Overcome Barriers and take Key Steps to Access Your Genius State

Last week, I shared some of the barriers that can get in the way of us thinking critically and problem-solving. The intention was to help us see what can prevent us from adapting to our very disrupted, volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous and diverse (D-VUCAD) world. So, I am sure you can see why this is more important than ever. This week, I’d like to share some Key Steps that we can take to overcome these barriers and access our genius state:

  1. Be very aware of what triggers your survival brain. Understanding your own and others’ triggers gives you insights that can assist you in managing your mind, body and emotions and working better with others’ responses. David Rock’s SCARF model is a tool that could be very useful for you to use.
  2. Be proactive. Don’t put your head in the sand and avoid problems. Remind yourself that a “stitch in time, saves nine.” Of course, we are not suggesting that you jump over your level of authority and take over solving other people’s problems. Nor do you want to focus on things that are outside of your circle of control. But what we are suggesting is that you adopt a solution and growth mindset. To be future-fit and remain relevant in this D-VUCAD world, we need to become expert thinkers, problems-solvers and decision-makers. We have programmes designed to empower you and your team with these skills. Contact collette@keysteps.co.za for more information. Here are a few things our clients are saying about our critical thinking and problem solving programs.A few things our clients are saying about our critical thinking and problem solving programs.
  3. Watch your thinking and weed the garden of your mind. Be aware (moment to moment, hour by hour, day by day) of EVERY thought, word and deed. Ensure that your thoughts are CONSTRUCTIVE and CREATIVE, not DESTRUCTIVE and DANGEROUS. You must access your genius state so you can prevent an amygdala hijack and engage your “thinking” brain instead. Remember, three things:3.1  All thoughts can be deleted, replaced and/or reframed.3.2  What you think about, you bring about.

    3.3  In the words of Einstein, “You cannot solve a problem with the same consciousness that created the problem.”

  4. Manage yourself for excellence. Here’s some Key Steps to achieve this:
    4.1  Be VERY aware of and manage your emotions. Know what your limbic or “emotional” brain is up to. Emotions are very powerful and have a profound effect on our lives. Emotion is ENERGY in MOTION. By just labelling your emotions, you can shift yourself out of an emotional hijack and move closer to your genius state. We now have science to support the ancient wisdom, “Name it to tame it.” Remember, if you are feeling afraid, stressed or angry, you might link present events and circumstances to similar negatives ones in the past. This can engage your survival brain for no good reason. Remember that the past ONLY exists in your imagination. Do not make it real again, unless it serves you.
    4.2  Be aware of and learn to relax your physical body – even in the most stressful circumstances. How did Einstein do it? He frequently induced the Alpha State. You can do this too by using relaxation exercises. Keep in mind that they will require some practise. Using 4:7:8 breathing is a great technique that I have discussed in previous articles. You can add to this by including constructive self-talk while breathing in and out:
  5. Avoid attachment to a particular method or outcome. This doesn’t mean not needing or wanting to achieve a specific outcome. Naturally, you will often have business or personal objectives to meet. But it does mean being flexible about how you get there. Getting a good idea is often the product of getting lots of ideas. Therefore, focus on being successful and on breathing life into this thought, while resisting attachment to your way of doing things. Attachment can be a recipe for disaster, tension, disappointment, anger = DISTRESS = IQ PLUMMETS = POOR RESULTS. In other words, we perpetuate the very thing we trying to avoid by controlling the method or outcome.
  6. Make it your daily challenge. Accessing your genius state is common sense actually. So, where’s the catch? Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. It takes effort to reprogramme your responses. The challenge is to remember to do this ALL the time – especially when you are feeling ‘stressed-out’. It is important to remember that 99% of the time you are NOT in a life-threatening situation and DO NOT want your survival brain dominating. You want to be in your genius state so you can think critically and proactively solve problems. With deliberate practise, it gets easier and is worth the effort! Keep taking one Key Step at a time and you can really…

“be the difference that makes the difference


Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’