On average, each us has around 50,000 different thoughts a day—and some have many more. Thinking is an important part of being a good leader, but knowing how to control and quiet your thoughts is important in preventing stress and mental exhaustion. Knowing how to quiet mind chatter is a valuable skill—and one that’s often overlooked. Here’s what top leaders do:
Make time to check out. Engage every day in a time of meditation, prayer or deep breathing, and develop shorter techniques to help you anytime the chatter becomes overwhelming. Great leaders know that their mind is their most important asset, and keeping it healthy and strong it is essential. Part of that is practicing a time of stillness.
Quiet the mind with concentrated focus. Many people find that focus is the only cure for a chattering mind. It’s almost impossible to think about two things at the same time. Great leaders conquer overthinking and mind chatter with focused thought and action.
Don’t get lost in your fears. I believe in the acronym that describes fear as false evidence appearing real. If you want your mind to stop running wild from one fear to another, address your thoughts. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen and work through your fears instead of allowing them to take hold. Just spending a few moments going through and naming your fears can bring you clarity.
Spend more time in the present. By being in the present moment in your everyday life, rather than replaying the past or projecting possible futures, you can replace much of the time you spend overthinking with genuine connection. Sure, it sounds simple—but having the ability to live in the moment is an effective way to reduce stress and foster control over mind chatter.
Remember you have control. Stop a rapid train of thought with an emphatic mental STOP!, then take several deep breaths and move on. It is important to remember that you’re in control of your thoughts, not the other way around. Keep your thoughts on your side so they don’t interfere with your success.
Practice gratitude. Starting each morning with gratitude will help set the tone of your day. Reflect on what you are grateful for, which will shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. With time, the practice of gratitude will train your mind to reflexively find the positive. Take some time each day to give thanks for the good things in your life.
The best leaders know that it’s normal—and occasionally even beneficial—to have a lot of thoughts dancing through your head. The trick is to learn how to quiet it down so you can have a more calm and purposeful life.
Lead from within: Mental noise is the constant chatter of the mind that never stops. It is the inner conversation or monologue that goes on constantly in the mind, and what we do with it makes a big difference in our leadership.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.