As our global economy shifts from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the age of digital information, to the Fifth Industrial Revolution, the age of transformational impact, you and your business must evolve your consciousness within to stay competitive and relevant in the marketplace.
I’ve noticed in my work with growth-minded, conscious entrepreneurs, however, that two major pitfalls become barriers to looking deeper within.
You cannot find peace amid chaos until you avoid the pitfalls of “being busy.”
Pitfall 1: The 'hustle and grind' way of life has become the norm.
The hustle-and-grind culture can often be thought of as inevitable (or very hard to overcome) to be able to meet the demands of the customer, stay competitive and grow. But does it have to be?
As a conscious business leader, you might know you need to work smarter instead of harder and longer. Yet are you in reality? If you’re like most, you might still find yourself running the endless “rat race” or the treadmill of long work hours, as a cog in our global economy, unable to escape.
You might believe that growth must come at a cost to your health, family time, social life or something else. So you give up trying to “have it all” and accept sacrificing parts of your life, while continuing to struggle in some mythical work-life balance concept. Even vacations become stressful from having to catch up when you return.
However, you always have a choice to opt out of the hustle-and-grind culture. Once you do, you must face yourself.
You may be tempted to fall into old habits watching others around you “succeed,” and you must trust in yourself that it’s possible to have sustainable spiritual and financial growth by slowing down.
Only after you embrace the chaos and messiness, have the courage to slow down and trust in the unknown can you start to practice finding peace amid chaos by simply being with your thoughts, emotions and body sensations.
Pitfall 2: You’re unclear what being present means.
When I ask clients “What does personal time look like?” they list off basic everyday activities like showering, exercise or maybe traveling to visit family. I often have to ask again, “Besides daily activities, imagine you’re not worried about anyone or anything else, and there are no deadlines or nothing to make happen. Then what would you love to do?”
I get a blank stare.
I continue pressing. “What nourishes your soul?”
At this point, clients share some long-lost hobbies they never have time for. Then I get a mountain of reasons why they can’t justify doing those things they love. No staff, no time, having to serve clients or be out of business, etc.
Are you creating time to be present in your life as opposed to being in many places at once, reacting to life’s many curveballs, always thinking about the next thing or worrying about what happened?
What does being present feel like for you? What would you be doing or not doing? What body sensations or feelings come to mind?
What if you put your own nourishment first on your to-do list? Then had a trusted advisor or colleague who can hold you accountable to making sure nourishing your soul is number one?
Crisis As Opportunity
There’s an opportunity when a crisis hits, whether it’s a global pandemic, losing your staff, the loss of a loved one or getting diagnosed with a disease. It wakes you up to what matters in life. It forces you to reach within and face your inner turmoil.
Crisis is the perfect opportunity for transformative growth — to test yourself, face your fears and experience being calm in the storms around you. Crisis is the time to practice peace whether through morning rituals, moving meditations or mastering your mood.
Until you go beyond knowing crisis is an opportunity as an intellectual concept to experiencing or feeling crisis as the one and only opportunity for transformative growth, no amount of meditation or doing more actions will make the difference.
Don’t be like the boiling frog during uncertainty, where, slowly over time, you find yourself still constantly working, having no time to think about nourishing your soul. Working on top of a busy, distracted, exhausted soul now only deepens that habit post-crisis.
The number one skill you need to master is managing your energy from the inside out to find peace amid chaos. It’s during a crisis that you can develop the courage to face the layers of emotions, previously ignored, now bubbling up.
By learning to navigate your inner world effectively, you’ll strengthen your innate power of resilience, embodying being a peaceful leader amid the chaos. You’ll learn how to harness the power of being present in the now, trust yourself to navigate through uncertainty and experience being peaceful amid chaos.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com here.
Anna Sun Choi