Lindsay’s In Business: PART 30: Managing Yourself

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds… 

OK, I’m not going to talk about the emotional rollercoaster of trying to get your own business off the ground (although I did have another quite severe panic death fall experience last week). Instead I’m going to talk about resilience.

  • Every morning I exercise for 30 minutes. It’s either a run in the woods, or a sequence of exercises on a yoga mat that I put together. It’s a routine that gets the day off to a good start.
  • I have one coffee around 10.00.
  • I drink 2 pints of water over the course of the day.
  • In the afternoon, I try to fit in a 15-minute meditation session using a great app called Headspace.
  • I try to eat dinner before 19.00 and nothing else afterwards.
  • I like to go to bed super early and chill out.

With that as my day structure, now comes the brain part.

  • A list of all the things I need to do starts the month
  • Based on that and my agenda, a list of all the things I want to do starts the working day
  • Multiple other lists sit on a clipboard (people to introduce myself to, people to visit, people to chase…)
  • As I go along, I think of things to do differently, I adjust and note down thoughts.

If I get a lot of positive feedback – and even better, some tangible results – it’s the best feeling in the world. You’re sailing your own ship, discovering new futures, and the sun is shining.

If the feeling I get back from ‘the universe’ isn’t happening, I’m on my way back to the panic death fall. I wrote recently about manifestation – about how to send out the signals that you want to receive: that helps but it’s not made of iron.

Your feelings are real and you have to ride it out or do something to manage your emotions.

Here’s some interesting research about that. It’s aimed at employees but would work in any workplace.

A paper just published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology from the University of Toronto (curated by the Oxford Review) looks at the effects of suppressing real emotions and displaying a different emotion. Two ways of handling emotions at work are typically to stay calm, or to focus on something else.

  1. Just staying calm: studies have found that this is the same as suppression, that this increases the level of stress and negative feeling an individual feels.
  2. Focus on something else: studies show that whilst distraction techniques work initially the effects don’t last. Not only that but there is a rebound effect with distraction techniques which bring back either the original negative emotion or a stronger negative reaction later.

Instead, as the paper goes on, the best way to deal with difficult emotions is to acknowledge them and then look at the situation from another angle. For example think about how important the situation will be in two hundred years’ time, or see the situation from someone else’s point of view . These re-framing exercises are called cognitive reappraisal techniques and numerous studies over the last ten years have shown that cognitive reappraisal to be the most effective for dealing with negative emotions.

I find that interesting because it helps to see that negative emotions make you blinkered and looking at things from another perspective help you literally ‘open up’ to a wider viewpoint. And I find it reassuring, because that’s what Mirror Mirror is all about. It’s about seeing the wider perspective, about losing the negativity or the paralysis and being ok with disharmony from time to time. It’s about having the faith that acknowledging differences puts you in a better position from which to handle them.

With that, this week is feeling good. I’m still working on closing that second trial, I’m updating my marketing materials, I’m enquiring about speaking events, I’m working on improving product quality, I’m meeting new potential agents.

Mirror Mirror identifies misalignment gaps and opportunities and works with teams to address those, for clarity, alignment and momentum: www.mirrormirrorhub.com

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

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