Ever been working non-stop to prepare for that big meeting?
It’s consumed your thoughts because you feel nervous that you won’t deliver what was expected. The last thing you want is to let others down or yourself. And, there’s that fear that tough questions will be asked and you won’t be prepared. Your negative emotions are not in control.
What needs to be prepared?
The materials, your presentation, the logistics, the pre-work, so forth.
What often gets overlooked is your mind. It must be prepared because without that your energy is off and things will not flow. I can imagine you’ve felt that when you were overtired, anxious, and sitting in that big meeting.
Imagine taking 5 minutes a day from the countless hours on marking things off your To Do list and using those to work with your mind. You can drive your whole experience with that focus.
Prepare your mind and everything else will work out.
It’s normal that emotions run high when you’re preparing for something you find important. Many people feel nervous, anxious, and scared in the same situation. The thing you forget is you can control your mind and it will positively affect how you’re feeling.
The key to making it a meaningful experience is to learn how to manage these emotions. When you can do that, your actions are inspired and come from your heart which always feels good.
If everything feels like a struggle, you know that your actions aren’t inspired.
Pause and take notice of the emotions arising.
Your emotions are like clouds rising in the sky. They’re not permanent as they continually form and dissolve back into your mind. Naming those clouds is crucial. Don’t let your internal sky become cloudy and even stormy.
I recently came across some notes I took related to a Board meeting I was preparing for back in 2013. I’d gotten into the practice of writing things down when I felt uneasy. These notes made it a lot easier to understand what was going on because I laid out what negative emotions were arising in a factual manner.
Before this practice, I was clueless and kept repeating the same anxious behavior. The way you mentally approach things is a habit. Without gaining awareness, it’s not possible to transform this experience.
How do you want to feel?
Going back to those notes, I also laid out how I wanted to feel. So opening up what was in my mind – I wrote that I wanted to be confident and feel good because I was trying to do the right thing and that I’m the only one that can make me feel good on the inside.
I guess I was my own mini-coach back then. Now with years of professional coaching experience, I can use lots of tools to help people get into positive states of mind and so they can self-coach too.
You can do it also now. Start laying out how you want to feel from the experience. Make that your primary focus. Once you’ve described the state you want to hold, start practicing it.
Close your eyes and remember a time when you felt that state very strongly. Notice how it feels on the inside. Next, imagine the upcoming event and see yourself feeling that same emotion there.
Please note that I would have asked the old me what I meant by good because that’s vague. The answer would’ve been peaceful which means I would be happy.
Let your actions be inspired by the feeling you desire.
Take whatever feeling you choose and ask yourself how do you [insert the feeling] move through this event?
I’d say back then how do I happily move through this experience (I literally did write that down). This is how your actions become inspired. You shift to a positive state of mind through that feeling and take action from your heart.
This doesn’t need to be pages of actions. Just note a few down.
Like Martin Luther King said faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
Managing your emotions starts from realizing you need to manage your emotions. You’re aware of what negative feelings are arising and the negative states of mind that are created. Then, you decide how you’d love to feel instead. Let yourself fully experience whatever that positive feeling is. Then, let it guide you to take inspired action moving forward.
Take inspired action
I can’t express enough times how valuable it is to write things down. This can be profound and allows you to recognize your negative mental habits.
For your next big meeting or any other big experience that’s making you anxious, try this process. And, please leave in the comments what that will be – consider it a public announcement which boosts your commitment.
Please share this email with anyone that’s dealing with negative emotions so they can feel some relief.