Being uncomfortable puts us in a precarious position. On one level, it is heightening your awareness to learning and growth. On another level, the tingling sense of being uncomfortable is your body’s way to telling you to move.
Being uncomfortable is different than being uncertain although, they can be attributed to one another. Our beliefs have a lot to do with our ability to move in the direction of discomfort. We are drawn into this inner battle between the superhero and supervillain.
The superhero empowers us to take action in spite of our uncertainty. Moving towards the unknown because we are passionate about serving others.
The supervillain keeps us at bay reminding us of the vulnerability of failure. To compensate, we temper our approach in search of perfection. Instead, we sit idling in uncomfortable until we perfect our approach.
“If you allow the supervillain of perfection to master you at this point, your flow will be forfeited.” -Jim Kwik
Perfectionism, is an endless cycle of doubt and delay. Keeping us self-absorbed and engaged in “perpetual self-evaluation”. A steady source of negative emotions focusing our energy on what to “avoid” rather than leaning into the friction of growth.
The brain perceives uncertainty as a threat. To protect you, it releases “cortisol” (a stress hormone) to regulate your body’s stress response.
👉🏻5 practical applications to get us moving into the flow of action and out of doubt and uncertainty.
Reflect on times you were in your highest levels of peak performance.
Journal the journey. Make note of your inner conversations, victories, and growth.
Calendar your actions on your cell phone with alarms to remind you of that commitment.
Identify your supervillain and define what you can do to defeat them as you head into the next action.
Own your accountability. No one is coming to do it for you.
“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate, and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” —Paulo Coelho
Our recent release of Balance Cubed is out now. Episode 12: “Attention Poverty” #coachjoe
Come join us on this journey as we discuss the 4 mundane skills necessary for growth. High-performance minded people do the small things that in the moment, seem to produce little to no results. The seemingly inconsequential but incremental activity that produces…lasting change.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” is a famous quote credited to Theosophists, Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni. Both the origin and context of the quote are somewhat obscure and open to both interpretation and nuance that changes over time.
When you consider that change is fundamental to learning and learning is fundamental to change, the students’ timing and receptiveness are critical to that experience. It should be noted that the teacher’s effectiveness is in direct proportion to the students’ desire to learn.
Edward Thorndike’s Law of Readiness refers to a preparatory set on the part of the subject to learn. It points out that learning only happens when one is physically and mentally ready for it. This law states that learning can only take place when a student is ready to learn. When students feel ready, they learn more effectively and with greater satisfaction.
As an average student – or more fitting, a below average student, that failed to grasp, or retain coursework expounded on the chalkboard. In the early 80’s being labeled as someone with slow learning capabilities meant being transitioned into remedial class. These core classes were created with the concept that remedial students were perpetually slower at learning than their peers. It was frowned upon to put classes together for fear other students progress would be slowed by the remedial students.
The concept of having different paths for learning had not been perfected yet – or at least, not been deployed during the dynamic 80’s. Competing academically was an abstract concept foreign to a student that was used to being classified as remedial. I like to think, the concept of the learning curve was created because of students like me.
“Human education is concerned with certain changes in intellects, characters and behaviors, its problems being roughly included under these for topics: Aims, materials, means, and methods.”
So where did the genuine passion for learning and exploration come from? Was there a magic pill one takes at maturation? Not exactly.
There was a moment of clarity. Just as I was about to fail the test, I had an epiphany and connected the narrative to the lesson. The proverbial light came on as I painted an abstract view of a vision in my mind’s eye. The words flowing as unfettered as the sunlight reflecting off calm waters.
A moment that would have normally created anxiety was instantaneously replaced by a passion I had not experienced before. I had not realized there could be so much erudition about a matter like this. What was once inconceivable became recognizable, unexplainably clearer; and suddenly the act of learning became more important than chasing the grade. The implausible belief of higher level of learning suddenly became plausible with the law of readiness.
The motivation to learn became more a function of my mindset than it did my capability to learn. The learned mind expands with new input as it takes in and process information that expands the lens through which we see the world. The key, however, is the quality of the input and the use of filters to determine whether that information is congruent with your own beliefs.
Part two of the law of readiness states that knowledge that is not used becomes weakened and disappears from memory. “Use it or lose it” is not just a random saying; when it comes to learning, it is completely accurate.
I assimilate it to having a mental file cabinet that needs to be accessed instantaneously. However, you do not have access because the files are stored so haphazardly that it makes retrieval nearly impossible.
In general, we acquire knowledge in part, because of an experience. Learned behaviors are a result of developed practices of learning a skill and using the information repetitively. Learned behaviors contrast with innate behaviors, which are genetically hardwired and can be performed without any experience or training i.e., breathing.
Our learning skills vary from person to person. We all learn at diverse levels and paces, but our aptitude increases as the material ignites a positive emotion; and the law of readiness ignites the spark. Thus, a student who is highly motivated and eager to learn is more likely to be receptive to learning than one who is poorly motivated.
Learning by its very nature is the course of experiencing something for the first time. Those learning experiences are positively influenced and reinforced through reward and recognition and negatively impacted during the process of failure.
The laws of readiness suggest we learn when the student is motivated to receive that lesson. Our preparedness, therefore, is in direct proportion to our exposure to a variety of ideas, concepts, and beliefs. This student embodied the law of readiness as I embraced the methods, studied the messages, and altered my approach to the materials that aligned with my values.
On Balance Cubed, episode 6 we discuss the Power of Perspective. Come on this journey as we discuss the 6 elements of a balance/harmonious life. #coachjoe
Our perspective is arguably the single greatest aspect of our uniqueness. It is also the foundation for one of the most powerful tools through which we can relate to and build relationships with others: our perspective taking.#coachjoe #balancecubed#coachjoe#podcastshow
Ever have a moment where the very story you’re telling yourself did not end up serving you? Perhaps, in a moment of reflection, you realized you weren’t supporting you!
Bad hair day? An unsupportive narrative tells you, “it’s gonna be a bad day”. Maybe you received bad news? The subconscious narrative says “I should have expected that”.
What’s the story you keep telling yourself? All of us walk around with stories about ourselves. Stories are the way we make sense of our lives. But what happens when the stories we tell our selves are misleading, incomplete, or just wrong?
A false narrative filled with messages cleverly disguised as insecurity, anxiety, and ill-conceived perceptions. Like many things addictive and pernicious, inner dialogue feels safe at first, but ultimately and insidiously become shackles.
“Instead of providing clarity, these stories keep us stuck. We assume our circumstances shape our realities. The way we narrate our lives shapes what they become. That’s the danger of our stories, but our superpowers as well. If we can change our stories, then we can change our lives”
It is strange just how complex and powerful the wrong narrative can be. Scientifically, the answers are relatively straightforward and less contentious. Physiologically, we are creating our reality by the words we use, the way we think, and behave.
Our actions are manifested by our behaviors whether consciously or subconsciously. Thus, the more particular thought or belief is activated and reinforced, the stronger these neural pathways become. Those neuro pathways become our “go to” pattern of perceiving.
Ironically, the non-supportive behaviors are being reinforced by predictable patterns of beliefs. Instead of providing clarity these narratives are often recirculating as fact-based events based off unsubstantiated historical events. What if, the narrative could be reformed in a more existential manner?
Here’s 5 practical tips to balance the narrative:
Give your brain a neutral space it needs to provide creative solutions to the perceived challenge. At the most fundamental levels, our brains have this miraculous ability to find solutions.
Develop the skills to interrupt and change your inner dialogue. Verbally interrupting these conversations with positive affirmations serves as a great substitute.
Avoid catastrophizing. Negative narratives are the finger paintings of emotions, they never tell the entire story, and our interpretations are abstract.
Ask more effective questions. Instead of stopping or inaction, simply ask more effective questions. Do not talk yourself out of the idea before you’ve been able to take a single action.
What is going on right now in life that has my attention?
What would be most helpful to focus my attention on right now?
If there was 1 burden that could be removed from this situation, what would it be?
Schedule momentum. Do the 1 thing that you have been avoiding. Progress is not about the “how” right now, it is about forward movement. Inaction creates doubt, insecurity, and negative cyclical motion (NCM).
“Our internal narratives narrow our perspectives. And distorts our stories delivered through a very narrow lens that we don’t even know we’re looking through. “
Many high performing managers struggle with alter-ego’s in their own professional traps that create voids in their leadership skills.
The ultimate goal may be extraordinary business performance but, you can still be uncomfortable in the relentless pursuit of excellence. High performance is not about doing more because you can. It is more about zeroing in on the specific strategies and priorities that are most impactful to the organization. Leadership transcends the traditional course of management as we learn to manage the emotional and psychological impact of intellectual conflict.
These feelings of professional inferiority manifest themselves in unproductive communications that strain relationships and divide teams. Many mismanage the balancing act of performance and the pressure to perform by cultivating a “do as I say” environment to solution resolution. The truth is, I have experienced this myself. If you are a top performer (or leader that manages others), its important to understand the career traps that alter behaviors. High performance people share internal conflicts with the four most common career traps that may be draining confidence and diminishing the sense of value.
Such problems are especially insidious because individuals lack insight into their own core beliefs. Those are the key core beliefs that disconnect the leader from the potential. Social Scientist identify these four traits that encapsulate the mental barriers of career traps:
The Emptiness trap: The concept of having everything but feeling empty with a sense of boredom.
The Alonetrap: The emotion of not lonely but being alone. Feeling of missing the drive to continue forward.
The Isolation trap: The emotion of exhaustion but the urge to continue for fear that stopping reduces future success results.
Imposter trap: despite overwhelming proof that they are talented and insightful, many top performers desperately feel like a fraud. What if their years of achievement luck runs out? What if someone comes along and discovers they aren’t as innovative as others think they are? They go through the motions of success while secretly waiting for the people around them to discover their inadequacies. Clearly, not a good way to lead others or to successfully navigate this changing economy.
The most common performance trap is the Impostertrap. This trap often manifests itself in unfavorable emotions that diminishes creativity by increasing doubt and insecurity. The coaching methods to avoid this trap while increasing the desirability of imagination and leadership creativity.
Recognize this as negative self-talk. Understand the triggers that create self-talk and interrupt the internal conversation.
Make a gratitude list. Identify your accomplishments, talents, skills, and ideas that have positively impacted others during the journey. Visually reinforce your validity.
Shift your thinking from the what to the why. Leverage is always gained when there is clarity to the reason you are leading others.
Reinforce the behavior through activities that add support the growth mindset. Feeding the funnel with new and innovative ideas builds skills that bridge the confidence-competence gap.
The examples I have mentioned have affected countless individuals across a wide variety of professions. These behavior traps can sabotage many organizations as well as individuals – especially because they reinforce insecurities that drain productivity.
The reason these behavior traps remain so damaging, is that despite all we have learned about these soft skills, is that, whatever price they extract, they do satisfy certain psychological needs. To escape these beliefs, individuals must battle their own resistance, as they would in trying to change any entrenched beliefs.
“Higher emotional intelligence helps us to have stronger internal motivations. In this way, we reduce procrastination; increase confidence and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better support networks. Overcome failures and persist.”
While the experts pontificate on which direction the economic climate is headed, thousands of professionals go about their day totally unbiased to the chatter. Intellectual enthusiasts debate the next greatest innovations as marketeers sell their wares. Change is as a necessary to the evolution of business as the invention of the integrated circuit was to the computer industry.
Closing the confidence, competence gap is as challenging as navigating a lunar landing. It is precise, predictive and requires massive amounts of communication. Creative, forward thinking professionals are the catalysts for closing this gap. Innovators are creating new learning management systems (LMS) using cutting edge technology to engage their leadership team. Developing a learning platform is as an important measurement as an asset is to the balance sheet. Successful organizations are constantly reinventing themselves through the implementation of structured developmental learning programs.
Having a thorough understanding for how leadership is showing up consistently is essential for creating a conducive culture. The leader’s intention is more important than any other responsibility that individual contributes to the team. It also matters how this intention is deployed, how contagious it is, and how effectively that energy shifts from person to person. The leader must have absolute clarity to the type of experience they are trying to create and ultimately, what that outcome will look like.
There is generally, apprehension relating to what can only be considered as the “soft” elements of leadership. Thereby the complexity of leadership and the strategies produce strong but, paradoxical messages.
6 ways to identify forward-thinking leaders:
They know what they want. Leaders have clarity for what they want and devise a game plan for what is required to accomplish the specific goal.
They pull the team in the direction of the activities to produce the results. Results are in direct proportion to massive action taken towards accomplishing goals. Anthony Robbins says, “if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do occasionally that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
They are willing to take more calculated risks. Leaders understand failure is a prerequisite to achieve results and they are willing to make more mistakes.
They are inspiring, contagious, and that positive energy elevates others. Leaders challenge others to pull the rope in unison. No one wants to be pushed towards and objective or goal. “Leaders understand they catch and spread what it is they are committed to.” – Anese Cavanaugh
They feel guilty when success eludes them. Good leaders bear a strong connection between performance obligations and achievement. Guilt is an essential indicator that you have the right person on the team. Leaders take responsibility for their failures and share successes. They never shift blame onto others when failure occurs and always praise their team for victories.
The mental cognizance of “ANT”.A-N-T is known simply as, auto-negative-thinking. Effective leaders proactively manage internal conversations that drain attention, focus, and emotional energy. High-performance leaders have the mental acuity to respond positively to the right stimulus.
The business climate has forced companies to re-think the conventional employee-client interaction policies that have been dogged for years. Leadership teams adapt their approach to coordinate activities with employees. The process must generate reciprocity among teams engaging customers. Reciprocity in the business environment means the rewards commensurate with the efforts.
Emotion frames the employee-customer encounter. It is vital to not think like an economist when assessing those interactions. There is inherent value in cultivating measured leadership qualities from a variety of personnel across a broad spectrum of personalities and qualifications. High-performance, growth-minded organizations experience sustainability because the cornerstone of their success is the development of their leadership.
“Within the genetic structure of a successful organization it is paramount for continued growth to have a learning development orientated thought-leader.”
Social media has a unique way of impacting our perceptions. The comparisons we create by looking at a photo, reading a post or, watching a video poses an interesting dichotomy. Comparisons are likelier to make us feel bad when we make the error of only comparing ourselves to paragons of certain traits.
Social comparisons serve as positive interactions if they are used to build strategies to improve the quality of your life. They can be used to improve an interaction, increase engagement, and provide positive reinforcement for an individual or a group of individuals.
The perception that another persons’ lifestyle is substantially better than yours is flawed. Social references are made as we make snap judgements based on small snippets of information. Positive does not sell as well as negativity and coincidently, those messages tend to trend higher in the feed. The immediate gratification received when attention is drawn to social media is indisputable. Therefore, if negative sells then some are drawn to increasing their social presence by posting negative messaging. The pendulum is swinging however, in the direction of high-impact, and compassionate leadership.
There are many social media thought-leaders that present informative content that teach, coach, and mentor skills that help you become the best version of yourself. It is relatively easy to assimilate to a person we hold in high regard. The pedestal emboldens us to model behaviors that we find suits an objective or goal. These thought-leaders are teaching lessons learned and gained through the process of failure. Many have stories like yours and speak to you on a more direct and personal level. They hit a core within you that inspires action.
We are all flawed in our own unique ways. We are more outwardly critical of our perceived flaws than we are to our unique qualities that other’s find inspiring. Most people are so concerned about recognizing their own flaws than they are at “seeing” your flaws. For instance, “some people are quick to report they are smarter than average, but somewhat humbler when asked to place themselves in a specific percentile or rate themselves on specific skills.”
Like many thought-leaders that post on social media, there is no immunity to negativity and social judgement. The aim is to totally subjugate the strategies of the messenger’s, which are rich in content and positivity, to our readers. The choice to absorb, deploy, and implement the ideas presented are completely at the discretion of the reader, listener, or viewer.
People generally engage in either upward or downward comparisons. In upward comparisons, we compare ourselves with those we believe are better than us in some way; in downward comparisons, we do the opposite.
Our messages are delivered in the spirit of serving others at a higher level. The frameworks are intentionally created to provide the tools, resources, and messaging that inspires action. Like many coaches’, the first recognition is the self-realization that we are all flawed. Perfection is never the goal as we work on the necessary skills to improve a single area of our lives. We do not want anyone to compare their progress, journey, and/or results with anyone else’s. Our message is simple; do not compare your results to someone else’s. Match their efforts and the results will come.
Like many of our posts we have five tasks that provide guidance to help during this journey. This simple approach is wrought with judgments and complete with its own flaws. Nonetheless, we support the simplification that affords one the choice to implement on your own schedule.
In today’s dynamic world, the only constant is change. As a leader, I’ve embraced that adaptability isn’t merely a skill, but a mindset. It’s about openness to new ideas, resilience in challenges, and empathy towards all.
🔍 Adaptability in Action: Adaptive leadership for me is about staying curious and committed to lifelong learning. How do you navigate change as a leader? #AdaptiveLeadership #Resilience
💡 Emotional Intelligence: In these evolving times, emotional intelligence is key to effective leadership.
“In the midst of change lies opportunity.” —Unknown
🌱 Growing Together: Embracing change means growing together, not just leading teams through transitions but evolving alongside them.
🔗 Let’s Connect: I’m eager to hear your thoughts – How do you adapt in your leadership role? Share your strategies for navigating these uncertain times. Let’s learn and grow together!
In a world where leadership often seems like a solitary journey to success, let me share with you a secret that has transformed my approach: the extraordinary power of gratitude.
In my ongoing exploration of the realm of neuroscience, the profound connection between gratitude and leadership has come into sharp focus for me.
The science behind it is crystal clear: when we express gratitude and are recipients of it, our brains release the magical duo of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters play a pivotal role in regulating our emotions, instantly elevating our spirits, and infusing us with a deep sense of happiness from within.
As I reflect on my personal journey, I can’t help but acknowledge how profoundly the people around me have shaped who I am today. Along the way, I have encountered steep falls, moments of self-doubt, and formidable challenges. Yet, it was often the extended hand of a colleague, a mentor, or a dear friend that helped me rise from those low points.
These weren’t just instances of getting back on my feet; they were profound lessons in humility and gratitude.
My voyage through the realm of leadership has been a rich tapestry of experiences, and one profound truth shines through: my achievements are never solely mine. They are the result of a harmonious blend of collective efforts, unwavering support, and unshakeable faith from those who have walked alongside me. This realization has deepened my well of gratitude, especially when I reflect on my failures. Each setback, every obstacle, has been a shared learning experience that has chiseled me into the leader I am today, imparting valuable lessons in resilience, empathy, and the irreplaceable significance of collaborative teamwork.
In our relentless pursuit of a growth mindset, we must keep in mind that the very heart of our potential lies in the collective efforts of our team.
Acknowledging and expressing gratitude toward each member of our team serves to not only fortify our bonds but also catalyze a surge in morale and productivity.
To infuse your leadership with the transformative power of gratitude, rooted in the bedrock of scientific research that attests to its profound impact on team dynamics and individual well-being, I invite you to consider the following practices for exercising your “gratitude muscle”.
Monday Appreciation Initiative: Start your week by shining a spotlight on team members who demonstrated exceptional performance in the previous week. Research has shown that public acknowledgement can give a significant boost to dopamine levels, resulting in enhanced motivation and a more positive outlook.
Wednesday Wisdom Sharing: Midway through the week, share a compelling story that underscores the invaluable insights or actions of a team member. This gesture not only recognizes their contributions but also aligns with research that illustrates how shared stories can fortify team cohesion and inspire others.
Thoughtful Thursday Notes: A weekly practice of sending personalized notes of appreciation can wield tremendous power. The simple act of both writing and receiving gratitude has been scientifically linked to increased serotonin production, fostering feelings of happiness and overall well-being.
Feedback & Recognition Friday: Fuse constructive feedback with expressions of recognition during one-on-one sessions. This practice is underpinned by research, which suggests that well-balanced feedback not only nurtures growth but also instills a profound sense of value—something indispensable for team development.
Random Acts of Kindness: Embrace spontaneity by sprinkling acts of kindness throughout the week. Studies have underscored that such acts not only cultivate a supportive environment but also promote a culture of empathy and cooperation.
By weaving these practices into the fabric of your leadership style, you are not merely nurturing a positive work culture but also harnessing the scientific might of gratitude to elevate team performance and individual satisfaction.
The growth I have undergone, particularly in my profound appreciation for the power of gratitude, has been nothing short of transformative. It is a lesson not just in being thankful for the good times but also in cherishing the wisdom unearthed during the trials and tribulations.
It has become abundantly clear to me that leadership transcends individual accomplishments; it is about cultivating an environment where every individual feels cherished and supported.
I am profoundly grateful for every lesson learned, every helping hand extended, and every moment that has played a pivotal role in shaping me. It is a perpetual journey of learning, and I am deeply humbled to share it with an incredible community of individuals who continue to inspire me every day.
Empathetic leadership isn’t about being soft – it’s about being deeply connected. This approach fosters a culture where every team member feels heard, valued, and motivated. It leads to more engaged teams, innovative solutions, and a collaborative environment.
I’ve seen that teams thrive when empathy is at the core of leadership. It’s about building stronger connections and celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. Let’s continue to embrace this transformative approach in our leadership roles.
“Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.” – Simon Sinek