Sometimes we look at others and think they are born with an inherent trait that they are a genius, something given only to a special few who, those that we know about because they are celebrated publicly. The likes of inventors, billionaires, Nobel Prize winners and other public figures come to mind.
We all have hidden greatness and brilliance inside us. Too often we overlook just how great we are. Think about at time when you had a brilliant idea, a genius moment – a time when you miraculously came up with the solution to a problem or found a new way of working to overcome a set back?
We all have innate ability, strengths and talents – but we don’t all use them to their full potential.
Here’s some tips on how to develop your inner brilliance again and tap into your unique skills, knowledge, talents and capabilities.
Activate your positivity
Is your cup half full or half empty? How you view the world will have an impact on what you do.
If you are looking for problems, and focussing on what can go wrong, guess what, that’s what you’re going to see.
If you embrace a positive approach to things and have an “optimism bias” you will be looking for ways to make it work, opportunities will arise because you will be open to seeing them.
Having an optimistic approach doesn’t mean there is no problem – it means you see it differently because your mind is solutions focused and therefore you will look for favourable outcomes or silver linings in times of challenge and difficulty.
The problem will still be the problem, but your focus is on the solution so the issue is less important because the solution is the way forward. This means you will take action; you will do things to change the situation to move you past the problem.
Using a positive approach means you’re looking for the best in each situation, focussing on what you can control and letting go of that which you can’t. You look for ways to improve the situation and take the lessons learnt from it.
Next time you’re faced with a problem – stop and think about your natural response – is it to focus on the problem or the solution? If you’re naturally inclined to focus on the problem make a determined effort to be solutions focussed, and go find others that are likeminded in finding a solution and see how different it feels.
Trigger your curiosity
Curious minds are always looking for new and different ways of doing. They see something and wonder how it could be made better or easier. They see a problem and ask themselves; how can I go about solving this? Is there an easier way to do this? Who can I talk to and bounce some ideas off? There must be a better way, I just need to find it.”
Look at situations and search your mind for new possibilities. Be curious about life, question the status-quo, ask “why do we do it this way”, suggest others ways of doing “what if we could….”
All too often we ‘go with the flow’, but having a curiosity approach means you can ask and question as to why, what and how this came about.
Using this approach, you may easily stumble across a new or better way of doing that no-one has thought of because they have accepted the old premise of “that’s how we’ve always done things”.
Using a curious approach allows your brain to think differently and engages with others to create divergent thinking – it helps us step out of the normal way we operate and activates different parts of our brain.
Next time you’re facing a challenge, grab some paper and write down all of the options or ways that this problem can be approached. Do this freely and openly without any filters or fears.
Write down (or draw) all possible solutions with a mindset that there is no right r wrong, there are only ideas. Your idea by itself may be the way forward or that one word or sentence may spark brilliance in someone else and your idea is the seed that gets things moving.
There is always more than one answer to a problem, so do this exercise freely, openly and abundantly.
Get out of your rut
Humans love their comfort zone! In fact, our subconscious mind wants to keep us in our comfort zone.
We form habits and routines quickly and they can be hard to break. What habits have you formed that are no longer serving you?
Doing the same thing every day will feel safe, but it means you are operating in a semi-conscious state, you are not experiencing life around you because you’re walking around on auto-pilot. (I know you know what I mean).
When we’re in that state we are not using our brains, we are not seeing what is going on around us, we are not open to new stimuli and we can miss wonderful opportunities.
Do you take the same route to work every day? Do you have the same routine at lunch time, do you eat the same lunch every day? Do you have the same routine after work and when you get home?
How’s that working for you? Do you feel stimulated and alive or do you feel like you are just surviving?
Make a conscious choice to do something different, take a different route to work – walk the other way around the block to get into the office, catch a bus home instead of the train, go for a walk before dinner, make one day a week a “no TV day” and do something different instead of plonking down in front of the TV. Try something new and notice how different it makes you feel.
Live life with Intent
Do you set intentions and have goals for what you want to achieve or do you just meander through life, one day at a time, take it as it comes?
Setting intentions is a great way to stimulate your mind and step into your brilliance.
Our minds are extremely powerful and if you think you “can” or you “can’t” achieve something – you are correct! Yep, that’s right. Whatever you tell yourself, your mind will look for ways to prove you right.
So now is the time to take control and program your thoughts and create the future you want. Set your intentions, and do this often and regularly. It is recommended that you sit down and setting your intentions for what you want to achieve in the next six months – where do you want to be, what do you want to be different in six months’ time from now?
Create a list write down WHAT you want and WHY you want it. What is the driving reason for what you want?
Setting your intentions allows your brain to focus and focussing on achieving something means you will be projecting with positivity and looking for ways to make it happen.
Once you have your six-monthly target, break that down into monthly targets. In order to get to X in six months, what are six key milestones you need to hit – one each month to know that you are on track to achieving that six-monthly goal?
Then look at the target for month one – only look at the first milestone – that one-month mark. Then break that down in to weekly steps. What do you need to do each week to achieve that first monthly milestone? Then break that down into daily activities.
These daily activities should be simple, easy steps for you to achieve – one small thing each day, that’s all, just one small thing each day.
Then each night before you go to bed, look at your list, tick off the activity that you accomplished today, be thankful to yourself that you achieved it and go to be focussing on the one thing you are going to achieve tomorrow. That’s it, focus on one day at a time.
This approach of breaking things down into daily activities allows your brain to understand that it can achieve it because it is one small step. Continue to focus on the next day and that one step and by doing this you will achieve your bigger goal.
Laugh and have fun
In today’s world we can get too serious. Laughter is important in your life, it decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
As adults we can get too caught up in our many responsibilities and we can forget to have fun. Without fun and laughter our stress levels build up, but do not release and this can cause physical and mental health issues. Laughter and fun are a natural part of who we are and they are the “pressure relief valve” of life.
Adopting a mindset of creating laughter and fun in our lives means we will feel better and our communication with others will improve because we will be less stressed and our mind will be open to creating brilliance.
As a leader, I know that when I hear laughter in the office, I know my team is functioning healthy. Laughter should be part of each and every day as it: boosts immunity; lowers stress; decreases pain, relaxes you; prevents heart disease; relieves stress, improves your mood, strengthens resilience, adds joy to life; strengthens relationships, enhances teamwork and creates group bonding.
When we were kids, we laughed and played and sometimes spent hours focussing on one thing, building a sand castle, drawing, Lego, creating model planes, reading, skipping, climbing a tree, but as we got older these fun things were replaced with jobs and other tasks that we needed to do because we now have responsibilities. All of these activities are mindful activities and so important for our mental health.
Practicing mindfulness increases your ability to activate and use the pre-frontal cortex region of your brain more, which strengthens the connections between areas associated with attention and concentration. In one office I worked in, we had A3 size colouring pages spread around the office with coloured pencils. We encouraged staff to take a few minutes each day as they were walking past to stop and focus on colouring in the image. In another office I worked in we did a similar thing with jigsaws; we had a couple of jigsaws around the office and this encouraged people to take a time out and focus on something different than their normal work. Both of these activities allowed staff to have a quick mental break, increased communication, created strong bonds and laughter in the office as people shared their experiences together.
Encourage your team to laugh and to share ideas with each other. Encourage them to take a break and ‘reset’. Stepping away from the busyness of work and taking a break rejuvenates creativity and ultimately helps you achieve more because you return to work with a fresh approach.
Distancing yourself from work periodically allows you to achieve more rather than slugging it out at something for hours on end without a break. It is advisable to take a short break every hour or 90 minutes.
Next time you are feeling drained or stuck, step away from your desk, practice something mindful, stretch and go for a walk to refresh and reinvigorate yourself.
Use these five tips to ignite your brilliance and notice the difference it has on you, your colleagues and those close to you.
Look for the positive in all situations, be curious, encourage ideas, mix things up, set your intentions and most of all have fun.
The question is – what are you doing to tap into and develop your uniqueness? A coach can help you do this, if you want to know more, DM me and we can set up a free 15-minute discovery call.