My coaching client, a senior director in healthcare, told me she was surprisingly preoccupied and disappointed after being passed over for a promotion. With her credentials, track record and high functioning team she thought she was poised for the VP role. Now her day-to-day work is less fulfilling and her enthusiasm for the organization has been dampened.
A colleague faced a different concern. An elite athlete, she was training for a triathlon while also caring for a sick parent. When market changes meant she had to lay off several direct reports at work, she hit a wall. What had seemed manageable, was now overwhelming.
Both client and colleague had their confidence rattled.
Whether it’s the board room, the class room or the locker room – when we face unexpected barriers we replay events, doubt our decisions and question our next move.
Stop the downward spiral. Here are three ways to nudge your energy and attitude back into a productive direction.
- Take a small step – get back into action to combat the desire to withdraw. It may be completing a key report, following up on a contact, or changing your gym routine. Self-compassion is an essential ingredient so you don’t over commit or over estimate what you can do.
- Get creative – work at a different location, play music to lift your mood, or substitute a dance class for your workout. Creativity tamps down the inner critic.
- Connect with trusted others – isolation can reinforce negative self-talk. Make a date with a friend, contact a mentor, or work with a coach. Spending time with caring people floods your brain with the “feel-good” hormone, oxytocin.
Action will change your mindset away from self-focus to self-mastery.