After spending over a decade struggling with chronic illness, Lisa Jones finally overcame her health issues. Lisa talks to The Industry Leaders about how she uses her experiences to help other people via her business, Headstrong Training, and why it's important to count your blessings.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
Well, my first love was performing arts, but sadly, due to illness and injury, I had to give up those dreams when I was 17. After travelling, trying various jobs, living with chronic illness and soul searching, I realised that I loved helping people and was a natural listener. Cue my degree in counselling and psychotherapy, many years of life experience and further study, and here I am!
I was fortunate enough to overcome all of my health issues, which drove me to want to educate others on the importance of health and wellbeing and prevention rather than intervention. I set up HeadStrong Training as a vehicle to enable me to do this.
What kind of work does your role involve?
Mainly training, therapy and coaching. I deliver CPD certified training in schools and workplaces, teaching people how to manage stress, promote positive mental health, build resilience, and communicate effectively to create happier, healthier people and work environments. I also work with people on a one to one basis in my private practice. All of my work is based on the principles of applied neuroscience and brain health and understanding the brain/mind/body connection.
I utilise a variety of other models, including counselling, psychotherapy, NLP, and hypnotherapy. I am incredibly passionate about teaching prevention rather than intervention and so love any platform to shout about it, whether that's training or delivering keynotes.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Seeing the incredible changes people can make in their lives through my training and one to one work. Teaching people the skills and tools they need to make positive change lights me up! The thing I love most about training is watching people explore ideas, question their beliefs and learn from each other. My passion is educating others on the brain/mind/body connection and teaching them how everything is connected - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When people start to understand this, the ripple effect is huge as those learnings permeate into all our relationships and create happier, more harmonious workplaces.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Count your blessings every day. I was taught to take a moment to recognise all of the positives from the day and be thankful for everything I had in my life - including the things I didn't like. These were seen as opportunities to learn and grow. I was also actively encouraged to acknowledge, explore and understand my feelings rather than ignore them. I genuinely believe that outlook has kept me going in my darkest times and made me as resilient as I am.
What's the best way to support aspiring leaders in your field?
I like to think I support others in my field by engaging in their work, sharing content and collaborating. I am always happy to lend an ear and be a sounding board for ideas. I think we learn the most when we work with each other.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I'm a lifelong learner and love finding ways to keep up to speed. I read a lot of books and articles, I love a Ted Talk, I attend conferences, I study something new every year, and I like to keep my skill set up to date by doing refresher courses every year too. I also receive regular updates and journals from my governing bodies. Most of all, I love having conversations with other people in my industry to learn from them and share ideas.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Overcoming chronic illness for sure. I spent 12 years unwell, feeling like my life was on hold from my late teens to my late 20's, and I lost a lot of my identity along the way.
Although they were some of the most challenging years of my life, I also achieved a lot during them - I completed my degree for one! Going through that struggle and coming out the other side after truly understanding the meaning of the brain/mind/body connection taught me so much! It gave me the strength, resilience, compassion, empathy and passion for doing what I do now.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Honestly, the first thing I would do is call my mum! I would then probably try and find the owner, but if it came back to me, I'd make sure all of my family and friends had everything they needed first, then I'd pack a bag and go travelling around the world!
I would love to make it so that therapy/coaching/personal development was freely available to everyone starting from school, so people had access to the tools and skills we all need to build resilience, promote positive health and wellbeing and manage life's stresses.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
It depends on the day, to be honest. Fortunately, I very rarely struggle to switch off. Boundaries are really important to me, so I make sure I take time to switch off.
What I love most is going to my acting and dance classes as that's my happy place. If I'm not performing, I either want to catch up with friends or family, or I want to be myself, having a bath and reading a book.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
That there were universal minimum requirements and training for certification and qualification. I would also like therapy to be considered helpful to maintain health, much like physical activity, rather than being associated with having a problem. The same for addressing mental health and stress in the workplace, I wish mental health and wellbeing training was commonplace in all organisations to understand how everything is connected rather than treating these things as separate entities.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
A book I recommend to everyone is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Also, her Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability. They both address how when we let go of who we think we're supposed to be and embrace who we are, our lives can transform.
How should people connect with you?
I love talking to people, so in the first instance, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or connect with me on LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/lisantjones.
You can also find me on Socials:
Come say hi on Clubhouse and my website is www.headstrongtraining.co.uk.
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