Dear Dr. Sylvia,
Every time I think of getting ready for the holidays, you know, the Thanksgiving/Christmas Push I start to feel a mixture of happy and frustrated.
Top that off with looming lousy fourth-quarter earnings (definitely frustrated) and I just want to find a friendly rock to climb under till, well, maybe till next spring.
I know you started a Stress Mastery Facebook group and I will join that. What can I do to keep a positive attitude?
Just so you know, I’m known as a strong male leader who, until now, could show my reports the best way to solve problems and move on.
I’ve run out of methods to make change happen.
Some days I feel like a fraud, you know, the typical imposter syndrome.
Need a Break
Every day seems to hold another challenge for all of us. I’ll cut to the chase and give you three ways to look at today’s constant stress and how to stay strong as a leader.
- Grab a pen and track your behavior: Keep track for 3 days (yes, you can do it). Keep track of the times when you say to yourself “I messed up again, I disappointed them again, I don’t know what I’m doing.” Do this like a list. One “mess up” per line.
- Write it to Right It: After Day 3 take the list and “write it to right it!” Now, make a short paragraph (maybe around four sentences) about what you did and why you think it was such a bummer to you and to others. Don’t edit, just write.
- Talk to Yourself So You’ll Really Listen: Pick the top three issues and do a redo. You only need three examples of how you become overwhelmed and begin to doubt yourself to turn things around. Here you may need an on-line thesaurus to give you fresh words to see what you did from a new perspective.
Here’s an example from one of my coaching clients. He, like you, is a strong and competent executive in a mid-size company. He. Like you, is beginning to think he is not good enough to lead his team through these uncharted times. He, like you, wants to do better.
In his own words:
For those of you who need more science, I’m adding some research that will get you past overwhelm and the imposter syndrome. In the field of psychology, the Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability overestimate their ability and those with high ability underestimate their own competence.
Without the self-awareness of “metacognition,” people cannot objectively evaluate their own competence or incompetence.
The above exercise along with the Stress Busters 4-Module online program will help you become “meta-cool and self-aware” so you can stay calm and energized and move from chaotic thinking to being calm, cool, and collected.
To your success,
P.S. If you need an objective perspective contact me and one of our coaches is available for a free strategy call.