Hi. A couple of weeks ago, I covered off the difference between fear and anxiety, and as part of that video, I mentioned that I’d share some techniques in the future to help with that. Now, context-wise, this is all about preventing fear and anxiety from escalating to a point where it absolutely mitigates your ability to perform as a leader. It may be a tough conversation going on, maybe a presentation, maybe a meeting. Whatever it might be, when you’re feeling that fear or anxiety about something, a great way to actually dial that back is to use the acronym STOP, and a few techniques that sit within it. So, what does that stand for? Well, S stands actually for stop, and it’s basically you stopping what you’re doing in that moment and physically and psychologically resetting yourself. And from a psychological perspective, that basically means that you just count backwards 3-2-1, and then make a physical move. When you do those two simple things, what you’re doing is re-engaging the conscious part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, versus the limbic part of your brain, the system that’s driving that fear and anxiety, and it switches mindset. You cannot engage your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system at the same time. They’re on a pretty much like a balance scale. If one’s one, the other’s off. So, this is a great way to just get yourself reset initially, so think about that. The other thing within that is excitement and fear are very similar in terms of how they play out emotionally and in terms of how you feel. So, a good thing to do at that point is also to say to yourself, I’m excited about what’s coming up, and that in itself really sets and re-primes you in a very different way. The next part to this is the T, which is take a breath, and some good reasons behind this. So, generally when you’re anxious and fearful, you’re in a state where you’re breathing more shallow and faster, and that sends a signal, a physical signal, through to your brain that you’re nervous and fearful, and that can compound, so what you wanna do is reverse out of that and actually take a deeper breath in the first instance, and breathe out longer than you do inwardly. Yeah, so a longer outward versus inward breath, and that reverses the signal. It sends a signal to your brain that you’re actually calm, and that’s again, you’re kidding your brain into just calming down a little bit. It takes some time, but it will start to work. The third sort of letter in this is the O of stop, so the observation or observe what’s going on. And you observe what’s going on both internally and externally. On the internal side, it’s all about awareness of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling, and actually applying labels to what you’re feeling. There’s plenty of research that tells us that applying labels to how you feel actually dumbs down the physical response to them. So, get a gauge on that. Also, get a gauge on how you’re feeling physically, as well. Where are the tension points? Where do you feel tense, and relax those out. You tend to close down when you’re feeling stressed, so relax that back, throw the shoulders back, and give yourself a feeling of openness. That in itself again is sending a trigger to the brain that you’re relaxed and calm. In terms of externally, get curious about the people and your environment. Again, you can’t be curious and anxious at the same time, because they’re triggering two totally different parts of the brain, the old brain versus the new brain, and it’s that prefrontal cortex you want engaged, and when you’re curious about the people in the room and you’re curious about the environment, then maybe you ask questions say in a meeting instead of thinking about what you should say, that creates a level of curiousness, and switches and re-primes and resets you in that moment. Then, finally, the P is for play on. At that point, play on in a more positive, open, engaged way, and if you keep practicing this over time, it’s not something that’s gonna work overnight, but if you keep practicing this over time, you can get it down to a minute of pre-priming before these key events to actually set you up for success. Well, that’s it, and hope you enjoyed it. Any questions, ask them below, and I’ll see you next time.

Hi. A couple of weeks ago, I covered off the difference between fear and anxiety, and as part of that video, I mentioned that I’d share some techniques in the future to help with that. Now, context-wise, this is all about preventing fear and anxiety from escalating to a point where it absolutely mitigates your ability to perform as a leader. It may be a tough conversation going on, maybe a presentation, maybe a meeting. Whatever it might be, when you’re feeling that fear or anxiety about something, a great way to actually dial that back is to use the acronym STOP, and a few techniques that sit within it. So, what does that stand for? Well, S stands actually for stop, and it’s basically you stopping what you’re doing in that moment and physically and psychologically resetting yourself. And from a psychological perspective, that basically means that you just count backwards 3-2-1, and then make a physical move. When you do those two simple things, what you’re doing is re-engaging the conscious part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, versus the limbic part of your brain, the system that’s driving that fear and anxiety, and it switches mindset. You cannot engage your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system at the same time. They’re on a pretty much like a balance scale. If one’s one, the other’s off. So, this is a great way to just get yourself reset initially, so think about that. The other thing within that is excitement and fear are very similar in terms of how they play out emotionally and in terms of how you feel. So, a good thing to do at that point is also to say to yourself, I’m excited about what’s coming up, and that in itself really sets and re-primes you in a very different way. The next part to this is the T, which is take a breath, and some good reasons behind this. So, generally when you’re anxious and fearful, you’re in a state where you’re breathing more shallow and faster, and that sends a signal, a physical signal, through to your brain that you’re nervous and fearful, and that can compound, so what you wanna do is reverse out of that and actually take a deeper breath in the first instance, and breathe out longer than you do inwardly. Yeah, so a longer outward versus inward breath, and that reverses the signal. It sends a signal to your brain that you’re actually calm, and that’s again, you’re kidding your brain into just calming down a little bit. It takes some time, but it will start to work. The third sort of letter in this is the O of stop, so the observation or observe what’s going on. And you observe what’s going on both internally and externally. On the internal side, it’s all about awareness of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling, and actually applying labels to what you’re feeling. There’s plenty of research that tells us that applying labels to how you feel actually dumbs down the physical response to them. So, get a gauge on that. Also, get a gauge on how you’re feeling physically, as well. Where are the tension points? Where do you feel tense, and relax those out. You tend to close down when you’re feeling stressed, so relax that back, throw the shoulders back, and give yourself a feeling of openness. That in itself again is sending a trigger to the brain that you’re relaxed and calm. In terms of externally, get curious about the people and your environment. Again, you can’t be curious and anxious at the same time, because they’re triggering two totally different parts of the brain, the old brain versus the new brain, and it’s that prefrontal cortex you want engaged, and when you’re curious about the people in the room and you’re curious about the environment, then maybe you ask questions say in a meeting instead of thinking about what you should say, that creates a level of curiousness, and switches and re-primes and resets you in that moment. Then, finally, the P is for play on. At that point, play on in a more positive, open, engaged way, and if you keep practicing this over time, it’s not something that’s gonna work overnight, but if you keep practicing this over time, you can get it down to a minute of pre-priming before these key events to actually set you up for success. Well, that’s it, and hope you enjoyed it. Any questions, ask them below, and I’ll see you next time.

Hi. A couple of weeks ago, I covered off the difference between fear and anxiety, and as part of that video, I mentioned that I’d share some techniques in the future to help with that. Now, context-wise, this is all about preventing fear and anxiety from escalating to a point where it absolutely mitigates your ability to perform as a leader. It may be a tough conversation going on, maybe a presentation, maybe a meeting. Whatever it might be, when you’re feeling that fear or anxiety about something, a great way to actually dial that back is to use the acronym STOP, and a few techniques that sit within it. So, what does that stand for? Well, S stands actually for stop, and it’s basically you stopping what you’re doing in that moment and physically and psychologically resetting yourself. And from a psychological perspective, that basically means that you just count backward 3-2-1, and then make a physical move. When you do those two simple things, what you’re doing is re-engaging the conscious part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, versus the limbic part of your brain, the system that’s driving that fear and anxiety, and it switches mindset. You cannot engage your prefrontal cortex and your limbic system at the same time. They’re on a pretty much like a balance scale. If one’s one, the other’s off. So, this is a great way to just get yourself reset initially, so think about that. The other thing within that is excitement and fear are very similar in terms of how they play out emotionally and in terms of how you feel. So, a good thing to do at that point is also to say to yourself, I’m excited about what’s coming up, and that in itself really sets and re-primes you in a very different way. The next part to this is the T, which is take a breath and some good reasons behind this. So, generally when you’re anxious and fearful, you’re in a state where you’re breathing more shallow and faster, and that sends a signal, a physical signal, through to your brain that you’re nervous and fearful, and that can compound, so what you wanna do is reverse out of that and actually take a deeper breath in the first instance, and breathe out longer than you do inwardly. Yeah, so a longer outward versus inward breath, and that reverses the signal. It sends a signal to your brain that you’re actually calm, and that’s again, you’re kidding your brain into just calming down a little bit. It takes some time, but it will start to work. The third sort of letter in this is the O of stop, so the observation or observe what’s going on. And you observe what’s going on both internally and externally. On the internal side, it’s all about awareness of what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling, and actually applying labels to what you’re feeling. There’s plenty of research that tells us that applying labels to how you feel actually dumbs down the physical response to them. So, get a gauge on that. Also, get a gauge on how you’re feeling physically, as well. Where are the tension points? Where do you feel tense, and relax those out. You tend to close down when you’re feeling stressed, so relax that back, throw the shoulders back, and give yourself a feeling of openness. That in itself again is sending a trigger to the brain that you’re relaxed and calm. In terms of externally, get curious about the people and your environment. Again, you can’t be curious and anxious at the same time, because they’re triggering two totally different parts of the brain, the old brain versus the new brain, and it’s that prefrontal cortex you want to be engaged, and when you’re curious about the people in the room and you’re curious about the environment, then maybe you ask questions say in a meeting instead of thinking about what you should say, that creates a level of curiousness, and switches and re-primes and resets you in that moment. Then, finally, the P is for play on. At that point, play on in a more positive, open, engaged way, and if you keep practicing this over time, it’s not something that’s gonna work overnight, but if you keep practicing this over time, you can get it down to a minute of pre-priming before these key events to actually set you up for success. Well, that’s it, and hope you enjoyed it. Any questions, ask them below, and I’ll see you next time.

Simeon Boseley

Author: Simeon Boseley

Simeon Boseley is a highly experienced Coach & Retail Consultant that provides coaching & leadership development for individuals, teams and organisations via a unique blend of practical leadership experience, coaching expertise and the very latest credentials from the worlds of behavioural psychology and neuroscience.