A lot of us underestimate the power of mindset on our performance, our behaviour, and our lives in general. When we get discouraged, a lot of things can seem worse than they actually are. When you’re working independently, it can be so tempting to spiral into a mindset where nothing happens. I’ve seen this happen time and time again in my sales career as well, both with myself, and with teams that I manage. These are the mindsets where you feel like everything is hopeless, and you just want to sleep, or be alone. It sounds terribly cliched, but in these times, this is the exact opposite of what you need to do. The flip side to this, is that what we focus on, we often end up bringing into our lives, as we end up seeing more and more of this same thing, and this is doubly frustrating when that’s what you want to avoid. Scarily enough, sometimes it almost seems like people can pick up on your mood, and how you are thinking, and that compounds the issue even more, particularly when your work involves dealing with others, such as in a sales environment.
There are however, a few ways which I’ve found to be extremely useful to getting myself up and out of these moments.
- Take some deep breaths. Focussing on the breath helps you move away from focussing on negative thoughts. When we’re stressed, our breathing also gets shallow, and the brain and body get into a further spiral when we aren’t getting as much oxygen. From a physiological perspective, this is our “fight or flight” mechanism kicking into full gear, and this often isn’t helpful in our modern world, where we’re not being chased by a Sabre tooth tiger or other predator. Whilst yoga often gets a bad wrap as “alternative”, it can be a great form of exercise, and is one of my favourite ways of getting in some deep breaths, and regaining focus. Vinyasa merges flowing movements with the breath, and is great at channeling that nervous energy and encouraging breath. Even just a few minutes of deep breathing can make a marked difference. If yoga isn’t an option, or it won’t fit at your workplace, try standing up behind your chair, perhaps folding forward if you can, stretching through the back of the body, or going for a walk, and taking a few deep breaths, right into the belly can help markedly with this.
- What’s the worst thing that can happen? Chances are you’re already thinking about this, so channel this, and think about the worst thing that can happen from there. Then what’s the worst consequence from there, and from there, and from there, and so on, until you can’t think of any further consequences. Chances are, if you write these down, they aren’t actually as bad and as life threatening as you think. Don’t get me wrong, in some cases you may be facing down that sabre tooth tiger, albeit metaphorically, in which case, definitely look after yourself. However, in most instances, they won’t be as bad as you think.
- Enlist help. Is it something you can enlist help with? In most cases, there is no need to suffer in silence, as there are so many people willing to help, and so many ways to ask for help. We all need help occasionally, and there’s no shame in that.
- Start with a list of what you can do to get what you want/where you want to go etc. Don’t take it into big chunks like “get a job” or “save enough money to do ‘x’”, break it down into smaller chunks, ie, start looking at job websites, revise my CV, and so on. These tasks break down the bigger task into much smaller bites, and make it easier to feel like you’re being productive. This in turn will help you stay motivated.
- Focus on the positive. This can also sound cliched, but it really helps with the above things of staying motivated, and feeling like you’re getting something done. When we feel like we’re getting nothing done, it’s easy to get discouraged. What did you actually get done from that list of smaller tasks? Is whatever is happening going to give you a chance to focus on things that you may have been putting off? Focus on the good side of what is happening, rather than the negative.
I often find that as soon as I work on my own mindset, for some reason, my phone will start to ring, and positive things will start to happen. I know this could be considered largely coincidental, but its amazing how things start to flow once I worked on my own mindset. When things start to happen easily like this, it can be referred to a state of flow, which is a great place to be operating from.
Want to learn a few other tips, and perhaps some yoga poses to help with stress and mindset management? Contact us to find out how we can help.