When I was in high school, college and even my first few years in sales, I suffered from public speaking panic attacks. It was an embarrassing burden I carried for many years; a monkey on my back, hindering every part of my life. It was my story prior to learning how to create a “process.”
Most of us have more bad days than we want to admit. Our insecurities and lack of discipline often get the best of us. And when the pressure gets turned up, we often lose our way. I’ve studied human performance for three decades but I’m still a novice in managing my own state of mind. Some days I am victorious while other days I fail miserably. The ability to manage one’s emotions is the trait that everyone remembers during difficult times. Managing your mindset is an invaluable attribute.
Talent Smart has tested the emotional intelligence (EQ) of more than a million people and found that 90 percent of high achievers have a high EQ. They possess the ability to manage their own emotions well and stay in a healthy relationship with others. Their internal process centers them and helps them make peace with fear. WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS?
Fear is the limiting belief holding us back and it can be a thief.
- Fear often masquerades as truth, distracting us from dreams, goals, and aspirations
- Fear steals our energy, demoralizing and sapping our courage. Fear makes us feel small.
- Fear reminds us of every insecurity ever experienced, stopping us in our tracks.
Fear is also an amazing gift and an essential part of being human. Fear informs us, leading to protection and safety. It is part of a valuable evolutionary defense mechanism that can serve us. I am learning to embrace (befriend) and walk with my own fears.
Over the last month I’ve:
- Been addressing some of my fears and have started offering video leadership training for clients.
- Reduced the number of events I moderate while hosting smaller client training workshops.
- Gained a much deeper appreciation for coaching, counseling and advising other entrepreneurs.
Helping others embrace their fears has made me more empathetic.
Insecurities, lack of control and stress sidetracks most people. It can compromise our defense mechanisms, motivating us to overwork, while demanding perfection and feeding bad behaviors. Does stress and fear of failure motivate you or are you guided by a healthier process? Many times, we bluster, celebrate workaholism and don’t practice mood regulation. We forget that:
- EQ OUTPERFORMS IQ EVERY TIME. How you get things done through people is more powerful than knowledge. “How” we say things is more important than “what” we say. The “how” matters.
- PERFECTION IS THE ENEMY OF EXCELLENCE. Some things just need to be done adequately, while others need precision and excellence. Not everything needs to be perfect.
- MASTERS PROTECT THEIR MINDSET. Are you choosing your emotions, or do they choose you? Are you practicing a present and healthy mindset?
- PINPOINT. What is the biggest fear holding you back and why?
- REFRAME. How has this fear served and protected you?
- TRIGGER. What pressures or lies prompt this fear?
- ACCEPT. When we fight things, we give it power. What must you recognize about yourself?
- BEHAVIOR. Stress hinders all forms of performance. What’s your personal practice?
Doctor Atul Gawande, classic book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, shares a disciplined protocol (or checklist) to reduce medical infections by 66 percent. The research in medicine, the arts, sports, and business are clear: a disciplined process delivers results.
Gawande reminds us to keep our checklist between five and nine items, which is the limit of working memory. Your process cannot be too difficult. It must be simple.
A thoughtful checklist is necessary to achieve success with consistent results. It protects us from failure. Attention to detail requires the discipline of a personal framework or a process.
What’s your process?