I don't think I would have landed, or lasted in, a CEO role if I didn't meditate. In fact, I know I wouldn't have. Between board responsibilities, ambitious growth targets, staffing, reputation management, AGMs, Awards and audits, life had the potential to be incredibly stressful.
Meditation kept me clear headed, less reactive and better able to manage the constantly changing demands.
What’s interesting though, is that I used to hide my meditation and yoga. I was embarrassed that people would think it was light weight and not leaderly enough, not cool or career minded enough, and that I was lacking in some way.
Spring forward a few years and times have sure changed! Meditation and mindfulness is considered the new black. It’s not just good for you but it’s uber cool as well.
If Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn, Ariana Huffington, CEO, Huffington Post and Oprah Winfrey, CEO, The Modern World (LOL) can do it, so can the rest of us.
Multiple research studies have shown that meditation has the potential to decrease anxiety, thereby potentially boosting resilience and performance under pressure.
It has also been shown to
increase concentration and focus
improve sleep quality
help you make better decisions
increase memory and
....... all of which are highly beneficial to leadership.
Let's nip scarcity mentality in the bud
It doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect. Tiny two minute meditation moments several times a day are not to be sniffed at. After all, the meditation that you do is far better than the meditation that you think about and don't do.
An abundance meditation is my go to at the moment. Designed to nip scarcity mentality in the bud in a few minutes. Literally. And scarcity mentality is not only one of the biggest barriers to women in leadership, but also to you and your own success.
"There won't be enough top jobs to go around"
"There won't be enough opportunities for us all"
"I'm not good enough"
"I'm not confident enough"
"There are only a few places so why would they give one to me?"
You've probably heard one of the above. You may have even said something similar to yourself.
The abundance meditation is really simple. When I do it I feel stress melting from my body - like ice-cream on a hot summer day (she pined wistfully).
It’s great for those days when you have a bucket load of competing priorities, then worry that you won’t have enough time, energy or focus to get there.
Deep down too, you’re afraid because the person you’ll let down the most is yourself and maybe .... today is the day that others will find out you're a big ol' fraud.
So what do you do? Instructions below
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can be sitting or lying. Rule of thumb - if you accidentally fall asleep, you probably needed it. Don’t get too pedantic.
Start breathing and allow your diaphragm to gently expand into your belly as you breathe
With a light touch, count how many counts it takes to inhale, pause at the top then count how long it takes to exhale
Repeat for about 1 minute and see if you can effortlessly extend your breath count each time
Then mentally repeat the following four phrases to yourself with your new slow breathing - about four times through
- "I am safe"
- "I am worthy"
- "I am loveable"
- "I am enough"
Remember you are not in a rush, take your time
If you have the time, or want a variation on a theme, take it one step further and repeat the following different four phrases for a couple of minutes
- "I have plenty of time"
- "I have plenty of energy"
- "I have plenty of focus"
- "I am enough"
Finally, sit in silence for a minute longer and gently bask in the space this creates.
Then get on with your day!
Remember, some days it's a dance. Other days it’s a juggle. While some days it feels like a tornado hit!
You being able to carve a calm pathway through is going to make all the difference between an indifferent or invincible 'brand you'.
Let me know how you go.
And yes, it is possible to meditate your way to the top.
Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!
#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes
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