Worried about achieving your goals? Already projecting a negative outcome? Talk about self-sabotage…!
You have a goal but are worried you will not achieve it. So many issues popping up that need dealing with, obstacles and other unexpected ‘stuff’ keeps interfering with your daily plan and / or overall daily structure. Stress kicks in, which means focusing is harder, less is achieved … sound familiar?
All of this does not have to result in you getting off track or even losing sight of your goal.
The trick at this point is to take charge of your thinking and push the ‘reset’ button.
By this I mean, ‘reset’ the moment, not the direction you are heading in or goal you intend to achieve.
Resetting the moment means handling whatever is causing you stress. Stress is an emotional issue and will not vanish with the flick of a switch in your brain. Unless of course you already have the skill of dealing with this – think of the special forces, they do not have time for emotions. They have the ability, the skills to stay focused. If necessary, emotions are dealt with at a later point.
If something is causing you to feel stressed – this is an emotional issue not an intellectual one. Overall the issue might be resolved with intellectual decisions, change of mindset or other changes but in the very momentwhen stress kicks in there will have been an emotions that triggered it.
The goal of the moment (never forgetting that this is all part of the path towards the main goal) is to deal with whatever is going on NOW. To handle this most effectively it is better to be in a calmer more grounded place – one where emotions do not have the upper hand.
Remember neuroscience has proven that our cognitive resources are the first thing to go when emotions are present. Now is a good time to remember that stress is an emotional issue! Consequently, it is necessary to let your emotions settle before you try to take action.
Anything before that will be a ‘reaction’, not an ‘action’.
The bigger more long term goal remains, but in that very moment it is best to refocus on what needs to be handled now. The focus will be whatever is bothering you which was triggered for you to feel stressed.
Taking this approach will allow you feel more grounded (less in your head) and calmer so you can deal with the momentary issue effectively. My practical handbook for life’s difficult moment ‘Balance’ was written for these exact moments. A book full of exercises to refer to for support in shifting those triggers and gaining insight into your own behavior patterns. It is full of questions for specific issues to help change your mindset, encourage insights and design action steps to get a grip on the trigger.
In summary consider this action plan as a means to achieving your bigger goal with less stress or fear that you might not ever reach it:
Personal growth and development does not necessarily have an exact order of steps. Sometimes it is 2 forward 1 back and then maybe 3 forward… It is a process, be patient and go with whatever shows up needing some attention.
By Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach and Life Coaching focusing on Personal Development, Self-Help Author
By Suzie Doscher from:
BALANCE - A Practical Handbook and Workbook for Life's Difficult Moments, page 147.
In all aspects of one’s life, especially in the business world, heightened Emotional Intelligence (EQ) strengthens and augments the following social skills:
Stress Management Technique:
by Suzie Doscher
The reason I feel this way is, in my opinion in order to think positive, a positive mind-set is necessary. Naturally even positive thinkers can have moments of drifting off into negative thoughts. Their strength is to return to a more positive approach rather than go to the place of doom and gloom of a negative thinker.
To 'just think positive' it is necessary to have a positive mind-set.
When you are struggling to stay positive about something, you are probably feeling stressed. This might be the result of feeling uncertain or lacking clarity about the situation, person or project, or any number of other reasons. So when I hear that the advice given by a helpful, supportive friend or colleague is to just think positive, I am so tempted to ask: “And exactly how do you suggest your friend or colleague does this while feeling stressed?”
Of course changing your mind-set or perspective from negative to positive is brilliant advice. It is the expectation that this happens in a flash that makes me crazy. It is not as if you can flick a switch in your mind.
Based on research in the field of neuroscience, stress activates a stress response in the body. One of these responses is that cognitive resources, such as focus and clear rational thinking, are depleted. It is a fact that when emotions of stress kick in, cognitive resources are first to be disrupted. Emotions overpower thinking in that moment.
Without creating a safer, calmer environment, your thinking will stay limited.
Switch to feeling and being able to think more positively by initially breaking the energy of that very moment.
The fastest way to take charge of stress, i.e., negative thoughts, is by involving your senses: take a walk, listen to music, be creative, cook something, bake a cake... do anything that you find soothing that will distract you from your thoughts right now. As my mother always told us, “Busy hands are happy hands.” If you are at work, allow yourself a short break away from your desk, take a couple of deep breaths, and interrupt the energy of your mood in that moment. You can always get something to drink, have a bathroom break or any other short break away you can consider appropriate. Then return to the situation and take another look at it.
This rule applies to life at work, as well as your personal life.
Helpful guidance tips on the type of question you can ask yourself to feel more positive:
Here are some ideas:
Here are some ideas:
If there is an action you can take, follow through with that.
Sometimes accepting that you cannot do anything to change the situation is the most helpful step. To me this falls under the heading “You cannot change people, but you can change how you react.”
In other words acceptance is the most empowering step you can take right now.
This is a skill, a life skill, well worth acquiring. It will help you feel stronger, more secure, and raise your self-esteem. Practice this approach over and over; soon you will know that you are thinking more positively because you know you can turn things around.
Page 82 in BALANCE - A Practical Handbook and Workbook for Life's Difficult Moments by
Suzie Doscher, available in Paperback on Kindle or Audiobook
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it"
Charles R. Swindoll
by Suzie Doscher
Learning how to respond to a situation rather than just reacting to it brings huge rewards. Needless to say, it is one of those behaviour changes that is easier said than done. However it can be achieved.
Responding rather than reacting means you will have taken time to consider the situation and which response and consequent outcome best suits you.
The difference between reacting and responding:
What you gain by stopping knee-jerk reactions is a sense of strength, achievement, power to
influence, calmness, plus an increase in your self-esteem. The rewards will be felt not only in your private life, but also at work.
As with all behavioral changes time and patience will be necessary, and you should allow yourself to make mistakes during this reprogramming.
Different kinds of reactions:
Eight tips to help you learn how to stop reacting and start responding: