At a conference recently, I shared the concept of ‘finding your squirrel’ when I told a story about taking my dog on a run. When I started out, it was a particularly painful process because he really wasn’t feeling it... that is, until he saw a squirrel, which instantly gave him all the energy in the world, completely shifting the dynamic of our outing. This perfectly captured for me how our bodies and minds work. We can’t have energy for everything – we all need a squirrel to light us up – for a moment, a project, or a long-term goal.
Impending deadlines, limited access to resources and project setbacks are among the many challenges we’re going to encounter on a recurring basis in our work. Unfortunately, we often put aside the things that support our well-being and light us up to address the immediate challenge rather than committing to - or maintaining - healthy and inspiring practices. Whether you are developing a new strategy, troubleshooting a problem, managing your team, being able to tap into energy acquired from focusing on what lights you up is invaluable.
Here are 3 Things You Can do to Find Your Squirrel:
1. Commit to Well-being Essentials
Okay, I know this is boring and simple. But its true: if you provide your body with the essentials it needs – a good nights sleep, regular physical activity, reduced stress, community connection, you've built a foundation for squirrel finding.The best evidence of this is to disregard these basic needs for a week and then try to accomplish something.
2. Engage a Leadership Coach
Leadership coaching is a powerful thinking tool. It provides the time and space to think critically about priorities, goals, and provides an opportunity to be intentional about goals. Coaching conversations with someone who is invested in your success, and who will ask you the right questions will provide the opportunity for you to clear your thoughts, find focus, and remember what it was about your work that inspired you in the first place. Think about how you have accomplished anything you were successful at...it is almost always the result of being intentional about something.
3. Understand what you Value Most
Again, this may sound really simple, but understanding the things that are the most important to you, and shaping your work and life around those things will make all the difference. If freedom or autonomy is really important to you, make sure your work gives you the flexibility to come and go as you need to, knowing that you have the support of your leadership team. If financial stability is your primary focus, let that be your guide. By being honest with yourself about what matters most, you’ll set yourself up to get what you want. If you are in a state of gratitude, you’ll find yourself engaged, inspired, and excited to produce. And that is good for you and your employer!
Reach out to March Management to learn more about what you can do to recapture your creativity and find your squirrel today.