One of my earliest posts was around how so many people appear, for lack of a better term, crazy at work. The post was Nobody Behaves Well In The Corner. In researching the topic I found data showing that in any given year 28-30% of adults experience a mental or addictive disorder. That point I was making then, when we are stressed we often slip into that space of not being our rational selves.
Have you ever uttered these words?
- What’s wrong with me?
- Does what I just shared make any sense?
- Am I just an idiot?
- Can you help me make some sense out of this?
- I just need someone to listen and tell me if I am nuts, or just bad at my job?
There are lots of reasons we get to this place, and it would take far to many words to explore that space. Here are four tips for getting out of it.
- Why am I here? The Birkman Method and the research behind it found that when needs are not being met, stress behavior results. All of these questions above indicate a certain level of stress or panic. Simply asking yourself this question – – and after you write down the reasons, cross out all the sentences with they/them/everyone/someones name. Hopefully, what is left is I/me/my. Always try to focus on what you control, which is your actions/feelings/reactions/narratives you have created around a situation.
- Find a safe outlet, repeat step 1. Remember the movie The Shining, when Jack Nicholson utters the famous “Here’s Johnny” line? When we spend too much time alone we don’t do well. We break-up and challenge the narrative in our head by getting it out to another and getting a different perspective. Find a friend you trust and that can empathize with you and get their opinion.
- What do I need to address first? How will I do that? In a space where we feel confused and overwhelmed, it is important to focus on the most critical things first. These often get lost in our narrative. Asking yourself this question sets up the next step.
- What is my next step? There may be ten things we need to do, so see all of them and pick one. Since getting out of this loop is a journey, it is important to stay connected to those individuals that are safe sounding boards for you as you work your way back to a place where you are feeling at your best. Keep revisiting and nurturing those relationships that are part of step 2.
When you hear the questions shared above, whether they come from your own mouth or from another – – – > Listen. It is through our process of filtering the noise of our thoughts, fears, concerns, frustrations, experiences, intuitions that we identify what we need to address first. Then we need to act.
Launching my own business taught me (and continues to teach me) the lesson of stepping back from ‘crazy’, sifting through what is real/imagined/important, and stepping back into it with a plan. With the caveat – Repeat as needed.
Let me leave you the quote that is attached to my computer screen, and is a subtle reminder of this whole space.
Do not allow the fear of what if to ruin the joy of what is