3 easy steps to stop yourself from reacting!
During coaching sessions, in an attempt to get the coachee to reach their goals, they often times hit a dilemma. They are in a place or situation where they don't know what the next step is. More often, people know deep inside what they need to do, but they are clouded by so many other thoughts and noise around them, that the clarity gets lost.
This sometimes can be triggered by an event. This has happened to me recently. An incident has left me to question whether I should make a big change or not in my life. I was overcome with emotions that clouded my thinking and judgement. Before you know it, my focus was mostly on the problems and drama associated with it.
It's important to recognise that this state is a result of your own mindset (rather than facts), and you can easily shift this.
1. Take a breath - Studies show that taking 6 deep breathes is all you need to shift your mindset. You don't have to be an expert mediator to do this. Simply find a quiet place. You can do this seated or even standing (No, you don't need to sit in cross-legged posture:) ). Just breathe in and out of your belly and notice the sensation as you do. If thoughts start to creep up in your mind, you can note this thought and park it aside as you bring your awareness back to your body. I like visualise putting this thought into a box and parking the box physically aside. This breathing works lead to greater control, focus, calmness, and emotional control of your mind, and you will find yourself in a better mindset.
2. What are your values - Before you take a rash action, try and remember why you are where you are. We can do this by listing our values. Grab a paper and a pen and list 10 to 20 values down. Even though you know the values at the top of your head, there is something about writing it down that will quiten the mind and create more clarity. These values can include anything from health, work life balance, financial security, wealth, family...etc. Here is a sample list to help you choose from. Once you've noted that down 20, start to group the common values. For example, I grouped balance, time, quality of life, and health under one category. You may end up with 6 - 10 groups now. Once they are grouped, rank the top 5 value groups that are the most important to you.
Take a close look at these 5 values and let it help you with your decision making.
Will this decision bring you to a life where you have more or less of these values?
3. focus on bigger picture - After you've taken a deep breath and listed your top 5 values, you probably have a better idea what you should do next.
But it's also easy to forget what your bigger goal in life or work is.
Is it growth and development? Is it work life balance? Is it a promotion?
You want to keep your energy focused on your end goal rather than getting caught up in the little noises of everyday. Write your end goal in one clear statement and display it somewhere where you can access and read it everyday. This could be your phone screen lock wallpaper or next to your bed or on your desk. Remember this goal daily, and focus your activities towards reaching this goal. Make it clear and concise!