When things aren't going our way - financially, business-wise, relationships and other complicated life things, our default mode is panic.
You play it cool for a while, even trick yourself into believing it will all work out.
You do the stuff you know how to do, try your hardest, even think outside the box and get creative. You attack the space "outside your comfort zone" with gusto.
But what happens when it doesn't work?
What happens when the panic only increases because you notice it's NOT working?
WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU DO THEN???
(Aside from curling up in a ball in the corner with a bottle of vodka, natch)
It took me a lifetime of freaking out about shit to finally learn how to get past the emergency sirens in my head and chill out.
Here's the science behind WHY you gotta calm the fuck down:
When you're uber stressed to the max? Your body releases cortisol. We know this. It's on every "belly fat" commercial.
The thing that matters to you is -- cortisol physically blocks creativity.
Which means? When you're Stressed Out Beyond All Reason (SOBAR), you can't access anything to help you problem solve. You just stay stuck there, scared and on the verge of tears.
You've been there. You and SOBAR are like 2 peas.
I used live in a SOBAR state constantly, especially around finances and relationships.
Cue sleepless nights, agonizing terror, and scrambling to dig deeper into where I went wrong. Also blaming, drinking, emotional eating... you get the idea.
I was a fucking delight.
Your business depends on your ability to manage fears, stress, and unexpected circumstances. It's part of being an entrepreneur. This gig comes with ups & downs.
I'm a person that loves routine and hates surprises. You can imagine how this news went over like a lead balloon. I had to get help with this or I wasn't gonna make it.
Here's the process I use now to get past this and EASE a lot of that tension and run-off-a-cliff anxiety.
Ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. How are you feeling?
Get in a quiet place and really be honest. I journal this out in a list. When I allow myself to FEEL what I'm feeling, I usually cry. But you can't pretend your emotions aren't happening. That doesn't make them go away. 33 years of stifling yourself teaches you a lot. Feel your feelings. Acknowledge them. Write them down.
2. WHY are you feeling this way?
I had you write them down in step 1 because in step 2 you're gonna look back at these and dissect them. Why are you scared? What do you believe is going to happen (or not happen)? Why does this situation make you feel embarrassed or like a failure? Write it down.
3. What's the worst thing that can happen?
Yes, go down this road. Identify it and call it out. This is where your fear hides, and you must shine a light on it in order for it to shrink. Name all the things you imagine are going to happen if the feelings and fears actually come true. List them out, even if they seem irrational.
4. Can you live with this outcome?
You named your fear, you know why you're scared, and you are aware of the worst thing that can possibly happen. Feel good yet? Here's where the relief comes in: deciding whether or not you can live with the worst-case scenario coming true is the logic your brain needs in order to release the scrambly-panic behavior.
Without fail, every time I do this, I see a few things:
- The worst case scenarios in my mind are often completely illogical. Getting them out on paper allows me to see that I'm usually just afraid of being embarrassed or pissing someone off. No one is going to die.
- It might take me a while to get to a YES for the last step, but knowing that's the place I need to be emotionally helps me see what's standing in my way.
Need more help with this?
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