Do you spend way too much time worrying about what you’ll do when things go wrong? Better get a grip on that, says Uevolve executive coach Lucinda Harlow
So something great’s happened. Let’s say you’ve landed a new job. How long did it take from shaking hands with your new boss to lying awake imagining all the many ways your first week will go tits up? In the blink of an eye something exciting has turned into something frightening. Something you have to stop from going wrong.
When you look at your calendar you see only a series of potential disaster movies starring… you.
That’s quite tiring, isn’t it? A lot of my clients feel this way when I first meet them. They have got into the bad mental habit of rewriting everything in their head, so they are always starring in a draining drama rather than, y’know, just ‘life’.
They are trapped in a negative pattern of thinking that always paints the future as very scary. “What fresh Hell is this?” It isn’t. It’s just a normal Monday and you can get over this.
Create a happier script…
The reason people get their professional knickers into such a twist is because they spend too much time with their minds stuck in the past or the future – when they should be plonked in the present.
Unless you have been on the moon, you will have heard the word ‘mindfulness’. It is a really useful tool I use to help my clients free their minds.
To get you started, here is one really simple technique for dumping the victim mindset.
The three-minute exercise that will relax you mind
- Find a quiet spot where you can put your feet up and relax without interruptions.
- Set the timer on your phone for three minutes.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths (through your nostrils).
- Think of nothing else except your body. Take a tour, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head, spending a few seconds concentrating on the awareness of each area.
- Now focus on the feel of your breath. Feel the air being drawn deep into your lungs, filling your whole chest before being released in a slow, steady stream.
- Get into a rhythm where your stomach fills up like a balloon, your ribs widen and your shoulders rise and fall.
- Now your body and breath are relaxed, allow yourself to notice the thoughts in your head.
- Don’t try to tackle them. Just see that they are there then biff them gently away. Nothing has to be solved right now. Nothing is right or wrong.
- Try to maintain this state until the timer beeps.
- Don’t spring straight to your feet. Allow your breathing to return to normal.
- Finally, jot down the thoughts that came to your mind during the exercise.
There, you have made an excellent start to ending your habit of inhabiting some dire imagined future, rather than living in the actual moment. The list of thoughts you have unlocked might surprise you. They are the things you are carrying around all the time – and you need to solve or simply release them.