You probably don’t know but those who know you will!
I invited stress specialist and resilience trainer, Paula Ruane to share her thoughts on this subject matter as I feel it is crucial to look after your own well being when it comes to building your brand. Here are Paula’s thoughts:
Today’s business world is challenging, confusing, chaotic and complex. And our brains don’t like it. They weren’t designed to deal with the increasing demand for immediate responses and decisions. Just like computers, too much information causes memory loss and recall, glitches, errors, brain-freeze and slows the thinking process down giving us viruses.
Whether a CEO of a multinational like Elon Musk or a sole trader, you are your business. What you do, how you act, speak to and treat others are indivisible threads of your business and brand. Being on brand can be more challenging when we are under prolonged pressure or suffering from chronic stress. Business may be booming but that ongoing divorce, ageing parent or ill child etc will add extra emotional burdens which subtly starts to impact your life, performance, behaviours and relationships.
Stress makes smart people say and do stupid things. Why?
When we are triggered into fright/flight/freeze, the thinking clever, “executive functioning” bit of the brain, the cerebral cortex, shuts off and the primitive, reptilian brain takes over and puts us in an automatic mode. This is the “amygdala hijack” or “cortical inhibition” and part of our ancient stoneage brain to get us out of trouble asap. If we are triggered on a constant repeat basis, we become territorial, aggressive, fearful, blinkered, over-reactive and hypersensitive. We can be inflexible and defensive; people have to think carefully about what they say and when.
But by staying “cortically facilitated”, keeping the important cerebral cortex online, you will retain fine perception, have foresight and plan strategically; you are more open, empathetic, creative and intuitive and able to explore and consider multiple viewpoints.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezos. What do people say about you?
Stress symptoms are messages from the body. If you feel pressured, overloaded and unable to switch off at will, ask a trusted friend for a candid opinion. Do they think you look stressed or tired (euphemism for exhausted)?
Some checking in questions, time to take action if you answer yes to any of below:-
- Is your sleep disrupted and/or do you feel more tired in the morning than you went to bed?
- Do you forget appointments/find things take much longer than you had planned?
- Is memory recall impaired?
- Do you feel restless, want to eat more or find your appetite has gone?
- Do you obsess about work/clients and small details?
- Are your energy levels lowered? (Check for iron deficiency with GP )
- Have you lost clarity of thought and/or find making the right decisions difficult?
Three essential things you can do;-
- Go for a walk every morning for morning light (more beneficial that afternoon/evening light)
- Focus on improving sleep
- Drink more water and drink less alcohol, cut down on carbs and fast food.
Paula Ruane – Resilience Trainer I Speaker
Paula Ruane understands first-hand the impact that prolonged stress can have on individuals, their businesses and their families. Paula has recently introduced the “resilience as a service” initiative providing monthly in-house sessions for clients, based on HeartMath Coherence techniques to improve mental and emotional health