Have you have ever felt ‘burn out’, like you’re expected to “have it all”? Do you want to curb your anxiety and take back control of your life but don’t know where to start? We talked to Hannah Beko the founder and Director of Authentically Speaking who gives you her tips on how you can start making changes today.
House of Coco: What inspired the creation of Authentically Speaking?
Hannah: I decided to set up a speaking and training business in April 2016 after attending an introduction to coaching/personal development session for lawyers and bankers. I was already experiencing the power of self development in my own life and as a lawyer myself I felt I could bridge the gap between the theory and the practice.
The name came about as I realised I was learning more and more about myself and who I really was underneath the years of conditioning and “character armour” the legal profession provides us with.
I wanted it to reflect both my own journey to find my authentic voice when speaking and training but also to be a conduit for other professionals to re-discover their authentic path.
HoC: For our readers who feel burnt out, and there will be many, what is the first thing they can do today to take back control?
First you need to make a decision. Everything flows from there. If you decide that enough is enough and you will take steps to put yourself first and take care of yourself physically and mentally, then the rest follows. Until that point of realisation, nothing I teach will really take hold. Once a person has decided to prioritise their health and happiness, they can more easily decide what’s best for them.
Depending on the situation of the individual I would recommend meditation (and I teach a super simple method backed up by clinical trials) for a longer-term solution. Meditation won’t help in the immediate present, but over a period of 4-6 weeks can drastically improve burnout, exhaustion and fatigue.
If the person is feeling really overwhelmed and needs something in the moment, I use a great exercise with my clients that goes like this:
Step One – Stop and realise you are feeling overwhelmed.
Step Two – Take a pen and paper and dump out everything that you feel is on your plate, work and home related, everything that’s on your mind.
Step Three – be your own best friend. If your best friend was looking at this list, what would you tell them they really didn’t need to worry about. What can you ditch from the list completely? #
Step Four – What can you delegate to someone else. It might be a task at work, or at home. No one needs to do it as well as you do it, or as quick as you do it, but who could do that thing instead of you?
Step Five – Breathe, take a walk, have a cup of tea.
Step Six – With the remaining items on your list sort them into A, B and C. A is “I must absolutely do this today”. B is “it would be nice to get this done today”. C is “I could this today, or tomorrow, or maybe even next week”.
Hoc: What do you think stops women from taking action when they feel overwhelmed?
Hannah: I think it’s in part due to the “Superwoman Phenomenon”. Superwoman meets all the work deadlines, smashes the targets, manages the team, picks the kids up from school on time and cooks them a healthy dinner before reading them an educational bedtime story…
Superwoman is what we are all trying to be, or aspiring to be. She does everything herself because its quicker and easier that way. She wants to help and look after others not ask for help and support herself.
We need to learn that Superwoman is the cause of our overwhelm, burnout, anxiety and unhappiness. It’s perfectly okay not to be perfect. To ask for help and support and to accept it when it’s offered. It’s good to delegate and share the load.
In severe overwhelm, we are in a chronic stress state with high levels of the stress hormone. This affects our rational thinking, our decision making, makes us less able to focus and concentrate. In this stress reaction, making decisions and taking action becomes very difficult.
This is why I am such a fan of meditation. It reverses the stress reaction and increases a persons ability to focus, think clearly and make decisions.
HoC: You believe in a holistic approach to wellbeing, what does that mean for you and your clients?
Hannah: I believe in a holistic approach because of what I’ve learned for myself and my clients over the last few years. You can work on the body or the mind, but you need to include both. For example, you can talk through an issue you’re having, or something you might be feeling. But often that feeling or sense is trapped in the body, at the cellular level if you like and just talking about it doesn’t shift it.
Sometimes I work with clients who know they feel a certain way but can’t pin point why they feel it. They still want to move from that place. Working with the body helps them to do this when the mind might not have the answers. Our gut, our intuition, whatever you like to call it, is very powerful and in corporate especially we’re taught to rely on logic only and not gut feeling. We’ve been missing a really big trick!
HoC: What do you think are some of the challenges of running a coaching business in 2019?
Hannah: Following everyone else. Taking advice from everyone else. When we look at other coaching businesses around us it’s easy to feel that we aren’t achieving as much or do as well as the other person. You don’t know how long it has taken them to reach that point. I think people believe it will happen overnight and need to be ready to play the long game potentially with another source of income to take the pressure off the growing business.
HoC: What does a typical course of coaching with you look like?
There isn’t really a typical course of coaching, unless you count my group course. I run an online group course 3 times a year which is 8 weeks long and includes weekly training videos and fortnightly Q&A.
For individuals, I occasionally work on a long term basis of 3 months plus with weekly sessions but more recently people are opting for the more focused and targeted sessions which I do over half or a full day to give them a great start on making the changes / improvements they want to make in their life, business, career or relationships.
HoC: What piece of advice would you give to our readers who want to set up their own business?
Hannah: Like with many things having the confidence to forge your own path is so important to stand out as yourself and attract the clients you really want to work with.
Be kind to yourself, practice what you preach so that you are in integrity and take daily action even if it scares you. Ask for advice, but decide if it’s the right advice for you and your business.
HoC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in setting up your business?
Hannah: My mentor told me in late 2016 to “do the first one to get the first one done”. For me that was my very first happiness workshop. I absolutely loved it.
Although that workshop has been run in many ways the core content and message has never changed and its one of the main focuses of my business. Aligned to this is a message I try to give myself everyday “keep taking action”. Procrastination is the biggest problem out there for new business owners.
They take the next course or the next free training or simply keep getting “qualifications”. Nothing really happens until you take daily concerted action.