15 minutes to move away from bouts of anxiety

How many times in a day can a social impact leader be uncertain about the future?

Too many.

And despite numerous leadership and self-help techniques, there are times where our intolerance of uncertainty can lead to anxiety, worry, and stress.

Paradoxically, I am someone who firmly believes there is a joy in not knowing perfectly what an outcome of a project will be. I want to learn, be surprised, imagine and adapt plans.

But like anyone else, when a project reaches its completion, when I transition from one company to another, when I have left my hobbies aside for too long, or when I launch a new product and no one signs up – yet, the uncertainty can trigger my anxiety, a new level of worry, and this can lead to stress and sometimes poor decision-making.

With age, exotic ailments, Covid, seasonal noroviruses, back pain, short or long dis-ease, alongside potential medication, this feeling of anxiety can grow out of proportion.

When all of this gets too much, it is time to pause and think. Even for a short moment.

And deconstruct to rebuild.

As entrepreneurs, we have been trained to develop long term business plans.

With COVID, we have adapted to shorter timeframes.

With anxiety, you need to turn to 15 min increments.

In a Thinking Environment session I had with my coach this week, I committed to adopt more of these daily 1/15 minutes increments, where I allowed myself 15 minutes of writing, 15 minutes of dreaming, 15 min of wrapping up of my day. They have been like transition corridors between one strategic activity to another.

A permission to breathe.

In the coming weeks, as I am supporting more social impact leaders and budding social entrepreneurs through business accelerators and 1-2-1 discovery coaching sessions, I will use these 15 minutes increments – 15 “spoons of re-sourcing” like my friend Kirstie Sivapalan says…

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