by Angela Kambouris | Featured Contributor
When you invest time to reflect what you are like when you are at your best and when you are having your best impact on other people, the true essence of you has been activated. The part of your brain lights up that produces enthusiasm and zest. To truly succeed, you must be willing to bring your whole self to the way you live and to work you do. That means showing up, leading with humility, embracing vulnerability, and despite your imperfections and flaws, embodying your humanness. Your ability to have courageous conversations, ask for help, establish and sustain human connections and allow yourself to be visible and seen.
Breaking the cycle of monotony, doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different response – insanity as Einstein famously pointed out. Yet many continue to run the hamster wheel, leaving parts of themselves at home when they enter the workplace. Yes, check the ego at the door but bringing your whole self to work., embracing all parts of you, will set the platform for you to launch yourself in the new year.
With 2019 knocking on the door, let me share with you 8 ways how to stop the drama, continue the feel-good moments and start embodying the best of you with victorious thinking and action.
Leading Your Energy
Your energy is the most prized and protected resource. Human beings need time to relax and recharge. If your energy is affected nothing happens. Your energy sources are connected to your basic human needs – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. When you conduct a self-assessment (1 – 10 scale) on your state in each of those areas, you obtain a clear picture of what gives you energy and perhaps what changes are required to sustain your energy over time. Nurturing your energy is necessary to keep the passion and vision alive and to handle the responsibility coming your way.
Explore your return on energy
When you review 2018, explore the things that inspired you. Unveil the things that didn’t work and what sucked the energy out of you like an emotional vampire. Identify what were the things that were within your control and separate them from the external events.
When you allow your flow state to unfold, the true unfiltered you will reveal itself. Put pen to paper to dip into your distant self and extract your internal resources. Imagine yourself one year down the road, set a timer for 15 minutes and begin writing down the problem you are experiencing, including your thoughts, emotions that come up. Language who you were being, what you experienced and how you added value. Ask what advice you would give her? Reverse engineer what your success felt like and identify your high levels goals, who needs to be part of your journey and how you celebrate achieving the milestones. When the time is up or whether you have continued beyond the buzzer, clear your head and revisit the suggestions with a renewed focus.
If you want a new year, do it differently
How many people set artificial goals because that is what everyone else is doing. If you want a new year, do 2019 differently. Setting SMART goals as most people have been trained, however, start with asking the question “How you might bring value to others in 2019?” Step into the leader you are by asking quality questions that reflect leaderly value such as “How will you create environments that let others know that they matter?” “What is one thing you must do today that brings you closer to build the future you aspire to create?” “What are you prepared to do, that you haven’t already done, to get where you haven’t been? Invest in what you must do to define the year you want.
Bringing awareness to your body
Self-inquiry brings awareness to where your feelings and sensations reside. Listening to your body for 15 minutes a day can assist you to recognize and name your emotions. Create a space where you sit quietly with your journal, close your eyes and when images, words or body sensations occur, record them. At times, an image or memory may come to mind instead however the important aspect is to stay with the quality of the sensation and put to aside your logical senses. Inquire more deeply and ask what is it about this whole problem that makes this quality so – challenging, angry, stuck, overwhelmed, pleasant, uplifting, enlightening – identify your own words. Return your attention to your body and allow the sensation to release. You may not always feel a shift and you may notice a moment of feeling better but not knowing why. Trust that your ability to be present to your inner world is often enough to begin an emotional awareness process.
Being present to you
Practice daily habits that ground you into your body by creating a calm place where you can focus on your breath and meditate for 10 minutes. Practice joy by immersing yourself in activities each day – whether it be drawing, dancing or baking. Automated writing where you free-write, scribble, express all your emotions, thoughts and feelings in uncensored detail. Choose whether you wish to journal or write on a piece of paper and burn when complete as part of a releasing process. Invite the serenity prayer – “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things l cannot change, the courage to change the things l can. And wisdom to know the difference”. Identify what you can change versus the things you cannot.
Turning off when you leave work
Finding pockets of time to decompress outside of work is critical to our functioning. Shawn Achor, in a Harvard Business Review article, highlighted the need to identify periods at home as “work-free zones “that allows for mental decompression. Having personal days, regular breaks or taking a vacation allows the brain and body to rest without the mental chatter of the workplace.
Within the workplace, adjust where you have a break 10-minute break within a 60-minute timeframe. Design your day to fulfill your requirements for maximum impact to deliver results without compromising your wellbeing. Headspace has an app that offers a 10-minute guided meditation that can assist you to recharge and be more focused and productive at work. Arianna Huffington highlighted in her book The Sleep Revolution how our dismissal of sleep significantly impacts on our health, decision-making and undermines our lives. The Sleep Foundation supports that we require a healthy eight hours to ensure you are rested and ready to embark on a new day.
Needing more self-love in our workplaces
Self-love is tossed around conversations and the self-development arena – “you need to love yourself more”, if you loved you more, then this wouldn’t happen, you need to love you first before loving another”. Self-love is not a state of feeling good, it is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support all aspects of our growth. Setting boundaries to people, activities or work that deplete your energy are imperative.
Bring the right people into your life, practice great self-care to self-nourish mind, body, and spirit. Live intentionally as you live by your design with purpose. Lisa Nichols, motivational speaker, and best-selling author, reminds us that your job is to inspire you to become the best version of yourself and that when you become an abundant thinker, you achieve unlimited success on your terms.
Being kinder to you
You have heard the phrase that “you are your own worst critic”. Your investment in giving more weight to your flaws, mistakes, and shortcomings than your successes. Officially termed “negativity bias” your mind is compromised, your productivity interfered with and your body accelerates aging and illness. To circuit-break the cycle, self-compassion is required. Dr. Kristen Neff, psychologist supports the practice of being kind and understanding to our self despite the events as self-compassion supports motivation and positive change. One way to interrupt the cycle is through transcendental meditation. The TM technique allows your mind to easily settle inward until you experience a peaceful level of awareness. Hundred of published research studies on TM verify its effectiveness for reducing stress, enhancing brain functioning and strengthens immunity.
So many people invest their time in December obsessing over their goals, how they will reach them and how these are going to change their world. It is time to purge bad habits, learn from mistakes, make friends with your discomfort and conquer your fears. It’s time to turn things around by stepping into your fullest potential. Don’t keep reliving the past, it’s time to reinvent the future.