Default Stress Response

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Default Stress Response

I got knocked off balance yesterday.

I’ve gotten pretty good at going with the flow, looking at the bigger picture, and seeing things in a positive light.

Except when I don’t.

Every once in a while, something happens and I feel like a huge wave has swept over me and I lose my footing…which then leads to me beating myself up. My inner critic (also known as a Gremlin, in the coaching world) loves to pounce on any opportunity to tell me how much I really suck.

Do I really suck? Probably not…but if you’ve ever been in that place, you know how overpowering that voice can be.

I spent years, actually decades, lost in that awful place. I felt like I had descended into the deepest darkest cave there could be, and there was no way out.

It took a realllllly long time to get out in the past. I’m talking YEARS.

So, when I feel my Gremlin pulling me back into that dark place…well, it’s a little terrifying. Will I get lost in that again?

The answer to that question is “NO”.

That was one day ago, and I feel solidly in balance again. Centered. What changed for me? How did I regain my equilibrium so quickly?

Well, I learned some very valuable information about myself. I took a powerful assessment that really opened my eyes to what goes on inside my head in response to severe stress.

The Energy Leadership Index assessment (also called the ELI) showed me that my automatic response to extreme stress is to feel totally powerless and helpless. To think that nothing I do is going to make a damn bit of difference, so why even try. It can even feel like the world, as I knew it, is ending.

It means that I lose touch with my ability to lead myself out of that pit.

Knowing that this is my “go-to” response changed everything. I realized that this is just a story I am making up.

Yes, it feels true to me in that moment…but it is not THE TRUTH.

Which means there are other possible thoughts, feelings, and responses I can choose. When those thoughts/feelings/responses get triggered for me, I can now say “ahhhh…I know what this is”. And I can lead myself to different thought patterns that support me, instead of keeping me mired in the quicksand.

We all have a default stress response. Knowing your own “go-to” responses returns the power to your hands.

If you’d like to explore your own responses and gain the power to change them, I’d love to support you in doing that. The Energy Leadership Index changed my life, and I believe it can change yours too.

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