Thursday, September 15, 2016

Are The Little Things Undermining Your Best?

I have to say I am one lucky chick! I really enjoy every aspect of my life and on top of that my business is having a record breaking year, again.

And yet, all that "enjoying' has had an interesting development. I am becoming tired and unmotivated -- which for me is not common. In fact it's surprising. Why? Because I'm having fun -- living the life of my dreams. How could that result in being tired and unmotivated? The other day I actually asked myself, "What's going on with me?"

I took a step back and reviewed the past several quarters, looking for patterns, events, any clues to help me diagnose my current state. Several items stood out that are challenging me to do some course corrections. 

In summarizing these, I see these as the subtleties that can undermined your productivity, health, happiness -- being at your best. The message here is it's not always the "big things" serving as saboteurs, but can be the nagging accumulation of little things -- the less obvious.

1. Sleep
I know this sounds crazy but I love what I do so much, I have a hard time going to sleep in a timely fashion. I will stay up reading, writing, watching informational Youtube videos, looking for interesting articles on Twitter. I really enjoy learning and gaining more knowledge to help add more value to the work I do my clients. It's all very satisfying!

Yet, this pattern of not getting enough sleep is now catching up with me. I've decided to establish a cut off time and create a wind down ritual which includes meditation. I've learned -- sleep matters. (and I guess so much so Arianne Huffington wrote a whole book about it - 
The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time )

So ultimately this comes down to discipline and decision-making...

2 Decision-making
I've noticed for a variety of reasons, I periodically made decisions that weren't the best and in some cases compromised what I needed or what was best/healthy for me. This insight reminded me of a quote by Stephen Covey, "I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions."

These kinds of decisions in succession can have a cumulative effect and they have. I looked at those decisions in particular and the surrounding circumstances. One thing I discovered, I did not assert and express my needs because I wasn't clear on the line where more activity becomes too much activity...and that leads to number 3.

3. Clarity On Boundaries, Express Them & Stick to Them
Clarity became the call of the hour. I needed to be crystal clear on what comprised "too much" physically and energetically (to me energetically includes emotions and spirit) and then express those boundaries when needed. That expression is the prelude to enabling good decision-making and subsequently helps me stick to them.

I know for myself and my coaching clients lack of clarity results in poor decision-making.
Clarity creates conviction (being convinced of) which feeds determination to achieve the needed outcome.
These 3 discoveries, I've determined, are essential to creating a solid foundation in to support the joy of my personal and professional life. They as a trio also create a cascading effect.

One final note -- of these 3 areas I think decision-making is the most challenging and subtle. If this is true for you, here is a useful exercise: Track your decision-making daily, in a targeted area. 

An example for me, related to the above findings, would be meeting personal needs. If this is true for you and in tracking this, you discover you have trouble making decisions in your own best interest, ask why, explore this and get to the root of the difficulty. If you don't, making decisions against yourself will keep repeating itself.

In reality, how or the style in which we make decisions is habitual. Creating healthy decision-making habits generate a fulfilling, happy life. Decisions are the building blocks of life.

Tweet: Lack of clarity produces poor decision-making.

Tweet: Decisions are the building blocks of life. Tweet: Lack of clarity produces poor decision-making.

This blog is based on this book. In it are actionable ideas on being a better manager: The 1% Edge - The Workbook - Power Strategies to Increase Your Management Effectiveness

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Take Control of Who You Are - 4 Easy Steps to Take Care of Yourself

Guest post: Thanks Marie. In light of recent events it's good to consider. Particularly, we as leaders need to take care of ourselves and be mindful of those on our team. Marie's theme suggests a practical approaches to emotional intelligence. Also following Marie's post, check out the post, "Leaders Have Feelings Too."

Take Control of Who You Are - 4 Easy Steps to Take Care of Yourself

Can you believe that mental illnesses are more common than heart disease, diabetes and even cancer? According to the World Health Organization – it’s true. We live in a stressful day and age, and while some people clearly recognize how stress affects their everyday lives, others are not fully aware of the influence stress has on them.

Yes, stress can be good for you in certain situations – it can help you focus and perform better under pressure. But once stress becomes overpowering, it can seriously damage your relationships, mood and overall health. Most of our mental and physical problems come from our inability to cope with our emotions. We have a tendency to bury our fears, smother our insecurities in comfort food or sweep our feelings “under the rug”.

Taking control of your emotions is a slow process, and if you want to be in charge of your life, you have to take it step by step.

Step 1: Learn to say “No” more

People spend enormous amounts of money on psychologists. Psychologists spend enormous amounts of energy constructing and administering psychological tests, trying to help people understand themselves. And the cycle never ends. However, if you want to test your psychological well-being or the health of your relationship, just monitor the internal response you have when you have to say “no” to someone. Also, keep in mind that “No!” is a complete sentence.

Step 2: Learn to Deal with Your Anxieties

So, when you have to say “no” to a close person, what is your initial response to their reaction? Do you pressure yourself to try to find an excuse? Do you rush to find a good reason to justify your “no”? If you look at the dictionary, you’ll see that the word justify literally means to “show or prove to be right”. Now, just think about it – why does this person have such an authority over you to see if your reasoning is right or wrong. If that person cares about you, he/she is not supposed to judge you.

Step 3: Relax Your Mind

Fear is a primal emotion, but unless you’re facing a genuine threat – it’s usually a negative one. If you suffer from chronic anxiety, even the smallest things can trigger it. You need something to help you with your racing thoughts and if you want to quiet your overactive mind, meditation might be the solution for you. Anxious people tend to shy away from meditation because they can’t sit still or focus enough to clear their mind and meditate. So you have to be patient, and remember, the main goal is to learn how to manage your energy and become more productive in the long run.

Step 4: Go Easy On Your Body

In some cases, people use alcohol in order to “unwind” and “self-medicate”, but in reality, addictive substances such as drugs or alcohol only enhance anxieties and aggravate problems. Furthermore, your diet probably needs to change – fast foods, snacks and sodas need to be replaced by red meats, vegetables and water. Vitamins and minerals are essential to your body; luckily there are health food store at almost every corner. Of course, you could always go online and look up the organic vitamin supplements such as the Fusion Health Multi Vitamin formula in order to stay healthy.

Before you start taking any steps, you have to learn to accept your emotions. The key is to stop wasting your energy on avoiding your emotions and start fully experiencing your feelings. Step back and think about where are your thoughts and behaviors coming from. Let your guard down and try to understand why something hurts and what do you want to do about it. Only when you start taking certain risks you will be able to grow.

Contact Marie:

Follow up post: Leaders Have Feeling Too!