By Rosie Tomkins, author of ‘N-stinctive’,
Covid-19 came from “left field” sudden, unexpected, brutal. This, unwanted shunt of nature, has caused heartbreak and isolation to many. The reality of the virus and the ongoing lockdown restrictions are making many of us feel worried and sad. Lockdown with loved ones can have its stresses and if you are not yet returning to work you may find yourself missing the buzz and energy you get from being with colleagues.
You may well be feeling caged! So, how can we find some uplift to sustains us for the journey that is still ahead?
We have to look to nature and use the power of Natural Intelligence (NQ). NQ is the positive use of your instincts, insights, and perception.
Here are some tips for accessing your NQ so you can keep yourself, your family, and your business healthy and look to our post-lockdown future.
Finding inspiration from Nature
Each day animals in the wild wake up to face more daunting challenges than we do. Thanks to legendary television programmes and films, we can appreciate the tremendous courage as animals defend their territory, their food, and their young from danger.
We see animals adapting to new circumstances and surviving despite Tsunami, bushfire, severe famine, destruction by humans and more.
Use such stories to inspire you, to help you feel motivated to tackle the current crisis head-on and for you to thrive through it.
Working vs. resting
Many of us will have been risking burnout by working night and day – perhaps thinking that you have to do the same number of hours that you would do in the office. Your health, creativity and well-being are at stake.
In the wild, animals are expert at expanding or conserving energy as necessary. Healthy animals rest more than they hunt; they know how to moderate their outputs and ensure something is left in the tank, should it be needed.
For example, a cheetah, after an unsuccessful hunt, doesn’t leave herself open to attack by depleting all her reserves, she makes sure she has enough fuel to get to a safe place to recover. She has mastered multilevel recovery; sprint-break-sprint -break.
Let cheetahs inspire you. Work hard for a period, then give yourself a proper rest. If you work nonstop your productivity will drop, and your chance of burnout will dramatically increase.
During an ever-lengthening period of lockdown we need courage. It is relatively easy to manage in good times when business is buoyant. However, it takes a certain kind of business owner to deal with a crisis.
What examples of courage in nature can give us inspiration?
Personally, I identify with the following:
Hummingbirds build a nest in the same trees where hawks are nesting, confident that they can evade capture by their flying prowess. They know lesser predators will not risk coming close to nesting Hawks. A dangerous, but courageous, strategy.
There are more than 10,000 different species of ant. Among those species their strengths vary considerably. Most ants can carry more than three times their own weight and can survive in water for weeks, if necessary, by forming a living raft.
What is extraordinary about animals is that they never doubt their personal power, not for a moment. Find examples of courage in nature to inspire you.
Dealing with stress
You will be stressed, possibly without realising it, and a stress animal doesn’t always help itself. For example, a stressed sheep which gets stuck a wire fence will struggle against its rescuers. Logic and calmness disappear and what should be a relatively easy release becomes a battle of wills serving nobody.
We can get entangled in the metaphorical barbwire, and panic so much we simply can’t extract ourselves, even if we’re offered help. So, take a breath, learn to manage yourself, stop and think, pause, take another breath. Stay balanced.
Developing expertise in managing our personal energy
Biologically we are balls of vibrating energy. We need to be aware of our own personal energy and how to increase, preserve, nurture and protect it. Help increase awareness by observing nature.
While acknowledging how powerful the use of high energy can be, we must also recognise there are times when it is vital to use slow energy – to stop, reflect and regenerate our minds and bodies. Covid19 gives us a chance to stop, contemplate and engage with our energy in a different way.
Recognise whether, energetically, you are a fast or a slower person. Then consider how you can shift your energy just a little. You may need to slow down a little and nurture yourself. Maybe you need a small nudge to use your energy to make a change. Find the animal to inspire you to move in the right direction.
Take some time to connect with your NQ now. It will help you as we continue to deal with lockdown and will be an asset when we finally emerge from this crisis.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosie Tomkins is founder of the Natural Capital Consultancy and author of ‘N-stinctive’, an inspirational book that introduces better ways to lead and deliver a competitive edge in today’s fast-moving, increasingly disconnected and uncertain world.
As an alternative to traditional leadership training, Rosie unlocks the power of the natural world to provide strength and confidence to people who are shouldering huge responsibility.
Rosie is passionate about taking leaders and individuals out of their comfort zone and challenges their deeply held beliefs in a way that makes them stronger, more confident to initiate new ways and ideas.
Her clients include the GB Olympic hockey and England rugby teams, the NHS and multi-national companies in the airline, engineering and pharmaceutical industries.
Website – www.n-stinctive.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/n_stinctive
Facebook – www.facebook.com/nstinctiveintelligence/