Women getting back to work after a sabbatical may require special mental skills to get back into the fray. It would not be out of place to compare the modern day workplace to a battlefield, where the goal is to win and outperform constantly. And like a warrior grooming herself to continue to stay in the winning zone for long, employees too need to balance their work life.
Almost all published articles on psychology, focus on illness, not wellness. Thus, psychology is generally seen as a "problem focussed philosophy”. But the just-emerging field of positive psychology, which focuses on the science of wellness, is certainly the way forward as far as corporate success goes and Performance psychology is a crucial part of this Positive Psychology.
When you are on a sabbatical your priorities may change depending on the reason for the sabbatical. Due to a sudden resetting in your priorities in case you feel that your productivity could do with some sprucing up, then read on and do borrow generously from the tips below.
Performance Psychology focuses on building strengths, finding solutions, celebrating success and creating fertile team environments where people flourish and feel empowered and it deals with allowing individuals, teams, and groups to achieve their aims.
It tells the performer how to succeed by developing the power of the mind in her daily life.
Rules of Performance Psychology that can radically change your game at work:
1. VISUALISE THE OUTCOME
Visualising is much more than plain thinking about an upcoming event. it may not be possible to have mock practice interviews/ role plays etc. Using visualization helps you to mentally practice the event well before it happens, as during visualization the event actually unfolds in your minds eye.
Mental imagery impacts cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So, the brain gets trained in advance for the actual event during visualisation.
2. MEDITATE EVERY DAY
Tried and tested over centuries, meditation is an effective method to improve cognitive abilities. It can help improve your mental game in the corporate world . It reduces stress, sharpens attention and boosts emotional wellbeing. Meditation helps the brain focus on what is important and thus orients you towards your goal.
3. MAKE POSITIVE SELF TALK
Sounds bizarre, but all great business performers (??????) are able to stay positive by talking to themselves and questioning their feelings aloud. So, if you are feeling down and out at work, ask yourself, do your thoughts tend to lift you, or are you, unaware of your inner negative dialogue, being dragged down?
Or are you constantly tearing yourself apart with an inner dialogue of fear, self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness? Pay attention to your inner dialogue and change it to positive self-talk. This is also called positive self-programming.
4. GET INTO THE FLOW STATE
Getting into a 'flow' mindset (often described as being 'in the zone') can help us to consistently achieve optimal performance. Flow is defined as a mental state in which an individual transcends conscious thought and achieves a heightened state of effortless and unwavering concentration, calm and confidence. It keeps pressure and distraction, both internal and external, at bay. In fact, a flow state even helps surgeons who perform complicated medical procedures. This flow state is achieved by daily meditation, exercise, yoga.
5. HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Performance psychology research reveals that most post sabbatical job seekers experience something called hyper-dynamism. This is the expectation to perform and be as good and maybe even better than where they left off before their break. This may lead to early burnout and frustrations. Avoid this trap by having very realistic expectations of your own contributory abilities as well as current market offerings for your specific situations.
6. BE A CONSTANT LEARNER
Consistent performance, is a myth. Every employee enjoys a peak, and then performance may dip.During a sabbatical, performance is likely to be on the back burner since priorities may change. It's important to learn to stay grounded through this ebb and flow. Don't get bogged down when things aren't going your way or be overly jubilant when your experience has exceeded expectations. Post hiatus performance may be less likely to be in the peak phase. Be patient with yourself till you naturally build your momentum towards your peak phase.
Learn from every poor performance, every dismal interview, rather than brooding over it. You are more open to constructive feedback, and willing to see other perspectives, when you are open to learning.
After a peak performance, jot down specifics of what you were thinking, feeling and doing immediately before, during, and after the event or through the time that led to positive results. The next time you need a confidence boost, refer to the list.