An Important Lesson For Entrepreneurs – From a U.S Navy Seal

I just heard an amazing true story. I thought that you, as an entrepreneur, might find it very useful. 

It’s all about the importance of keeping focused when things are extremely stressful in your business.

Getting focused on just the one or two things that will improve your business. The handful of activities that are in your control, rather than worrying about people or situations that you can’t do anything about.

I tell this amazing story here:

Yes the story is about an elite Navy Seal warrior, but it’s totally relevant for anyone like you, who owns their own business.

Check out this Navy Seal’s story right here:

3 Great Tips For Staying Calm At Work.

Calmness

It’s becoming harder than ever to stay calm and relaxed in the workplace.

Workloads are getting bigger, deadlines are getting shorter.

It’s no wonder workplace stress is at an all time high.

But part of the reason that so many people are feeling so angst ridden about their work is because they have never learned any methods to alleviate their stress.

As a mentor to executives and CEOs worldwide, I see this scenario all the time and in response have developed several powerful techniques for helping anyone to greatly reduce feelings of overwhelm, sadness and tension at work.

Let’s look at several of the best techniques now.

Switch To The Game Mindset

In my experience, there are two primary mindsets people have about their work. The first is the War Mindset. Somebody with this mindset sees work as a battle and themselves as a soldier. It’s hardly surprising then that they often finish their day completely exhausted and defeated by their perceived skirmishes.

The second mindset is the Game Mindset.  Executives living this paradigm are just as committed to excellence as the first group, but they see themselves as competing in an exciting and entertaining game. They still try really hard, but they are eminently aware that their doing this for fun as much as money.

Time and time again I have seen people who think this way both outperform the warriors and simultaneously be more relaxed and happier.

If you’re feeling a little worn out by work, consider putting a Post It note on your desk with the word ‘Game’ on it, so you can be reminded to keep this mindset all day long.

You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes.

Use The ‘Next Right Choice’ Technique

This is a highly effective method of stress reduction taught by the brilliant high performance coach, Dr Dennis Deaton.

When you are stressed at work you take two minutes to mentally visualize yourself making the right choice in that situation. So for example if you are clashing with a colleague, just before you are scheduled to have a meeting with that person you mentally see yourself as being calm, rational, and effective in your conversation with them. It’s  a very simple technique that can lead to virtually immediate improvements in performance and reductions in stress.

Try The Breath Release

This is one of my personal favorites. Whenever you are in a high stress situation, take a deep breath and then rapidly exhale, as you simultaneously imagine that particular stress leaving your body.

My personal belief is that mental stresses have corresponding physical components in our bodies. When we physically attempt to expel them there is almost always a dramatic improvement in how we feel.

These are three highly effective techniques for reducing your workplace stress.

Used in combination they can turn even the most stressed worker into someone who is happier, calmer and significantly more effective.

6 Ways to Reduce Business Stress.

Any business person aiming high is going to be stressed at times.

But surprisingly few have learnt smart ways to reduce their stress.

Below are 6 highly effective ways to keep your stress under control, no matter what is happening in your business and personal life.

1. REMIND YOURSELF OF WHAT’S GOING RIGHT.

Usually people are stressed about just one or two areas of their life. If they only took a moment to look at the big picture, they would see that the vast majority of their life is going well. Grab a pen and some paper and write a list of all the stuff that’s going well in your life. (You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how long the list becomes.). Now stick that list next to your computer, so that you see it all day long. Watch how quickly your perspective changes and your mood lifts.

2. GET ULTRA CLEAR ON YOUR TO DO LIST.

Clarity enhances serenity. If you’re stressed by how much you have to do, get precise about exactly what tasks must be done (You’ll often realize it’s less than you thought). Once you’ve created your list put a circle around the truly crucial tasks. Most of the time stressed executives have exaggerated just how much they have to do. Getting it down on paper helps you see that mountain of work may be smaller than you thought.

3. TIDY YOUR ENVIRONMENT.

The renowned personal development guru, Wayne Dwyer, says you can tell the state of a person’s mind by the state of their car. I agree. if you’re feeling overwhelmed one of the most effective strategies is to create order in your immediate environment – car, office, home. As you take charge of your surroundings your feelings of control will increase. And as the esteemed behavioural psychologist Martin Seligman has shown, there’s a strong correlation between feelings of control and well being.

4. TRY THE 3 BREATH RELEASE.

I mentor executives and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Whenever they come to me complaining about stress I get them to do this simple exercise:

Take a deep breath. Then as you exhale imagine all your problems and stress leaving you. Do this just 3 times and I bet your feeling of stressed has dissipated significantly.

5. FOCUS ON HELPING OTHER PEOPLE.

One of the most effective techniques for reducing your stress is to take the focus off yourself. When you start devoting time to helping others around you inevitably spend less time thinking about your own problems. There are several studies from the University of Pennsylvania linking happiness with service to others. It may seem strange to connect the two, but the truth is many people who are stressed in the corporate world are so partly because they are incessantly thinking about their own issues and situation, rather than others. We need to balance the two.

6. TAKE MASSIVE ACTION.

There is a concept in psychology known as Learned Helplessness – failing to respond or act to improve our circumstances. Originally discovered in rats, learned helplessness is also evident in some humans who feel overwhelmed by their roles and responsibilities. They feel that things are so bad there is little that they can do to change things. We have all felt this at some point in our business lives and it is a depressing feeling to say the least.

The cure though is simple. Take action to fix things. By proactively acting to improve our circumstances we regain a feeling of control and possibility. If we continue acting we soon get a change in our situation. Soon our situation improves, which encourages us to act further. A virtuous cycle develops which usually quickly improves our predicament.

The key is to act greatly, taking multiple steps to change things, even if we’re not sure if they’ll work. If we act enough, we will usually see vast improvements in almost any area we focus on.

So next time you’re feeling stressed at work, try one or two of these techniques. You’ll find every one of them is highly effective in both reducing your stress and improving your performance.

How to Beat Stress and Overwhelm

If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your business, there’s a technique I developed that can massively reduce your stress and quickly improve your results.

I call it The One Action.

The One Action is ridiculously simple, but also stunningly effective.

It works like this:

When the work is piling up and you don’t know where to start, look at each project you have and ask the following question.

“What’s the one action I could take that would have the most impact here?”

And then quickly take that action.

The One Action method works so well because it reduces the confusion and complexity of any major project.

(So often we are so frozen by all there is to do, we end up doing nothing).

It moves you from thinking/worrying mode into action mode.

And it simplifies your To Do List into manageable chunks.

But perhaps the most important change The One Action makes is mental.

After you take a key action step on two or three of your projects, you get a wonderful feeling of momentum, progress and achievement.

This creates a virtuous action/result cycle where you feel more and more empowered each One Action task that you do, so you’re motivated to do more of them.

The truth is, we are often busier than we should be. Rather than just endlessly do stuff we need to behave like an army sniper and very carefully look for the most important target, then shoot it.

This highly leveraged way of thinking and behaving ensures no matter how busy we are, we get the vital jobs done (and we feel a whole lot less stress to boot).

Today my One Action task was to write this blog.

What’s yours?