Ignore the worst possible things and focus on the most probable things

Chandi Wyant is an American woman who undertook a walk from Fidenza to Rome in Italy, a journey of more than 500km. She was in her early 40s and had gained plenty of experience hiking in Europe and other places in her younger life, and had no fears for her physical safety.

Wyant wrote a book about her walk, Return to Glow. In it, she discussed the fact that many people were concerned about her physical safety during her endeavour. It is clear from her narration that she had a good sense of awareness of her physical environment and the people she met (particularly those who offered her lifts).

She described her walk as “a pilgrimage of transformation in Italy”. Previously, her life had taken several turns for the worse due to her lack of emotional self-awareness. It seems she needed to go on this journey to overcome the traumatic events she had experienced.

Most of us are pretty good at anticipating physical threats from the environment and other people. But we often don’t take the time to understand why it is we sometimes trigger adverse actions and events through our own thoughts.

Not dealing with emotional stress can manifest in our bodies in three areas: the gut, head and heart. Business owners and the self-employed are prone to mental and emotional stress that affects their health and decision-making abilities. Having your head in the sand about this issue can be very expensive: it’s easy to make costly decisions at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.

Successful sportspeople and athletes have two things in common: they are aware of the physical environment and physical state they’re in, and they’re aware of their mental state. For example, Trevor Hendy is a world champion surf-lifesaving Ironman (he won the title six times and was second on three occasions). Hendy was known to always describe the conditions he was in, no matter what they were, as “perfect”. He understood the physical environment was the same for all competitors, and mindset was often all the difference. That understanding of the mental and emotional side of sport helped him become a life coach and motivational speaker in retirement.

The old saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” only applies to sportspeople and people in business who have the self-awareness to know what they’re feeling at that moment and what to do about it.

I recommend business clients:

  • Check in with themselves when they are agitated to work out the reasons why. If they’re feeling physically off colour, is it physical or emotional?
  • Listen to their inner voice and check whether that voice has a meaningful message.
  • If consistently on a roller coaster, get help from a coach, mentor or psychologist.
  • Undertake a DISC® behavioural assessment to learn what their likely stressors are.
  • Take regular scheduled breaks before stress occurs.
  • Engage in regular physical exercise and yoga or meditation.

We must remember that life is not a test drive. We are on a once-only journey, and we need to enjoy the scenery along the way.

I help business owners overcome stress. Email me at bryan@bryanworn.com.