Have you ever suddenly felt an overwhelming rush of panic sweep over you? Do you know the feeling of anxiety draining life from your pores as you become paralyzed in fear?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone talking so fast that your own heart rate goes up, or an email from someone who, you can tell from their 5-line run-on sentence that makes no sense, is completely freaking out? You know what happens next: their panic becomes your panic, their fears become your problem.
I’d like to suggest before we embark on this fine Monday, this lovely first day of October, with a beginning exercise in NOT panicking.
When we panic, we cause others to panic. When we panic, we force our thoughts into a holding pen and the only way to set them free in order to produce action is to release the stress.
So take a deep breath in. Deep breath out. Release your fears.
LET. IT. GO.
Panic is the enemy of progress.
I repeated this to myself several times over the past two weeks. The past two weeks filled with seriously non-stop, overflowing long long long ass days and nights that blended into one another. I repeated this to myself so I could enjoy the moments spent with my kids knowing there was likely someone panicking on the other end of that call I just missed. I repeated this to myself when I’d look at my To Do list (not the “Should Do List” but my “You Must Do This or Heads Will Roll” List) and the math did not add up between the responsibilities, the time available, and the personnel. Personnel being just little ol’ all-too-human me.
I understand where panic comes from, and I’m telling you what I tell myself: JUST STOP IT.
And don’t confuse panic with adrenaline. Panic is paralyzing fear; adrenaline is excitement unleashed.
Some of us need that certain bit of adrenaline rush to push us forward faster. Panic, on the other hand, does no one any good.
We have work to do, mouths to feed, people to clothe, houses to maintain, friends to support, and communities to keep thriving. We have lives to live, and nobody’s life is furthered by panicking.
So let it go. Before you dash off that frantic “OMG we’re all gonna DIE if this doesn’t get done in 2 minutes!!!!” email. Take 5 seconds to think clearly before you dial your colleague’s number to exclaim “We just got the WORST. NEWS. EVER!! What are we gonna DOOOOO?!?!”
Stand up (seriously, get out of your chair and stand up). Turn around. Look at the world from a different angle and put all of your thoughts toward a solution, letting go of all else.
Then pick up that phone. Start writing that email, breathing in, breathing out, deeply with every keystroke of the keyboard. Offer your solution to the possible problem at hand in as calm of a voice or kind as an email tone as you can summon.
I will work hard at taking my own advice this week, as it is a week that is prime for moments of ultimate panic. My calendar alone seems to scream the impossible. I will try to heed my own words, and knowing you will be trying too will make me try harder.
It’s Monday, my friends. A new day, a new month, a fresh start. Let’s focus on moving forward and leave panic in the dust.
MOB Mondays = Mom-Owned Business Mondays. Each Monday, I share stories from the trenches of being a mom entrepreneur. If you would like to contribute a MOB Monday post, please email me with your pitch idea and a link to writing samples.