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It’s important for you to make sure that your essential needs are taken care of, especially during times of change, upheaval, or abnormally high stress. We’ve all heard someone say, “If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?” Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the point is generally received loud and clear. If you’ve followed us all month, you’ll remember that April has been a month of articles about change, dealing with change, and helping your team to do the same, especially when everyone is working toward a goal or solving a problem. To be at your best and stay there, here are a few things you can do (and even have your team do for themselves) to maintain your calm and sanity during uncertain times.

 

Caring for yourself, especially during times of uncertainty, can make a world of difference in your experience with whatever is happening. It may start out seeming horrible or like an insurmountable problem, but you’ll be much better at solving problems with a clear, sharp mind, well-rested body, and harmonious spirit. Here are several categories of self-care based on the different love languages so that you can determine which methods of self-care are best for you.

 

If you’re unsure about what love languages best fit you or you’ve never heard of the term, this quick definition should give you a general idea about what your needs are.

 

Love Languages for Self-Care

 

The five love languages, as presented in the book of the same title by Gary Chapman, are:

 

Words of Affirmation – If you feel loved when someone offers words of encouragement.

Acts of Service – If you feel loved when someone does something for you.

 Receiving Gifts – If you feel loved when someone gives you a gift.

Quality Time – If you feel loved when someone spends quality time with you.

Physical Touch – If you feel loved when someone hugs, cuddles, or kisses you.

 

Which love languages work best to make you feel loved? What applies for other people can also apply for yourself, so love yourself in the ways that you need most.

 

#1. If you’re someone who likes to hear encouraging words, record yourself speaking or simply meditate with music and say an affirmation to yourself like a mantra. The most effective way to do this is to think about what you need the most at that moment and frame it in a positive way. If you’re feeling lonely, you might think an affirmation like, “I feel loved, connected, and complete.”

 

#2. If you’re someone who feels loved when other people do things for you, you might consider doing something for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or spa day; something that will help ease your stress and balance your body is best during stressful times, so I recommend avoiding things like alcohol, sugary treats, and so on. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good. A massage is perfect because someone else is giving you the massage… this would also count for the physical touch love language.

 

#3. If you’re someone who enjoys receiving gifts, go buy something that you want or have wanted for a while but never had a justification for getting. Within reason, of course! Whether that’s a new purse, outfit, or yacht is dependent on your finances, so remain responsible ;). For some of us, the tiniest things can make us happy, so ask yourself: what gift would make me happy right now?

 

#4. If you feel loved when spending quality time with someone, then maybe it’s time to spend a little quality time with yourself. The beautiful thing about this is that the possibilities are endless; if you have someone you miss spending time with, spend time with that person. However, if no other person comes to mind, you can do something that makes you happy while you’re doing it. For some that might be a hobby like writing, composing music, or photography; for others it might mean going back to martial arts or dance classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, but if there’s something you can do just for yourself, you will feel more peaceful and better equipped to handle any problems that arise.

 

#5. If you feel loved through physical touch, you can easily seek out close friends and family members for hugs, bond with your pet for a while, or (as mentioned) go get a massage. In some cities there are people who offer cuddling services, so if that’s something you’re comfortable with, you may want to look into it.

 

No matter what your love language is, self-love tends to follow along the same lines, so figure out a couple of things that you can do regularly if you find yourself feeling off. The more of your love languages an activity covers, the less time you need to devote to meeting your personal needs. However, not meeting your personal needs can be a very negative and painful experience, so find ways to take care of you so that you’re at your best.

 

What are your love languages? Has learning about them made it easier for you to care for yourself in an all-encompassing and balanced way? Leave a comment or drop us a line about your stories! We love to read them.

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

If comfort is your goal, growth as a human being is not for you. However, as a mindful leader, you already know this and are probably a pro at being uncomfortable by now. If not, then this article might help. Your ability to go with the flow while directing it is what will allow you to be your most successful, and reframing is a great way to make sure that you as well as everyone on your team is able to accept and embrace the changes that occur inevitably. Read on to learn how to reframe change that seems negative at first, for yourself as well as for your team.

 

First, what is reframing, exactly? According to Wikipedia, “Cognitive reframing is a psychological technique that consists of identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing events, ideas, concepts and emotions to find more positive alternatives.”

 

Have you ever met someone who always sees the silver lining no matter how heavy and black the cloud might be? This person probably taught themselves internally from an early age to see the good in all things rather than dwell on the negative, whether they realized they were doing so or not. On the flipside, have you ever met someone who is dreary and heavy like the cloud itself, and even if it had a silver lining millions of miles long, they still wouldn’t see it? These are types of people who either never learned to reframe or just never applied the idea to their thoughts.

 

Having said that, what type of person do you lean toward being: an optimist or a pessimist? If you’re somewhere in the middle, you may already know how to and be able to reframe, but you may not give it the credit it deserves. After all, it’s all woo-woo, new agey stuff, right? Well… not really. Though the science behind it is still relatively new, we do know that emotions carry positive and negative frequencies with them, and these frequencies can negatively impact the human body. That’s why depression is linked to heart disease and stress is linked to cancer; your inner work is very important for your outer self.

 

Likewise, shining a positive light on problems or changes that are perceived as negative can increase your team’s productivity almost instantly. So, what are some basic techniques for reframing so that everyone can get back to full functionality and productivity?

 

Reframing Basics

 

#1. Shift from negative to positive. If your team is worried or scared about the problem that needs solving, you might ask them to think about what kinds of positive outcomes would be ideal to them and ideas on how to get there.

 

#2. Shift from victim mentality to empowerment. For those who seem to think they’re “cursed” or have “bad luck,” this is a great technique. If there are people wandering habitually through this mentality on your team, you might consider asking them to explore whether there’s anything they could have done to prevent the same things from happening over and over. If so, it is in their power to help change these events, and realizing that will not only empower them but give them the motivation to keep going even through the challenges.

 

#3. Shift from unknown future to the previously conquered past. If there are people on your team doubting themselves in the endeavors they will need to undertake to do their part, a good way to reframe is to ask them if there’s something they achieved or overcame in the past that made them feel powerful. If they can overcome or achieve that, there’s no reason they can’t overcome or achieve this as well.

 

#4. Shift from past failures to future potential. There are bound to be members of your team who are nervous simply because they’ve never done a specific task or type of project before. In this case, if they have doubts about themselves, you can ask them to visualize how they would feel after successfully completing that exact task or project. This will build confidence.

 

#5. Shift from liability to positive asset. There are bound to be team members who feel that their “weaknesses” might get in the way of accomplishing what they would like to, for themselves as well as for the organization or team as a whole. If you find yourself dealing with a situation like this, reframe their “weakness” to be a strength. For example, if someone is worried about their performance because they’ve always been told that they’re too bossy, you might ask them to consider how and where their bossiness might be most beneficial to this particular change or problem. They may even surprise themselves with their answer ;).

 

No matter what, always keep in mind that change can be scary and every individual is different as far as how they handle things and work through their initial reactions. As a mindful leader, it’s important that you guide them, stay positive as much as possible, help them reframe as needed, and remain as patient as you possibly can.

 

What are some reframing techniques you’ve used in the past? How effective were they? Please leave a comment or drop us an email to share some of your stories!

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

  

 

As a mindful leader, you may be tuned in enough to realize when changes are necessary. Whether this is because you listen to your team’s suggestions, the company has a budget issue, or for any other reason, your instincts are likely trained to tell. This is an excellent skill to have, although deciding to make changes and implementing them are likely going to be a team- or company-wide affair. Not to worry; if you’re in need of a little guidance to help you figure out your next move (or simply reassure you), you’re in the right place. Read on for some tips about how to mindfully make decisions while also including your team and their input.

 

Depending on your individual nature and leadership style, your methods of coming to a decision might vary. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process run smoothly, especially if that process involves the need to deliver bad news to your team or company. Whether this bad news comes from a superior or just exists doesn’t matter; people handle bad news differently, and it’s best to keep everyone as calm as possible as you move through the decision-making and change process.

 

Five Tips for “Bad News” Situations Requiring Change

 

#1. When you first learn about whatever bad news you have to deliver, it may be reasonable to take a little time for yourself to work through what’s happening and figure out the best way to tell your team about whatever is going on. If you haven’t yet, you may want to check out our previous article about the five stages of acceptance so you’re prepared for the various emotional repercussions that will likely come up.

 

#2. Like many people, you’re probably going to need at least a little bit of time to process what’s going on. Of course, this also depends on the severity and scale of the problem, but your ability to move through the stages of acceptance quickly is paramount. There are two ways you can speed up this process: write or journal about it, or meditate on asking for a solution that is beneficial to the majority.

 

#3. Be patient with everyone around you. It’s impossible to tell what a person might be going through in their lives outside of when you know them; a problem cropping up at work might be the fourth or fifth major problem they are dealing with, and even if that isn’t the case, patience is still a virtue. Withhold judgment while everyone settles into this new knowledge, and you’ll find that people will maintain absolute respect for you during trying times.

 

#4. Once most of your team has settled, it’s a good idea to ask them for ideas and suggestions. They may see the problem much differently from how you do, and new vantage points can help you to make better decisions. Ask them to take a day to think about the situation and what they perceive to be the best course of action. Have them write down their ideas and then have a brainstorming session to share, discuss, and come closer to a conclusion.

 

#5. Communicate with your team one on one about their ideas, especially if you want to include them or bench them. No matter which way you’re leaning, it’s important to remain respectful as you create your plan and come up with a solution for the issue. It’s also important to let people know what’s happening with their ideas, whether they are going to be used or not. This validates the ideas themselves, and the people that those ideas came from. Just because you don’t plan to implement someone’s idea doesn’t mean you don’t respect them as a person, and they will be more likely to participate next time if they know that their opinion is valued.

 

No matter what your situation might be, I hope that this information allows you to better deal with and constructively solve any issue you might come across =). Have you used any of these techniques or others to help in your problem-solving and/or change implementation? Leave a comment or drop us an email to tell us about it!

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

  

 

Change is a funny thing, and I don’t mean funny ha-ha. If you’ve spent any significant amount of time being alive (which you most definitely have if you’re reading this), then you’ve probably already learned that change – whether you perceive it as good or bad – is inevitable. It is a constant in life, and when we don’t change enough, we end up stagnating and our growth as an individual slows to a crawl. One of the most challenging things as a mindful leader is to foster positive change within your organization while helping all of the different personality types around you to move through their acceptance processes in a healthy and constructive way. The first time will be the most difficult… but you’ve got this! Read on to learn five actionable tips for fostering positive change as a mindful leader.

 

When we speak about change and being resistant to it, we’re not talking about a useful resistance; that fear and anxiety surrounding change is associated with risk, making our reptile brains completely freak out and go into fight or flight mode. That fight or flight response may have been useful in the past, but nowadays it overreacts to almost everything due to changing times. We no longer have to worry about being hunted and eaten by an animal bigger than us or surviving a night in a cave; we humans are excellent at making ourselves feel more comfortable, at ease, and taken care of ;).

 

These days, we’re dealing with more people who are afraid of change, success, and happiness than ever before. This may not be a conscious response, but if you take it into consideration, you may find that a fear of success is really a fear of the responsibility that comes with it. A fear of change is most likely really a fear of things going wrong. A fear of happiness might really be a fear of getting too comfortable and letting people into your heart. No matter what the case, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the reptile brain does more harm than good, so let’s try to take that old method of reacting out of our minds and replace it with more efficient, courageous, and lasting strategies.

 

Five Tips for Fostering Positive Change as a Mindful Leader

 

Knowing now what we know about the human brain, we can begin to make changes to our internal functions through intentional inner work. The human mind is like a super computer, but always expanding, learning, changing, shifting, and making things more efficient… if we train it properly.

 

#1: Meditate.

 

I know, I know… you probably feel like this is my top suggestion for everything, but that’s simply because of how effective this practice is! Even if you have no clue what you’re doing or how to meditate, begin. Take five or ten minutes a day (you will likely want to increase this slowly as time goes on, but it isn’t necessary) to sit and listen to some soothing music or a guided meditation. You can find many of these on YouTube absolutely free (although I would recommend choosing a video without ads throughout for meditation). Pretty soon you’ll be able to find meditation tracks on our website as well, so stay tuned =).

 

#2: Exercise.

 

This seems like a no-brainer, but believe it or not, regular exercise such as yoga and vigorous exercise such as lifting weights or running can actually help your body release negative toxins and work through negative emotions and stress. It doesn’t take much; ten minutes of yoga a day and a trip to the gym or a walk twice a week is plenty, especially if you’ve spent a while living a sedentary lifestyle (like sitting at a desk all day for work). Incorporating some simple exercise into your daily routine will help keep you balanced and centered.

 

#3: You are what you eat.

 

What we put into our bodies directly affects how much we can expect from our bodies on a daily basis. If you eat a lot of heavy, low-vibration, dead foods, you will likely feel heavy, sluggish, and not as great as you could. However, if we put high-vibration, alive, light foods into our bodies such as salads, kombucha with live probiotic cultures, and fruit, we will feel light, alive, and energetic. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to radically switch your diet in a day; lifestyle changes take a little time. However, beginning to expand your palate and try new, healthy foods can be done immediately. Start trying things that are healthy for you like quinoa, power greens, and green smoothies (best if homemade). Adding these types of foods as snacks or replacing something heavier with something lighter will feel strange at first; however, the more you eat those healthy foods, the better your body will begin to feel, and the more you will crave those foods.

 

#4: Sleep is good!

 

Another aspect of people’s lives that can wreak havoc without being obvious is a lack of sleep or a sporadic sleep schedule. Sometimes we feel like we might have insomnia, but really it’s because we watched TV or drank caffeine, prompting our bodies to resist sleep because we inadvertently tampered with our circadian cycles. If your sleep schedule isn’t consistent, you can expect to feel sluggish and low energy quite a lot, not to mention the emotional repercussions; some are more sensitive to this than others, but oftentimes a sleep schedule inconsistency isn’t even considered to be a cause because we like to be the boss and do what we want instead of getting some rest ;). Forming some solid sleep habits could make a massive difference in your life, so if you suspect that this might be holding you back, try something new.

 

#5: Leading by example.

 

Now that you, the mindful leader, know what to do to help yourself, you can lead people by example. If leading by example isn’t enough, you might consider having everyone at the office stop everything for five minutes for a group meditation. Get creative and think of when this might help the most – first thing in the morning? Right after lunch? Or perhaps you’ll get creative and announce a meditation break anytime the energy in your workplace gets too frantic, panicky, or stressful.

 

The top priority during a time of change is to keep everyone on track, focused, and working with minimal fear surrounding the change or changes occurring. Like a parent, your job is to guide your team through their struggles while allowing them to learn and solve their own problems. Meditation breaks could be the beginning of an incredibly tuned-in workplace, so this shouldn’t be something you only implement during times of change. Start meditating every day! You might be surprised just how much its benefits can turn things around, on an individual as well as a group level.

 

I certainly help that these ideas help you and your team to implement changes in a healthy and growth-oriented way! As always, continue leading mindfully and we look forward to seeing you here again.

 

 

For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Need some help with your mindfulness practice?  The Mindful Moments can certainly help!

 

You can find it on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 02:09

The Pushover vs. the Control Freak

This quote leads us to the next pair of “opposite” personality types that might present a challenge for you, the mindful leader. Judging, blaming, or finding fault doesn’t usually help anyone, nor is it constructive. So, how can you lead these two personality types in a way that works for everyone involved? It helps to first understand the basic aspects of these personalities, so let’s begin with that.

The Pushover

Also known as people pleasers, this personality type has likely shown up many times in our lives, not to mention that a number of people who are empathetic by nature can slip into becoming a pushover. Though empathy is important no matter what your position is at work, don’t assume that it means you are a pushover.

So how do you lead someone who seems to be taking on too much, doesn’t want to speak up, and generally agrees with everyone? It’s important to remember that this personality type just wants to make everyone happy. Conflict doesn’t sit well with them at all, and if they can do anything to help keep the boat from rocking, they most certainly will.

Unfortunately, there is stress associated with this personality type, too, so managing how much they take on is a good way to make sure they’re functioning well. If there’s an issue, chances are they won’t confide in anyone they don’t trust, so building their trust in you, their leader, is critical for helping this personality type find their place and thrive in the work environment.

For this personality type, it’s also a good idea to help train them how to say no and keep from taking on too much. If they are empathetic, this can be difficult for some, but your leadership will help them to become better leaders as well… as long as they learn how to say no =).

The Control Freak

Typically perfectionistic and very hands-on, this personality type may have some tendencies toward being obsessive-compulsive. Though they are often perceived as controlling, bossy, or even mean, chances are that they just want to do the absolute best possible and they hold themselves and everyone else to impossibly high standards. If everything isn’t perfect, they may fly off the handle and yell at whoever they believe made any mistakes.

Though this may seem extreme, if they find out that they are the person who made the mistake, they will beat themselves up for it mercilessly. We are our own worst critics, and perfection is their goal (even though most of you already know that perfection is impossible).

For this personality type, it’s important to remember that perfectionism generally runs in a loop. First the perfectionist will be completely motivated, ready to take on the world and conquer the project before them with a very high level of energy. However, when things don’t go to plan or something falls apart, they tend to spiral into anxiety and depression, leading to their outbursts when something isn’t done “right.”

As a mindful leader, your job is to make sure they know that perfection isn’t required. In fact, perfection is pretty much impossible no matter what industry you’re working in. However, get to know the person you’re speaking to. Sometimes stating this outright may not work; they’ll be dead set on proving you wrong! However, if you find a way to show them that this is true (rather than telling them), they are much more likely to understand and take this message to heart.

Again, no matter what types of people you’re dealing with, remember that everyone has a purpose to serve, and chances are that their flaws are minor compared to what they bring to the table… sometimes what they bring to the table is just a little trickier to gain full access to. On that note, continue leading mindfully!

 

The times of the old pyramid company structure are getting further and further away year after year and are being replaced with the idea of servant leadership. Why might this be? It’s much more effective to lead people who care about you and will serve beside you than to lead people with selfish, power-hungry, or financially greedy intentions. Those who work for you, and with you, can sense whether you’re being sincere in your leadership style or not, and they will work for you according to what their perception tells them, especially if they know they have talent and valuable skills.

Whether you’re new at being a leader or have been one for years, you’ve probably picked up on this vibe at least a little bit and know your own preferences. Think about it... would you rather work for that boss who constantly yells and tries to force you into doing things their way by demanding (not earning) respect and obedience, or would you rather work for that boss who takes a collaborative and constructive approach?

Most people prefer the latter, which is understandable. So how can you become more empathetic, collaborative, and mindful in your leadership style? You may be wondering if you have to change your personality around, but the truth is that no, you absolutely don’t. You can be yourself while still leading effectively and becoming the boss everyone loves to work for.

Five Tips for Becoming a Servant Leader

Servant leadership is a wonderful concept because it strives to promote harmony, collaboration, and mutual respect as opposed to a race for power or money through underhanded, unethical means. The following five tips are some of the things you can do when working with others to further enhance your mindful leadership skills.

1.      Listen to what your team has to say. Whether it’s about you, a project, another employee, or something different entirely, it helps to take the time to have a one-on-one conversation with each member of your team. You’ll learn a lot if people open up to you, and they will if you listen and don’t get offended or jump to conclusions.

2.      Be a positive force. As a leader, it is your responsibility to create a productive and effective environment, and people are generally most productive and effective when they’re happy. Sure, pressure to complete something might still be there, but at least those working for you will be more content putting in additional hours rather than grumbling about it and being less able to function because they’re miserable.

3.      Express empathy and caring. If you let your ego or pride do the talking, you won’t get very far with those you lead. In fact, it may drive them further away from you and what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Empathizing and showing kindness can disarm anger and encourage trust, which is a much more effective solution than fighting fire with fire.

4.      Focus on contributing, not receiving. When you approach your team with this mindset, you’ll be amazed at the collaboration and constructive work that takes place to get you closer to your ultimate goals. Inspiring others is much more powerful than self-involvement.

5.      Be open-minded. Though you’re the boss, this doesn’t mean you’re the be-all-end-all of the project or company. Think of all the ways you can learn from those who work with you, as employees or otherwise, and always approach opposing opinions with genuine interest to maximize what you learn and therefore gain from the experience.

 

As a mindful leader, your focus is probably already on those whom you serve or wish to serve. However, it never hurts to revisit some of the skills and attitudes that make great leaders so great, servant leader habits being one of those things. Imagine all of the people you can help, whose lives you can improve, by being of service to them. That is the key to mindful leadership success.

Many leaders speak about success and how to get there. Fear, however, is a topic that isn’t discussed nearly enough. If it were discussed more, it would cease to be so crippling in its grip on our mindset and perception.

Fear03

Have you ever noticed that when someone goes through a trauma, one of the best ways for that trauma to lose its powerful grasp on the mind and emotions is for the victim to discuss it and get comfortable with talking about it? This rings true for any fear. Getting comfortable with it, getting closely acquainted with the things you fear – this is one of the most powerful tools you can use to work through your fear and take your power back.

Keep Your “Enemies” Closer

·       If you have a close friend, coach, or therapist you can speak with about your fears, that’s good. However, if you don’t want to necessarily share your fears right away – it can be an intimidating exercise at first – then you may want to consider using a journal to get to know your fears.

·       Journaling is a useful tool in life, whether you’re working through a challenge or just documenting something that happened. You may find that it takes a little time to reach the depths you need to reach to get the full positive effect of journaling, but the more often you write, the easier this exercise becomes.

·     Acknowledging your fear and getting to know it better is like becoming friends with someone you find intimidating. Maybe you don’t know why they strike you as intimidating, but as you get to know this person, you may begin to find that they are – as suspected – just a person.

·   Deciding to master your fears is another important step in the process. Everything begins with a decision and the commitment to follow through. This rings true if you’re quitting smoking or writing a bestseller; it doesn’t matter what you’re going to accomplish as long as you make the decision to go for it and commit to the process.

This brings me to the last point I’d like to make about fear. It’s been said that many people are afraid of success; not consciously, of course, but subconsciously. Part of the reason for that is that most of us have a distinct impression of what it means to “get there.” When things don’t go as planned or new opportunities arise while we’re on our journey, we can get confused or sidetracked.

No matter what your version of success is, remember to enjoy the journey itself and take joy in the process. If new opportunities find you, don’t be afraid to take them on as you have the time to. Although it helps to stay focused mainly on your ultimate path, you may find that working on two or three different paths or projects can keep you from experiencing burnout because you have variety along your journey.

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” – Alice Morse Earle

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 15:14

Five Ways to Face Your Fears Constructively

At its core, fear does one single, crippling thing to you if you allow it to: it controls you. Whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not, fear can take over the power to run your life, making you worry about the past or future while the present passes you by. And yes... at first, your reaction will be to deny that this is your case. Once worrying and anxiety has become a habit, that habit can be difficult to break. But don’t add that to your list of worries – instead, you can form constructive habits to face your fears and live your life in the present.


There are some people who have faced adversity, struggle, and impossible challenges early in life and were essentially forced to face their fears or completely fall apart. You’ve probably heard some of these stories. The story of a young domestic violence survivor, the story of a child born without an arm or a leg, the story of a child born without the ability to hear or speak; all of these people were essentially forced to live their best lives by working with their challenges and setbacks instead of fighting against them.

And therein lies the key to facing your fears constructively: working with them instead of against them.

Everyone is afraid. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re a homeless veteran or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company... everyone is afraid. In brain science, this response is caused by what is referred to as the reptilian brain and is also known as the fight or flight response.

It is caused when our minds perceive something as being scary, dangerous, or unfamiliar.

This can happen in a number of scenarios. You’re the new kid at school, you’re starting your first day of college and don’t understand the industry lingo (yet), you booked your first public speaking gig, you’re being interviewed on video for the first time ever, you’re moving to another country for work, you’re getting married, you’re a concert pianist performing in front of thousands of people.... There are a million different things you could be afraid of in any of these situations, and your mind perceives it as a scenario where you have to fight or flee.

But do you really have to fight or flee?

Five Ways to Face Your Fears

1.      Differentiate between unfounded fears and legitimate fears. The situation may be one in which fear serves you and the fight or flight response is necessary; if you witness a shooting, it’s probably not a good idea to go charging toward it to face your fears. Let’s leave that to the people trained to handle that type of situation.

2.      Feel your fear and acknowledge it. This is an internal practice, but stay with me here. Allowing yourself to feel the fear you’re experiencing and think about it while breathing or meditating will make you feel more comfortable with your fear as you become familiar with it. You will find yourself recognizing that fear is simply an emotion, and you can reframe your own perception to work with this emotion rather than being crippled by it.

3.      Identify exactly what you’re afraid of. Usually, at its core, you will find that it’s fairly simple: a fear of rejection, a fear of failure, or a fear of disappointment. Once you’ve identified the root of your fear, it becomes much easier to work with it and use it to your advantage.

4.      Be honest with yourself. No one has to know except for you; that’s why we call this internal work. It’s your job to be self-aware and mindful of your habits and personality type so you can have the type of personal accountability that a successful, passionate life demands.

5.      Make peace with your fear. You must forgive yourself in advance if you’re going to fail, be rejected, or be disappointed. Perfection is unattainable, and excellence requires failure to learn from. Make the decision to be okay with any outcome you may experience and simply do your best in the situation you find yourself in.

Your future success and prosperity are waiting for you just beyond your fears. Isn’t it time to stop worrying and start living your life to its fullest? Remember that the only one who can ultimately control you is you.

Thursday, 11 February 2016 20:19

What is Fear? Five Tricks to Calm Your Nerves

We've all felt it: butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, and in some cases even nausea or fainting. It goes by many names, depending on its severity. Anxiety, worry, nervousness, stage fright... it's fear. But what is fear? And why do some people find themselves paralyzed while others grab it by the horns and run with it? Finally, do we have control over it or is it completely involuntary?

Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Build Resiliency for a Better Life


As the New Year hits, most of us turn to recapping the year behind us, then setting goals for the year to come. Goals are fantastic as they help us set a direction. If you don't know where you are trying to go, how do you ever know if you get there?

When I think about resiliency as a goal, I think of being resilient as building a better foundation, so that we are more able to adapt, flex, and grow through the things life brings our way. Being resilient means demonstrating our ability to effectively and easily navigate our lives.

We have all heard the motto; "It is not what happens to us, but how we respond that matters." I am forever working to increase both my own and my children's level of resiliency. I want us to be prepared for those times when we may be knocked around, or even down. I want us to get back up, dust ourselves off, and have a reserve of energy to make what we want happen.

If you wish to take a look at your level of resiliency (or how well you bounce back), try taking a look at some of these aspects of your life.

  • How healthy are the key relationships in your life?
  • Are you able to nurture a positive view of yourself?
  • Do you accept change as part of living?
  • Do you see crisis as an insurmountable problem (perhaps it is part of our journey)?
  • Do you know your goals and continue to move towards them by taking decisive action?

Try to slow your pace a little. Stop, look, and listen, so that you understand what is really happening vs. what story you have built around the situation. The story is not tangible but will drive our emotions and therefore our actions. Be deliberate in the things you focus on.

Resiliency is a great goal. With a little focus, you can build it and be a better person for having it.

All the best!

Find out more about Jenna here.

 


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