Is There Room For Mindfulness in Business?
Overstimulation and an overactive fight-or-flight system are two key stressors we face today. We are bombarded with more information and sensory stimuli than we can manage which activates our fight-or-flight response and puts us in a continual state of ‘freeze’.
“From the television and internet alone, we are confronted with more data in a week than our Paleolithic ancestors were exposed to in a lifetime” asserts bestselling author, Alberto Villoldo in One Spirit Medicine.
Add the complexity of running a business, the constant pursuit of more information and the desire to continually progress and achieve puts us in a perpetual state of exhaustion.
Humans evolved to cope with only one lion roaring at us at a time, not doing battle with the entire jungle, relentlessly.
Unfortunately, our brains are now too overtaxed to sort through the myriad of data, much less determine what is a crisis and what is not and if there is any critical action we need to take.
In this state of information-over-load, there is an ever-widening gap between our thoughts and feelings, our heads and our guts. We may sleep but we rarely relax. We are overworked and perpetually exhausted.
Is it any wonder that most coaching businesses fail to make it to year three?
In the busiest time in history, where many business leaders and owners wear ‘busy-ness’ as a badge of honour, is there really any room for mindfulness when running a business? I say one emphatic HELL YEAHHHH! I would even go so far as to say, failing to practice mindfulness in your business is the fasttrack to fatigue and failure.
A Business Case for Mindfulness
Did you know that being continually over-stimulated and exhausted:
1 Reduces your intelligence, emotional intelligence and decision making capability;
2 Increases your levels of anxiety and stress;
3 Reduces your overall performance and effectiveness;
4 Keeps you distracted and disconnected from yourself and your intuition;
5 Prevents you from truly connecting and being present with your clients; and
6 Not to mention the subliminal impact you’re leaving on those around you.
As coaches, we have a responsibility, a duty to lead by example. To demonstrate to the best of our ability how to balance the many roles and functions we play in our business so we can positively impact and influence our clients to achieve balance too. Mindfulness is THE only way to achieve this.
For many, the monkey mind keeps our thoughts in over-drive and constantly distract us from being in the present moment. The point of power is always in the present moment so when we are distracted by thoughts that take us from the present, we are giving our power away like water in a leaking boat.
“Wherever you are, may you be there.”
I like to group our thought patterns into four key areas for simplicity sake. They are:
The Past– A portion of our thoughts can revert to our past. These thoughts can be full with regrets and wishful thinking about how things could have been rather than the way they played out.
The Future– Thoughts of what is yet to come is the home of worry, risk and playing ‘what if’ about future events that may or may not transpire.
Their Issues– Being concerned with other people’s thoughts of you, or their dramas or the things that are beyond your control such as politics and the weather are the thoughts I group in ‘Their Issues’. Investing energy and thought here offers little value to you.
I– This is the land of your ‘own stuff’. These are usually contained within the sanctity of your own self-dialogue but are often the most powerful and hindering thoughts of all. Things like self-doubt, fear and criticism of your abilities.
The key is to be present in the now. To quiet the monkey mind and re-direct our drifting thoughts.
So, if you’re wondering whether mindfulness is just a passing fad or whether it’s a real and practical strategy to keep you sane in this information-over-loaded world – take a moment to get quiet within yourself (please give yourself at least this!) and ask if you could enhance your personal and business effectiveness by being more mindful, more relaxed, more present?
5 Mindful Practices To Get To the Present
1 Just Breathe– And I don’t mean those shallow, quick breaths. Breathe slower and deeper. Right down into your abdomen. To ward off fight or flight response and let your brain know you aren’t wrestling with that lion, that you are physically okay try taking at least three deep, abdominal breaths.
2 Mindfulness Apps– Download and incorporate some of the great meditations, music and activities on mindfulness apps like ‘calm’ or ‘smilingmind’. Introduce these elements throughout your busy day, on your lunch break or in moments of stress and conflict.
3 Try Meditating– Start and/or finish your day with a meditation, soft music or enjoy some quiet, reflective time. Nurture your soul in ways that help you to re-charge.
4 Connect with Nature– Nature has the perfect vibrational frequency for relaxation and balance. Go for a walk (bare foot is even better), listen to nature sounds such a birds or waves, enjoy some sunshine on your skin.
5 Find a Yoga Class– Yoga is a brilliant way to sloooow right down, ground yourself in the present moment and re-connect. Yin yoga is my personal favourite but there are several styles of yoga. Explore and find the one(s) that resonate most with you.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Cindy Turner, Master Coach and founder of coachcentral.com.I help heart-centred coaches build successful, soulful businesses so they can make the difference they were born to make.
I have passionately created the Power CircleÒprogram to help go-getter coaches fast-track their success.
Power Circles are intimate, facilitated mastermind groups of coaches dedicated to growing their business capability and reach so they can make the difference they were born to make. Running a coaching business is a team sport, not a solo one…
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