What are the consequences of not connecting with ourselves?
In today’s society everything is connected, with the use of nothing more than your phone you have a toolbox of infinite resources. We sometimes fail to realise that the biggest resource is ourselves and when we harness this power we can make all the difference.
A couple of events have sparked the want to write this blog.
The first being my own experience in the last number of weeks, we all face struggles in work and life from time to time and none more so when you are a leader within your organisation and family.
In the past few weeks (6-8 weeks to be precise) I had stepped away from my normal morning practices of meditation, stretching, reading, journaling or exercising to start my day. I had fallen into the trap of allowing the start of my day to consist of work emails, snoozing or worrying about what was to come.
Not forgetting we all love a snooze from time to time (I am not here to take that away, let me be clear just encourage you to keep it for the weekend) I had begun to notice a distinct difference in my mindset with my new routine, I had lost a sense of calmness, my focus and productivity were not where they usually are.
For a long time now I have encouraged people to “win their morning” and use the first 30 minutes of the day to set themselves up in the right frame of mind and I had let it slip out of my routine.
It is certainly not easy to make a change as we all can attest to at some stage in our life. It is also indisputable to say that falling into old habits is far easier, my point here is that by drifting away from my morning routine I had disconnected from myself.
I’d like you to imagine your phone when you get a reminder to update the software, I had been getting reminders to upgrade my own software, little signals that I had continually ignored until I felt completely exhausted and unmotivated. Let me tell you when you run a business this is a place you never really want to be but the reality is we all find ourselves here and mainly at our own hand.
The second reason I wanted to write this was an experience I had at an event recently called Soul Space, we were lucky to partner with both Gerry Hussey and Miriam Kerins Hussey at this event providing a physical activity workshop. This event was centred around reconnecting with ourselves and how this is a daily practice which is integral to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Tools to work out mentally need to be part of our training as much as going for the run or attending the spin class.
I want to give you 3 ways you can stay truly connected with yourself:
As much as we want you to begin with the end in mind and have a BHAG ‘big hairy audacious goal’ it is still important to be present.
What I mean by this is that you need to live each day and be present, often thinking too far ahead even to some mundane tasks that need to be done next week can impact our mindset. Commit to living in the moment and enjoying each day, it will enhance your self-awareness and enable you to stay in power, not become overpowered.
I want you to switch your thinking from outcome mindset to process thinking. The mind is the vehicle essentially that helps us arrive at the destination, how are you currently treating your vehicle. Are you filling your psychology with negative self-talk daily? Do you think it is not having an impact? well if so you’re only fooling yourself!
What measures are you taking each day to help you get a little closer to your end goal as it is the process that will get us there.
I want you to do something, be honest with yourself and write down 3 things you say regularly to yourself that you know are doing you more harm than good. File these harmful thoughts under the heading of Self-Limiting beliefs and I want you to take that statement and turn it into a positive and file these under the heading of your new found empowering belief so it could be as follows,
I would apply for that promotion, but I am probably not ready or have the skills required, I will go for it next time when I get more experience in my current role.
I am going to apply for that promotion as even the process of applying will stand to me and I will learn and improve on all the feedback I receive, I have belief in my ability.
2. Identify your Values to re-energise
Imagine you could do what brings you the most joy and deepest satisfaction, use your natural talents and embrace your full potential this is the sign of somebody living in correlation with their highest values. The link between values and fulfilment is evident but often missed, we tend to tunnel down a road and forget why we even began. For many of us this leads to anxiety and a life of questioning the journey. We need to remind ourselves we are ever changing and evolving as individuals so understanding our highest values is vital. Once identified, honouring these values is inherently important as when a value is not honoured it can create internal tension and as human beings we are able to absorb a tremendous amount before we could ever really reach our breaking point. As a result many of us are living a life of toleration rather than chasing our actual dreams.
But how do we actually identify what values should be part of our individual journey, which ones will inspire us to run that first ever 10k, go for that work promotion or ask out that girl or guy that has been going to the same lunch spot as you now for a long time. Well we can start by looking at times in our life where we felt fulfilled and what values showed up at these times. Remember values are unique and are not morales or principles. Ask yourself questions like:
What is important to you?
What inspires you?
What really annoys you?
What behaviours do you admire in others?
When do you feel undermined?
How do you give your power away?
The most effective way to elicit your values as mentioned is by using life experiences and these again can be either positive or negative experiences. It can help us gain clarity on what we want more of or less of in our life. The more specific your values are the easier it is to look at the different areas of your life. How happy are you with each area? And ask yourself this if there were no limits what would each area look like? Don’t just visualise this, write it down make it clear in your mind and from these statements we can elicit the true values that are important to you.
Friends and Family
Fun and Recreation
3. Commit to a Positive Mental Attitude Everyday!
Ensuring a positive mental attitude can be a deciding factor in any goal and where many of us fail is focusing too much on the outcome and not fully understanding or embracing the process. I want you to swap an outcome mindset for process thinking as we’ve mentioned already but it is more than that, we need to act every day with intention with a mindset that matches our end goal. On the days we don’t feel like going for the run, meditating or simply speaking to ourselves in a positive manner these are the days we are tested most and our final future outcomes depend on our decision on those days not on our good days when the sun is shining and everyone seems to be our best friend.
I want you to think about this for a moment, asking somebody who has been well trained all their life and run various 10k and half marathon races to go increase the distance and run a marathon is completely different to asking a sedentary individual to run 5k for the first time for various reasons but the main reason which sticks out for me is the well trained individual has built a consistent and resilient mindset, behaviour and habits when it comes to exercise which makes this transition easier. If we looked at where it all started for the well-trained individual it would go back to the times when they picked up those runners on days they really didn’t want to. For me it is imperative that I manage my mindset with daily meditation, value checks and journaling around my process and goals to stay in my positive mental attitude even on days when I don’t want to do it. What is the one thing you need to do on a daily basis to keep up your PMA?
To bring this to light I would like to share a client story, a female I worked with a few years back came to me on the advice of a doctor to get guidance around the right approach to wellbeing, at the time she was working long hours with poor sleep patterns, over exercising and not consuming enough calories to support the physical and mental energy she was expending. This led to chronic fatigue and a serious lack of motivation in every area of her life it is safe to say she had lost her PMA but on the surface, we were dealing with a high performer- at least that is what people saw. The The main step for this person to gain control again was daily behaviours including good quality recovery- more sleep, meditation and less high intensity exercise for a while, along with education around nutrition to fuel body and mind effectively. These simple steps were the building blocks for this individual to regain inspiration in her life. Over the next year she once again became fully energised and engaged in herself and now regularly commits to these practices among others daily.
Building the foundations before diving into a new goal is one thing I have found to lead the majority of my clients to success and more importantly happiness.
Use the 3 tips above to stay truly connected with yourself, Be present, understand your values and commit to the process of your positive mental attitude.