The harmful pattern of how one mild mishap can self-multiply into a day job downward spiral of serial slipups is as familiar to the waiter who drops two dishes in a single shift as it is to the CEO who drops two awkward jokes in a shareholders’ speech.
Career gurus say there’s an easy backdoor away from that personal prison: When you feel like you can’t do anything right, just take an instant to not do anything at all.
“Focus on something beautiful,” life coach Melanie Fuscaldo says. “A moment of appreciation like, ‘Oh my God, I love my dog. I love my kids.’ That can do a reset.”
Fanciful as daydreams of tots and puppies may seem, there’s a science behind her wisdom, Dr. Pam Brill notes, explaining the neurological aspects of failure.
“When we perceive a threat, all that stress chemistry shuts down the front part of our brain that allows us to think strategically and objectively,” the peak performance consultant says. “We get into this trap of saying, ‘Woe is me, I’m not as good,’ and we focus negatively.”
That’s why she says an outside perspective can spin panic into spunk.
“Call an old mentor,” she offers. “Take them out for coffee.”
Rewording the vocabulary flooding your inner ear can accomplish the same.
“When you hear yourself using phrases like ‘I can’t do that, or I should’ve done that,’ turn it around,” Brill suggests. “Find the language of desire instead of the language of disaster.”
“And be candid,” she adds. The worse thing a self-doubter can do, she warns, is keep top-secret a project lurching towards disaster.