By Suzie Doscher, Executive Coach and Life Coaching focusing on Personal Development, Self-Help Author
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 these thoughts and mind chatter do 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 military special forces, they do not have time for emotions to interfere with their decision-making in the moment. They have the ability - the skills to stay focused. If necessary, emotions are dealt with at a later point, but the moment, when a decision has to be made, emotions cannot be allowed to interfere.
If you feel stressed – you are having an emotional issue, not an intellectual one. The issue might be resolved with intellectual decisions, a change of mindset or other changes. However, in the very moment when stress kicks in, it was triggered by an emotion.
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 calm and grounded place – where emotions do not have the upper hand.
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 you do before that will be a ‘reaction’, not an ‘action’.
Your bigger, more long term goal remains, but in that stressful moment, it is best to refocus on what needs to be handled now. Focus on whatever is bothering you which now has you feeling stressed.
Taking this approach will allow you feel more grounded (less in your head) and calmer so you can deal with the issue effectively in the moment. The Practical Handbook for Life’s Difficult Moments ‘Balance’ was written for moments exactly like these. It is a book full of exercises you can refer to for support in shifting those triggers and gaining insight into your own behavior patterns. It is full of questions you can answer 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.