We all go through it. Those life-altering situations; divorce, bankruptcies, lawsuits, deaths. And especially us entrepreneurs and executives.
Why? Because we put ourselves out there. We go for it. We take risks. So more risks means more winning; and more losing. If you aren’t ever losing, then you are playing it too safe – in my book anyway.
An amazing entrepreneur contacted me who is going through something really hard on the home front. Some people call these times in our life the “dark night of the soul”.
I had it happen to me when I had a business partner who assaulted me; I had to file restraining orders, go through a nasty lawsuit, all while going through a divorce. I thought my life was crumbling down. Hardest days of my life.
Though often these are the times that define us. After all, it’s easy to be a superstar when things are running well. When it hits the fan is when we see the strength of our character.
So this entrepreneur, who had heard me speak before, called to ask for some strategies for getting through his daily work while he has this turmoil going on at home. After all, the world doesn’t stop to mourn our tragedies.
After a deep coaching session with him, I thought some strategies would be good to share with you here.
- Take care of yourself – Eliminate / reduce drugs, alcohol, anything of the like. DON’T BINGE EAT! Eat healthy. Jog or take a walk outside. Each day. I know you don’t want to do it – do it anyway, force yourself.
- Stream of Consciousness Writing – Take out a blank piece of paper. Go by yourself and just write whatever is on your mind. Just go. Don’t go back and read it, just write and write and write. Some of it won’t even make sense. Then burn it. This is about getting it out of your consciousness.
- Make an Appointment – If you are, for example, stressing about a home issue at work, say “I’ll worry about this later, at 8:00 PM tonight.” Then your brain rests easy, because it knows it has to work on this issue, though now it has an appointment. Though when 8:00 PM comes, make sure you sit down and do it, so the next time your brain is on board.
- Decision Sheet – If your mind keeps racing on the situation, create what I call a “Decision Sheet.” Again take out a blank piece of paper, and write down all the points you know about what is happening. Your mind is racing because your brain is trying to categorize the information. So lay it out so you have it all in front of you. Make sections for whatever you think is relevant; possible outcomes, desired outcome, assumptions, probabilities, feelings, timelines, action items. List what you CAN control and what you CAN’T control. You’ll be amazed how much this can help. Keep this folded up in your pocket. Then when something pops in your head, throw it on the paper. Your mind will relax because it knows you have it kept somewhere, and quite often this experience allows you to see really what you are dealing with and create better outcomes.
- Compassion – Have COMPASSION for yourself! First and foremost! Ups and downs are part of the human experience. Have compassion for everyone involved. Keep repeating to yourself; “And this to shall pass.”
- Gratitude – Write down everything you have GOING FOR YOU in your life. And all your past accomplishments. See? Even with all this negativity, there is a lot of good around.
- Reach Out to Someone – Call someone you trust and say “I would like to talk to you. I don’t need you to help me, coach me, or fix me right now. I’m too deep in it. I just need you to LISTEN while I vent.” This sometimes isn’t your closest friend, who may want to “fix you” because they are so close to you. It is just someone you know who can just listen compassionately. And almost everyone I’ve ever met will say YES to this request.
If you don’t have anyone, CALL ME. +1-858-405-7172. No charge. I will always make time to be a listener in these situations, because I know how valuable it can be; it’s actually an honor to be on the receiving end of these calls.
And keep your head up. In a few days / weeks / months, you will be in a better place. And this too shall pass.