My first kiss with my mate happened seconds before we jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 14,000 feet above the earth. We met because of our love for skydiving. I’m a bit of an adventurer.
Other things I’ve considered fun in the past…
- Skydiving and waterskiing on full moon nights
- Jumping off rocks into lakes and rivers
- Landing planes on sand bars, flying low and back-country flying
- Paragliding off mountains
- Flying in ultra light planes over the ocean or Delta
But nothing has ever put me in a state of extreme terror until I rode on the back of a motorcycle with my mate on the freeway. Putting around town and country roads was cool but as soon as I felt the rush of wind trying to rip me off the bike at 70 miles an hour the party turned to PANIC! (Ever feel excited about your business and then hit a stumbling block or time crunch and find yourself swallowed up completely by stress?)
We pulled over 10 minutes into our 3-hour road trip so I could evaluate my next move. We were with another couple so I pulled my guy aside and said, “I don’t think I can do this. I’m so scared and feel totally out of control on the back of the bike. I feel like I’m not stable and the wind is going to pull me off. I feel super vulnerable.”
Biz tip #1: As soon as you notice yourself getting into your head and imagining all the worst scenarios…STOP. Acknowledge them in a straight-forward way. This takes away some of the power of the emotion. Most people ignore the stress and just keep moving forward and the situation explodes into a bad ending.
Here’s how my mate responded to my dilemma, “You have 3 choices: 1. Stay home with the kids. 2. Try it for a bit and if you don’t like it we can rent you a car for the rest of the weekend. 3. You can get a car now and follow us. I don’t care what you choose but if I were you I’d never force myself to do something I didn’t like.”
Biz tip #2: There are always options.
None of the options felt optimal and I had to make a quick decision. I walked away from everyone to get clear on my next move. My gut said to buy extra safe gear for my hands, legs and body and see if I could do some mindset work on the way to Monterey Bay. Once I had the new gear on I felt safer and we headed out.
Biz tip #3: Even if none of your choices feel ideal, tune into your inner guidance and trust.
As soon as we got on the freeway again, the panic took over once more. I’m talking full on terror like I’ve never known. I’m still not clear why I stayed on the bike but here’s what I did…
I tried managing the fear with self-talk. That was a joke. Have you ever tried to talk yourself out of not worrying about money? It’s a full time job, right?! It takes a lot of energy and doesn’t work. I decided to focus on the brand logo on the back of my mate’s jacket and breathe. That stopped me from looking at all the cars whizzing by, which triggered thoughts of me getting run over.
Biz tip #4: Choose a focus that diverts your attention away from the problem long enough for you to get calm.
My next move was to imagine something beyond just getting to the destination safely because I didn’t believe that was true in the heat of the moment. I decided to focus on flying like an angel (like I do when skydiving) in bliss. It was the first time on the trip that my hands and legs relaxed their death grip on my mate.
Biz tip #5: Go beyond the immediate problem. Whenever you’re looking for relief from money or business issues, you usually look for a solution to get you through to the other side. That’s like putting a bandage on a huge wound but not getting stitches. It never really heals right.
If you need $2,000 of new profit to pay your bills, don’t focus all your energy on a quick cash infusion. You’ll have to look for more money as soon as the bills are paid. Instead focus your energy on a new system or marketing campaign to drive new customers to you on a consistent basis.
I ended up having an amazing (and much needed) kidless weekend with my honey. We let the other couple travel on to the second destination without us which gave me less time on the freeway and more time to chill with Steve. I felt empowered by that decision. In the past I would’ve felt bad about disappointing our friends and stuck with the plan.
Biz tip # 6: If you do what is in your best interest it will always serve your business well, even if it doesn’t look like it initially.
When our friends arrived at the second hotel, the front desk had made a mistake and only booked one room instead of two. That meant if we’d gone with them we wouldn’t have had a room (small towns on the ocean sell out!).
You have the capacity to put yourself back in control even when it feels as if you’re not. I’ve never heard of a person being lifted off of a motorcycle by wind and yet the fear felt so real. If you dig deep, you have the emotional strength to find your way out of any hole just by shifting your point of focus.
Panic to bliss is a few thoughts away.
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