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“Do I have it in me?”, “I’m not good at people-skills,” “This situation is way too challenging…”

These disempowering thoughts have fear and anxiety at their base. The thoughts are not always based on truth either. Despite back-to-back successes, many leaders could still feel this way, especially when facing new situations and challenges that pull the rug out from under their feet.

When we find ourselves in these situations, it can be energy-draining, do you agree?

And to no surprise! Our hungry brains use up 20% of the body’s overall energy? That said, where we focus, our mind consumes our energy.

More thoughts - More neutral activity - More energy burnt

If we are burning precious energy, why waste it on thoughts that don’t move us forward—as human beings, in our careers, or in creating collaborative relationships? It’s essential to sense the learning opportunity & pivot towards more productive thoughts.

The 5 steps to pivot thoughts and use energy for the best outcomes:

  1. Acknowledge what’s happening
    The first step in change starts within you.
    What are the thoughts that help you move forward? What are the thoughts that keep you stuck? Make an inventory, journal for better clarity.
  2. Reframe thoughts for your desired outcome
    “I’ll figure a way out, as I always have. I’m getting better at this every day.”
    Remember instances when you overcame adversity. That’ll help you replace your self-talk with neural or more helpful ones like the above statements.
    Instead of “I am terrible at XYZ… I suck at it,”. This drains energy, inspiration, and efficiency and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  3. Prioritize activities that’ll move the needle
    What will move the needle in terms of finding the solutions or creating the outcome you desire? This could involve:

    • Create some quiet space for yourself, free from distractions to do some deep thinking, to come up with solutions
    • Protect your time, cut out distractions from your schedule, time block your priorities into your calendar
    • Find a mentor, coach, or colleague who can help you with resources to figure it out 
    • Attend a training
    • In your 1:1 with your manager, share the intention/plan to progress, and ask for support
  4. Build bridges—the brilliance of collective progress
    Understand your stakeholders to create a win-win.
    Knowing what motivates them will help build bridges. They’ll be more willing to listen to your point of view. This creates allies.
    Remember, this is about understanding another’s motivation and building respect, not manipulation. Manipulation or creating cartels might give short-wins but ruins everything soon.
    If you’re in a meeting, hear with an intention to listen, don’t be quick to dismiss—hearing their PoV can be helpful.
  5. Absorb feedback, continue the growth cycle
    The hallmark of any successful system or individual is the ability to read the environment, see what’s working and what’s not, and be in a state of continuous improvement—personally, with respect to a project or people, etc.
    Enlist a coach or mentor who can help you in that reflection, and bolster your growth even further.
    If you master this skill of directing your focus and energy into more productive thoughts, clear-headedness, strong stakeholder relationships are just some of the benefits you will acquire.

Schedule a conversation with me today. Let’s talk about how you can leverage your emotional intelligence to develop yourself into the whole spectrum of leadership capabilities—strategically, psychologically & spiritually.

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