Do you ever feel like life keeps speeding up and you’re just trying to hold it all together without spinning out of control?
In the last two weeks, I’ve been in three countries (Jordan, Israel, and America) and traveled to three different states (and experienced many more states of mind!). Needless to say, it’s taken a lot of energy to stay present, organized, and healthy!
Through all the travel and transition, there’s one trick that’s helped me stay more focused and grounded. And it’s one of the same methods the Seahawks used to win the Superbowl!
What Makes a Champion?
Instead of focusing solely on exercising my physical endurance to keep going, I intentionally shifted my attention toward enhancing my emotional endurance to stay motivated and mentally strong. That’s what makes a true champion!
Through my work as a Professional Leadership and Lifestyle Coach, I’ve realized that the concept of emotional endurance hasn’t gotten a lot of airtime. We’ll proactively invest in improving our physical lifestyle to increase strength and health, yet we only tend to notice that we are emotionally depleted once we feel too drained to do anything about it.
While this is a sad reality, it’s also one that is easily fixable with a little intention and action. It starts with a deeper understanding of what emotional endurance is and how we can realign our lives so we feel renewed, rather than drained.
Emotional Endurance Includes:
- Feeling a sense of control and optimism
- Having a high threshold to handle change and the unknown
- Demonstrating personal resolve and resiliency in the face of setbacks
- Managing your energy effectively so you don’t burn out or feel overloaded
Recently, I presented this concept to a diverse team of leading designers at Nike’s World Headquarters. These talented designers are some of the most driven, creative minds in the industry. And, as a result, they also tend to have a much higher burnout rate. During the training, we explored workable strategies for increasing their threshold by making stress work for them and managing their margin.
Since you couldn’t be there to join us in Portland, here’s a short recipe for enhancing your emotional endurance so you can benefit, too:
- One blank sheet of paper
- Small notecard
- Favorite writing instrument
- Timing device (clock, watch, smartphone)
- A piece of dark chocolate or favorite snack
Fold your paper into thirds and label each section as shown in the image below for POWER, LOAD, and MARGIN.
- Set a timer for 90 seconds. Under POWER, write down everything that currently energizes you, including specific skills you are proud of, personal strengths, and other areas of social and emotional support you have in your life.
- Reset your timer for 90 seconds and, under the LOAD category, write down everything that is stressing you out or weighing on your heart and mind. These might be problems, obligations, work stressors, commitments, expectations, debt, deadlines, and interpersonal conflicts. Make sure to stop when it buzzes!
- Take a moment to look at the two lists and consider what is leftover when you subtract the items in the LOAD section from the resources in your POWER section. What energy, focus, time, and capacity you have left for yourself and others? Author and Medical Doctor Richard Swenson calls this space your MARGIN.
Now, reflect on the following questions:
- How large is your MARGIN currently and how satisfied with this are you?
- What areas of your POWER can you strengthen and use more often?
- How can you reduce or eliminate some of the items you listed under your LOAD to help increase your MARGIN?
- Pause. Breathe. Reset. And eat your piece of chocolate!
- As you’re enjoying this sweet treat, make an intentional, actionable commitment to increase your margin so you have more capacity to be with whatever life gives you – the stresses and the blessings! Maybe your commitment is going on a walk during your lunch hour three times a week, sleeping in on Sundays, or saying “no” more often to things you really don’t care to do.
- Write down your margin-creating commitment (whatever it is) on the small notecard. Put it somewhere you see every day. Remind yourself to create and honor your margin.
Learning how to increase your margin is only one approach to enhancing emotional endurance. I’ll be sharing related skills and strategies as a key feature of my Uplevel Your Leadership™ Masterclass that’s launching later this year! Learn more about this new offering and be the first to know when enrollment opens by joining the no-obligation early notification list.
Create a great day,