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What Does Your Best Self Look Like? 

If we’re all being honest we’ve all had days where we showed up as our BEST! …and then there were those days where we feel like we fell short.

Here’s something really cool: There’s INSIGHT in that.

Hear me out! Think about what you’re like when you’re at your best. What are you doing? Thinking? Feeling? 

Take 5 minutes to jot down some thoughts about the characteristics that would describe you when you’re really firing on all cylinders.

If you’ve done that, you should now have a picture in your mind of the type of person you’re hoping to be on most days.

Now, let’s go a little further. If you really sit down to think about it, there are probably other tangible, circumstantial differences between the days when you were at your best and the days when you weren’t. It might be:

  • How much you had on your plate
  • How well you had been taking care of yourself
  • How organized you were
  • Whether anything unexpected came up

There’s likely a whole slew of characteristics you can name. 

Take 5 minutes and jot a few of them down. 

Now let’s evaluate!

Based on what you wrote down, there is a certain set of circumstances that had at least a partial influence on how you felt and experienced your day. Some of those circumstances are inside of your control, and some aren’t.

Take a critical look at those factors that you can control, and think about how you might put some structure in place to support you, going forward. Answer this question: How well did you pay attention to how you felt achieving your goals?

I’ll give you a tangible example.

When I’m at my best, I feel organized and in control. One of the circumstances that helps me feel that way is when all of my upcoming tasks and responsibilities are written down and accounted for on my schedule.

When this happens, I can let my mind relax because I know I’m not going to drop a ball. 

So, one thing I’ve started to do on a daily and weekly basis is look ahead and pencil everything in on my calendar. I mean everything. If it’s on my calendar, it’s not in my head.

This simple task helps me show up closer to my best every single day.

This approach is a great fit for me. Perhaps your needs are different, though. After all, we all have different skills and experiences. 

Take just a few minutes today to identify what you look like at your best and the circumstances you can create to make it more likely that you’ll get to show up as that person. Set an intention to practice and experiment with those things for the next couple of weeks.

If you really want to dive more into a set of practices and routines that will support you in consistently showing up as your best, you’ll appreciate our Self-care [by Design] mini-course. 

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
– Steve Mariboli
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Peak Mind Pro: Thriving Through Uncertainty

In order to be your best self, you must be able to handle uncertainty. To describe these situations we use the acronym “VUCA”: 

  • Volatile
  • Uncertain
  • Complex
  • Ambiguous

Situations and experiences that can be explained by one or more of these characteristics are particularly tough for us to handle. And if you think about it, is there a better word to describe the experience we’ve all been living through the last 18 months? (Seriously, if you can think of one, hit reply and tell us!) There’s simply a lot of uncertainty facing us at every turn.

VUCA situations are particularly tough for us because of our mind’s natural tendency to seek out predictability, familiarity, certainty, and stability. Our mind’s natural survival instinct sees a predictable, unchanging environment as one that is safe. It’s known. It’s one where we can let our guard down. We feel calm, confident, and at ease in predictable, familiar situations.

Let’s unpack that for a second. Our mind’s natural tendency is to feel at ease in predictable, unchanging circumstances. This is our comfort zone. So naturally, when things tip in the “VUCA direction,” we feel it, and it doesn’t feel good. It’s hard to be your best self when your mind doesn’t feel at ease. A lack of certainty compounds this.

So, is it really surprising that anxiety and depression have risen exponentially since the beginning of the pandemic?

We’ve heard from countless organizations over the last couple of months, and there is one common theme: people are feeling the stress and pressure of the ongoing VUCA situation we’ve all been living in. 

But, people still have jobs to do and goals to achieve. Our businesses and organizations still depend on our teams in order to move forward, even during challenging times.

So, what can you do to support your team so they can show up as their best, even in the face of adversity?

Monthly Tip

This month’s tip is to take a page out of the book of a true high performer. Michael Phelps is the most decorated olympian in history. He won 28 medals (23 gold), and has been lauded as the “greatest of all time.”

What contributed to that level of performance?

Sure, you can point to his natural physical ability to account for some of it, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

When you dig into Phelps’ training regimen, you see a series of rituals, like his race-day ritual above. These rituals are carefully crafted to put Phelps in a state of mind that allows him to show up and perform at his best. 

He primes his best self, and your employees can do the same. By priming our best self, we put ourselves in the mindset that allows us to handle more uncertainty. The repetitiveness and familiarity of a ritual like a race-day routine helps calm our mind during VUCA times.

Ask your employees to answer the following questions:

  1. When was a time that I was at my best? (Describe it in detail)
  2. How did I feel? (Be specific! Were you confident, calm, assertive, engaged, etc)
  3. What activities tend to elicit or detract from those feelings?

 For example:

  1. I was at my best when I reached my set goals while working on a big initiative last quarter.
  2. I felt in control and in a state of flow.
  3. My work was planned out – I knew when to do what. I had uninterrupted time.

Your employees can use the answers to these questions to craft their own “race-day routine” to prime themselves to show up closer to their best self each day. Not only does this further personal development, but it can trickle into other areas of your life. In this example, this employee could spend some time each week to plan out their work. They could consider blocking work time on their calendar to ensure adequate time to focus. 

By priming our best selves, we put ourselves in the best possible position to weather the inevitable challenges that a VUCA situation can throw at us.

Ready to help your team build psychological strength?

Ready to support your team to help them manage stress and uncertainty and perform at their peak? Fill out a quick form, and we’ll be in touch about how your organization can begin building psychological strength.

“The goal is not to be better than the other person, but your previous self.”
– Dalai Lama
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An Important Message for You: You Are an Asset

Have you ever stopped to consider for just a moment how important you are?

Think about it. How many people depend on you? For big things and for small things – you are important to the people around you.

You are an asset.

An ‘asset’ is an item of intrinsic value. And, because of that value, it needs to be protected.

You need to be protected.

So, let me ask you, are you protecting yourself?

Here’s what I mean. It can be so easy to push ourselves to continuously show up in life without taking breaks. With very little rest. Without doing the things we need to do in order to help us perform at our peak.

And then, when we falter, we’re so hard on ourselves for not accomplishing enough or doing this as perfectly as we had hoped. 

I’m going to ask you to consider some different ways that you might support yourself with the hope that you’ll think about them in the days and weeks to come. 

 

Boundaries

One of the key ways we protect ourselves is by establishing clear boundaries. Our boundaries are simply general rules about what we do and don’t do, and how we do and don’t do it. 

They’re also one of the biggest missing pieces I see people over-look in terms of protecting themselves.

Have you stopped to think about how you’d like your key relationships to look and feel? Your relationship with your spouse, your kids, your parents, your boss, your team. How do you want them to function?

Who has access to you? When? How much? What topics are you ok with discussing…and not?

These questions, and more, are good ones to consider as you intentionally think about how you want your most important relationships to function.

Once you make some decisions, begin to communicate them with those people. Reinforce the way you want the relationship to go, and why. 

I think you’ll be amazed at how different life feels when you have a set of good boundaries in place that help you avoid some of the resentful feelings that can crop up when people have access to us that oversteps what we would prefer.

Sleep and Rest

This one may seem obvious, but how much are you sleeping, and how much are you resting?

They’re different things, you know?

Sleeping is the obvious. We’ve written a number of posts in the past highlighting the importance of sleep in our emotional regulation, decision-making, the sentiment and nature of our thoughts, and how we experience our day. Sleep is a game-changer. Fight hard to get enough of it.

Rest is a separate issue. Human beings evolved to work in sprints. To work hard for a period of time…and then to rest. 

I’ll be the first person to raise my hand and say I’m guilty of not taking enough breaks during the day. I rarely build in rest time on my calendar, and it’s to my detriment. It’s to your detriment as well.

You do not need to ‘earn’ rest time on your calendar. Resting does not need to generate a measurable ROI (return on investment) to be beneficial.

You need both sleep and rest to be at your best. 

Self-Care

Self-care is something I am incredibly passionate about. And, I don’t mean bubble baths and manicures. 

Rather, I view self-care as the curated set of activities that support you and allow you to show up as the type of person you most want to be.

What do you look like when you’re at your best?

What qualities do you exhibit?

What self-care activities do you need to bake into your schedule to make it more likely you’ll be able to show up with those qualities? 

We did an entire podcast episode on something we call the ‘Self-Care Pyramid‘ to help people see just how robust and helpful a true self-care routine can be. I’d invite you to check it out if you’re interested.

I’d also invite you to check out our program Self-Care [by Design]. We created this mini-course because we saw that so many people, so many ASSETS, didn’t have the self-care routine to support them in showing up the way they want to show up in their lives. 

Bottom line, if you take nothing away from this post, know this:

You are an asset.

 
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
― Lucille Ball