I’ve unexpectedly found myself with some extra chunks of time on my hands. Normally I’d jump with joy at this, but these chunks of time are because I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room while my Dad has radiotherapy. As many of you will know, my 86 year old Dad has helped in the business for over a decade until his health started to let him down a year or so ago. My Dad is also my rock – the one person who is in my corner no matter what; and actually time spent taking him back & forth to the hospital, chatting, joking, planning our next holiday, is really precious. It’s also given me pause for thought!

It’s interShowing up blogesting that everyone sitting here, patient or relative, has their own story about cancer and how it is impacting on their lives right now. Listening, observing and chatting to people I’ve learned a lot. Some people are battling, some are resigned and some are determined to squeeze every bit of juice out of their lives. Do you know what, these stories – what they believe is possible, not possible their attitude, massively impacts on how they show up day after day, week after week for treatment. Even more important, the way they show up impacts on how people – particularly care staff treat them. These people (care staff) are very good at matching the mood and attitude patients and relatives bring to the hospital. That means often those that are positive are encouraged and those that are less so are often sympathised with. In each case reinforcing the expectations of the patient or relative.

Now obviously I only have a small window to look at what is happening in the waiting area, and not the whole picture, but

I’m a firm believer in showing up and giving something you all, being really present in what you are doing for the duration of time you are doing it. That way it gets the best of you and you get the best out of it. That’s kind of common sense isn’t it?

The bigger impact might just be on those around you. If you’re frustrated, disengaged with something or someone, disempowered or overwhelmed, how is this affecting the your team, your clients even your friends and family? Do people dive in and try to fix things for you, do they agree with you and compound whatever attitude you have shown up with, or do they just shy away and leave you to your own devices?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should bounce up ‘happy happy’ all the time, I’m all for genuine vulnerability and asking for help where it is needed. What I am asking is whether you aware of how your attitude, beliefs and stories are impacting on how other people engage with you.

None of us can be inspiring and motivating all the time – we are allowed to have off days, maybe even the odd pity party, but when it comes down to it, if we want to make an impact we need to understand how we need to show up to enable others to engage with us in the most useful way.

If you are not sure how you show up take some time to understand what reactions you get in different situations, where are the themes in your behaviour and the reactions you get. Then make any adjustments you need to, consciously and repeatedly, until it becomes your default.