The key symptom of Business-itis is disengagement.
I was having a full blown Business-itis attack. I took my own medicine, slowing down to succeed and moving forward to go deeper! My key symptoms were, worry-itis, a dose of stuck-itis and a general feeling of being uninspired.
Three months ago, I went to Florida for a family vacation and picked up a nasty case of sinusitis. Having chronic health issues rarely stops me from embracing both life and business. This time felt different. To top it off, my beloved cat Pooh died, after spending 13+ years together. My sinus infection returned with gusto. Two bouts of antibiotics, a missed trip to Rome, and cancelling key business engagements while focusing on staying afloat, left me screaming, “Enough is enough!!”
“People are a company’s single greatest asset—period. While factors like innovative products, quality services and cutting-edge strategies may contribute to success, none of these can be created or implemented properly without engaged employees. Research backs this up again and again. For instance, a Hay Group study found that companies with fully engaged employees produced 2.5 times as much revenue as companies struggling with low levels of engagement,” — Dale Carnegie, How to Drive Employee Engagement in Small and Mid-Sized Business.
As a Coach and business owner, my first question is, “What’s underneath all this, and why am I inviting in such chaos?” I’m no stranger to both adversity and crisis. Normally, I embrace the unexpected with Calm Power (this is my key program, 90 Days to CALM Power ). I may not always react to these occasions perfectly, but none of us does!
Usually mindfulness techniques, support, and exercise work wonders. Yet, this time my internal naysayers and gremlins were playing a more complicated game.
I turned to the wisdom of my inner leaders, resilience and intuition. I felt I had come to the edge of a cliff, but instead of wanting to jump, I wanted to stay and explore.
Dale Carnegie Training defines engagement as “winning the hearts and minds of employees and helping them believe in—not just understand—what they’re doing. Actively engaged employees believe in their company’s mission and are loyal to their employer, and they promote that feeling among their peers.
Disengaged employees do what they’re told to do and go home—or leave for greener pastures (usually meaning more money) when an opportunity appears. Actively disengaged employees can act as a poison, undermining the good works of others, encouraging distrust and spreading negativity. This not only lowers efficiency but also increases turnover—meaning that in many cases, small levels of engagement can cost companies big sums of money.”
Did I no longer believe in what I was doing, my own Mission? Did I no longer trust or want to honor my own message? Had I become my own POISON; my own enemy? I would not let this go. I’ve had this old behavior stop me before.
To gain perspective, I spent a beautiful weekend with my husband, rested, and also listened to my resilience partner, while allowing problem solving to come to me organically.
“The enemy is a very good teacher.” – the Dalai Lama.
The resistance slowly went away. I performed a tiny ritual where I burned all the worries and unforgiveness. I grew lighter. I was in need of self-care. Neither a bubble bath, nor my regular exercise and walks was meeting my desire to find insight. I had come to a place where my resiliency needed a boost beyond the typical.
I was disengaging as a Solopreneur, and my need to be the healthy catalyst for others encouraged me to find a different perspective. I took my own medicine by remembering my “why” in business. I sensed this was a delicious opportunity for me to grow, heal, and express my business with more impact. My entire career is based on advocating that both skills and knowledge are vital to many positions, but what brings superior performance to individuals and teams is the ability to change and flow, remaining inspired despite obstacles. This magic happens when you are aligned with your vision and your organizational or personal mission.
I had to make a choice, admit that I was failing myself, embrace this failure, and look deep into it to find the lessons. I started letting go and that wonderful flow I recognized, returned to my life…whew! I trusted my inner intuition would guide me. I set an intention to follow that intuition. I did, and the action steps included accepting a friend’s invitation to a yoga retreat in beautiful Berwick, Nova Scotia! I only do very gentle Hatha Yoga and so this was out of my comfort zone.
The weekend was transformational and full of unexpected gifts! I am so excited to share all of my new insights in the months to come! Before I break out into a Disney song, let me offer you these thoughts and action steps. I am an advocate of a much needed competency if we are to be leaders in both work and life. My entire philosophy of CALM Power teaches that we all have the ability to train for resilience and other attributes in order to be Leaders. Yoga is just one way to this path. We now know from neuroscience research that there are universal training methods that we can use to nurture and strengthen our mind’s capacities. Practicing these and bringing these practices to workplaces is, and remains, both my mission and my passion.
I believe we are all leaders and know that this case of Business-itis reminded me to super-charge and refresh my Resiliency. I increased my dose of my own medicine and now have this wisdom to share with you.
Resilience is another one of the 26 Social and Emotional Intelligence Competencies that is proven to increase your leadership capacity. Resilience is defined as perseverance and diligence in the face of setbacks. I also believe it is letting go of the old and embracing the new! It is the strength to master change and it is a skill that can be learned!
People with the Competence of Resilience:
Know how to cope in spite of setbacks, barriers or limited resources
Are willing and able to overcome obstacles to get what they want
Bounce back from adversity and disappointments
Are flexible and adaptable
See setbacks as temporary and failures as isolated and short-term
- For starters, practice healthy living – we can’t be resilient if we’re lacking sleep, are stressed, or are malnourished.
- Build in periods of rest and renewal so that you can face life’s inevitable tough times with strength.
- Challenge the negative self-talk: ask yourself, “What’s my real belief here, and is there any evidence behind this self-doubt?”.
- See setbacks as temporary and disappointments as isolated, short-term, and specific to the circumstance, not as permanent or applicable to all situations.
- Learn from your mistakes and failures. Every mistake has the power to teach you something important, so don’t stop searching until you’ve found the lesson in every situation. Also, make sure that you understand the idea of “post-traumatic growth”. There can be real truth to the saying “If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.”
- Read biographies and model resilient people, and learn from them.(Tips taken from by Dr. Laura Belsten and ISEI.)
Resilient people take their difficulties and turn them into something of value and purpose. An excellent example is Nelson Mandela, a leader who survived prison without losing his heart and purpose. There are countless examples if we look for them. Without resilience we would not survive our losses, transitions and pain!
As a business owner, I made the choice to express my purpose and why through my business. I can choose to deepen and build my resiliency or lose focus and give in to my doubts and fears!
The yoga festival was not only my retreat but also another great example of what happens when a group of people come together with a shared intention and energy. In this case, yoga was our common goal, and finding what we needed to strengthen our bodies, minds and spirits. Did it go smoothly? Yes and no. The entire 3 days was such a metaphor for life, that wonderful paradox that keeps us both searching and growing.
On the outside, we were hit with hurricane Arthur. Yes, we knew it was coming, but when you are outside and the reality hits that you may need to pack up and leave the comfort zone of the tranquil Berwick camp, it does bring a certain element of uncertainty and anxiety. We embraced the moments and stayed mindful as a group. Magic happened in our imperfect world at the Lions Rink. Without electrical power, we borrowed a generator from a visiting trailer. We had love, music, dance and yoga. We slept (at least I did) soundly on mats borrowed from a local school. I felt young and carefree. Wonderful synchronicities kept happening and I had a rebirth of my spiritual awakening 13 years ago. Clarity continues as I overcome any resistence(s) to my original intention. I am recommitted and excited to continue to bring you CALM Power while strengthening your resiliency at home and work.
Learn more about Shelley Cox at TheCoachingNest.ca. I’ll introduce you to Career and Leadership MINDSET habits and competencies that will help you lead with CALM Power, to attract more money, visibility, and business growth.