by Emma Sue Prince
We live and work in a world where uncertainty and change have become the norm. Even though we have all the information we could possibly want or need at our fingertips, our inability to manage its constant flow into our Smartphones and brains renders it useless. It seems as if we are constantly distracted, overwhelmed and unhappy.
But there are skills that we each have that really can help us to be happy right now. These skills need to become an essential part of our toolkit so that we are well equipped to prosper in our brave new world. We just need to tap into them and strengthen them. All 7 matter and all 7 overlap. In this exclusive series for Family Friendly Working, each week I’ll be looking at a different skill that you can immediately tap into and embrace. I promise you they make a huge difference to you personally, to how you work and to your family.
Imagine responding to change and unfamiliar challenges with grace and ease? We all like to think we are adaptable and flexible – indeed we are hard-wired to be – yet we resist change and over react to even the smallest problems. In fact, often what we do is completely OVER react to the smallest setback and this kicks into gear our fight or flight response.
Our brains can’t tell the difference between a real threat (tiger is out to kill me) and a self-made one (my train is delayed). So we need to get better at accepting our current reality and we do that by saying “yes” more when you might naturally say “no”, trying out new things and choosing experiences and opportunities that are just a little outside of our comfort zone. The more you do this with smaller things, the more adaptable you will be when it comes to bigger changes.
When it comes to behaviour changes we need to make them part of our muscle memory in small ways so that we know how to tap into that behaviour when it matters most. Watch your language too – if you’re used to saying that being late for work, or not having a fresh dinner cooked is a “disaster” you’re telling your brain it is too and if your kids are around? Yup, you’re teaching them that as well.
Reframe every day setbacks by assessing them accurately and telling yourself “it is ok” and teaching yourself to respond more appropriately to the situation. We also need to calm our brains and we do that by tapping into mindfulness, making space and time for nature and walks and by possibly rethinking our morning routine. Making the first part of your day a slow start, time with your family and planning your day (including plenty of breaks!) is the first step.
Emma Sue Prince is author of “7 Skills for the Future”, published by Pearson Business, available now in all major bookstores and from Amazon. Her podcast 7 Skills for the Future is on ITunes and all podcasting platforms. Emma Sue Prince is a specialist in experiential learning and believes strongly that this methodology is key to developing life skills and soft skills as it is the only way to develop self-awareness, upon which all behavioural change is based. She delivers powerful workshops in this regard and does so with many different target groups including “closed” groups such as Muslim communities in Bangladesh and North Africa and diverse groups in the UK including lawyers, doctors and software engineers.
Find out more at www.unimenta.com