1. Be Aware.
Have you ever been driving and noticed that the radio is on but you can’t quite hear it? It’s more background noise than music. You either ignore it or you turn it up to hear it more clearly. The same can be said about your self-talk (the chatter in your head). Turn up the volume on your internal chatter so you stop ignoring it and tune into it. Then you can consciously either change your thinking or learn from it. The better you get at catching your negative, perfectionist self-talk tendencies, the sooner you will enjoy the effort you put into living a healthy, vital, fun, engaging, productive life. Instead of the negative self-defeating comment to yourself, “What good will 30 minutes of exercise do, I need 30 hours of it!,” You could say, “I would like to go for another 20 minutes, but I challenged myself while I was here.” Or, I should spend far more time with my kids (wife/husband, friends, family…), however, a focused, kid-centered meal or adventure out for ice cream takes 45 minutes and could create some valuable memories.
As a leader, how aware are you of the small choices you make that have a dramatic effect on others? What small choice could you make today to acknowledge someone on your team? Who could you make ‘walk on clouds’ as they leave work today because you became aware of something they needed? The emotionally intelligent tune in regularly to their own needs, which gives them the capacity to tune into others and have the energy to address them.
Be aware of the small choices you make each day that either make your life richer or more satisfying. Drip, drip, drip. Your bucket can be filled slowly, but only if you add to it consistently. Walk for 10 minutes, call a friend and talk for 15 minutes, make a date for this weekend. What will you do today because you are aware of what you need and want most?