Acceptance Is Not About Giving In

Focus your energy on what you can influence and accept what you can’t.  You’ll be more effective and certainly less stressed.  It’s a cliché but true.  There are some things you won’t ever change and it’s time to accept them and move on.

But where does this sit with real ambition to achieve great change or great vision?  Is acceptance just about giving up or giving in?  Isn’t it a leader’s job to be optimistic and make the impossible possible?

Go a bit deeper into the subject of acceptance and it becomes a more useful idea at work.  Acceptance is not about giving in or putting up with bad behaviour.

First of all acceptance is about planning and timing.  There are certain things at certain points that are not going to shift right now, so be clear about the path to success and accept that things can change in stages.  It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Secondly, a great question to ask yourself is ‘what or who am I resisting in my life right now?’  Sit quietly for 5 minutes and ask yourself the question as if you are a curious bystander and see what emerges as thoughts and feelings.  Don’t try too hard.  This often starts to reveal the things which are frustrations for you – things which are not always useful and just getting in your way.  Perhaps things you need to accept.  This awareness is incredibly useful and energising.

Bear in mind too, that many leaders use meditation to help them liberate their minds to achieve high performance.  See www.headspace.com.  This question comes from their Acceptance pack in the Relationship series.

Extracts taken from Energise, the KineticFuture course for leadership development.  It shows leaders how to energise themselves and energise others to achieve their goals. Contact us to find out more.

If you are interested in an 8 week course which combines mindfulness with cognitive behavioural therapy, one of the most highly recommended public courses is at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre. Find out more about the course here.

Holiday Preparation Stress Zone

Holidays are really important. But the lead up can be difficult. You can see the end in sight, you’ve had enough, you’re knackered and you’re worried about your key projects.

Positivity can start to wane and you can arrive on holiday stressed out. So what strategies can you use to manage the situation better? And how can you set a good positive example for your team? Here are some evidence-based techniques from positive psychology and neuroscience.

Acceptance.   Try accepting that you will not have everything in perfect shape before you leave even if you worked 24/7. Focus on the priorities. Stop trying to be perfect.

Reframe.   A holiday is vital for you to think, process & refuel. It is not a luxury. It is essential for peak performers just like good nutrition is for an athlete.

Flip it.   Take your worries and ‘flip them’ to find another way of seeing a situation. For example “projects will go wrong when I am away” could be flipped to “this is a chance for my team to take responsibility” or “they’ll realise how much value I add”.

Avoid multi-tasking.   Your brain will function better if you write your to do list first thing in the morning and then focus on each task with 100% effort. You’ll be more efficient in the time you have left and feel less frustration.

Mindfulness.   A ‘pressure cooker’ period is exactly the time to take 10 minutes to just walk round the block or to do that mindfulness practice (we like www.headspace.com).

Perspective.   Are you really so indispensable? Will the world cave in when you are gone?

Enjoy your holiday!

These techniques are extracts from the KineticFuture “Positive Leadership. Peak Performance” course. Contact us to find out more.

Quieten Your ‘Fizzy Brain’

Do you find yourself lying in the bath or in bed with thoughts about work still whizzing through your brain?  It can be exhausting and is not productive.

Mindfulness, or some call it attention training, is one technique which seems to make a huge difference to many of our clients.  We recommend www.headspace.com.  You can download the app and have ten sessions free.

It works by teaching you to focus.  The focus then quietens the brain.  All you need is ten minutes a day, a chair and a quiet space.  After just 8 weeks it’s possible to see changes in the brain through an fMRI scanner.

Athletes use mindfulness training pre, during and post big matches to help them stay in a ‘flow’ state so they can play their best game.  It helps all of us make better decisions by being able to calm our emotions and reduce stress.  There have been many clinical studies proving its value.  Have a look at the Health Enhancement Program (HEP) at Monash University to see how they use it to prevent medical students from burning out during exam time.

You can find out how to use mindfulness and other positive leadership practices to improve your performance and well being on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance courseContact us to find out more.