by Paula on January 3, 2014

Leaking RoofOne of my current clients owns, among other businesses, a property lettings company in Bristol. Over the period of bad weather the phone in the office has been constantly ringing with tenants requiring emergency support to leaks or failing boilers and I’ve been impressed by the turnaround of the business in getting plumbers / roofers / electricians out to help them out.

While there are a number of these incidences that are first time problems, there are a large number which are small problems that the landlord or tenant knew about and could have easily sorted in a time of calm. By failing to, these issues have worsened and become emergencies, damaging property or causing disruption and upset.

Leg OperationIn early December I had an operation to remove a mole on my leg. A small, seeemingly innocuous brown dot causing me no issues, within a week became a two inch long line of stitches over a deep hole causing me pain and inactivity for a number of weeks. Thankfully the mole turned out to be non-cancerous and the initial relief subsided and left the thought of “So I had a big hole cut out of my leg for nothing…”. This, being 4 years after I had my thyroid removed due to a lump which again (thankfully) turned out to be growing but non-cancerous. I wondered…. “Are the Doctors being too quick to take action when the problem is small and causing uneccessary stress to a well person without need?”

The fact is, my thoughts on these scenarios are totally contradictory!

  • In Scenario 1, taking action when a problem is small would cause only a small inconvenience. Waiting until it is a big problem means huge inconvenience, upset, cost and drama.
  • In Scenario 2 the Doctors are getting it exactly right! Seeing something which shows signs of being a potential problem and taking action while it is safe and while it’s not an emergency, avoids high costs, emergencies, upset and drama further down the line.

It is with these scenarios in mind that I have just helped a 1:1 client book themselves on a CBT course to help them work on some issues with caused them to have a severe stress-related breakdown earlier this year. At the time of the breakdown the thought of counselling, courses or medical help was high on the agenda but 6 months on, in a happier job and a happier place, why the need?

Well, it’s because I have learnt, and you can too, that it’s not at times of high drama and emergency that we should fix the small leaks in our roof or go for that operation, it’s time when things are calm and well and we are strong enough to take on that small inconvenience.

Doing a course in a calm and well frame of mind will provide the maintenance and tools to allow this person to weather such a storm again should one come. This time, if they find themselves in a situation leading to a breakdown they can bring in to play the things they learned when they were strong, recognise the signs and be equipped to steer themselves through it.

How have you suffered in the past? What could you fix, learn or do now that would make you stronger if that scenario happened again?

Think it through, take action or do get in touch if you want to talk it through. I am always happy to help steer you in the right direction.




Chris Budd January 6, 2014 at 9:12 am

Good blog Paula. For what its worth, my own feeling is that it’s generally best to do something than not.

I had a chest infection in December (Mrs B had it too, but she said hers was bronchitis!). The doc was reluctant to give me antibiotics, but gave me the option. I took his advice. 3 weeks later, and I’m still coughing and feeling rough. I rather wish I’d been firmer and taken the drugs!

In business, one of my favourite sayings is ‘Do your marketing when you’re busy’. It’s easy to relax when things are going ok, but actually that’s the very time one should work even harder, to get things onto a solid footing.

Paula White January 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Thanks for the comment Chris. It’s a hard balance knowing when to say “Something needs to be done” and when to wait and see. Sounds like you have the right approach even though trying to do the right thing and take the Doctors advice. I suffered with that last winter – not good. Hope you’re on the way feeling better soon.

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