Get in touch: WhatsApp +94 766 668 278
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Somewhere during the past few millennia, our brain's detection system which triggers the body's flight / fight response has been psychologically bent. Whilst a degree of anxiety about a dog rushing up to us is normal. Running away screaming hysterically would, in most situations, be considered excessive, abnormal and of course encourage the dog to join in the game of chasey!

Abstract anxiety image. 
Anxiety affects 1 in 13 or 500 Million people globally.
Anxiety affects 1 in 13 or 500 Million people globally.

This little example highlights the difference between a person who suffers from the fear based condition termed, "anxiety disorder" on a day to day basis. A broad range of fear based conditions begin to consume individuals who suffer from Anxiety Disorder. They often wait 12 months or more before seeking help in any form. Last year 14% of Australians, about 2 million people suffered from one or more bouts of anxiety. Source: sane.org That's almost twice as many as were treated for depression. SBS News

Symptoms of anxiety disorders may include: a pounding heart, difficulty breathing, upset stomach, muscle tension, headache, sweating or choking, insomnia, feeling faint or shaky.

Excessive worry may lead to anxiety disorder. Sufferers often feel isolated and alone.
Symptoms affect individuals differently

What kind of anxiety disorder do you have?

As with every health issue, an accurate diagnosis is essential before we delve into treatments, solutions and shifting our mindset to change our anxiousness measurement score. A few common anxiety disorders include:

Generalized anxiety disorder: A pattern of excessive worry about a variety of issues on most days for at least six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, a hammering heart, or dizziness.

Social anxiety disorder: Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called on to perform in front of others, such as in public speaking.

Hidden by everyday events, social anxiety is difficult to diagnose
Hidden by everyday events, social anxiety is difficult to diagnose

Phobias: A particular animal, insect, object, or situation causes substantial anxiety.

Panic disorder: Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of heart-banging fear, breathlessness, and dread. “It’s the feeling you’d have if you just missed being hit by a Mack truck — but for people with panic disorder there is no Mack truck,” says Dr. Beresin in Harvard Health Publishing

Where's the balance?

A level of anxiety is healthy and improves our ability in many ways. Athletes performance on race day can either be very good or very bad based on the level of anxiety they feel. Some elite performers choked at the final moment and performed poorly. Others powered to victory with the help of their anxiety.

Sporting expectations by parents and coaches makes many young athletes anxious
Young sports people are often placed under great performance pressure

The release of hormones makes the body very strong, fast and provides quick response times. This is the original purpose of anxiety or fear. Energetic bursts of strength, speed and reactions to fight or flee when faced with a threatening situation. In a creative burst we roll out a totally new concept of design or suddenly see a clear solution to a problem that has been unresolvable for months. This can only occur with the mind intensely focussed, driven by the hormones that cause anxiety.

Although there are chemical interventions (pharmaceutical drugs) these often have unwanted side effects. Some slow us down making living daily lives more difficult rather than easier. Some speed control spikes in hormone reactions. But they do not teach us how to replace the sources of anxiety with reality. This is the crux of the issue.

How I feel to day, what I do today, and who I want to be is my decision. I can choose to be miserable and my energetic fields will be drawn to others whose energy supports my misery.

I can be faced with seemingly insurmountable problems, yet choose not to be overwhelmed by them. I can take affirmative action that turns around my anxiety. I can use physical exercise. I can modify dietary intake of substances that cause mood imbalances. I can sleep longer, laugh more and do things that I enjoy with people I enjoy to stand victorious over my anxious moments. I can discuss my feelings with friends who support my dreams, empower me to reach higher and further and shine to my potential.

Or not.

I can watch the same media I watched yesterday and be distressed by what I see and have my irrational fears consume me. You see, where I invest my time, money and attention is where I choose to live. I control the anxiety scale in my life, so do you.

If however you are stuck and need professional help; one of the best resources in Australia for mental health is Beyond Blue They have an excellent online survey tool to measure your anxiety level. Try it out here >

Another place to go for help online is sane.org Their information is easy to read summarises research and the latest data and free.

Make your own future. Eleanor Roosevelt.
Dreaming alone is failing to enjoy the best part of the experience

September is Mental Health Month. Prepare something to raise awareness, develop a Human Resources initiative to support team members who may have issues, and ensure your staff know that a mental illness is no different from a cut finger: it needs the correct care and attention to ensure it heals correctly.

Global Mindset Shifts Improve Well Being In The 3rd World.

18 months ago I began coaching clients in the 3rd world. It was a battle to determine hourly coaching rates! How could I justify charging 2 months salary for a single hour per month? Was I ignoring the poor who could never afford this? Would 'Western' Thought and Strategies apply in a land tied to superstitions and religious ritual? Could the training developed under the hand of Cham Tang and Ben Harvey at Authentic Education get the results I was used to in Sydney, Australia? With little advertising, lots of face to face networking and a steep "J Curve" of learning, it was time to 'test and measure' and find out! We began with 4 frightened Sri Lankans aged 25 - 27 seated on a single long white couch in our lounge room. 1 understood English and pseudo translated what others said and thought. These 4 'Guinea Pigs' represented all that is great about Sri Lanka. They were happy. Wanted to be successful. Their public education was a sound foundation. They had jobs that paid they didn't like and paid them a meagre salary. They all had the same request; "We want to start a business." Manoj is a mathematics teacher. He taught private classes and was good at his job; gaining a reputation for great results. His classes grew from 20 - 50 students over the next year.  Chathuranga worked as an Auditor, not having passed his A levels with high enough grades to get to university. Sampath worked as a manager for a paving manufacturer, Sundunil was an area sales manager. I asked them what business they wanted to start. "Driving Tourists" a legitimate and serious section of the tourism sector and seen as a fast track to easy money, big tips in foreign currencies and the opportunity to become fluent in a third language. It wasn't an ideal fit and a series of strategic questions [Which car? How will you find clients? Is your English of a sufficient standard? Do you have Tourist Board Licences? What do you know about the tourism sector?] helped the 4 decide to look at other businesses. Their second and third choices, after being set homework and research tasks were dismissed also. Manoj at Rio Magic

Applying a Global Mindset Shift

Fast forward 2 months. The group arrived as we made ice creams. All natural. Sri Lankan sweet lovers heaven. The idea bubble went off in Manoj's head. I will start an ice cream shop, for Sri Lankans! Applying a different mindset and setting out business strategies resulted in RioMagic Icecream being born with an instantly profitable business from its first month of operation. Manoj has gone on to open a second store; has broken some of the foundation principles of the Alpha Basix Business Model and seen the results. His learnings have made him wiser. The profit from his RioMagic has grown to the point he has stopped teaching 7 days and commenced his own local Wedding Hall and Hotel. His mindset has grown. He has shifted his own concepts to a new level and referred clients to the Alpha Potential. 14 months after the initial discussion, Sampath stepped out on his own. Applying the learning from his past business, he has set up his own factory and production plant. He needs more help with marketing, sales and production line efficiency. But he has begun! Chathuranga is set to launch a Sri Lankan speciality - the Rice & Curry Shop. He has kept he financial records for RioMagic, watched Sampath start up and as a cautious accounting type is proceeding in a small scale operation to learn how to be a business owner. His projection is to open within 90 days. Due to the 3rd world's red tape, this is 5 months after initial forecasts. But he is on track and managing his next steps very carefully.

What Does the Future Hold?

The single most difficult metric to predict or project in the 3rd World is the year on year outcome, growth or development of a business. Whilst the West concerns itself with a 1/4% rise in interest rates by a central bank; a single decision by a 3rd World government or the countries or organisations who control its national debt, a 10% increase in everyday items such as cooking fuels or petrol; can quickly reverse good fortunes to huge losses. Given the above, enormous opportunity for personal development, business profit, personal wealth and familial welfare exist in tandem. The greater challenge is to manage success and develop a mindset which allows the individual to take control of their personal welfare. The majority of the population never rise to the challenge of stepping into the unknown. They fear not doing what their parents and the locals around them did all their lives. It is the inability to understand that doing the same thing as your parents will produce the same outcomes. A base level of education and a long-term mentor are required to guide an individual who has never been exposed to the methodology of change, the tools available to assist in the development of a powerful mindset which allows us to grow and rise through our differences, rather than remain the same as the pack. It is so pleasing to find the few who choose the path less followed, unsure of the eventual outcome, but prepared to walk, discover, be led and be challenged on a daily basis. The question is, which path will you choose? Not sure? Email wally@thealphapotential.com

Being a boss takes work. Whether managing your own business, life, brand or company, creating and owning your voice and perspective can be a challenge. It is here that mindfulness makes a difference. Mindfulness can bring clarity, improve focus, and improve corporate and personal efficiency and productivity. Business culture must include taking care of yourself. Work, life and even in your social circles.

Positive Friendship Circles

A recent article in the New York Times noted that positive friendships are a common theme in the "blue zones", regions of the world where people live longer than average.

“Friends exert a measurable and ongoing influence health behaviors.”

Dan Buettner

In Okinawa, Japan, a place where the average life expectancy for women is around 90, the oldest in the world, people form a kind of social network called a moai — a group of five friends who offer social, logistic, emotional and even financial support for a lifetime.

Strong social bonds improve health and wellbeing.
Thinking positive thoughts and surrounding yourself with positive people really does help.
Traditionally, their parents put them into moais when they are born, and they take a lifelong journey together. In a moai, the group benefits when things go well, such as by sharing a bountiful crop, and the group’s families support one another when a child gets sick or someone dies. They also appear to influence one another’s lifelong health behaviors.

In a world where burn out is common, how do you deal with the pressure?

It is important to manage expectations, to talk about being human, not super human. It is important to find a way to connect with others and recognize that our flaws are normal. The very concept of perfection is unrealistic and damaging.  Instead of constantly judging who or where you aren't, part of mindfulness is being present and "proud of who you are in this moment." To be aware and observe, to simply be. Because at the end of the day, mindfulness is being totally comfortable in your own skin; your own role and the potential you were born to achieve. Part of being present. Part of embracing yourself. The idea of self-awareness is realizing that we have valid, important opinions that must be shared. This is not just really powerful, it is vital to becoming who we are designed to be.

Humans are social beings, requiring social engagement to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. To be a part of a social group, family or tribe requires nothing more than living by within the code of what each member ordinarily does. An ordinary child in a class where being average is acceptable ensures that another ordinary being nearby will not be threatened by them. They know what reactions and actions to expect, because that is what ordinary peers expect and believe will occur. If you think this paragraph assumes too much, it holds true across cultures worldwide. Why can we make this statement? Because without this premise, there would be no relationships between like-minded individuals who seek the ease of their comfort zone. Young ‘rebels’ who buck parental or societal norms and rules challenge this status quo, become either very successful in their own right or in trouble with the law of the land. Where there is a mis-match between the desired pathway to being extraordinary and a failure to achieve the same, mental illness or social exclusion often occurs.

“I don’t work at being ordinary.” Paul McCartney
I can fly! The primal fear of standing out from the crowd, of being alone or doing things that no one else is doing paralyses many into inaction. Although leaders are frustrated by members of their teams and business owners fall into a pattern of copying a competitor, the fear they fight of standing alone is for many a daily battle. Why can this be labelled a ‘primal fear’? The Ordinary Cycle When we conform we are acceptable for reproduction. We may have characteristics which make us a better choice (hence Darwin’s, “survival of those best able to adapt to change”) in a changing environment or society; yet the ancient reptilian part of our brain always directs our actions to areas which it does not fear or ‘comfort zones’.Although there are enormous risks associated with being the ‘first’ the only, the founder, the rewards create leaders history reveres. Sadly, humans tend always to focus on the negative world changers, the leaders of revolutions, the creators of dynasties or monarchies, the barbaric conquerors. There are of course just as many change makers who, complete with their own demons, led millions into a different understanding or pathway to greatness. Being at the forefront takes its toll on the individual. Often excesses in personal habits accompany these people. Debauched leaders of armies or nations. Blood stained national or regional histories. Crushing individual personalities in multinational corporations. Environmental carnage by individuals, corporations or governments that can never be restored. Technologies that destroy the health and well being of factory workers and the towns and villages they live in. Although these principles are well documented and known by many, few stand up for balance. That place of harmony between man and beast, plant and soil, land and water, water and the skies above it. It requires a shift away from being ordinary and accepting the status quo, a shift only the individual can make. Moving from the position of judge, dictator, leader or employee in a rat-race, to that of being truly extraordinary. A place of balance must first exist in your own mind. The standpoint of an observer, one who sees but is not involved. One who hears but does not shout or protest, argue or cry out. The one who is aware but not aroused. This is not a position a young person easily understands; those who try to find it early slip in and out of balance. Like a child learning to walk, stumbling but seeing gradual process. The person of balance anchors those who drift; yet do not strive to lead or push them into a mould. They observe and stand beside; allow the individual to fulfil their potential.

December closes the year. Most of us reflect on what has passed.  Those with children review academic, sporting and performance outcomes. Sounds just like your 9-5, right? Where December 31 is the last day to squeeze in sales to hit financial targets and the bonuses that flow from them. When we review our year, do it with intention. Align the goals you started your year with to your outcomes. Not to beat yourself up if you did not make it in one area; rather to balance the numbers with reality. This year has been really tough financially, in personal relationships, health and business.