“I could kick myself”
Did you ever come out of an important meeting and just after you walked out you realized you had forgotten to make one really important point?
Did somebody, maybe a boss or coworker, criticize, attack or embarrass you? You handled it as well as you could at the time. And yet a little bit later you thought, “why didn’t I do this?” Or “why didn’t I say that?”
You are not alone!
Believe me this happens to a lot of people a lot of the time. Certainly it has happened to me. I remember pitching an important project to a director in the company. I felt certain I communicated the benefits of the project well. Yet I noticed still some subtle expression of discomfort or doubt. Maybe the approach was too new and unfamiliar. Maybe some past experience bothered her. I noticed her uncertainty but didn’t probe any further. Shortly afterwards it became very clear to me that I missed a chance to really connect. I could have gained the director’s trust. How could I have missed that opportunity?
The annoying pest
Or think of another situation. Someone says a nasty thing to you or treats you badly. You give them a piece of your mind. Yet afterwards you still feel bad. Certainly you think why didn’t I do this or do that? There is an important reason why shortly after a critical situation you think of a better solution.
Why does this happen?
Because our brain reacts to the subtle stress of the situation. It is an ancient survival impulse. The subconscious part of your brain manages that survival effect. It is the Fight, Flight or Freeze Response. I call it the 3 F’s. What happens? You feel a little pressure, some subtle anxiousness barely noticeable. Yet the 3F mechanism will immediately pull blood out of your thinking brain. There is less oxygen and your thinking slows, even gets just a little foggy. Your focus narrows and some tunnel vision limits your perception. The 3F reflex gets you ready for fight or flight or worse freeze, which is playing dead. But that makes you less effective in a stressful situation in modern life.
Stress is a natural reaction
So any stress, whether it is just a slight annoyance barely felt or big shock which overwhelms, is a result of our natural survival reaction in the brain. In seconds it changes the functioning of your body and mind. We covered that in detail in a free report.
That is why learning to manage your stress on a daily basis is so important. You never know when a stressful situation triggers this automatic reflex. Often you barely notice that some subtle stress starts to distract your mind. But at a moment’s notice it will affect how you react and how well you get along. It will dictate how successful you are in that moment. If you manage your stress you will do well. If you manage your stress you will have nothing to regret or feel unhappy about later on.
At the time the problem I described above happened I didn’t know about stress and what to do about it. That I didn’t discover until years later. Now I’m better prepared and you can be too.
Your stress analyst still not quite perfect;)
Fred George Sauer
Fred George Sauer Founder of SciStress
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