There’s been a theme in my work at as a coach and an instructor over the past week or so. Even though it’s summer, which is supposedly the most relaxed time of the year, many of us are feeling just the opposite. Life seems a little dialed up this summer, for lots of different reasons.
Some of the people I’m talking to are making big changes, like moving or searching for a new job. Some are MBA students in internships that have turned out to a master class instead of a “summer gig.” Some are looking ahead to their MBA, and going for a third or fourth bout with the dreaded GMAT or GRE. Some are just (temporarily) stuck in doubt about whether their dreams are realistic, and whether they should bother keeping them.
Heart rates are high. Anxiety is higher. Sometimes it’s so high, that catching your breath seems borderline impossible. Once you get to that point, it’s hard not to fall into the rabbit hole of negative self-talk and storytelling that accompanies it. “This isn’t going to work. I can’t do this. It’s too much. I’m not enough.” You slide right down the hill, and trying to get back up feels more and more futile.
It isn’t, though. You can get through it, and you will be able to breathe deeply again.
These are some of the moments in life when knowing that everything is temporary is a relief. Nothing that you experience in any present moment will last forever. It might carry into the next moment, but it doesn’t have to go much farther than that.
On Friday, we’ll talk in more detail about ways to get back to center when you’re set adrift from it in moments like this. For now, know this: it happens to everyone, it’s temporary, and you will feel better again. In fact, you’ll feel great again.
On the upside, anxiety is a sign that what you’re doing matters to you. That’s a good thing, because it helps you to align your efforts with purpose. Even if you have trouble staying with it, try to take a deep breath. Just one. It will make a difference, and it will be the starting point for everything good that comes next.
Photo credit: Bruce Mars
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