Sometimes you can get yourself into a state of confusion without realizing you are there. Many things can create confusion: overwhelm, not knowing what to do, not wanting to face something or losing your center. When this happens, your performance suffers, sometimes in a big way.
Confusion can be stealthy and difficult to recognize. When you recognize the signs of confusion – perhaps extreme emotional reactions, getting stuck, prolonged inefficiency or ineffectiveness, frustration, conflict or too many things going wrong – you are halfway to getting out of it. Take some time to re-center yourself. Look carefully at the source(s) of your confusion and take appropriate action to get back on your game. Confusion does you no good. Limit its ability to get the better of you.
If you’d like more, see my blog post, Ten Steps To Get Out Of Confusion Fast.
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Do you place high value on quiet time? Getting it requires strong intention and commitment, with the pace of our world today. Most likely, I do not have to tell you the benefits of quiet time; you know them.
If you are getting enough quiet time, good for you! If you are not, how about starting with a half hour once a week? It’s contagious!
Sometimes, things spiral downward and you can lose your sense of what is in your best interest concerning your career and your success. Here are 10 warning signs that you may be on a collision course with your best interests.
1. You are not taking care of your physical health and are run down.
2. Your emotions are all over the place and are reaching extremes.
3. You feel that you don’t care what people are thinking of your actions and will do whatever you want, in spite of them.
4. You feel confused about your situation and how to handle it.
5. You want to run away from your current situation.
6. You are clashing with others in your workplace, without a purpose for doing so.
7. Others are treating you differently and keeping their distance.
8. You cannot define what your best interests are.
9. You are acting out-of-sync with your values.
10. You’ve lost your center and don’t know where you are.
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Can you increase your speed in a world that is moving faster than ever? Speed can wreak havoc with you, if you let it. You must come from a strong center to navigate to where you want to go. It’s like being within the eye of a hurricane, in its still point, rather than being tossed around by it.
Here are some ways you can find that strong center. Identify how speed currently creates stress in your life and work. Carefully observe how you deal with that stress – whether you stay centered through it or you let the stress push you out of balance. Find your own still point. What do you need to do when things are going way too fast?
When I come up against stress caused by speed, I stop and touch my center again. I mentally and emotionally keep myself in my center and calm my physical reactions. I do my best to stay in control of myself, knowing I am limited in being able to control what is going on around me. Your still point is for you to find. There is no one way to do this. When you find that still point, you will have what you need to zoom, zoom with the world.
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Do you place yourself in the center of your life? By doing so, you create a perspective that will serve yourself and others to maximum advantage. Too often, we hear that focus on self is selfishness. It is not. Putting yourself in the center allows you to look out at the world with your unique eyes and make the best decisions and choices for you. If, as you do this, you honor your values it is a win-win for all.
Let’s say that you have a situation at work where you are starting to burn out because you are working long hours. Does it serve everyone to put yourself second and ignore the toll it is taking on you? Or, does it serve everyone better if you acknowledge what is happening, let those who need to know and get yourself in balance so that you can get the job done well? I think the latter.
Putting yourself in the center steadies you and allows those around you to see you clearly.
When overwhelm sets in or a path is not clear, try another perspective. Rising above a situation is always helpful. Doing so, creates distance between you and the situation and gives you another view. From there, you can decide how you will proceed.
What are some ways to rise above? A first step is to move away from the situation – physically, mentally and emotionally. Find your center and create some quiet. Or, do something completely different and engrossing, so much so, that you completely separate. It’s as if you are flying into the silence of the sky above. Then, observe how the situation looks from a distance. Is anything different? Is a way to handle it clear?
It is difficult when you are surrounded by the cacophony of a situation to find harmony. Rising above gets you away from the noise and often provides a beautiful view!
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Often, the words “I just want some peace and quiet” are spoken in frustration and don’t assure that your wish will be granted. When they are said calmly, however, it can be a different story – you can make it happen. How much attention do you give to creating peace and quiet in your life and work? It’s part of a balanced life and has many benefits.
Peace and quiet can foster creativity, calm your mind and emotions, center you and bring out your best. The next time you say, “I just want some peace and quiet” say it purposefully and make it happen.
In life and work, sudden shocks can send you reeling. Gratefully, they are not everyday occurrences. Sudden shocks can take the form of an abrupt change of course, unexpected or startling developments in your organization, significant choices posed to you that you must respond to quickly, a key person leaving an organization or your position in the organization changing in big ways. What do you do when you encounter a sudden shock?
Initially, it is important that you regain your center after a sudden shock. You need to step away, calm yourself and see the situation from that place. Even if you think there is no time for this, create the time – it is essential to your making it through. Then, you can assess what you are going to do in response (not reaction) to the situation. As you deal with sudden shocks, be true to your values, maintain your balance and know that you have choice in every situation. You can deal with sudden shocks. They ask a lot of you, but they are a part of life.
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How is your workload? If you are overwhelmed, or not keeping up, try stopping. Bring yourself fully to the present moment to assess the situation you are in. Our world has sped up and keeping up gets more and more challenging. Someone once said to me that the world would speed up so much that we would be forced to find the still point at the center of the storm. By stopping, you can find that still point, regroup and make the choices needed to move forward, without overwhelm or too much to do.
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Recently, I was coaching with a manager who encountered a serious business situation. Her response would have significant affect on her future and the future of her company. She was wise enough to know that a hasty reply to the e-mail she received would not be the best way forward. At the same time, she was concerned and wanted to get the situation under control quickly. She decided she needed to sleep on it and give herself time to determine the best strategy in the situation. She did exactly that. I was impressed with her self-control and acumen in a difficult situation. The next day she responded to the e mail in a very powerful way and knew clearly how she wanted to proceed.
Centering is the focusing of your attention and also the alignment of mind, body and emotion to a specific purpose. When you are in your center, you are at your best. The process of regaining your center when you have lost it, often takes some time. The time you take is well worth it. Centering is good business strategy. When you operate from your center, your decisions, communication and performance have the best chance of succeeding and serving your interests.
photo: Serge Bertasius Photography, FreeDigitalPhotos.net