"Cut people slack...Their actions might not reveal their enduring character, but instead reflect some situation they find themselves in. Forbearance is a form of generosity." - Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project
Soooo yesterday was one of THOSE days at work. It was kind-of like "Opening Night" of a show. You know the sort of day where everything has been building up to this one final moment and you're in last-minute-prep-mode and everybody's excited and a little on-edge and anything that goes wrong feels like a crisis (but really isn't)? That was my day yesterday.
Here are some of my learning "take-aways" from my high-pressure day:
1. When the $h*t hits the fan, you want to be surrounded by quality people that you trust to help support you... otherwise, reaching out for help will only ADD to your stress, because you haven't established enough trust to know that they'll come through for you in your time of need.
2. Know that you are NOT seeing the bigger picture when you are STRESSED out, so give people as much slack and compassion as you can possibly muster... as your blood-pressure skyrockets off the chart.
3. Yelling will not help anyone do anything better/faster... It will just make everyone feel bad and if you are the one yelling... it will not make you feel any better either. So speak your words with care.
4. Take a step back before REACTING... breathe... take a walk... splash some cold water on your face (but don't ruin your make-up)... call a friend... have a snack... DO SOMETHING to get in a good headspace before moving forward. It's worth taking the time to do... even when it seems like there is NO TIME... Because you do NOT want to say something that you're going to REGRET.
5. Communicate what you need to get the job done... nicely... and be HONEST about where you are at. If you have too much on your plate... delegate... hand something off to someone you trust and give yourself some relief.
6. Don't deny it! People KNOW if you're stressed. They see it exuding from your pores... so just admit it, rather than trying to pretend you're FINE. It will feel better just to SAY IT. Then hopefully, you can feel like you can stop fighting, let the stressful feeling be what it is and move forward as best you can in the moment.
7. Say THANK YOU to everyone who is helping to make things happen before "show time." A little gratitude goes a looooong way in keeping everyone on the same page (including YOU)... that we're all a TEAM and working toward the same goal: an AWESOME & SUCCESSFUL event/show/presentation/etc.
8. Have a sense of humor. Make a joke!!! Laughter releases sooooo much tension. (P.S. I am TERRIBLE at this... I have such a hard time laughing when I'm stressed out, let alone making someone else laugh... but I LOVE it and appreciate it soooooooo much when other people are able to make me laugh and make light of "serious" situations... So I like to surround myself with those kind of quality people whenever possible...see number 1.)
9. Smile. Sometimes by moving those smiling muscles in your face... your attitude will take a clue and adjust itself. You can decide to have fun with the situation at any point...or be miserable...the choice is up to you.
10. Remember... It will all be over soon and you will be able to fall asleep on your pillow and wrap yourself in a blanket and dream of cotton candy and puppy-dogs again. That's something to look forward to.
11. You are doing a good job... the best you can. So be kind to yourself and take a deep breath. You are enough. You can get through it!!!
12. Shift your focus...Really... it's all about FOCUS. When you are focused on "not freaking-out"... you will only freak-yourself-out MORE... But when you focus on having FUN... then the "not freaking-out" will happen as a natural bi-product of having more fun in spite of the obstacles.
Easier said that done though...
And when you inevitably get caught-up in the stress-frenzy-high-pressureness of it all and totally "lose it" in front of everyone and make a total a$$ out of yourself... Well, you learn from that too... That you can survive FAILING BIG and that you can find some good "take-aways" from it (like 12 of them, to be exact)... and resolve to do better next time... because there will be a next time.
Gotta love pushing yourself to your limit... Otherwise... How will you know how far you can go?
Further and further.
"We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them." - William Arthur Ward