Certified Leadership Training, Coaching and Consulting for Organizations
Resilient Leadership Development
Susan Palchesko

I Grew Up A Little “Under the Radar”

I had observed success in others who had specific skills in marketing, strategic thinking, financial acumen, or operational savvy, and some who just plain outworked everyone else. None of those attributes applied to me! Yet my continued success has been recognized and rewarded, moving me up the ladder of success during my entire career.

I Grew Up A Little “Under the Radar”

It Was A Helpful Start for Me

I Grew Up A Little “Under the Radar”

It Was A Helpful Start for Me

Have you ever had the experience of waking up one day, finding yourself in a leadership role that you did not own yesterday? Something like that happened to me. I began my career in education as a teacher in the classroom and was ultimately promoted into a high-level administrative position.

One of the assumptions that I had always made was that the more knowledge and life experience I gained, the more comfortable I would be leading others. I have since learned that this isn’t necessarily the case. I experienced that knowledge, responsibility, and even age can actually increase anxiety.

I was able to grow up a little “under the radar”, which was a helpful start for me.

Susan Palchesko

Growing up the youngest of three in a household of high expectations, the success of my two siblings took much of the pressure off me during my early years. I was able to grow up a little “under the radar”, which was a helpful start for me. But then as an adult, things gradually changed for me, first professionally and then personally. I started my career as a middle school English teacher and progressed from the autonomy of my own classroom to being hired to oversee the merging of three schools into one campus. In the few years between, I entered administrative roles where my knowledge, awareness of complexity and my own self-doubt all grew in unison. When promoted into my current role, I discovered that merging three unique school cultures in the midst of these layers of uncertainty increased the anxiety of everyone, myself included. People frequently asked me questions I did not have the answers for: “What will I be teaching? Who will I be teaching with? Where will my room be?” My lack of clear answers only increased the level of chronic anxiety in them and me. I often found myself alone, full of doubt and wondering what leadership traits others saw in me that I couldn’t see in myself.

My lack of clear answers only increased the level of chronic anxiety in them and me.

At the same time, both of my parents had increasingly acute health concerns. My relationship with them and with my siblings began to change. Conversations turned uncomfortable. Every decision had a corresponding trade off and our family system experienced a fair amount of stress. Roles were redefined and reshuffled in pretty uncomfortable ways. As the youngest of three, what was my role?

Fortunately, I began learning about Resilient Leadership Development. A Resilient Leadership concept that I have found to be particularly helpful is striving to become a “Less Anxious Presence.” In Resilient Leadership terms, “a leader who exudes a less anxious presence embodies and communicates an inner calm in a way that helps others to lower their anxiety.” I also learned that a leader’s presence is highly contagious, so I worked on developing that inner calm and to be the least anxious person in the room. It means to work to understand the surrounding environment and to consider what action (or inaction) I should take next.

In Resilient Leadership terms, “a leader who exudes a less anxious presence embodies and communicates an inner calm in a way that helps others to lower their anxiety.”

For me, these simultaneous changes in my professional and personal life made being a Less Anxious Presence challenging. Yet through these experiences, and the personal development I achieved through one-on-one coaching with a Resilient Leadership expert, I have increasingly found my footing. In Resilient Leadership this process is referred to as working to “stay calm, stay the course, and stay connected.” I regularly reflect on my own professional and personal guiding principles (stay the course) and base my decisions on these.

When I grow increasingly anxious, I center myself (stay calm) and then these core beliefs give me a strong foundation with others (stay connected).

I remain a work in progress and all too often revert back to anxiety driven patterns. But when I do revert back, I refocus on my lifelong journey to “stay calm, stay the course and stay connected.” As I do that, I become a calmer and more effective leader, truly a Less Anxious Presence.

Jim Moyer

Jim Moyer
To learn more about reducing chronic anxiety and doubt with Resilient Leadership concepts like finding a "Less Anxious Presence," contact Jim at jimm@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com.

Visit this page often to learn from other people how the Resilient Leadership model has transformed their careers and lives.

Ask us anything Webinar

RL Coach Certification – Ask Us Anything (Webinar)

RL Coach Certification – Ask Us Anything!

Please contact us for information about future webinars

Sorry you missed our FREE webinar featuring two highly experienced coaches, both certified in Resilient Leadership Development Coaching and Training, Marge Shonnard and Mike Nowland.

Marge Shonnard

Marge is a Certified Resilient Leadership Coach and Trainer with extensive experience in organizational leadership which serves her well in her current consulting and coaching engagements. As former Vice President of Operations for Asbury Communities she achieved business objectives through operational oversight for $32 million budgeted multi-campus retirement communities, in-home care business, and low-income apartments in Maryville, Kingsport, and Johnson City, TN. Marge holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and is one of only 12 select professional holding certifications in both Resilient Leadership Coaching and Training.

Mike Nowland

Mike is a Certified Resilient Coach and Trainer whose central purpose is to help managers be better, do better and live better! Mike is a persuasive and empathetic communicator with over 30 years of senior level experience in Leadership Development and Human Resources with companies like Marriott International, ResMed and Kisco Senior Living. Mike is certified to facilitate the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, EQ Emotional Intelligence, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, DISC Behavioral Styles among other well regarded social science instruments. Mike is one of only 12 select professional holding certifications in both Resilient Leadership Coaching and Training.

Increase Your Productivity Targets By Stretching Your Goals

Increase Your Productivity Targets by Stretching Your Goals

We are well into the holiday season with a lot of family and friend time. Time to reconnect and celebrate. It is the year end triple play so to speak – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. As the song goes – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”!

Practice of the Month

Increase Your Productivity Targets by Stretching Your Goals!

Increase Your Productivity Targets By Stretching Your Goals

Happy New Year!
A new year is frequently seen as a time of fresh starts and new opportunities. We are also regularly reminded that it’s a great time to make both personal New Year Resolutions and to introduce corporate change initiatives: Time to eat less, exercise more, time to implement new policies, increase productivity targets, set stretch goals, and so forth.

Certainly, these are good objectives set with the best intentions. And so many of them are also doomed to fail! You know this to be true from the many resolutions you’ve made–only to realize after a few weeks that you have kept few, if any, of them.

But don’t blame yourself. It’s your brain’s fault! And by understanding how our brain works, we can be smarter about how to succeed at both personal resolutions and large-scale change initiatives.

Time to eat less, exercise more, time to implement new policies, increase productivity targets, set stretch goals, and so forth.

Our Brains Resist Change

Our brain (particularly the amygdala which is one of the oldest parts of the brain in evolutionary terms) is designed to perceive change as a potential threat and immediately sets in motion an array of protective defenses. This threat-response is automatic and happens without thinking (i.e., without waiting to check with our neocortex whether the change is good for us or not). Even after a logical assessment is made by that more thoughtful part of our brain, the amygdala remains on high alert, monitoring the change lest something detrimental slip by unnoticed.

Some changes, even though they are good for us in the long run, involve short-term pain, frustration, and other physical and emotional side-effects that we’d rather not have to endure. One can imagine the back-and-forth between our amygdala and our neocortex (it happens in a nanosecond) over the unpleasant aspects of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight:

Amygdala: I’m starving. I’m going to have a second helping of those mashed potatoes and gravy.

Neocortex: Are you kidding? You know how many calories that will add to your meal.

Amygdala: Yeah, but I’ve given up desserts. Come on, give me a break. I’m really hungry.

Neocortex: No way! You’re already over your calorie limit for today, and you skipped the gym yesterday and today.

Amygdala: I’m not listening. I’ll just have a small portion to finish off the green beans and that last bite of meat. I need the energy tonight to work on that project deadline for tomorrow.

One of the core imperatives of the Resilient Leadership model is to Stay Calm.

Effective leadership in many ways depends on this key skill, both in terms of the discipline needed to stick to a difficult personal resolution or when seeking to act as a “step-down transformer” of the systemic anxiety in an organization dealing with significant levels of change. Strategies meant to keep a New Year’s resolution or manage a company-wide change initiative too often focus on strengthening resolve, pushing through the resistance, removing obstacles, and adding external incentives. Resilient Leadership’s “New Way of THINKING” suggests that it is better to focus on lowering anxiety, which is the root cause of failed change initiatives of all sorts.

Strategies that lower reactivity, foster thoughtfulness, and ultimately reduce anxiety carry much greater punch than strategies that force compliance in overt or subtle ways.

If you are curious about knowing more about getting a stronger grip on self-management visit our FREE RL Self-Assessment:

Resilient Leadership Self-Assessment


To learn more about how to SEE, THINK and LEAD more effectively using the principles of Resilient Leadership, please contact us at: resilientleadershipdevelopment.com

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond

We are well into the holiday season with a lot of family and friend time. Time to reconnect and celebrate. It is the year end triple play so to speak – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. As the song goes – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”!

Practice of the Month

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond!

We are well into the holiday season with a lot of family and friend time. Time to reconnect and celebrate. It is the year end triple play so to speak – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. As the song goes – “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”!

3 Good Ways To Remain Calm During The Holiday Season And Beyond

Right? Well maybe so and maybe not. As families and friends gather close together, they bring with them their unique character traits. Maybe character flaws. Uncle Carl who drinks a bit too much, “Nosy Rosy” who’s quick to be in everyone’s business, or Uncle Andrew and his strong political views may all be together for the first time in a while. Add in a bit of COVID concerns and the year-end get togethers can be a real challenge.

Here are three Good Ideas on how to remain calm during the holiday season and long thereafter too.

Good Idea #1. Focus on yourself.

Specifically, watch for your own reactive patterns and catch hold of them before they catch hold of you. For example, watch for your tendency to:

  • Dominate or duck out of conversations.
  • Distract (or protect) yourself with busy activities.
  • Spend time on your cell phone rather than with people.
  • Agree with others to avoid conflict
  • Arrive late and/or leaving early.
  • Skip or make excuses not to attend the gathering at all.

Good Idea #2. Work on yourself.

Having caught yourself in a reactive pattern, “jump on the balcony” as we like to say, and be curious about the situation by asking yourself:

  • What is really making me anxious?
  • What part of my anxiety is of my own doing or my own not doing?
  • What are the responsible actions for me to take?

Good Idea #3. Reflect on yourself.

Looking back on the situation a day or so later, consider:

  • What triggered my reactivity in this recent situation?
  • What better options do I have in these types of situations?
  • Next time, what will I do to be at my best?

The holidays are indeed both a special time and a stressful time. If you are able to focus on, work on and reflect on your own functioning, you have a better chance at less stress and more joy in the weeks ahead and in the years ahead too.

Happy Holidays to you!

Jim Burns - Writes About The Emotional Systems

A Leader’s Presence is Contagious!

I had observed success in others who had specific skills in marketing, strategic thinking, financial acumen, or operational savvy, and some who just plain outworked everyone else. None of those attributes applied to me! Yet my continued success has been recognized and rewarded, moving me up the ladder of success during my entire career.

A Leader’s Presence is Contagious!

Intuitively I “knew” it to be true…

A Leader’s Presence is Contagious!

Intuitively I “knew” it to be true…

When I was first introduced to Resilient Leadership it immediately resonated with me. Intuitively I “knew” it to be true based on my experience. I had enjoyed success in my 40-year career with Marriott International. I had held roles in nearly every discipline of hotel leadership, regional jobs and corporate headquarters. I was always curious about what had allowed me to be successful in such a wide variety of jobs.

I had observed success in others who had specific skills in marketing, strategic thinking, financial acumen, or operational savvy, and some who just plain outworked everyone else. None of those attributes applied to me! Yet my continued success has been recognized and rewarded, moving me up the ladder of success during my entire career.

One point I did come to understand was that leadership was about “being” versus “doing.”

I would often say to those I lead: “Who you are is what your department will be.” Then in learning about Resilient Leadership I was introduced to the three dimensions of a self-differentiated leader. These dimensions are to Stay Calm, Stay the Course, and Stay Connected. They are the essence of the RL model. I now realize that they are the “being” part of a leader. They demonstrate that the quality of a leader’s presence has a profound impact on the people and organization they lead. This self-differentiated presence contributes to a leader that is focused, innovative, and collaborative. These qualities lead the organization to superior success. Again, I had understood this intuitively, but RL helped me name it and recognize it as having contributed to my “being” a success. Resilient Leadership helped me gain clarity on how to describe the force multiplier in helping each of us perform at our best.

Jim Burns speaking

One assignment clearly illustrated this to me in hindsight.

I was assigned as an Area General Manager for a large hotel. During my turnover with the outgoing General Manager, he shared that two of his team members were really struggling. He was very anxious as he spoke about the difficulties he had in working with them. I listened carefully to him, and then observed these team member behaviors for 90 to 120 days (as was my custom when taking on any new assignment) before drawing conclusions and making any significant decisions. After the 120 days, I was pleased with how my executive team was coming together while also performing well in their individual roles, including the two I was “warned” about.

After a full year their team performance began to really shine with notable achievements.

In fact, the two leaders who I had been told were struggling each won awards for excellence within their respective disciplines! I’m confident my practiced intention to Stay Calm, Stay Connected and Stay the Course (my presence) positively influenced them, allowing their abilities in their roles to flourish. Scenarios like this happened multiple times throughout my career. I believe that living the three dimensions of Stay Calm, Stay the Course and Stay Connected have also been a key contributor to my own career success.

Staying calm, staying the course and staying connected was a key contributor to success.

RL also teaches us the difference between the Rational System and the Emotional System. The Rational System is comprised of plans, strategies, and in general, all material resources which are key to success. But without a healthy Emotional System, even robust Rational System resources, are insufficient for sustained long term success. All leaders can (and should) learn and understand the Emotional System.

The three dimensions of a self-differentiated leader reside in the Emotional System. Until I understood this it was hard for me to articulate the “what” that was behind my success as a leader. Realizing that RL also teaches us a new way of Seeing, Thinking, and Leading helped me to further leverage these hidden attributes. I began to teach those I lead how to see, think, and lead differently as well. How to lead with a calm, clear, connected presence. This process further leveraged the power of the emotional system and contributed significantly to my career over the last 5 years with Marriott.

In the end, as I like to say: “The Emotional System eats the Rational System for lunch!”

Jim Burns - Writes About The Emotional Systems

Jim Burns
To learn more about the Rational System and Emotional System from Jim, contact him at jimb@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com.

Visit this page often to learn from other people how the Resilient Leadership model has transformed their careers and lives.

Need a cure for feeling tense? Get Curious!

Need a Cure for Feeling Tense? Get Curious!

Practice of the Month

Need a Cure for Feeling Tense?
Get Curious!

Need a cure for feeling tense? Get Curious!

Fact:

It has been suggested that the human brain is perhaps the most complex structure in the universe. Neuroscience has progressed dramatically in recent decades, especially with emerging technologies that have allowed us to “peek inside” and observe the hidden workings of our brain in real time. As scientists have started to observe and track a tiny portion of the billions of neurons and hundreds of trillions of interactions among them that take place in our brain minute by minute, day in and day out, we are coming to a fuller realization of just how accurate that claim is. The complexity is staggering.

But despite being at the very primitive beginning of a new science, our understanding of the brain’s inner workings is progressing steadily and is gaining both breadth and depth. One insight that neuroscience has provided us is how difficult (perhaps even impossible) it is for our brain to be both curious and highly anxious at the same time. Our brain performs an incalculable number of tasks simultaneously, but it seems that the circuitry involved in being curious and the circuitry involved in being anxious work to defeat one another’s ability to dominate our mood/consciousness at any given moment.

  • Key Take Away: Simply put, the more curious we are, the less psychic room there is for us to be anxious, and vice versa. Consciously choosing to be curious counteracts anxiety the moment it arises and helps us to see possibilities, not just threats.

Action:

Another insight that neuroscience has given us is what is called “neuroplasticity”, which one dictionary defines as “the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience”. It appears that from birth to death, our brain is constantly laying down new neural pathways, making new connections based on previous learning and ongoing experience. Research has proven that focused attention and persistent practice are two keys to this capacity of the brain to “rewire” itself to build new knowledge, skills and behaviors.

  • Key Take Away: The more we deliberately work at strengthening our brain’s curiosity muscle, it appears, the better we get at calming our anxious selves.

The opportunities to put this insight into practice are numerous. For example, the next time you are leading or participating in a meeting where emotions and tensions are running high, and you realize that you are starting to pick up and feel the stress of the group escalating within you, press your inner pause button.

  • Key Take Away: Bring a curious mindset to the anxious moment of life and ask yourself a set of thoughtful questions as suggested below.

Try It:

Come prepared. In your notebook or on your electronic device, have a set of curious, thoughtful questions already formulated that you can turn to and ask yourself. You will want to formulate your own, but here are some suggestions of the kind of questions that are calculated to help you adopt a curious perspective in the midst of a rising tide of anxiety:

  • What was it that first shifted this discussion from a more thoughtful to a more anxious one?
  • What first triggered my own anxiety?
  • How might I best describe the roadblock the group is experiencing at the moment?
  • Is there a goal, a value, an assumption that everyone here can agree on right now?
  • What new direction might we take in this conversation to move us forward together?

Are You Anxious, Worried, Overcome?

It’s Really Challenging Out There! As a nation and a world community, we face unprecedented and complex challenges. The list of challenges seems endless but here in the US we can list six challenges which are having immense impact…

Are You Anxious, Worried, Overcome?

“Here’s How RL Can Help!

Resilient Leadership (RL) is a new way of SEEING, THINKING and LEADING. Resilient Leadership practices help us more effectively navigate our own anxiety driven reactive tendencies as well as clearly recognize these tendencies in others.

Supercharged Challenges

We live in a VUCA1 world. Daily life is filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Learning to thrive in a VUCA world is a lifelong process of new discoveries, constant practice and steady improvement.

RL’s Pathway: Self-Awareness, Self-Definition & Self-Regulation

Self-awareness, self-definition and self-regulation are three top priorities for leaders. Together, these three practices define a self-differentiated leader. A self-differentiated leader is able to observe their own behavior and ask themselves: “What is my role in this?” Then they can take appropriate action.

A self-differentiated leader will focus on three key imperatives: Stay Calm, Stay the Course, and Stay Connected.

  • Stay Calm: Manage your own anxiety.
    • Evaluate your own behavior and determine how to be a less anxious.
    • Help others make choices on how best to reduce their anxiety.
  • Stay the Course:
    • Be clear your own vision, values and principles.
    • Use them to guide your decisions.
    • Make self-differentiating moves even in the face of pushback.
  • Stay Connected:
    • Remember that it is the quality, not the quantity of your connections that matter.
    • Stay close enough to influence others but distant enough to lead them.

One Step on the RL Pathway – Stop Overfunctioning

  • People over-function when they “think, feel or act, in a way that erodes another’s capacity for ownership or thoughtful action. Ask yourself: “What am I doing for others that they should be doing themselves?”
  • If you have a tendency to Overfunction, try:
    1. Getting up on “the balcony.” Observe the flow of anxiety and reactivity in yourself and others.  Then take action to lower the level of chronic anxiety in yourself and others.
    2. Delegating, without abdicating. Give others (including family members!) responsibilities you are carrying but shouldn’t. Provide the necessary information, authority/support, and resources. Talk about the goal and expected outcomes, but resist telling others how to do complete tasks. Check in from time to time to evaluate progress until completion. Always acknowledge and celebrate progress!
    3. Being fully present. Schedule “high quality” one on one time with people in your life. Give others time to tell you what’s happening in their lives. Practice talking with others, not at them or to then.

(V – Volatility, U – Uncertainty, C – Complexity, A – Ambiguity.)

To learn more about how to SEE, THINK and LEAD more effectively using the principles of Resilient Leadership, please contact us at: resilientleadershipdevelopment.com

When You Think About Your Relationships, Does Your Behavior Make Them More or Less Anxious?

When You Think About Your Relationships, Does Your Behavior Make Them More or Less Anxious?

It’s Really Challenging Out There! As a nation and a world community, we face unprecedented and complex challenges. The list of challenges seems endless but here in the US we can list six challenges which are having immense impact…

When You Think About Your Relationships, Does Your Behavior Make Them More or Less Anxious?

It is the province of knowledge to speak 
and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”

Oliver Wendall Holmes, Sr. 

When You Think About Your Relationships, Does Your Behavior Make Them More or Less Anxious?

Resilient Leadership is a new way of SEEING, THINKING and LEADING.

This new way of THINKING calls us to pay close attention to the Emotional Systems that are a part of everything we do. Emotional Systems govern, for better or worse, all relationships we have with those in our organization, our family or our social circles.

When a leader thinks about emotional dynamics (i.e., “thinks systems”) they reflect thoughtfully first on their own actions, reactions, and interactions and then on the actions, reactions and interactions of others.

Then, equipped with a wider and deeper perspective, the resilient leader has a better idea about what to do, what to say, and conversely what to avoid doing or saying. They act to lower anxiety and build cooperation.

Action:

  • Consider how the emotional dynamic of your team/family/friends is currently functioning. Is anxiety high, low, or somewhere in between?
  • Now, assess your own level of self-awareness and self-regulation. How reactive are you? Is your behavior making these relationships, these emotional systems, more or less anxious? Is cooperation increasing because of what you are doing or perhaps choosing not to do?

Try It:

  • What can you do, specifically, to adjust your own behavior to calm your relationship systems so they are more open, creative, and enriching?
  • What patterns need to change from hindering effective action to promoting effective action in yourself or among others in your team, family or social circles?
  • See what happens. Discover what you did not SEE before. Discover what you did not THINK before.  Discover how you did not LEAD before.

To learn how to SEE, THINK and LEAD more effectively using the resources of Resilient Leadership, please contact us at: https://www.resilientleadershipdevelopment.com/contact-us/.

Mike Nowland, President
Enriched Learning and Development, LLC
A Certified Resilient Leadership Trainer and Coach miken@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com (619) 780-1260

 

Janet Moczulewski

Exhausted? Burned Out? Frustrated? You may be Overfunctioning!

I learned a “new way of seeing.” I learned that over and under-functioning is anxiety driven and a reciprocal phenomenon. In other words, if I overfunction at work or in family life, others will under function…

Exhausted? Burned Out? Frustrated?

You may be OVERfunctioning!

Exhausted? Burned Out? Frustrated?

You may be OVERfunctioning!

As one who overfunctions, you get to do everything – your way! Sound familiar? Sound fun? Not so much. Here’s my story. Last year my friend Susan and I met for a girl’s weekend. I was looking forward to wine tasting and great conversation. She spent most of the weekend complaining about her husband. At one point she said, “He won’t commit to doing things with me, he says he wants to, but he won’t plan.”

I’m thinking … Get a life!!

After listening to her complain for two days, I got frustrated and, at one point, just blurted out, “You should just go by yourself and quit complaining!” Of course that didn’t go over well. The unsolicited advice (my attempt to solve her problem for her) was my classic over functioning. But even earlier in the weekend, my more subtle over-functioning behavior was listening to her incessant complaints but not sharing with her, that after a while, they made me feel frustrated and even resentful.

“Here is what you should do…”

Instead of asking “what do you plan to do about this?” I offered her unsolicited advice which she did not appreciate.

Janet Moczulewski

Are you an Over-Functioner?

Let’s see. When someone complains about their work or something that is not getting done, do you jump in to help? If they have a problem, will you solve it? If they appear unsure, do you give advice? If they get it wrong the first time, do you take over (because you know it will be done right). Do you think… If I don’t solve their problem, it will continue to grow and eventually fall on my plate anyway. Much better to solve all these problems now so they don’t become overwhelming for me later.

Sounds normal, right? Unfortunately, you can’t maintain this pace. It’s impossible. It’s not healthy.

When you overfunction you may become overwhelmed, exhausted, burned out and resentful. But what choice do you have when everyone needs you? When everyone around you is slacking or lazy or they don’t get it done correctly, in other words, your way?

This was me. This was my dilemma.

Fortunately, I learned about Resilient Leadership Development. Working with a Resilient Leadership Coach I learned about a concept called over and under-functioning.  I learned that to overfunction means “to think, feel or act for another in a way that erodes their own capacity for ownership or thoughtful action.” It’s a relationship pattern; anxiety fuels this pattern and the pattern fuels more anxiety.

Overfunction: “To think, feel or act for another in a way that erodes their own capacity for ownership or thoughtful action.”

I learned a “new way of seeing.” I learned that over and under-functioning is anxiety driven and a reciprocal phenomenon. In other words, if I overfunction at work or in family life, others will under function around me.

The more I’m anxious, the more I over function.

Anxiety is shared and others around me under function in response and, I become more anxious. Understanding the pattern, I learned how I contributed to my own dilemma. This new way of seeing allowed me to slow down and step back to observe what was really happening in my work and family. It has taken a lot of self-awareness and a lot of practice, but I have learned to calm my anxiety by resisting the urge to step in and rescue others, which then calms the anxiety in the whole system.  Each time I am able to resist this urge, I reverse my anxious energy and it makes the next time easier. I am less overwhelmed and there is less anxiety in me and the people around me.  With this “new way of seeing” I have a “new way of thinking.” Do I still have the urge to take over and give advice? Of course, but I no longer must follow that urge, I am able to choose my actions.

029-Janet-Moczulewski-by-JennyJimenez

Janet Moczulewski, LMFT
Resilient Connections, PLLC
To learn more about over/underfunctioning from Janet, contact her at https://resilientconnections.com. To learn more about the principles of Resilient Leadership, please email Jim Moyer at jimm@resilientleadershipdevelopment.com.

Visit this page often to learn from other people how the Resilient Leadership model has transformed their careers and lives.

3 Ways to face Un precedented and Complex Challenges

3 Ways to Face Today’s Unprecedented and Complex Challenges

It’s Really Challenging Out There! As a nation and a world community, we face unprecedented and complex challenges. The list of challenges seems endless but here in the US we can list six challenges which are having immense impact…

3 Ways to Face Today’s Unprecedented and Complex Challenges

It’s Really Challenging Out There!
As a nation and a world community, we face unprecedented and complex challenges. The list of challenges seems endless but here in the US we can list six challenges which are having immense impact: COVID Pandemic, Socioeconomic Inequality, Global Warming, Political Turmoil, Damaged Supply Chain and Deteriorating infrastructure. This list could go on and on.

3 Ways to face Un precedented and Complex Challenges

Learning how to pace and manage ourselves, day by day, in the face of the chronic anxiety caused by these profound challenges is a responsibility we all have. We all know this at some level. But to act well, that is, to take right action in high anxiety-producing situations demands a level of self-awareness and self-management that is not commonly practiced, especially these days.

Action:
Every action we have is a composite of what we think and how we feel at the moment. When we think a situation or topic of conversation is safe, we are more open and engaged. When we feel threatened by a situation or topic of conversation, even in subtle ways, we instinctively shift into classic defensive modes. We fight, flee or freeze in order to protect ourselves. And the stronger our feelings of being threatened, the more likely our emotional self will overwhelm and eclipse our thinking self.

The key is to be more of a “witnessing awareness” of our own thinking and feeling states of mind and to take actions (or not) to make a comment (or not) with more of our thoughtful self rather than our emotional self.

Try It:

How can I build up my “witnessing awareness”?

  1. Be Present — Spend as much time as possible being present to unfolding moments of your life. Learn to watch your own mental processes. Minimize time spent on past regrets and future concerns and devote more and more of your thinking and feeling with attention on the present. Relax. Focus. Be in the moment.
  2. Take “It” On — Peace of mind is not achieved by working to avoid conflict in life, but rather by learning to deal with life’s conflicts with calm and composure. Peace of mind starts with fully engaging the situations we face daily, making the best of those situations, and then accepting and being present to our current reality.
  3. Live Your Life in the Now — Appreciate each day as a miraculous gift. Recognize that whatever happens, the moments of each and every day only come once in our life. Learn to welcome those moments and recognize each of them as the precious gift of life itself. We do well to embrace the days of our life without longing for something else to be true. Accept each day; learn from it; grow from it. Move forward.

For more insight on the causes and adaptive behaviors linked to chronic anxiety, download our (PDF) resource.