Breakdowns and Breakthroughs


Recently during a workshop one our participants burst into tears and as they flowed, running down her cheeks, she said “I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying about this”.

Often clients excuse their meltdown (whether mildly upset and frazzled or having the full blown cry and snot sessions). Sometimes it’s in the middle of private 1-1 sessions and I’ve had a lot of tears come during large group workshops.

STOP feeling like it’s not ok to show emotion. 
STOP saying sorry.

Do you remember as a kid being told ‘Don’t Cry”?

Whether it was the ‘be seen and not heard thing’ or whether the adults around us didn’t want to have to or themselves didn’t know how to deal with emotions. It’s time.

It’s time for you to realise it is completely ok to be born an emotional human being. Emotions are a very normal and human every day life thing we have and will experience.

Each of us in our own way.

It is ok.

So permission granted. No more saying SORRY ok.

Do these emotional moments always serve a situation – not always – but like I said. You’re human. I’ve lost my shit in the middle of the office surrounded by an entire team. I’ve barely been able to talk to my husband, because I was crying uncontrollably. We’ve all been there and done that. It’s what happens next that matters most.

We all respond to our breakdowns in different ways, whether it’s to go quiet, get emotional, need to yell and scream (often at those closest to us), run the ‘cracked record’ over and over in our head, there are so many different ways we respond under pressure, to overwhelm, frustration, fear, stress etc. when it gets too much.

Some of our absolute cracking best breakthroughs come from the biggest breakdowns.

Whether it’s to have an intensive and emotional experience with your husband, partner or other half… Personally I find these ones to almost be the toughest.

Or with your kids…. be honest. You would hate it if someone said to you “Shut it down – too many tears – you’re being too emotional” so rather than shut your kids down – stop and listen – listen to what is really being said.

What about if it’s at work? With your team members. With an individual who has let the team down and is really not bringing their A-game to work. Regardless of ranking structure. It’s ok to own how you feel. “I’m emotional about this or this is an emotional topic, because it really matters for me (us), for our team and for the business. Because – communication, progress, accountability, team-work, respect (insert whatever is at the core of it for you/the business) is paramount.”

So back to when those tears come in client sessions or workshops whether in private or in front of a group.

I always know in that moment, how much this topic of conversation REALLY matters to a person.

And as you cry or feel very emotional about a certain topic, you are already shifting and transforming. Growing and evolving in someway.

So hold the space for yourself ( if it’s yours or hold the space by listening if it’s someone else’s breakdown)

Be there for yourself.

Know that in that moment, you are growing, you’re learning and you have choice then…

You get to choose – and here’s how…


1) Choose Your Thoughts and Actions

Eg. This is where people go down the rabbit hole of saying, “I’m crap / shit at this” put themselves or their project/focus/experience down or they blame others, justify  or defend their existence (their thinking around what’s happened or going down)


2) Decide on the Airtime

My personal fave. Have your breakdown – it’s completely ok, however decide then how long you are going to give it. Ideally use the Rule of 2; 2 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 hours, not 2 days, weeks, months years… I mean you probably know someone that has been carrying stuff around them for 2 decades. Really at what point do you stop carrying stuff. Lighten the load.


3) Become the Meaning Maker

Maybe you need to look at things from a different perspective. Try a different set of glasses (whether rose, gold, brown – you know… look at things from different angles – not just where you originally started).


4) Master Your Mindset

This has been really gold for me handling the meltdowns. I am a very emotional type and find dealing with confrontation and conflict super uncomfortable, so I do use mantras to focus on and shift my mindset. Here’s are a couple of my faves. My Certainty Must Exceed My Doubt and No Failure only Feedback.


If you’d like more on this – read my E-book 4 Steps for Better Business Leadership


So whatever you’re melting down about – remember there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Whether you go silent, cry, speak up, sing or dance about it, always remember you have choice.

What do you choose?



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