Introducing my next book : Change Your State
Don’t be deceived by appearances! By the wonders of graphic design*, I’ve had a book cover superimposed onto a very realistic looking set of paperbacks.
If you were to pick up one of these books, you’d find most of the pages blank. I am beavering away at a new book called Change Your State, but, apart from weeks of research, reams of notes and a table of contents, I haven’t written much yet.
Perfectionism is the enemy of progress
The lack of writing is mainly because, when I start typing, my inner perfectionist kicks off, criticising my writing for not being good enough.
However, I was recently reminded by an old mentor that perfectionism is the enemy of progress. It’s far more important that I share what I’m learning so that others can, hopefully, benefit than wordsmithing in my ivory tower.
And telling you that I’m writing this book isn’t half an incentive to get on and write!
I need to surrender to the fact that clarity comes through action, not before it. This quote is going up on my whiteboard : “Writing is the process by which you realise that you do not understand what you are talking about. Importantly, writing is also the process by which you figure it out.”
So without further ado, let me share what this book’s about.
A state of leadership
I work with senior managers and directors who are often new in role and feeling overwhelmed by the size of the task ahead of them. They want to be inspiring leaders, empowering their team and making a positive difference.
Instead, they often feel stressed out, unable to think straight, a slave to their inbox and who shouts the loudest. They snap at their team – or, worse, lose their rag – when things don’t go to plan, leaving a trail of stress and demotivation behind them.
They get to the end of the day exhausted and frustrated that they’ve made no progress on the important work they intended to do. Yet wired as well as tired, they wake up at 3am worrying and start the next day almost as knackered as they ended the last.
Perhaps this sounds familiar to you?
Change your State : Feel better, think better, lead better
Our state – how our mind and body are functioning in any one moment – determines how we feel, how we think and how we behave. It dictates whether we feel stressed or calm, whether our mind is blank or clear, whether we run around like a headless chicken or act with presence and intention.
When you feel calm, rested and energised, your mind is open. You think more clearly, you make better decisions, and you’re more productive and creative.
When you feel and think better, you lead better : you hold on to your vision, you act with intention, you encourage and empower others.
You are the leader you aspire to be.
We see the world not as it is, but as we are.
What I’m discovering is that what’s going on inside our mind and body influences how we feel, think and act far more than what’s happening around us. As Anais Nin says, “We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”
In writing my book, I’m going to be exploring how our evolution has impacted the humans we are today – in particular, the fact that we’re built for survival – what that means for our state, and how we can apply techniques and strategies using our mind and body so that we can feel better, think better and lead better.
There is no magic bullet
The good news is that you have the power to make positive changes whether that’s challenging the negative thoughts in your head, deepening your breathing or reframing your emotions.
The bad news is that there is no magic bullet. The hardest part is taking action. I’ll be looking at how we can be our own worst enemy and what it will take for you to change your state for the better in both the short and long term.
Over the coming months, my aim is to share what I’m writing in service of helping you change your state so you can feel better, think better and lead better. I’d love to hear what resonates with you.
As Carolyn Coughlin and Jennifer Garvey Berger wrote, “You have to shift the inside before you can shift the outside.”
*Designed by Leanne Booth courtesy of Fiverr
Alison Reid helps new Directors focus on what matters, communicate with impact and stay calm and effective under pressure so they can lead themselves and others to great results. She's the author of Unleash Your Leadership : How to Worry Less and Achieve More. Download an extract or buy the book.