Taking care of life so that business can thrive
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar in your life?
- You are going to the office and you get a call that your kid is sick in school and they can’t contact your ex-partner to come pick him/her up. So you have nobody to pick the kid up because all your friends and contacts abandoned you with the divorce. So you turn around and go to the school and pick up your child and take them home. You call in and miss half a day until you find a sitter.
- You have a meeting with many people travelling to attend and you get a last minute request for a court appearance that your lawyer failed to let you know in advance. So you can’t change the date or time and you have to have another colleague take over for you. The meeting was a flop and your reputation shot.
- You are scheduled for a writer of a magazine to include you in one of their articles, and they only have one date they can attend the interview, or you don’t get into the magazine and that affects your marketing in a large way. The ex-spouse calls and accuses you of stealing their truck (the teenager did it) and they are calling the police. You are so distraught that you lock yourself out of your office/store with your purse and keys inside. You have to miss the interview.
- You have men arriving to your facility to build the storefront and a truck is arriving after a 7 day drive, to deliver and build your facility interior. You have 5 employees, 3 men who came from New York by plane, all waiting for you and you are paying them by the hour or contract. You get a call from your child that their other parent has been punching them and they are suicidal. You can’t find anybody to pick the kid up from home, so you go home and bring the kid to the store. And from there you are calling the police and dealing with this while you are dealing with the store and the activity. You end up with a $3000 charge for not being present. You end up paying for lodging and meals for all the inconvenienced people.
- You have visitation with your kids and each time you go to pick them up, you are served by a court server. The kids are distraught and they don’t want to visit with you. You have to cancel your visitation with the kids to go to court, and you find out it was cancelled and nobody informed you.
What can a person do?
What are the effects and what can you do about it? Do you feel ganged up on, tired, sad, angry? When we have strong emotions and feel trapped or without a way out, the brain fog from the stress affects performance on the job. So what can you do?
When I was going through these similar situations, I had to get into get-real mode and get into action. Gearing down into second gear as I like to refer to it as. I had to get clear about what was happening and my circumstances. It was tough to confront the way things were and so examining them was especially hard. In order to get clear about what I wanted and needed to do, I had no friends left, I started to journal. I dealt with lawyers, children’s services, and the police too, but I needed to sort things out. I used a special framework for challenging my negative thoughts (whereby I was whipping myself into emotional despair).
This framework consisted of 5 things to ponder. These components were a way of explaining to myself what was going on for me, how my challenges were evolving and what my takeaways were from my findings. I learned my way out of situations as I followed my curiosities while journalling. When I was able to do that, my solutions seemed so simple and I was able to make the decisions and get into action. Time to journal and reflect were invaluable and staying focused, learning to relax and take time for myself – was critical to dealing with the deluge of problems. I called it compartmentalizing like the compartments within a submarine, that are closed off so that water can’t get in throughout, and sink the submarine.
Taking time to journal
Putting concerns and questions on the back burner of the stove to sit, is what I did. I let it sit until a time when I could deal with it. What I mean is, I would take time out at the end or beginning of the day, to work through that 5 component framework. I did this until I was clear and was able to function again at work. I took the time to journal, when it was scheduled, and work without worry until it was time to journal. There was a time set aside to problem solve. I couldn’t afford to worry at work.
You cannot experience that which you will not confront, examine, release and embrace.
I was able to confront reality, examine the circumstances, release the energy and negative dialogue, and embrace self care and taking action to defend myself and the kids. As I took control of the situation bit by bit, I was able to get on with work. I didn’t merely survive, I thrived.