How to Build a Spiritual Practice for Major Business Growth
If you feel stuck right now, strengthening your spiritual practice -- or adopting one in the first place -- might help you get back on track.
You might think that spirituality has no place in your business. At least some entrepreneurs think like that. Most often, we are bombarded with the messages that claim productivity, analysis, charts, decks and the like are the keys to business success. These are all very handy tools when you have the clarity, vision and passion for what you do.
But let's be honest, even the most successful entrepreneurs feel the heat of running their own businesses. If you're a business owner, you are the driver. And if you're not at your best, it impacts the whole business, right? I'm sure you've experienced it. So, what do you do? Keep pushing forward? I suggest not; if you do, you're on the fast track to burnout.
A lot of emerging research shows correlation between entrepreneurs' spiritual practices and the growth of their businesses. For example, a literature review conducted by Balog, Baker and Walker (2013) published in the Journal of Management, Spirituality, & Religion summed it up by saying, "There is a rich connection between the personal values of religion and spirituality in the life of the entrepreneur and the success of their venture." It begs the important question: Could your business benefit from your spiritual practice?
If you feel stuck right now, strengthening your spiritual practice — or adopting one in the first place —might help you get back on the path to success.
Here are some exercises you can try to feel more at peace and grounded, which can translate to major business gains.
I swear by journaling. It is one of the first things I assign to my clients when I start working with them. You can journal in a notebook or the notes app in your phone, and there are even apps created specifically for journaling that are helpful as well. I personally like Day One.
You can have several different journals going at a time. I have one for my personal reflections, one for each of my daughters, one for health notes and some for projects I am working on. If you have never journaled before, here's how to begin: Just write freely about anything that is bothering you. It is always a good start to unleash your thoughts on any given situation. Additionally, free writing can allow you to experience distance from your thoughts and feelings, which might lead to increased levels of awareness.
Observing things as they are without judgement is also called mindfulness. Create time to simply witness your thoughts, feelings and actions as an impartial person. You can do this for ten minutes at a time, especially if a situation is bothering you. For example, if you are bothered with how you reacted to a situation, recall the memory of the situation as if you are watching a movie. Watch yourself reacting as you might watch a child — with compassion and understanding. At the core, we all want to be understood and unconditionally accepted for who we are. This exercise allows you to experience just that.
Following your intuition
We all have intuition, and we follow it on daily basis without even realizing it. Have you ever had an immediate "gut feeling" about something being either right or wrong without any logical explanation or reasoning? That's your intuition. The more you follow these illogical feelings, the more connected you feel with your true inner wise self or spirit. Being intuitive makes you engage your right brain, which is where emotions, senses, inspiration and creativity reside. A successful entrepreneur keeps a good balance between a creative mind and a logical mind.
We can't survive without breathing, but did you know that breathing can also control our emotions? There are so many different types of breathing patterns that influence our bodies in different ways. Research shows that simply being mindful of your breath can be a very effective tool to combat anxiety, depression and stress. A practice of mindful breathing is also helpful in connecting with your inner self or spirit.
There you have it! Use these four simple methods to practice spirituality for the success of your business. If you currently do not have a spiritual practice, trying one (or several) of the above strategies can help you start building one that suits you.
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