By: Daniel C. Finley

Protecting Your Inner Peace

Most advisors/agents at some point in their careers get overwhelmed with running their business. As a result, many lose their sense of inner peace. The challenge with this way of feeling is that advisors/agents are trading peace of mind for production and outcomes and they are paying a high price for it.

The Dalai Lama said it best, “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” However, can you have a systematic way of not letting negative things that are out of your control affect your mental state of mind?  The short answer is “yes”.

The key to enjoying your business is found in the power of protecting your inner peace with a particular mental mindset and this is easier than you think.

Step 1: Identify Negative Triggers

One of the most difficult things for advisors/agents to do during an emotional crisis is to stop and evaluate how they got there. It is the first step in moving out of a state of anxiety. The simplest way to do this is the minute you feel your emotions shifting from positive to negative ask yourself the question, “Why is this shift causing me anxiety?” which will help you understand your negative triggers.

Matt D., a financial advisor client of mine with over thirty five years of experience admitted during an individual coaching session that he was in a constant state of stress. We had designed an effective prospecting system which increased his pipeline to the point where his calendar was full. As a result, he was working longer hours and on weekends to service his existing client-base as well as prepare for appointments with potential new clients. When I asked him what was causing him anxiety in his business he said, “I feel like I don’t have time to do everything I need to in order to get to the next level.”

Step 2: Understand the Emotional Cost

When advisors/agents are stuck in a challenging emotional state of mind for a long period of time they may not feel that there is a way out. The second step is in understanding the emotional cost that fear and anxiety are producing. Ask yourself “What is it costing me, emotionally, to continue to feel this way?”

After tracking his answers over a week’s time, Matt realized that the price he was paying was a decrease in his physical and mental health. He wasn’t walking his 20,000 steps a day and he wasn’t enjoying his work. As a result of this self-awareness, he was now open to a better way of living his life, both personally and professionally.

Step 3: Gain a New Perspective

It is important to put any short-term situation into a long-term perspective because it diminishes the severity of the negative trigger(s). The way to do this is to ask yourself, “Will this matter to me a year from now?” A good emotional rule of thumb is don’t let anything affect you for more than five minutes if it won’t matter twelve months from now.

When I asked Matt this question he laughed and said, “No! I will have either have figured out a better way to manage all of the activity or I will decrease the level of activity. But, either way it won’t matter.” Instantly, he felt better!

Step 4: Action Alleviates Anxiety

I have said it countless times, action alleviates anxiety. However, not just any action. It needs to be strategically planned out to produce optimal results.

I mapped out an action plan for Matt which included delegating anything that he could to his team. This freed up his time significantly. Also, we set boundaries on the amount of appointments he would have each week so he did not end up overwhelmed. Next, we scheduled his daily walks so he could have a better work/life balance. Lastly, we incorporated some fun activities as a reward of sorts for keeping the system of managing his anxiety on track. All of this had a profound effect on him and he sustained and was able to maintain the inner peace he was seeking.

The power of protecting your inner peace lies in understanding the value you place on keeping it; when you do protect it, you enjoy the journey regardless of the weather!

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