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5 Myths That Stop Leaders Trying Meditation


It's Understandable Why You Might Be Put Off

If you're a busy leader in a busy organisation, there may be many reasons why you're not up for trying meditation, or at least you don't feel that it's a viable option for you.

As a mindfulness teacher with a 17 year background in leadership development, I totally get why it seems that these reasons hold water.

In fact, I used to be the person that bought into them with vigor.

But now with the experience of knowing just how undoubtedly beneficial meditation can be for busy professionals, I'm on a mission to get more leaders meditating.

See if you can resonate with these five barriers that might be holding you back from giving meditation a fair crack.


#1 Time

Top of the list has to be time.

When it seems like you're back to back from morning till night, with so many things you have to stay on top of and everything needing to get done by yesterday, the thought of taking time out to meditate seems out of the question.

Well, firstly, if your days are frequently feeling like this, then meditation can be the perfect counterbalance for all that rushing and reacting to what's going on around you.

And secondly, meditation needn't take that long.

Even five minutes can make an enormous difference in interrupting and calming the velocity of the day.

When we have the intention to, we can usually find a few minutes here and there.

And then what often happens is when those few minutes prove themselves to be really valuable, we then become more willing to create more space in the future to have a repeat experience.

Because we can always make time for the things that are most valuable to us.

And then those five minutes magically become 10 minutes, and so on.


#2 It's Just Not Me

If you've never meditated before, it's totally understandable why you might not feel that you can relate to it.

If you're anything like me, you might have an almost allergic reaction to the flowery, floaty, sickly sweet language and image that's often associated with meditation.

I was put off by language such as "Owning my power", "Standing in my truth", and "Becoming a being of light".

And I certainly wasn't about to start wearing baggy linen trousers and twist my legs into the shape of a pretzel and bliss out on the side of a mountain overlooking a serene lake.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that for those that do resonate with that style of practice.

But it wasn't me, and it might not be you either.

But the great news is that meditation doesn't have to look or sound anything like that.

The leaders I work with are often very pleasantly surprised, not to mention relieved, at how normal and down to earth it really is.

It really can feel like it's just you, trying something different.


#3 My Mind Is Too Busy

Possibly the greatest meditation myth of all is that it's about emptying our minds of thought.

Now, being in a leadership role means that you've got plenty to be thinking about pretty much all the time.

There's a momentum of thinking that becomes so well established, and it's not about to just miraculously stop just because you sit down and start meditating.

So thankfully, this isn't the point of meditation.

If it were, none of us would be able to do it.

The basic technique is about taking our scattered attention and collecting it together, gathering it up in one place so that we can switch off that autopilot and see what's going on much more clearly.

Thoughts will come, but it doesn't matter.

The difference is now you're noticing it with a lot more awareness.

Which believe me, is a lot more significant than it sounds.


#4 It Won't Make Any Difference

The next barrier is when we can't see how it could possibly make any difference.

When you've got loads on your plate, the thought of stopping to do nothing seems absurd.

And yes, while it's true, when you're meditating, you're not technically doing anything, that doesn't mean that nothing's being done.

In fact, quite a lot's being done.

Firstly, there's the physical health and wellbeing benefits that we get by slowing down in this way.

  • Our bodies de-stress
  • Our heart rate and blood pressure lower
  • Our chemistry balance is out
  • We get to feel more grounded and present.

But on top of that, it's also helping us to create space and distance from our thoughts so that we can unhook from them, see more clearly what's going on, not take it all personally.

So that as we get on with the rest of our day, we can do so with more agency and respond to whatever needs our attention more resourcefully.

And we often end up getting more done in a more quality way.

So those moments of not doing anything, turn out to be very fruitful, indeed.


#5 I'll Lose My Edge

But if I get too relaxed, won't I lose my edge?

I need that drive and pressure to stay on top of the game.

Surely this will just make me soft in an environment that needs me to be dynamic and ambitious.

Now again, it's a completely understandable and common concern.

But there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that meditation makes us soft or makes us lose our edge.

In fact, what all the evidence points to is that it helps us to be even more effective in areas that really matter.

Over time, it helps us to have:

  • Greater levels of focus and attention,
  • Better discernment when making important decisions
  • The ability to listen more deeply and to communicate more clearly
  • It's been shown to help us to be more creative and collaborative
  • And perhaps most importantly, more understanding of and present for our peers and colleagues.

Meditation really can be a great relationship enhancer.


Giving it a Go

But of course, the only way to experience this for yourself is to give it a go with the right guidance and support.

So if your interest has been piqued, I provide one to one executive mindfulness coaching as well as group programs for leaders and teams.

If you'd like to have a conversation about how to get started, then please just get in touch. I'll be delighted to have a chat.

But can you relate to any of these?

Or are there other reasons that I've not covered here, that are getting in the way of you trying meditation?

I'd love to know.

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