Monday Mojo – Remember Your Why

How do you feel about “team building days”? If your stomach rolled at the mention of it, or you let out an audible groan, you’re not alone.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I recently tweeted a thought that it’s time “ice-breakers” and “role play” stopped, and we consider their value; that we stop and ask why we do them. Having done them myself in the past (and never really enjoyed them), I wanted to know what others had to say. The Tweet was extremely popular.

At the time of writing, it’s had over 17,000 engagements, more than 4000 ‘likes’ and hundreds of retweets. Not that these alone are a measure of course, but the comments said it all. People described cringing at activities some trainers had made them do, whilst others spoke of how anxious they get and feeling worse when they’d finished, than when they’d walked in. One person described being asked to draw herself as if she were a shoe – a shoe – and was mortified when the drawing she did was so bad that when it was pinned to the wall (where it stayed all day), the Trainer had put it upside down.

Now, if you’re someone who loves a good round table intro by telling “two truths and a lie”, or building things out of spaghetti and marshmallows (quite a few people had something to say about that) then hear me out. It’s not that these are ‘bad’ activities; it’s more about putting safety and choice first. It’s particularly hard for those who are naturally quiet, or who recognise themselves as ‘people pleasers’ or describe themselves as ‘introverts’. (A few people in the thread described that when they dared to say ‘no’ to the trainer, they were “told off” or felt so uncomfortable they felt they had no choice but to leave). It’s not “stretching people out of their comfort zones” if they’re being forced to have fun, or if they feel obligated to take part simply because everyone else is doing it. So it’s ok to ask what value something brings.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Remember Your Why. Have a think about things you’ve always done, whether at work or at home and the reasons for it. If the answer is “it’s always been that way” it may be time for a change, especially if there’s a better, or healthier way. If the answer is “I can’t say no” or “I have no choice”, then think about what that means for you and the wider picture. Remember, you have a right to say no, a right to feel safe and a right to feel heard. If none of these feel true right now, then reach out to those who can help. The video below also offers some tools as food for thought.

This article will be useful if you identify as a ‘people pleaser’ at work; it acknowledges how exhausting it can be, especially if you’re always worrying everyone else is ok. The beauty of it is, when you’ve figured out the why, the what and how takes care of itself.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Move into Being

Do you find it easier to just ‘be’, or are you more Someone Who Does?

When we are in ‘Doing Mode’, it might seem like problems evaporate – at least for a while. The minute you get in to bed of course, thoughts might suddenly reappear, with intense feelings alongside them.

That’s not to say that ‘doing’ is bad; ‘Doing Mode’ can help us plan, organise and think about what needs to happen next. But sometimes, we need to make space for ‘Being Mode’ too. In his book, The Art of Being, Eric Fromm also raises the question of “to have or to be”. Whilst “having” can be a source of pleasure, it’s only one path to happiness if we don’t make time to “be”.

Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe make space to Move into Being. If you have a particularly hectic week, make sure you allow “Be Time” in your diary. As Fromm describes in his book, there are many ways to appreciate the present moment (e.g. through Mindfulness). The benefits of ‘Being Mode’ allow us to observe the present moment without getting caught up in judgement about how it ‘should’ be. Through curiosity of what ‘is’, we can boost our creativity and productivity, enabling more effective problem solving (if solutions are what’s most needed). Whilst ‘doing’ can be about trying to fix, ‘being’ also allows us to accept when we need to let certain things rest. Make space to find stillness as often as possible especially if your mind is going into overtime right now.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Mind Your Happy

How do you define happiness?

It’s such a huge question isn’t it. On my workshops, I talk a lot about happiness, and that sometimes it’s our striving to achieve it that can lead to problems of their own. It’s ironic, right? When we’re trying to be happy, we can end up focused on the lack of happiness.

This video makes this point. On a daily basis, we default to positions to avoid us being unhappy, which can create more problems than they fix. The author of the video puts these in to three categories:
1. Wanting the latest thing (so eg, we end up spending too much)
2. Rejecting what is (eg, not being happy about the weather, or time, or someone crunching loudly, even though being unhappy about it doesn’t change anything)
3. Zoning (or numbing) out – as a result of 1 & 2, we end up finding strategies (whether it’s through food, exercise, or binge watching Netflix) as a way to cope.

Here’s what might help:
This week, maybe the set the intention to Mind Your Happy. Paying attention to where your thoughts go each day can help you notice whether you’ve fallen in to wanting, rejecting or zoning out. You could make a note this week by way of a thought diary that helps you notice when you’re feeling up or down, and see if you can link it to anything that’s going on during the day. Some people simply notice they slump after lunch and, because we know that we are what we eat, even adjusting our diet can help improve our mood.

This article also offers some other ways to find happiness in difficult times, and the video above also explains that a “solution” for all of the above is to practice Mindfulness – noticing what is, rather than how we think it should be.

And if you ever worry about deserving to be happy, remember that happiness is everyone’s right – and that you’re allowed to experience it. Every single day.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Map Your Calling

Did you ever have a “careers advisor” at school?

Back in the day, we might have been encouraged to do what we were good at, rather than what we enjoyed – they’re not always the same thing. Some people have always known what they wanted to be when they grew up, and some of us are still figuring it out.

Living your passion is not passive though – it’s active. The key is knowing what brings you a bit of sparkle and going and getting more of it. Your purpose in life might look like different things throughout your lifetime, but it can all count.

This week, maybe set the intention to Map Your Calling. As Dave Isay explains in this article “Your calling is at the intersection of a Venn diagram of three things: doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated, and believing your work is making people’s lives better.”

He explains that this can be uncomfortable (you might remember last week, I said you might need to Be A Disrupter), and that “taking a stand against a status quo that simply isn’t acceptable, and then dedicating your work to changing it, is work ignited by hope, love, or defiance — and stoked by purpose and persistence.”

It’s also important to appreciate yourself, and sometimes you’ll need to be your own cheerleader. And if you don’t know where you’re going yet, maybe just think about why you stay where you are.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

Monday Mojo – Be a Disrupter

How do you feel about making “trouble”?

When teaching about communication, people often conflate aggressive with assertive.

Aggressive dialogue involves shouting, pointing and calling people names – not the best way to get a point across. The problem (especially for women), is we’re called aggressive when we’re actually calling people out. (In fact, we’re often called aggressive as a way to shut us down). It can make people uncomfortable and so we’re seen as “trouble.”

Asserting yourself without being rude isn’t being unkind. But it’s especially difficult when the person you’re addressing then resorts to what’s known as DARVO – a form of gaslighting that leads you questioning what’s going on. As a result we might stay quiet when we want to speak up.

It can flatten the mojo when you walk away from a conversation wishing “I should have said that”. So when I talk about being a “professional trouble maker” or “disrupter” I’m not talking about derailing a conversation or upsetting the applecart for the sake of it. I’m talking about those times, where silence is not an option:

This week, maybe set the intention to Be a Disrupter. The late John Lewis referred to this as ‘necessary’ trouble, ‘good’ trouble and as Luvvie Ajayi Jones explains, there are a number of steps to consider when entering an uncomfortable conversation:
1. Do I mean it? ie I’m not talking just to hear my own voice
2. Can I defend it? ie I have the facts to justify what I’m saying.
3. Can I say it thoughtfully? It’s not that everyone will receive it that way and some will definitely tell you to ‘watch your tone’. Recognise your intention; if it’s only to upset the applecart, it might be best left unsaid.
In all of this, Jones emphasises the need to pick your battles and measure your energy. Sometimes, you have to walk away and let others be the ‘good’ trouble for you.

For an expanded version of Monday Mojo™ straight to your inbox, which includes access to free resources, click here

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2021

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