Mentoring is a two-way street. I actually do quite a bit of work in the mentoring field–I am a mentor, I have a mentor, and I help train people to be good mentors. Your career is part of your life, and great mentoring changes you deeply, not just the way you work.
Flow is that energized, hyperfocused state when we are completely absorbed in whatever we are doing.
Five Hacks to Get into Your Flow: http://linkd.in/1BSh62H
Ours is a culture of excess, a culture of perpetual stress, a culture of doing rather than being. Too often in our quest for “doing it all” we lose sight of living purposefully, and this time of year that’s especially true, as we buy to much, spend too much, eat too much, and do too much.
Tips for repurposing SPUG as the Society for the Promotion of Unique Gratitude: Huffington Post
People with grit maintain their stamina, determination and motivation. When you are outside your comfort and learning zones and beyond terror’s edge, grit is the key to succeeding, leading, or managing through adversity.
Five strategies to develop your grit: http://for.tn/1ze2wWG
Call it what you will—building a team, outsourcing, collaborating, delegating, etc.—it all amounts to asking for help. And that is a critical factor in professional and personal success.
Find out how to ask for help in my Fortune article.
We have to build good fences and resolve to say yes only to the things we enjoy, that advance our careers, or that don’t distract us from our goals.
Find seven tips to help you say no in my Fortune article.
Despite the best intentions and well-made plans, sometimes our emotions can get the better of us. The more we suppress our emotions, the greater likelihood that someday, someway (usually at the most inconvenient time), they will have you. Once we are experiencing our emotions, what choices do we have? How can we “have our emotions” so that they don’t have us?
In a previous post, I wrote about four strategies to help you control your emotions, so they don’t get the better of you. But if these strategies haven’t worked for you, we have limited options for suppressing them. The two most common are not very good options.
The first is stuffing them deep inside: “No really, I’m not upset. I’m fine that George is taking credit for the project I worked all weekend to complete.” The second is self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to ease the sting and outwardly shift our response and the way people perceive us.
Neither of these solutions addresses the underlying cause of the emotion. Research shows that although suppressing emotions can be situationally adaptive (providing a short-term win), it comes with long-term costs. When we suppress feelings during emotional events, we are increasing our physiological arousal (our heart rate, blood pressure, etc.).
Emotional intensity is correlated with memory loss. It is cognitively costly to suppress emotions. We remember fewer details and we drain our finite cognitive resources. Suppressing emotions is resource-intensive for our bodies, for our memories, and for our well-being.
So what is the solution? All too often, once the moment of crisis has passed, we move on. But what we must learn to do is create safe, neutral spaces to process our emotions. Here’s how:
- Be present with your emotions. What was the feeling? What was it that triggered you? Create space for emotional reflections, to be aware and present with emotions, but not to the point of rumination or wallowing in them.
- Employ affective labeling. This is a fancy way of saying put emotions into words. Over time, labeling our emotions helps us to regulate them. It activates parts of our brain that reduce arousal. The more we label and understand emotions, the more prepared we are in the future to face them.
- Reappraisal. This is cognitive change (link to earlier blog); shifting the way we are thinking about the situation, the emotion, the experience. What else could this mean? What else could be true? How can you think about this situation differently? How can you reconsider this emotion in a more positive light?
Creating time, space, and energy to process emotions necessitates discipline. How can you make this a habit? What will give you leverage to build this new muscle?
Have you ever had a situation where your emotions got the better of you? Living overwired, we are going so fast and so furiously that we often don’t take or make the time to handle our emotions until it is two late. Here are four strategies to prevent your emotions from getting the better of you:
1. Situation selection: This is the most forward-looking and proactive approach. Situation selection means to consciously and carefully choose the situations you enter into. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, don’t even walk into an ice cream shop. There is power in prevention.
2. Situation modification: Sometimes we can’t choose the situations we are in, but we can make small shifts or modifications that will set us up for success. Here’s an example: You have to attend a family reunion where you know there will be an abundance of delicious, unhealthy treats. Rather than standing by the table of food, spend time away from the food, in different rooms. Not only will you increase your success, you will preserve your precious brainpower by not having to use willpower to resist.
3. Attentional Deployment: This is a fancy term for distraction. Once we are in the situation, how can we make the best of this by controlling our attention? By consciously shifting your attention away from what you are resisting to something that will reduce the emotional drain. Shifting your attention away from all the delicious food you are missing and moving your attention toward listening to Uncle Mert’s story about his Boy Scout troop. This is an internal version of situation selection.
4. Cognitive Change: Change how you see the situation in order to change the emotional significance. Rather than focusing on how hard it is to not eat or how this family reunion threatens to sabotage your diet or how much you miss eating Aunt Mae’s delicious cheesecake, focus instead on how your willpower and ability to resist is a wonderful testament to your commitment for health.
So using these tips, ask yourself:
- How can you proactively set yourself up for success?
- How can you make the best of a given situation?
- So you are stuck. How can you control your focus?
- Given that something is happening, what else could this mean?