What's the number one resource to boost your career and climb the corporate ladder with leaps and bounds?
You know that improving your skillset and continued learning is vital to accelerate your professional development. Companies evolve how they do business continuously. How do you evolve to stay ahead of the game?
As a professional, you're always on the lookout for tools and resources to boost your career.
You want to elevate yourself in your profession. You want the long-term, personal satisfaction of knowing that you are more today than you were yesterday. You want the most effective tool to help you operate at the best of your potential.
"You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset."
- Tom Hopkins
Self Awareness; the key to personal and professional development.
What does it mean to be "aware of yourself"?
Self-awareness is the ability to observe yourself, in other words, it's to be conscious of your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions from moment to moment. To develop your self-awareness, you have to dedicate yourself to the present moment. The "Now". This is a challenge and requires a lot of regular practice.
Developing one's self-awareness is a long-term process, or a lifestyle, and not an achievement or a goal. Developing one's self-awareness is a journey, rather than a destination.
The more you practice self-awareness, the more you enable yourself to practice emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence.
Research suggests that emotional intelligence is the greatest 'predictor of executive success'. Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations found that "strong people skills and self-awareness drive better strategic and financial results".
There is much that you can do to enhance your education,
but what can you do to raise your self-awareness?
How do you take your professional (and personal) performance to the next level?
For Fortune 100 company CEO, Mark Bertolini, yoga was the answer. Mark took up yoga after he broke his neck in five places in a ski accident. He turned to yoga to take the edge off the chronic pain, and soon concluded that yoga had a huge impact on his ability as a leader. Mark found "a purpose for wanting to be better."
Mark introduced a mindfulness and yoga program to his 47, 000 employees, of which 13, 000 employees have partaken. A study with 239 employee volunteers showed a 50% drop in cortisol levels (stress) and heart rate variability, and 69 extra minutes of productivity a month.
When you invest in personal development, you invest your time and energy. You want maximum profit.
Here are 11 reasons why yoga is the right investment for you:
1. Yoga grounds you in the present moment.
Being in the NOW brings clarity, calmness, and positivity.
2. Yoga increases focus.
Balancing poses especially, like 'tree pose', requires focus.
Balancing is a great way for quieting the chitter-chatter of our minds, for as soon as your mind leaves your mat, so does your balance. Multitasking has proved not to be as effective as focussing on one task at a time. It lowers productivity instead of raising it.
3. Yoga gives you a new perspective.
Yoga inversions, like balancing on your head with your feet straight up in the air, allows you see the world from a different angle. You learn to perceive your problems in a new light and notice opportunities that you were blind to before. A fresh perspective will go a long way in helping you to advance your career. The best leaders are those who have 'helicopter vision'.
4. Yoga makes you smarter.
Studies have shown that cognitive performance after 20 minutes of yoga exercise was far more superior (i.e. shorter reaction times and increased accuracy) compared with the aerobic and baseline exercises. This is for both working memory tasks and cognitive inhibition (the ability to not remember irrelevant information). We would like to think we work smart.
5. Yoga inspires self-discipline.
Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs doing, whether you feel like it or not. By dedicating yourself to a regular yoga practice, and keeping to it, you exercise your self-discipline muscle. Your yoga and business success depends on your consistent follow through and to perform at your best ability.
6. Yoga makes you flexible, strong and energised.
Some physical benefits of yoga include;
- Stronger immune system
- Improved vitality and energy
- Increased endurance
- Reduction in fatigue and
- Improved general health.
Be aware of getting stuck in the 'rat race' and not finding the time for yoga. You cannot afford not to! So don't wait until you're sick and tired of being 'sick and tired'.
Ill health or a bad attitude affects performance, and contributes to the rise of absenteeism from work.
7. Yoga improves body-mind consciousness.
The self-awareness gained from yoga also makes you mindful of your posture and how you move. You become conscious of tension you might be carrying around with you, like hunched-up shoulders or a clenched jaw. Specific breathing patterns practiced during yoga stimulates the body's parasympathetic nervous system. This reduces blood pressure and slows the heart and breathing rates. Goodbye stress!
Learning different breathing techniques can assist you stay self aware during the day; to focus, to diminish distractions and to stay centred.
8. Your mat is your Emotional Intelligence classroom.
You stretch out (both physically and mentally) old blockages and beliefs that don’t serve you. Let your mat be your classroom.
Allow your emotions to come out to play and learn to master them, instead of them controlling you. You develop a healthy self-worth and recognise you are on a journey of continued growth and development. So that off the mat, you are authentic and able to relate to others in a more constructive way.
Yoga teaches you to make decisions based on ‘what is’, without getting the ego involved. So you end up having far better relationships, which in turn increases your emotional wellbeing.
Mindful people are generally happier, more exuberant, empathetic and secure within themselves. These positive emotions influence your job performance and how you function with a team.
The higher you climb in your field, the more emotional mastery you will need.
9. Yoga brings self-acceptance.
One of yoga's most beautiful and life changing lessons is that every person is unique. From your fingerprints, to your bone structure, from your personality, to your preferences. To compare yourself in any way to the person on the mat beside you, is pointless and a waste of precious energy. Once you realize this, you know that you have nothing to prove to yourself… or anyone else.
For me, being spiritual is about being present in the moment, fully connected and engaged in life, being all we can be, whilst living every day with our intention of a future vision.
We are here to create and expand. The challenges of life assist us to learn and grow.
It’s empowering to know how we can find our own unique solutions, for our very specific situation, as it presents itself.
We become wiser and more joyful every day when we go within.
The practice of Yoga provides me with the opportunity to connect with aspects of myself that Google can't explain. 😉
10. Yoga expands self-awareness.
What is more "enlightening" than to explore and expand yourself? Some of your most challenging questions or profound answers will reveal themselves. The truth about your strengths and areas you want to improve, make themselves heard!
You may initially choose to do yoga because it’s the only ‘exercise’ that complements every other sport. However, you will be surprised to gain so much more.
Yoga is a fascinating journey of self-discovery and an opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.Yoga provides you with the opportunity to explore, expand and enlighten yourself. Yoga is a fascinating journey of self-discovery and an opportunity to be better than you were yesterday.Click To Tweet
However, developing sound values in your life, for example, patience is of no use if at the first sign of stress you “give the best speech you will ever regret”!
Yoga for stress relief
11. Yoga is excellent for mental, physical and emotional stress relief!
Work overload and looming deadlines induce stress. Workplace stress is normal, even beneficial, but excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. Your ability to deal with stress can mean the difference between success and failure. You'll have to learn how to effectively manage stress if you want to boost your career!
Every yoga class usually ends with a deeply relaxing 'corpse pose'. You learn to let go of things you can't control, and focus on the things that you can.
As your posture improves with yoga you'll stand tall and radiate confidence without saying a word. How you carry and present yourself in a professional environment goes a long way when you want to make a good impression. Confidence is a quality highly respected in business, as you would have noticed. Being a burned out zombie, not so much.
If you watched the video above, Mark, the CEO, drastically reduced the stress and improved productivity, in his organisation.
The fact is, yoga transforms your body and your life to be more powerful and peaceful. It's a continuous, lifelong process of constant growth. We benefit from Yoga, not only on the mat, but in the boardroom too. The more you do, the better you'll look and feel, the stronger you'll become, and the brighter you'll shine. As a professional, you know a good bargain when you see one. Yoga provides an excellent ROI.
Boost your career, close the deal, and jump on your mat.
Yoga: the low risk, high return investment!
Yoga might be harmful to your ego.