5 Habits A Day To Help You Be A Grounded Leader and Entrepreneur (Part 1)
These last few weeks or I should say months, have given all of us a run for our money. The current situation we are facing and having to walk through can feel quite unsettling and chaotic.
I definitely had my breakdown moments. Feelings of fear and despair poked their ugly heads up, which is normal considering how quickly our world started to unravel.
If I want to be completely transparent with you, which is always my goal, sometimes my go-to solution to hard situations is to go and hide.
8 short years ago, that is exactly what I would've done. I would've reached for the habits that while made me feel good at the moment, would've set me on a downward spiral fast.
Here's what I've learned about tough times and I'm sure just like me you've faced plenty of those in your lifetime: they can either make us better or make us bitter.
The good news is: the decision and choice of which one it will be are actually ours to make.
For the first 30 years of my life, I lived as a victim. A victim to my circumstances, a victim to my own toxic thoughts, and a victim to everything and everyone else around me.
Here's what I know to be true: how we make it through a crisis situation is all connected to our mental resilience.
And how resilient we are, comes down to CHOICE.
- The choice of where we place our focus.
- The choice of what we allow our minds to dwell on.
- The choice of what we allow to enter through our ears, eyes, and mouths.
- The choice of what we will take action on.
- The choice of being proactive instead of reactive.
If a situation like the one we find ourselves in currently would've hit me 8 years ago, I would've crumbled quickly under the pressure. But I'm grateful that now, just a few short years later, I'm able to lean into some strong healthy habits and rhythms that help me walk through this season feeling more grounded and stable.
As leaders and entrepreneurs, this is something we’ve got to be intentional about because so much of the success and health of our business is directly tied to the health of us as the leader.
When we choose to double down on our good habits or start focusing on developing life-giving practices instead of reaching for our bad ones, it really helps us not only survive through difficult times but come out stronger on the other side. And I don't know about you, but I want to grow through this, not just go through this.
Now let's dive right in!
5 HABITS TO CULTIVATE SO YOU CAN CONTINUE TO GROW AND STAY GROUNDED EACH DAY
HABIT #1: MINDSET WORK
Before I attempt to do anything else, the first thing I do every morning is to make sure that I'm setting myself up for a good day ahead. That means, intentional mindset work.
Before I share with you what I do in the morning to make sure I'm cultivating a healthy and strong mindset I want to tell you why it's so crucial for us to do this every single day, especially in times of crisis.
During scary and fearful times, our brain tends to go into fight-to-flight mode. When we are in fear, a part of our brain called the amygdala kicks in and takes control over our actions.
Unfortunately, when we are in this reactive state, our body starts producing more of a steroid called cortisol to lower our stress levels.
And Cortisol WEAKENS your immune system.
So, practicing habits that help keep your anxiety level at bay really help you fight even disease easier.
Ok, so what does mindset work look like in practicality?
Praying: As a person of faith, to me, this means talking and listening to my heavenly Father before doing anything else is a must for me. It helps me voice my gratitude and my struggles. It also helps me acknowledge the fact that while I have no control over certain situations I'm facing, He does. God is not shocked or overtaken by what is going on in the world.
Journaling: Being able to put my feelings into words instead of shoving them down deep inside of me has been a game-changer. There is something so powerful about putting our words on a piece of paper and naming the feelings that are happening inside our heads and hearts.
There is something therapeutic about it, for sure. There is particularly one thing I always make sure I write down, and that's 3 things I am grateful for that morning. My gratitude list is a MUST. It helps me shift my focus to things I am thankful for. There are always things we can be grateful for, we just need to look for them.
One of my favorite journals to use during this time is the one from Grit and Virtue. You can check out their shop here: https://gritandvirtue.com/journals/ (not an affiliate link, I just like supporting other women lead businesses)
Reading: I'm extremely selective about what I read or watch for that matter. Once read or seen, it can't be unread or unseen for me. Meaning, what you put in front of your eyes matters, BIG TIME!
I'm also convinced that the books and posts we read, the podcasts we listen to, or movies/shows we watch, impact us many times without us noticing subconsciously.
This is why especially at the beginning of the day, I choose to feed my mind with positive and life-giving words. Words that help me grow. Here is a list of my latest readings: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, Think Again by Adam Grant, Thrivers by Michele Borba, Ed. D., The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick.
Finally, if you are looking for something to read over the next 40 days. Something that you can read and work through in less than 15 minutes a day? I'd love to offer up my newest book, Finding Your Voice for your consideration :) You can check out the 40-day guide HERE.
HABIT #2: EXERCISE
There was a time in my life when I constantly told myself that I didn't have the energy to exercise. I find that funny now since I learned the exercise itself is an energizer.
According to research exercise not only boosts our energy level but is also a great mood stabilizer. In an article in Everyday Health, we read that "According to Robert Gotlin, DO, a specialist in sports medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, the benefits of exercise for your energy level are twofold: Exercise boosts your body’s fitness and also your mood, both of which contribute to your overall health and well-being." Read Full Article.
In another article found on Harvard Medical School's website, we read that "regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills." Read Article.
In all honesty, from my personal experience, I don't think I found anything else (besides what I eat, more on that later) that has a more significant impact on my energy level than exercise does.
As you can see, exercise is useful not only for your body, your mind, but it has the potential to increase your confidence level too. If you don't see how the two are connected, read this article from Live Strong.
Don’t forget to check out next week’s article where I’ll be sharing the remaining habits with you. I thought I would break them down into 2 parts so we can focus on one habit at a time. Now, these are the 2 main habits I challenge you to try this week:
1. Mindset work that involves reading, journaling, and praying. Anything that nourishes your spirit.
2. Exercising which definitely boosts your immune system, confidence, and energy levels.
Let me know how it goes for you!
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