I’m going to talk about how I’m eating – but there is a point. If you know me, you know I enjoy food. I enjoy deciding what I’ll eat. I enjoy picking out recipes to make. I grow my own vegetables and herbs. I love my citrus and avocado trees. I even enjoy shopping – for herbs, fruits and vegetables the most. >
Last Thursday, over 100 Vistage and TEC Chairs gathered in Boulder, Colorado, for Keepers of the Flame. At a minimum, you have to have been a Chair for 10 years to participate, which has to be well over 10,000 hours of practice. If someone dropped a bomb on the Hotel Boulderado, Vistage would be done. Of course, that didn’t happen, and it was a fabulous weekend. >
Is it easy for you to receive feedback? For most of my life, you could give me positive feedback all day long. I would tend to dismiss it, but I’d be emotionally happy. If i received negative feedback, my stomach clenched as my jaw froze into a slight tight smile, which may have looked like terror. >
At Chairworld, the gathering of 600+ Vistage Chairs from 22 countries, many of us were interviewed by a wandering video crew. I was asked to introduce myself, where I was from and how long I had been a Chair. They asked if there was one thing, one mantra or saying that I lived by. Oh wow! It just popped out – “to come from love.”
The second of The 4 Agreements in the book by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Don’t take anything personally”. When someone cuts you off on the freeway, or is rude in a store, we can usually see that it is about them, not about us. We can take a deep breathe and move on. >
How much of your self-talk is negative? Do you have a running internal commentary about what you say, do, think? How many times each day do you say something to yourself like “You stupid idiot!”? >
For many successful executives, retirement is a scary proposition. Scary because retirement equals lack of identity, lack of structure, lack of value…Who am I if I am not the CEO of a successful company? Who am I if I am not the CFO, or the CMO, or whatever your title. It may define your sense of worth. >
Put over 100 tenured TEC/Vistage* Chairs in Boulder for 3 days and magic happens. Well, depending on how you define magic. Is it transforming your view of the world, how you hold your experiences, what you see for your future, how to live in joy?….we did all that this weekend. >
When executives turn to their coaches in those moments of overwhelm, they might describe it as an issue of work/life balance, Or, it could show up as managing priorities, or even setting priorities. >
When we are having a good day, our thinking brain (the pre-frontal cortex) is in control and we don’t get flooded with cortisol – the hormone that is produced when our instinctive brain (the amygdala) saves us from danger. The power of fear is life saving in the right moment. It is also extremely harmful when it washes over us regularly through our day as we engage with the world through our computers/devices.
In her Vistage talk called from Blindspots to Breakthroughs, Rebecca Heiss spoke to my groups about how to reduce your blindspots and increase your awareness to live a healthier and more peaceful life. Dr. Heiss’s presentation is a careful layering of facts and examples that allowed us to reach our own conclusions. She comes from the viewpoint substantiated by science that our fear response is subconsciously driving us to the point that it is damaging our health. Awareness of how this is affecting us could save our lives.
In thinking about all the stories Dr. Heiss wove to provoke a greater awareness for ourselves about our own assumptions and responses, I realize that we have to catch ourselves in our own mental games if we are going to create new patterns for ourselves. Our subconscious brain will fill in with automatic responses if we don’t provoke discomfort for ourselves. In order to do that, we have to get outside our regular patterns, like taking the same route, talking to the same people, following the “accepted” way of doing things. It is the power of fear that in today’s world looks like we won’t be included or accepted that keeps us from trying new things. While that might have led to death in the cave age it won’t have much effect today.
According to Dr. Heiss, the more you practice using your pre-frontal cortex to challenge your patterns, the more it grows and the more frequently you will respond from there instead of the amygdala, the fear response center. What is one thing you could do from the list of top 5 take-aways to reduce the power of fear in your life?
The top 5 take-aways were:
1. Breathe- create a meditation practice
2. Reconcile by asking what you stand for and what you stand against
3. Expand the diversity of input you get
4. Ask more questions about your assumptions and those of others
5. Know yourself
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