Burnout to Leadership

Ep#29 Thinking Faster

April 15, 2022 Season 1 Episode 29
Burnout to Leadership
Ep#29 Thinking Faster
Show Notes Transcript
  • The breakthrough from coaching on problems to coaching on goals.
  • Why we don't always take action on a new goal.
  • How thinking faster helps you reach your goals.
  • How to think faster.

Hi everyone, my name is Dex Randall, and this is the Burnout To Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello people, this is Dex. And today, what I wanna talk about is creating new things with our brains. Really it's about investing belief in a future that we can't see yet, we call it thinking faster. And it's making our goals happen more surely, more quickly by basically believing that we can believe in ourselves. When we can do this, it's a really massive time saver and accelerant of the work that we do towards our goal. And at some point in each client's work with me, they're gonna start to get all embarrassed. Because their progress has been great, they've licked all their original problems, life is good. But today they don't have a problem they've been self coaching on that they need my help with, and they come onto a call, and they're a little bit embarrassed about that. Frankly, I see this as fantastic news, it means they've developed and stuck with self coaching practice that's become robust and productive for them, that will get them out of whatever tricky situation they're in, that they previously would have kind of reacted against and been upset by. They've really learned how to fix their own problems, how to stop being mad, scared, frustrated of the world, events and people. And how not to take things that happen and things that people say personally and therefore how not to see them as threats. Really, it just evens out the curve of their mood so they're not living on tenterhooks, they're not living on edge every day, they've created this kind of natural buoyancy. So I'm sharing about this, they've really learned to enjoy themselves, trust themselves and watch their own thoughts go by every day and just clean them up if they're a bit challenging. Just they're creating a more positive environment in their minds so that they can enjoy their lives. It's absolutely wonderful. In fact personally, I can imagine no surer sign that they've created a burnout recovery that's made their work and home life sustainable, satisfying and enjoyable, they're basically loving life again. So if they came to me at the beginning in burnout, with exhaustion and a total sense of humor failure, that sense of lightness and fun has now been restored. They're coasting through what would previously have slayed them entirely. I'm calling to mind some of my clients now. I have one client who used to be in a total sweat talking in front of people and now feels completely at ease. Another one who's settled down his anxiety, his shiftlessness, his constant urges to relocate and change jobs, he's kind of wrote those down in order to consciously connect with his calling. Another one who's overcoming serious COVID induced supply chain issues in his business with grace with the intention to connect fully with his customers affected by the shortages and being a solution with them rather than fearing their anger and trying to hustle his way out of the problem. Another who's healing his relationship with his father, whose disapproval has really affected his work and life decisions quite strongly until now. 'Cause really once they get into the work, my clients move mountains, they eliminate a lot of previously overwhelming issues in their work and lives to create a way of looking at life or managing their part in it from a highly solution focused and stable mindset and mood. Those clients really emerge from burnout, and they become their own champions. But then somehow they hit that point where problems have dissolved, they're living the lives they wanted, and they go all sheepish and see that as a barrier when we meet up for a coaching session, as if somehow I'm the saviour of the wounded, or as if our meetings are confessional, as if all we can talk about is problems. So today, let's reverse that. The only reason we fight fires in coaching is because we're in burnout, and we're trying to get our mojo back. We have a lot of problems at that point, and we're exhausted. So mostly we're here with coaching to become heart centered leaders to support others, that's where the juice is, in pursuing our positive goals, not escaping our difficult past, even though we need to do that first. So today we're talking about thinking faster, using coaching and self coaching to create more good in the world, to accelerate the results of our goals. And I really do respect and admire each and every one of my clients for the marvellous people they've become. In fact, the marvellous people they always were underneath all that stress. It hurts being wonderful but unable to realise that in the world, doesn't it? Being unable to contribute in a way that's true to our hearts. And that's really how I felt in burnout, I wanted to be decent and good and serve people, I couldn't. I'd got myself in too much of a mess and worn myself out with the straining to get back on form. I couldn't live my purpose, I was too exhausted and too burned out, and I'd also lost faith in myself and my ability to do that. So if that's you, and it seems terminal, it isn't. The sense of purpose, contribution and reward come back during burnout recovery. We get to reconnect with the goodness in our hearts and our basic decency and willingness to serve. We basically, we get our mojo back. It's there, you can have it. Okay, so here's how that looks. The best ever way to use coaching is to achieve new goals. And once we're out of the pool of burnout, that's what we do, we start getting terrific new ideas of things we'd like to do or we could do or we might do, it's a sign of recovery. And from our new energy and confidence, we decide to set a new goal. And that's why today I'm talking about thinking faster, thinking faster is cutting through negativity to achieve things faster with planning, with intention, with focus, with confidence. It's moving away from doubt and procrastination and fear. But here's where we first get to, if we're kind of emerging from burnout and feeling the strength to go on and achieve something, we might set a goal. And we typically set it as what we'd like to achieve and the time we'd like to achieve it by, so we've got something to really aim for, like a SMART goal. But as soon as we do that, our mind will tell us why it's a bad idea, it'll bring up all the obstacles, all the reasons it won't work, why we shouldn't even try. And really this is our brain assessing and trying to avoid risk, it's doing its own job, that's what it's supposed to do for us. And it's on particular lookout for anything that's a threat to our identity. So if we set a big goal, we will actually have to shift our identity a bit to achieve it, we'll have to become the person who can achieve that goal if it's something we haven't done in the past. So when our brain kinda perks up and goes, "Oh, I don't think so. Not so fast, China," then we know we're on the right track with our goal. Because all of these objections that our brain raises, they're really to keep us safe, but also they're to avoid a feeling. And the feeling we might be trying to avoid is dwelling in doubt, confusion, anxiety, worry, failure, overwhelmed, frustration. So if you do set a goal and all of those are kinda coming up into your mind, and you're back pedalling a bit, it's really good to know why you're afraid of those feelings, what is it you're thinking that's causing those feelings for you. Because those are your obstacles to reaching your goal, those thoughts. And when we have them, when we're kind of trying to avoid all those negative feelings, basically it becomes an occupation. We get into overwhelm, and we start spinning in overwhelm, spinning in doubt, spinning in anxiety. It becomes a place where we hang out, and we call that an indulgent emotion, because it's something that stops us making any progress towards our goal. We can't achieve anything on our goal when we're spinning in negative emotion. Those indulgent emotions will stop you dead in your tracks. You won't make any progress whilst you're in them. And in that way, they fulfill their function, they prevent us from creating change, which is what our brains are the most scared of. And by the way, if you set a goal, and you don't have any of these negative emotions popping up for you, you've probably set too small a goal, one that didn't stretch your current capacity, so you might wanna just push it out a little bit further. So anyway, we set a goal, and we think, "Okay, we'll start in our goal." But the first thing that happens is we will feel bad, all of those obstacles and thoughts are gonna come up, and we'll want to quit immediately, almost immediately. We probably won't have time to get new wins on the board before we decide that it's a terrible idea, and we want to quit. So then you ask yourself, if that happens to you, and you do want to quit, and you feel terrible, and you're just back pedalling furiously, you can say to yourself, "Okay, why am I back pedalling on my belief in my goal? Why am I holding myself back?" It's really good information to have. And don't forget, our brains have confirmation bias, they want us to believe what we've always believed, they want us to believe in the things that we thought in the past. And so we'll only ever look for evidence that what we've created in the past is the only thing available to us. And we can't create a future goal from that place, because by definition we haven't achieved this goal yet, it won't have any evidence to go on. Also we can be back pedalling, as I've said, because our brains have resistance of change. That's a survival instinct, resistance to change, it wants to keep us safe in the cave. So, okay, it's good that that's there. It means we're human, and our brain's doing what it should. But we don't have to buy into that, we can think further ahead of that to why we want to achieve our goal and why it's safe to do so and why it will create something that we want. And our brain is gonna say also, "Well, you can't do that new thing, because it's always been this old way," and it will want to remind us about that, who we are and how we normally do things, and it will want to persuade us that we should keep doing things the same way. Again, that's a survival instinct. What we did in the past worked in some measure for us, we managed to feed ourselves and all of that, so it wants us to keep doing things the same way, we can override that. It'll also tell us probably that when we've got this goal, that people will ridicule us, that nobody else is doing that one thing one thing, why on Earth would we want to do it? We'll be sticking our neck out a little bit, making ourselves a bit of a target. It's also gonna persuade us not to take any responsibility for our growth, our evolution, again, so that we'll stay the same. So you don't really have to buy into that argument either. It'll do it to avoid uncomfortable emotions, we call that a river of misery. It'll do it to avoid failure, that's a really strong one, we can't possibly fail on our new goal if we never take any action. And failure in our brain is quite an uncomfortable place, so in order to move forward, we will have to be willing to accept that we don't necessarily know the exact way we're going to achieve our goal, and that's okay. That we'll have a bunch of experiments, and some of those experiments will fail. But we can't get to the experiment that's successful without a bunch of experiments that are failures, so we embrace that failure, we make it acceptable to fail as frequently as we need to, to achieve our goal. We're also not willing to reinvent ourself or to create something entirely new. That's a threat to our identity, and our ego really loves holding onto our old identity, really does not like trying to shift and change that, so we're gonna meet this ego obstruction, this retreat, when we try and create something new. And the other thing is, we probably won't want to be seen as out of the ordinary ambitious, as maybe arrogant or puffed up that we can achieve this marvellous dream. We call it tall poppy syndrome in Australia, I don't know what you call it where you're from, but we don't wanna stick our necks out too much. So there are a whole bunch of things that might come up when you begin moving towards your goal. And the other thing, for those of you who already know about self coaching and thought work, what we do is we map out where we are now, and we call that the unintentional model, the default model of how we think and behave, and then we map out where we're trying to get to our goal state and what we'll be thinking and feeling and doing then. That's the intentional model, and sometimes when we do that, it just doesn't really stick very much. We revert back to where we are now, to our default behavior. So if you come to coaching with a goal you're trying to achieve, what we often do at the beginning in coaching is we spend time moving through all of your obstacles, your doubts, your worries and anxieties, so that we can remove them as blocks, all of those negative thoughts and fears about taking action on your goal, we remove the blocks. But then you are left with your goal and how to actually get there, how to take action towards it. And what you do is you're gonna come up with a thought you want to believe about your goal as if it's already done. Like you've already lifted your business results, earned your target income. You're already running 10 miles a day, you've already got a new job or promotion, you've moved to a new house or a new city, or whatever your goal is, you think about a thought you want to believe as if it's already done. So what will you think then? And more importantly, who will you be then? You will have become someone new, you will become the next version of you, so this is a future self exercise where you paint or imagine or envision the future you in vivid detail. You really see in your mind who you become when you've achieved your goal and you imagine what that future you will be thinking, how they'll be feeling, how they'll be looking, what car they'll be driving, where they'll be working. You see your future team around you smiling, and you see, you receive kind of the good energy of that successful future you. You see how enjoyable it is, you inhabit that energy now. And I teach my clients how to do this. Actually, even though you're a bit rusty, you do already know how to do it, you just need to practice. Just really paint a very vivid picture of how much you're enjoying being that future successful you, and what you're doing in the future. But once you can see that, you do the thinking faster exercise. And thinking faster is just believing your future faster by intention and by focus. Not seeing your goal as some far distant dream that might or might not happen, but deciding it is happening now, and finding all the joy in the success you're already creating now, and will create more of. The joy in who you're being in that future, as well as what you were doing then and now. So we look for all the ways we are that future self already, because we've already begun that journey, it's not a standing start. It's a little bit like allowing yourself to fall in love with your dream, with your goal. It's a playful and joyful experience connecting you to your higher self, because when you inhabit this future self now, you are already living the success and you're attracting more of that success and good energy to you in the present tense, and your mind is really allowing yourself to be creative, expansive and energised, thinking faster. You don't actually have thoughts going through your mind faster, by the way. You're just having thoughts that realise your future faster by cutting out the weight of negative thoughts and the feelings that hold us back from change. So we get stuck in confirmation bias. I've already mentioned choosing to think habitual thoughts or belief from the past as if they're fact. We only look for evidence in our past about how we can create a different future because that evidence doesn't exist in our past. The person you were in the past can create a different future, you have to grow to create a different future. You won't be the same person, so you have to intentionally reverse confirmation bias and look for evidence in the future that you can achieve your goal and bring that evidence back to now. That's how you create something new. You think it first, and then you make it happen, that's how every invention occurs. The inventor thought about it first, and then made that thought into reality. So that's what thinking faster is, it's creating evidence in your future that you can achieve your goal, and instead of putting the breaks on with the negative thinking, you go full steam ahead in belief in your goal. So to think faster then, really you just do a bit of future fact finding. So first, you look for anything you did to set yourself up to be able to pursue this goal. You look for every existing skill attribute and experience you had that lends itself to your goal. Every connection you forge that supports it, everything that made you willing to try for it, every decision you made that brought you here and how it integrates with the rest of your life. You're basically looking for all the precursors to your dream and can really go nuts with this one. And the second thing is look for what you have already done to invest in this goal now, with your thoughts and actions. So look at all your past endeavors and successes from your whole life. What has created capacity in you to achieve this new goal? What proof do you have of aptitude? What spawned this dream of yours? What inner itch does it scratch? Why is it important? What experiences and adventures have helped you arrive here? Have you drawn supportive people around you? What are you saying to people? What attitude or thoughts or time and energy have you put into your goal already? And what inner or outer commitments have you made? And thirdly, look for all the things you love about a goal. How it will serve you to achieve it, what the side benefits will be. How it's gonna play out in your world and amongst the people you care about. How do you see yourself being able to serve or connect with others more? What else becomes possible when you achieve this goal? And fourth, look for how you will benefit as a human being. Who you will become on success. How you will have grown. What obstacles you will have overcome. How it uplifts your situation. How it feeds your inner desires and dreams. And how you've connected to your higher self. Our default human behaviour is to use old thinking to pull us back to our familiar past. Thinking faster is a way to fall in love with your future and connect to it. It brings that future into focus and it pulls your energy towards it. You'll naturally begin to take action towards it when it's vivid and real and joyful to you. When you've chosen to believe in that future on purpose, and when you've invested your energy into it. I have a client who was in a very negative thinking pattern of fear around his medical practice. Dwindling finances. The realities of practicing medicine in the present day. Through a consistent daily practice of connecting to the future he wants, of future possibilities, inviting confidence the solutions can and will be found, he has learned to create a business as he wants. He's increased procedures, added revenue streams, improved patient feedback, staff morale, loyalty. He has filled an unfillable position in his office, developed better opportunities with fellows, and created a much more light hearted and joyful practice and surgery. And by the way, he also reports lesser pain as his physical health improves. And you can do this, too. It's available. I do hope you will open the door to trying that. If your current life is demoralising and unsatisfying in burnout. Thanks for listening today. Glad you're here with me. You can visit my website at burnouttoleadership.com, for the show notes for this podcast. And if you're in burnout, you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably, and get back to your best performance and enjoyment, in and out of work. If you're in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout to Leadership program. You can book in to talk with me at burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you, and let's make a plan to fix it.