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Promising to yourself that you won’t get stressed out is a recipe for just the opposite

Q: I am about to move into the busy season for my company and I don’t want to be completely exhausted and stressed by the end of it. What can I do to avoid this?

A: Your first step is to get clear about what you do want instead of what you don’t want. This might seem like a little thing, but it’s actually not. Here’s the deal; your brain doesn’t recognize the word “don’t.”

Let me give you an example. Don’t think about what the colour of your first car was. What happened? You saw and thought about the colour of your first car. See where I’m going here?

Your brain automatically deletes the “don’t” and then in your case, you’re left with, “I want to be completely exhausted and stressed by the end of this season.” Notice how you start feeling stressed just thinking about it, this is not setting you up for success.

It’s OK if at first you can only come up with what you don’t want. That’s normal. All you need to do is flip it around to what you do want from there. Ask yourself, what is the exact opposite of “X.” In your case, ask, if you don’t want to be stressed and exhausted then what do you want? Happy and balanced perhaps?

Next ask yourself, “What do I need to do differently (more of or less this time) so I walk away feeling happy and balanced by the end? What is the No. 1 thing that if I did that on a consistent basis would make the biggest difference for me to succeed? What’s got to happen in order for that to happen?”

Remember, whatever you focus on you get more of … Good luck!

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