Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon

Stay Calm and Keep Pedaling

July 08, 2020 Wendy Deacon Season 1 Episode 11
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Stay Calm and Keep Pedaling
Chapters
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Stay Calm and Keep Pedaling
Jul 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
Wendy Deacon

So….you are either focused on a personal goal or even just getting ready for your next fun adventure.  You may have even had to summon the courage to take that first big step and you're actually on your way.  What happens when you get suddenly stopped or derailed?  When you have an Oh BLEEP moment?  What will you do?  Will you panic?

Today I'm going to share some stories and talk about how to stay calm so you can tackle and more quickly get to your solution.

Show Notes Transcript

So….you are either focused on a personal goal or even just getting ready for your next fun adventure.  You may have even had to summon the courage to take that first big step and you're actually on your way.  What happens when you get suddenly stopped or derailed?  When you have an Oh BLEEP moment?  What will you do?  Will you panic?

Today I'm going to share some stories and talk about how to stay calm so you can tackle and more quickly get to your solution.

1.11 Stay Calm and Keep Pedaling

So….you are either focused on a personal goal or even just getting ready for your next fun adventure.  You may have even had to summon the courage to take that first big step and you're actually on your way.  What happens when you get suddenly stopped or derailed?  When you have an Oh BLEEP moment?  What will you do?  Will you panic?

Today I'm going to share some stories and talk about how to stay calm so you can tackle and more quickly get to your solution.

 Intro

 Panic.  One sure way to make a bad situation wayyyyy worse.

Today I'll cover that 1) there's no way to avoid these possibilities unless you literally stay at home on a couch all day…..in that case I can save you from listening further today or any day going forward.  2) what is key is HOW you handle such roadblocks, fires, OH BLEEP moments, etc and 3) my recommendations on how best to stay calm and focus to more quickly resolve.  I'll also share a few stories of my own OH BLEEP moments and hope you'll feel more empowered to think ahead and be ready for your next OH BLEEP!

 1.    No way to avoid 

First, you have to accept that these moments will happen, no matter how much you plan and try to minimize the variables.  They happen when your young child is playing with friends and in a split second falls hard.  Or when your big project deadline just got moved up and you are nowhere near ready or close to completion.  Or when you've summoned the courage to step out of your comfort zone and try a new activity, only to find after a few minutes you feel in over your head and unsure how you'll get out of it.

Or like when you're on a 10 day trip to Iceland and you're driving the rental 4WD vehicle and a whiteout blinding snowstorm hits. Talk about a pucker moment and one in which I am sure I had big wide scared eyes and a death grip on the steering wheel.  I posted the video of this in my video version of this podcast at XXX.

This was March 2019 and I was traveling with a friend and we knew and accepted the risks of renting and driving ourselves versus going with a group tour.  We did work with a tour company for all of the planning as traveling in March can be more sketchy, so it included us drafting our itinerary/places we plan to visit and the timing of each while they provided feedback on winter access issues, car and hotel or lodging bookings and 24/7 emergency coverage and provided dedicated cell phone.  We also drive in Colorado winters and mountain snowstorms, so we were prepared and ready for what we thought could be a challenging drive.

We took off from Vic on the SE coast of Iceland en route to the next small town in which we had a glacier hike later that day.  We had been sightseeing and started driving up the Ring Road to the East when the weather quickly changed and a total whiteout occurred.  YIKES.

I'll come back to the story in a bit.

As I think it's important now to move on to my second area of focus in that

2.    The Key is HOW you handle

Going back to driving in VIC example, I had several choices.  I could pull over. I could curl up in a ball and start crying. I could run screaming from the car into the snow. But none of these seemed to be helpful. So let's talk about what happens when people get lost inside there oh bleep in panic.  Panic will only make it worse and will only take a simple problem situation and compound it. 

Physiologically, your amygdala in your brain - your fight or flight switch - and suddenly, your emotions can cloud up your thinking and limit your ability to address the problem and identify potential solutions.

To best move from defense to offense, you have to pause and breathe and either quickly prevent or diffuse the panic.  If possible, remove yourself from the situation and if not possible to step away, instead take a pause and start to calm down.  Skipping this step and going straight to trying to solve the problem may work, but it may also end up just creating more frustration or problems, so if at all possible, try this as your first step.

Now this next recommendation is not a critical step to resolving the situation but it may help keep you calm or focus on stepping away from the stressor.   Reframing means trying to see  the situation in a different way or from a different perspective.  As I had mentioned on a previous episode - are these roadblocks or unplanned detours really a problem or is it something that could be a good thing?  Is it something that is either helping build strength for you or character?

Reframing may help you immediately help you make this more solvable.  Think about traffic for instance.  Now you may not subscribe to this philosophy but just humor me for a minute.  What if you're stuck in traffic only to delay you being at a specific intersection in 5 minutes where there could be a terrible accident?  Does that make the unexpected delay more tolerable?  For the vast majority of us, Is the 5-10 minute delay in traffic REALLY that terrible?  Yes it can be inconsiderate but that too can be minimized if you call to alert your party that you'll be a bit late.

These OH BLEEP moments can happen at any time, and while it might be more challenging in some situations or the consequences of your actions may be of more significance, it can still occur in your daily activities and jack with you.  A good example is a work day in which I had overscheduled myself, which happens quite a bit.  Happens daily in fact.  I have a tendency to pack it in as I want to spend as much time in the outdoor playground with family and friends as possible.

I had a regular checkup with my doctor scheduled in the middle of the workday.  Less traffic and easy to get some work done, get in and out, and get back to work in the afternoon.  Well, I was driving a bit hurriedly as I did not leave my house giving myself enough travel time.  So while hustling over to the office, I hit unexpected road construction and now was going to be 20-30 minutes late.  Ugh!

Ok, So we commit to start with NOT panicking, pausing and taking a breath, and hopefully stepping away from the situation for a few and reframing it all.  What next?

3.    Finally, we covered the first 3 key steps to pause, remove or reframe and breathe. Steps 4,5 & 6 to handle and most quickly resolve are then the 3 Rs:  regroup, reprioritize and reschedule.

Regroup to continue the calm and start to identify what are the consequences of your different options here.  What is affected next?  Most likely then, you'll have to Re-prioritize and possibly reschedule, event, situation, etc to minimize the impact and the possible domino effect.

 Having this OH BLEEP moment is one thing but it is up to YOU to keep it from affecting more or everything about your day, the trip, the project, etc.  

Going back to the day of my doctor's visit tardiness.  I could've run in their office late and angry, putting their schedule further behind and possibly affecting many others.  The doctor's staff couldve turned me away…..could've even charged me as a no-show.  So I pulled the car over and called their office.  I explained that I was running 22 minutes late for my appointment, I apologized and asked how they recommend proceeding.  Because I called in they would still see me and to "not hurry" but they'd squeeze me in.  I then texted my next work call colleagues and asked to reschedule so as to not domino into their work day with additional tardiness.  It literally was easy-peasy.  I was able to breathe again and get onto the doc's office with the stress gone and I had minimized it negatively impacting my entire day.

 Pause / remove or reframe / breathe / regroup, reprioritize reschedule.

 Coming back to my story about driving in the whiteout conditions in Iceland last year.  I could've pulled over and cried or gotten very tense but honestly don't think there was anywhere to pull over so I had to keep driving.  There are no shoulders on the roads, you cannot go offroad on the volcanic and unstable surface (where many rental cars get stuck) and there are very few passing lanes.  When this happens there, everyone drives at a crawl pace - I mean crawl - with their hazard flashers on so you can see them when they're within 20 yards.   I also learned that day that the markers along the entire Ring Road are there for such conditions as I had no other way to identify where the road actually was.

 It was scary.  I moved at the slowest crawl speed possible, put on my hazards, and with a very very tight grip on the steering wheel, continued to move forward bit by little bit until after about 15 minutes, the weather lightened up.  I never saw a road in time to turn off and never found a safe place to pull over but I kept breathing and stayed focused on what I could control and what I could do to keep us safe.  

In this case it was pause, drive as slow as is possible / keep breathing / pull over and regroup when out of danger….a slight variation.

I will post video and pictures from that Iceland trip on my YouTube Channel - search for DestinationU Wendy Deacon and you'll find it.  I hope you check it out and look for more recommendations on how to stay cool and focused within our DestinationU community.  Check out my Destination Unknown book, tackle our free weekly personal challenges in the Facebook group or receive inspiration to get out and play more and find yourself through adventure in my Instagram posts.

 Go to the destination-u.net website to access my free resources to help you create the steps to make your next chapter your best.  

 ·         So just accept these OH BLEEP moments will happen and you now have the tools on how best to stay calm and be ready for how you'll deal with them.  Pause / remove or reframe / breathe / regroup, reprioritize reschedule.

·         Thanks again for listening and remember to get over yourself.  Get out there and keep putting yourself out there and don't let these OH BLEEP moments jack you up any worse while on your way to get to your NEXT.