it's ok not to be ok mental health - seek help mindset r u ok? toxic positivity Sep 13, 2021
RUOK? Mental Health Mindset Week

Welcome to Week #33

What whisper did you hear from #32?

Did you consider building a new habit with a small step first?

Which version of BNPL resonated with you?

Which was your favourite habit quote?

Have you done a habit audit and noticed which ones are serving a current or future you?

What’s struck me this week?

1. R U OK?

Last week it was R U OK? Day. It’s such a simple yet profoundly important act of service – the willingness to ask someone R U OK? And crucially, be with them as they consider an answer.

My own perspective on this is that whatever answer comes out our willingness to remain with them is the most important part. In a world where there’s so much noise – inside and outside our head – the connection that someone can feel when they sense someone is ‘with’ them can be life-changing.

Often, we might worry about what to say next and therefore not ask the question in the first place.

My own experience – on either side – is the heartfelt connection one experiences when you sense someone is with you – in all our imperfections. To feel heard and seen in such a noisy existence is one gift we can share with others.

I encourage you to ask – R U OK? And sit in the awkwardness or discomfort with whatever answer ensues.

2. And it's OK not to be OK

It’s normal to try and reassure someone who is struggling that things will work out OK. In our intent to help we can sometimes miss someone’s need to have someone else be OK with them not being OK.

Toxic positivity is a phrased coined to explain our rush to escape the discomfort felt when someone is willing to express their not OK-ness. It’ll be fine – everything happens for a reason – it could be worse – look on the bright side – all examples of language I’ve used in the past and probably will in the future. The challenge is that I may miss entirely what’s going on for someone and to cover the cracks with positivity can sometimes bury the full – and healthy – expression of how they are actually feeling.

R U OK with them not being OK?

Here are some resources that may help:

HBR - It's Okay Not to Be Okay


The Washington Post - It's Time To Ditch Toxic Positivity

3. Quote of the week – "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek" Joseph Campbell

I hadn’t come across this quote until earlier this week and was really touched by the paradox contained within. Often our greatest fears – real or imagined – contain gifts and opportunities that provide the possibility of enrichment and fulfillment – if we’re willing to enter.

To quote Brene Brown when she’s discussed the meaning of this quote online “Own the fear, find the cave, and write a new ending for yourself, for the people you're meant to serve and support”.

Are you willing to face your fears in the service of another?

4. Question of the week – How are you NOT?

This got my head spinning – shouldn’t it be how are you?

The question provokes us out of our habitual response to how are you? – fine, OK, great thanks – and disrupts our thought patterns. Try these examples instead:

The Atlantic


5. Freedom Fridays - Moving from I have to, to I choose to

My intention is to openly share a change I’m making within my life. I’m hoping you can take the lessons learnt and apply them to any change you want to make.

This week my guest, Graham Roberts, and I openly discuss some challenging aspects of mental health. Graham willingly and compassionately shares the ups and downs of his own mental health journey. I think it’s appropriate that I signal within the conversation we do discuss suicidal thoughts and ideation – particularly at the 6 -7 minute mark. If you suspect this conversation might be an unhelpful trigger for you then this might be one to skip. I’ve left some resources in the show notes for anyone that feels the need to seek support.

As you will hear us say, whilst it can be difficult, it is important and absolutely a sign of strength to seek help and support when we need it - something both Graham and I have done at times.


Lifeline on 13 11 14

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Headspace on 1800 650 890

ReachOut at au.reachout.com

Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) on 1800 008 774




Check out Episode #31.



That’s all for this week and I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #33.

Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.





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