4 Lessons Learned from Naked and Afraid

I watch Naked and Afraid with my 10-year-old daughter who is alarmed and impressed by the grit and grind two individuals have to endure for 21 days. Neither of us pretends to want to be on the show, nor do we even believe we could last for more than a day but there is always banter about what we would do differently, the survival item we would bring and which elements are the worst (incessant bug bites make the top of our list).

What we also discuss is the different elements that make individuals and teams successful. If these have a high impact in the wild can you imagine how powerful they are in the workplace?

Lesson 1: Being an over-achiever doesn't benefit you without boundaries.

Counter to intuitive thinking, what the over-achiever accomplished in the wild is exhaustion, burnout and dehydration. It isn't any different in the office environment. Pushing yourself when you are on the brink of burnout lowers productivity, decreases cognitive thinking and stifles creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Lesson 2: Plan. Prioritize. Proceed. Adjust.

Without a plan and prioritizing you will find yourself without shelter in the wild. Too often, we run from task to task and then look at our to-do list and recognize we haven't gotten anything done. Creating a clear plan with priorities ensures the most important projects get completed, on time.

Lesson 3: Mindset is everything.

In a recent episode of Naked and Afraid, there was a young woman who was 'one-with-the-earth' coming into the challenge with limited survival skills but a grounded mindset. During the challenge, she didn't worry about building a shelter or eating protein (she was vegetarian anyway), instead, she spent her days meditating, doing yoga and communicating with all the living creatures. From the outside, one wouldn't think she would make the 21-days. Yet she had such a strong mindset, she could have continued on. Some office environments are like going into the jungle, you worry about who might attack from the side or keeping your alpha position. The right mindset allows you to handle situations with ease.

Lesson 4: Negativity is contagious and attracts negativity.

Pay close attention, the next time you watch Naked and Afraid. You will notice how the person who complains about the heat, gets thorns in their feet, can't secure protein and lay awake all night because the bugs are gnawing at them. A negative outlook actually trains your brain to scan for negativity (threats), attracting that energy toward you. It also creates spreads like wildfire. If you are the negative person, it is time to work on shifting your outlook through brain science practices. If you have a Debbie Downer in the office, steer clear and be mindful of how she (or he) can spin their web of negativity around you and draw you in.

These survival strategies can help you navigate your own workplace jungle.

Marissa Bishop