• Hilary Bryan

My word of the year - detach

Updated: May 4

When we decided at The Training Practice to each choose a word for the year, I was concerned mine sounded negative.


So why: detach? Two reasons really.


Unplugged power cable

Detach from the downside of my empathy

We’ve all done Clifton StrengthsFinder profiles. One of my top five is empathy. Sounds good. But it has a down side. I tend to take on others’ concerns and feelings and then worry about them. Does this do me or them any good? No. But it’s a habit and a downside of empathy. Another aspect of my version of empathy is I pick up signals from others and amplify them. A throw-way comment or minor facial expression from someone can lead to an elaborate story of why they don’t value me, rumination and - yes you guessed it – worry. Does it do me any good? No.


That’s the first reason to adopt detach as my word for 2020.


Detach to increase my resilience

The second is due to Lucy Hone and her excellent advice on resilience. I’d been meaning to watch her TED Talk for ages and hadn’t got round to it. I finally watched it over Christmas.


She talks about three habits of resilient people. And all are relevant to me and I’d argue to many of us. Here they are:


1. Recognise that shit happens. We face challenges: everyone does. Recognise that few (if any) people have chocolate box lives. Accept that, rather than asking – why me? – when you face adversity. 2. Choose what you focus on. And choose to focus on the good, not the bad. This is good old gratitude recognition. I’ve got heaps to be grateful for and reminding myself of this daily works.

3. Ask yourself: is what your thinking (and ruminating) helping or harming you? If it’s harming, why do it? Now, this idea really got me. For a ruminator and worrier asking myself this question is practical and allows me to stop and think more productively.


I should also point out positivity is 23 out of 34 in my Clifton StrengthsFinder profile. Ouch! I’ve worked enviously with people who have positivity in their top five strengths. Well, the harming or hurting question helps me overcome this.


So, that’s how I wound with detach as my word for the year. Detach from worry, emotional over-reaction, and rumination.

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