4 Simple Steps to Shift Your Mindset, Break Free of the “Bad Day” Block and Step into Your Power as a Leader
Every Monday morning, millions of people around the world go through the same battle.
They wake up unmotivated and with an overwhelming feeling of “Today is just not my day.” If the thought of dealing with your agenda for the day makes you want to crawl right back into bed, congratulations … you have a case of the Monday Morning Blues!
As leaders, we’d like to think we’re immune to having bad days — or at the very least, that we’re capable of not letting a bad day affect our leadership abilities. But the truth is that we all have those days when we just aren’t feeling it and — whether we realize it or not — that negative energy can spill over to affect our skills as a leader.
From your ability to think critically, to solving problems and communicating clearly with your team — every thought, decision and action we make is filtered through and affected by your mindset. That’s why one of the biggest mistakes leaders can make when faced with this challenge is trying to “tough it out” until the end of the day.
Instead, I’d like to share a quick 4-step process that we teach at Brave Thinking Institute to transform your mindset and energy in just minutes. Use this to break out of the “bad day” block — before it has a chance to affect your results for the entire day.
Step 1. Recognize that You’re in a State of Resistance
Think about your Monday Morning Blues the way you would address a problem in your business. You wouldn’t ignore it and hope it went away, nor would you charge in head-first without understanding what’s going on and why it’s happening.
Similarly, when you’re facing a big case of the blahs, it’s important to immediately recognize and acknowledge what’s going on. For example, the other day, I woke up feeling sluggish, lethargic, and just generally unmotivated to take on my schedule for the day. As I slumped my way downstairs to get a cup of coffee, I was thinking to myself, “Man, I’m not feeling it today. How am I going to get everything done…” I was in a state of resistance.
Your first step in shifting your mindset is taking stock of what you’re feeling and understanding what’s happening. Once you’ve recognized that you’re in a state of resistance, you can move onto the next step.
Step 2. Work a Process
Now that you’ve identified the problem (that you’re in a state of resistance), the next step is to create a solution — by working a process to overcome the resistance. The next thing you’ll do is establish a morning routine to establish your desired mindset.
One of my brothers is an airplane pilot, and he shared some insights into aerodynamics that can be helpful in deliberately adjusting your mindset. When pilots fly, they have to account for wind resistance, adjusting the plane as necessary to keep it in control. They do this by considering two things:
- The angle of attack:The angle of the plane in reference to the angle of the wind.
- The plane’s attitude: The angle of the plane in reference to the horizon — either nose-up or nose-down.
As you consider your mindset, ask yourself: “Am I going to have a nose-down attitude and angle of attack? Or will I approach my day nose-up?”
You may not be able to change the way you feel in that very moment, but you can decide your angle of attack and what type of attitude you want. Here are two quick steps to create a nose-up attitude in just 3 minutes:
- Focus on your vision. Start by sitting down and taking a few deep, controlled breaths. Then bring your vision to mind, asking yourself:
- What is it that I’m working on?
- What is my goal?
- What is my dream?
- What is the life that I’m co-creating?
- Do I want to co-create a day full of what feels like a nose-down attitude?
- Visualize who you need to be to achieve your vision and ask yourself:
- How is this person being?
- How does this person think, walk and talk?
- How do they feel?
- How do they carry themselves?
Simply hold the vision in mind and and practice embodying the version of you that’s reached your goals. Hold this state of “beingness” while continuing with the deep breathing for 3 minutes. That’s all it takes to transform blah, draggy energy into a nose-up attitude that will have you soaring through your day.
Step 3. Give Thanks for the Resistance
This step surprises most people.
Maybe you’re thinking, “John, why would I give thanks to something that was holding me back?” It seems like an odd concept at first, but let’s go back to our plane example.
Here’s the cool thing about flight — without the resistance, without the wind, the plane would never take off. The plane needs the resistance and the nose-up attitude to be lifted up and get to its destination.
You can think of your own resistance in the same way. By overcoming it, you’re able to fly higher and further than you could without it. So take just a moment to give thanks for the resistance and its role in helping you become a stronger, more resilient leader.
Step 4. Get Moving!
After I’ve taken the time to recognize my resistance, develop my angle of attack and attitude, and give thanks for the resistance, I like to solidify that positive momentum with a bit of good old-fashioned exercise to get my energy moving.
This step is optional, so if you’re in a rush, don’t sweat it (no pun intended). But if you can spare just 15-20 minutes, get your blood pumping with a quick workout. In just a few minutes, you’ll feel the last of those sluggish, unmotivated feelings dissipate and end up feeling positive, totally energized and ready to take on your day!
Keep These Tools in Your Leadership Arsenal
No matter who you are as a leader — whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a budding entrepreneur with a brand new start-up — there will always be days when you’re just not feeling it.
It may happen on a Monday morning or in the middle of a particularly tough day. No matter when or why you face this challenge, taking a few minutes to shift your mindset will empower you to overcome that resistance and step into your power as a transformational leader.
I encourage you to experiment with starting your morning with these tools in the coming week (even if things are going well) and watch how your positive energy and mindset radiate out to uplift every facet of your business. Then share your results in the comments below.
I guarantee you that if you use these tools consistently, you’ll be able to easily transform an “off day” into an opportunity to refocus your intention and magnify your motivation. As a result, you’ll feel more confident as a leader, communicate more clearly, and inspire your team to achieve your business goals.