Firstly - understanding that these 'grip experiences' are actually normal, healthy and adaptive - enables us to see them as just temporary episodes from which we can benefit. How so?
Choose to use a technique like // "Reframing" // e.g. - I deliberately manage my mindset and choose not to worry that I, my spouse, my friend, my boss, or my co-worker are "coming apart at the seams" or are actually "emotionally disturbed". Instead - I reframe - I appreciate and see the experience differently via a new, more productive frame of mind - a new 'frame' from which to admire the same scene if you like. I choose to use the new and unique information I gain about myself - when I am 'in the grip of my not so high performing self' - in a way that better serves my long term goals . This is about seeing things more productively - not just positively and dismissive of the real challenge in front of us.
01. Identity Awareness // Anchor in on how you are when you are most like yourself - and then - also how you are different when you are least like yourself. It is most useful to do this well before you need to apply the STEPS below - another words: be prepared before the 'storm' hits. There a range of personality tools, character and values profiles out there that can help sharpen your view if you need them. To start - Ask:
• What qualities best describe you as a high performing individual? For example, you might describe yourself as typically creative, optimistic, careful with details, concerned about others, future oriented, and so on.
• What are you like when you are not yourself - how are you different from your usual way of being?
• What events or circumstances are likely to provoke the reactions and change your experience?
• What can you or others do to help you to return to your high performing character?
• How do you typically deal with chronic stress? Does it really work for you or could you alter your perspective?
• What new things have you learned about yourself as a result of your 'out-of character' experiences?
So - first be aware of your typical thoughts, feelings, and behaviours - and those of other people you know who may express themselves 'atypically' from time to time and the possible triggers for such behaviour.
02. Reframing // Our expression for this - is get some A.I. R. When we are under too much stress - in the 'grip' - the brain often defaults to a reactive response that results in our 'atypical' and unproductive self emerging - rather than the high performing character that we are determined to be. Deliberately applying 3 simple challenges to this automatic -unproductive response can shift you into a winning gear and give you focus on the things truly within your control.
Acknowledge // Breathe deeply. Notice the situation-thoughts-feelings that you find yourself experiencing and challenge them:
• Are you/the other person - different from your usual way of being?
• Is it possible - with other and/or additional evidence - that you could change your experience?
• Are there assumptions - possibly incomplete/inaccurate - at play within the experience?
• How do these current thoughts and feeling serve you short term Vs long term alternatives?
Interrupt // Breathe deeply. Separate yourself from the thought/s and feelings just for a moment:
• What could help serve this situation / you / the other person better?
• Imagine - how could you act right now if you were in total alignment with your high performing self?
• Visualise - How can you refocus - what could you actually do here - to be your best self?
Reframe // Breathe calmly. Actively focus on and apply the most productive intentions, thoughts and feelings that you can imagine:
• Recognise the challenge and act - using your very best knowledge, skills and attitudes.
• Create small steps to progress forward - accept small wins in order to build momentum.
• Replay in your mind how you want to feel - how you want others to feel - replay the thoughts that are most productive for this situation... and then act.
From time to time we all lose our way - and - the experience of 'our best selves' - that is normal. Actually taking away meaning from the experience is what the best do. What we can also learn from the very best leaders and performers on planet is that it is possible for anyone to reclaim the place at the front of the pack. How? If we truly know who we want to be; can also recognise when we are 'off-track' - and then - quickly and deliberately Reframe the scene for progress and productivity - rather than regret and ruin.
Design your choices before the pressure is applied.
As always - we would love to here your thoughts and ideas about how you choose to live into your leadership identity when faced with the constant pressure, complexities and ambiguity of the modern world.
CEO & Founder