Why it's so important to turn off your type-A personality

Liz Traines Blog - Type A, Perfectionist, image: Photo by  rawpixel.com  from  Pexels

Many of you know, I spent 8 years in corporate finance where I thrived off of the type A side of me. My body didn’t like it so much, and it would regularly tell me something was wrong (via panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic neck and shoulder tension). But naturally, as a severely type A person would, instead of getting curious about the source of the discomfort, I said I’d figure it out later! Neither stopping nor slowing down were in the cards for me and my goals.

I kept pushing and pushing, I’d take a “vacation,” (that would typically require a vacation to the vacation) then I’d push some more. My brain was going ALL THE TIME.

On one hand, I LOVED the thrill of the ambitious, analytical, efficient side of my brain that just got sh*t done! But on the other I, sadly, had no idea how to rest, recharge, or enjoy my life. I lived for the big wins and the rest felt pretty stressful + miserable.

Eventually the anxiety turned into the need for meds, and a reality check: I felt severely dissatisfied with my life. My values were out of alignment - I didn’t want to be on drugs forever, and I knew that if I didn’t change something, that would be my destiny. As fearful as I was to explore new & different, I felt like I had no other option.

That’s when I realized the need to explore what I now know to be my right brain!


The secret to a sense of balance and fulfillment!

The yin to my yang!

About 5 years into my career, I started exploring my creative, artistic, emotional, or “fluffy stuff” side of my brain… via journaling, yoga, therapy, dancing, traveling without an itinerary (I know, so wild!!) and so many great things happened!

Most notably, a promotion to executive level, clarity around my strengths and values, increased confidence, trusting others, the ability to push-back/say “no,” and a big life side note, I fell in love for the first time! I mean, what more could you want?

The right brain is truly important for balance, seeing the big picture (i.e. there’s no point in being efficient when a process doesn’t align with the greater goals & vision), your health + well-being, and most importantly, finding what brings you joy & meaning in life and work, because that’s where all of the really great stuff happens.

Starting this practice is easier said than done, but by taking small steps, consistently, it gets easier. Below are few resources I recommend to help you get started. Put some time on your calendar, everyday, for 15 minutes to explore one of these options;

Journaling: https://www.liztraines.com/blog/2017/12/6/new-years-resolutions-grr-first. This was designed to reflect on a year, but use these prompts weekly or monthly.
Self-care: https://www.liztraines.com/blog/2017/4/16/do-you-feel-pressure-to-do-good
Meditating: https://www.headspace.com/
A yoga practice: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11478/5-tips-to-finally-start-a-yoga-practice.html
Reading: A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink: https://www.amazon.com/Whole-New-Mind-Right-Brainers-Future/dp/1594481717

What can you do to embrace your right brain a bit this week? Please share your ideas below!

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Liz Traines4 Comments