This week has been stressful. We have a big event coming up on Sunday. For the first time we are doing an event at an expensive hotel in Pune. Plus, we have taken on the challenge of asking people to pay Rs.3000/- for a family of 3 people to attend.
Of course, we have a kick-ass line of speakers, and have planned to make the event super interactive and engaging. And it's on a topic that is important for so many people - Getting groomed for the future.. especially business.
There is a lot more at stake than just money.
One has taken on a challenge and does not want to fail.
There is a pressure to perform, so many people are watching you.
I've been working with young people as a mentor for 9 years, it feels like if I can't pull this off then whats the point of it all.
I'm supposed to be inspiring young people on business and marketing, and we have a team of 12 people working together. Yet, if I can't make it happen, then it feels like I should not be doing what I do.
These are the kind of tormenting thoughts that cause us to feel stressed . They cause emotional pressure. One's identity is at stake.
And then, there is chaos. Chaos adds to the stress. So many things are happening in parallel. So many people are asking questions. So much must be remembered. So much must be done.
And things go wrong. Mistakes happen, things get forgotten, and many times we don't have answers.
It is stressful.
When I'm under stress, and when I let myself slip, I can do some weird and some stupid and some bad things.
I've lost my cool and raised my voice at people.
I've felt frustrated and said things like "if you can't do it, I'll just do it myself".
I've snapped at small mistakes people made and later realised I am the one who is wrong.
I've refused to smile even when someone is trying to make me feel better.
I've procrastinated and not done what needed to be done.
I've not taken some decisions I could have taken if i'd kept calmer.
I've over eaten.
I've kept up until late night.
I've binge watched.
We do these things under stress.
They relieve some pressure in the moment, but eventually they multiply the pressure.
What's worse, they take us further away from long-term solutions. They become a negative re-enforcing loop, making things worse and worse until something explodes.
Obviously, you are wondering if I have a solution. Do I know how to get out of this loop?
I do. But you do too.
You've done it so many times before. If you are still on planet earth, and you can read this, then you know how to get out of the loop. And while we may have some things in common, what works for each of us can be different.
Then what's the problem? Why do you still find yourself in the loop every now and then? If you know how, you should use and get out of your own way, right?
Here is why we get stuck in the loop again and again - we forget about the solutions that worked for us, when we need them most.
That's right - we know it, but we forget to apply it when they need to be applied.
Actually, there are a few different versions of what happens when we are stuck in the vortex:
- We don't remember to apply what we know helps cool us off
- We start believing the problem is too big and we think there's no way 'taking a walk' will solve it
- We actually start enjoying the helplessness of being stuck.
This is deep stuff, but it happens to us ALL THE TIME.
So, this letter is not about me telling you to take 5 deep breaths, or meditate, or go for a walk, or touch base with gratitude, or anything like that. You do whatever works for you. This letter is about me telling you to SET UP A SYSTEM of reminders - that should activate when you are stuck in that shitty moment!
That's the crux of staying cool - set up a system of loop-breaking reminders!
That's the thing, we need it to be served to us, just when we need it most, because that's when it is hardest to get it ourselves - or to remember it ourselves.
Here are a few ideas for setting up some loop breakers:
- Vulnerability - let people you work closely with know your vulnerabilities. Don't feel insecure to let them see that. It's not a power game. Empower them to remind you when you lose your shit. Talk to them afterwards. Use the opportunity to self analyse. This important, because people need to believe that you REALLY want to be reminded to cool down, when you lose your cool. Else they wont.
- Post it notes - set up post-it notes around your workspace reminding you of the things you want to be reminded of.
- Hourly phone reminders - these are amazingly simple and can work wonders.
- Daily rituals - little things that washing your face / hands every hour, or doing a little drawing / music during your breaks, keeps color pens on your desk, having a nice book close by and all times, all these can serve as great reminders.
- Self-talk - this is the ultimate game changer. Change your self-talk. This sounds fashionable, but it requires a lot of work. But once we can do this, then you will remember to cool off even when the actually losing hasn't yet happened - when it's just about to. But doing this requires repetition, practise and grit, which most of us find difficult to do. But I believe everyone of us can, once we decide to.
Give it some thought. It's not that we don't know how to cool off or stay calm, it's that we forget to apply what we know when we need it most.
This happens a lot in families. Especially when we work together, or discuss sensitive topics like career, relationships or future plans.
The ability to have to have conversations at home about difficult topics, especially when we don't see eye to eye on a subject, is what I believe contributes in a big way to our CONFIDENCE, or lack of it.
So, share this letter with your loved ones, and take some time to thing together.
I'm going to get back now to prepping for our Sunday event - Grooming the next generation for business.
If you are in the age of 16 to 25, and live in Pune, I believe this event is a MUST ATTEND for you - even if you are not from a business background, or business is not your direct interest.
Here is the link to find out more and also register: https://letsenterprise.lpages.co/groomingbusiness/
comments powered by Disqus