Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter, where I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.
Start 2023 by learning to regulate your nervous system
Our nervous system is what runs our human system. It is like the operating system of a computer.
If it goes haywire, then no matter what you are doing, your efficiency and impact will be sub-optimal.
Most leaders I meet are so overwhelmed that their nervous system finds it challenging to cope. Nothing wrong with that – it is just the reality of the times we live in.
And that impacts their leadership without them even being aware of it. In the last 12 years, I have learned to regulate my nervous system – which helps me coach entrepreneurs and CEOs making an amazing impact on the world.
Here are some recommendations – they are well-researched and simple, though not always easy.
- Meditate – Simply sit in silence and let your mind relax. Let go of any problem-solving. Drop your attention to your body, heart, and sensations. Even a few minutes of doing this will help return to your normal state of well-being.
- Journaling. Do a quick daily check-in where you ask yourself “How am I feeling today?” 30 seconds – 2 minutes are often enough. Journaling is a powerful practice proven to stop overthinking and quit and focus the mind.
- Breathwork. Breathe in for 4 seconds, then hold for 4 seconds, and then fully exhale for 4 seconds or longer. Repeat and do this for 2 to 10 minutes. It is a great way to release tension that we tend to forget is even there.
- Nature. – Spend time in your favourite natural setting – in a park, at the beach, in the forest, or otherwise. Focus on nature – the trees, flowers, the smell in the air, the waves, and so on. Give yourself a few moments to appreciate the miracle of life and nature all around you.
If your nervous system is not overwhelmed, then in each moment of 2023, you can make only those choices which will fulfil your commitment as a leader.
If you can do this for one full year, your life, business, and impact will completely transform. Much more than you can imagine right now.
Reply back and share what opens up for you after reading this email. I read and respond to every reply.
Fascinating Articles & Stories
”Fear makes you aware of risks but is one of the worst counsellors” – Gernot Schwendtner
I interviewed Gernot Schwendtner, CEO of weGrow on the Choosing Leadership podcast. We talked about:
- Growing hurts. So this is something I think it’s important to accept it and be aware of it.
- We did one very useful exercise for ourself. We killed the company mentally, right? So we went through that process and said, What if, you know, like what would still be left? And we discovered a lot of network know how, personal assets, experience et, et cetera. So we could easily scale. Again, that set us mentally free and gave me a lot of freedom in saying like, Okay, now let’s buckle down all hands on deck.
- Yoga and meditation help me in a way where I can recognize my own stress level. So I become aware of it and I can try to let it go, or sometimes I need to live through it. And sometimes I had meetings where I need to get up and say, Excuse me, I really have to take a break now. And then I take, uh, five minutes, walk around the block, do the breathing, and then I come back and I say what I did, and we laugh about it.
- Fear is natural reaction, right? There are also some good things in it, um, in a way. That might make you aware of risks that you were not aware, but fear is one of the worst, uh, counselors if you make decisions based out of fear. They will never, never never be good decisions. You run away from things or you avoid things or whatsoever.
- What helps me is, um, is a technique that I also learned in the last couple of years is it’s called shed a light on your fears or look at the monster under your bed.
Listen to the entire episode.
“Just because I have a big title doesn’t mean that I’m any better than others” – Karl Feilder
I interviewed serial entrepreneur Karl Feilder, serial entrepreneur and founder of Neutral Fuel Holdings Ltd on the Choosing Leadership podcast. We talked about:
- You could probably make a natural entrepreneur a little bit better, but I’m not sure you can train them from scratch.
- My PhD thesis is that, um, entrepreneurism is an undiagnosed spectrum disorder. Uh, a little bit like autism or one of the other, um, psychological trades.
- My parents, uh, my mom and my stepfather, uh, in the end, took three jobs each in order to pay for me to get through school. Um, this led me to really, really want to succeed, but I think I had that natural drive.
- Rubbing shoulders with people that had got lots and lots of money when we didn’t, made me aspire to have more than I would’ve normally aspired for.
- It’s more about appreciating the people that are around you. And it’s definitely about enjoying the. Um, the destination, growing a company and then selling it.
Listen to the entire episode.
Curated resources for your leadership
Here are my best finds from all over the internet for your leadership. Make yourself tea/coffee as you read, listen and learn.
- The power and science behind cold showers – an article on Medical Express
- The emotional labor of being a leader – an article on HBR
- Fall or Flight – the first episode of a new series on the Choosing Leadership podcast by yours truly
That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or if you are new and want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,
P.S. – I am looking to interview more inspirational leaders on my podcast. If you know anyone I should interview, reply back with their name.