Exercise your mind if you want it to give you that edge in business.
There’s been a tremendous emphasis on the need to get out and about. We have all been encouraged to take regular physical exercise because of the benefits to our immune system and then there are the benefits for your mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, to my mind, this last part of the message has been almost watered down or added as an afterthought to the physical needs.
Did you know you can release these hormones by thinking?
I’m not wholly sure people really grasp to what extent exercise benefits us. Normally the discussion around mental health and emotional resilience is cut short following the mention of ‘serotonin’ and ‘endorphins’ those happy hormones? Yet the true power of our mind and the hormones produced by the brain should not be seen as secondary gain. Serotonin impacts the entire body enabling all our cells to communicate with each other. Whilst endorphins help us cope with stress and managing our emotional state? We can release these precious hormones with our thoughts. It’s not complicated thought leaders! Seratonin is released when we think of positive thoughts and recall positive memories. And to get those endorphins released and flowing, smile! yes, I said smile. Put a pencil between your teeth to push back the corners of your mouth and feel the stress subside.
As Leaders in business, it is not enough to have physical energy and strength. It is certainly not enough to have knowledge and skills. The true success of our leadership comes from our mindsets, yes, our thinking. It governs our emotional response and approach to the task at hand. Your mindset, subconsciously communicates your attitude to those around you and the decisions which you need to be made?
You could be the next Hussain Bolt or Isaac Newton, with your fitness levels and expert knowledge. But if your mindset is coming from a place firmly wedded to the world of a negative Homer Simpson and ‘the world is flat’ comfort zone. We can be pretty confident the big wider world is unlikely to ever know about you let alone your ‘stuff’.
It was Les Brown, one of my top 10 favourite motivational speakers who said. “the graveyard is the richest place on earth. It is there you will find the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled. The books that were never written. The inventions never shared. And the cures never discovered, all because some were too afraid to take that step outside” and he is right.
Take ownership of your mindset.
Your mindset is the result of many past experiences and the unconscious belief you formed to make sense of the situation. It is worth remembering, these experiences, will have an emotional charge attached to them. If they didn’t, they would be so unremarkable you would have been deleted them from your memory banks. So, I ask you, on that last point, is it any wonder, when, especially at those peak times of needing clarity, you find yourself in a ‘mental maze’? Grasping for clues on how to reach a new goal if you’ve already told yourself it’s ‘impossible’? It all comes down to us using outdated information from mindsets. Exercising your mind is the key to clearing unhelpful memories.
Have you ever searched on YouTube for ‘How to do XYZ’? You find exactly what you want, clips of people showing you step-by-step what to do …only on a system that is 5 years old and bears no resemblance to the program you are using? Well, this is just like your mindset. We are searching for answers to new challenges and all with the old guidance.
But let’s not dismiss the old guidance completely. Your past experiences, however, apparently, ‘embarrassing, crushing, terrifying, unpleasant, painful’ will all provide a fabulously rich ground for learning and growth. This is when we move into exercising the mind and embrace curating a rich and informed mindset. That reminds me of a quote I heard years ago, but it resonates with me every time I have a less than fragrant outcome … and that is “it takes a lot of manure (aka tish!) to grow show roses’. So just remember that. The more muck you can throw about, the better your crop is likely to be! Saying that, should you choose (and it is a choice) to build a belief around an experience as a ‘protective barrier, it is highly likely you will be suffocating the amazing blossoming wisdom and fruits.
Investing in clearing your mindset and rewiring it will enable you to refine your philosophy towards your leadership!
Even our mobile phones update the software regularly.
Just like any muscle and yes, your mind is a muscle. It will only serve you well if you use it properly and to its full potential.
We need to exercise and stretch it, which will lower the risk of damage, and will increase your emotional resilience. Think of it as an athlete. They religiously warm-up before a performance to prevent injury. We must adopt the same care with our minds. There are numerous ways to do this. You have already found one way which is reading this blog and you could listen to the Podcast later too. It is activities like these that create the neurons in your brain to fire off electrical signals. When they are stimulated they spark or light up interest and activity in your mind, this is a workout! You don’t even have to get out of breath, let alone a sweat, as I pointed out above.
What is your experience?
The events of the last year have been quite momentous. Your opportunities to exercise your leadership from a hamster-wheel rather than the full circuit training layout.
I am interested in how it’s been for you. Seriously, email me, I would be interested in as many viewpoints as possible? What has been your experience of leading your business through these unsettled times and uncharted waters?
One business leader (a client), likened his experience to “cycling without the chain being on”. And another, who said she had ‘battened down the hatches in survival mode’. What was your approach? Is either of these better than the other?
Do either of these resonate with you I wonder?
It is only through exploration that I could fully appreciate just how admirable the first approach was. The effort, determination, and true grit to persevere and to not be beaten. However, and there is no judgment at all, the deeper we went in our exploration of his chosen approach, it transpired his efforts were fuelled by a determination to remain in his ‘comfort zone’ and true to his ‘business model’. It was more important to him not to be ‘forced off course’ and ‘made’ to risk something new. Can you imagine the levels of stress my client endured daily? The feelings of being hunted and vulnerability.
I am not saying he won’t be fine and recover well. But the World has moved on rapidly, has he? and has his business? Time will tell, and we have more work to do on his underlying belief system that is informing his mindset. What past experiences were producing this attitude and approach to the new situation?
No other life form on the earth can alter the course of their life – only us. A monkey can only be a monkey. A dog will only ever be a dog, however cute and well trained. So, let’s not be giving away our gift of change.
Are you giving away opportunities?
Jim Rohn, also in my top 10, asked a brilliant question and it’s in my ‘yet to be published’ Book of Life Changing Questions – but Jim said, “If you kept the same pace of life as you are today … where will you arrive in 5 years’ time”? Just let that sink in for a moment. Repeat the question aloud. How you chose to answer that question might just be, the aha moment you need?
Do not take any opportunities for granted. The whole world has shifted in an extraordinary way, are you in pace with it?
Bob Proctor said, that’s 3 of my 10 top speakers I am sharing in one sitting! I must be feeling generous. “Your dedication to change and personal growth is reflected in your calendar and your bank balance”. If I asked you now, this moment to look at your calendar what proportion of your week do you have allocated to your personal development and growth. What personal development have you invested in? This could be books, or a subscription to a Podcast of group coaching programme. Maybe you have started a training or online studying programme. What’s on your bedside table to read tonight?
Yes, your mind needs exercise.
Your mindset as a leader is your no.1 highest value business asset. How much emphasis are you placing on getting it into prime condition. What did your bank balance and calendar really tell you about how you are managing your assets.?
I think there are 3 tiers of mindset growth.
- Freebies exercise self-help guides and books, blogs, and Pods… these are frequented by all of us at some stage in our development. They are for those starting out by dipping the toes in the water. ‘is this for me … am I worth the investment’. “Do I really believe in what I am doing”?
- The group memberships, group training, and coaching. For those who are serious but perhaps still searching for what it is they seek. They have ground clearance to do. You know when you are perhaps doing a building project and you need to know what space you have? They are looking to research what is within the boundaries of their scope.
- The serious and focused amongst us want to be challenged and are curious about how far they can get. They have had enough of exercising in the gym and sharing the resources and waiting for their turn. They have the desire and want one on one to push to gain limitless boundaries. We demand to be taken outside of our comfort zone. We pay to stay outside of our comfort zone.
So where are you and what do you need for 2021 and beyond.
I genuinely hope you have found some nuggets of inspiration in these pages. I would love to hear from you about your experiences and what you take away from here today. Or perhaps if this has whetted your appetite for your personal growth and you would like to join my mailing list to get my latest eBooks, Blogs, and upcoming events, you would be most welcomed.