Manage Your Critic – Manage Your Stress

Following Mark, my husband’s heart attack on the 5th March we have had quite a lot to process. It took almost a week before all the shock and emotion poured out of my body and my mind. And yet just one week on we are both feeling stronger and more resourced.
It is times of crisis like this that I become even more grateful for the amount of people in my life, that can now listen to me without judgement.
I initially felt all kinds of feelings from guilt to failure. I found myself thinking things like:
Was it my fault for keep telling him if he keeps eating so much chocolate his heart would pack in?
I know logically how unreasonable that thought is and yet I was having those thoughts and without someone to talk to about how I felt could have resulted in those thoughts festering inside me.
I also thought it was my fault for leaving all the pressure on his shoulders to support our family financially while I grew my business. I know we agreed that my focus needed to be on the family and home support side of things but I did feel bad that I could not take the pressure off him more.
I started to question what might have happened had I been earning more sooner? What if ? What if?

Survival Mode 

My reptilian brain had kicked in, which was great when it came to taking control and being decisive about calling the ambulance but not so good for now in the aftermath of the situation. 
It took me a little while to really notice how much adrenaline was still pumping through my body. I started to notice how low I felt about everything. Even the things that usually bring me joy.  I started to doubt my ability to grow my business further, to finish the London to Paris ride, .. the list goes on. I was stuck in the what if ? and what was not working part of my brain.
I found myself trying to take all the pressure off Mark only to realise I had put it all on my shoulders. It got heavier and heavier as I attempted to keep it all inside and think it was all my responsibility.
Thanks to my network which are made up of family, friends and professional listeners I had people I could talk to and they were willing to listen to me without judgement.
When crisis hit our home I was able to gain the support I needed instantly because I was already attending groups and had connections in place that I could instantly tap into. I knew who could listen to what and I knew what kind of listening I needed. And bit by bit I have released the stress – gained clarity and now both Mark and I are confident of our next steps together.


Managing Crisis Without Support

All too often we try to manage on our own. I know I did 7 years ago when my daughter was self harming and would rather live on the streets than live with me.  As a family we were struggling, the only person I really felt able to talk to was Mark. But he was so entwined with the drama we kept each other stuck.
I was so ashamed of my failings and the tremendous guilt I felt for letting my daughter down I could not say it out loud. I didn’t know who to talk to.

What Is Working This Time

This time I have:
  • Talked
  • I have meditated – this on line programme was a life saver for me. When I was sat in the hospital corridor all alone waiting for Mark to come out of surgery and there was a little boy screaming as the Doctors tried to help I needed to zone everything out and focus on me. Being able to download and plug into this programme really helped. If you want to find out more click here.
  • I have kept a journal – free writing most mornings my thoughts without editing
  • I have stopped to listen to my own intuition.
  • When my closest family and friends didn’t make assumptions and simply asked what kind of support did I need? I let myself think about what I needed and asked for it.  I noticed letting go of trying to do it all. I noticed allowing family and friends to fetch things Mark needed, I allowed myself to go to a friends to sleep for an hour because her house was nearer to the hospital than mine. I let others clean my house, do the dishes and generally look after me so that I could look after Mark.
  • I have accepted what I can do today and accepted help that has always been there
  • Business appointments have been rearranged without guilt.
  • Through meditation or coaching I have trusted that the most important tasks would become obvious and I have focused on them and just taken it one day at a time. I am usually the one planning 18 months ahead, so this living in the moment was a new experience and I have to confess I quite liked it.

It is with this clarity and confidence that I have been able to spend time with Mark as he takes it easy and makes his way back to a full recovery. My priority has always been my family and yet sometimes the business consumed by every thought. And the business is vital to supporting us.

What about you? How are you managing stress right now?

 When I am working and living at my best. I am calm and focused on what generates income and nurtures relationships and I am proactive at keeping things at home ticking along too. Plus having time to train for the London to Paris bike ride in July and for fun time with family.
I want you to feel that I am here to support you. I am here to inspire you to create your own support network before you hit a crisis.
Our Facebook group click here ) is somewhere you can express your thoughts and you won’t be judged and we will hold that space for you to gain clarity.
Please complete these statements.
When I manage my critic I can ……………………
When you manage your critic then you can ……………
When we manage our critic then we can………….
I truly believe when we manage our critic we hear what is true and we make great decisions for us and the well being of those around us.
Sheryl – The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic

If you are struggling to be heard and understood and it is preventing you from doing your best work and living your best life then please do book a 30 minute call today with no obligation and I will happy set you up for success. I might be part of the solution you need and I might not but you will you know your next best step. Or you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here








About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detectivedetective-happy-smaller

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult when criticised even when she knew they meant well and found it difficult to respond rather than react. A series of 3 events in her personal life exaggerated her emotional overwhelm and forced her to address this problem and conquer her sensitivity to criticism. Today she shares every day stories of every day people and inspires you to discover ways to gain clarity and confidence to change the way feedback and criticism impacts your performance.

View all posts by Sheryl Andrews →

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