For almost 30 years I have been studying and practicing mindfulness, and I’ve personally experienced a massive leap in performance in many areas.
Let’s explore each one.
What first attracted me to mindfulness was the performance mindset. We’ve all heard about the importance of the mental game as it applies to sports, yet rarely do we hear about how this can be applied to real life.
I approach mindfulness as a set of tools and techniques to enhance performance. If you are looking for a secret weapon to give you that edge against your competition, start practicing mindfulness.
Closely aligned with performance is goal achievement. There’s a misconception that mindfulness is about non-attachment. While this may be the objective of Buddhist monks, for the rest of us, mindfulness can be used to develop the focus that is required to achieve our goals.
Rarely is it possible to achieve your goals on the first try. The secret to success is to dust yourself off, learn from your failures, and try again. A good mindfulness practice will build resilience and enhance willpower.
Any goal worth achieving will push us out of our comfort zone. If you are human, this will cause anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. Mindfulness is a great tool to manage our fears and to develop the ability to stay calm under pressure.
Early in my career, I took one of those E.Q. (emotional intelligence) assessments. While they say you can’t fail these tests, let’s just say that my E.Q. scores were low in just about every category. Learning mindfulness gave me the tools required to improve my E.Q. and grow as a leader.
Mindfulness and self-awareness go hand-in-hand. The whole point of mindfulness is to figure out how your mind works and with this advanced self-awareness, determine how your limiting beliefs and personal biases are keeping you stuck. This knowledge is essential if you want to move beyond your reactive leadership style.
Once you begin developing self-awareness, you will start to notice where you are spinning your wheels. A regular mindfulness practice will help you see repeating patterns of behaviour and give you the insight you need to get unstuck.
As you continue to practice mindfulness, you will gain an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. This understanding is essential for your success. Good mindful leaders build themselves and their teams around their core strengths.
Another aspect of self-awareness is your learning style. Learning happens faster when coupled with emotion. Once you know your learning style and how to manage your emotions, your pace of learning will accelerate.
The secret of success is your habits. Are your daily routines moving you closer or further away from what you want? I continually use mindfulness tools and techniques to eliminate bad habits and create a series of positive rituals that move me toward what I want.
Passion & Purpose
As you start to make progress – building self-awareness, changing habits, and achieving goals – you will begin to get a sense of what motivates you. This understanding is essential as you start to tap into your passion and connect with your purpose.
I remember making a crucial decision early in my life. I could either focus on what was not working and stay a couch potato – or – focus on what was working and become the person that I was meant to be. This decision to develop a positive mindset was one of the key factors to my success.
Most of us struggle with the need to be always on. Before embracing mindfulness, it was not unusual for me to work 50+ hour weeks. I’m now able to leave work at work and do not feel the need be always checking email while at home.
In my personal experience, mindfulness has allowed me to develop a keen awareness of the mind/body connection and how one impacts the other. If I don’t get enough sleep or eat the wrong foods, I’m much more aware of how this affects my overall performance.
A wonderful part of mindfulness is when you start to look beyond yourself and start paying attention to your relationships. The greatest gift that you can give someone is to be present and truly pay attention to them. This goes a long way toward building quality relationships.
It’s amazing how small steps build upon each other, creating momentum in all areas of your life. Each success, no matter how small, goes a long way toward building self-confidence. As your confidence increases, so does your ability to take on bigger goals with higher risk.
As your self-confidence grows, so does your ability to influence others positively. Mindfulness brings you closer to your authentic-self because you no longer feel that you need to be right and have all the answers. This improves your ability to coach and invest in others, which leads to greater influence.
There you have it – a summary of 17 benefits of practicing mindful leadership. Each one on its own contributes to your overall success, and when combined together, easily 10x your impact.
Do you have a benefit that I haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment below.
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