Reflective thinking - improve your mental fitness
At the start of lockdown, I was inspired by people who were finding different and creative ways to invest in their physical fitness. They were focused on still reaching their goals, despite gyms being closed and trying to push themselves beyond the constraints imposed by being at home. I wish I'd focused more on this myself, but I decided to prioritise home-schooling and work!
So what’s stopping us investing the same amount of time in being mentally fit?
Over the past few months, it's true to say that most of us have suffered with some form of mental unease or anxiety. We've been through various stages of the Change Curve (shock, denial, anxiety, depression, trial and error, silver linings, focus). We've had to adapt almost everything in our lives - the way we work, the way we educate our children, the way we shop and the way we interact with loved ones.
And now, as we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel, we can try and make time to reflect on how we will continue to adapt to and manage this new normal.
In this instance, I'm not talking about long periods of meditation or mindfulness retreats (although, by all means, if that works for you then do it). But, rather, just making time to think and reflect on your career and aspirations, especially as the landscape may have changed for you.
Don’t get me wrong, thinking time is hard to come by, and real thinking is hard to do. Often, we’re scared of what real thinking might reveal, so we think it best to keep those cans of worms under wraps.
But, dedicated time to reflect on what’s going on in your life and career, what’s working for you and what needs to change, is vital to keeping you fresh, motivated, successful and above all, happy.
An example of reflective thinking is when, rather than just being aware of what happened, you try to understand why it happened. What was the context? How were you feeling at the time? What could you do or think next time as a result of your deeper understanding?
With continued reflective thinking comes a broadening of perspectives, more confidence to deal with new and challenging situations, heightened self-awareness both personally and professionally and renewed motivation.
How can coaching help?
Coaching can create a safe space for you to think and reflect, for you to focus 100% on yourself. It will provide you with the environment, framework, tools and strategies to give more substance to your reflective thoughts.
A coach will actively listen to you and have conversations with purpose, where you’ll be empowered to make decisions that move you forward in whichever direction you choose.
So take the first step today, give yourself permission to focus on your mental fitness and get in touch.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” - Steve Jobs