Adopt a new mindset.

slide_2Mindfulness in the workplace.
What would life be like if we had total control over our emotions in the work place? What would our success rate be like if we could always be in a state of awe and calm regardless of what was happening outside of our own personal space? When the pressure is on and we are transitioning between creativity, deadlines and all the functions required of us in the world of business, how do we take charge of all this, remain calm and deliver awesomeness when in reality we are just human.

Much has been written, discussed and even researched about mindfulness in the workplace and yet for many it still remains “something I’d like to understand and try” for many people.  We all know its a great theory, something that would deliver an answer to all the above questions and turn us into a person of great talent. The greatest challenge I hear from clients is where to start, how to put it into practice and what strategies do I employ to make it a reality rather than a theory.

The first step is to understand the difference between mindfulness and the other states we employ. Mindfulness is the state of being completely in the moment and engaged in whatever task we are involved in and only that task. Many of us don’t realise how often we are not doing just that. Being mindful is about being completely and totally in charge of what our minds are doing in any given moment. NOT being mindful is spending time in past events, or time traveling out into the future without conscious thought. Time travel is a habit. All our knowledge about our life is based in the past and all our goals are future based. Our unconscious knows everything that has occurred for us and also every future thought we have had. When we access either of these memories we are time traveling. The challenge is that your brain often doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is not.  So when we time travel backwards, we often “see” the event in real time back then. Whatever state we were in is also accessed and then when we return to what we are doing now we bring a little of that state back into the present.

Equally, when we time travel out into the future and access something that we have imagined out there, whatever state we were in when we first thought that thought will also return in some way, changing our current state as well. In real terms this means that rather than being control of our state, behaviors and emotions, if we spend too much time traveling forwards and backwards then we are really just marionettes being puppeteer-ed by our brains.

So what do we do instead.?
Becoming aware is the first step to mindfulness. Noting when you have left the present moment brings an awareness to what our mind is doing. Practice losing yourself in the moment. Become aware of your body, breathing and physical being. Your body is the present. Your body is your anchor for now. Contrary to popular belief, we do multitask. We can have a conversation with someone and be thinking about something else. We can drive our car and be totally caught up in all myriads of thought. We have phone conversations whilst watching others or other things happening around us. When we are in the moment we are doing just that task.  The moment we begin to notice the multitasking is the very moment we begin the journey of mindfulness.

Role vs Identity.
In our lives we perform a myriad of roles. Depending on who we are with or where we are, these roles change frequently.  At any given moment we transition from employer to passenger, customer, parent, sibling, child or mentor. The constant changing of roles is something we do often without thought.  Our identity however is something that doesn’t change no matter who we are with or who stands before us.  in the business world, our identity should be safely tucked away and never worn on our sleeve. Identity is based on our belief of who we are, our values and morals that we have formed over our lifetime. It is the very thing that can make or break us in a professional sense. When we tuck it safely away we free ourselves up for peak performance in whatever role it is that we are in at that moment in time.

How does this relate to mindfulness?

Smooth transitioning between roles is about being in the moment. Choosing to let go of particular aspects of our lives because they have no relevance to that particular role creates smooth transitioning. When we are communicating with colleagues, we do just that. Our other roles don’t exist. We communicate totally in the moment as that person.  When we leave the workplace to have lunch, we eat or socialize, leaving our devices such as phones and tablets behind. We leave work and become a partner perhaps, and communicate with that partner. And we are now in different role. If we have left part of ourselves in the work role, then we are no longer effectively being a partner. If we are scanning our devices as we chat, we are not in the moment.

Choose your state. Anchor it in the moment. Trust that the past is no longer possible and the future hasn’t yet happened. The only moment we are totally in control of is now. How we respond to that moment is the key to empowerment. Trust that you will always be able to respond to what might happen in the moment of now and creativity, emotions and success is at your fingertips.

Enjoy the journey and always be aware that to create change you may just have to adopt a NEW mindset.

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