Interview with Bob Brotchie, Managing Director & Counsellor at Anglia Counselling.

Bob has over 25 years’ experience working with people to overcome emotional challenges such as anxiety, depression, decreased performance and so on. Among other projects, Bob is director of Anglia Counselling part of which includes being program facilitator of ‘Your Mindful Journey’.
More information about Bob’s work can be found at http://www.bobbrotchie.com.

Despite being a very busy man, Bob kindly agreed to share his expertise for our blog.

A key focus of your work is mindfulness. Could you briefly explain how mindfulness practise could help a student who is feeling overwhelmed by finding work while studying?

A challenge for us all is when we operate in our minds from a place in the future; an imagining, is that if what we perceive will happen is negative in some way, we will feel negative, stressed and anxious. In this case it is important to begin to grow awareness of our emotional states, non-judgmentally and with some compassion, and to then ‘ground’ ourselves once more in the present and the here-and-now.

Suffering, be that emotional or physical, is determined by the meaning we assign to that suffering!

When I am grounded and centred via my mindfulness practice, I have greater access to acceptance for that which I cannot in this moment change, and I can also find greater creativity, curiousness and interest, rather than negative, unhelpful judgements. I can then elect to focus on what I am (supposed) to be doing, here, now – in my only true reality

What advice would you give a student who is feeling very discouraged after received several application rejections?

This is something I have a great deal of experience of, both as an applicant – and as an interviewer.

It is normal and usual to experience dejection, disappointment and sadness when receiving news other than that which had hoped for. The problems begin when we attach greater meaning to what we feel than is perhaps rational!

Because we want something, and we work hard, investing to make it happen does not in reality mean we are entitled to that goal.

We can only do what we can with the information and resources at our disposal. The interviewer may have a bad day or be less-skilful than would be hoped for, we cannot control this. The interviewee may well be nervous, and a good interviewer takes this into consideration, without negative judgement, but they too may not perform as desired. Outside of this, we can only do our best with what we have.

If we ourselves are biased, believing that we haven’t got the job because of our disability, then we will inevitably feel negatively discriminated against and a sense of injustice will leave us feeling toxic with anger and frustration. We can be better than this, regardless of what we perceive to be true and it’s crucial we do, if we are not to be wounded once by the ‘rejection’, and then each time I think negatively about this in the future.

The perceived negative experiences can become ‘gifts’ IF we choose to take each experience as opportunities to learn. Whether I get that job or not I am always wiser than before!   

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