C-Suite Profile - Adam Fiske
CEO & Co-founder of Cipher Sports Technology Group
What life events or challenges that you’ve experienced (could be minor, could be major) – whether you’ve experienced them directly or via someone close to you, have had any type of impact on your ability to feel the healthiest you can feel from a mental health standpoint?
For me, I’m not sure that it was a specific life event or challenge that had the direct impact, but I do remember the exact moment that my mental health started to get away from me.
I was in my first year of University and this was where I started to experience anxiety attacks for the first time during a lecture. They appeared without warning and with no obvious triggers.
In the early 2000s we unfortunately didn’t have the access to the information we do now, and it took me 10 years to finally work out what was wrong and do something about it. Hopefully by raising awareness we can help others act immediately and be kind to themselves.
How did those life events/challenges listed above impact your ability to think, feel and function on an optimal level? If so, did this have any impact on work performance?
I was performing successfully from a professional standpoint, with a career progressing on an upward trajectory.
I found ways to function in a professional environment, however it was exhausting to try and keep my mental health challenges hidden which then had a greater impact on my personal life, outside of work.
For years I was very selective about which events I would attend with friends and family, leading to me missing out on many experiences along the way.
How did those events impact you emotionally/morally? Did they influence the way you view mental health?
Ongoing anxiety wore me down and eventually led to different levels and forms of depression.
Naturally this had a significant influence on my mental health and overall wellbeing.
What methods or practices have helped you become more mentally fit, optimizing the way you think, feel, function overall?
There are a number of practices that have helped me, from exercise, healthy eating, meditation and mindfulness, but personally it comes back to three key things that I still need to remind myself of at times:
- The responsibility is with me to improve my mental health and well being, not others
- I can’t expect everyone else to understand how I feel if they haven’t experienced it before
- Be kind to myself more often
These realizations were critical for me.
Why did you decide to share your story (whether previously or on this site for the first time)? Who were/are you hoping to help and how?
I hope that it might help others to not wait as long as I did to recognise and act to improve their mental health.
If you have told your story before, how did people react when you went public? If you have not previously shared your story, how do you think people will react?
Whilst I haven’t shared in a public forum like this before, I have always been happy to share my story with friends, family and colleagues in person.
Early on I think people were surprised to hear how much I had struggled at times, which reminded me of how much effort I put into hiding it, to my detriment.
I also found that sharing vulnerabilities helped build relationships, which was a great reminder that you never know what someone else is going through.