How do you deal with a stressful situation?
I had to take a test today, a stressful situation, something many adults try to avoid. In fact the fear/anxiety attached to taking a test will cause some people to avoid that path in life in favor of taking the actions necessary to potentially put themselves in a better situation with a new certification.
A key insight for those avoiding testing is that the results of a test no longer define your social status – you are not in school anymore you are an adult. Most times you can even take the test as many times as you like as long as you have enough money to pay for them.
One of my associates from the past would take the test without studying – figure out what was on the test – what type of questions they asked, and what if anything he already knew. He would then start studying.
In my case today after a long week of studying and a late night of cramming I had to get up early this morning and drive to take my test. It was a beautiful morning for November – not too cold, sun shining, in fact I saw just the coolest amount of fog six feet in the air over the farm land with the beautiful horse out grazing on my way out of town.
When I arrived there was more cars then I was expecting this was a little concerning. To add to the nature of the stressful situation I had also locked myself out of my online account so I couldn’t verify the timing – so the stress started to kick in. I had brought the stress down a bit by purchasing new batteries for my calculator on the way to the test.
As I came up the stairs they were already letting people into the testing rooms, amplifying my stress a little more. This was my second time doing this in the last six months so it was familiar to me which helped, but it was still a stressful situation.
As I took my seat and waited for the rest of the people to be admitted to the room, I closed my eyes and started pay attention to my breathing in through the nose, out through my mouth and I started to breath through my tense muscles and relax myself. This is a technique I teach in my Russian Martial Arts where breathing and relaxation are two of our key principles.
Once I felt I was sufficiently relaxed – I started talking positively to myself. I told myself I would use my years of experience. I would be able to remember the pages I had read, that I would be able to visualize the words and diagrams on the pages of the text book, and in my notes. I told myself the answers would come to me when I needed them. By the time the test started – I was calm and relaxed – and in a powerful positive mental state.
I managed to stay calm and focused during the test and apply the test taking principles necessary for success in a tricky multiple choice certification test.
When you are preparing for or find yourself in a stressful situation can you do these same things to regain your composure and focus, sure you can! Anyone can.
Until next time, keep Discovering your Natural Abilities.
P.S. Let me know what type of stressful situations you are dealing with.