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WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE BURNED OUT AT WORK

Job burnout: How to spot it and take action

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In this video, I’ll discuss job burnout. One sign to spot burnout and how to fix it.

If you are suffering from this burnout symptom, find someone to help. I’m Stewart Swayze of stewartswayze.com.

I’m an Executive Coach for Career Development & Transitions and a Marketing Consultant for Coaches, Consultants, and Solopreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics, so if your interested in developing your career or marketing, subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Check out my links to my freebies at the end of this post.

Click play or read the text below

 

TEXT FROM VIDEO

Monday morning, at 6:13 am. Your alarm clock goes off. You reach over and hit the snooze button you've already done it once before. You didn't sleep last night because all you can think about was everything you had to get done this week.

You can almost feel the emails already coming into your mailbox. Maybe you’re thinking, should I start my own company? Should I change jobs? Your mind races a little bit. No, I'm good.

But, what did I forget? When is my boss going to call me into the office and call me out? What are the deadlines I have this week?

Holy cow it's going to be another week when I'm not present for my family!

If you wake up on Monday morning and it's hard as hell to get out of bed, and you're not enthused to go to work, and not happy or passionate about what you're doing ...

If you're already projecting what's going to happen and feeling the crushing weight of stress on top of you, you're burned out at work.

There is no reason for you to feel that way. There is no reason for you to wake up on Monday mornings and already feel stressed for the week to come. Like everything's coming down upon you and you haven't even gotten out of bed.

There are plenty of strategies, tactics, and exercises you can do to take back control of your life, so that you're not burned and you're pursuing your passion. All the while, your happy healthy and financially set.

If you'd like to learn any of those strategies or talk more about being burned out at work, feel free to connect with me. I'm happy to support you

WANT TO BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER (WEBSITE):

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ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel  below.

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Why Interviewing Skills Are the Key To Your Success

Increasing Your Interview Skills

Many people fear interviews and potentially lose a job as a result. When was the last time you interviewed? How well did it go? My guess, it didn’t go as well as you wanted. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. And, don’t take it personally.

It’s not uncommon to go through 5-6 interviews before landing a job. There could be many reasons for long interview processes. However, if you knew the secrets of successful interviewing skills, you’d land the job you want every time.

Instead of getting turned down, they would be turning down job offers.

Do you need an amazing and perfect personality to nail an interview? Well yes and no. Your personality goes a long way in presenting yourself, but many people land jobs without extroverted personalities–and that’s because they know how to interview.


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Yes, interviewing skills can be and should be learned. So how do people learn?

Many people learn to interview through trial and error. We all know, the more you practice, the better you get at it (usually!). But who the hell wants to learn like that!

I mean few things are more painful than going through a ton of interviews and getting a rejection letter. Also, how fun are interviews in general? Most people want to avoid interviews entirely!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn what makes a successful interview from the eyes of the potential employer? Wouldn’t it be nice to go into an interview with the mindset that you are evaluating them and not the other way around? You can. It’s called interview skills training!

Another critical thing to remember is that training for interviews can make you successful in life.

Learning interview skills helps your overall communication. And, communication is fundamental to social confidence, our ability to lead, growing our network…and on and on.

Learning (and I 100% guarantee that you can learn) interviewing skills is vital for anyone, from a recent graduate to the seasoned business professional. It may sound a little weird, but interviewing skills are also excellent for your life outside of work to include parenting, dating, marriage, friends –you name it!

Don’t wait any longer to get this valuable part of your success under your control!

If you’d like support in increasing your interviewing skills and techniques, feel free to schedule a free 1-Hour Strategy Session with me. There’s no obligation. Or, you can join my private career development Facebook Group.

Have a wonderful day and reach out if you have any questions or comments.

-Stewart

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel  below.

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4 Clear Signs You Should Quit Your Job (And What to Do Next)

Should You Quit Your Job

Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you want to leave your job, but something’s holding you back. Here’s the real question: Is it bad enough to justify the scary prospect of a job search or career change? 

If you see yourself in one or more of these scenarios, it’s probably time to go. But don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging. After we discuss the four signs you should quit your job, I’ll share a few tips on what to do next. After all, knowing it’s time is just the first step.

Sign #1 The Work Environment is Toxic

The term toxic work environment can mean different things to different people, so it’s important to clarify that if you’re experiencing discrimination, harassment, orsafety issues, that’s an immediate red flag. While you can elevate the issues to your Human Resources department, whether you feel comfortable staying while they try to resolve the problem is up to you.

Even if it doesn’t cross the line into illegal behavior, a toxic work environment can be demoralizingand will take its toll over time. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Chronic heavy workloads– Unrealistic expectations that make you feel like you’re always failing

  • Demeaning boss– An emotionally abusive boss who erodes your confidence and motivation

  • Passive aggressive environment– Coworkers or leaders who aren’t supportive or purposely sabotage your success

If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to change the atmosphere or behaviors in your workplace, you might be telling yourself that there are other positives to balance it out – the pay is good, I can work from home sometimes, I’m getting great experience, etc. But ultimately, you’ll regret staying. The frustration of a toxic work environment can bleed into your personal life, create bad work habits, and as we’ll talk about next, wreak havoc on your health.

Job burnout

Sign #2 You’re Close to Burnout

Have you ever experienced the Sunday Night Blues? You’re not alone. According to Monster.com, 76% of American workers say they experience depression the day before their workweek. When does it become a sign you need to quit? 

I’ve worked with many professionals who continue saying “it’s not that bad” for way too long. When they finally decide to move on from their job, they’re exhausted. This makes it doubly hard to ramp up a job search or career change. So, before you brush off the Sunday Night Blues, consider whether you’re showing the signs of impending burnout.

  • Lack of energy

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep

  • Lack of focus 

  • Mild forgetfulness

  • Tension

  • Irritability

  • Lack of productivity

  • Feeling negative

  • Wanting to isolate more

Stress, anxiety, and depression rarely stay inside your head. You should also take note of whether you’ve been getting more headaches, if your stomach’s been upset, or you have other strange aches and pains. They’re often signals that your body’s reaching its breaking point.

As with sign #1 above, you should always try to solve the problem before you decide to leave. Talk to your boss about reducing your workload or changing your role. Implement systems to reduce distractions or annoyances. But if the stress is just part of the job you’ve chosen, it might be time to rethink your career. 

Sign #3 The Company is Unstable

If you’ve been hearing rumblings of a restructuring or merger, it can be scary. And it’s becoming more common as technology disrupts entire industries seemingly overnight.

You don’t have to immediately make plans to leave your job if your company has a bad quarter. However, there are certain red flags that mean it’s time to move on. Let’s look at a few of them.

  • Your pay is late– This is more common in small businesses and start-ups, but if cash flowis an issue, that’s poor management. Especially if it becomes a regular occurrence. 

  • Your company leadership is questionable – When you watch leadership make poor decisions that you have no control over, or start seeing top leadership turnover, that’s a sign that your company might not last.

  • Your company isn’t as profitable as it was – If your company has announced impending lay-offs or restructuring, try to find out where they’ll cut and why. If you’re not sure, and you don’t have confidence in the long-term viability of the company, it’s time to go.

  • Your competitors are drying up – Is your industry dying? Is your company hanging on to an old way of doing business? Don’t wait until they file for bankruptcy to have an exit strategy.

 In today’s working world, you have to be the boss of your own career. You can’t expect a company to always be there, or always be looking out for you. 

No clear career path

Sign #4 No Career Path or Growth Potential

If you’re a mid-career professional, you’re probably looking for a company where you can advance into leadership positions. When you want a promotion soon, but you’re facing one of these scenarios, it’s time to look elsewhere.

  • Leaders with no plans of leaving – If you’re looking up the chain of command and you see happily employed individuals with 10-20 years left in their career who have the job you want, it’s not likely there will be openings. 

  • Small organization with no leadership paths – Even if you love the company, when there are no plans to significantly grow, you really have nowhere to go. 

  • Your boss limits your growth – It’s unfortunate that sometimes your boss likes having you exactly where you are and doesn’t want to lose you. This could mean they sabotage your efforts to grow or position yourself for new roles. 

  • The company doesn’t encourage education – If you need a degree or certification to move your career forward, and your current position doesn’t allow the flexibility to do that, you’ll be stuck. You might also need the financial support of a company that provides tuition reimbursement. 

To stay relevant in today’s economy, you must constantly grow and develop. If your current position is limiting your ability to learn and expand, and there’s no indication that will change, it’s definitely a clear sign you should quit your job.

So, what now? 

This blog certainly isn’t advocating that you write up your resignation letter tomorrow. You know it’s time to go, but now you need a plan. Before you dive into resumes and job listings, here are some tips to make sure you don’t end up in the wrong job again.

Maintain professionalism at your current job– Even if you’ve made the internal decision to leave, you don’t want your colleagues to know. Keep up your work, just mentally release yourself from the emotional baggage. You want to have stellar references you can rely on throughout your career. 

Do self-assessments – If you’ve been in the working world for a while, you probably haven’t stopped to really think through your strengths, what environments help you thrive, and what gets you excited. Now is the time. For example, try out this Career Satisfaction Quiz to see if you’re well suited to the work you’re doing and what’s impacting your desire for change.

Work with a career coach– Mid-career is the best time to engage a coach. You have the experience to know what you want and don’t want, but you might have some limiting beliefs or perceptions holding you back. A coach can ask the hard questions, offer a new perspective, and guide you toward a new job or career.

Hopefully, this blog has given you the clarity needed to take action.

Stewart Swayze

"Become the Cause" of Your Life, Career, and Success

www.stewartswayze.com


Shhh! Learn What Your Boss and HR Won’t Tell You!

Free Guide: How to Climb The Corporate Ladder


ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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3 Huge Signs You're Burned Out at Work (Video)

If you're experiencing job burnout, I'd be happy to have a free hour long coaching session with you to understand your goals and support you in developing ways to overcome your burnout.

Signs You're Burned Out at Work

DESCRIPTION: In this video I provide 3 of the biggest signs you are burned out at work. I give you descriptions of each symptom of job burnout so you can evaluate your life and career to determine if you're experiencing career burnout. Watch the video or read the post below.

I'm Stewart Swayze of http://www.stewartswayze.com/latest. I'm an Executive Coach and Marketing Consultant.

If you find value in this video, feel free to subscribe to my channel, visit my website, or like my business page.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/swayzeexecutivecoach/

Website: http://www.stewartswayze.com/latest

Here are the three biggest signs you're suffering from job burnout.

Knowing what I know now, I should have recognized a lot sooner than I was burned out at work.

These three signs don't necessarily apply to everyone. They don't necessarily apply to every situation. But, if you're experiencing any of them, you should really take a deep look and see if you're burned out. Then, determine what you can do to overcome them.

The first sign is when you're at work or even at home and you have a general sense of apathy. You have all this crap coming down you and you're just sitting there, kind of taking the blows. It’s same s*** different day.

But, you're not doing anything to change your circumstances. You're not wanting to push forward or to make any changes to make things better.

The second sign is when you shift from apathy at work to lethargy at home. Your friends want to go out, “not a chance in hell.” You want to go work out at the gym, “Nah, I'll go tomorrow.” Maybe a weekend away with your loved one, “you know what I'm just so tired.”

WIth lethargy, there’s so much crap is come down upon you that you're burned out. You just want to sit on the couch and do nothing.

With apathy and lethargy really understand that there's a difference between just being in a situation where you need rest versus this repetitive process, day after day, weekend after weekend, of not wanting to do anything.

The last sign is a general irritability. people Life just sucks. People are irritating you over and over and over again. Of course, you’ll get irritated when someone cuts you off. But, this is when somebody brushes past you and you get frustrated and you snap at someone for no real reason.

When you look at your life and you look at your work environment, look for those three signs. Are you apathetic? Do you feel a general sense of lethargy? Are you irritable all the time? Look deep into your life, look deep into your work environment, and determine what's causing your burnout? Then, try to change that activity. Look for opportunities to do things that increase your energy or that bring you energy.

-Stewart

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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How Pink Panther Socks Changed My Career (Video)

How Pink Panther Socks Changed My Career

Career Development

Watch the video or read the post below.

DESCRIPTION:

  • Learn a unique success tip for career planning and development

  • How finding your unique self will lead to a successful career

  • How to work with a team, but stand out from the crowd

DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW VIDEOS

Here are a couple Free Personal and Professional Development Downloads for you to enjoy:

Want to know if you’re satisfied with your career:

Want to BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER:

Join my Private Leadership & Career Development Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MtANfq

SAY HELLO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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How to Become a Better Communicator (Video)

2 Tips to Instantly Become a Better Communicator at Work

DESCRIPTION:

  • Career advice on becoming a better communicator

  • How to answer leadership questions

  • Why communication is an important leadership skill

DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW VIDEOS

Here are a couple Free Personal and Professional Development Downloads for you to enjoy:

Want to know if you’re satisfied with your career:

Want to BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER:

Join my Private Leadership & Career Development Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/2MtANfq

SAY HELLO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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How to Win a $1 Million Dollar Racehorse (Video)

How to Win a $1 Million Dollar Racehorse This Year

DESCRIPTION: What would you do if you won a million dollar racehorse? In this video I provide real-world thoughts on career advice and career planning. You'll learn to think though a personal development plan. • Would you take care of the horse? • Would you develop a training plan? • Would enter the horse into as many races as possible? Click Here to Learn More: http://bit.ly/2BB9viL

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How to Improve Your Life - Learn Exactly Where and How to Hammer Your Nail

Improve Your Career or Life

There once was a man that had an annoying squeaky floor. Every time he walked across the TV room, this floor squeaked and creaked. 

Frustrated, this man called over a neighbor that was good with woodworking. The neighbor couldn’t figure out how to stop the squeak and recommended a handyman.

So, the man called a local handyman. The handyman came over and walked around the room. He tried everything, but couldn’t fix the problem. He even handyman recommended pulling up all the carpet and redoing the subfloor. Then, of course, offered his services to do that. 

This man didn’t want to pay the expense of redoing the floor. Frustrated, he waited. He continued for months with that damn annoying squeaky floor. 

Six months later, he had enough. He searched through Google and found a “master carpenter.” The master carpenter came. Just like the handyman, he walked around the room. But, he also took measurements, moved the furniture around, and even rolled a ball across the floor. 

All of this seemed a little curious to the man, but hey … this guy’s a master carpenter. And, if what the master carpenter is doing fixes the squeaky floor, then so be it. 

Finally, the carpenter finished studying the room. The carpenter asked the man to grab the hammer and a single 10d plywood nail out of his toolbox. The man walked over and selected the tools as requested by the carpenter.

Then, the carpenter knelt and pointed to a specific spot on the floor. “Now, nail right here, but slightly angled towards the back window.”

How to Improve Your Career or Life

The man was a little surprised at the carpenter’s request. But, went ahead and hammered the nail through the carpet, but angled towards the back window. 

When the man finished hammering, they both stood up and walked around the room — no more squeaking or creaking. The Master Carpenter reached into his pocket and handed the man a bill. 

The man didn’t understand. He said, “Wait a minute, you came here, walked around the room, and told ME to hammer the nail. I did all the work. How can you charge me when I did the work?”

The carpenter replied, “You didn’t hire me to hammer the nail. You hired me to fix your squeaky floor. You hired me to tell you EXACTLY how and where to hammer the nail.” 

If you want a better career or to improve your leadership skills, don’t rip up your entire floor. Learn precisely where and how to hammer your nail. 

Improving your career or life

When you hire an Executive Coach, you aren’t hiring him/her to hammer your nail. The power of an Executive Coach rests in his/her ability to observe your situation, goals, habits, and current actions. Then, provide you the resources, tools (hammer and nail), and location of EXACTLY where and how to hammer your nail. 

We hold you accountable, but it’s up to you to take action. If we solve everything for you, it won’t help in the long-run. You won’t learn and improve.

How can I support you?

Sincerely,

Stewart Swayze

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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Leadership Development: Connecting & Communicating Purpose (Video)

Many leaders hype their devotion to communicating purpose. On the same hand, many employees don’t believe their day to day activities connect to a purpose. http://bit.ly/swayzeexeccoaching Employees not connecting their jobs to a purpose could be why statistics show that up to 70% of employees suffer from disengagement.

Also, 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. Let me connect those two statistics through a short story. When I was a new manager I made a simple, but a huge mistake. I’d ask my team to perform specific tasks but would explain the “why” or the purpose. Luckily, I had a leader, thank you Amar, that sat me down and taught me this vital lesson:

1. When asking your employees to do something, a good leader spends 5 minutes to connect & communicate how those daily and weekly tasks relate to a higher purpose.

2. They explain how an individual employee or team fits into the overall strategy.

3. By connecting and communicating purpose, you can increase employee engagement and make your team feel more appreciated.

4. Not only that, but this process also helps develop your employees for more significant roles. They start to see the bigger picture through the fine details.

So, I have two question for you:

  • How can you spend 5 minutes TODAY to communicate how your team’s daily or weekly activities connect to a higher purpose?

    • I’m not talking about making a big speech. Think about it on a smaller scale: email, one-on-one, or during a meeting

  • How can you change your daily communication and actions to support your organizations declared purpose?

Remember, purpose doesn’t concern what you do. It involves “why you do what you do.”

Stewart Swayze

"Become the Cause" of Your Life, Career, and Success

www.stewartswayze.com

ABOUT STEWART

Hi. I’m Stewart Swayze, I’m a Career Transition and Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs. I release new videos every week on those topics. If your interested in developing your career or marketing your business, view my YouTube Channel below.

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Leadership Development: What Happens If You Win at ALL Costs (Video)

DESCRIPTION:

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5 Fundamentals of Success You’re Probably Ignoring

5 Fundamentals of Success

My middle school baseball coach was a former major league pitcher. While other coaches taught their young players the more complicated aspects of baseball, my coach concentrated on fundamentals. 

His core message: “Don’t overcomplicate the game, develop discipline, and focus on the fundamentals. If you follow these rules, you’ll be successful on and off the field.”

Often, we overcomplicate what it takes to be successful in life and business. We get caught up chasing the next shiny object or the latest over-hyped piece of technology. Sadly, this causes us to lose our discipline and forget to focus on the fundamentals of success. 

  1. Do you want that corner office on the top floor? You must work harder than the million-other people wanting that same office. Do you want to build the next unicorn billion-dollar startup? You must work harder than the million other founders wanting the same thing – Hard work pays off (period).

  2. We live in world of instant gratification. Everyone wants to find the next shortcut or “hack” that reduces time and risk. They daydream about instant millionaire ideas. Good luck with that. There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Sustained success takes years of learning and not cutting corners. - Never stop learning.

  3. Stop saying you want to be successful and stop complaining about not being successful. Stop saying you’ll start next week, month, or year. Go fucking do it. - What you say means nothing. What you do means everything.   

  4. Think about this real hard. it’s not your boss’s responsibility to develop your career and give you a promotion. It’s not your client’s responsibility to purchase your product over the competitors. It’s not your spouse’s responsibility to keep you organized, clean the house, and make you happy. It’s not the government’s responsibility to pass favorable laws and regulation. It’s not the market’s fault that you took a risk and it failed. It’s your fault. It’s your responsibility. And, it’s time for you to own it. - Take responsibility for your success, failure, and how you learn from both.

  5. Be present. Actively listen. Share ideas. Seek win/win results. Teach people skills to will help them excel. Let others speak first. Even if you're an expert, learn from alternative or counter views. Give without expectations of receiving. Deliver credit where it’s due. Remember, selfish people end up working alone and a lot harder. - Be a Positive Leader

Follow these simple, but fundamental rules and you’ll find success. It may not be easy and could take time. But, these fundamentals will pay off in the end. You’ll become successful and you’ll develop a huge support network along the way. 

Are you passionate about your career development?

Do you want to become a better person and leader? I know I do! I’ve recently created a Facebook Group, ShapeShift Lab, dedicated to career and leadership development. Everyone is welcome to join: http://bit.ly/2MtANfq

 

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Warning: 4 Signs You Have the Fear of Success & How to Overcome Them

How to Overcome the Fear of Success

Many people fail to achieve their goals due to the “Fear of Failure.” However, are you aware there's another major fear we often overlook? 

When you compare Fear of Success vs Fear of Failure, they are equally dangerous. It damages our motivation to succeed. It's known as the “Fear of Success!” You got that right, the fear of SUCCESS!

The Fear of Failure stops us from acting or making decisions. We worry about rejection and negative outcomes if we pursue our goals. We can identify the Fear of Failure through more tangible fears. Plus, and there are tools and exercises to help us overcome mental blocks and reprogram our mind for success. 

The Fear of Success is a subtle little creature. It's harder to identify, transform, and eradicate.

How do you know if you have the "Fear of Success? 

Do you implement the correct self-improvement and personal development tools, but your life does not improve? Maybe your life even gets worse.

Have you ever settled for less than you deserve or are capable of achieving? Uh hum, this could be the Fear of Success.

Do you find yourself motivated about starting a new project, but your efforts and enthusiasm slowly fade? Or, you even stop short before you have completed the project.

Deep down, do you find yourself almost expecting things to go wrong, no matter how promising the situation?

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Do you identify with any of the questions above?

Just like the Fear of Failure, the Fear of Success can hold you back. Detailed in the list below are a few real Fear of Success symptoms.

1) You haven't found the right time – Always waiting until the time is right to start acting. Guess what? There's no perfect time and no ideal plan. 

Do it now. Start now. Again, the key to success in taking action. Zero + Zero = Zero. One step forward is better than no steps. If you wait to find the best time, there are other people out there moving right past you. Even if you take the wrong action, you just learned. You gained insight and knowledge. You are flexible and can adjust ... do it even better the next time.

2) You procrastinate – You putt off tasks that will bring you closer to your goal. Everyone suffers from this gremlin at some point, but if it's a reoccurring habit ... that's a problem called Fear of Success Procrastination. 

Take small steps toward your goal each day. Take action! Any action! Stop sitting around and doing nothing. 

3) You are a perfectionist - Similar challenge as above, you stay in the same place because you are spending so much time perfecting your move. Nothing in life is perfect. You can always find areas to improve. That's the great part! How many football games have you watched, enjoyed, and thought ... "Damn, my team just played amazing!" I'd be willing to bet the players and coaches of the winning team felt the same thing. However, I'd bet $1,000,000 that those same coaches and players went back and studied the game film. They enjoyed the win, but found areas to improve. Move forward, enjoy the ride, but ACCOMPLISH your goals. Then, once you've celebrated ... if you feel it's necessary, go back and improve. 

4) You are problem-focused – Do you spend more time focused on the problems or the solutions? Reframe your problem-focused mindset to turn it into your advantage. Transition from Problem Focus to Solution Focus.

Sit down for a “focused”, but short period of time. Use your laser focus to identify ALL of the problems. Develop a solution and prepare a plan to tackle each one. Create your plan with a checklist. Use the process of crossing off each problem as your motivation to drive forward. If you run across more problems, remind yourself of how well you dealt with the other issues. Ask, “what is the best solution to overcome this challenge?” Then, add it your list and keep checking them off! 

Fear of success and failure can by difficult to overcome, However, remember to enjoy the journey as much as the results. Move forward, my friend!  If you follow the above steps to overcome your Fear of Success, you will achieve success. Ultimately, your fear of success will reduce, and you will develop a personal "system" of success. 


Do you suffer from the Fear of Failure? If you’re reading this post, you’re in luck! For a limited time you can take $10 off my course: Transform Your Fear of Failure - Create the Energy You Need for Success. I have no doubt you’ll find great value in this course!

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50 Ways to Find Happiness

50 Ways to Find Happiness

The happiest people appreciate what they have, keep an open mind and seek out new challenges to grow. They use their leisure time to have fun, reflect and development. They have a few excellent friends and don’t measure friendship by the number of followers or connections. They enjoy music, books, hobbies, family and stimulating conversation. They know that small steps lead to massive action. They choose to be the “cause” of their happiness. 

 Sound hard? It’s not. Here are 50 ideas to get you started with becoming the cause of your happiness.

 1.    Laugh … laugh a lot

2.    Find time for fun

3.    Appreciate everything you are and aren't

4.    Enjoy time alone

5.    Focus on Improvement, not perfection

6.    Read awe inspiring stories

7.    Reach out and help others

8.    Be mindful and present in the moment

9.    Find what you are passionate about, do it as often as possible. Even if it's once a week

10.  Write or record what makes you happy. Refer to daily

11.  Exercise, even if that's taking a walk for 15-minutes

12.  Stand on your own, but learn when to be agreeable

13.  Build deep friendships with only a few people. Keep them close

14.  Give it your best, one small step at a time

15.  Don't sweat the little things, there's life, life changing, and life threatening … 99% is life.

16.  Learn that materialism does not equal success. Often people w/ the most expensive things have the highest debt

17.  Share your happiness with others

18.  Know that your past does not define your future

19.  Be grateful for what you have

20.  Everything in moderation

21.  Be YOU. Don't give shit what others think about YOU

22.  Listen to good music

23.  Simplify your life

24.  Money does not buy happiness. Some of the poorest nations in the world are also the happiest

25.  Overcome your Fear of Failure. Learn and experience new things (Click the Link for $10 Off)

26.  Open your mind, you don't have to agree, but you can learn the "why"

27.  Have meaningful conversations with strangers

28.  Maintain a healthy diet, but occasionally break it!

29.  Adopt / Rescue an animal

30.  Relax, become a little more flexible

31.  Find humor in your mistakes

32.  Be spontaneous once a day

33.  When life isn't going well, be the cause of change

34.  Keep faith

35.  Find your creativity 

36.  Be happy now. You are the only one in control of your happiness.

37.  Know that it's not what happens to you, it's how you perceive and react to it

38.  Enjoy the simple things in life

39.  Have goals with purpose and meaning for your life

40.  Stop watching doom and gloom news and TV

41.  Life is not perfect, accept that this is okay

42.  Don't forget to celebrate even the small wins

43.  SMILE

44.  Be supportive and seek support when needed

45.  Find a hobby that gets you in the flow

46.  Savor the moment

47.  Appreciate the beauty in art and the world around you

48.  Don't take yourself or others too seriously

49.  Surround yourself with happy people. Energy attracts like energy

50.  Sleep. Take a snap on Sunday

 

Become the Cause of Your Life. Become the Cause of Your Happiness. 

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Course: Transform Your Fear of Failure

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Do you suffer from the Fear of Failure? If you’re reading this post, you’re in luck! For a limited time you can take $10 off my course: Transform Your Fear of Failure - Create the Energy You Need for Success. I have no doubt you’ll find great value in this course!

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Why & How I Became an Executive Coach

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Don’t get me wrong, consulting is exhilarating, and I’m damn good at it. For some reason, I am blessed with the ability to simplify complex problems and find real, executable solutions.

But, not too long ago I found myself wanting more and I couldn’t quite figure it out. I was successful and making money, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be. I wanted more. And, I found it.

Finding Happiness and Satisfaction

How did I find happiness and satisfaction? At first, deep self-reflection. I looked back at my life and career. I asked myself what I enjoyed most? My answer: Helping and developing people on an individual level. 

Well, what the hell do I do with that? How do I balance helping individuals with continuing to solve complex problems with strategy and executable solutions? Executive Coaching.

After extensive research, I went through the best Executive Coaching training program, iPEC. I spent months and countless hours completing their professional coaching certification program and becoming an Energy Leadership Index – Master Practitioner. I met and learned from the most amazing people. Now … I am an Executive Coach.

I couldn’t be happier! The energy I feel when coaching my clients is incredible. My head and my heart are connected. I’m in the zone! I love supporting my clients (testimonials)

Who I work with? 

As an Executive Coach, I support successful and ambitious professionals that are developing strategic and tactical options to outperform their peers and the market through career development or a career transition. This includes moving from employee to entrepreneur.

All of my client’s go through the Energy Leadership Index (ELI) assessment. The ELI is a mirror that reflects your world. It is a one-of-a-kind assessment that enables leaders to hold up mirrors to their perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and overall leadership capabilities.

The ELI is an attitudinal assessment, which is based on an energy/action model. This assessment differs from personality assessments as it is not intended to label a person and have them work well within that label. Instead, it measures your level of energy based on your attitude, or perception and perspective of your world.

Utilizing the results from your ELI, you can alter your attitude and perspective, make a shift in your consciousness, and increase your energy and leadership effectiveness.

I was blown away by my ELI results. I have no doubt you will be too. You'll understand how to become your ideal image of who you need to be as a leader for your situation, division, team, or company. 

You Have The Ingredients. I'd Like To Help You Put Them All Together

As your coach, I’ll motivate, advise, and keep you focused on achieving your goals. Through the coaching process, we’ll remove the personal roadblocks stopping you from reaching your highest potential. We’ll develop strategies to reduce stress, increase engagement and satisfaction.

We work as a team, but you define the outcomes. We develop your definition of enlightened success. We work in partnership, but you set “New Rules” for your life. The goal is for you to acquire the knowledge, insight, and skills to handle all situations successfully. 

You are enlightened and empowered with the freedom of choice

Are you’re ready to break free from what’s holding you back and start your journey to a new life? Schedule a free strategy call with me today. We’ll discuss your situation and goals. You’re in charge, and there’s no pressure or obligation. 

**Mention this blog and receive a free 1-hr coaching session. I look forward to working with you.**

Stewart 

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7 Tips to Reduce Stress at Work (6 Powerful and 1 Super Quirky)

Tips to Reduce Stress At Work

7 Tips to Reduce Stress at Work (6 Powerful and 1 Super Quirky)

Your profession doesn’t matter. Everyone experiences work stress symptoms. Reducing stress at work is one of the most discussed subjects with my clients. If we can reduce the causes of stress at work, we tend to lead happier and healthier lives. Below I’ve listed out 7 strategies for managing stress at work. There are many more, but starting with these will put you in a better place. 

1.    Plan your day, the day before

Many people walk into the office, open their calendar, and then plan their day. This means they spent a ton of time worrying. Leave your planning at the “office,” don’t take it home. Take 5-10 minutes at the end of each day to review progress and plan for the next day. Once you’ve planned for tomorrow, clear that stress out of your head. You can go home knowing you are prepared for maximum productivity tomorrow.

2.    Everything has a solution

You are a problem solver. There is a solution. Take a deep breath and relax. The longer you hold onto your negative reaction to a stressful situation, the more it weighs on your mind, the worse it gets. The stress reaction you are experiencing is acting as a filter and limiting what you see as potential solutions. Remove the stress reaction, remove the filter, and shift your mindset from problem spotting to solution focused.

Consider purchasing a Problem/Solution rock (pictured below). As a problem arises, take the time to reflect on the challenge. Close your eyes. Hold the stone in your hand as you rub the problem side. Take a few deep breaths and relax. Let go of the stress as you flip the stone to the solution side. Feel the texture of the engraved letters spelling out “solution.” Allow ideas to flow into your mind. You have the solution.

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3.    Build Supportive Relationships

Having supportive and happy relationships is one of the most important ways to reduce stress. Avoid relationships that revolve around negativity. Subjecting yourself to constant drama, office politics, complaining, and general negativity only brings you down. Energy attracts like energy. Happy people attract happy people. Stressed people attract stressed people. 

Develop strong relationships at work and at home. Having healthy, supportive, and positive relationships provide something to look forward to before, during, and after work. By surrounding yourself with positive people you can drain away your negative energy and reduce your stress.

4.    Get up and take a walk

If you can feel the stress building, get up from your desk and take a walk. Spend 5-10 minutes away from your desk and the stressing situation. Breath in and out slowly as you are walking. Try to clear your mind or think about something pleasant. If you can get outside, take in some fresh air. No matter where you decide to walk, take a break from the negative emotions building up.

5.    Build a stress-busting playlist

Numerous studies show the impact music can have on our mood. If you want energy, you can listen to music that pumps you up. If you need to relax, you can listen to music that’s slower and chills you out. Music is extremely useful for reducing stress, as it connects to our emotions. Try making a calming playlist specific to reducing your stress.

6.    Learn to have “prioritization or timing” conversations with your boss (or client)

There’s only a certain amount of time in one day, week, month, or year. There’s a finite amount of work one person can complete without going insane. Keep a list of the activities, tasks, or work that you have on your plate. When your boss assigns another “priority,” revisit your list. If your list is too much for a certain period, you need to have a prioritization or timing conversation. Always bring several solutions to your boss, not just problems.

First, start with the pleasantries such as, “Hi. How’s your day going?” … All that fun stuff. Then, jump into the conversation –

Your beginning to the prioritization conversation:

You: Boss, here’s my list of priorities for this week. According to our agreed upon prioritization, I’m supposed to complete these ten items. This morning you asked me to prioritize this additional task. For me to prioritize this new item, I’ll need to adjust the prioritization of one of the other ten items. My suggestion is that we can move X down to the end of our prioritization. Moving X down means I may not complete it until next week. What are your thoughts?

Your boss may say no, but this is an excellent way to start “managing up” in an organization. You can even have this type of conversation as a manager for your team. Remember, nothing is a priority if everything is a priority.

Reduce Stress through screaming

7.    Find a private place to yell, scream, and get it all out

Maybe you’ll think I’m weird because of this one, but guess what … it works. Screaming to release stress and feels damn good too. I’ve done it many times but never knew there was an official name for it until I wrote this article. It’s called, “primal scream therapy.” Who knew! It’s a legitimate form of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety, trauma, and even stress. Don’t lie; you know you want to try it now! Ok, so now that’s established, let’s get to the fun stuff.  

Occasionally when I was stressed out, I’d find a private place. Then, I’d scream as loud as I could. When I was screaming, I’d release all the built-up stress. My heart would start pumping, no ... it would begin racing. Not only was I releasing the stress, but also creating blood flow and energy! Once I stopped screaming, I’d start taking slow and deep breaths. I’d bring my focus back to the challenge ahead of me. Now I had all the energy needed to find and execute the solution.

What are your fun, quirky, or interesting ways to beat stress at work? Oh, and if any of you have “primal screaming” stories, please do share in the comments!


Overcome Your Fear of Failure Course

Course: Transform Your Fear of Failure

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* Shocking and Sad Workplace statistics * (Video)


* Shocking and Sad Workplace statistics * Click here for the article

 53% of US workers are currently unhappy at work. That’s greater than 65 million people.

 That just crushes me. Think about that number. 65 million people are spending half of the time they are awake “unhappy.”  

 I mean, how does spending 8 hours of a day “unhappy” effect the rest of your life? When you get home from work, how does that impact your personal life, family, friends, and general well-being?

 Please, whatever you do … stop living that way. Stop allowing yourself to be unhappy 8 hours a day. Stop talking about how work sucks.

 Stop waiting for someone or something else to bring you happiness. DO something about it. Be the cause of your life. Be the cause of your happiness at work.

 There are many ways you can increase your happiness at work. I’ve left a link to my article that gives you 10 tips.

 But remember, only YOU have the power to change your life.

Stewart Swayze

Here are a few Free Personal and Professional Development Downloads for you to enjoy:

Want to know if you’re satisfied with your career:

Want to BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER:

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10 tips to feel happier at work

increasing happiness and fulfillment at work

10 tips to feel happier at work

As an Executive Coach, I support successful, but stuck professionals that have lost their satisfaction and focus at work. They feel stressed, sometimes irritable for no reason, and wonder where the “balance” of work/life balance has gone.

I’m often asked: “How can I be happier at work?” This question is not surprising. In a happiness at work survey it was found that over 50% of the US workforce is currently unhappy at work. That’s ~65 Million people if you only consider the full-time workforce. The answer is specific to the individual I’m coaching. However, I’ll do my best to provide tips ways to be happier at work.

1) Identify what kind of work you are doing

A study by Amy Wrzesniewski, Yale School of Management, revealed that we can divide work into three categories: A Job, a Career, or a Calling. So, if you are pursuing happiness at work, the first thing you need to do is identify and categorize what kind of work you are doing.

Job: Your primary motivation is money. The work is a means to an end, getting paid. It helps you to pay for household bills, debts, and hopefully entertainment or activities.

Career: You appreciate or enjoy your work. Your primary motivation is advancement. Your goal is to gain promotions and climb the ladder (mountain). Each “role” is an opportunity to prove yourself and earn a promotion to the next role.

Calling: Your work is in direct alignment with your values. You are contributing to society or a worldly cause beyond yourself.

Once you’ve identified the type of work you are doing, you can reframe how you view the everyday grind.

Job: If you’re in a job, you could view it as “temporary.” It’s a way to make money while you work on other things. Once you pay off those debts, you’ll move onto something you love.

Career: If you’re in a career, but don’t like the work assignments in your current role, you can reframe it as a learning experience. You may dislike the work, but the skills you are gaining will lead to your next promotion. 

Calling: If you’ve found your calling, you’re in alignment with your values. Lucky you and high five! But, maybe your some happiness is negatively impacted because you aren’t making enough money. Reframe how you view it, you’re one of the luckiest people on the planet! Consider finding an enjoyable part-time job or side project to supplement your income.

Now that you’ve picked a category and reframed how you view your work, let’s move onto a few other tips.

2) Develop meaningful friendships

The fact that friendships at work can lead to happiness is a simple concept, but backed up by research. If you have a few good relationships at work, you look forward to going to work. If you have friends outside of work, you can look forward to social activities at the end of your day.

Officevibe conducted a study on work friendships. In this study, they found that 70% of employees said having friendships at work is the most crucial element to a happy work life. A Harvard Medical School study found that “having a friend who’s happy improves your likelihood of being happy by 15%.”

Get off your couch or from behind your desk and build those friendships.

3) Practice gratitude for YOUR work

There are numerous research studies correlating gratitude with increased optimism and an overall feeling of satisfaction. In one study, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami found that after ten weeks, participants who wrote about gratitude felt better about their lives and were more optimistic than other groups in the study.

When you start feeling down or unhappy, take 10-15 minutes to write down why you are grateful for your work.

4) Practice gratitude by praising others

Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a positive psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of several positive psychology interventions on 411 people. The group that wrote and personally delivered a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been adequately thanked exhibited a drastic increase in happiness scores. The impact was more significant than any other intervention and the impact on their happiness lasted a month.

Compliments amplify positivity. They not only deliver positive effects to others, but also the person providing the praise. Find opportunities to personally appreciate and praise others at work. Please, don’t just send an email!

5) Find your happiness at home, more specifically your sex life

Has anyone every told you to separate our personal and professional life? Ha! They are interrelated; one impacts the other. If you’re happy at home, there’s an increased likelihood you are happy at work.

Keith Leavitt, a professor at Oregon State University, found that “those who prioritized sex at home unknowingly gave themselves a next-day advantage at work, where they were more likely to immerse themselves in their tasks and enjoy their work lives.” Who doesn’t want that advantage at work? The study also showed that bringing work-related stress home “negatively impinges on employees’ sex lives.” Nope. Don’t do it.

 I’ll leave the summary tip to you. Just know that happiness at work can start at home.

6) Stop believing that the only way to be happy at work is to “find something you’re passionate about and go do that!”

We are humans. Our passions are hard to prioritize. They also change over time. Your passions might not be your strengths or what the market demands. There are indicators, other than passion, that have a higher positive correlation to happiness: work-life balance, autonomy, and income.

Consider finding work that allows you to pursue an outside passion. If your passion is nature photography, you could work as a freelance graphic designer during the day, and pursue your passion on the weekends or vacations. 

7) Make your workspace a mood-boosting sanctuary

What boosts your mood? Inspirational quotes? Pictures of your family? How about plants or flowers? Think about what you can add to your workspace that will inspire you. Find items that make you smile.

It’s your workspace. Take a step back and find that creative designer deep inside you soul. Now, try making it your happy space. 

8) Connect your work to a higher purpose also called “Job Crafting.”

Author David Zax describes job crafting as carefully crafting how you think about your work. Amy Wrzesniewski (again) studied janitors at hospitals. She wanted to see “what strategies they might employ to find satisfaction in their admittedly low-skilled, low-paid jobs.” The results were fascinating. Some of the staff:

Felt their labor was highly skilled, they described the work in “rich relational terms,” says Wrzesniewski, talking about their interactions with patients and visitors. Many of them reported going out of their way to learn as much as possible about the patients whose rooms they cleaned, down to which cleaning chemicals were likely to irritate them less. “It was not just that they were taking the same job and feeling better about it, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and whistling. It was that they were doing a different job.”

This second, happier group didn’t see themselves as custodial workers at all. One described forming such a bond with patients that she continued to write letters to some of them after they were discharged. Another paid attention to which patients seemed to have few visitors or none at all, and would make sure to double back to spend some time with them... What these workers were doing, Wrzesniewski came to realize, was quietly creating the work that they wanted to do out of the work that they had been assigned -- work they found meaningful and worthwhile. Wrzesniewski and her colleagues call this practice “job crafting,” and they think it could be the key to happiness in all sorts of jobs.

A-Mazing! You can craft how you feel about your job. Even if it’s only certain parts of your work, you can connect those parts, or the whole, to a higher purpose that increases your happiness, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

9) Find another line of work

You can only do so much by putting lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. If you are thoroughly drained and unhappy, it might be time to make a move. Remember, the best time to find a job is when you have a job. I’d recommend putting in the effort to find happiness in your current work. However, don’t settle for life-long unhappiness.

Find a job that aligns to your values and provides the income you desire. As an Executive Coach that works in the space all the time, believe me when I say this, find work that makes you as happy as possible. Who doesn’t want to go to work happy?! If you’re having trouble, consider creating your dream job through entrepreneurship. Take the time to understand what you value the most. Develop a plan of action. Then go get what you desire. Finding work that brings you happiness for the rest of your life is worth the time it might take. Who wouldn’t exchange 30+ years of pure happiness for 3 months to 1 year of minimal discomfort?

Be the cause of your happiness

10) Become the cause of your happiness

You are either at the effect of something else or the cause of your life. If you are unhappy at work, your happiness is at the “effect of your work.” Become the cause of your happiness, instead of surrendering your life to the effect of your circumstances. I’ve provided tips above that can help. However, you have absolute control over YOU. Work on “the who,” your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Work on “the what,” your plans, actions, steps, strategy, and tactics. Only you control how you react to, feel about, or view your job. Only you control the actions you can take to increase happiness.

Stop waiting for someone or something else to bring you happiness. Find out what makes you happy at work. Go forth my friend. Connect your head and heart. Take control of your life. If you need help, consider hiring a coach to guide you along the way.

Take care and be happy!

- Stewart Swayze


Transform Your Fear of Failure

Course: Transform Your Fear of Failure

Create the Energy You Need for Success

Do you suffer from the Fear of Failure? If you’re reading this post, you’re in luck! For a limited time you can take $10 off my course: Transform Your Fear of Failure - Create the Energy You Need for Success. I have no doubt you’ll find great value in this course!

CLICK HERE: TRANSFORM YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE - CREATE THE ENERGY YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS

Coupon Code: FOFBLOG2019

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Being Intentional With Personal Development (Video)

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” – Vernon Law. Right now, ask yourself, what can I do today that will make me a better person tomorrow? Learn more

Personal growth doesn’t happen automatically. You have to be intentional with your actions. You and only YOU must make it happen and learn how to grow. Stop waiting for the perfect time. Stop waiting for something or someone else to motivate you.

Be prepared, but do not fear, for anything worthwhile requires a price, trade-off, or some sort of sacrifice. Let’s be honest, if you’re not willing to “give in order to get” then you won’t succeed. Use your passion to generate the energy needed to conquer your fears. 

Keep faith that as you move forward both success and failures will help you evolve into a better person, leader, or entrepreneur. 

Be bold. Set your intentions and go! Move forward. Take action today. Growth is not easy. It’s time to stop worrying about making a mistake. We ALL make mistakes.

Here are a few Free Personal and Professional Development Downloads for you to enjoy:

Want to know if you’re satisfied with your career:

Want to BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER:

Join my Private Leadership & Career Development Facebook Group:

SAY HELLO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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The Benefits of Walking At Work (Video)

 I challenge you to start taking short walking breaks at work. Research shows that you’ll improve your productivity, concentration, and creativity.

Learn more

• Take your next coffee break outdoors and in motion for 10 minutes
• Hold non-confidential one-on-one meetings, updates, check-ins while walking around the block or building
• Walk for 5 minutes around your floor or up/down the stairs every hour
• Spend a few minutes on your lunch break taking a walk outside to clear your mind

Stanford University: “Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity,” the researchers noted. They found that compared to sitting, walking increased the participants’ creative output during cognitive exercises by about 60 percent.

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science: People who walked three times a week during lunch felt a lot better after walking for just half an hour:
• They were less tense
• They were more enthusiastic
• And they were more relaxed, too

Researchers from the University of Colorado: Frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before work. Results suggest that “even a little bit of activity, spread throughout the day, is a practical, easy way to improve well-being.”

Here are a few Free Personal and Professional Development Downloads for you to enjoy:

Want to know if you’re satisfied with your career:

Want to BECOME THE CAUSE OF YOUR CAREER:

Join my Private Leadership & Career Development Facebook Group:

SAY HELLO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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How Does the “Illusion of Control” Impact Your Leadership or Business? 

Illusion of Control.jpg

One of the earliest and most exciting lessons that we learn in life is that specific actions produce specific results. If we scream or cry, someone quickly appears to help us. As we progress through life, we continue to learn. We talk, walk, write, sing, hit a home run, make an A on a test, drive a car, change a tire, and on and on. Our efforts produce results. We are in control, and it’s a great feeling.

But is being in control always great? Is it even possible? 
Well-meaning teachers and parents reinforce the notion that we always can and should be in control. 

  • “Next time, try harder.”

  • “Figure out what you did wrong, so you do it better next time.”

  • “Remember, how well you do is up to you.”

While all of this is good advice for some situations, many times, it just isn’t right. Even worse, it can lead to frustration and failure to adequately prepare for setbacks.

Psychologists refer to the Illusion of Control as a specific type of cognitive bias. This bias makes individuals or even entire groups -companies or legislative bodies- believe that they can control outcomes which, realistically, they cannot.

We may be in control of specific individualized outcomes like whether we lose five pounds or learn to play a particular song on the piano. However, it is not possible to control more complex interactions, nor is it always in our best interest to try and do so.

On a personal level, we may recognize that we can control our actions and feelings but not those of others. But, how does the Illusion of Control bias impact our decisions and actions as successful entrepreneurs and business leaders? 

The Illusion of Control and Our Employees
While controlling others may seem to be a sign of strength, true leadership means bringing out the best in our employees. The notion that we must control our employees can lead to inefficiencies such as micro-management or not empowering employees. Or, even worse, we may hire less competent employees that we feel we can control more easily. Instead of focusing on control, successful leaders ask:

  • How can I empower my employees?

  • Do my employees have the tools that they need to do the job?

  • How can I encourage my employees to achieve the best results?

  • What traits can I hire to help my business grow?

The Illusion of Control and Our Customers
Customers make or break any business. You can control many factors that may influence customer behavior, such as developing what you believe is a great product and conducting a well-designed marketing campaign. Ultimately though, you can’t force anyone to buy from you. If customers aren’t flocking to your door, do you try harder to control their behavior, with more product features and more advertising? Maybe. But first, try finding answers to these questions:

  • What do customers really want?

  • What are my potential customers buying as an alternative?

  • Are there other potential customers that I have not considered?

The Illusion of Control and our Competitors
While you are busy running your business, the fact is that many other aspiring leaders are out there running theirs as well. You may be executing your strategy with military-like precision, but military strategy tells us, “the enemy gets a vote.” In other words, what your competitors do impacts the effectiveness of your strategy. Suffering from Illusion of Control bias can leave you vulnerable, believing that you do not need to have contingency plans. However, one of the characteristics of a leader must be flexibility.

  • What will you do if a more significant competitor opens near you?

  • What if the competition slashes prices?

  • Can you develop other products, customer bases, or revenue streams so that you are not so vulnerable?

The Illusion of Control and External Circumstances
Maybe you have developed great relationships with employees and customers. Your team has created a good product, and the company is profitable. Is this the point where you finally get to feel that you are in control? As an Executive Coach, I would recommend that you keep in mind that anything may change. 

Are you prepared for the loss of a key employee? What about damaging PR that affects customer relationships? Or, what about external factors such as a severe economic downturn or a natural disaster? Maybe even a disruptive product appearing on the market and almost overnight everything your company produces becomes obsolete? 

Find Opportunity In Chaos
These are all factors that you cannot control. If you suffer from Illusion of Control bias, you won’t even consider these kinds of events. However, developing your leadership skills and growing your business also means planning for worst-case scenarios such as these. In fact, it may even mean seeking ways to benefit from adverse situations. You might have to learn to be a surfer. Don’t fight or control the waves, but ride them instead.

- Loss of a key employee? Prepare by investing in the training and development of all employees. Allow others the opportunity to stretch their wings and make new contributions to your company.

- Damaging PR? This is an opportunity to show customers that you'll do what it takes to make things right.

- Economic downturn? Offer affordable alternatives to the competition.

- Natural disaster? Reach out to the community. This may not be a time for selling, but it is an excellent time for relationship and community building. And, if your physical location wiped out, maybe this is a great time to focus on your online brand.

- Disruptive technology from the competition? How can you adopt it too?

Instead of believing they are always in control, successful business leaders believe in embracing market changes and profiting from it too. They see opportunity when others see chaos. 

Recognizing how little you cn control is the first step to empowering yourself to deal creatively with the many things that are beyond your control.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to share with others. As always, let me know if you have any questions or comments. 

Sincerely,

Stewart 

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