Performing at our best, is not about the absence of pressure, it is about the manner in which we respond to pressure. The reality is that our life, no matter what roles we currently fill (stay-at-home parent, salesperson, CEO, 3rd year university student, engineer, HR manager…), they all create their own unique pressures.
A second reality is that for every one of us, we fill more than one role in life. This could include our role as a parent, a sibling, a student, an employee, a company leader, a business owner, a voluntary member at the local school or in your local community. Whilst expected to be at our best, we are needing to meet commitments and obligations in 100 different ways.
So how do we do it?
Victor Frankl (1905-1997) was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and Holocaust survivor. He was the founder of logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy which describes a search for a life meaning as the central human motivational force. One of his key messages that resonated with me was this:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
How many of us take the time to evaluate how we respond to different situations and interactions? Do we proactively consider what activities/interactions positively stimulate us? Do we proactively prepare for the activities/interactions that may negatively influence us?
Through a growing self- and social-awareness, we ‘develop an understanding of what triggers/motivates ourselves and what triggers/motivates others’. It’s a key skillset of effective personal and professional leadership.
In developing this skillset, we can begin to choose how we respond to situations:
- in a reactive or proactive approach,
- with a fixed or growth mindset,
- as a victim or a survivor,
- as a follower or leader….it is up to us.
5 Simple Practices
Below are 5 simple practices that you could choose to introduce into your routines. If consistently applied, these will support your personal efforts to maintain effective levels of performance, whilst operating under pressure:
- Go to bed 30 min. earlier and get up 30 min. earlier. Aim for 7-8 hours quality sleep. Use your extra 30 min. in the morning to meditate, exercise, journal or plan your day.
- Unplug and recharge. Disconnect from devices 90 min. before bed and don’t reconnect until you are physically back at work (or 9am if working remotely). Airplane mode works really well for this.
- Daily reflect on the things you are grateful for before you go to bed. This reflection is made more powerful if you record/write your reflections in a journal.
- Review (build awareness of) your ‘education v. entertainment’ balance. Schedule in 30 minutes per day for purposeful self education.
- Before finishing work, plan your 3 working priorities for the next day. Then you can release the conscious load and allow your sub-consciousness to get to work.
These are simple activities that can easily be introduced into your daily routine.
The purpose of these activities is to remove yourself from the stimulus of pressure-drivers and rest and rejuvenate.
By applying them to your journey, they will support your efforts to perform at your best regardless of your load.
Kānuka Wellbeing & Leadership Ltd
Building wellbeing and leadership practices that support individual growth and organisational prosperity.