Nine months ago, we developed a framework for Six Minutes Daily around mindfully breathing in positive values (3 minutes), writing down positive intentions (2 minutes) and finding something for which to be grateful (1 minute) – all backed by an ever growing body of reliable research that these behaviors can improve emotional and physical health outcomes and organizational effectiveness. The times are minimums – you can always breathe and write and be grateful for longer ;).
Although I often discuss these ideas in my leadership and entrepreneurial programs, this year we made a practice of these concepts an essential component of our daily homework, especially in multi-month classes and programs. And almost every day now, I hear about the power of the shift and the positive results that come into people’s lives from these simple internal awareness-building habits.
I started writing blogs around the concept and now an app is soon to be launched to help us with truly doing the daily practice (with reminders, a timer, a voice to text private journal and personal accountability tools).
So what’s the real point of this work and why did we choose Six Minutes?
Here’s the real point. As I’ve observed hundreds of people I’ve worked with (beginning with myself) over the last 30 years in leadership, marketing and entrepreneurship, I see brilliant people self sabotage their dreams and/or walk away from their huge potential because of one thing – internal fear. Internal fear, in the form of believing you aren’t good enough, or deserving, is this insidious fog that can creep into everything, undermining our confidence, health and sense of worthiness. It’s like a big black hole that has us do all sorts of contortions to avoid it, and going around it only makes the black hole grow mentally bigger. As we learn to face it, walk through it, converse with it, learn from it, it begins to disappear. The fog lifts.
But here’s the bigger thing. Making fear release its paralyzing grip is NOT a mental, intellectual exercise. We can’t out analyze it. We can’t strategize it away. In our current rational world, FEAR doesn’t care. And half the time, we aren’t that consciously aware of the inner fear driving our decision making.
One way to begin to release and overcome internal fear is through breathing in and out through our heart – breathing in love. Just try it – think of something that brings up internal fear or anxiety – something that causes your body to tighten or constrict. Now, just close your eyes and focus on breathing in and out directly from your heart. Do you feel your body relax, even just for a second?
As we practice breathing love and expansiveness into our fears, our creativity and problem solving ability increases, our openness to listening and communicating in new ways increases, our belief in our success begins to spill out. And the more we do it, the more we believe it. And the more we believe it, the more we become it. So let’s get our self-fulfilling spiral spinning upward to the full realization of our potential.
Why Six Minutes?
Because practicing small steps to new behaviors allows the behavior to deepen into commitment and stick. No matter how busy we all say we are, getting up six minutes earlier is doable. Taking a few minutes to breathe in to our own values and clarity and write insights down before running into our day helps time expand, and allows the visions we desire to appear and forces us to consciously face and release our abstract yet powerful fears. For more information on the numerology behind six minutes check out our story.
We are so much bigger, better and brighter than our fears. Here’s to helping them go back into the nothingness from which they came.