Meditation Game-Changer for Busy Minds

How getting over my anti-meditation beliefs made me better and more aware in my career.

“Meditation is weird. I don’t light incense, I’ve never had my tarot read, and I DEFINITELY don’t meditate”. -Me, not that long ago

I always thought meditation had to be so zen.

It seemed like a novel concept, but certainly not something for me. I couldn’t even fathom the idea of emptying my mind. Any time I tried to sit down and force myself into silence, I’d start to think about my to-do list, and then I’d remember all the stuff I had forgotten from the day before, and then I’d somehow start thinking about my 5th grade crush and wonder what he was up to in his life.

How was I so bad at this?!

The problem is that I thought meditation was silence — emptying my mind and “thinking nothing”. As a result, the minute I had one thought I would get frustrated. I would start thinking about how bad I was at this whole thing.

Once I learned more about the many ways in which you can start to quiet your mind, though, I realized I might be able to find something that worked for me.

Have you ever wondered why you give great advice to your friends but you can never take it yourself?

Mindfulness is all about getting out of your own way. This is why I now meditate, why I have a coach, and why I constantly journal and focus on my own development. I work often to hold myself accountable to the person I want to be. I typically think of that person outside of myself, as it helps me to step out of the situation and take “her” advice.

Great. But how are we supposed to stay zen when we have a to-do list that stretches on for the next 6 months and work emails dinging through our phone at 7PM?

Find what works for you. I’m not saying you need to start going on meditation retreats tomorrow, but I ask you to carve out at least 5 minutes a day to rest your mind. That can be through yoga, breathing exercises, SoulCycle — whatever you need to do to be present. Those moments where you’re just focus on what is instead of what could or will be are game-changers.

And, by the way, meditation doesn’t mean you need to be silent. There are a lot of different types of meditation, including ones that work for even me. As someone who used to be call Leslie Knope by all my coworkers (and we all know how zen Leslie is), that’s a big accomplishment. I’ve found that guided meditations work best because they help keep me on track. I have also given myself permission to get distracted on occasion. I stopped getting upset with myself for having a thought come up, and now have moved to acknowledging it, setting it aside, and moving on. Imagine that!

Mindfulness matters, y’all.

I spoke with a new client today who is working on getting clear on what she wants, and I’ve dealt with countless people in the past who approach career planning as something that they cross their fingers on. Career planning is not to be left up to hope. It’s your job to get clear on what works for you, what doesn’t, and put the necessary items in place to get it. Mindfulness can help you get there, because when you’re taking the time to quiet your mind you can start to think about what you truly want and not all of the “shoulds”.

If this all feels too far away and you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t even know what works for me”, that’s OK. That’s why I work with my clients.

I started Empowered Achievers based on my own experiences building a career I loved, and the first step was stepping back to map my interests! But you don’t have to do it alone. I do this work with clients around the globe, so reach out if you’re ready to make it happen.

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