Earlier in the week I wrote about my tiredness and compared it to the strength of the SAS candidates I had been watching on Channel 4.

I was in the process of realising that tiredness is a state of mind that I choose or not.

However as much as I get in my own way, I was pondering on other people’s ability to chip and chisel away at my strength.

How much do you feel the wind being sucked out of your physiological sails when someone comments on how rough you look, on a day when you thought you were holding it together? In my new-dad role I have been amazed at the number of times people ask, with a hint of non-parental smugness, how well I’m sleeping, thereby helping me to focus on my tiredness instead of what I am still achieving.

This all made me wonder more generally how often we unthinkingly say things to make conversation that has a negative consequence.

Sometime it is quite deliberate – we comment on someone’s misfortunate circumstances in order to be glad that we are not living their lives. By comparison our own plight seems so much better and we can feel a bit brighter.

We can stop that immediately and gain our strength from other less anti-social means.

  • Stop and recognise all that you have accomplished recently, in the last month for example. Small things or big all count for the list. You could write an achievement list dating back to the beginning of memorable time if you want – it provides a good motivating force to realise what you have already been capable of.
  • Be mindful of all the good things that are around you. One of my coachees has been posting #smileaday pictures and the impact is wider than simply themself as we all view their Instagram posts. IF you’re more a words person then write them down, for example in a journal.
  • Remind yourself of your ‘why’ – what is the purpose behind your job or life vision? Who benefits, and what are the positives that outweigh today’s light momentary afflictions?

However, sometimes the results of our words cause unforeseen wounds as we caringly question people about their situation. With enough emotional intelligence at work though we can see that our concern if reopening the wounds and dragging them back down into the miry clay. We can stop. Change the subject and talk about football. Or shopping. Or Trainspotting.

If we want to work well with the people around us, they need to help us in any way possible when we are struggling, but w can get  our reciprocation in early and help them first.

Be like the SAS – however tough and foul-mouthed they look and feel, when you watch them in action (allbeit Channel4-sanitised), their team ethic is huge. They inspire each other to keep going and say things that will motivate not crush. Fighters they are, but not anti-social soldiers.