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Being Driven in the Workplace

Being Driven in the Workplace

What drives you in the workplace? A friend of mine told me about the advice he got when he first sought help to manage his out-of-control Type A Behavior. After filling out the usual forms, the doctor asked, “How may I help you?” My friend replied, “I don’t know where to begin.” The doctor wisely said, “Pull any loose thread—it’s all one knot.”

Aspects of Type A Behavior include a sense of urgency, impatience, competitiveness, and being easily upset. Of those four behaviors, two of them—impatience and upset—aren’t hard-wired, don’t serve you, and can easily be controlled.

You’ve heard many people talk about the “fight or flight response.” We are hard-wired to look for danger and threats. Anything that sets off an alarm in our lizard brain will trigger a physical reaction. And an emotional reaction, as well. We see the emotional reactions of people around us all the time. We probably notice our own emotional reactions, as well. Even if we don’t like to admit it.

There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. It is all part of being human. But the people we most admire have the ability to manage the emotions and physical sensations at the moment.

Top Athletes Know-How 

One of our pleasures in Mastery Under Pressure is working with top athletes. We love helping them defeat their hardest opponent: Themselves. We often see top athletes sabotage themselves with their own thoughts and doubts. But the very elite performers have one indispensable skill: They have learned how to let it go. 

Do world-class athletes lose their tempers? All the time. In every sport. Whether it’s a tennis racquet smashed on the net or a baseball bat was thrown in disgust, we have all witnessed the best players lose their cool. But by the next point or their next at-bat, it’s as if it never happened. The best performers learn how to let it go in the moment.

Take Back Control at the Workplace

Being driven in the workplace doesn’t mean you have to let your Type A tendencies take control. Learn from the pros: Are you confused, upset, distressed, annoyed, or any of a hundred different emotions? Is work feeling more stressful these days? Tune into your body. What are you feeling and where are you feeling it? 

Is there a knot in your stomach? Do not avoid the sensation. Focus on it. What does that knot look like? Where is it located? Is it deep in your gut—or closer to your heart? Can you breathe into it? Take a deep breath and picture the air you inhale going right to the knot. Notice the knot loosen. And notice your mind calm down as well. If you start to tune into your own body, you will change the way you think and feel.

 

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