Given your DMs about my last blog post, “Mentally Fit And Emotionally Aware At The Office,” I wanted to offer some additional guidance, if you find yourself struggling to consciously choose how you want to respond, whether or not things are going your way, so you’re better able to push performance boundaries, show up as your best, and maintain the necessary focus and resilience to achieve your goals.

How Do We Respond Better? 

When emotionally triggered, are you consciously aware of your choices, skillfully choosing the best option? Or are you still jumping to an impulsive, reactive response? 

We all have moments where we bypass our higher selves, allowing fear to turn to anger, instead of compassion. If you find yourself jumping to anger more often than understanding, there’s still time, you can change your patterns and rehabilitate your relationships, at work, at home, and with friends.

If you have ever wondered how you can practice widening the space between stimulus and response, and most importantly, be able to access it at will, you’re not alone. While organizational shifts in the past few years have placed increased value on soft skills like emotional intelligence, many companies haven’t provided their teams with the necessary resources to develop these skills, which has left high-achieving performers in unfamiliar territory. 

You can learn these skills, like everything else, they require thought, practice, and some guidance. I can help.  

Creating Space Starts With Self-Reflection

The never-ending bombardment of stimuli in our lives will never change, but what can and does change is how we choose to respond to them. In learning to widen the gap between stimulus and response, we not only increase our capacity and ability to choose how we want to engage in situations and the world, but also enhance our ability to learn and grow as leaders.

The shift from impulse to greater choice actually starts with self-reflection. While we may think the goal is to widen the gap, and in a sense it is, the real goal is to create a more resilient experience. One of the tools available to us is self-awareness, which leads to choice, and that creates the gap. 

Journaling: A Self-Inquiry Practice

The simple act of having a daily journaling practice can help you get to and stay at the top of your game—feeling clear, grounded, and focused.

Journaling can help you get to the root of your most challenging thoughts and feelings, and unhook you from them. It can help you learn from the past and discern the best ways forward.

Practicing your connection to your inner self, making time and space for YOU, is something you can do daily. Even if it’s just 5-minutes in the morning to get the day started and set intentions, or in the evening as a way to clear your mind and unwind from the day. Try both and see what works best for you. The key here is consistency.

How To Start A Journaling Practice

A 5-Minute Self Check-In Exercise To Build Self-Awareness And Resilience

The next time you sit down to journal and reflect, start by asking yourself a few questions. Check in with yourself. Stream of consciousness. Resist the temptation to solve, and just name all the things—don’t overthink it. Don’t turn it into more work. Don’t turn it into something you avoid because it’s too hard and feels like an assignment. 

  1. How am I doing?
  2. What’s on my mind?
  3. How am I feeling? What am I excited about? What am I anxious about?

The more you practice this, the more resilient you’ll be.

The Results: Less Conflict, Stronger Relationships and Increased Self-Awareness

Great leaders spend time exploring their emotions and considering how their behavior affects the people around them. They examine their anxiety and feelings, rather than hiding them, to grow themselves and their team.

When you know and accept yourself, you’re more focused, self-empowered, and resilient. The result is increased productivity, less stress, and a big improvement in overall well-being for you, your organization, and your family.

To begin prioritizing your mind and thinking, start by incorporating little moments into your daily routine that support your well-being, like journaling out your thoughts to calm your worries, or taking a walk outside to get some fresh air and a boost of endorphins. Stop and spend some quiet pockets of time reading a chapter of something inspiring, or uplifting. Give yourself the gift of learning, lean into the places that excite you and bring joy, and get curious about the things that feel a little bit foreign. There’s good stuff there. 

5-minutes of journaling seems worth it to me. What do you think?

If you find yourself struggling to consciously choose how you want to respond, whether or not things are going your way, so you’re better able to push performance boundaries, show up as your best, and maintain the necessary focus and resilience to achieve your goals, shoot me an email and we can talk.