Welcome to AndreaFisher.com.au
Hello and welcome.
My name is Andrea Fisher and I am a qualified social worker, counsellor and trainer based in Shepparton, Victoria.
On this website you will find information about my services and also find some informational resources and products that can help you with stress management and relaxation.
Reaching Beyond Adversity
It is easy to believe that you can’t Reach Your Potential because of some adversity that may have happened in your life. You may have experienced a significant loss early in life such as the death of a loved one or major disruption through divorce of your parents. Many people will remember having to move house as a child and having to leave friends behind, and possibly the difficult time you had in re-establishing a friendship group in your new location.
I have worked with many clients who have been unfortunate enough to have been abused as children through physical, emotional or sexual abuse. This has obviously left significant scars and has resulted in the person concerned needing or choosing to seek individual supportive therapy to work through the impact of these issues. They will never know what life might have been like if they had not experienced this trauma or adversity early in life. Recent scientific research is showing that the development of the brain can be significantly impaired by early childhood trauma. But the good news is the neuro-plasticity of the brain allows repair work to be done through positive experiences and personal relationships later in life. It would be easy for the individual to give up and say that it is all too hard, and they will always be “like this”.
But this attitude means the challenging situation or adverse situation can become an excuse, not a reason for never quite making the highest standard you would love to set for yourself. It could be the excuse for never taking on a new experience where we do not have total confidence that we will succeed. It could prevent you from learning a new skill which could open a whole new set of doors in life.
Trying a new thing is uncomfortable by its very nature. A challenge is a challenge for that very reason. It takes us beyond our comfort zone and into the area of risk, where we may fail. But if we don’t experience some failure or lack of success, then we probably are not trying hard enough. There are very few new skills that everybody gets right the first time. Trying a new experience and not making it teaches valuable things. Discovering you hate a new experience is a valuable thing to learn. I vividly remember trying to learn to ski with spectacular lack of success. I tried a few more times, continuing to fail to master the skills required for me to even look mediocre on the slopes! Eventually I chose to pursue other interests but the experience was invaluable in helping me decide where my interests really lay and to understand why I thought I should try.
Most of us have watched young children start to take their first steps. None of them ever have complete success on the first attempt, beyond one, two or maybe three steps. The child invariably falls over and possibly cries. But parents don’t say “You can’t do that so don’t try again.” They pick the child up, encourage them to try again and continue to do so into the future. Eventually they learn to walk, and then to run! So it is with us as adults.
Marie Forleo reminds us, “Your past does not equal your potential”.
Marie runs an online course called B-School. The school has been reviewed in the past as teaching more about business than many postgraduate MBA courses in university. I have enrolled in the upcoming course because I have a vision to transform my business from working mainly in face-to-face counselling where I can only help one person at a time, to running a lot more workshops, conferences, retreats and online courses to be able to reach and work with lots more people. This requires a specific skill set, and my past attempts have not been spectacularly successful. In addition I have had my own personal experiences of adversity and trauma, which I sometimes used in days gone by as excuses to keep me stuck as a victim of my experience. Fortunately I grew beyond that and have now reached a much higher potential than I did prior to the adversities.
So in the interests of promoting a more positive future for both myself and you, I’m going public on my plans and my willingness to take a risk. I know I have the potential to do it and I am engaging with the best through Marie Forleo and Leonie Dawson to gain the skills and the support to get there. Going public in your intention is one of the first steps towards success.
I challenge you to do the same. So take a realistic step today towards the potential you KNOW you can reach. The first step doesn’t have to be big. You just need to take it.
Why don’t you report below in the comments what your first step is going to be and let us know how you get on? You can be guaranteed of support from me in your journey to Reach Your Potential.
It’s funny isn’t it to think about what gets us moving to get things done? I’m tired today but it feels like a ‘good’ tired. And why? Well, it comes from working hard to get something done by a deadline. I was getting my house ready to be photographed to be advertised to sell. We all live happily in our homes amongst clutter and normal family living – but when we sell, it seems the norm is we try to make our homes look like it has first made an appearance in Home Beautiful. So my bevy of activity was about de-cluttering, extra cleaning, washing windows and finally shoving the last vestiges of untidiness into cupboards before my refuge is displayed to the world on a real estate website.
So now, the photos are done and we just need to pretend that we live like this all the time – or at least until someone is sufficiently besotted to want to make an amazing offer!
Was I stressed? You bet I was! But it felt like some manageable stress. That is, it was short term, with a specific deadline and had clear and specific benefits to me. I felt satisfied that I had done the best job I could.
I can’t help but contrast this with the type of stress some people experience in everyday life. When we have constant stress – through work, family, relationships, financial or other ongoing issues – it can feel that we are on constant hyper-alert, or hyper-vigilance. The disadvantage of this is that the body has to deal with the stress hormones released naturally by our bodies when we are feeling under threat. This is the fight/flight mode – a hangover from our cave man days. Along came the wild animal to attack us – our body released adrenalin and we were ready to fight the threat or run away to keep safe.
Fast forward to 2014. If we are constantly threatened by psychological threats, rather than physical, our body still releases the hormones. We try to fight the threat – but we can’t always run away. This can lead to physical illness, burnt out, compassion fatigue (a lack of empathy for others) and a myriad of other concerns.
The solution? I know you’ve heard it all before – but it is simple really – GOOD SELF CARE!
Acknowledge that life can be stressful and take active steps to limit, reduce or eliminate the things that cause you to feel threatened and want to fight or flee. Be realistic – do you really need that thing or person if you feel constantly drained? Is the benefit of that job, relationship or activity far outweighing the costs? Does that habit of smoking or drinking too much, outweigh the health costs? And if you can’t reduce the threat or stress – then be sure to have some pretty good strategies for self care to manage the impacts.
Would you like to know more and do a self evaluation of the impact of stress on your life? It can affect you physically emotionally cognitively and behaviorally.
Want to know more about stress and how to manage it? Grab a copy of my free report,
The 7 Keys to Understanding Stress and How to Avoid It by signing up above right on this page.
May I wish you all the very best for Christmas and a happy New Year. Whilst Christmas is a happy time for many, I know that it is also a challenging time for some as our expectations are not always of a joyful time connecting with family or friends. Don’t be limited by the expectations of those around you or what the media would have you believe is the only way to do the festive season. Create your new traditions in a way that suits you, and prepare to end the year positively in order to start the New Year.
Isn’t it interesting that we link Merry Christmas and a happy New Year together? It is as if we automatically move from one event to another. However, before we can look forward to the happiness of a new beginning, it is really important to have a successful ending. For many, Christmas is about overindulgence and recovery, and then not doing much until New Year. I hear many people say that New Year’s Eve is over rated, and that they don’t enjoy it very much at all. They are glad when the festive season is over and they can return to some normality.
I think the clue to enjoying Christmas and New Year’s Eve is to think about Christmas in a different way, then successfully end the year before embarking on a new one.
If you believe the media Christmas, is all about happy times with family and friends. For those who are fortunate to enjoy this, please remember those around you who do not share that happy fortune. If you don’t have those people surrounding you in an environment that is happy, caring and supportive, then this time of the year can lead to stress.
I encourage people who are alone or who find spending time with family potentially difficult, to view the occasion in a new light. There are no rules about how you should spend Christmas. After all, the way it is portrayed in 2013 is dramatically different to the scene of an unmarried man and his fiancee giving birth to a baby in makeshift accommodation in a stable at the back of an overbooked inn. I suspect there was no tinsel wrapped around the rafters, and you will recall that the Kings arrive some time later with gifts that were most certainly not iPods, Nintendo’s or a Wii.
Reflect on the time and whether or not you have any religious or spiritual belief, try to identify what the significance of the season is for you and create a new tradition that will reflect the meaning and purpose you attribute to the time of year.
I hear families having picnics in unusual places, working as volunteers to assist others, or generally doing things entirely differently so as to avoid the disappointment of not having what others would have us believe is the only way to do Christmas.
Then I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the year. As 2013 draws to a close it is useful to discover what was successful about it and what didn’t work so well and could be improved. This is what really helps to anticipate 2014 and move through New Year’s Eve, to start a really successful 2014.
I have discovered a fabulous tool to assist you to do this, so click here http://tinyurl.com/lxey367 to find out more.
I hope when I contact you again in early 2014 you are already engaged in planning your successful New Year.