Inflexibility Is All In Your Perspective

Photo Credits : Lalita Raman

Photo Credits : Lalita Raman

Though I have been doing yoga for almost 10 years, each day is different in that some days it is easier to be in the moment, feel more flexible and be in the flow whereas not so on other days.

When your muscles are sore and you are trying to bend forward and touch your toes you feel the pain, the frustration and more often than not your mind is agitated.  When you are not that nimble, you feel the pain, the discomfort and the difficulty to breathe and to ease into that moment.  This is most felt whilst trying to do any yoga pose which your body is not able to do because of being inflexible.

Flexibility is the ability to move muscles and joints through their complete range. We are born with this ability but something most of us lose over time because of our life styles. We lose the agility on our muscles. The activities we engage in or not leads to muscle atrophy. Stretching is thus necessary to help muscles rebuild.

Flexibility, however, is an attitude that we need to take in that challenging moment, that transforms our mind as well as our body. The more we get entangled in our moment of pain and frustration in not being able to stretch with ease, the more difficult it gets to become unstuck.

One of my favorite yoga instructors reminds the class each day that in doing the asana we should seek to do our best but not let the eagle in us take over. Today is not the same as yesterday. Let us take each moment as it comes.

Whenever I hear this I am reminded of this quote by Pema Chodron.   “The Buddha taught that flexibility and openness bring strength and that running from groundlessness weakens us and brings pain. But do we understand that becoming familiar with the running away is the key? Openness doesn’t come from resisting our fears but from getting to know them well…”

Inflexibility is felt during a stretch or whilst doing yoga, but what about life and at work ?

Have you ever considered the impact of not adapting to change ? Click To Tweet

What about not listening to another person’s ideas because of your ego?

Flexibility starts from our attitude be it in yoga or at work.  What are the common causes of lack of adaptability at work?

1. Fear

Command and control form of leadership fails to motivate employees and keep them engaged. Fear of breaking the barriers is a common cause of adhering to the top down control based hierarchical structures. How long can you keep your team from breaking apart?

2. Trust

Defensive thinking and lack of trusting one’s own judgment on instincts creates bias in favor of status quo. What is the direct impact of this on employee and tram engagement ?

3. Habit

Habits are first cobwebs then cables which deter you from adapting or initiating change. Mindset and attitude are the biggest enemies which dictate our behaviors. Does this cause stress in your work and life ?

4. Inflexible policies and practices

When policies and practices are used as a garb to defend long-winded procedures, it is often a case of inflexibility.  Are you taking excuse under policies?

5. Lack of Diversity

Diversity starts from thoughts and flows into behaviors, words and actions. Any organization whose systems value conformance and cohesion at the expense of diversity and divergence limits the ability to welcome new and diverse ideas. How are you adopting diversity in various parts of your organization?

You and your teams ability to react to, manage, control, and introduce change controls the rise or fall of organizations that you are part of. Change starts with You and your attitude determines the process of navigating the change.

Key Questions to Ask

1. How willing are you to promote a culture of flexible working hours ?

2. How enthusiastic are you in your communication whilst listening to new ideas and changes ? Click To Tweet 

3. What are the different ways you can overcome the various hurdles that you fire fight every time ?

4. How adaptable are you to trying out different methods to achieve the same goal ?

5. Do you have a flexible work environment to promote a higher diversity and engagement among your employees?

BlackBerry failed to anticipate that consumers — not business customers — would drive the smart phone revolution. This lack of adaptability is possibly one of the top reasons for their downfall.

And research has indicated the preference for flexibility versus face time.

If you can gain insight into your and your teams’ behaviors that make up adaptability and being flexible in your approach it will help you face change and transition.

Are you being adaptable in your approach to detect and respond to changes? Click To Tweet

10 Hurdles To Emotional Learning

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity ~ Dale Carnegie

When I say Emotions, you almost immediately associate ‘Anger’ and ‘Sad’ as the synonyms.  Emotion is the mental state and this could be positive or negative.

There are seven major positive emotions : desire, faith, sex, enthusiasm, hope, love, romance.  And the seven major negative emotions are : anger, fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition.

Our brains harbor a lot of emotions and it is the negative emotions that is worrying.  The amygdala  is most commonly associated with fear and anxiety.  Each of us have a chronic or habitual emotional level that determines the overall well-being or satisfaction.  If a threat is perceived,  the amygdala tends to hijack the reasoned response process.  We have certain triggers-things that cause us to have an emotional reaction and elicit our innate ‘fight of flight’ response.  This limits our capacity to think clearly and causes us to move to default behaviors that may not be skillful or effective.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior.  The four main components of EI are : Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management.

Our emotional level, thus is the manifested frequency level of everything and anything that is real (perceivable) to us in our world and actual life’s experiences.

Have you wondered as to Why are these negative emotions triggered?

1. Change  results in discomfort and stress – a lot of us expect life to be easy and when challenges and hurdles come along, it overwhelms us and may cause negative reactions.

2. Human Being rather than Human Doing - we forget many times that what really matters in each of our lives is what we are, what we build and what we share.  Living life with a passion and being your true self is the most important.

3. Relationships – many times we tend to chase people though they may have shown no interest in building and maintaining relationships. In our busy lives we ever so often forget to make time for those who matter the most.  We allow our pride and ego to be the mainstay of relationships and taking those, who have been with us through thick and thin,  for granted.  This leads to disappointments and triggers a lot of negative emotions.

4. Allowing our mind to control us – life is not perfect and sometimes we allow a bad moment, or a bad day to take control of our state of mind and the reactions to other unrelated events of the day.

5. Help – not asking for help when you need it desperately.  Each of us need help and cannot survive in isolation.

6. Know when to walk away and when not to give up - many times we hold onto things without asking ourselves the utility value in the same.

7. Surrounding ourselves with people who make us unhappy and drain our energy out – ignore those who hassle you, stalk you, embarrass you and step beyond the boundaries of decent behavior on social media and in real life.

8. Not being accountable & responsible - not walking the talk which leads to distrust and guilt. We loose our identity by not learning to say,  ‘No’ resulting in over committing and under delivery.

9. Not taking a break- many of us get into the rigmarole of  doing too much without pausing. In that we live without enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. We are stressed out, irritable and a vicious circle ensues.

10. Focusing on past – allowing our past to continue to dominate us to such an extent that we become victims of it.  We focus on the negatives, loosing ourselves in the problem.  More often than not,  we repeatedly point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.   But the negative thinking and behavior hurts only one person the most and that is “You”.

So how do we deal with our Emotions especially those that trigger a negative response.

Adaptability is all about recovering from the anxiety  & adversity that change initially brings & then having the flexibility to move ahead vigorously.

I find that one way to practice this idea is to write or think about a good experience. Not only does this remind me that there’s life beyond bad feelings, but it also serves as an emotional anchor.   I find my memory can become a positive emotional reference point, to remind me of the range of possibilities when I am at my worst feeling down and out.

Refer my post on Twelve Ways to Inspire Yourself When You Are Feeling Down and Out

The role emotions play in shaping thinking accounts for a large part of why we see a failure of good thinking in most leaders.  You are free to choose behaviors that are truly in your own best interests.

We all have so much to give. We just need to consciously choose to access and share it.  When we give good vibes, good thoughts,  and a smile, we generally get it back.  Recognizing emotions is the basis of self-knowledge and interaction. An emotion comes up to the conscious level when we are ready to manage it.  I like to think emotions as colors, some simple, and yet others are blends.

Emotional memory management enables us to manage our emotions in a way that will produce more positive outcomes.  It is the “habits of mind” that reveal intellectual character.  Please watch my video on “Emotional Blindspots‘.

The 3 core development steps for all Leaders are:  Knowing Yourself, Choosing Yourself and Giving Yourself.  What do you think ?