As a leader it’s essential that you don’t put “the cart before the horse”. We know that doesn’t work.
And jumping into action when you feel anxious and overwhelmed, before you’ve developed a constructive mindset, is like putting the cart before the horse.
Think about it: Historically, when your performance has been less-than-great, wasn’t it frequently because you took action before you invested time in cultivating constructive, positive thoughts and feelings?
The One Simple Step You Can Take To Manage Your Mindset
The thing is, there is only one reason you feel anxious and overwhelmed…
It’s because you’ve been imagining what you DON’T want to happen happening! You’ve been imagining the worst-case-scenario—what could go wrong.
Therefore, when you’re experiencing anxiety, it’s essential that you take a moment to:
- Stop focusing on your undesirable outcome
- Purposefully focus on your ideal outcome.In your mind, create a detailed picture of what great will look like. See it. Imagine how you’ll feel when your ideal is realised. In your minds eye, move into that scenario—and enjoy the experience.
First-Rate Performance Needs A First-Rate Mindset!
Let’s go back to the cart-and-the-horse scenario. For example…
It’s often anxiety inducing when you realise that the time it’ll take you to complete the urgent items on your “To Do List” is way more than the time you have available.
Phil (not his real name) felt overwhelmed and anxious about the length of his To Do List and his critical deadlines.
He wanted to jump in and get started on his highest priority item—which was to produce and present a report on a crucial issue that would potentially have a significant impact on the future success of his organisation. However he was anticipating that he’d struggle, both with producing a great report on time as well as with how he’d handle a difficult audience when he presented his report.
He, unwittingly, assumed that the way to remove his anxiety was to dig in, put in a huge effort and take massive action!
But his thinking was as if he positioned his cart in front of his horse. He was putting all his energy into taking action—without first cultivating his thoughts and feelings.
Once he cultivated his mindset by focusing on the details of his ideal, targeted outcomes (easily developing a persuasive story and presenting it confidently and influentially), his anxiety and overwhelm quietened and his developmental work began to flow nicely. He designed a great presentation—and his audience reacted positively.
Just like Phil, when you carefully groom your horse, when you vigilantly manage your mindset, you’ll create a productive flow and you’ll feel good—rather than anxious and overwhelmed.
Call to Action
Before taking any action, make sure you put your horse in front of your cart…
Habitually, ask yourself if your mindset is sufficiently constructive.
Be alert to situations when an anxious, unproductive mindset creeps into your thinking.
- Right now, what isn’t flowing as well as I’d like it to? Where do I need to groom my thoughts and feelings?
- How would I describe my targeted outcomes? What will they look like? What reaction will others have when my ideal outcome shows up? How will I feel when it does?
I have total certainty that, when you focus on your ideal, your anxiety and overwhelm will dissipate and you’ll be productive and excited.
Being productive and feeling excited is one hell of a lot better than feeling anxious and overwhelmed, isn’t it?
As always, email me if you’d like support with this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
For more than 25-years, Carolyn Stevens has helped leaders flourish and become more confident, more courageous and impressively influential.
She specialises in helping ambitious but frustrated female leaders become a totally inspiring and sought-after leader.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you if you’re in a hurry to boost your success. Same goes for leaders you refer.
Email if you’d like to arrange a time to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org