Stressful thinking doesn’t mean a thing

What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?

Man on sofa with his head in his hands
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over thinking leads to..

Stress

Leads to

Poor sleep

Leads to

Inhibited cognitive function & IQ

To try and change we can work at the level of:

  1. The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
  2. The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
  3. Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
  4. Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.

None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them? read more

I need more balance

Needing balance shows up in various guises in clients’ worlds and yet each and every experience of ‘out of balance’ has the same origins.

Stones balanced on top of each other with orange sunset sky in the background
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

I wrote recently about leadership and said I’d write a linked piece about balance because it’s such a common feature of experience and something that was more than a one-liner.

The out-of-balance problems I hear from clients tend to show up as:

Leading the team vs doing my work

Strategic vs operational read more

Leadership for the whole of me and the whole of you

I just listened to this podcast and my reflections were beyond the wordcount of any social media post! I’d love to hear what you think too.

The conversation is an interview with Mike Vacanti on Teresa Quinlan and Rhys Thomas’s podcast TNT ESQ and there were three big themes that jumped out for me.

  1. Whole-listic leadership
  2. Bringing people with you
  3. Healthy attachment

Read on…

  1. I love the concept of ‘whole-istic’ leadership. Confirming Daniel Goleman’s findings all those years ago that the most successful leaders were those who deployed all the categories of leadership that he defined.

What I really see in this is how you can’t ‘do’ flexibility with leadership styles effectively from the intellect. You can’t come to each situation, pause, refer to the boxes and pick which to use for this person in this situation. read more

Lightening the load of leadership

Leadership development: an industry worth over $3.4bn. Are we seeing the results of that? I don’t think so and here’s why.

Do you remember the days when Head & Shoulders was one shampoo?

Old fashioned bottle of head & shoulders shampoo

I was online shopping last night and was struck by the fact that in one shop there was a choice of 32 different variations of this once lonely bottle. 32!

OaaaKaaaay, and what’s that got to do with leadership development?

Volume!

Not hair volume. Volume of content, information, concepts, theories, models, ideas. Your personality alone can be tested by hundreds of different tools to tell you which animal, colour or collection of letters you apparently are. read more

Conformity: the ultimate self harm

In conforming and being ‘good’, we’ve ignored our heart. We’ve created the perfect conditions for collective suffering. And for waking up.

The mind says ‘do the right thing’ because then you’ll be mended, you’ll have crossed the finish line of acceptable and ‘good enough’. And we’ll have order. Without being good – certain anarchy! Chaos!

Or so it says.

But it doesn’t know the deep wisdom behind it.

The deep wisdom of the heart which does the ‘right thing’; naturally inevitably. The perfect ‘right thing’ for you. No reference to right and wrong, no consideration for ‘will this get me the kudos?’. Just doing, from love, which includes strong words, and includes powerful action. This is not about fluff. All in alignment with a deeper reality behind the scenes. read more

Psychological safety : we have a choice

Psychological safety was researched for many years before it hit the headlines with Google’s Project Aristotle. In asking “what makes an effective team?” the key enabling factor was psychological safety. But we have a choice — we can create psychologically safe environments with or without effort. What do you choose?


HT for the image : https://coetichr.com/psychological-safety-people-science/

Definition : Psychological safety is “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”

I’m sure you’ll have been in a conversation or a meeting at some point in your life where you wondered whether to speak up, whether to ask the question, whether to offer the idea you had, whether to say I don’t know, or whether to say it didn’t work. read more

Diversity & Inclusion : how we’re making it worse

What’s it like to consider that our efforts to make ‘different’ people feel included are taking us away from what we’re trying to achieve?


Image Credit: Perry Grone : Unsplash

It’s time to pause. Just notice for a second, and see if what I suggest here has an inkling of truth to it.

We are creating more exclusion in our efforts to include.

What I see in my sphere of the world is people calling out causes that need to be fought for.

I see people defiant and definitive about the change that needs to happen to include those excluded. read more

Emotions : conditioned to find a cause

From a young age we’re taught our experience can’t just be experienced. There must be a cause. Here I explore how we got here and why it trips us up.

I see it from raising my own kids. When they were babies and were crying – poop, food, burp, sleep checks all done – still crying. What’s wrong? What’s the problem? How do I fix this?

Already assuming there was a problem with this experience of crying. With a small baby you can’t tell if there’s a ‘real’ problem or not, they obviously can’t tell you. Sometimes there is — maybe the onset of an illness, or reflux, or… — but sometimes there isn’t. They were just crying. read more

Getting out of your own way

“I just need to get out of my own way” such a common phrase when someone’s stuck in something they think they don’t like or want. And yet this act of getting out of our own way can seem so hard.

We can see where we want to get to and we know the blocks that are in our way : I procrastinate on the decision, I over-think the process, I’m afraid I might get it wrong, I worry what others will think, I can’t break these habits that keep me here.

Have you ever been in one of these situations and put a strategy in place to overcome whatever seems to be in your way? A new habit, a positive mantra, a vision board, joining a group with similar folk, creating goals and action plans? read more

What you most resist is what shows up

Sounds annoying doesn’t it! But really it’s the best design in the world.

Have you ever been that driver who drives right up close to someone on the road because they’re going sooooo slowly?

Done, obviously, in the hope of making them go faster.

Have you ever then seen that person in front slow. right. down?

Winding you up even more!

Until you stop and see that what you’re doing is actually making the situation appear in this way. The solid-ness of the story ‘I need to go faster’ and ‘annoying slow driver’ has loosened. Space and lightness. Ease and clarity have returned. You hang back and then they’re off. Possibly even driving faster than before! read more