We talked about this horrible feeling of ‘blah’ way back in 2021, mid pandemic, when it became the coined name for what so many of us were feeling. A miserable mid-point between fed up and down and out depression but you couldn’t quite put your finger on what to call it.
Languishing was the buzzword we needed.
If you still have this feeling hanging over you you’re probably feeling more than a little bit meh.
Muddling through a week? Everything lost its shine? Lost your get up and go?
Maybe you just don’t bounce out of bed like you used to, or you do have energy, but just not in the same way. You know it’s not a feeling of ‘all is lost’ because you don’t feel hopeless, but you might feel like all the fun is being sucked out of stuff and you’ve just lost your general sense of direction.
Organisational Psychologist, Adam Grant called languishing the ‘neglected middle child of mental health’ in his NY Times article. We think that name is just perfect!
So, we spent time thinking about this and decided to focus this article on how to help you move forward from this dreadful fun-removing feeling.
We want to help you flourish.
So, what does it mean to flourish, and how is it different from languishing?
The way we look at it is if languishing is at one end of the road, the other far end is flourishing. When you languish you can feel disinterested, have a loss of focus and feel a little bit disconnected.
At the other end of that road is those who are flourishing and they’re experiencing engagement and joy in what they are doing. Flourishing can be said to feel like a sense of being connected to your life, your day to day and even towards the relationships you have, and the job you do.
When you flourish, you’ve got bags of energy and, more importantly, the will to do something with it. You’ll feel like you have direction and the courage to get on, do it and take ownership of your mental health and how you feel.
We did some research and found Dr. Martin Seligman. His research on flourishing says the best way to move from languish to flourish is using something called the PERMA model. Dr Seligman developed PERMA as an acronym to help him share the elements of what leads to flourishing.
We all have something that does it for us. Running each day, a comedy movie, time with family & friends, gardening or getting down to DIY. There is something in all of us that ticks the engage button. Whatever it is, do more of it as it builds your energy, passion and of course your engagement levels.
It’s often easy to let relationships drift when you languish, but in fact we need to reach out more, make contact, make new friends, start new conversations and network. Set yourself the challenge to start one new conversation each week and watch the confidence start to flourish with each interaction.
Make good choices with the work you are doing. We all need purposeful work, so make sure that even if not everything you do contains it, at least one thing each day has a meaning. Try planning for the future too, it’s a sure-fire way to get you to focus on something that is out of the here & now.
Set some small attainable goals, perhaps even using some of the tips we’ve given you above. Make sure to focus on what you have done and reward accomplishments. Rewarding yourself for getting things done helps you move from languish to flourish. The more you do it, the further down the road you move towards the land of flourish-ville.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you liked this article and it’s inspired you to leave languishing behind then share it with others to help them and get out there and start your PERMA actions to change.
At We Are BRAVE we’re full of useful insights that can help you, your teams and your business reach its potential. Get in touch to see what we can do for you.
I’m Alex Manners. I’m proud to be an Asperger’s Champion, a motivational speaker, TV & radio presenter & author. I’m focused, determined and have a lust for life. I consider myself lucky to have Asperger’s because I believe it will be the catalyst that allows me to “pursue my passions” and achieve my dreams!
I present talks on “My Life Living with Asperger’s” to many different companies, law firms, universities, schools and autism groups. I have presented talks to places such as Coca Cola, Linklaters, Viacom, Zurich Insurance and the Autism Shows across the UK. I have also written many articles and had many TV & Radio interviews on my Asperger’s, Presented my own children’s radio show for two years, have started my own “Autism & Football” campaign, appeared on series 10 & 11 of “The Undateables” on Channel 4 and written my own book.
Presenting live talks
Presenting talks in in front of hundreds of people would be daunting for most individuals! My grandma once said that she would not be able to eat for a week if she had to present a live talk. However, I absolutely love presenting talks all about my Asperger’s, whether online or face to face. I am never nervous and like to look upon this ability as one of my ‘Asperger’s Superpowers’.
I was diagnosed with Asperger’s when I was 10 years old and have been presenting talks all about “My Life Living with Asperger’s” for the past three or four years. Before covid hit the UK I had never presented an online talk before. Suddenly that was about to change.
Online v face to face
At first, I found working online a challenge as I missed meeting people, travelling the UK and going on adventures. One of the most difficult things was that I could not see the reactions of people during a talk. I could therefore not gauge how a talk was going until the end. If I am being honest, I was only presenting talks online due to covid so I was in a pretty stressful place anyway.
Now I am presenting nearly all of my talks online and I have grown to love working in this way. Firstly, I can reach lots more people from all over the world. I am not limited to how many people can fit in a room so can essentially speak to as many people as I like. When presenting face to face talks, I can only fit one or maybe two in a day due to the logistics of travel. Now I can present up to five talks a day. I can also work from home, in my own office, in an environment totally suited to my needs.
Travel and public transport
However, the best thing about working online is that I don’t have to travel. Traveling can be the most challenging part about my work. What happens if one of my trains is delayed or what do I do if I lose my ticket. These are just some of the worries I have. Also, lots of people with Asperger’s struggle in busy environment and with certain sounds and smells. So, not having all of these travel worries is fantastic.
When presenting an online talk, I always make sure that I log in 10-15 minutes early. This gives me time if something goes wrong. I also ensure that I have a spare laptop, phone or device I can use should my main laptop stop working. My biggest worry Is always with the Wi-Fi. Luckily, I have never had a problem with my Wi-Fi yet during a talk. Our neighbours have a different internet provider and they have very kindly agreed that should our Wi-Fi stop working I can always go and work or present a talk in their house. So, having back up plans is really important.
When I am travelling to a venue by train, I always ensure that I get the train before the one I need. It is better to arrive early than be worried about being late! Another thing I always do, is print off any tickets. This is encase I have no Wi-Fi on my phone or my phone runs out of battery. I also print of my directions and times of each train. What I try to do is minimise an many possible problems as I can.
When I am presenting a talk, I always pretend that I am speaking to my parents in the living room. If there is something or someone I am familiar with then I can always focus on them during my talk. I also ensure that I can always see a clock. This helps me to dictate the timings of my talk.
What if you deliver a training session and a delegate has Asperger’s?
When you are speaking to somebody with Asperger’s there are a few things that you can do. Explain things in as much detail as you can, avoid using any idioms, phrases or sarcasm, give them more time to answer a question and don’t worry if they are not giving you any eye contact. Also, if you are asking them questions then closed questions are always better for us than open questions.
Always have a quiet space that the individual can use if they need a short break or if they become a little stressed. Adapting the environment is also very important. So, if they don’t like sitting near a clock due to the ticking noise then allow them to sit further way from the clock. If you know this individual will be present before the training starts, then send them over as much information about the training as you can beforehand. Include the structure of the session and any photos of the room or location. When sending over this information, it may be a good time to ask them about any adjustments that can be made to help them on the day.
Whilst having Asperger’s can be a challenge, it is also something that I look upon as a positive. Being able to start my own business and present talks in front of large audiences is definitely two of those positives or ‘Asperger’s Superpowers’. I never feel nervous speaking in front of large numbers of people and am very brave to be able to share my story to educate and inspire others. I also feel extremely lucky to have been able to manage my Asperger’s over the past 25 years. Because Asperger’s is a lifelong condition it will continue to pose many challenges. But those positive elements are the things I like to focus on every day. If I did not have Asperger’s, then I would not be Alex Manners.
If you want to achieve something in life and have the drive, determination and ‘never give up’ attitude, then I believe you can achieve anything.
Want to learn more about me or Asperger’s?
Grab a copy of my book, “That’s Not Right! My Life Living with Asperger’s” on Amazon in paperback or kindle.
Well Prepared Training was born 6 years ago and over that time has successfully designed and delivered incredible learning & development, coaching and bespoke solutions for our clients. Our ethos has always been BRAVE and to ensure people feel that way after working with us.
Everything we did helped us realise we had something really unique when it came to our BRAVE programme. We knew that the beating heart of our business was bringing back the ‘art of disagreement’.
We spent the last couple of years paying close attention to the shifting dynamics in the wider world including social, economical, cultural and political changes. We started to see recurring themes and patterns which reinforced our belief. Now was the time to change.
We listened closely to our clients & our delegates for their feedback and they also told us loud & clear that it was increasingly hard to get people to discuss different opinions, without falling out. Our offer couldn’t just be about resolving conflict, it had to offer more, be wider, be broader and all encompassing for a business.
We evolved. We embraced our core principles and reinvented our mission, vision and values.
We have become We Are BRAVE
What was always our ethos has quite simply become our company name, influencing everything that we do.
We’ve reshaped our business around the 4 key principles of BRAVE. Our offer is enhanced, refocused and ready to help you and your people say ‘we can do the hard things’. You’ll learn about THINK, SPEAK, DECIDE and DISAGREE along with BRAVE and KIND.
We hope you love what we’ve worked on, we’re very proud to invite you to learn more at www.wearebrave.co.uk