Written by: Jacquie Hermans, Inspirational Comedian & Emotional Intelligence Specialist
Image provided by www.freedigitalphotos.net
Your thoughts are the difference between a horrible day and a pretty darn good one. Last week I felt as if my optimism was put to the test.
I was driving to Waterloo from Uxbridge (approx.. 2 hours) to offer a lunch and learn session. As soon as I reached Waterloo my van’s exhaust system went incredibly loud, so much so I couldn’t hear the radio and had to wear head phones to protect my ears from the intense vibrations.
I arrived an hour and a half prior to my presentation so I took my van into a dealership. I told myself “Jacquie, take a chill pill. It’s all going to work out.” They said they would look at it, drop me off to my presentation and would pick me up as soon as I called them.
They called me before my session started to let me know they didn’t have the parts (that would cost just over $1000 – yikes!), but it should be safe to drive back to Uxbridge. The word “should” wasn’t incredibly comforting, however, I was grateful for the go ahead to drive the van.
While setting up for my session I asked where the handouts were. There seemed to have been some miss-communication. Approximately 200 participants located into 5 satellite areas needed handouts. My fear of failure, judgment and fear of the unknown started to rumble. The handouts were needed for 2 activities that would have taken up at least 40% of the presentation. I would have a lot of revamping to do in a short period of time if the handouts weren’t ready.
They sent emails, made phone calls and made sure all locations had the handouts. Overall, the presentation was a success and I was incredibly grateful for the running around the coordinators of the event did so the workshop would run smoothly.
My timing was tight to get back to Uxbridge to pick up my kids from school. When I called the dealership, they said they could pick me up in a half an hour. My fear started to emerge again. “Jacquie, you are scared and angry right now, but you will find a solution!” Courageously I asked the audio technician that was hired to assist with my presentation, for a ride to the dealership. He generously agreed so I had the pleasure of riding in a big white service van. It was fun!
On top of that, the organizers sent me home with Pizza. I normally do gluten free because of medical reasons, however, I was starved and it was gourmet pizza! I devoured it on the way home and had no health ramifications. I actually think it was the best pizza I have ever tasted!
In the end, everything worked out. The day wasn’t effortless, however, the majority of the work came from everyone else, and I just needed to coordinate the efforts.
On another positive note, my van was fixed at my local Shell station for only $140.01.
When all of this was going down I could have easily stayed within my panic mode, but I concentrated on keeping my thoughts positive. I focused on solutions. I’m not always good at it, but days like these provide me with a reminder that I can handle what’s thrown at me and that everything works out in the end.
Next time the “you know what hits the fan”, tune into the emotion you are feeling and name it. “I am angry” or “I am scared”. According to Dr. Matt Lieberman, by naming your emotion, you can get yourself out of an Amygdala Hi-Jack. We have two Amygdalae, one on either side of our brain within the limbic system (your emotional centre). When under high stress your Amygdalae take over the functioning of your pre-frontal cortex and you literally lose IQ points. By naming the emotion you can bring your pre-frontal cortex back on line so you have the thinking power to solve your problem.
To keep your pre-frontal cortex online you can tell yourself “Take a chill pill __________ (insert your name). Everything will work out in the end.”
Studies have shown; talking to your self is actually a powerful tool to achieve goals. Psychologist, Ethan Kross has been studying self-talk for boosting confidence and has discovered it’s a powerful instrument to free the brain to perform its absolute best.
So when the “s!#t hits the fan”, because it will, name your emotion and talk yourself into a high functioning place of solving whatever has been thrown at you.Jacquie is an Emotional Intelligence Specialist. Coming from a place of high anxiety with the sleepless nights in her head worried about what might happen, to the embarrassing lip quivers and eye twitches when put on the spot, she was determined to “Get Over Herself!” Using the combination of E.I. Strategies and laughter-filled experiential learning techniques Jacquie was able to Light’n Up from the inside out. For the past 10 years Jacquie has been offering Keynotes, Corporate Workshops, Engaging and hilarious Emcee services, a monthly newsletter, and now offers an online T.V. show called “Ignite Your Happy T.V.” To connect with Jacquie visit her website www.lightnup.ca