'I rest, re-energise and renew' – REALLY, and how exactly do you suggest I do that?
“Anyone else tired? I’m exhausted, and we seem to be constantly trying to increase output with an ever-decreasing resource. There is so much change on change on change.” We’ve been hearing this a lot recently, and clearly, it’s true, and maybe, it’s worse now than it has ever been. The contingent events of the past few years have conspired for this to be exacerbated, felt more intensely and across most of the sectors that Resilient Consultants work in. If this feels like you, particularly if you’re in a role where Service is your focus above all else, then consider the following:
1. Take control of your future. Clarity of Direction helps, we are geared for beginnings and endings, and goals that are too far away from us in time or personal impact can feel nebulous with little chance of getting a clear sense of progression or achievement and exhausting in our effort to strive for something out of reach constantly. The trick is to create a well-articulated goal that describes what will be different in terms of ‘Who I Am’ as well as ‘What I do’ at a point in the future. Close enough to feel it is achievable and to notice when you achieve an element of it.
2. Celebrate and reward yourself. THE most important thing is to celebrate EVERY TIME you achieve anything that takes you a step closer to your goal. Neuroscience tells us that our basic human instinct to be attuned to danger means that, for every one negative thing in a day, we need three positive/uplifting/fun ones to counter-balance the impact. They don’t have to be big rewards either; take a walk for 15 minutes, take 5 minutes to savour a delicious coffee or do anything else that gets you to pause and gives your brain time to reset. The dopamine surge you get when rewarding yourself at these points of ‘mini-endings’ actually helps to rewire the brain. When was the last time you rewarded yourself after a small achievement in such a way? In tough times it’s even more important to do this more frequently, as this is when your brain becomes hyper-sensitive to trouble!
3. Balance Self-Care and Serving others. Do you find that you are the last person to put the proverbial oxygen mask on when things get tough? No version of that story ends in sustained high performance, the energy to surge or improved productivity and outcomes. Consider finding ways to STOP seeing this as a trade-off between self-care and serving and START to see the need to balance these two equally important facets. Give yourself permission to do so and let others know what you need from them to help you. Your mindset needs to change before your behaviour can.
4. Check your bias for action. If you feel like you are jumping from one decision to another, try to see your decision like a wave with a ‘build up to’ and ‘a follow-on from’. The build-up should help you pause and sense-check how this decision takes you closer to your goal (if it doesn’t, STOP and ask why you are doing it). The follow-on from will help you sustain any action taken, celebrate and acknowledge progress and build learning into your next round of decisions. Once you reach the base of the wave, it can provide a pause point and a chance to reset before you go again.
5. Ask for support. Take a little time to pause to change, and you will find something you can let go of, someone who can help you in some way, changing any negative patterns you are in. It is not selfish to ask for help; on the contrary, it lets people know how they can help you, often acknowledges their contribution and enables you to repeatedly bring your very best to others.
Five ideas to take you closer to prioritising resting, re-energising and renewing. What works for you? What ideas and best practices do you have that can help?