by Suzie Doscher
One of the main motivators not to settle for less is' life is too short'. Time seems to be flying by faster and faster, all the more reason to make sure you are enjoying it. Equally make sure your life offers you a sense of fulfillment. Settling for less is something everybody does at some point or another but it is best not to make it a lifestyle!
Find out what you want - from having experienced what you do not want!
Settling for less means you made the choice to limit yourself and your potential. This could be seen as a waste of time however if you learn from it, your time was not wasted. You can figure out what to do differently.
Say you accepted a job offer mainly based on financial fears, but you knew deep down inside, you were compromising yourself. You had enough financial security to ride it out a bit longer but not the courage to hold out for 'the right' one. It is difficult let a job offer go when you feel there is no other in sight. Fears have a lot of power over our decisions. If on some deeper level you knew this job was not really the right one - you might find you are living with the feeling of having undervalued yourself. Long term your heart and soul will let you know they do not appreciate the compromise!
Spiritually Thinking – The Bigger Picture!
To quote one of my favourite 'teachers', Caroline Myss: "Spiritually thinking; everything happens for a reason. We are able to learn from everything that happens to us. Both positive and negative occurrences are here to teach us something. If our path is to be true to ourselves and we live 'our' life, based on our values and our truths then everything that happens is happening to eventually lead us to our true life. There are no coincidences, again positive or negative. We can learn something from every thing."
Everybody knows the feeling of settling for less, at one time or another most people have experienced:
Staying in the Rut
Sometimes it is just easier to stay in a rut than find the courage to change something. It can be easier to settle, than step out of your comfort zone.
Settling for relationships that do not make you happy can often be the result of not wanting to be alone, or any other type of fear that keeps you stuck.
If you suffer low Self Esteem finding ways to increase it, be this with self help literature, therapist or a life coach will lead you to better decision making - decisions based on what you want, not what the more ‘insecure self’ wants!
Reasons not to compromise yourself
Settling for less, knowing deep down inside that you are making a comprise makes life difficult. Difficult, because being in the wrong job, wrong relationship, and wrong anything does not make for a 'flowing' day-to-day life.
Believe it or not, consciously or unconsciously, this leads you to self-sabotaging your own choice.
When something is right for you frequently synchronicity sets in - good things appear out of nowhere. Often being in the wrong place with the wrong people makes obstacles surface. However these obstacles are opportunities to learn.
Follow the path of successful people who have, or have found the courage, to take risks (emotional or otherwise). You will witness that they value themselves enough to stay on the path to their ultimate goal.
"It is better to want what you do not have, than to have what you do not want"
by Suzie Doscher
Just as life is constantly changing, the brain is constantly changing. It is through repetition that thinking patterns, and consequently behaviour patterns can be shifted, tweaked, changed or completely replaced with more positive empowering ones.
Through practice and repetition neuroscience has shown the brain can be rewired
This is fantastic news especially for anybody wishing to improve the quality of their life for this change process. Making, and more importantly sustaining, any changes in thinking or in behaviour patterns, would be very difficult, if not impossible, without this scientific truth. Knowing this offers coaching clients not only motivation but also confidence to continue on the path to 'change', which sometimes can be a difficult one.
Over the last few decades, studies in neuroscience have shown the 'default network' you were born with can be changed. This happens by creating new neural pathways. The 'default network' ensures your survival by detecting and responding to threats, such as a tiger about to eat you! The 'default network' generates a 'fight or flight' response to increase the odds of survival. However it can become hypersensitive, interfering with your ability to experience the present moment in a more open and relaxed manner. The production of neurochemical and molecular changes in the cells known as neurons is how the changes in the brain occur. While going through the process of learning how to think / do or behave differently new neurons are being produced. Neurons are messengers communicating by transmitting electrical signals.
Creating new neural networks requires actions
Thoughts generate a chemical reaction in the brain. The same chemical reaction takes place every time you think the same thought - be it a negative one or a positive one. A person has trillions of brain cells, resulting in thousands of these chemical reactions. In order to successfully make a change in a thought pattern, and ultimately a behaviour pattern, you have to activate as many of these pathways as possible given that they work synergistically. One pathway alone is not enough to successfully rewire your brain.
Repetitive positive thoughts change your physical brain
The goal of coaching is to align your beliefs, feelings, vision, and actions with who you are and your goals. Time has to be allowed for practice and repetition to successfully re-frame / replace a negative thought with a positive empowering one. Just like exercise, this requires repetition to reinforce new learning. Thoughts and feelings have to align. In other words, you will not succeed to create new pathways by eating lots of sweets while telling yourself you are fit and healthy.
What this means for coaching
If you are of the mindset that working with a coach is the way to go person this already shows potential for improvement. Successful coaching creates a healthy brain environment promoting positive thought and positive activity.
Once the goal of the coaching is, not only defined and clear, but also realistic the coach will use a variety of tools to activate the client's internal resources and life skills. Within this phase, the rewiring can already begin. Bad thought patterns and habits are explored, examined and re-framed/replaced. Making sure the goal has a realistic time frame will support the feeling of success. Feeling success supports creating positive feedback to the brain, this motivates you to keep going. The more changes made, the more the brain is rewired, by having formed new neural pathways.
It is exciting to be on the path of change with clients. I compare it to helping them heal ‘wings that have been clipped.’ With coaching they learn to fly freely again.
As Simon Sinek says: “There is no app for job satisfaction and strong relationships / friendships. These take time! Require patience! – Trust and open communication cannot happen when people have their mobiles with them ALL the time! Hard habit to break but worth the quality of life you can gain.
Simon Sinek is always worth listening to gain clarity and understanding.
Many wonderful insights in this video.
Megan Reitz , Michael Chaskalson
The latest trend in leadership development is mindfulness training. There is a burgeoning array of apps, self-help books, and corporate interventions designed to help leaders become more mindful and thus more resilient, focused, and aware — qualities that many executives believe can make them more effective in their roles.
Mindfulness — a way of paying attention with care and discernment to yourself, others, and the world around you — has been much researched. But although evidence from clinical contexts suggests that mindfulness provides many benefits, few studies have been conducted with business leaders. This means that basic questions have remained unanswered. For example, does mindfulness training actually improve leadership capacities? If it does, how? And how much effort do you need to make to achieve results?
Trying to answer these and other important questions, we conducted the world’s first study of a multisession mindful leader program, which included a wait-list control group. Half of the participants received their training immediately and the other half received it later, but we measured key characteristics in both groups at the same times. By comparing the two groups’ results, we were able to discover what the effect of training really was.
Our data was drawn from 57 senior business leaders who attended three half-day workshops every two weeks as well as a full-day workshop and a final facilitated conference call. We taught them mindfulness practices, discussed the implications for leadership today, and assigned home practice of daily mindfulness meditation and other exercises. We recorded the difficulties in our participants’ attempts to learn to be mindful throughout the process.
We believe our findings provide a valuable, robust, and realistic guide for leaders seeking to become more mindful.
Our study shows that mindfulness training and sustained practice produces statistically significant improvements in three capacities that are important for successful leadership in the 21st century: resilience, the capacity for collaboration, and the ability to lead in complex conditions.
This is great news, isn’t it? An easy win. Go through a mindfulness program, and you become a better leader. But there is always a price to be paid. In this case it is formalmindfulness practice time.
We asked our leaders to undertake a variety of different formal mindfulness exercises, guided by audio downloads, every day. In addition, we encouraged them to do informal mindfulness practices (such as those laid out by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter in their article earlier this year). Our research shows that leaders who practiced the formal mindfulness exercises for more than 10 minutes per day fared much better on our key measures than those who didn’t practice much or who relied on the informal practices alone.
The message is clear: If you want the benefits, you have to put in the time to practice.
There is a paradox here, of course. Time is the one thing most senior leaders don’t have in abundance and are least willing to give up.
So let’s put the time commitment in perspective. We know that senior executives spend an average of 1,060 minutes awake per day. And yet allocating just 10 minutes — less than 1% of their waking hours — to practicing mindfulness proves demanding for some and impossible for others.
Our research points to some of the challenges that get in the way. First, leaders seek out mindfulness as a solution to their crushing work pressures, their busy timetables, their multiple task lists — and yet it is precisely these things that then get in the way of their practice. In our research, “busyness” and a focus on what needed to be done in the short term was one of the most commonly cited reasons for lack of practice. The leaders who made real changes determinedly broke through that self-defeating cycle of pressure.
But we also found that the leaders frequently berated themselves for their lack of practice. They felt guilty and even anxious. One memorable quote from an exasperated leader was, “I’m stressed about this mindfulness!” As they piled pressure on themselves, some began to dislike practice and a few finally resisted altogether.
Leaders can rarely develop a new habit, including practicing mindfulness, without help and support from others. Some leaders in our research received generous encouragement from their partners and work colleagues. In moments when they might have given up, this support sustained them. Others were met with cynicism and in a few cases were even teased.
Fortunately, the research helped us more clearly understand the things that can help leaders practice. It isn’t surprising that they are related to the challenges above.
Our research suggests that if you want to develop a formal mindfulness practice, you should:
Great leadership requires stamina, grit, focus, and discipline.
A Practical Handbook