Mindstate Motivation Blog

Calm After the Storm

We’ve all been there.  A situation befalls us where we absolutely get ourselves into a storm of stress and fretting about something.  It can be for the most serious of situations to smallest things.  It just happens and we can’t seem to do anything about it.  We feel totally out of control of our circumstances and get our gut churning about it.

Case in point.  I used to get that way over any circumstance that would be new to me.  It could involve meeting somebody new or going to a meeting where I was unfamiliar with the people involved or felt I didn’t have the knowledge necessary to make a contribution.  In short, it could happen for lots of situations and the effect was highly stressful and sometimes even immobilizing.  These would turn into stormy times psychologically and all I wanted to do was find a state of calm.  My bet is it’s happened to many of you, too.

Interestingly, even in the worst of circumstances there always came a calm after the storm.  Sometimes it was due to the passage of time.  Sometimes it was due to an action someone else took.  Whatever.  The point is the calm always returned.

There’s a lesson in that fact.  The lesson is embodied in the answer to the question:  Why get ourselves in such a stormy psychological state in the first place?

Case in point, again.  I do a lot of traveling in my business.  I’m in and out of airports, hotels, taxis, etc. multiple times many weeks of the year.  It used to be I could get myself in a total state of panic if things didn’t go the way they were supposed to.  It could have been a flight delay potentially resulting in a missed connection, or whatever.  Whenever interruptions in the planned itinerary would occur I could quickly build up a stormy state of mind.  I would feel out of control and could conjure up worst case scenarios of every description.

It happened to me just this past week.  I was scheduled on a flight out of Boston with a connection out of Atlanta to my home airport.  Yup…the flight out of Boston is delayed an hour and the chances of getting to Atlanta in time to catch my connection were very limited.  In the old days, I would have worked myself into a stormy frenzy of anxiety.  This would be true even though it was something over which I had little or no control.

Here’s the bottom line on all this.  I didn’t react to the situation in Boston last week with great angst.  I’ve learned over time that it is better to exercise mind over matter in these kinds of situations.  Don’t worry about but work on things you can control.  Airline scheduling and delays is not something any of us can control so why worry about it.  Why get into a stormy state of anxiety?

Experience has taught me there is always a calm after the storm.  Since that is the case, I’ve learned to mentally manage my worst of circumstances with a state of calm before the storm has a chance to blowup.  You can do that, too.  It makes life a whole lot easier.

By the way, the stormy weather in Atlanta delayed my connecting flight so I made my connection.  It was very calming!

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