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Catalyst Notes

Top Tips for Thriving and Leading at Your Best This Year

Ever get to the end of a packed day and wonder what on earth you achieved? Being ‘busy’ can be a badge of worth in our work culture – but our desire to be and look busy can often mask ineffectiveness, inefficiency and even boredom. Even worse, our addiction to busyness can lead to stress and burnout.

Do you want to:                          

  • feel calmer, less pressured and more connected to those around you?
  • access clearer decision making and creative thinking?
  • rediscover your passion and energy for your work?
  • feel more energised, and able to e-x-p-a-n-d what you can deliver this year?

Here are 5 tried-and-tested ‘power practices’ which might seem deceptively simple. However, these practices, when done regularly, are game changing for your leadership.

1. Take a breath: 

This is about pressing ‘pause’ – not on your breathing, keep going with that! Pressing pause on your day. You are breathing all the time (good news) this practice is about making that conscious. Take a few moments during your travel time, during a meeting, during a bathroom break, to tune into your breathing. Notice where your breath enters your body and leaves your body. Focus your attention on your breathing for a few lovely deep breaths. Allow your body to relax and your mind to clear. Continue with your day. Start to do this practice a few times each day and then use it whenever you want, or need, to access that calmer state.

2. Focus on gratitude: 

Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Bring to your mind 3 things you are grateful for. They can be big things or small things. Think about those things and relish the emotions and physical sensations that come up for you. What do you feel when you think about those 3 things you are grateful for? This practice shifts you into a positive and energised emotional state and can significantly shift your life. Start and end your day with this practice

3. Reframe: 

Something doesn’t go how you expected and what do you say to yourself? Start to notice your self-talk. Notice how the thought ‘that wasn’t good’ can soon become a string of negative judgements about ourself or others and we can create a drama in our heads. ‘That didn’t go well’ can become ‘that was a disaster, I’ve failed, we’re all doomed…!’ This is a massive energy drain and can get you stuck in rumination and a negative emotional state. Notice when you are allowing your thinking to spiral downwards, stop the pattern and instead choose to focus on the learning. Instead of saying ‘that was a disaster’ say ‘that didn’t go well, what did I learn?’ ‘What shall I do differently next time?’ ‘How have I changed from that experience?’ And even ‘what am I thankful for from that experience’ This thinking accesses a problem solving positive mindset and keeps you in an energised emotional state.

4. Take 100% responsibility: 

This is a biggie. You have power over what you say, what you do, and to a large extent, what you think and feel. Take responsibility for your own ‘emotional wake’. Take responsibility for your actions and your results. Notice when you find yourself in blame mode ('they should have...' or 'why didn’t they...') or victim mode ('poor me', 'poor us'). Shift back into your power and own what you need to take responsibility for. Focusing on learning and gratitude (see 2 and 3 above) can help with making this shift.

5. Notice your people: 

Who is around you each day, helping your day and work to run smoothly. Who supports you at home, during your journies, at your place of work, in your team, from other teams. This is not about fake praise or getting distracted with hours of extra conversations. Just noticing each person who supports you through your day, offering some eye contact, a smile, a word of thanks, noticing specific things they are doing that add value for you and giving them that feedback. There is a powerful ripple effect from this practice. Give it a go and see what starts to happen in the culture around you.

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These are all small practices that may in themselves seem insignificant. That’s their beauty and power.

These practices focus on your inner work – your thoughts and feelings and how you make sense of your life. Why is this important? Because this is what drives your actions and shapes your results.

When we do these small things consistently (each day), and over time, we experience significant changes.

I challenge you to do these power practices for a week and see what shifts.

Here’s to a year of you leading at your best!

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Want to avoid burnout and lead from a spacious, creative and impactful place in 2018? Katy’s online group coaching program Change Making Women, for female leaders in the non profit sector, is currently open for registration. The group connects monthly online so it fits into your schedule and you can be anywhere in the world. You get the benefits of coaching with Katy, plus accountability and support from a handpicked group of other awesome women leaders. Curious? You can listen to this audio from Katy Then book a call with Katy to explore if this is a great fit for you. Hurry as places are filling fast.

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