Panicked or Prepared?
Every so often, we are faced with a difficult and sometimes scary situation. Each new problem feels like one that will never be resolved and there are no solutions in sight. Especially as a leader, we take this on and the anxiety builds when we can’t figure out a way to make something work.
Have you ever thought about what you are thinking about before these stressful moments occur in your life? We can accidently fall into the trap of panic and fear instead of preparation and planning. That fear can wreak havoc with us both professionally and personally, but only if we let it.
Even if we don’t feel it at the time, we can control that not only the outcome, but how we deal with the process of figure it out. That middle time, between the “Oh, crap!” and “I guess it wasn’t that bad after all!” is what we’re talking about here. The middle time is what can crush our spirt and hurt us emotionally if we let it. Being relaxed doesn’t mean complacent. We still need to lead. Be focused. Deliberate.
In this week’s podcast, I discussed a story by Will Smith on his experience sky diving. It really resonated with me. Letting fear build up for a moment that hasn’t come yet. I added that video at the bottom of this post. He ends his story with, “Everything we ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” I think these tough situations are similar. There is no easy out. The answer is facing the fear and overcoming it, not running from it.
The stream life is sometimes not always an easy ride and what fun would that be anyways? The enjoyment of the calm waters only increases with the turbulence of the rapids. In the Zhuangzi, it says, “Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free.” Get the best boat, and be prepared with your equipment to keep you safe, but then enjoy the ride!
Take advantage of these moments to test yourself and grow through them. Haruki Murakami said, “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in, that’s what the storm is all about.” Consider reframing your lens to look at these situations as opportunities, for yourself, and for others.
“I like things that make you grit your teeth. I like tucking my chin in and sort of leading into the storm. I like that feeling, I like it a lot.” This line by Daniel Day Lewis is a great mentality for school leaders. We have to embrace the challenge and grit our teeth. We take on the leadership reigns knowing that we have to be the one, if no one else, that can be tough and calm at the same time. You lead. Others follow. Never forget that. They are watching you. Always!
The next time you come across a scary situation you know is about to occur in your life, consider two choices on how you deal with that fear bubbling inside of you. Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. The choice is yours. You can help yourself rise above both to be successful in the situation and to feel better emotionally along the way. You got this!
If you want to hear more – check out the podcast embedded below.