Emotions are such an interesting, sometimes hard, crazy thing. I had a day this week. Actually, it fed right to the next day. I took a very quick negative spiral into the abyss of frustration followed by anger then to add to it decided to wrap it all together with sadness and worthlessness. See, I’m someone who tends to “beat herself up” (figuratively speaking of course) when I feel that I’ve let someone down, it’s tough! People are such an important part of my life, I want to help lift them up (again figuratively). When I see someone hurting, emotionally, physically, whatever it is, my initial instinct is to help support them. This right here can be very tasking on my emotions when I get into the spiral. Or, what some people call the negative mind loop, it really takes awareness to turn around.
Here’s what happened. I’ve been in leadership roles for a very very long time. Each of the four companies I’ve held leadership roles with have varied in culture and expectations. The thing for me that holds true anywhere as a leader, manager, or coach is that there are certain things one should do. Three of which being, expectations should be clearly set, support given when needed and accountabilities adhered to. I really enjoy empowering people and allowing them to put their own “twist or personality per se’ on things”. Anyway, as a leader when you are responsible for holding people to expectations it is a balance so as to not “micro-manage” which from my point of view I am very far from that. This is a whole other topic that is not meant for today but there are so many misconceptions of what micro-managing really is. Anyway, this is what hit me and put me into that abyss, the spiral, ugh. Being called a micro-manager gets me to my core you guys. This my friends is what is called a “Trigger”.
The first thing you must do when this happens is catch it. You can be having a great day. You’re happy, at peace, whatever it is then something happens, your heart sinks, or starts racing, you get angry, sad, or frustrated, when you feel it, take a step back and pinpoint what triggered these emotions. Identify as many details as possible. If you can, try to note the times of day it happens, are there patterns? Once you have identified what triggered you, it makes it easier to work through what to do next time it comes up.
Next, look at the facts of your details and ask yourself, are they true? Here’s an example, for me. I had to look at the facts about my leadership style and question, am I micro managing? There are times as a leader, you have to. This was not one of those moments. When I took a step back and looked, it was so much easier to see. If it’s true and you can grow from the information, use it. It is OK to say, “I can do better in this area”. You guys, if you knew all the areas that I have screwed up and grown from it, oh boy! I know this can be hard especially if you are someone who tends to be harder on themselves like I am but trust in the fact that it will truly make you stronger. Please remember this from me, “You are human today and every day” embrace it! I am thankful to have you in my life, give yourself a break, be thankful for being able to make mistakes. If you need a reminder email me, I’ll remind you!
Now you know the trigger, this is great, you can be ready for the next time it shows up. It’s easier to overcome when you are equipped to deal with it. Keep in mind that even though you are aware and ready there will still be times it catches you completely off guard like this day did for me. First thing I do to be ready when my emotions come in strong, I have my list of positives. For me, it’s hard to see the positives in the moment so if I have my “you ROCK” list ready I can read it through. We all have amazing traits that we have brought to this universe and that we have yet to bring. Have a “go to” notebook with all of the good positive you have done in your life, all of the great things about yourself. If you write these when you are in your most positive moments, they can help you get out of the negatives faster. This is so important my friends.
Next up, get a support system in place, people who will listen and will be honest with you. We all need someone to help us put things in perspective. When you get in the loop, get ahold of that person. I struggled with this for a long time and will just say when you have a go to it helps! I also learned who not to go to. See, there may be people in life who love you and care about you and will listen but may go into their own sea of negative. You guys that won’t help. It’s OK to have those people in your life but don’t make them your go to. For these folks you may also need to learn when not to have them around. If you are already on the edge, they might push you right in the abyss. This isn’t their fault or their problem, it’s yours. You just need to know when and how to have them in your life. For me, this has been super important even for people as close as my husband, the love of my life, I know he is not my go-to in certain situations, sometimes he just doesn’t get it and he really struggles seeing me when I’m hurt. Then, when he can’t help or doesn’t know what to do to help he gets frustrated. Again friends, know your people and who to go to for what. If you feel you don’t have anyone you can count on message me, I’ll give you some ideas. There are groups and support systems, you just have to find what’s works best for you. Please just be sure to find others that will help you up as opposed to bring you further down. Or, if you need a nudge, email me, message me, whatever you need!
A few other things that could help, try a gratitude journal. It’s a whole lot harder to stay down when you are grateful. This one is newer for me but has had such a profound impact on my life. It really helps put life in perspective and for me at least keep my stress levels manageable. Hang some post it notes all around your house, write things on them that motivate you or give you good reminders, tomorrow is a new day to start again. Try mediating. Exercise, breathe, try yoga, get your body moving, it can change your state and help bring you out of the negative. Find songs that motivate the heck out of you, turn it up and dance around your house, room, wherever! Try several things and you will quickly learn what works best for you.
Finally, somedays, you just need to cry it out, eat some chocolate then start fresh the next day. Just make yourself the promise that tomorrow is a new day, when your feet hit the floor, say it out loud, “It’s going to be a great day”!
Stay strong friends, you got this!
My head is killing me! Yep, it started late in the day yesterday and has not stopped since. The tell true sign, for me at least, it’s time to take a break and reset.
I am not sure about all of you but I for one am always going, or at least it sure feels like it. Not complaining over here, this is actually the lifestyle I thrive in, it beats sitting on my tail idol doing nothing. But you can only maintain this for so long before it catches up. My day starts around 3:15 on the weekdays. I’m in the gym by 3:30, from there I am on the go working on one thing or another the rest of the day. It generally looks like, get ready, spend some time with my other child (he’s a twelve year old boxer and truly my other child), get some work done with my company then off to work to at my day job which is again nonstop, home, dinner, sneak in some yoga, more work on my company then bed. And, the cycle continues. Again, I’m sure this looks somewhat similar to your days.
This lifestyle can catch up and it is ever so important we all listen to our bodies and mind, take a step back, breathe and re-center. It took me a long time to realize this. In fact ten years ago I would have still gone to my office miserable, head pounding, irritable with my teams (which is not OK), and low productivity (which is not a good representation of who I am). See, all not good things.
I recently came across an old article in Forbes about Workaholics and people who work too much. Yep, it’s official, I am pretty certain I borderline the definition of “Workaholic”. When I am not doing something in relation to working out, working my business or working my career, I am thinking about one of them, YIKES! Type “impact of working too much” in google and you’ll find various studies and articles that speak about the harm from Stress, depression, sitting too much, lack of productivity and more. Friends I know we all have responsibilities to manage but I hope you will agree with me that balance is important. This goes for all my mom/dad readers out there too, parenting is a full-time job in and of itself. I remember when my son was growing up and balancing everything while being a strong supportive parent for Boe.
When the signs of overwhelm of too much for too long show up, slow down, take a day, in the journey of life it’s really only a blip in time and in the long run it will help keep you healthy and strong for you and those around you!
To help avoid getting to that point, here are some of the things I’ve done to stay healthy in my every day.
These are the top six that have benefited me most. Of course, getting in nature, getting good sleep, scheduling “you” time, and getting exercise all very important too. We are all different, unique, amazing beings, try different things, see what positively promotes your well being then do more of that.
Stay well friends, much love!
For years, I heard this from people, employees, peers, and even family, "Jen you are so intense"! See, here's the thing, when I do things, anything, I'm all in. If I don't have passion, a strong enough why or desire, it's clear. I'm the person who is in the gym by 3:30 each morning just to make sure I can get my workout in before the day gets ahead of me. I'm that employee who will give it 10-11-12 hour days to make darn sure that my customers’ needs are fulfilled. Is it possible to be "too" intense, maybe, but for me my intensity comes from my passion. Passion and drive to grow, to get the things I am working towards, to accomplish my "why" in all areas.
Through time, OK, years, of hearing this comment I started changing my demeanor I slowed down to accommodate those that got intimidated or took my intense passion however they do. I thought I needed to change to not as one colleague put it, "scare people away". Don't get me wrong I would never be rude, mean, harsh or disrespectful in any way. Those are values I hold very close and dear to my soul. I do however want to be that person who demonstrates so much passion and intensity to my why's in life that others can see and grow from it. So, others can get enough "intensity" around their passion that they stop allowing the naysayers to stop them.
This morning when I was in the gym listening to a podcast, the person speaking gave me a kick in the ass (not literally of course), a moment where you think, "what was I thinking", ENOUGH! I knew that slowing down and not being genuine to me was never the right choice but in this moment, I heard it loud and clear. Then it hit me even harder, I thought about what it does to my anxiety level when I'm not being true to me. I thought about how it makes me feel physically when I have to be cautious of showing my passion and intensity.
Fact is this is one of the best parts of me.
Why am I sharing this, you ask? See friends, there are qualities of all of us that we try minimizing or hiding because, "what will people think". Fact is, they are probably the best parts of you. Be you, the people who you should truly have and want in your life are the ones who will appreciate you for your genuineness. Don’t get me wrong we all have work to do on ourselves, I am not a believer of “I am who I am take it or leave it” but don’t stray from your natural qualities. Don't cause anxiety or worse living a false sense of your life.
You do you! Stay strong friends!
In the good words of Warren Buffett,
"Intensity is the price of Excellence"
Supporter of people and growth. I absolutely LOVE helping others see in themselves what I see in them. We all have good in us, we just need a bit of help seeing it at times.