As a CEO Coach, an exercise I do with my clients from time to time is to ask them what they need when they are stuck, overwhelmed or unfocused. One of the strongest tools we can have in our toolbox is the answers to questions about what we need when we experience these times when we are “out of the zone.” Today, here on the Clear Vision blog, I thought I would show some authenticity and transparency by sharing my own list.
This list of questions came from a brain dump session I was having while journaling. I simply asked myself this question: When I feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what questions can I ask myself to possibly provide answers to pulling myself out of the overwhelm or unfocused state. If I can pull myself out of that state, I can then move back in to an empowered and focused state. The reason this is also important is because it causes you to burn a lot of your energy in an unproductive and wasteful manner. If we can get back to an empowered and focused state, then our energy will be back into focus toward a more powerful and productive outcome.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, ask yourself what you need to get you back in the zone.
The other thing I want you to realize is that this is MY list. In other words, it works for me. I am hopeful that you might be able to use some of my questions to help yourself and at the same time, it’s not going to be as helpful for you unless you make your own list and I am full of hope that this will prompt you to do just that.
Here’s my list of questions:
1. Have I had enough sleep?
When we don’t get enough rest, we are energy depleted and our energy is being used up simply to function, but nothing is in reserve to be at our best performance. For me, I need a dark room to sleep in. I like no light coming in at all. If I’m really tired when I go to bed, nothing matters, I fall in bed and fall asleep right away, however on most nights I need some ear buds in my ears with some music or sound effects such as rain or ocean waves happening. These things cause me to enter a peaceful state and slow down my ever-flowing thoughts and noisy mind. In these later years, I function best on about 7 hours of sleep. In younger days, 6 was the right amount, but it has increased in recent years.
2. Have I had enough water?
Hydration is so important for our healthy energetic state in so many ways, I am sure you know many of them. Our bodies are mostly water and they need fresh, clean drinking water to be at their best.
3. Have I eaten enough good food?
For me, I have to stay off the sugar and all the things that turn to sugar. So, for me that means no breads, pastas, etc. Those carbs are delicious but the after effects for me are being draggy, sleepy and tired. I can have them very sparingly, maybe once a week but not more than that. I have to make sure I get a lot of greens and proteins to be at my best feeling and energy production.
4. Do I need fresh air?
If I am not careful, it’s fairly easy for me to spend days on the inside. If I am traveling, I may only see the outside of the hotel when I am checking in or when I am checking out. I have tried to discipline myself to get out of the hotel, go to a restaurant that is in walking distance. Just being outside and breathing in the non-conditioned air makes me feel so much better. Also, with Winter coming on, I have to make sure I strike some kind of balance between being inside and outside.
5. Is there anything I can do to fix this?
Sometimes our minds go 100 mile an hour working on issues and problems that are not ours to fix or perhaps they just can’t be fixed, at least right now. So, I need to stop myself down at times and ask myself this question, and to be transparent, most of the time the answer is no, I can’t really do much to fix it.
6. Is there anyone with advice or information I can talk to?
I want to run down my list of friends and contacts to see if there is anyone in my network who can possibly have the information or some thoughts about the situation I am in at the moment? I limit this only to people I think can legitimately offer something to help, not someone who will listen or will empathize with me or whatever. I only what people who can do or say something productive about the situation. We all need to do this more.
7. How long has it been since I verbally downloaded?
So here is where I need people who will be excellent listeners. I don’t need advice, perspective or help. I just need to talk and verbally download and get it all out of my head. I don’t need direction, empathy or advice, just a good ear to let me babble until it’s all out.
8. How long since I journaled?
This one doesn’t get asked often simply because I journal almost every day and several times a day. Sometimes, I don’t want to talk to anyone, I just want to get my thoughts down, so I don’t lose them. As I said, this list and many of my blog posts come from my journaling activity.
9. How long since I have been to the chiropractor?
I have some knee, hip and back issues, so from time to time I need a chiropractic adjustment. Nobody has excellence in performance if you are overwhelmed or unfocused because you are in pain. Since I was 15 years old and my first knee surgery, I have been in some kind of at least low-level pain. The pain sometimes increases on me without me noticing until it’s really bad. When I regularly go to the chiropractor, getting rid of the sublaxion and misalignment really helps a lot.
10. How long since I have had a message?
The chiropractor helps me from a skeletal standpoint, so from a muscular standpoint, I need some message therapy applied. Really nothing else here, you get the idea.
11. How long since I have done thorough stretching?
I really try to keep the habit of stretching every morning just as soon as I get out of bed. Stretching is mandatory for me to stay physically loose and feeling pretty good. When your body gets tight in any location it can cause all kinds of tension and eventually pain. When I am traveling especially I need to run through a stretch routine at least 3 or 4 times a day.
That’s my list, you can borrow from some of my questions, but take the time to make your own list and be a better friend to yourself!
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