Interviews

Leadership Burnout

Avoiding Leadership Burnout – VLOG4

Transcription:

Hey there beautiful Monkeys; Ani Wilson here with another helpful hint on overcoming the threat of burnout whilst living your full potential.

So let’s recap a little on what we’ve discovered thus far in this series – you’ve been fantastic and followed my every word of course! (wink)

So already you’re feeling a lot better than when you started, right?!?

So this week, I’d like to get a bit real here.

I mentioned in video one that when I was at the top of my career, I had to have a very real, honest conversation with my boss, that felt like I was exposing myself. The thought of being vulnerable when I help such a powerful position of leadership was horrendous. I felt like I was a failure and I was fearful that my positional authority would be questioned and undermined impacting my very role in the company.

Here’s where things get crazy, and it’s my time to break down barriers.

I get that as high performers we build high walls of strength around ourselves.

We’re not the type of person to spend time around the water cooler talking about our social escapades – we shelter ourselves from anything or anyone who would impact our professional credibility and achievement of outcomes.

Although our high performance and work ethic are admirable traits, deep down we’re causing a cyclone of problems, just waiting to burst out when we least expect it.

We become so accustomed to doing everything ourselves, that the thought of delegation causes us a feeling of distaste.

And then the time comes when our brain and body simply shut down, and we’re left on our hands and knees wishing we’d had help all along.

Today, having been there, done that, I need you to understand that admitting you can’t do it all is not a vulnerability.

Over the years I’ve now mastered the art of authoritative delegation – inspiring others to want to help as much as they can – which makes the end achievement so much more satisfying and fun.

If you were to die tomorrow (and effectively that may be exactly where you’re heading by ignoring this burnout), would someone else come and fill your shoes? Of course they would. Is your company better off having a leader or manager who’s in it for the long run who knows the business inside out with deep relationships, or the short high performance leader who comes in like a whirlwind, produces an amazing outcome and burns out, leaving that same company to spend an average of 36 weeks to replace them?

Seriously – get real.

Your high walls of strength are keeping people out who want to help; who want a leader that they’re inspired to follow.

Change your leadership style to one of vulnerability and relational authority and you’ll find you’ll actually reach your ideal outcomes in the same amount of time, if not quicker and with a smile on your face.

 

Don’t forget to comment below, and share this with your friends if you found this useful. Let’s spread the word, and tell everyone how easy this really is.

Until then, thanks for watching. Bye for now!

Leadership Burnout

Avoiding Leadership Burnout – VLOG3

Transcription:

Hey there beautiful Monkeys; Ani Wilson here with another helpful hint on overcoming the threat of burnout whilst living your full potential.

IN the first video in this series we investigated how Serotonin plays a massive role in how we feel and how we respond to stress. IN this video I’d like to delve a little deeper and expand on the miracle chemistry that your brain needs to find balance.

It’s all very well and good to work on your psychology, but in this day and age, we’re missing the biggest key ingredient to living a wonderful, long and happy life – the understanding of our own miracle physiology that sits within our brain!

There are only 3 species on this planet that have a prefrontal cortex. The Chimpanzee, dolphin and Human. This area of the brain allows us to future gaze, to think about the bigger existential questions of life, such as why am I here, what is my purpose.

And yet, when God has given us such amazing potential, we’re reverting to simple mindedness and letting the drug companies tell us that we need medication to slow aging, to reduce stress and to lose weight.

It’s so incredibly wrong.

Today my tip for getting through any level of stress, beating burnout, and living in your full potential, is to find a way to fix your sleep patterns.

3 of the miracle 5 neurological transmitters needed for optimal mental health are only regenerated within phase 3 of our sleep cycles. When we mess with our circadian rhythms, we impair our brains ability to know when to produce these chemicals. Effectively without our 7 hours (on avg) of restorative sleep, our chemical think tanks dries up.

For every hour you get to sleep before midnight, it seems it’s worth 2 hours after midnight. When our sleep hours do not match our circadian biorhythms, we could sleep for 10 hours and still never restore the neurochemicals required to have energy and happiness, meaning when we try to sleep in on a Sunday morning until 11am after a big night out, we wake feeling worse for wear and fragile.

Do yourself a favour – even if you’re a night owl (which by the way is a learned habitual state) go to bed earlier (even gradual changes of 10 minutes earlier a week will make a huge difference to your cycles).

When you do so you support your own brain pharmacy, and activate the reproduction of serotonin, leptin (think weight loss), HGH (anti-aging), dopamine, and oxytocin to name a few.

 

I’ve got a free eBook giveaway on my website, giving you 10 simple techniques on promoting restorative sleep patterns, so head on over after this video, and don’t forget to comment below, and share this with your friends if you found this useful. Let’s spread the word, and tell everyone how easy this really is.

Until then, thanks for watching. Bye for now!

Leadership Burnout

Avoiding Leadership Burnout – VLog 2

Transcription:

Hey there beautiful Monkeys; Ani Wilson here with another helpful hint on overcoming the threat of burnout whilst living your full potential.

Hopefully you’ve already spent a few minutes watching my first video in this series, and have already filled your pantry with loads of serotonin supporting foods.

So today, as promised in Video 1, I’ll be sharing with you the second most important rule for supporting yourself through Burnout successfully.

Yes, we can all practice mindfulness and start meditating, but some of us just can’t quite nail that principle, can we? If you’re a high performer by nature, your brain is wired differently meaning that your neural pathways to the Parasympathetic Nervous System (your calming gateway) is less trodden.

Think of it like a road. An arterial route around a city is well used, upkept by the council, and easily navigated. However, the country road to some unknown farm in the idle of nowhere may be harder to find, difficult to travel, and therefore given the choice, you’d prefer to stay away from it.

The same is true for how our neural pathways work within our brain.

The more use an area of the brain gets, the stronger the neural connection, meaning our responses are exaggerated and faster when required.

High performers spend most of their working day heavily in their left prefrontal cortex, which is in direct communication with out SNS.

Now try and tell that person to quieten their mind for 30 minutes to practice mindful meditation and that simple request stresses them out more when they fail to do so!

It’s an oxymoron.

Mindful meditation is destination, not an immediate fix, and should be treated as such.

Our immediate focus should be on activation of our PNS and it’s simpler than our complex brains let us believe.

The fastest way is to breathe out. Yep, that’s all it takes. The slower your outbreath, the faster your PNS will activate. So breathe in via your nose for a count of 4 or 6, but ensure you exhale slower and fully.

Your PNS will do the rest. It will dampen the Stress response, it will reduce cortisol production, it will tell your brain that really everything is a-ok. How frustrating that most of the working population don’t practice just this one simple technique. Spread the word, beautiful monkeys. And start being the change that this world needs.

Breathe out. Exhale. And change your path now.

Hey, remember, if you like this video, then share it, tell your friends, like us on Facebook, and comment below. I’d love to know what other topics you’re interested in, or what you’ve found have worked for you!

Bye for now!

 

 

Leadership Burnout

Avoiding Leadership Burnout – VLog1

Transcription:

Hey there beautiful Monkeys; Ani Wilson here with another helpful hint on overcoming the threat of burnout whilst living your full potential

If you’re anything like me, then you’re a habitual overachiever. You’ve spent a lifetime creating outcomes and working hard and so the reality of how you’re feeling right now is a difficult pill to take.

7 years ago I swallowed that pill.

After a lifetime of being indispensible, as the highest performer my company had seen, I bit the bullet and had that difficult conversation with my boss.

“I need help. I’m suffering and I’m worried that this workload and commitment is killing me. I need your support. “

That was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had to start, but the best conversation I’ve also ever had.  As high performers we’re habitually trained to take on more than the average bear. We take pride in our work ethics and ability to succeed in the face of adversity.

And so when burnout beckons, we’re the last people on the planet to admit that we need help. Until it’s too late.

One day you’ll suddenly feel fractured; anxious, fearful, and you’re body will simply shut down. I’m not talking about Adrenal Fatigue. I’m talking about full and total burnout.

From experience I can tell you that this moment of truth often comes too late and at a price. But I’m also here to tell you that right now, this is the time that you can help yourself by supporting your brains nutritional needs as a starter.

Look, I get that there are many other things that you need to be doing right now, but it’s essential that if you’re feeling at all frazzled, that you realize that your ‘calm’ hormone Serotonin may be depleted.

Had recent stomach issues, or bowel problems, cramps, diarrhea? Through excessive stress, our digestive tract suffers dramatically. 90% of our bodies serotonin is produced within the gut, so when the gut struggles to perform basic functions, our calm hormones aren’t replaced. Knock knock – that frazzled, shaky feeling.

It’s the most important (Amino Acid) to replace at this time. Increase the following foods in your diet immediately to support your neurological health!

Pineapples, walnuts, Salmon, Eggs, warmed cows milk or turkey meat (cooked)

In my next video we’ll explore the #2 most important thing you need to know right now, so make sure you subscribe to this newsletter or podcast to ensure you don’t miss it!

And remember to comment below and let me know what’s going on in your world! Bye for now.

Brain Hacks

How Long is the Recovery Period for Burnout?

After a particularly adventurous year of endless travel, I found myself exhausted and craving alone time. I live what I preach and thus ‘stressed’ is not the correct term for what I felt once I’d reached that point of needing to just stop.

Stress and I are equal parts friend and foe. It challenges me daily, and every time I overcome it relentlessly knocking on my mental door.

Many people may say that being tired simply means you need to rest to recover.  But as a Stress Mastery Coach and a lifelong burnout recovery victim, I see being tired as the first of many ‘be careful’ signs that can inevitably lead me back to a state of burnout.

You see, it doesn’t matter what caused the exhaustion this time, once you’ve had burnout you’re forever looking over your shoulder and covering your tracks. The need for sleep, added to the subconscious memory of chemical imbalance from burnout previously, means that although I practice mindfulness and extreme stress management daily, as a recovering burnout victim, sleep deprivation can expedite my neural decline.

Sleep, as we all know is the only time that certain neural chemicals and hormones are regenerated or produced (think Serotonin, your calming hormone for example). It’s also the only time that Cortisol (your stress hormone) levels decline. A study that followed a group of pilots in 2014 showed those who slept only 6 hours a night for 7 nights while on duty showed an increase of 50% more cortisol in their bloodstream than the pilots who managed to get 8 hours of sleep.   A keen reminder of what the right amount of sleep can do for us.

Lowered serotonin and heightened cortisol levels are the foundation for waking up feeling stressed, anxious and worried – none of which are emotions I wish to encourage in my life these days!

I write this blog as a simple reminder to anyone who has ever suffered chronic stress or burnout.

Sleep is one of the most important daily rituals that must be kept.  I realize there will be times when the excitement of a wedding or event keeps you alive and partying through the night, but my hope is that when the dust settles, your number one priority is to get back in to the routine of sleeping the perfect allotment of hours for your age (see https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need).

For complete balance in my mental state, allowing me to perform optimally on a daily basis, I watch my diet, I schedule my sleep, I exercise (movement), I breath consciously and slowly, I smile often, I gravitate to happy people and social interactions, I contribute to others, and I challenge my mind by learning something new each waking day. All of this, above and beyond mind hacking and thought processing techniques.

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

When you first learnt to drive, it overwhelmed you, yet now you could do it in your sleep. Find someone to teach you and support your learning style and soon it’s simply a part of who you are.

Animatedly yours,

Ani

Brain Hacks

3 Things You Can Do Today To Avoid Burnout

In an audience of 200 managers and leaders, as a speaker, I’ll always invariably lock eyes with the few who I know are on the brink of burnout.

If I hadn’t been in their seats myself, I would be forgiven for feeling a bit shaken, unnerved, and possibly even reeling in a sense of personal attack.

They fold their arms.  They slouch back in to their chairs, not trying to hide any gaping yawns from their infrequent breathing.

And if they’re anywhere near the front of the audience, they do everything in their power to send you subliminal messaging that your wasting their time.

I’m often the recipient of ‘The Eagle Stare’, as I call it – penetrating and on purpose.

As a specialist in the field of burnout it’s my job to pinpoint the very people who don’t want to listen; who don’t want to sit through an hours lecture, who feel they have better things to do, just as I did only a few years ago.

It’s paradoxical to me that the very people who need my help, are the people who struggle to relax long enough to take it.   But I get it. I feel their frustration.

Google the term Burnout, and you’ll be rewarded with over 46 Million confusing and conflicting results.

Burnout is not a replacement name for mid life crisis or the housewife’s nervous breakdown, although these terms have seemed to take a backward step in the media of late even though they’re still very prevalent and damning.

Burnout is a mantle reserved for the overachievers amongst us, the high performers or type A personalities who ignore all the physical signs and symptoms that the chronic stress highway gives us, and do the exact opposite of what they should do; they put their heads down and work harder.

In fact, replace the term Burnout with ‘Workaholic’ and you’re almost there.

In the third phase of the burnout cycle, 3 fundamental things change in our lives, all because of ONE factor.

1.    We reach a point of absolute exhaustion

2.    We feel a hopeless despair

3.    And we are completely devoid of all emotion

All because we ignored the signs that our BRAIN tried sending us (sleepless nights, skin rashes, upset tummies, irritability, lowered libido etc.), until one day the ‘happy, calming’ hormones and chemicals in our brain had reduced so much, we woke up with nothing left in the tank to fight back with.

That is the science behind the reality of what these ‘eagle-eyed’ audience members are dealing with.

The beginners guide to addressing burnout, is to respect and deal with your brain chemistry first and foremost.

Yes, Yoga and mindfulness techniques help with the daily stressors, but they’ll only get you so far unless you refill your neural tank.

Take Dopamine for example.

Dopamine motivates us to take action toward goals, desires, and needs, and gives a surge of reinforcing pleasure when achieving them. Procrastination, self-doubt, and lack of enthusiasm are linked with low levels of dopamine.

Studies on rats showed those with low levels of dopamine always opted for an easy option and less food. Imagine a workforce filled with brains low on Dopamine, all vying to take the easy way out and work less.

Sound familiar?

There are some very simple things we can do today to tackle low dopamine directly.

1.    Laugh, even fake laughter increases the percentage of Dopamine released within the brain

2.    Eat animal protein linked with high Tyrosine (a precursor in the Dopamine chemical reaction) – think cheese, beef, lamb, chicken.

3.    Express wonder and marvel at the small miracles in your daily life, (like a butterfly crossing your path, or a free car space)

Don’t settle for being the person who throws the daggers in the room filled with high performers. Be the person who lights up the room instead. Take responsibility for having allowed burnout to progress so far and tackle your brain chemistry head on.

If you’d like more information or ways to address each of the Miracle 5 chemicals, head on over to my website; www.aniwilson.com.au.

And practice safe stress!

Animatedly Yours, 

Ani

Brain Hacks

The Simplest Way to Reduce Depression Stats in 2017!

Rates of people being diagnosed with Depression in the U.S reached an all time high in 2016 – why, when we’re spending MORE on wellness and mindfulness initiatives are our statistics of psychological illnesses skyrocketing?

The answer is simple – although these are powerful tools of alleviation and reduction, we’ve taken the power of knowledge away from the every day human. Within our hyperkinetic world, we have less time to appreciate what we already have. We’re allowing the media, commerce, trends and TV to fill our brains with intricate details of how badly we’re doing as a race, and forgetting to teach our children about how powerful the human brain already is.

A friend called me today to tell me about an interesting article she’d just read about how certain foods can impact memory. She was excited, yet this kind of news just showcases how truly uninformed most of us are.

Exercise & food impacts our hippocampus (memory), thoughts impact our neural programs, breathing impacts our hormones, mineral deficiencies impact our brain chemistry and the list goes on and on.

But our ignorance doesn’t need to be expanding at such a dire rate.

Mind and Brain Sciences if taught in mainstream schooling can impact the statistical chances of these kids ever knowing what depression or anxiety feel like.

  • My child knows the scientific reason as to why sugar impacts her health and creativity.
  • My child knows the scientific reason as to why her angry outbursts cause her stomach issues.
  • My child has been taught about how powerful her brain is from a very early age through my excitement and honesty.

Let’s get back to the basics and teach our children about the WHY behind nutrition, exercise and thoughts, and give them back control over who they grow up to be.

(There, that’s my vent for the day! Promise)

Brain Hacks

Are you at risk if you’re an Overachiever?

I recently had the fortune of being able to interview over 140 business owners on the pitfalls of being an overachiever.

The scale of business ranged from small to enterprise, and yet the answers when compiled were surprising and did not depend on the size of the business owners wealth or expected stress levels.

The purpose for my research was to see whether the average High Performing executive thought that their own habitual need to over achieve had a detrimental impact on their stress levels over the course of their careers.

The simple answer is that it did not.

Of course, when I asked the question, I purposefully gave all executives only 2 possible responses, giving them no head way for thinking outside the confines of my question.

Either: Our ‘Overachieving Tendencies’ DO increase the levels of stress in our lives

OR:  They do not.

Not one of the business owners (140!) answered me within those rules!

The results showed me two very interesting outcomes:

  1. Business owners are successful when they break the rules, looking for other ways to respond to a question, and tend to live outside the boundaries as proposed by others.
  2. Men are far more likely to have a “she’ll be right, mate” attitude when it came to working hard to achieve their goals. Almost all of the men, vs. only a handful of the women, believed that when they were excited about the end goal, stress was not a perceived threat.

Over 80% of the women I interviewed however, were more focused on providing a balanced response, with most answering “it all depends” or “it’s all a matter of perspective”, resulting in a final response of “Our overachieving tendencies both attract stress, and push it away, meaning it’s neither good or bad”.

Again, adding to the theory that good business owners are always looking for novel and different ways to tackle challenges.

So, according to 140 business owners from all over the globe, some level of over-achiever tendencies is required in order to be successful in your career. That’s good news for someone like me!

If you’re excited about what you can achieve, stress is no longer part of that equation.

Think it’s time to slow down? Nah! She’ll be right mate, let’s get going!

Animatedly Yours, 

Ani

Brain Hacks

Leadership Skills to Teach Our Kids

Whether you are a teacher, parent, or other type of caregiver, you have probably heard about the importance of instilling leadership in your children. But how? What skills? Although the following is rather basic, as adults we sometimes just need a little reminding of how easy it really can be.

1. Independent Thinking:

Help your child break out of the “cookie cutter” mentality by teaching him/her to think independently. Ask your kids’ opinions on things, and refrain from judging or expressing your opinion. Just listen so that no opinion is “wrong.” You might share your own opinion respectfully, and if it differs, all the better – part of independent thinking is hearing several sides of an issue and coming to your own conclusions.

2. Responsibility:

Age-appropriate responsibilities are important skills for building leadership. Give your child responsibilities as early as you can, and have him deal with the consequences if those responsibilities are not carried out. Of course, your child needs guidance; but once you explain what the consequences will be, sources say it’s best to let them play out. A child craves a sense of control and power over something, anything. By giving them responsibility you fulfil this inner need to feel valuable to the family unit.

3. Fairness:

Leaders need to be fair. Being too rigid and unbending is not a great way to teach your kids about fairness, but being too permissive isn’t, either. Help them to understand what is fair and what isn’t, and how sometimes being fair means being firm even when others are upset. Talk to your child about all the possible outcomes for their decisions and stand back as they quietly determine the right course of response.

4. Negotiation:

Have you ever pondered on the importance of negotiation skills in leadership? Think about it: government leaders, particularly the president or prime minister, need to be well-versed in the art of negotiation. So it’s okay to discuss your child’s wants and desires – ask him to present a convincing argument as to why he thinks he should have whatever it is, or participate in an activity. And sources agree that it’s okay for a parent to allow him/herself to be “talked into” something now and then!

5. Organization:

Teach your children how to prioritize tasks and organize their time. Show them how to use calendars to keep things straight, and explain how time is organized by prioritizing tasks.  A simple way to do this to start with is to give your child a list of things that must be done before bedtime and then get them to tell you in which order they believe those tasks should be done Ask them why they think that way and congratulate them for their response (whether you agree or not!)

Have your kids make lists of what tasks they plan to complete each day and/or week. This also helps break tasks down into steps – maybe your child has a research paper due three weeks from now. Helping your child break that down into weekly and daily steps can be very helpful – not only in accomplishing the completion of the paper, but also in instilling the leadership skills of organisation and time management!

6. Communication:

An essential trait in Leaders, expression of their goals and their vision for whatever project or task they are leading helps to share their commitment and workload with peers. Teach your kids good communication and listening skills by encouraging them to share their thoughts even if you disagree, and by actively listening yourself.  (Active listening means paying full attention, nodding, smiling as your child talks on.) When a child knows that they have been heard already, they invariably feel the need to speak less! Fascinating.

Tomorrows leaders are the children of today. We all know this, and yet sometimes our lives are so busy we forget how our simple actions are manipulating their reality and future selves. Lead by example, talk calmly with your children and inspire them to be a great leader just as you are. The more time you dedicate to their mindset and growth, the faster you’ll be able to delegate your ample household chores to them and give you that time back!

And say, ah!!

Animatedly Yours

Ani

Brain Hacks

How Do You Measure Personal Success?

One of the questions that people often have when they start becoming serious about striving for success is how they can measure if they are successful enough or if they are doing enough to achieve their goals. This question comes because of the propensity that people have to compare themselves to others. But you never seem to measure up when you do that, particularly with those who have already achieved success.

So, what do you measure against?

Each person is different and each success story is different. It is impossible to compare your journey to anyone else’s, so you have to do something else entirely.

You have to compare yourself to yourself.

The best way to accomplish this is by comparing your current self to your past self. Sadly many of us live for yesterday instead of capturing the beauty that is within you today.

Your past self may have made mistakes, but your current self, going forward from this moment on, has not made any mistakes. You have a fresh, clean slate and luckily you have the benefit of all of the experience of your past self to rely upon! How awesome is that!?

More importantly we often expect success without any tracking mechanisms in place. No matter what goal you are pursuing, or what end you are looking for, tracking your progress will allow you to see how different you are today from where you have been. This is called a baseline. Without a ‘before’ snapshot, how can you measure success?

For example; if you feel like giving up because the income stream that you have been working on isn’t nearly as large as you thought it would be, checking out where you were a year ago can put the present situation into perspective.

The bottom line is that when you want to measure your success, don’t measure it against other people. Other people may have had different opportunities, different skills and different circumstances that affected their progress.

Instead, compare yourself to your past self. If you have improved, then you are on the right track. If you have improved more than you ever thought possible when you started, then you can call that a huge success. If you are better off now and are well on your way to reaching your goals, then you are successful.  Never doubt it.

Animatedly Yours

Ani