If you are a high achieving leader, you love nothing more than a meaty challenge. How do you find your sweet spot of being energized by a challenge that will stretch, and maybe tax you, but not overly so? It’s in overcoming our greatest challenges that we can feel really alive and accomplished.
Yet there is a fine line between feeling the tension of a challenge, getting out of your comfort zone, and feeling the stress, pressure or overwhelm of being stretched beyond what you think you can do.
Do you have a sense of where this fine line is? Sometimes your anxiety can fuel you to seek alternative ways to overcome obstacles, and sometimes it can disable you.
If you are in tired, anxious, burnt out mode, you may have crossed the line.
A key leadership competency is as basic as taking a pause, deep breath, and to qualify yourself in any given moment. This is the first step required to recalibrate your frame of mind and be able to push past and through these feeling states. And yet it is the very feelings of passion, desire and drive that can propel you to proactive action.
Here is an exercise you can use in the moment of recalibration to presence yourself so you can think more clearly:
Bring the tips of your fingers together such as presented above. Close your eyes. Take an inhale breath through your nose, counting to four. Suspend your breath for a four count. Exhale through your nose for a four count. Increase the time as your lung capacity allows. Continue this cycle for 60-90 seconds.
Notice any sensations in your body. Notice your thoughts. Pay attention to the quality of your thoughts and the tension in your body. Does this challenge feel to be the right one – you are just growing and stretching? Do you sense excitement, love and passion? Or are your feelings still tense and not good? Is this challenge too much – beyond your capacity to manage?
If the former, how do you move forward knowing this moment will pass?
If the latter, what does it mean for you to admit this to yourself? What then must you do?
© Copyright 2016 Sage Leadership Strategies, LLC. All rights Reserved.
Susan is an executive coach and leadership & organization effectiveness consultant. She also teaches yoga and meditation – tools to keep one sane in insane times. She helps professionals step up to their fullest leadership and growth potential. At times this means overcoming their greatest fears or trauma and getting out of their own way to get important stuff accomplished. Please contact her for a complimentary strategy session. www.sagelead.com.