That the mind is our great ally for personal and professional success is no secret. But let us all be aware of this does not mean that we take intensive care in cultivating and working it well to be really our great partner instead of our great enemy. Today I’m going to talk about mental leadership.

There is much talk about the power of the mind and how to empower it with dynamics ranging from cognitive learning to meditation practice. Everything is valid and very legitimate to achieve something that we all crave: Getting that our mind to give us the instructions and the strength to be happier in our different areas of life.

What happens is that our mind works in the present mode but as if it were a hinge that tries to unite past and future. That is why it tries to respect and use the experiences of the past, while trying to control and ensure future success.

 

“This duality makes our mind get into a permanent conflict of interest, which often produces frustration and anxiety in the heart.”

 

While our authentic self encourages us to take risks and to embrace new paradigms and habits, our sabotaging self-stops us for warning us about potential threats from the “new.”

Both “self” fulfill their legitimate purpose and we must respect them; since both have something in common, and they want the best for oneself.

Of course, we must seek spaces of “truce” or, if possible, of collaboration agreed between the two, to move forward, otherwise it will be very difficult to make important decisions in complex situations.

How to strengthen mental leadership

 

As in all that is required to take practice and mastery, it is absolutely essential to reach a commitment with oneself to promote what we would call a “constructive mental hygiene” that makes our mind work in a slightly freer and more productive way.

I propose a series of techniques and habits to start training your mind and thus to make it become a great ally.

  • Avoid daydreaming

Dreaming is good. In fact we need to dream to achieve goals. The problem is when we dream “wrongly” in the bad direction, or when we abandon ourselves to sleep becoming a refuge from our inactivity.

  • Cutting out thoughts that do not help

Our mind sometimes feels trapped in a process of reasoning (based on logic) that leads us to a dead end or in an interior communication sustained in a loop that produces frustration.

  • Integrate new ideas instead of resisting them

The unknown or different produces resistance, as well as the desire to be seen prepared and with “own opinion”. This makes us seek to “win” in a conversation instead of wanting to “buy” what is proposed to us. When we do this our mind goes into reactive mode and it is difficult to create.

  • Do not make assumptions

Each time the information is captured by our main perceptual channels (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) is insufficient, we use our memories and past experiences to fill in the existing gaps. This makes us to become screenwriters which prevent my mind making the right and fear decisions.

  • Relativize what the others will say or think about yourself

The perception of reality is not the same for all, therefore we must understand and know how to live with the incomprehension and disagreement of others. Understanding and accepting it will help us respect ourselves and others.

  • Get enough sleep and rest and eat smart

Everyone knows what they need to sleep to feel rested. It is therefore a matter of respecting one’s own body and giving it the physical rest it deserves, at night, as well as finding moments of physical rest during the day.

Just like rest, food is a source of energy for our mind. Avoiding excess processed food and sugars, as well as those foods that can cause heavy digestive processes, will enhance our mental performance.

  • Seek to live new experiences

The new always opens new perspectives and possibilities to our mind that will make it acquire new resources to manage future problems.

  • Have a hobby that is independent of work

Our mind feels usually “exploited” in terms of its dedication for professional purposes. Therefore, it requires moments where the objective or subject to be dealt with is not related with anything to do with work.

  • Do some kind of meditation

There are many types of meditation according to our perceptual tendencies or preferences. The important thing is to do, even for a few minutes a day, a “reset” to our mental computer in order to close its “applications” and keep continue to function faster.

  • Have a plenty social life

Communication and successful interaction with people around us produce chemicals in our brain that enhance our mental connections.

  • Look for boredom

Choosing not to do “anything” can stimulate processes of deep creativity in our mind that provide us resources or ideas to expand our intuition and solve problems from new dimensions.

Some of these activities will be easier, and others more difficult for you, but start by choosing some of the ones you’re going to commit to start giving your mind a good fuel.

 

Enric Arola