2. Resist unnecessary mental time travel
Here’s how I think about mental strength:
Mental strength is the ability to control your mind instead of being controlled by it.
So becoming mentally strong doesn’t mean you are able to exert complete control over everything that goes on between your ears.
Mental strength means understanding which parts of your mind you can control and being able to do it well when it matters.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom”
There is nothing new under the sun. It’s an old saying, but it’s true.
The ancient world has always been a source of wisdom and wonder. Centuries of knowledge has changed millions of lives before us and continue to inspire, guide and show us better paths for a more fulfilling life.
Once every quarter, it pays to take a moment for introspection and reflect on your life. What could you change to improve your life?
What habits and behaviours can you keep to do more of what’s already working? How can you improve your relationships with those around you?
The process of becoming wise, healthy, and wealthy is through accumulating knowledge over time. Better wisdom can help us make the best life-changing decisions and lead a better life.
Aristotle knew all about how to make the most of your life.
He said that happiness is found in satisfying our basic needs like food and shelter first, but then we need to focus on people, activities, and things that fully engage us.
Core values are personal to each individual . They can be described as your code of ethics, your fundamental principles, your standards, or personal rules. I like to refer to them as the bricks you build your foundation on. Knowing what you truly value in life, what makes you feel fulfilled and gives you a sense of meaning, connects you to your true self and is an important part of your personal development.
Core values are about YOU – not what society, the media, your education, your colleagues and friends or family deem as important, or of value, but what is important to you, what you value.
Stress tends to set in when you are not treating these values with the respect they deserve.
Not respecting your core values means you are not respecting your true self. In turn your self-esteem could suffer, which of course in turn de-creases the quality of your day-to-day life. When the feeling of being calm and peaceful is present, and the quality of day-to-day life is high, you feel good about yourself and who you are. Your self-esteem and self-worth benefit from this.
Caroline Myss, a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness and mysticism says: “Being able to speak and live with the truth, your truth, means you have to become comfortable with having your power, be comfortable with all that is true about you, all that is beautiful about yourself, this is being okay with yourself.”
Consider the Core Values Process I offer as a gift to yourself.
The focus can be on your life, your overall life which would include your career, your career alone or your leadership values (this is a great exercise to do as a new leader or to update your existing leadership skills aligning them with your personality). Get in touch.
by Suzie Doscher
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Taking care of ourselves helps us do better work, but it shouldn’t feel like work.
Well-being is having a moment. What was once considered a soft-news lifestyle topic has, thanks to our collective experience of the pandemic, moved to the center of the conversation about work and life. And as a Chief Well-Being Officer, I’m certainly glad to see this shift (even if I obviously would have preferred a different catalyst).
Still, when I’m asked questions about well-being, as I often am, I’ve noticed a troubling trend. Very often, well-being becomes just another stress-inducing item on our to-do list. So as we continue to prioritize our well-being, we also need to shift our mindset away from viewing well-being as work. Because well-being isn’t a benchmark we need to hit. It’s not another guilt-inducing metric to measure ourselves by. The whole point of bringing more well-being into our lives is to lower our stress, not add to it.
With that in mind, here are six ways to prevent well-being from becoming just another item on our to-do lists.
Lessons from Rebekah Taussig on honoring and celebrating our bodies.
Self-acceptance is essential to self-care and our overall well-being. If we can’t accept ourselves, our well-being is going to suffer, regardless of how diligent we are about any other physical and mental health practices.
Still, even with all the progress we’ve made in recent years on body positivity and mental health, the radical act of accepting ourselves for who we are has never been more challenging. Our society surrounds us with images of what supposedly healthy and perfect bodies look like. And of course, much of that is fueled by social media, which, in study after study, has been shown to damage our body image and self-acceptance. So how can we learn to accept ourselves and show up for ourselves in a way that nurtures our well-being?
To begin to answer this question, I had the privilege of talking with Rebekah Taussig on a recent episode of Deloitte’s “WorkWell” podcast. Rebekah is a writer, teacher, and advocate, whose popular Instagram feed, @sitting_pretty, is filled with what she calls “Mini memoirs.” I was thrilled to talk to her about her new book, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, in which she chronicles her journey to self-acceptance with her trademark candor, humor, vulnerability, and authenticity.
Rebekah has been disabled since she was 3, and got her first wheelchair at age 6. She had a fairly normal childhood, with her “resilience and scrappiness” keeping her from realizing how differently she was experiencing the world. When she got to graduate school, discovering disability studies gave her a way to begin to understand herself. “It felt like the physics of the universe were transforming in real time,” she told me. “It just changed everything for me about how I saw myself and my story and gave me language to explain things I’d never been able to express before.”
You did it. You made it out — hopefully with some shred of sanity and sense of personal self-worth. But even if those things feel unrecoverable, they aren’t. You can get them back.
Maybe you’ve moved on to greener pastures. If that’s the case, well done. You’ve taken an important step towards preserving (or gaining back) your emotional and physical health.
Maybe, although less likely, your boss either moved on or was fired. Most of the time, these situations don’t fix themselves, as for some reason senior leadership would rather keep a single toxic boss employed than the multiple high-quality employees who leave because of them.
In either case, there’s a residual emotional and physical toll that lasts well beyond the end of the boss-employee relationship. I know; I’ve been there.
In the span of just two years of reporting to a toxic boss, I went from being a high-performing, high-potential engineering leader to nearly leaving the company I’d spent 15 years at because of one single person. My boss. That’s how badly I needed to get away from her.
Mental resilience is the cornerstone of a successful life - but can you build it in yourself, your family and your team?
Crying every morning may sound like a terrible way to start the day, but for life coach Suzie Doscher, Class of 1974 (1970-74), tears are a vital safety valve – and a healthy response to a global pandemic. “When a friend asked me how I was coping with lockdown, I told her I regularly had a good cry,” she says. “I sometimes started the day feeling uneasy or unsure, but I know it’s important to deal with my emotions so I release them by having a cry. That is how I got myself to a place where both my feet were firmly on the ground, and then I knew that I could handle whatever came my way.”
Now, more than ever, our mental health matters. We live, work and study at breakneck speed, bombarded by choice. And with technology – and the recent lockdowns – creating an ‘always on’ environment, boundaries between life and work are increasingly blurred. Clearly, the ability to build our own mental resilience, in mentally healthy work and living spaces, is crucial.
None of this is news to Brigitte Eigenmann, Head of Human Resources at ZIS. “Our mental and physical health are connected,” she says. “That’s why we need to take mental health seriously.”
By Melissa Waggener Zorkin, Global CEO and founder of WE
Have the last six months left you feeling hopeful and clear about what tomorrow will bring?
I didn’t think so.
We’re living through extraordinarily difficult and uncertain times, and there are no easy solutions to the issues we face. But as business leaders—and as human beings—it’s our job to figure out a path forward and to do so in a way that creates positive change in the world.
The coronavirus pandemic triggered an economic disaster that continues to unfold. In a recent survey by WE and Quartz Insights, a whopping 80% of business leaders called economic downturns the biggest threat to purpose leadership. Although it may be tempting to prioritize quick economic fixes over values, every indicator shows that brands whose purpose persists through these hard times will thrive where others won’t.
A piece of simple old wisdom that’s desperately needed in the modern world
“You’re not going to believe it! You’re not going to believe it!” shouted the young man as he ran across the courtyard. “I just heard something about one of your friends!”
“Whoa, slow down,” replied Socrates lifting his eyes from the scroll he was reading to face the young man. “Before you tell me the news, I’d like to give you a little test.”
“A test?” the young man fired back frustrated his eagerness had been met with resistance. “What kind of test? I don’t like tests!”
“Don’t worry,” Socrates smiled. “It’s not very hard. In fact, it’s quite simple. It’s called the ‘Triple-Filter Test’. And as its name implies, it consists of three questions that will hopefully help you better filter information.”
“The first filter is Truth,” Socrates continued. “Are you absolutely positive that what you’re going to tell me is true?”
“No, I’m not sure it’s true,” the young man responded sheepishly. “I just heard about it and I thought you should….”
“Moving on,” Socrates jumped in. “Since you’re not sure whether or not what you want to tell me about my friend is true or not it’s time for the second filter which is goodness —Is the news you have about my friend something good?”
I wonder how many words have actually been written about communication. Suffice it to say, there have been a great many. I suppose it is because we haven’t cracked it yet; this ability to convey messages so that what we say is heard in the way we mean it, and conversely, what we hear is received in the way it was meant. Indeed, the road to clarity always seems to be under construction.
Even if we try to simplify our communication processes, barriers come up that can sabotage the message and render it ineffective by the time it gets to those who must act on it. There are a lot of reasons for this. Here are four that come to mind:
There are many factors that make up what we refer to as “culture” but to me, cultural difference is about attitudes and beliefs that come from our personal environment and experience. As such, two people could get the same message but interpret it in two entirely different ways simply because their frames of reference and language differ.
Small things tell you a lot about a person
In this article, we will talk about how to recognize subtly toxic people.
No one wants to waste time and energy around people who consistently behave in unhealthy ways and add negativity to our lives. Yet, many of us sometimes get stuck in toxic relationships that have a negative impact on our mental health and even on our self-confidence.
The problem is some people may seem friendly, charming, respectful, and even emotionally mature, when we don’t know them enough. Some of their behaviors may seem inoffensive at first, while the reality is they are not, and they can actually damage relationships in the long-term. This is why it’s essential to learn to recognize these unhealthy habits.
What follows are four behaviors of subtly toxic people:
The world will put countless obstacles in your path but none will be as big as the ones you create for yourself
Self-sabotage occurs when your logical, conscious mind (the side of you that says you need to eat healthily and save money) is at odds with your subconscious mind (the side of you that stress-eats chocolate and goes on online shopping binges). The latter is your anti-self -- that critical inner voice that seems to hold you back and sabotage your efforts.
Self-sabotage involves behaviors or thoughts that keep you away from what you desire most in life. It’s that internal sentiment gnawing at us, saying “you can’t do this.”
This is really your subconscious trying to protect you, prevent pain and deal with deep-seated fear. But the result of self-sabotage is that we hesitate instead of seizing new challenges. We forgo our dreams and goals. In the end, we know we missed out, but we don’t understand why.
So what can we do to stop the self-limiting behaviors? Here are eight steps you can start taking immediately to stop self-sabotaging your success.
Last week, a client asked me, “How can I delegate more effectively?” It made sense that she wanted to dig deeper into this. Delegation is a superpower for leaders — it’s one of the most powerful ways to scale yourself and your impact. I strongly believe: great leaders delegate better than average leaders.
Part of this is causality, though. If you don’t delegate, you’re probably going to burn yourself out as an average leader and never finish the journey to becoming a great leader.
In some ways, delegation was always one of my strengths. But it was also something I leaned into too much once in a while. I was quick to pass on responsibilities and give others opportunities, but it was sometimes a scattershot approach. And it didn’t always come with the clear guidelines and support that makes delegation effective.
So, where is the balance? How can we unlock this deep well of efficiency and effectiveness? Like most leadership topics, it begins with the leader.
1. Address Your Own Control Issues
The barn has burnt down, now I can see the moon.
The above quotation from Masahide delivers a compelling message. He looked at what some would consider misfortune and created in his mind a thing of beauty. He could have said to himself, as many of us would today, "How terrible. I can't believe how unlucky I am." Instead Masahide was able to embrace the good. "Wow! I never realized how much beauty I can see with no barn to obstruct my vision. How lucky I am!" It stands to reason that...
If we embrace the good that can come from whatever life hands us, we have come a long way in learning how to embrace uncertainty.
There is no question that life sometimes seems really rotten on an objective level. But the objective level is unimportant; it is the subjective level that determines how we interpret what happens in our lives. Do we interpret something as good or do we interpret something as bad? I have noticed that when people look at all their experiences in life as a way of learning and discovering more about the world and themselves, then all their experiences - good or bad - are good! It follows that if we can learn to see that ALL experiences in our lives can be really valuable, our worry about the future is greatly diminished. We have come one step closer to being able to embrace all the uncertainty in our lives.
These are a sample of options you have when in need of some stress relief:
It is most import to ensure that any action you propose to take is in keeping with your personality and can be executed in a style that suits you.
by Suzie Doscher, Executive and Life Coach, Self-Help Author
Remind yourself that life is constantly changing,
Raise your self-awareness with this: