When you’re having a challenging day, how do you create space in your mind to be effective? It’s really difficult to be objective when the stresses and challenges of life start to take over.
But there is a really easy way to achieve that much-needed headspace, and that is to peel off.
Peeling off is fantastic when you’re not feeling well, or if you feel particularly challenged or overwhelmed with stress. It’s also a great way to enhance mental fitness and wellness.
In the Blue Angels, Gucci and the team used a similar technique, and they referred to it as The Clear.
Flying in formation is high risk; you’re so close that one wrong move could spell disaster. The distance between each jet is usually about thirty-six inches, so if you can’t hold it tight, you need to recognize this and make it right – fast!
Whenever Gucci felt like he couldn’t hold it, he’d back off. Saying “Gucci Out” to the team, he’d back off ten feet and focus on stabilizing.
He would only return to the formation once he knew for sure that he was in control and stable.
How Do You Create The Clear in Your Normal Day?
Creating space is a great way to stabilize in any situation, and The Blue Angel’s “Clear” is a great metaphor for anyone.
You can use a similar method in any workplace, too, not just when you’re 15,000 feet in the air!
Create a Contract
You can make a contract with your teammates like Gucci did with his. You make a pact that when you’re having a challenge, you’re going to need to “clear.”
The Clear might be for ten minutes or for a whole day, but it’s what you need to return to high performance.
Creating physical space allows you to create space for your mind. It gives you the time that you need to deal with whatever mental challenge you are facing.
Take a Half Day
Sometimes you might need to take longer than a ten-minute refresh break, and that’s ok. If you create a culture where half days, or even full days of leave, are encouraged when your teammates are facing challenges, you’ll have a happier, more rounded team in the long run.
A team that focuses on the whole group’s mental well-being will make for a stronger, high-performance group.
Getting away from where you’re facing the struggle can also help. A great way to create physical and mental space is getting outside and getting some air. Whether you can get into nature, be by the ocean, or just look up at the sky, time away to breathe will help you re-center and focus.
The whole point of The Clear is to re-center ourselves, and you need to use your surroundings, the space you have, and your breath to clear your own head.
Mindfulness is essential to a peaceful existence, and recognizing when you need to take some time for yourself is imperative to your success.
Lead by Example
As a leader, it is so important to break away from the day-to-day hustle so you can keep your mental fitness in order. It’s not only important for yourself but for your entire organization!
If you’re leading a team, lead by example and show them that it’s not only ok but actively encouraged to take space when needed
A team that can openly discuss when they’re struggling without feeling judged or that they’re letting anyone down will achieve great things.