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Mindful Leadership

Unrecognized Aversion Can Impede Success

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The last blog dealt with the first of the 5 Hindrances which is attachment.  Aversion is the second Hindrance that can impede success.  Aversion is not merely the opposite of attachment.

Aversion is the fear of losing what you have, including market standing, financial resources, social position and status, or even an argument.  You become so fearful of loss that you make poor decisions.

Aversion often expresses itself irrationally, blowing things out of proportion.  A leader may see the company’s stock price fall for a couple of weeks and be convinced of the need  to completely change strategy.  On a personal level, someone who’s experiencing aversion, in its extreme form, might watch the stock market lose 500 points and think that a market collapse is inevitable,  that another Great Depression is around the corner, and that they and their family will be destitute.   If this reaction sounds far-fetched, believe me it’s not.  I’ve worked with clients who could barely function in the fall of 2008 because they experienced such great anxiety from this aversion.

It’s important to look out for the cues if you know you might be experiencing this Hindrance.  It helps to be aware of the thoughts you might be having.  And even  more importantly, notice the kind of body sensations that are arising.  If these sensations go unnoticed they will drive behaviour.  In fact, they will cause you to make poor decisions about your finances, among other things, in your life and your work.  So, look into the body for cues, for a tightness that might not have been there before.  Try to relax the body and with practice you will be able to create stillness, and in that stillness, you will learn what you need to know.

Sandra Pierce, The Bag Lady of Bay Street, writes about the fear of being destitute as a common phenomenon, especially in women.  You may enjoy her latest “Bag Lady Musings”: http://dir.richardsongmp.com/pictures/account-dennis.fox/bag_lady/bag%20lady%20musings%202014-01.pdf

Thank you Sandra for passing this along.

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