Think back to the day you learned how to swim. Regardless how you learned, you learned. If you were tossed in a pool today would you be able to get yourself back out?
Sometimes becoming overwhelmed feels like we were surprisingly thrown into the pool and we forget how to get ourselves back out. We become flustered by the chaos of life. We forget how to “swim”. We hope our instincts take over but that isn’t always the case. We know what to do but the panic takes over and we have a choice to make:
1) Panic and yell for help
2) Stop. Think. Execute.
Chaos is designed to fluster us. Once we become flustered, we forget how to execute even the simplest of tasks. Managing that chaos means we must be able to slow the world around us down for long enough to remember what we already know. Most of us are aware of the human responses of “fight or flight”. We either fight our way out of a situation or we decide to turn and run. What is often forgotten is the third human response: freeze. We have the option to do nothing and sometimes that is the absolute best thing to do. We have the option to freeze and then decide what we do next. That response allows us to take a moment to better assess the situation we are in and decide how to best move forward. In the case of being thrown in the pool, the freeze response would allow us the opportunity to prevent panic by pausing long enough to remember how to swim.
That is life. I believe it works the same way. When emotions are high, our judgement can be clouded until we take the time to reset ourselves. When you reach those moments where panic is approaching, you must Stop. Think. Execute.
Once we panic, our ability to problem solve is jeopardized. The more you panic the more you sink like quicksand. Take a deep breath and slow the world around you down just long enough to decide what to do next. Stop. Think. Execute.
Timothy A. Natale
Motivate. Inspire. Grow.