It occurs to me that personal growth in business/life and driving in congested morning traffic for an important meeting share a similar thought/emotional progression.
Is it like that for you too?
Here’s how my 20-mile drive at 6:45 am for a business appointment into the city goes …
1. This is terrific. (It’s a great morning! Happy, music playing, sipping rich, black coffee on my way to the interstate that takes me to my morning appointment in Houston. Love it!)
2. This is challenging. (As I enter the acceleration ramp I’m thinking, you’ve got to be kidding—all those headlights… is that a siren?)
3. This is hopeless. (The EZ tag lane is backed up—it’s a parking lot! 5 miles in 30 minutes!)
4. I am hopeless. (I thought I left early enough… I’ll never make it on time… this sucks…I suck!)
5. This might work out. (Oh… wait! What a relief… the traffic is moving… whoa, driving over the speed limit! )
6. This is terrific. (15 minutes early! This wasn’t so bad… what was I worried about? Love the city energy!)
Whether it’s starting a new business, adding new services, leading a new team or company through a transition there’s a predictable progression of emotional twists and turns for personal growth which requires navigation.
In this article…
I’ll list three ways to navigate through those emotional twists and turns your personal ride takes you.
#1— Navigate emotions by listening to what you are telling yourself and do a realistic appraisal.
Like my example of driving into the city, identify the comments you are saying to yourself… be especially aware of your #4s– “I am hopeless, crap, a failure, fill-in-the-blank derogatory character blasting adjective/noun.
I wish I could say I don’t get into that kind of self-degradation thinking, but I still do… after 30 plus years I recognize it immediately and can move to more productive thinking… although the temptation to wallow is there. And that’s when I know a good amount of self-pity is at play.
When you can move away from character maiming and switch to a realistic appraisal you’re doing well. It can be as easy to do as flipping a light switch off in a room which is defeating and going to another room and flipping the light switch on so you’re surrounded by realistic, balanced thinking. Try it.
So the “I am hopeless” becomes… “The time allowance needs updating… what can I do now?” or “Hold on… skip to #5, “this might work out” and direct your energies to problem-solving.
#2— Navigate emotions by surrendering to the twists, turns and dead-ends of the road (the growth process). Yes, Bette Davis it can be a bumpy ride! Pull over and take a break.
A musician shared the agony he feels as hours of practice fail to accomplish the musical results he needs. Reflecting he admits that many times over the years he questions whether he’ll master the difficulties of the music.
There’s a part of me that knows I’ll get it, yet I doubt my abilities and at times feel like giving up. I walk away sometimes for an hour, sometimes a day or more and the next time I’m at the piano it works! The rhythm and accuracy comes together.
Like my drive into the city I’ve done so many times, the mix of emotions occurs. I know I’ll get there because I always have and usually with more time to spare than needed. Why does the emotional turmoil repeat itself? The answer: It just does. I’ve surrendered. Instead of agonizing more, I’ve learned to stop and say… you’ve been here before, it will be okay… and if it isn’t, you’ll figure that out.
Emotions respond to redirection. Stop and give some needed comfort… a walk, a short meditation and/or some reassuring words. You’ll be able to direct your emotions so the growing continues and you’re closer to your destination.
#3— Navigate emotions and your overall journey by giving yourself plenty of reflection time alone, with someone or several someones.
Four years into a major business/professional transition, I’m convinced that preparing for success means personal time to reflect and hiring support. Whether your budget is smaller or larger, your investment matters.
I’m suggesting there may come a time when your growth requires the interaction with various professionals including, attorneys, CPA, bookkeeper, web designer/ traffic builder, business coach, business coach, business coach… oh, did I say business coach? Courses, books, networking groups too many to list and best of all the student peers/colleagues along the way.
The investment in the 1:1 or group professional coaching relationship has the potential for a deeper reveal of limiting beliefs. More than a series of action steps, the coaching relationship creates a learning environment where action is expected and emotional barriers acknowledged while being challenged to transform so performance and productivity leads.
The takeaway is…
Navigate your way through the emotional twists and turns for personal growth and ultimately your dreams for business and life by observing your thoughts/beliefs, surrendering to the process and scheduling reflection time alone and with a professional coach.
You’ll get there.
Make it a glorious ride!
I’d love to hear where you are on your learning spiral… the accomplishments and challenges.
Contact me today for some support that leads to action that will make a positive difference.