I recently found myself in a high-pressure conversation that could go down three or four different paths, there was a time constraint, and I had some agenda items that I needed to take care of. In the moment, I felt completely scatterbrained and had an urge to jump ship. Do you ever get a feeling that sounds like “I want to stop doing this right now, where is the nearest exit?” This instinct kicks in for me when I get stuck and either don’t have an idea or can’t decide what to say.
As human beings, we avoid discomfort and move toward satisfaction and enjoyment. Sometimes it’s extremely obvious especially when discomfort is physical like getting out of the sun on a hot day and standing in the shade or going indoors. Other times, it can be more nuanced like avoiding scenarios where you might not know what to do next.
When the risk of harm is low, the benefits of leaning into discomfort can be surprisingly beneficial. My urge to exit the discussion and the experience all together would keep me from taking chances, practicing new skills, and ultimately my growth. When fear and anxiety come to play, they are very distracting because we tend to focus on our fears instead of using our brain power to problem solve. Being worried about not knowing what to do can keep you from being able to find solutions.
Things tend to speed up when anxiety is present, we might talk faster, thoughts might start to swirl, and it can be hard to think. Our nerves might chip in and make us feel like we need to act or decide what to do quickly. In reality, one of the best things you can do is slow down. The ability to slow down under pressure is an indication of confidence. Practicing slowing down when it's uncomfortable and instincts are telling you to cut and run, is one way to build confidence.
In this video, I share four things you can do to slow down and give yourself a moment to think clearly. Spending a moment to think can save you a lot of time and grief.