“No!  No! No!  This Is Not What I Wanted”

Here’s the scenario.  I will bet that you have been there, done that!  We all have.

Anger & Frustration

You are in a meeting and things are not going well for you.  Others are dismissing your ideas and point of view and they are making decisions that you do not like.  You are not feeling good.  Perhaps your muscles feel tight in your back or your neck.  Your chest may feel tight.  It is noisy in your head. Or your stomach is churning.  Perhaps your jaw is tight.  One thing is for sure – you are beginning to have physical symptoms whether you are aware of this or not. And there is a voice in your head that is screaming, “No!  No! No!  This is not what I wanted. This is not going to be good for me!”   Sound familiar?

So what do you do when this happens?  Are you the kind of person who feels the gall rising inside you and this makes you heated and angry?  Or are you someone that feels the energy draining out of you and instead of getting angry you shut down and withdraw?  What is your personal style – fight or flight?  Personally I can go either way, depending on who I am with.

Well, as we all know neither the fight nor flight response has a good outcome.  But what we don’t all know, perhaps, is that both of these responses come from our ego.  So here’s the deal. Our egos can make us physically and emotionally sick.  Just think about it. Whether you are a fight or flight (or both) person, each time you respond in this way, your mind and body are in distress.  Your muscles are tense; your blood pressure increases; your body is secreting toxic chemicals which negatively affect your organs.  Take an ulcer, for example.  This is the result of too much acid being secreted; or how about spastic colon; or headaches or neck and back pains.  These are all conditions created by our egos feeling uncomfortable and threatened, becoming defensive and causing us to behave in ways that hurt our bodies and give us pain.

Of course, instead of the fight or flight response of our egos, there is a much healthier response option.  This is called flow. The ego does not know how to flow.  It is there to protect us when we feel threatened and so it only knows how to fight or flee.   The reason we feel threatened is that we a have forgotten how powerful we really are. We are disconnected from the potent healthy and confident self that we all have at the core of our being. The ego is just a cowardly façade that we all have.

So staying healthy is easy.  We stay healthy when we stay connected to the spirit of who we truly are which means we do not feel threatened when things do not go the way we had hoped and our egos do not get in our way.Flight or fight..which do you do?

Now let’s apply this to leadership.  When leaders respond with fight or flight, their health is compromised.   And the way they behave and communicate when they fight or flee has a ripple effect and compromises the health and wellbeing of their employees.  Now you have an organization operating with low levels of energy, poor ability to focus and concentrate, struggling with all kinds of fight and flight physical and emotional symptoms and probably taking some form of medication for stress-related disorders!

When leaders display flow behaviors and language they build their own health and the health of everyone around them.  Here are 2 questions you can ask yourself that could make the difference between health and sickness for you as a leader and the company that you lead:

(1)    What is my ego doing, saying and feeling that is making me sick?

(2)   What can I do differently that will connect me to the potent and healthy spirit of who I truly am.

I would advise us all not to take this lightly.  The pharmaceutical and insurance companies are making billions of dollars because we do not know how to manage our egos and stay healthy.

We can literally dramatically enhance our health and well being by having the courage to look at what our egos are doing to us and by choosing to reconnect with our healthy self at the core of our beings.


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