Anna’s Diary #12 – Course Correcting

The final lesson of the Unstoppable U™ program is Module 4, Lesson 3:  Course Correcting.  And that’s a giant-size concept in a compact package!  The ability to course correct in real time is incredibly powerful in allareas of our lives, and learning that skill (and having some course correcting tools easily available when you need them) can be the thing that changes everything.  A great car, an accurate map and a smooth highway are useless if you can’t use the steering wheel!

This last lesson includes a brief description of how our brains work in response to the various  stimuli we encounter, in terms of our “fast” and “slow” brains.  It’s absolutely natural to get hit with the fast brain’s take on events and think that’s the whole truth.  But by having the tools to tap into the slow brain’s ability to discern and decide, we can make course corrections as needed instead of abandoning ship at the first obstacle (which is, again, a perfectly natural fast brain reaction).

The Slow Your Roll handout includes ways of interrupting your fast brain before it can take the wheel, to allow your slow brain time to process what is happening.  My favorite is – as always – the Three Deep Breaths method.  Taking the time to stop, breathe deeply for three full breaths, and allow yourself to reconnect your mind and body, is IMMENSELY powerful.  There are certainly times when the fast brain’s fight-flight-freeze-or-appease reaction is not just appropriate but necessary, but mercifully we live in a world now where being attacked by wild animals is not a daily concern.  Taking three deep breaths helps calm your fast brain, engage your slow brain, and allows your body to settle into a calm state that is far more conducive to decision-making.

Another Slow Your Roll suggestion is new to me – as in, I didn’t know I was allowed to do that! – but a giant-size step for becoming empowered:  build in time.  As in, create time for yourself to pause and connect with your slow brain before making any decisions or responding.  I truly never thought that was an option and because I need a lot of time to think through questions and requests I found those situations really, really stressful.  I used to automatically give the answer I thought would make the other person happy/satisfied and much of the time I’d regret that decision right away.  My fast brain reaction – to freeze and appease – genuinely felt like the only option.

So for me, building in a structure that allows me to pause and engage my slow brain rather than panicking and reacting from my fast brain has been a revelation.  In a very real way it is one of the biggest acts of self-care I can take.  Making “let me check and get back to you” a part of my response to requests lets me make much more thoughtful decisions – and in the same way, building in that pause in my Aspiration Map gives me a way to interrupt my “I’m outta here” response to even the small setbacks, so I can evaluate what is going on and make a thoughtful response.

Course correcting is 100% necessary in reaching any goal.  When we are working toward an aspiration that feels almost audaciously big at times, it’s all the more necessary to avoid the fast brain, reactive fight-or-flight reaction that will kick in when our momentum is interrupted.  This final Unstoppable U™ lesson helps explain what that means, and how to create the structures that make course correcting – and getting back on your way – a whole lot easier.

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