A Quick Practice for Great Outcomes/Pivot toward Purpose.
February 1, 2021
Here is a quick mindfulness practice that can help you reground and stabilize the emotions and thoughts that draw us into reactive urges and turn them into intelligent actions. These actions are based on the highest values that we hold.
This practice is called Pivoting toward Purpose.
When we react without thinking and from a place of stress and frustration, we may say and do things we regret and stir the pot to make things worse. Pivoting back to our purpose keeps us focused on the intentions for promoting the very best outcomes that matter the most to us.
If you have a big event or performance coming up and you are distracted by nerves or frustration, pivot toward your purpose and refocus on the task at hand and not your fear of an outcome. If your value is to give 100% of your ability, then being in the present moment is your highest priority. Or if you have been disappointed by someone and you want to lash out and judge them for their behavior, pivot toward your purpose, and this will create space and compassion for a human mistake so real heartfelt discussions can be communicated. (This is a hard one! ;)) If your values here are connection and love, then being open with grace can lead to a productive outcome.
The other day I climbed up one of the mountains here in Aspen on skin skis for the very first time. To explain what this is, the skis have material that sticks to the bottom for the uphill hike to avoid slipping. You then take off the skins and ski down. It is a challenging but gorgeous way to enjoy the mountain, not to mention up your fitness game. My intention or greatest value for this first time was to simply make it to the top and complete the climb. Yet my mind wanted to tell a story that I was going too slow and I wasn’t fit enough for this sport. I kept pivoting back to my purpose and this helped me to relax and focus on what I could do in-the-moment, one step at a time. I made it, and even went again with friends the very next day! Somehow, the 2nd time was significantly better.
The mind loves to play tricks on us, and we have to take charge of it if we aim to improve ourselves and step out of our comfort zones.
Pivot toward Purpose practice:
- Take a deep breath with a long exhale to calm the nervous system and create a pause between reactivity and response.
- Think of the values that are important to you and how you can use them to steer your reactions to what will be the most effective action for you.
- Ask the question, “what is my highest intention at this moment?”
These quick practices are so important because when you are under any amount of stress, you better believe you should have these strategies in your mental toolbox. The better prepared you are the greater the outcome!