ARE MENTAL LAND MINES HOLDING YOU BACK?
Boom! Missed the Meeting! Bam!
There are days, and then, there are DAYS. We all have times when it feels if we are climbing mount Everest with spoons tied to our feet. Moments when you are so tired, so utterly tired of trying to keep up with the pace of life that you want to curl up into a ball and hibernate until it all passes. Or maybe you just feel overwhelmed by things. The trick is, to recognize those moments, and keep going anyway. THAT is what will set you apart. That is what will make or break you.
It’s not a failing of yours if you’re coming up short on any given day. Think about who you are. You’re a complex mix of obligations, ambitions, emotions, logic, regrets, losses, successes and wishful thinking.
When it comes down to understanding the traffic patterns in your head from day to day, could there POSSIBLY be more cars on the road?
So, you’re off your game today. You’re being your own worst enemy and blocking your best by wallowing in thoughts you can’t get out of your head. And you know this can’t keep happening. You have too much to do, too many people expecting your best.
What do you do?
We’ve all heard that thing about the first step in solving a problem is realizing you have one. Just like the bombs that go boom, the ones in our heads don’t come into existence in a vacuum. Something is setting you off.
Take a moment to step back in your mind and ask yourself why you feel so disconnected, overwhelmed, worried, exhausted or whatever it is. You won’t need to look far. Chances are it was one of the last things you were thinking about when you decided to figure out the problem. Were you thinking about your workload, your finances, a relationship? That’s probably what’s doing it.
Got it? Good.
No one can make themselves un-think about things. And trying to pretend it’s not there is even more exhausting than the problem itself.
So, run towards it. Set a time boundary and just indulge in it. Give yourself five minutes to just go completely into that thought and the emotion that goes with it with a promise that at the end of that time you’ll drop it for the day, or the next hour if that’s all you can do. Over time you’ll be able to drop it for longer and longer periods.
Taking the time to indulge yourself in the emotion reminds it that you own it. It doesn’t own you.
What is setting you off anyway? Is there a sense of loss? Do you lack a sense of control in your circumstances? Does what you do fail to fulfill you? You need to pin down the source of the emotion so you can begin to negotiate with it for peace of mind. Once you identify the root concerns and emotions that are interfering with your personal Zen you can start to develop decisions for understanding how you plan to deal with your feelings and circumstances.
What am I talking about? Let’s look at a couple of possibilities.
Problem: Lack of control
Analysis: Is it yours to control? If it is, what would help you gain or regain control. If it’s not yours to control, then get over yourself and delegate the worry to a higher paygrade who is responsible for that.
Problem: Your workload is IMPOSSIBLE!
Analysis: This one is almost a cliché. They hand you one thing to do, and then another, and then another. And it adds up eventually to entirely too much to handle. But, in defense of most business leaders, they are usually so swept up in other decisions and problems that by the time they hand you that latest task they’ve probably forgotten about the first one. Or, at the very least, they are too busy to realize how it aggregates to an unmanageable size.
So, what do you do? Say something!
The overwhelmed, silently suffering employee actually IS a cliché. Have a calm, dispassionate discussion and appeal their ego. Go through your workload showing the piled-up impossibility of it all and ask for their guidance on how to prioritize and manage it all. They are management after all. They’re supposed to have something on the ball. Chances are they’ll see the conflicts they’ve created and give you some relief.
Just DON’T be another silently suffering employee. Give voice to your needs and help them help you be a success.
Problem: Experiencing a personal loss
Analysis: Okay, seriously, should you even be on the job today? Should you? You’re human. If you’re in a state of grieving something or someone see if you can take a day or two or five. Go home and cry in your ice cream, walk down memory lane and come to peace with whatever it is.
If you can’t take the time, then at least diplomatically let your situation be known to someone in leadership so they have the context to understand if you’re not at you best. If you try to just “soldier it out” you may set yourself up to be drummed out of the corps.
Become personally curious
To function at your best, you need to be in control of the conversation inside yourself to quiet those negative feelings and thoughts that derail all of us.
Pay attention to your thinking patterns and be curious about your emotions. Watch for the connections between your thoughts and your work or home environments. Discover your triggers and develop the skills to get yourself to your best. Most importantly, figure out the negative people who may be the boat anchor on your journey.
Liberate yourself. We all want to put our best self out there all the time. And then there’s reality. We are all human –physically limited mammals who walk a tight-rope between reason and emotion, intellect and instinct. Accept your complexity and learn to listen to whichever part of your inner conflict is getting in the way today. And let the negotiations begin.
Don’t let your conflict be the enemy of your amazing.
Find out more about peak performance, developing a superior mindset and improving your top line HERE!