Do you have a difficult time letting go of a bad event? Do you carry negative baggage with you throughout the day? Is your inability to be in the moment hurting your success?
Perhaps this is the year that you incorporate a post-event routine into your daily lineup. A post-event routine is a series of consistent behaviors and thoughts following a bad event. Look anywhere in sports and you will see a variety of post-event routines. For example, when a baseball pitcher throws a ball in the dirt, he will get off the mound, wipe his leg to clear his negative thought and then get back on the mound. A golfer who hits a terrible shot will immediately take a few “shadow” swings with an image of the desired outcome in his mind.
Business professionals also need to be able to instantly let go of negative thoughts to be at their best. For instance, on many days, a salesperson may have upward of five meetings in a day. If the first meeting had a terrible outcome, it can lead to anger and frustration. In turn, these maladaptive emotions can be carried to the next few meetings and lead to a series of mediocre performances for the day.
To prevent this continual downward spiral of emotion, incorporate a post-event routine after each meeting. This routine will help you to let go of the past and refocus for the future. The best post-event routines follow the three-R system: release, reimage, reset.
Release: In the first step of the process, you need to release the negative energy. This could be as simple as taking three deep breaths, writing a few notes in your journal when the meeting ends or using your hand to tap your leg a few times. You need some type of behavior as a release mechanism.
Reimage: In this second step, you need to evaluate what went wrong in the meeting and then reimage the meeting with the correct behavior. This reimage will allow you to let go of the negative and begin to focus on the positive.
Reset: This last step involves resetting your mind and body for the next task at hand, which could be imminent. This reset procedure could simply be a self-statement such as “always move forward” or “next client.” Find a statement that fits your needs and comfort level. This resetting statement will push your energy to the present instead of parking it in the past.
Mark Twain once quipped that golf was a good walk spoiled. Each of your days in business will be a good day spoiled when you allow previous bad events to seep into the rest of your day. Your post-event routine is one of the best strategies that can contribute to you having a great day, unspoiled by the past!
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a professor of human performance at APSU. He is the author of the Washington Post-bestselling business book “Full Throttle.” Dr. Steinberg speaks to businesses about mental and emotional toughness. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com