Some days, we’re just not feeling it. It may be lack of sleep, a pizza hangover or just a no-good-reason-classic-brain-fog ‘meh’ head. At times though, there are bigger issues weighing upon us, like concerns about children, a painful divorce or navigating illness close to home. In such seasons, confidence and self-belief can wane. Our usually perky step is heavy, our creativity, productivity and judgment, dampened. Business won’t just play nicely because you’re struggling to be present. In these moments, some simple strategies can release increments of restorative well-being that can help stabilise and steady our path.
Engage Your Body
How we present physically, matters, even unconsciously to ourselves.
Research from Ohio State University revealed that good posture gives us more confidence in our own thoughts1. So, sit up straight, shoulders back, chin up. Whatever you do, don’t slouch or hunch. If you must stare at your phone hold it eye-level, no stoop-dogging whatsoever. Open up your body and fill the space. The latter, according to Professor Cuddy and her Harvard Business School research, will release confidence-inducing testosterone whilst reducing cortisol (the stress hormone), tweaking our chemical balance upward2. If you can, get in a short walk too, or a few pushups, jumping jacks or lunges to get that chem-cocktail all shook up! It may be the last thing you want to do but it’s like knotting the thread before things unravel further- it is better done sooner.
Engage Your Mind
All mental coasting will inevitably lead us to our favorite hamster-wheel-of-the-week and if that is worry, or feeling inadequate, then that’s a workout we want to avoid. What we say to ourselves is critical. “I’m going to lose my home” vs ” What if this new beginning is going to change our lives for the better?”. You get the drift.
- This is the time to pull out all the stops and become a mind-vigilante
- Strip-search every thought to eliminate contraband negativity
- Choose words that affirm your goals, your pre-determined future and purpose
- “Others have come thru this, I can too. My feelings are not the truth.” Facts may be facts, but no matter how compelling, along with all shades of fear, they will always yield to ‘will’. Our greatest gift is our ability to choose which thoughts we activate in the moment. And this moment is really all we have. Don’t look forward, don’t look back. You’ll trip yourself up on the rocks of historic or imagined adversity. Instead, stay present and look above the clouds. It is always shining there.
- Joy is a choice and is not dependent on circumstances.
- Gaze into the distance often as you consider the multitude of things that are awesome in your life.
If looking into the distance can help combat short-sightedness, my instinct is that it must also do so on a psychological level. So, propel your gratitude into the distance beyond the issues at hand. It works for me.
This is not rocket science, but it may be rocket fuel. You may need to go out of your way here, as motivation may be in short supply.
Do something wonderful for someone that matter, or a total stranger. Perhaps you have forgotten to thank someone- do it now, sincerely.
Or you remember a colleague’s big event last weekend – ask them about it with focussed interest.
Turning outward, releases the oxytocin that fires the bonds of connection, a mighty mood lifter that nourishes our soul and diminishes the gnawing aloneness we may be experiencing. And finally…
Check in with your inner, vulnerable self. Perhaps she/he is low on energy because of neglect. Have you consoled or acknowledged him/her lately? Left unattended, self-doubt can seep into your psyche. The small, daily lacerations of life deliver their subtle micro-wounds that may need attention or forgiveness or both.
Our vulnerability strengthens our humanity. Empathy, care, and attentiveness deepens connection, even with ourself. It can also open doors of opportunity unseen by those who determine to ‘suck it up’ and ‘push through’. So,
give a little to yourself, and watch hope emerge. If you express compassion to yourself now, you are more likely to recognise when others may need it too.
We bring our full humanity into our business. We can use it fully to re-engage us in the
undulating adventure it brings.