We all develop stress in our working lives. Some more than others. And it is amplified during a crisis.
But when you are the one leading an organisation or team, you need to be able to deal with stress during a crisis. Not just shove it down and ignore it.
It is essential leaders develop techniques that will carry them through crisis. Especially if the calamity lasts for months.
There are specific occupations that deal with this type of stress all the time. They train their mind and their body to endure this stress deliberately. They are the emergency doctors, elite endurance athletes and Navy SEALS.
What sets these leaders apart from other people is their ability to forge mental fearlessness is the middle of chaos, uncertainty, and physical pain.
As a leader, you can apply these techniques to build the mental discipline to survive and thrive through any crisis.
Research has shown time and time again that breathing calms your mind and reduces stress. Why do we not implement it in times of crisis?
If you want to take it up a notch, use controlled box breathing. It supercharges you.
Box breathing is taking a slow, deep breath for four counts, holding it for four counts, exhaling through the nose for four counts, then sitting without breathing for four counts.
Start with just 5-10 repetitions. It lowers the stress hormone cortisol, sharpens your focus, and deepens your ability to focus on the task.
If you feed negativity, guess what grows stronger? The converse is true of positivity.
It is the ability to control your attention. If you start panicking about how everything is going wrong, it will continue to go down the drain. This degrades your performance, making you weak in the mind.
Guarding your mind and staying positive is crucial for making smart business decisions. Always looking forward and finding the positive in any situation will help you train your mind to remain calm and open to solutions when a crisis occurs.
Elite endurance athletes utilise this technique every time they train for an event. It is the secret mental weapon that keeps people going beyond what is thought capable and over the line.
Always visualising overcoming difficulties and producing a successful outcome. Get the perfect result in your mind, and you train your neurobiology to perform better, and the action falls into place.
Front Sight Focus
This is a fundamental shooting tactic perfected in SEAL training but also used as a metaphor. If a marksman focuses on the target, the front sight of the weapon will be out of focus. If the marksman focuses on the front sight, the target will still be visible in the distance.
The metaphor is that you should focus on the most crucial goals (front sight) that are aligned to your vision (target) for the organisation or the project.
You need to tackle your most urgent goal today. The one that moves you forward. Your long-term target is further ahead. But today, you do what you can to push yourself, the team or organisation forward to the goal.
These techniques help you to be 10X more than you ever thought was possible. Practice them daily, so in times of stress, you can move beyond your self-imposed limits and create a compelling future for your organisation, your teams, and your life.