As I walked away from my last meeting, I could feel a knot beginning to build in my stomach. Before long I knew it would be amplified by a dull thudding headache. I kept asking myself: “Why did I organise the meeting for today? Why had I not seen the risk that my idea could be rejected, almost out of hand? My appraisal is next week so I may as well give up all hope of promotion now. I have proven I am just not good enough for my current role, never mind a bigger one. Oh, why, why, why?”
I am sure we have all experienced a similar scenario, when we leave a tough situation with that overwhelming feeling of despair, failure, frustration and vulnerability. Why do we do this to ourselves? Where does it come from? Even if our worst fears come true, what is the likely outcome? Don’t things usually work out OK?
We seem to have this amazing ability to create stress for ourselves, all by ourselves. It starts with that familiar voice in our head, the one with the sneering tone, so fast-talking that it makes us believe every word it is saying. We don’t even check it to see if the powerful messages it’s delivering are true. We just believe it without question and begin to change our physical state.
So now we ‘show up’ to our boss/appraisal/partner in a fluster looking and behaving as if our meeting’s already been a disaster – before it’s even happened! In other words, we have made it happen, we have made our worst fears come true, the whole awful situation resulting from the stress built up in our own head.
So how do we stop this from happening? Do we stop listening so intently to the voice and refuse to act upon it?
Quite simply, yes. If we become aware of how destructive this voice is, and choose to no longer listen, it would stop instantly, leaving us to ‘show up’ in a cool, calm and collected state, ready to do our best.
Stress affects us all, whether we’re working in an office in London or New York or ploughing a field in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a feeling that pervades the whole world.
When Miradorus heard about the opportunity to put together a poster campaign that would provide simple answers for stressed people in the UK, but at the same time offer finance to female entrepreneurs in Africa, it spoke volumes to some of our core values.
So if you travel on the London Underground keep your eyes peeled for the next 2 weeks… Miradorus are taking part in MicroLoan’s Buy A Poster, Build A Business campaign. If you see one of our posters let us know on Twitter by taking a photo and tweeting @Miradorus_ltd with the #SeeAPosterHelpABusiness hashtag and help us raise awareness of an organisation that empowers women to work themselves out of poverty.
Get involved in the conversation on social media and you could win a one to one coaching session OR a HBDi Whole Brain ThinkingTM profile and Skype debrief (your choice!). We’ll pick someone at random at the end of the two weeks and be in touch.
We wish the MicroLoan Foundation campaign ongoing success and we are delighted, as businesswomen ourselves, to be able to help more women to become self-sustaining in Africa.
There are two beautiful Miradorus posters to watch out for. Here’s what to spot…