In the movie, Yes Man, Carl Allen (portrayed by Jim Carrey), is mired in his negative ways until the day he attends a self-help seminar that teaches the power of saying yes. The results are immediate—new job promotion, new romance, but true to Hollywood form, Carl discovers that too much of anything can be bad for you. The road to happiness is a little more complex than simply saying yes. Still, the concept that giving to others improves your health and happiness is not a screenwriter’s fantasy. Saying yes gives you permission to receive positive energy. It fuels creativity and creates trust and safety amongst others.
In our daily lives, the inclusion of others to create positive interactions begin with saying yes. This does not mean we agree with everything, but we provide affirmation that the person is heard. By simply, nodding or saying, yes, we are passing on positive energy to the speaker. Short phrases such as, “Yes, I hear you,” or “Yes, your words are important,” are positive ways to engage the speaker. Even if we disagree, we should acknowledge value in the speaker’s words. This reduces the chance of speaker becoming defensive. It promotes openness and positive inclusion.
By saying yes, we can also produce positive energy in our everyday lives. When we focus our energy on believing that we can succeed, complete a task, or reach a goal, we are giving our inner selves permission to try. Conversely, no is the beginning of fear. Starting with yes, we are freed from self-doubt and fear. Empowered, we can take the positive energy and reach for our goals.
The power of yes produces positive energy and a sense of value. Just as depicted in the movie, Yes Man, too much of “yes,” can lead to negative consequences such as loss of standards and accountability and a sense of recklessness. This power must be tempered with common sense.
So, go forth and embrace the power of Yes!
Reach out to me, AmyD the Peak Performance Expert and Trainer, if you want to learn how you can harness the power of yes- so that you can be the most effective, focused and driven leader you can be.
As the Peak Performance Expert, I help people remove the mental limitations that prevent them from achieving greater success.
One of the main emotional blocks I see among my clients and others, time and time again, is this: a diminished capacity for gratitude.
We, as a society, seem to have forgotten what it means to receive with grace. To experience and express gratitude, which is a blessing in itself.
In fact, we’ve replaced the practice of gratitude with a negative mindset, that of dissatisfaction. We spend each and every hour striving to do more and be more without taking a moment, a mindful pause, to give thanks to the universe and our Creator for all the resources we already have.
Instead, we barrel forward with our heads down, focused entirely on the end result rather than the present moment that is perfect just as it is.
In fact, it is God who reminds us of our innate perfection. Not only is this moment perfect, but we too are made perfect in His image. God also reminds us that generosity is part of the natural order. Romans 8:32 speaks of the grace that comes with giving and receiving:
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
The good news is that you can beginning practice gratitude in the here and now. You can give yourself permission to feel joy in receiving the gifts of the universe. When you open your heart to this energy, you will only ever attract positive things.
Greet each moment with your palms up. You can think of palms up in a figurative way, signifying an open-hearted and receptive approach toward the universe.
You can also practice this position literally by sitting in meditation with your palms up. Mindfully consider the things in your life that you’re grateful for. We often take the things in our lives for granted, so now is the time to pause and give thanks for the small things that give our lives meaning will in turn bring those larger gifts we desire i.e. abundance, prosperity, peace of mind, high quality relationships, strong communication skills.
When you practice gratitude, it becomes habitual, something that comes naturally to you. You are in effect creating more life-affirming energy that sustains you rather than depletes you, as I’ve explained in another article about the laws of biocentrism.
Here’s another way of putting this elegant, simplified truth. When we appreciate even the smallest things, such as a kind gesture or the check in our hand, our liveliness quite literally appreciates. It leads to an endless, abundant energetic flow, an increase in the value and positive meaning of our lives over time.
Energy attracts like energy. If you’re ready to begin the life-altering practice of transforming your current energy in new, positive, elevating ways, reach out to me. I look forward to beginning that journey with you!
In my last blog post, I discussed how meditation impacts your brain, and ways long-term meditation can strengthen the brain against aging. Mental awareness impacts the brain and physical performance. The thoughts we tell ourselves can become reality, a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Take for example, the L.A. Clippers. They have been plagued by what has been dubbed “bad luck.” According to Shaun Powell, the Clippers NBA team is often plagued by bad luck; however, some of the team’s woes have roots in poor management. The L.A. Clippers aren’t reaching their peak performance due to embracing a negative mindset. They’re prone to injuries, setbacks, and failure. When those occur, they blame the team’s bad luck history, a mindset that is self-fulfilling.
Professional athletes aren’t the only ones who suffer from the lack of mental discipline and blockages to success. Meditation and mindset are important to overcome these blocks to self-fulfillment and success. Self awareness will help you to understand how to work out environmental factors that might be impeding your performance. Investment in yoga and meditation can improve mental fortitude and focus.
Many CEOs and entrepreneurs also utilize meditation in their business practices as well as personal lives. According to Business Insider, Panda Express Founder, Andrew Cherng, said of meditation, “I want to fix my people from the inside.” He once stopped a business meeting to encourage an upset manager to meditate. Entrepreneur and Def Jam Founder, Russell Simmons, credits transcendental meditation with changing his life. He said, “It has changed my experiences in meditation and therefore my life.” Another example, Green Mountain Coffee Roaster founder, Robert Stiller, brought in meditation instructors for his employees. He said, “Meditation helps develop your abilities to focus better and to accomplish your tasks.” For these individuals, their success is connected to meditation and positive mindset.
With so many successful individuals using meditation to stay focused and move beyond unproductive situations, bad luck, and inherited mindsets, it seems a no-brainer to implement. The lyrics “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” have been sung by the likes of Ray Charles, BB King and on a regular clip from HeeHaw, a 1970s variety show. As in the case with the Clippers, some simply buy-in to the prevailing mindset of bad luck. It then becomes all too easy to validate. What you believe is what you look to validate.
If you’re in a career that requires you to be on top of your game, at all times and all places, meditation and mental conditioning is what puts you at a competitive advantage. Ask me about Peak Performance Mentoring that can catapult you to a place among the elites. Visit my contact page or email me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you!
In 2012, the New York Giants’ future seemed destined to end without a post-season berth. They were 7-7 and drowning in penalties, sloppy play, and low morale. After a particularly awful game, the next night the players attended chapel. There high school teacher, Gian Paul Gonzalez, spoke to them about being all in. According to Gonzalez, when playing poker and you feel confident in your hand, you go all in. Being all in became their rallying cry to action, and a call for each member of the organization to re-evaluate their commitment to success. Gonzalez challenged them to be their best selves. The Giants’ team players successfully went on to win the Super Bowl. When you know you have a winning hand, you don’t hesitate to take the risk. That’s the feeling leaders should inspire in those around them and in themselves whether they can clearly see the winning hand or not.
Throughout the course of our lives, we lose focus. At those times, we don’t present our best. That loss comes for a variety of reasons. For example, during the last few weeks, many have been tested by the throes of Mother Nature. Hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes have left many in our communities feeling harried. In these challenging moments, we have two choices—to present our best or not.
When we shift our energies from a negative focus, we reconnect to our goals. We can do so via mediation, helping others, and utilizing the team around us. When we do, we find success. We are able to rediscover inspiration and reignited spark. We must avoid being swept away in the sea of emotion that forces us to lose sight of the shore. Having a solid team to hold you accountable can help us remain tethered to our being our best.
One of the other ways we can remain focused is to train our brain to be focused on a singular task. According to David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, we should train our brain like a muscle. The ideal of multitasking has trained our brain to be unfocused. To train our brains to focus, we should start by spending small chunks of time concentrating on completing a singular task. Practice daily. If your mind wanders, redirect it back to the task at hand. Increase the time as you would when implementing a new workout regimen.
Another way to remain focused, in addition to brain exercises and mediation, is to pay attention to where you do your best work. According to Rock, most people do their best thinking when not in an office. So, pay attention to the location in which you are most focused. These are your touchstones, your focal points. Revisit these areas when you feel unconnected and need to reconnect to your goals.
When you feel unfocused or drifting from your goals, be an advocate for yourself. Seek out your team to help you reconnect and recommit. Getting the help you need when you need it is part of the success. That success can in turn, lead you to being your best. And, keep in mind, your team is generally well defined when you consider work, but in personal matters, your team can be advocates from a wide range of family, friends and even acquaintances that share a mutual concern or interest. Remember to accept your advocates and support from those unlikely sources so you can maintain your Power of Yes.
Are you a leader who manages people? The answer can determine how effective you are as a leader. Employees aren’t robots. They’re people with feelings and emotions. Emotionally aware leaders balance the day-to-day work and their employees’ engagement. Their success is often a direct correlation with adaptable thinking. According to a report from the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, the benefits emotional leaders receive in the workplace are higher employee retention rates, greater commitment, and better results. In short, an emotional leader is a beacon of light to others they lead.
How can a leader not only navigate the landscape of multiple personalities and emotions, but put it to use? First, it requires decoding emotions and an understanding of visual cues. In addition, the leader will need to be able to communicate differently to individuals based on their personality styles.
Effective leaders incorporate emotion by using these four skill sets:
Leaders who are aware of their emotional state are able to control their egos. Participating in activities that assist in finding mental clarity such as meditation, hiking, reading, or exercising, leaders become more connected to themselves by disconnecting to the world around them. This allows them to look inward for perspective. Leaders who are self-aware also see clearly the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and those they lead. They can perceive emotions and address problems more thoroughly. This clarity helps master egos which is important to leading effectively.
Leaders who are aware of their emotions are better equipped to manage them. When leaders are in control of their emotions, they know how they react to others. They do not fly off the handle or make hasty decisions. Emotional leaders are aware of the impact of their own emotions on others and manage those emotions accordingly. Focusing and practicing being in the present can assist with self-management of emotions. Journaling and paying attention to one’s inner self talk is another helpful means of self-management of emotions.
Leaders who are self-aware and manage their emotions, also have the ability to pick up on others’ emotional cues. This skill is important for impactful leadership. When leaders are socially aware, they are more likely to understand the employees’ point of view and emotional response. They are also able to tailor their feedback based upon their awareness of the person’s emotional state. Leaders do this by watching, listening, and discovering others’ cues.
Leaders combine communication and team building to manage conflict and inspire employees. Clear communication is imperative, but so is understanding and empathy. Employing self-awareness, self-management, and social-awareness assists in achieving the balance within the leaders’ communication. Leaders who employ this style of communication will find it easier to cultivate relationships naturally thus reducing conflict within their team.
As already discussed, emotional leaders are present in the moment. They are connected to their feelings and have a clarity about their purpose. They keep their ego in check. With their connection to self, emotional leaders will be open to others’ emotional states. They can provide support to others whether they are doing well or struggling.
In contrast, when leaders avoid connecting to emotions, they may feel more in control, but it can have a negative impact on the organization. Control is ego driven and does not take people into consideration. As Richard Rose stated, “Ego is the single biggest obstruction to the achievement of anything.”
The Harvard Business Review, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries talks about four toxic leadership styles. All four are deeply rooted in promoting the leader’s ego. These can be alleviated by being a leader that understands both verbal and non-verbal emotional cues.
- Narcissist. This leadership style involves an inconsiderate and selfish leader who puts their need above others for attention. These types of leaders are prone to belittling others. They are self-centered so everything must be about them. Thus, they are often exploitive.
- Manic-depressive. This leader has a way of swinging back and forth between highs and lows. These types of leaders create an environment of uncertainty. There is no middle ground with these types of leaders. For example, they may draw people to them when experiencing a high. When experience a low, these leaders blame others which comes as a surprise when experienced for the first time. While manic-depression can be an illness, it can also be a leadership style.
- Passive aggressive. This leadership style avoids confrontation even when it is staring them in the face. They express emotions, but only indirectly. With low self-esteem, they may miss deadlines and procrastinate. These types of leaders will undermine projects and blame others. They will become defense when confronted and are often contradictory. They will agree with an idea to avoid confrontation, but will sabotage it one way or another.
- Emotional disconnected. These leaders struggle to read emotional cues of others, and they have a flat manner. They often are matter of fact in their responses and appear apathetic. Their team may view them as detached and caring only about work or the job.
Emotional leaders will need to be aware of their impact on others. Exercising your mind each day to not only remain keen and precise, but also adaptable, as rigid thinking limits your paths to success. Avoiding those four toxic leadership styles will also help strengthen you as a successful leader.
Reach out to me, AmyD the Peak Performance Expert and Trainer, if you want to learn how you can transition to an emotional leader! Email me today, [email protected].