Author

Chloe Shearman

Date

18-05-2021

Location

Plus X Brighton

Last Thursday, we kicked off the first hybrid event of 2021, “The Successful Mindset”, a workshop in collaboration with health and performance coach Lauren Stoney.

In 2014, Lauren experienced burnout, and in the two years that followed, she couldn’t seem to shift the symptoms that had started. At the point where she had been signed off work for a month, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto disease – something her specialist told her was a lifelong condition. Out of sheer desperation, she embarked on the Lightning Process, a mind-body training programme teaching you how to influence your nervous system response through the use of brain training.

Fast track to 2021, Lauren has built a career which on one side of the spectrum helps people to avoid burnout, and on the other, helps people to get their health back from chronic issues.; ensuring they really can embark on their passions whilst thriving in health We have put together some of the key insights from Lauren’s workshop to help you strengthen mental fitness, through strategies that will allow you to address business challenges more effectively, whilst enhancing your overall wellbeing.

  1. Problematic Programming

“The more you ‘use’ a positive and productive thought, the more automated it will become”

Just like taking your body to the gym, you can also train your brain to become stronger, fitter, and more resilient.

Think about your body as a MacBook. The hardware comprises the skeleton, bones, and muscle. The software is the brain and the nervous system, and the software communicates with the hardware. With every thought, we trigger a message through our nervous system, which triggers a release of chemicals that impact us physically. In the same way that software on a MacBook can be programmed, we can programme our brains. Think of confidence and anxiety as programmes. The more we use a feeling, the more our brains will automate it for us.

The problem is – the brain doesn’t discriminate between good and bad feelings. The problem for high achievers is that they often reward their brains for stress-based feelings, as opposed to joy-based – constantly pushing ourselves to new limits. The problem is that this is programming our mind to be in a constant state of stress and overwhelm. What we run the risk of doing here is putting ourselves in “burnout territory”.

 

  1. Dealing with Uncertainty 

“Passion does not have to cost you your health”⁠

When the brain sees uncertainty – it triggers a fear response. The problem around the saying “feel the fear and do it anyway” is that if you’re commonly taking this approach, you’re heading for burnout.

This is where the amygdala comes in. For those who haven’t heard of it, you can think of the amygdala as our brain’s lookout, watching out for danger. When it finds something that could be a threat, it sets off alarm bells. If your brain is well exercised in producing a fear response, this will be much easier for the brain to access in the future. It’s important to remember that the amygdala doesn’t always get it right.

Time for some brain training…

Close your eyes and imagine something that triggers fear in you… where do you feel it? Your chest? Your stomach? Now… take a moment and mentally step back from that feeling so you can almost see it in front of you. Imagine you are talking to it, you are saying, “thank you very much, but we’re good here”.

This meditation trains you to detach from that fear triggered emotion, because when fear becomes a problem, we have identified with it.

 

  1. Trust as a Foundation

“Own your flaws whilst owning your brilliance”⁠

When you look at successful people, you will find that they have a lot of trust. They trust that the world is working for them, not against them. Ultimately, trust is a form of confidence. When you don’t have trust, you’ll find that you are expecting the worst in many situations. With trust comes certainty, a feeling of knowing in your body – that’s what you want to be connecting with to thrive and be successful.

 

Connecting with trust…

Take yourself back in time to when you achieved something you thought was impossible. With all your hard work and commitment, you made it happen. Take some time to really connect wholly and entirely with this sense of certainty and knowing.

Now, allow yourself to take that feeling into the rest of your week. Practice this daily – consistency is key. Start each day from this place of confidence, knowing that it’s in your toolbox whenever you encounter challenges, or your brain wants to trigger a fear response.

 

  1. Making Friends with Failure 

“If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough” – Elon Musk⁠

Changing your relationship with failure can have a profoundly positive effect on your life. If you can learn to be okay with failure, it will completely alter the way you motivate yourself.

One technique for changing this relationship is simple, take yourself less seriously. Failing is an innately human aspect of life, picture your favourite comedy – Peep Show? Fleabag? Next time you fail, imagine watching yourself in one of these comedies then laugh it off. It’s human!

People often find laughter and journaling out what went wrong in the situation, a great process for growth. Before you know it, you are switching your perspective on failure, trying more and thus, succeeding more! Remember – failure is a platform for growth.

 

So, there you have it, a toolkit for a successful mindset. With small changes, you can begin to train your brain to empower the positive reactions and to be mindful of the negative ones. Thank you to our amazing members who joined our ‘Successful Mindset’ workshop in the Launch Space and to everyone who tuned in online, as part of Plus X’s mental health awareness week.

 

If you would like to find out more about Plus X and our mental health initiatives, read more here.

To go beyond this toolkit, get in contact with Lauren Stoney at [email protected] or find out more via her website: laurenstoney.co.uk

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