While we are just a few days away from “falling back” and moving into Daylight Saving Time, the last few weeks there have been many moments where I’ve felt like I could just “fall down.” Although I’ve never felt more on purpose or happy, I’m simultaneously feeling wiped out. While to be fair having a series of 7-day workweeks and a toddler flirting with toilet training has undeniably zapped some of my energy, I’m aware that something else is afoot.
I’ve been doing A LOT of learning. I attended a weekend conference and participated in a few virtual courses. I am simultaneously reading 3 books. And all of this content absorption has had some negative and unanticipated consequences.
- I question my ambition. I have heard several speakers tell me, “When you are in your purpose you don’t need to sleep—your passion carries you through.” I call bull you-know-what on that one! Lack of sleep should NOT be a testament to your drive. Bleh.
- I start devising new ways to grow and scale and serve. This often gets me in my own way of sustainable profit because most growth necessitates investment and pulls me away from doubling down on what is already working.
- I get back in bed with comparisonitis. This one particularly robs me of energy, not to mention chips away at my sense of worthiness.
A simple Google search for “professional development” returns over 231,000,000 results. It’s easy to make a career, or at the very least a very expensive hobby, out of self-growth.
We have a responsibility, however, to ensure that our learning is in alignment with how we want to feel, and that it empowers us to be able to serve (ourselves, our companies and our communities) the way we want to serve.
While it might sound contradictory to recommend a few learning opportunities after saying what I’ve said, here are 3 that I believe will support you in doing exactly what I have recommended. (Note: While from time-to-time I share affiliate opportunities with you, where I receive a commission for any sale that comes through my links, I’m not currently an affiliate for any of these programs. I just believe in them and their leaders.)
- Conquer Camp with Natalie MacNeil
I am currently going through Conquer Camp, Natalie’s gorgeous, comprehensive training program for online entrepreneurs who want to step more fully into their power and profit, and it was a catalyst for me recognizing that it’s time to prune rather than plant (with respect to my offerings). I also appreciate Natalie’s infusion of mindfulness principles.
- The Freedom Plan with Natalie Sisson
My pal Natalie Sisson (yes, I love my Natalie’s!) is about to re-open enrollment in her program that is all about creating freedom in your business and your life. Whether you want to travel around the world running a business off of your laptop or smartphone, or you simply want to create a business that supports your life (rather than the other way around), sign up for Natalie’s VIP list here.
- Awake Exec with Emily Bennington
Designed for corporate women and men (although equally applicable to entrepreneurs), Emily’s first-of-its-kind virtual 7-day course fuses principles of mindfulness with principles of high performance. I’ve watched Emily create, lead and refine this content for a couple of years and it’s stellar.
Because the ability to focus one’s mind and awareness coupled with the ability to choose presence over perfection are perhaps THE most pivotal skills for heart-centered, high impact communication and public speaking, I recently interviewed Emily about how to reprogram ourselves for mindfulness. Enjoy!
(Alexia) For those who are unfamiliar with the term, what exactly is mindfulness?
(Emily) Mindfulness is paying complete attention in the present moment without judgment. It’s a practice that conditions your thinking so that you can look directly at any situation – strip off the emotion – and see it as it is versus how you wanted or hoped it would be. This is what enables you to respond with composure.
I know a lot of people struggle with this idea of “acceptance” because they feel like people will take advantage of them. Can you speak to that?
A core part of mindfulness is “acceptance of what is” but acceptance is completely different from allowance. At the end of the day, you are still taking action and making difficult decisions – the key difference is that you’re doing it from an empowered place versus a triggered one.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to be mindful but is surrounded by others who aren’t?
Everyone comes into our lives for a reason and some are here to teach us patience. The thing to always keep in mind is that you have zero control over what other people say and do but you have 100% control over yourself. Other people can only take you to crazy town if you let them.
What is the hardest part about mindfulness to teach?
The first step – awareness. This is because we are so closely identified with our thoughts that we typically spring into reaction mode without considering the effects of what we’re doing on our relationships and reputation. Teaching people to pause, “catch” the thought, and dissolve it before they respond takes work, but it’s so rewarding when they get it.
How do you take the time to be mindful when you feel put on the spot?
Don’t be afraid of silence. If you need a moment to collect your thoughts – ask for it. If you’re put on the spot and you have no idea what to say – simply think of a question and turn the spotlight back on the other person while you gather yourself. Also, don’t forget that sometimes the best answer is “I don’t know, but we’re a smart team and we’ll figure it out.”
Any tips to keep a presence of mind when you are doing a public speaking event?
Remember that you are not responsible for how the audience receives your message since that is completely outside of your control. Your job is simply to show up and deliver it to the very best of your ability. This shifts your focus from being “impressive” to being of service, which is where you’ll have the most impact anyway.
Isn’t Emily terrific? If you would, leave a comment and let Emily and me know how you will take action on the advice she shares. And you can also check out her Awake Exec here.