Whatever you do, don’t lose control!

If you think back over the most stressful times in your life – illness for yourself or a family member, loss of a job or major client, a death in the family, falling in front of a large audience, wardrobe malfunction, tissue showing in the back of your skirt– I would venture to say that there’s a common thread through all of these stressful times: Lack of control.

Because many entrepreneurs see themselves as pioneers, we pride ourselves on our take-charge attitudes and get-it-done approach to life. Therefore, not being in charge of what’s happening can cause us a great deal of anxiety. We want to fix things, now. When we can’t fix things, or we don’t know how to fix things, we can become very stressed out, and even freak out a bit.

When faced with a situation where you’re not in control, here are three ways you can maintain an even keel, despite the foul weather:

1. What Can you control.

When the world is spinning away from you, it can feel like there’s nothing you can control. Not true! In any situation, there’s SOMETHING you can control. Let’s say your major high paying client is having financial difficulties. You may think you are at the whim of their financial ups-and-downs, but you can start regaining a feeling of control by creating a program that will help to sustain that client until they can get on their feet, or  you could get your own finances in order and do some proactive belt-tightening so that the loss of one client doesn’t send your world into a tailspin.

You are NOT helpless, you just need a little Focus.

2. Focus on the moment.

Stress comes when we stop focusing on the here and now and start ruminating over the horrible things we wish hadn’t happened yesterday, or about the horrible things we fear will happen tomorrow. If we ground ourselves in the present moment, we find we’re still alive, still functioning, and still able to make decisions. Once we lose sight of that fact, the stress seeps in. When your thoughts start spinning out of control, gently reel them back in. Take a few deep breaths, remind yourself that you are okay, right now, and then find something productive to do in this moment to protect against what you fear.

Quiet your mind. Once you have silenced your mind, you can choose to focus on the here and now.

3. Remind yourself of your expertise and experience.

Stress also comes when we are afraid we can’t handle the horrific scenarios we’ve created for ourselves or when we doubt our competence. If our client goes away, then what?  If the economy tanks further, then what?  If our website crashes, then what? If we knew we’d be okay in the future because we have the expertise to handle these situations, the stress about the future would be a thing of the past.

One tip to combat that stress is to remind yourself of all the tough circumstances you’ve already navigated through successfully. Think about situations you went through in the past and how you handled them. While past success is no guarantee of future performance, as they say in the stock market, it still is a pretty good indication of how things will turn out.

Sidebar: If you feel you are having a Janet Jackson moment and a little boobage pops out, don’t hide, don’t allow that moment to stress you out to the point of no return, just keep on going.  Things happen and the only thing we can control is our reaction. If we can control our reactions now, when it comes time to be in front of thousands of people, we will know how to “get a grip” and “keep it moving”.

Make sure you visit www.asklucindacross.com and sign up for next months Q&A

Written by : Lucinda Cross

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  1. Jewel Wiliams June 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    The analogy that you provided with one who feels she is losing control is perfect. On top of the analogy the ironic part is one of this artist’s song about control too! This is just great and yes, we can learn from the moments where we do not have control over a situation, but must use our best judgement in the process and let God be in control.

  2. Kadena Tate June 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Excellent points Lucinda! It is important for us to remember that althought we cannot control what life brings to our door- we can ALWAYS control our attitude. We may choose to be a victim or a victor, but the point of power is within that present moment. I truly believe that within every obstacle is an opportunity for growth and expansion.

  3. Erika Matos June 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    The word I always associate with Janet? Control! While it is true that we don’t really have control of anything outside of ourselves, it is important to remember what we are equipped with in order to handle situations to the best of our knowledge. Great Post! (now, if i can just get that song out of my head… lol)

  4. simone hardy July 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Great analogy. I have been feeling like that lately maybe b/c I’m growing and it feels like you’re going in so many directions. This may be a good thing on some level but it doesn’t feel like that until after it passes and you’re able to cover up the boob. Great insight to tie that whole “Janet Jackson” thing into one’s business.

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