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October 26, 2015

HANDLING STRESS – AT ANY AGE

Continuing with the theme regarding Stress, I would like to share something closer to home. Last week my son was competing in the biggest Jiu Jitsu Tournament in Australia, the Power Pi Pan Pacific Championship 2015.

So, we flew to Melbourne last Friday for his fight that was to take place on Saturday morning. Obviously he was going there for a purpose, which was to win the title. Now, stress can have many masks which many people struggle to understand and therefore seem to suffer a lack of control in their lives.

Over dinner he told me that he couldn’t eat, in fact he thought he was going to be sick. What he was displaying was anxiety about the fight the next day; I could tell how badly he wanted to win it. This anxiety was so powerful, he soon became a nervous wreck. Seeing him across the table in this state I was obviously worried as his parent. Saying things to him like "get tough, don’t act weak" weren’t the kind of statements that were going to help either. What I needed to do was help him to deal with this emotion. So I asked him how his preparation had been so far (i.e. bring him back to the present as his anxiety was in the future). He said it was pretty good, that he had been training hard for the past 3 weeks and was in good shape, physically and emotionally, for this tournament.

We have all been told many times: "get in the present". The unfortunate thing is, not many people really know why you need to get in the present. One of the reasons is we become anxious when we think about something we want in the future.

Once he started to think about the present, his body language changed; his anxiousness slowly left him and he started to look forward to tomorrow with anticipation. He ate his meal and slept well and when he woke up, he felt neutral, calm; he felt he had a "good form of nerves" (as he said) about the tournament. The lesson to learn here is, there is always going to be some stress or anxiety about something you want badly but it is how you manage this that counts.

I am happy to say as a very proud parent, he won the Pan Pac title, beat a green belt and earned his medal.
A good way to explain this is through the many cooking programs on TV, where the expert cooks can taste a dish and virtually tell you what ingredient is missing. Emotions are various ingredients that a person needs to understand; it’s not enough to say "I feel happy". What is the emotion you are feeling with this happiness? What is the emotion that may be missing?

You need to understand the thinking and techniques to change an ineffective emotion to another emotion that is going to get you the result you are after. Many times you can’t wait for the situation to change and hope that the next day will be different.
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October 19, 2015

HOPE – WHAT TO EXPECT

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone I have known for a while. He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and probably very determined and focused to get to that level.

He had a look at the flyer for my workshop on Handling Stress and Burnout, which triggered a conversation about emotions.  He told me how content he was with what he has got in his life so far even though he has a physically demanding job, which pays a basic wage.

His comment was “I’m happy with what I’ve got; I don’t need too much, I don’t need to make a lot of money or have a fancy car, and I’ve got enough to get by”. When I asked him what made him so content with such a basic life, he looked at me and said “Well, I don’t need much, I feel happy with just gardening and doing things around the house like building a shed for the garden. It is nice to do something and see a result”.  Out of curiosity I asked him what if he had more money, more opportunities, more options… would that be important for him? The change in his body language and demeanour was a 180 degree turnaround - by just raising that one question.  He then opened up more and talked about his “hopes”, his hope that things will ultimately pick up, work conditions will get better, etc.  As it turns out, when he said he was ‘very happy’ with what he has, translated to ‘I have settled’.

You have possibly heard before that hope is not a strategy. Unfortunately, most people don't understand or go into detail of this particular emotion “Hope”, so here it is. When you hope for something there are one of two scenarios taking place in your head:

  1. Whatever you “hope” will happen is going to happen;

  2. Whatever you “hope” will not happen, is not going to happen.


So where is your focus?

The “hope” emotion stimulates a passive experience for imagined outcomes.

Let me explain it this way, it is like hoping for the traffic to clear. Imagine a truck driver, he would “hope” that the traffic is going to be clear but he could never count on it.

Here, I would ask him to think about using a different emotion - “anticipation”. With “anticipation” he would possibly think in advance, where the traffic jam could possibly be and take action on selecting a different route.

Here is a thought: in going after your goals (even avoiding traffic holdups), you have to anticipate achieving the goals, and then you become active and have a firm outcome in mind. It creates an expectation of achieving the goal.  With hope, you are passive, leaving matters out of your control whereas with anticipation you are taking responsibility and control of the outcome.

This is one of the areas we will work on in the Stress and Burnout workshop. I will be teaching the correct understanding and utilisation of emotion. Click on the link below and we will send you more information on this.

Information on Handling Stress & Burnout
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October 07, 2015

WHAT IS YOUR EVEREST?…IS IT WORTH GOING AFTER?


  • When not moving on could cost you your life.

  • When decisions made in the heat of the moment are too emotional, they can cost you in many ways. Understanding the objective keeps you focused.

  • When climbing your Everest may not be the right thing to do.


Hi! I saw an interesting movie recently. Some of you may have seen it too, it’s called “Everest”. A true story about what happened to a team of climbers on their ascent of the Everest. A gripping movie, great scenes and edge-of-the-seat tension throughout and it really got you involved with the characters. As you watch the movie you can see potential problems starting to unfold and how those problems were going to create life changing moments as the story evolved. Based upon the movie’s storyline, there were a number of times when decisions were made and if I may refer to my previous article “When to move on”, a number of incidences may not have happened if the right decisions were made without the emotion stimulating those decisions.

Now I may ruin the movie for people who have not seen it, I apologise in advance. Two crucial decisions made in the movie were:

  1. When a sick climber was allowed to become a part of the team and

  2. When the leader decided, against his better judgement, to help this climber get to the top of Everest, when he knew that time had passed and they had to start working their way down.


He knew it was crucial for the safety of the team to start working their way down, yet he relented, because the constant pleading of this climber persuaded him to relent and help him to the top. That one moment had huge repercussions, life changing ones. So here was an experienced climber, who in the heat of the moment, when he knew he should have stuck to his guns, when he knew the right decision was to say “No” to this sick climber (there were plenty of signs that should have made him come down with the rest of the team), gave in to his emotions and let his emotional brain talk him out of it. As a result he ended up em is when we start to take things personally (like rejection) or we feel desperate, that is all the mind can think about and then it starts to think about how to overcome it. This is when you lose all rational thought. Letting your emotions make decisions when you need to be rational is a challenge for most people, even experienced people. That moment defines us and creates the trait that is sought after by so many people, the ability to make decisions under pressure. It is all about recognising When to move on.

Think about an incident when you knew it was better to move on than work with a client because you knew from the start it was going to be a problem. You were hoping that it would change and it didn’t. Think about other decisions such as what you do for a living, have you applied the blow torch to your thinking? You instinctively know when you should have moved on. You know logically what to do yet you relent to your emotions.

I have been asked numerous times, “does this thinking apply in jobs, relationships and family?” My answer is, Yes it does. Your ability to understand when you need to move on is probably the one life skill that you can develop and master. It will probably be the one skill that will have a major impact on your happiness in life, in your career and your relationships. In sales this is one skill that begins your journey in understanding people and their decision strategies as well as your own.

Let me say this ...Too many people experience emotions; they feel them and express them but they are not responding to the emotion in the right way. Think about it - the emotion of "Regret"- there is no point in regretting something you have done unless that feeling of regret helps you change your future behaviour.