Weekend Quote and Reflection: Fatigue makes cowards of us all.


Daily Quote 1: “Are you wondering whether your head is about to explode? Personal stress can be at the core of mental and physical upsets and stress because being tired and suffering from mental fatigue can be hard to read. Negativity, however, is a leading symptom, and it’s often ignored as just living a hard and productive life. I’m almost always looking for ways to meaningfully assess how influential — positively and negatively — my colleagues, collaborators and co-workers are. “Influence” increasingly is the coin of the organizational realm. Influence defies title, credential and seniority. Somebody may be smart, talented and still with precious few exceptions, be dominated by negative emotions which are stressful, hurtful, and destructive — to our ability to function, think and active in constructive ways for ourselves and to others. Obvious as this may seem, most of us spend a good deal of time feeling impatient, frustrated, angry, or anxious, defensive, and fearful without fully recognizing why these emotions arise so persistently or the toll they take on you physical and mental health”. Dr. Jeffrey Brantley 

Daily Quote 2 : Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”. Vince Lombardi


By contrast, think for a moment about how you feel when you’re performing at your best. How would you describe this state of being? I am sure that these are some of the words you would use – such as energized, in a zone, happy, excited, optimistic, confident, alive, and connected. These emotions not only feel good, they also help us to perform better.

So what prompts us to move so frequently in a negative or glass half-full direction? 

The answer is that we do it involuntarily because of our mental or physical fatigue. We move into negative emotions and become reactive. At an unconscious and  in an automatic way, when we’re feeling endangered or threatened. Nothing makes us more vulnerable than being physically tired and mentally drained through exhaustion. 

When we feel fatigue, or tired, what gets triggered first is our biochemistry — the fight or flight response. Adrenalin, noradrenaline, and cortisol flood our bloodstream. These hormones prompt a series of physiological responses designed to help us react more quickly and effectively to the perceived danger. Control of our behavior moves from the pre-frontal cortex where we do our rational thinking by using logic , to our primitive and barbarian part of the brain called the amygdala. This is where our fight or flight response, takes over and reacts far more quickly and often in an unproductive way, such as panic, freezing or getting angry.  

All this makes great sense if you’re facing an urgent and dangerous threat to your life. In those cases, thinking only slows down the time it takes to respond. If there’s a lion coming at you, it’s far better to react instinctively rather than reflectively.

Ways to re-energize pay attention to your stress and fatigue.

Have you ever noticed how many of your waking moments you spend in your head, anxious about meetings, fretting about what is going to happen with your job or company, focusing on in-completions in your life and staring at your things to-do list, mulling over past emotional up-sets with colleague, friend or family member, or just generating endless worries and concerns? Where is your body in all this thinking? What’s your body doing and feeling while you’re fatigued and  mentally stressing? Let’s explore some potential consequences.

  • Take this quiet moment to really pay attention to your physical body.
  • What is your body doing right now? Are you slouching, at cease, or tense or feeling aches somewhere? 
  • If your body had a voice, what would it say to you? Would it remind you of your knee or back pain? Would it ask you to do a few stretches to unwind and relax? Maybe it is asking you to sit upright and relax your legs. Maybe your eyes are tired after staring at a computer screen all day and they need a break or a good rub.
  • Take this time to listen to your inner body. When you hear what your body is saying, stop and stretch or take a deep breath or just stand and stretch because these activities will help your body relax and reconnect with it in deeply healing ways.

Have a good weekend and we will talk again next week. Coach, Mark 



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