HOW TO WREST BACK CONTROL
You have to coach yourself out of the spin-cycle, or the business will run you ragged.
We all have an inner voice. Our emotional and rational brains keep an internal dialog of thoughts running throughout the day. If you're awake, this internal chatter is taking place. If you're stuck in the spin cycle, your emotional brain is chirping the loudest. It's flooding the habitual brain with beliefs and behavioral cues that are often counter productive. That's when we need our inner coach.
Your inner coach is there to make sure that the beliefs and reflexes stored in your habitual brain are productive. Like your favorite teacher or any good coach, your inner coach is empathetic and compassionate. It listens to your emotional brain, acknowledges how it's feeling, and gives it time to vent. Your inner coach has a calming influence.
Like a good coach, your inner coach is patient, and waits for your rational brain to catch up. It uses logic, truth and facts to calm your emotional thinking and impulses. The inner coach is focused on developing your habitual brain. It works to engrain the most productive thoughts and pre-programmed behaviors. It's also focused on eliminating counter productive thoughts and behavior.
Inner coaching tips -
- Accept your emotional brain - it's part of you and it's not going away. Once you accept (and expect) your emotional tendencies, you can begin to work with them.
- Empathize - your emotional brain is interested in your well being and safety. Before you can work with it, you need to understand how it feels.
- Let it vent - your emotional brain is working to protect you. Once you let it vent (fear,panic,anger,etc.), it calms down and is more willing to accept coaching.
- Take a walk - you can distract your emotional brain with a walk or other forms of exercise.
- Talk it out - friends or colleagues can be effective sounding boards. Let your emotional brain vent out loud. Chances are, when you hear what your emotional brain is thinking, it may not sound very reasonable.
- Use facts - once you've soothed your emotional brain, use facts and logic (rational brain) to balance the initial emotional thinking.
The tips above are ways the inner coach can work with your rational and emotional brains. Remember - the habitual brain is 20x faster than the rational brain and 4x faster than the emotional brain! The habitual brain is also where we store thoughts and pre-programmed behaviors. For these reasons, the biggest impact your inner coach can have is on your habitual brain.
How to coach your habitual brain
Develop your "belief system" - Belief systems are the invisible force behind our pre-programmed behaviors. Your beliefs trigger your behaviors, but your inner coach can teach your habitual brain a productive belief system. Examples -
- Change - "Change is inevitable"; "People don't like change"
- Uncertainty - "There are no guarantees in life"; "Don't worry about things that might happen"
- Surprise - "Surprises are inevitable", "Surprises aren't necessarily bad"
- Stress - "This is my emotional brain at work"; "It's easy to over react"; "There's no use worrying about it"
- Breakage - "We can learn from this"
Your inner coach can introduce and rehearse a belief system that triggers productive, pre-programmed behaviors. Since your habitual brain is faster than your emotional brain, these productive beliefs will beat the more impulsive and emotional thoughts to the punch!
"If/then" plans - an "if/then" plan is a pre-programmed behavior your inner coach can initiate.
- If an unpopular change happens, then I'm going to give people a chance to vent.
- If things are uncertain, then I'm going to focus the team on shorter term goals.
- If I get surprised, then I will reflect on my preconceived notion and adjust accordingly.
- If I'm stressed, then I'm going to talk a walk, let my emotional brain vent, and then challenge my emotional thoughts with facts and logic.
- If things break, then let's figure out the root cause.