Do you like yourself? Can you write down a 100 things that you like about yourself? Most often people have difficulty getting to 10. Its fundamental, if you don't like yourself, and really like yourself, there is little you can offer others by way of coaching, mentoring or teaching.
In my work as an executive coach, I always spend time on understanding if the coachee likes herself/himself.
After having worked through the initial development feedback, goals and challenges, I ask them to do some homework.
1. On a scale of 1-10 how much you like yourself?
2. Break this down into Profession, Health, Finance and Relationships. How much do you like yourself in each of these areas?
3. Write down three paragraphs of instances when you really liked yourself. Example , when you gave a public performance. or when you nursed you sick parent. What exactly did you like about yourself?
Liking yourself helps others like you. You exude positive energy, are open minded and let everyone be open with you. Life doesn't feel so hard.
So, what do you need to do to really like yourself? Set a small goals and achieve them. Like exercise for 30 minutes everyday, call my mother every week or give my co workers positive feedback.
Start now and the world will feel like a very different place.
Mindfulness is the art of being present all the time, and the ability to calm the limbic system down to reduce fight or flight reactions. Mindfulness is a skill that is developed over a period of practice and has been known to take many forms for the last several centuries. One of the forms of mindfulness that I have learnt is while learning yoga. While most of yoga is practical and sets of “asanas”, the theory of yoga is based on mind- body alignment. Which is why yoga asanas never feel as vigorous or exhausting as western style workouts and over a period of time the mind and body align together and solve issues together instead of having diametrically opposite agenda’s, causing the human body stress.
Yoga-nidra or "yogi sleep" is a sleep-like state which one experiences during yoga meditations. The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, abdominal pain respond well to Yoga-Nidra. (Wikipedia)
I have been practicing Yoga-Nidra for about five years now. It is a process that takes 45 minutes everyday and aims to get the body and mind into a state of subconscious. They objective being that in that state of subconscious you can order your mind, or create “go to state”(Sankalp) for the mind and body to align to. Doing this with regularity helps create a sense of balance and alignment. I have been working on certain health issues and eating healthy. The other day I walked past a donut stall at the mall that had donuts with rich icing don it and it felt revolting to me. A few years ago I would have salivated at the thought of eating one, and not being able to resist the temptation eaten one and regretted the decision, since my body cannot handle high carbohydrate food. This was proof that over a period of time my body and mind are aligned and decisions of what foods are not good for me come quickly and easily without any struggle!
One of the critical challenges one faces during lay offs or letting people go, is dealing with the whole SARAH cycle. Shock, Anger, Resistance, Hope and Acceptance. I just had a call from an ex colleague who after a team meeting last week was called into his managers room and asked to leave. He said the conversation was barely five minutes long, with little explanation. We had a long conversation about faith in humanity and how he can learn to trust people after this incident.
In an organization that has good HR practices, it is imperative that there is a “case” that is built up for making anyone redundant. The “case” consists of feedback, rounds of counselling, putting the person on a performance improvement plan and being clear on what goals will be tracked over the next few months. This is done only to set the right expectations and to make sure that no one is taken by complete surprise. It’s a “minimize danger” strategy. Companies like these are keen to let people go the “right” way – pay fair severance, help with outplacement agencies only because they want to be known as an employer that cares. And the message clearly is one of, yes you are competent, but this is probably not the right fit. If it is a situation where the role has been made redundant then the organization makes itself responsible to find the person another role within the same organisations
Very clearly that was not the case with this colleague. Now as a result of this incident, other employees who have heard the story have their error detection sensors up – they keep feeling like they maybe let go in the same way. If companies do not make an effort to build a culture where they minimize danger and maximize reward, it will not just have impact on the talent they are able to attract and retain talent and but, to meet long-term business goals
Remember the last time you went into an Annual Performance Review Discussion and how your heart thumped loudly as you walked into it? It was your amygdala, (an almond shaped “mood” bender located in between your brains temporal lobes) which was sending signals to your cortex to ask to be fearful. Such an experience often has basis in previous experiences where you either have had a boss you have not trusted, or found the culture of the workplace being one where performance review is actually the yearly “dinging” time. It is for this very reason that managers in our organization are coached to give consistent and timely feedback throughout the year.
People are constantly exposed to stress and threat in the workplace. Think of the amygdala as one that has antennas to seek out this fear of threat. Too many emotionally challenging tasks and fear based experiences drive people to the edge until they reach a point of emotional saturation – a point where the amygdala has “high jacked” everything else in the brain. Our impulse control is regulated and controlled by a refreshed, rested, and fully functioning prefrontal cortex. If we constantly saturate the prefrontal cortex by overloading it with information, demanding constant complex decisions, and have no downtime after stressful interactions we cause this “high jack” and limit our ability to maintain impulse control and stay cool and composed.
I am working right now with a client who is clearly in an “amygdala high jack” mode. He has had a fall out with his manager and feels a severe sense of paranoia. Each of his emails read like a person under huge duress gathering evidence to absolve himself. He has not been able to sleep nights and is very emotional in his conversations. My coaching has been to try to get him to get to a point where he can refresh his PFC and start thinking of constructive ways to overcome the situation
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.