Featuring Jeff Kinsey from The Logos Group
It’s a stressful, chaotic world out there. No wonder so many of us are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This week, we speak with Jeff Kinsey from The Logos Group, a coaching and consulting business in Boulder, about how entrepreneurs can learn to let go of stressful thoughts and tackle the big challenges ahead.
“If you can imagine a snow globe that represents your mind and you shake it up, it’s all full of snow, it’s cloudy, you can’t see through it, it actually looks stressful in and of itself. And that’s the way your mind is operating. And while it’s operating in that way, there’s no room for new thought to get in because it’s already just so cluttered.”
Margaret: This is Startup Colorado. We work with change agents across the state who are dedicated to building for rural Colorado. The communities are small but their stories are big.
I’m Margaret Hedderman and today we’re looking inward and taking a moment to address the very real state of anxiety and stress that we’re all living in professionally and personally these days. We’ve really been hit with a double whammy between a health crisis and a financial crisis. Everyday, we’re hearing from entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed by these unprecedented challenges affecting their lives and livelihoods.
So that’s why we’re speaking with Jeff Kinsey from The Logos Group, a coaching and consulting business in Boulder.
Jeff: I look at the human I guess you could say, from that human perspective, and their relationship to their thoughts and how they make meaning out of their experiences and help them to understand how that influences the way they interact with everything that’s going on around them.
Margaret: We started off the episode with a great analogy of the mind as a snowglobe. And all those individual snowflakes are your thoughts. Jeff says that when our minds are operating in that way, it’s hard to focus on problem solving or decision making.
Jeff: So when you put that snow globe down, it’s just like, sort of relaxing, taking a breath, and sort of leaning away from what’s happening in front of you. You know, the snow settles to the bottom, your mind clears. And when your mind clears, then you’re in the position to where you can think creatively, and be proactive.
Margaret: Jeff often helps entrepreneurs understand their thoughts by relating them to physical fitness concepts like speed, agility, and balance. Something a lot of Coloradans will understand.
Jeff: They tend to operate then as good metaphors for thinking about things that you know, maybe we don’t understand all that well.
Margaret: Speed, for example, isn’t just about going faster. It’s about adjusting our speed to the needs of the situation.
Jeff: And mental speed works in that same way where, you know, we can feel ourselves, our mind speeding up, and you know, we in Colorado, used the reference about being over your skis, you know, we can feel that we’re getting in over our skis. And just the awareness that our mind is working that way is typically enough for us to step back a little bit.
Margaret: One reason Jeff relates mental thoughts to physical sensations is that the physical is often easier to understand. When you’re skiing or mountain biking or even riding a horse, you know to slow down if it feels like you’re getting out of control. But we don’t always recognize when our minds are doing that.
Jeff says that keeping these concepts of speed, agility and balance in mind we can better understand our thoughts and what that’s making us feel.
Jeff: We can adjust our speed, stay agile, stay balanced, and be able to, to really address successfully whatever’s in front of us, just like if we were well physically trained.
Margaret: If you’re thinking easier said than done, here’s one method of letting the snowglobe settle so you can find a place of calm and clarity from which to make decisions or solve a problem.
Jeff: So, you know, the really important thing when under stress is to recognize where those feelings are coming from. And the best way to do that is actually to feel what’s happening to you inside. And just that awareness of the feelings that you’re having is enough typically to break you out of that thought storm.
Margaret: For example, I’ve started noticing that when I get super stressed out, my chest just starts tightening and winding itself up into this ball of pressure. And sometimes it feels like I can’t even breathe. But by pausing and understanding that this a physical representation of extreme stress, I can begin to unwind all the thoughts that lead to this moment.
Jeff: That’s a perfect example of being able to recognize the somatic responses that the body is having to the thoughts in your head
Margaret: Jeff says finding a way to be present with yourself is key.
Jeff: So the real nice thing about having a meditation practice is that it gives you that insight into what it feels like to be present. So you’re aware of what that feels like so that when you’re in your normal course of the day, and you’re having a stressful situation, you can take a break, realize where those feelings would come from. Take a breath, and put yourself into that meditative state where you’re able to observe how you’re reacting to the situation that you’re in. And through that observation, you become present. And you’re able to be curious about what’s going on. You know, the key to breaking out of the trap of your thoughts, is to understand that that’s not the only option. And the place where you find your options is in the present moment.
Margaret: In addition to coaching and consulting, Jeff has also produced a webinar that organizations like TechStars have utilized. If you want to learn more, we’ll have links on our website.
Until next time, we hope you have a moment in your day let the snow, dust, emails, slack messages, and phone calls settle so you have a chance to be present with yourself.
Thanks for listening.
At Startup Colorado, our mission is to demonstrate that rural entrepreneurship will ignite a culture of potential, empowering people and places to thrive and define their own future. Join us today: startupcolorado.org
Startup Colorado is housed within the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado School of Law, and funded by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, The Foundry Group, Zoma Lab, and Visa.