I know I am smart. I bet most of you think (and justly so) that you are also smart. Am I right?
If you are reading this, I agree with you- YOU. ARE. SMART (Isn’t this statement a wonderful way to start your week?!). And yet, we keep on making the same mistakes (over and over) along the way.
I remember an individual in my previous work I had difficulty getting along with. We seemed to bumped heads constantly. When we had a conflict I felt the immediate and constant need to defend myself by sending numerous emails explaining my position (not to mention how upset I was at home). I wanted him to see and validate how smart..and right I was. This was not to my advantage. I needed an intervention!
We know that acting in a certain way is not to our advantage, but before we realize it, we just “did it again!” (ok- if you must dance to Britney’s song “oops I did it again, go for it. I am not judging you!)
And now, after you have taken this short break and have returned to your seat…l ask again–why did we just resort to doing what we know is not good for us? Why do we respond not to our advantage?
And here is the simple yet powerful answer-
Because….our minds are programmed to do it. Through past behaviors, we learned to respond with ___ ( you fill in the blank. short tempered, anger, put-down, defensiveness, ridicule, judgment, fear, uncertainty..).
This is our to-go action.
So how do we fix it?
Here is an easy and profound step. A step so often overlooked.
Ready to hear it?
Yes- I am serious! It is this simple.
We don’t have to jump in with an answer or a response right away.
They know we are smart. They know we can speak (or write an email). They have heard us (or have seen it) before.
And by they, I am referring to your team at work or to loved ones at home.
Pause and focus. Focus on your breath, focus intently on what you see, what you hear. Rub your hands together in a very intentional way so you can feel the sensation of your skin. Play mindfully with beads. I remember going to Arab markets in Israel where I saw older individuals rubbing chains of beads while playing the famous game of backgammon. I did not understand it then, but, could it possibly be for this reason? By doing this they were leaning to what is known in Positive Intelligence as the sage powers, the place that when tapped into, shows each one of us what to do. The place in the brain that benefits from PQ, Positive Intelligence Quotient? Ohhhh, ancient wisdom in action!
Pausing and focusing on a physical sensation creates new neural pathways in our brains. It interferes with our brain waves that make our reactions automatic. We are given a chance to create a new reaction.
And we don’t have to pause forever. A minimum of 10 seconds will light up the areas on our brains that can make a huge difference.
Do you have 10 seconds? I bet you do.
Are you seeking a challenge today? With your team at work and when you communicate with your family at home:
Here it is: When you hear something that make you jump up with a need to explain, argue, defend, protect etc. can you pause? Can you choose to navigate your brain to focus on a different physical sensation? The more often you present yourself with these opportunities, the more your brain will lean into making better choices. Which leads of course to better decisions and a happier self.
Are you up for this? If you are- You will be the main beneficiary of this secret!
If you want to hear more about Positive Intelligence and the work I do with team building and collaboration- I invite you to the free Webinar I am doing This Wednesday, October 28 at 5pm Pacific Time. Would love to see you!
All my best,