I’m not in control. I’m not perfect and over the last few weeks I have felt completely overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks… So maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I did feel a huge amount of disappointment, frustration, and guilt. Here’s what happened.
I came back from holiday with a nasty chest infection which really knocked me off my feet, instead of having a spring in my step like Tigger. I was in fact doubling up as Eeyore, slow and unresponsive and not seeing the joy in everyday things. Work was piling up post-holiday and there was a tender to write in a few days which had to take priority. I have been feeling guilty that I haven’t been blogging, not sure why as I don’t know if anyone reads them, but I find joy in writing them so will continue until someone tells me to stop!
It felt horrible to feel that way, and I couldn’t shake the feeling for a couple of weeks, the guilt of not being at my best, and the frustration just kept rising, even after I had tried to move on. I know that feeling bad wasn’t going to fix anything, so I just needed to get over it. Eventually, I started getting frustrated that I couldn’t get over my frustration and then something clicked.
My light bulb moment – Focus on reality, not feelings.
I’ve always been told not to let myself be controlled by my emotions. The state of reality isn’t based on how we feel — in fact, it is often quite the opposite. For instance, even though I was not at my best, the BEC was still moving forward because I have an awesome Operations Director who always has my back and when I am struggling, which thankfully isn’t often she just takes over, and there are several good things happening here at the BEC.
But the problem is that when you feel bad you start being negative, and negativity can leave you feeling even worse.
I know there’s a few tactics to combat this cycle of behaviour, and I hope they help
- Acknowledge your mistakes and your frustration. Instead of trying to push through frustration by ignoring it, figure out why you are frustrated. Writing it down can help to clarify why you are so frustrated
- Figure out how not to make that mistake again. Sometimes it is more complicated, such as checking an angry reaction. In any case, a mistake can be valuable if it keeps you from making an even bigger mistake.
- Stop replaying the situation in your head. Find something else to focus on by changing activities or scenery. If this isn’t possible, then write out or tell someone what you keep replaying in your head, as this often helps differentiate reality from mental escalation. Replace the negative thinking with positive self-talk.
- Keep going, don’t let negative feelings keep you from doing what you’re supposed to be doing. It should be a rare thing that our frustration gets so out of hand that we become crippled. In some ways, this requires a “fake it until you make it” kind of mentality: You may not feel like you can work cheerfully for the rest of the day, but you can at least keep working and be as cheerful as you can, which often leads to genuine cheerfulness.
As the Summer holidays approach, it may be time to take a well-earned break, the BEC will still be here but we reign in on social media and posts as we want to encourage down time for businesses if they can do it. Also, my fab Operations Director disappears for most of August leaving me home alone 😊 so I need to be around to be reactive the challenges the team may be encountering. Touch wood things are normally quiet. I like to use August to plan and review what we do.
I know the cost-of-living crisis is hitting businesses just like people but …If you can get away, take time off, or even just slow down for a few weeks please do! The BEC will still be here if you need support or advice. Have a fab summer folks!