We all know them. They worry over every little thing. They spend tons of time and energy making mountains out of molehills. They look at something minor and make up a story about it so it’s dramatic or so it’s about them. They gossip so they have something to complain about or an exciting tale to tell. They often play the part of the victim looking for sympathy. They seek to increase their stress rather than reduce it. The make many things into problems that aren’t problems at all.
We all have things happen to us. Big things like losing a job, getting divorced, a death in the family, prolonged and serious health issues. Then little things like an appointment that doesn’t show up, our boss says something derogatory, getting the flu, having an argument, losing a client.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” (from Haruki Murakami)
Yes, there are inevitable things in our lives that cause pain. It’s how we react to them that makes the difference. We can make up victim stories and increase our stress and go down a deep hole of suffering. Or we can look at things objectively and say, It happened in the past. There’s nothing that can ‘unring the bell.’ Who will I be? What can I do to move forward?
We are emotional beings and some things require periods of grieving and rest. And we should recognize that for what it is and really go through that when we’ve encountered big losses. Does it last forever? We are forever changed in many cases. But we don’t have to indulge in stress and suffering forever.
This is called self-regulation and it stems from self-awareness. It’s part of emotional intelligence. It puts the prefrontal cortex (front part of your brain) in charge of your behavior. The drama queens and kings often are using their amygdalas (brain stem) to react in fear and self-protection. It negatively effects business performance, physical and mental health, and other people – who no longer want to be around us.
In order to be resilient to the big and little things that cause ‘pain’ so you can handle business and life ups and downs, it’s important to develop improved self-regulation. There are things you can do to put your prefrontal cortex back in charge of your behavior. Here are just a few: Music, dance, yoga, meditation, talking with a good friend, exercise, art, journaling, being grateful, doing something kind for someone else, etc.
If you are curious about your level of self-regulation and resiliency, I invite you to take an online assessment. It will reveal to you your strengths and gaps in resilience, emotional intelligence and decision making. It will point out how you can grow. This 22-page report can be the foundation of your professional development plan.
The assessment and report are complimentary. It comes with a 30-45 minute debrief. There will be parts of the report you may not understand so I want to make sure you get the full impact. The debrief can be in person, by phone or via video conference. Please let me know if you would like to take advantage of this offer that has the possibility of setting you on a path of resilience and leadership growth. jeri@DrivingImprovedResults.com