Take-the-stairsLooking into your future is there something that worries you? I am not talking about the zombie apocalypse or another more probable disaster. I am thinking about something that you know is coming, which is not really terrible, but gives you this queasiness in your stomach. Maybe a contract with an important client is ending, and you are not sure if he will renew it. Maybe a financial review of the project you are managing at the end of next month and you know it is not looking good.

Maybe you know you have to move out of the apartment in three months, but don’t want to think about it. Maybe you have a very important job interview next week that you are trying to get out of your head.
I have to give a talk in four weeks. It is not really important, but of course I don’t want to mess it up. I also don’t want to think about it; it makes me a bit nervous. Not that I mind public speaking, I actually enjoy it at lot, especially when I know the talk is good. But I also know that some of my talks have been not so great. I don’t want to say this ever again, regardless of the topic. I’d rather just forget it for now.

And there we are, trying to avoid thinking too much about those events that give us that uneasy feeling. You cannot make it stop because there is a reason you feel like this. All these events have components that you cannot control.

You cannot control whether the crowd will like you or whether the friends you am planning to ask will be there to help you moving. You cannot really control how your boss will react to bad news or what your client’s plans are. But you can do your best to make the chance of an unexpected outcome as small as possible.

If you are worried then take action now, when you don’t have to. Just make a list of the first things you think you need to do.
Like a list of all the friends you could ask, the food you want to get to spoil them for helping, count the boxes you already have and estimate how many more you need, think about what you could already put in boxes and how to best schedule the day(s) of the move itself.

Preparation calms your nerves two ways, through action and through minimizing the uncertainty of the event.

Ahead of the interview you can gather all information about the company, the interviewer, her department, her job history, her boss, big events in the past or near future of the company, etc. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to find common ground with the interviewer. Often it is easier to remember facts that we read in a calm atmosphere than right before a stressful event.

When you still have time it is much easier to come up with ways to convince your client now than when you have to. It is easier or to find possibilities to finalize the project on a smaller budget now than when your boss puts you on the spot.

The next time you are feeling queasy about a future event, pull out a notepad and make a list of actions you can take in preparation of the event. Believe me I am saying that as much to myself right now as I am saying it to you.

Have a great week!


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Photo: Untitled blue. This was Quick Tip No 60.