As I talk about in the leadership section of the “Partner and Profit” course, the most successful leaders have a high tolerance to stress. I’ve heard it said that leaders have high test testosterone and low cortisol, and cortisol is essentially the chemical in the brain and body which is responsible for stress.
And so, if we want to increase our capacity to take on big challenges, and a lot of responsibility, we need to develop our own systems to cope with high pressure, high stakes situations. That’s why I think that this is one of the most important lessons in the entire course.
Anyone who seems like they have it all together, it’s a good chance that they have done a lot of work on themselves. It was the conscious work that they did rather than the results of accident or chance.
There’s a saying by Eleanor Roosevelt that “beautiful young people are accidents of nature, while beautiful old people are works of art.”
Self-care helps us to nurture our mind, body, and spirit.
“I don’t deserve to live anymore.”
Several years ago, I felt like I was at rock bottom. I had just returned home to Bangkok from a trip to Bali where my wallet was stolen. I had also just broken up with my girlfriend and my business was not doing well. Additionally, a potential client had rejected my proposal. I remember walking down the street, feeling so ashamed of myself. I thought, ‘You know, I don’t even deserve to live anymore.’
Something powerful happened at that point. I couldn’t shake myself out of that feeling, so what I did was I gave myself a deadline. I said, ‘Okay, I realize everything sucks. I feel really horrible right now, but I’m going to give myself until Monday to feel this way, and then I’m going to move on with my life.’
I noticed that sometimes we get into a bad way or a losing streak, where we have bad luck for several days. It’s important to find a way to stop that and get back on track, to get ourselves back into the game. We need to say, ‘Okay, that’s enough, and now it’s time to start over again.’
And there are some steps we can take that really help us.
You should do as many as you can every single day, just to have more good days in general. But if you do as many of these as you can all together, it can definitely help you to turn things around and to get back on track to start winning again. These habits will help you to turn your losing streak around and get out of your own way.
And you don’t have to only do these when you have a losing streak. You can also do these any time you want to reduce your own internal resistance, and just get more things done in general.
I like to think of these habits as like my secret superpower which enables everything that I do.
So with that said, I’m going to go through the list.
15 Strategies for Leaders to Cope
with High-Stress, High-Pressure Situations
1) The first is to get lots of sunlight.
Sunlight produces serotonin, and it’s probably the easiest and cheapest and best way to improve your mood and pick yourself up again.
2) The second is to get some kind of movement; some kind of exercise.
Our bodies are built to move, and staying static is actually abnormal to us. Our bodies and our brains balance themselves through movement. Movement also helps to release a lot of that stored up tension in the body
3) Third is to spend some time close to nature.
Observe the moment just noticing the trees and flowers, and appreciating all of the abundance that is around you.
4) Fourth is breathing exercises.
Breathing exercises help you to activate your vagus nerve; taking deep breaths holding it in for 20 seconds slowly exhaling. Getting plentiful oxygen into your system because a lot of that stress and anxiety is stored in your gut.
5) Fast: don’t eat until your day is finished.
They say that a wealthy man has many concerns, but a hungry man has only one. Fasting is not only really healthy for you, it helps to reset your body and also distracts you from all your other problems.
I tried to do all of my work, especially my most important work while in a fasted State because that is when I have the most mental clarity and I noticed that when I start to eat food, there’s also a significant decrease in my willpower and motivation. I just feel incredible when I’m in a fasted state and I can prolong that through the day.
6) Listen to the sound of birds singing.
And you can even do this with YouTube — if you’re not in the countryside there are a lot of bird song videos on YouTube that can help replicate the effect.
7) Seven is to walk barefoot in nature
You can go into a field where you can walk on some grass if you’re near the ocean you can walk in the sand and that’s always a great way to clear your mind to reconnect with natural world
8) Reduce exposure to whatever it is that’s bringing you down.
When we care too much about something, the outcome tends to turn out very badly for us.
That’s why it’s important to take some kind of conscious action to reduce the exposure of whatever it is that is bringing us down to reduce the power that it has over us.
Otherwise we can find ouselves in this loop where we receive a trigger; this impulse and it automatically gets you down every time. So we need to reduce our exposure to the trigger and stop that loop.
9) Nine, disconnect from social media
That one is obvious. I often try to do this on the weekends and it feels like taking a huge weight off of my chest, and allows me to focus on the things that are truly important.
10) Tell yourself that you love and accept yourself even as imperfect as you are; even with all of your flaws.
This is great whenever you feel like you’re not up to something, or you feel like you can buckle under the pressure, or you feel ashamed because you were rejected or because you experienced some kind of a failure. Rejection and failure can knock us on our ass but this can help us to get back on our feet.
11) Eleven, write down “I am enough” somewhere where you will see it
And remind yourself often that “I am enough, I’ve always been enough, I always will be enough.”
And sometimes I like to write down other empowering statements, such as when I have a lot of work to do, I will say, “it is my privilege and my joy to serve others.”
12) Twelve, loop your favorite songs to sing or to dance to, or both.
That’s a great way to lift up your spirits and pick yourself up again.
13) Program yourself with the right thoughts that you wish to have everyday.
For this, I highly recommend starting with some guided meditations. It’s very simple, when you are getting ready for your day or having breakfast, you can listen to simple 20 minute audios that program you to be successful at anything that you choose to do.
You can find many great guided meditations just from YouTube. You can easily search for and find your favorites. There are many dedicated to different topics like self-confidence, eliminating anxiety, programming you with an abundance mindset, and so on.
The power of listening to these audios everyday is that rather than leaving your mind to its own devices, you start it on the course that will give you the best results. You program it to reject disempowering thoughts and replace them with more empowering thoughts and beliefs.
14) Have a conversation with a good friend, or just a like-minded, positive person.
I noticed that when I spend time around people I like, who like me, I am charged with this new sense of energy. And various studies, as I’ve seen in psychology today, tell us that low levels of social activity is as harmful to us as smoking packs of cigarettes each day. We are designed to be social, and sometimes just having regular conversations with people who we enjoy can fill us with so much positive energy.
15) Drink tea.
A regular, sustained regimen of drinking tea can help to turn stress into a thing of the past. Various types and kinds of teas can help to soothe the nerves and alleviate stress.
According to Dr Eric Berg, a popular YouTuber, both lemon tea and decaffeinated green tea are optimal for stress relief. I personally prefer to drink “evening” teas to help me relax a few hours before bedtime, with a mixture of chamomile and lavender type teas specifically formulated for relaxation.
This lesson is from the “leadership” section of the “Partner and Profit: Growth Hack Your Way to a World Class Network” Masterclass.
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