Last Thursday (October 10th) was World Mental Health day so it was particularly timely that I got to spend the day at the Royal College of Physicians in Liverpool with the North West’s new cohort of Innovation Scouts – which I am delighted to say I am one of.

Managed by the Innovation Agency, Innovation Scouts bring together like-minded people from all sectors: researchers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, managers, interested residents, volunteers and students. What we all have in common is a passion for innovating to improve the health and wellbeing of our population and patients.

The inaugural event was a day of fun, conversation and creativity with a bit of stand-up improv thrown in – just to make sure we didn’t get too comfortable.

If you think that innovation is something that other people do then think again. Everyone can innovate. If you problem solve, find solutions with minimal resources or are able to offer a different perspective then you an innovator!

You might have noticed that sometimes the smallest changes have the biggest impact. I recently finished working with a client who had seen a transformational change during our six months working together. Anyone looking in from the outside may not have seen any visible difference. She was still in the same job, same relationship, same house with the same day to day responsibilities. Her transformation had happened on the inside. The negative self-talk had been replaced with some much more helpful phrases when she was faced with trying something new. She started to look at challenges from a number of different perspectives and see what was possible, rather than what wasn’t possible and most importantly of all she started to get comfortable being uncomfortable with fear.

Fear is a normal, natural reaction that shows up when we step forward to make a change, try something new or don’t feel we are in control. It only exists in our minds. It is simply designed to stop us in our tracks and keep us safe. Yet it can stop us achieving our dreams and goals and burden us with regrets.

Thankfully there is another perspective. When we embrace fear, get familiar with our reaction to it and have some helpful thoughts and ways to manage it then the possibilities are endless. Wishing all my fellow Innovation Scouts endless possibilities and exciting times ahead!

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