Have you got a ‘catastrophe’ friend? Or work colleague? You know the sort – everything is always a drama. Nothing goes smoothly for them and they always have a story to tell about the latest major trauma!
I get it, really. Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball that you weren’t expecting, and as human beings we are pre-programmed to resist curve balls. Our brains job is to keep us safe. And therefore it likes predictability, routine and to know what is happening. Because when it knows what it happening, when the day / the person / the activity is familiar, then it is not a threat.
Think about it like this.
In caveman days – if you went out of your cave in the morning and looked across the savannah and you saw everything you expected to see, then there was no immediate danger. BUT. If you looked out and saw a herd of animals running your way – then chances were there was big predator behind them. Then you had to take evasive action. Run and hide or stay and fight.
Well, your brain still thinks like that – at least your subconscious – some call it – reptilian – brain.
So, it is kind of understandable when your ‘catastrophe’ friend sees everything as a catastrophe. But the problem with that is, you are likely to feel the associated stress. And when you feel stressed you are in foveal vision.
That means you are concentrating on the problem. When you focus on something – that thing is all you see, and if that becomes your ‘norm’ then you will likely see the catastrophe in everything.
And that’s a problem if you are a leader in your business. Because, here’s the thing, your team will take it’s lead from you. If you see ‘the new changes’ as a bad thing – so will they. EVEN if you have not said that out loud. 90% of communication is non-verbal.
But there is another way.
Because life IS literally about how you see it. Where some see problems, others see opportunities. It’s all about perspective.
This morning our builders turned up to do some work on the house. We had planned what they were doing and the kitchen was definitely the last thing on the agenda. For reasons best known to builders – turns out they started on the kitchen. Which means that I have no kitchen now and no running water downstairs. Unplanned.
I could see it as a disaster, and I would certainly be “justified” to do so. Your “catastrophe” friend definitely would. However, what I actually found was that it was exciting. I had to choose a new kitchen today! And now I am very excited to see what my new kitchen will look like.
And because I was excited rather than upset and stressed, Ronnie and the kids also got exited (well as excited as kids can get about a new kitchen).
Which made me also think about decision making and procrastination. You see – we hadn’t made a decision about a new kitchen, because we thought we had plenty of time, and didn’t NEED to make the decision yet.
I have a friend who runs her own business. Mostly she is very quick to make decisions regarding her business. But put her in a bookshop or a supermarket, and she won’t be able to make a decision to save her life and will end up buying nothing or buying twice as much as she actually needs! Because there is no urgency. There is no reason why she MUST decide now.
So, if you find you are a natural procrastinator – it is vital that you set yourself deadlines AND that you have someone to hold you accountable to those deadlines. Otherwise – guess what – you’ll still be wandering round that proverbial bookshop, when it’s locking up time, with nothing to show for it.
Need some help with overcoming procrastination or catastrophe mindsets in your team? Email me on email@example.com