When we are operating from our positive mindset we’ll notice and feel a sense of ‘ease and flow’ with what we do.  You’ll recognise that feeling of being almost lost in time.  We’ll notice how we’ll also feel drawn to a decision or an activity, rather than feeling pushed into having to do it, and the excitement of getting it done instead of that feeling of dread in the pit of our stomach.

As part of Positive Intelligence, we often talk of how our Saboteurs (or inner critics) are pushing us compared with our inner Sages (or inner coach) as pulling us.

One way of noticing our Saboteurs and how they push us is by picking up on the rules and routines that we make up for ourselves.  We may have rules about what we should eat or not eat, what must our workday look like, what tasks or even conversations we can’t have, what situations we should avoid or cajoling ourselves with a ‘just’ this once or ‘just do it’.  No doubt you’ll relate to these negative framings – should, must, can’t, avoid and just – as something you tell yourself as well as what we tell others.

On top of that we often fall into our comfortable routines of always doing the same things, the same way, at the same time, invariably without ever pausing to consider ‘why’ and ‘what else’ or ‘how else’ we could be doing it.  Many of our routines could still be perfect for us, but some might be out of date and not as positive for our mental wellbeing, our relationships or our productivity.  For instance, since lockdown, I highlighted a redundant routine of getting up and cracking on with work as soon as possible even before the kids were out the door, knowing that I’d be stopping when they came home. This routine was based on how previously they needed me to help with their homework, tell me about their day, get their snacks ready for them etc.  The reality is that they are older, they tell me about their day when they want to and not always when they come through the door, and in truth, like their own space.

So today, I’d like you to reflect on what rules and routines could be shaken up a little bit.  To do this we’ll be taping into our Innovate Power by getting creative and considering what you’ll be doing in the next few hours or days, what routines you’ve mapped out for yourself, and what tasks you always do the same way.  By choosing to pause and consider a new way of doing some of these activities we will not only be tapping into our creative and innovative power, but also find ourselves a little bit happier and even more productive.

1. Write a list of activities you’ll be doing in the next few hours.

2. For each routine ask yourself these 4 questions:

– do I want to?

– do I need to?

– is this still the best way?

– might there be a better way?

3. Finally, notice how often these routines are attached with one of our 5 rules that contain the words should, must, can’t, avoid or just.

Remember, when we work and play with a real sense of ease and flow, we’re tapping into our positive and Success part of our brain.  By noticing and reducing the impact that our Saboteurs have on us in what we say to ourselves and others, and the routines that we’ve set that begin to rule us, we can be happier, have better working relationships and be more effective in our task.

  • Come along to the free 30-minute webinar on Tuesday 28th September at 2pm.
  • You can join me on Monday 4th for our last in the series of Mental Fitness 15-minute HIIT session.
  • If you’d like to find out more, then take the free online Saboteur assessment.
  • Or, get in touch and ask for a free one-hour coaching session with me.