies and provides training and coaching to support employees through challenging and changing times. Emma also works with individuals to help them to perform at their best by working on their mental fitness, which incorporates stress/burnout prevention and resilience and agility development through her Human Reboot Movement Coaching Programme. Her clients say they have become more mentally fit, happier and gain the results they want in their lives.
Her Human Reboot podcast achieved number 22 in the Mental Health category in Mental Health Awareness week. She is a #1 best selling author on Amazon
CONNECT WITH EMMA LAST
Find free resources, training and more info at https://linktr.ee/EmmaLast
If would like to find out how you can improve your wellbeing and results in your business or to find out more about my Rapid Resilience reboot book a free call https://schedulingEmmaLast.as.me/30min
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the host and guest speakers. Please conduct your own due diligence.