Well, until the Paralympics, we’re going to have to live without wall-to-wall sport. Not being a sporty type, that doesn’t bother me too much. And yet, there was something deeply compelling about even those sports that normally lurk unnoticed around the periphery of my attention.
The inner edge
What a huge difference there was between the responses of the medallists to their successes. While some were thrilled with a Bronze, knowing they had poured all they knew, and all they were into their performance, others greeted Silver with wails of “I’ve disgraced myself and I’ve disgraced my Nation.” On one level, I wondered uneasily what was going to happen to the distraught Silvers when they got home. But on another, I wondered where their energy came from.
I’ve been listening lately to Art Giser, the wonderfully warm and compelling founder of Energetic NLP (ENLP). The core of Art’s work is about helping people to recognise and, when they’re ready, to let go of the programming they get from others that is not really theirs, and that inhibits their development. And I was also delighted to find that there is a book called “The Inner Game of Music”, written by musician Barry Green in collaboration with the great Tim Gallwey, the tennis coach who first wrote about the Inner Game. Gallwey’s insights into the influence of mindset over sports performance revolutionised the way we think about both sporting and general excellence. My piano playing feels a bit less daunting now.
It all starts inside
When you feel at peace with yourself and who you are, it’s somehow easier to place your energy and effort where they’re needed. If you’re trying to fit in, trying to please, unsure of your ground, unsettled and unbalanced, then the chances of performing successfully are limited. When I look back at the times when I’ve really struggled, it was almost always because I was compromising who I was in order to appear stronger than I felt. Now when I feel ‘wrong’ in a situation, I know I need to take time to work out where I’ve disappeared to.
That’s why the emphasis of Recover Your Balance is on finding and anchoring your core values, strengths, skills and talents, and using those as your guiding light as you navigate through the choppy waters of office politics, workplace bullying and personal recovery. You often can’t change your circumstances, but you can choose to respond to them from a place of inner strength and balance.
Sometimes I like to turn up something on rock balancing, which fascinates me. It looks illusional but it is ultimately about finding the perfect pivotal point for the rocks to stay in place from a tiny point of contact. I think it’s a great metaphor for recovering your balance, and for leading effectively.
Here’s how it’s done. Where’s your inner pivot point?