What does your sign say?

New Year’s Resolution: Fight……Flight……but NEVER Freeze

Whether you are an entrepreneur, restaurateur, supervisor, or an aspiring young professional, your success, and maybe even your survival in the business world, depends on how adept you are at overcoming obstacles. More than your intelligence, experience or expertise, your ability to engage problems, stresses and tribulations will be the biggest determinant of your future triumphs.

In business, as in life, when confronted with conflict, a human being’s natural response is to vigorously tackle or actively avoid the situation. This has been commonly referred to as the Fight or Flight syndrome. Either one may be the appropriate response based on the circumstances and challenges at hand. However, it is important to understand that one cannot always be in Fight mode, as one cannot always be in flight mode and achieve any long term level of success.

Now, there is a third natural response and that is to Freeze or “Do Nothing”. Although less spoken about, it is the more common response I see in today’s business environment. It is a passive response to an impending obstacle. We hope somehow that the situation will resolve itself on its own. Because of conflict and stress, we lose perspective, have trouble thinking or making sense of what is actually going on.

Time, as we all know, can be very unforgiving. Personally, my biggest disappointments in life have come from my inability to make a quick enough decision when opportunity knocked or when danger reared its ugly head. In each case I “Froze”, not being able to make a decision either way. Freezing when action is needed tears at our reputation, chips away at our confidence, and diminishes that hard to earn trust we have established.

Learning how to eliminate the natural tendency to avoid conflict and “Do Nothing” will make us better in all aspects of our lives. As I move into 2018, my new year’s resolution is to Fight, Flight, but NEVER Freeze. I challenge you to do the same.

I understand, “easier said than done”, but we must cultivate a mental toughness switch. We must mentally train to develop the mindset that enables us to act during times of conflict and stress without regret or thought. Here are 4 effective ways to train to avoid the Freeze syndrome:

1. Practice, Practice Practice – practice under the same conditions you will face in your business and personal environment. Although, you will not be able to replicate unexpected real world situations in a practice setting, focusing on mild stress situations will improve your ability to react accordingly during crucial situations.
2. Visualize – Visualize yourself in a stressful environment and see yourself making the tough decisions and winning.
3. Jump In, The Water Is Fine – When confronted understand that the longer you wait the easier the tendency to “Do Nothing”.
4. Watch Your Posture – Stand tall and be strong, make eye contact and smile, you got this!!

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