Mari Williams

Mari Williams: The Mind Architect

Mari Williams: The Mind Architect

Mari Williams, author of ‘It Begins with You’, explains how to take back control of your life.

Sometimes, life reminds me of a water slide.

You jump on, ready to enjoy the thrill, the twists and turns, the splashes of water on your face. You look forward to hurtling out at the end – drenched, but full of endorphins and a sense of achievement. But sometimes the ride doesn’t stop, and you are stuck – forever thrown around, splashed in the face, and never reaching that end point where you can take a breath and remember the ride fondly. We need an ‘end point’ to reflect and change direction. I know that in this last year many of my clients felt they wanted to stop their rides and get off!

I’m a business owner, and a parent of five children. I understand what it feels like to be under pressure and overwhelmed; to have a mental to-do list of at least 50 things a day, and to feel immense guilt when I only tick off five of them – less when I’m helping to home school; to feel like I’m failing as a leader, as a parent, a partner, and failing myself.

It’s vital to change this.

When we stop leading and living our lives intentionally, we stop making good decisions. The decisions we make (estimated at 36,000 a day) are crucial to everything from our career and parenting to our self-worth. These everyday decisions create our future lives. When we start making them from a stressed or anxious state, our lives veer off-course; we may experience confidence wobbles, Imposter Syndrome and fear of failure, and see our relationships start to flounder.

How can we stop this cycle and regain control? Do something entirely counter intuitive: P.A.U.S.E.

Take a half-day out of work to re-plan. Take an hour away from the kids. Take ten minutes to stand outside… your pause is unique to you. Give your mind space to reflect on your ride down your slide – which bits do you like? Which bits don’t you like? What new segments would you add? How could you create a softer landing?

Research shows your brain does creativity and problem-solving best when it feels like it’s not doing anything (ever had a great idea whilst walking, or in the shower?). 
If you never give it time to be still… it can’t be creative for you, and it can’t get you off your slide.

My P.A.U.S.E. model will help.

P – Pause. Stand back, take a breath, review the situation.

A – Assess all your options.

U – Understand and explore the consequences of those options.

S – Strategise. Confirm the option you want to take, and how you will implement it.

E – Effect. Put your choice into effect, and action your decision.

You can use this model in any situation, from parenting to high-pressure work scenarios. By pausing, you’ll take back control of your decisions – and in doing so, take back control of your present, and, most importantly, your future.

Pause. It’s time to get off your slide.

Mari Williams is a Leadership Coach and Therapist, a mentor on the Enterprise TechSTAR entrepreneur accelerator at The Judge Business School, Cambridge University and a regular speaker on BBC radio and event speaker. Subscribe to The Weekend to read Mari’s monthly column on building your confidence and leadership skills  Mari Williams, The Mind Architect,

 Mari Williams will be speaking at our International Women’s Day online event on Wednesday 10th March, 12.30pm and giving advice on being a confident leader.  Book your tickets now and receive a free copy of ‘It Begins with You’ use code TL10.