Take Back Control: How to Escape the Flight/Fright Response
July 16, 2018
When I worked in the high-powered, hard-charging world of Wall Street as a Managing Director at a top-tier Investment Bank, I used to say I was earning an advanced degree in stress management.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was simply stressed – and the physical, mental and emotional consequences were significant.
There are several chapters in Be Happy NOW!: From Wall Street Ambition and the Illusion of Success, My Path to Happiness that deal with how I learned to let go and take control. Learning how to let go is a very deep topic – one I will leave for future Blogs.
As an “INFJ” (Personality Type “The Persistent Counselor”), I now turn all my strategic and analytical skills honed over 30 years in corporate and investment banking to working with clients to understand the pernicious and pervasive health effects of stress and how to reduce their everyday stress. Now, I have advanced certifications in stress management, big difference! My perspective and understanding of the physiological and psychological effects of stress has significantly expanded since I became a Certified Stress Reduction Specialist and an affiliate of From Stressed to Best™ as well as an MBTI® Certified Practitioner in 2013.
Our focus today continues the theme started in the June 18th newsletter – that each of the 16 distinct Personality Types has unique strengths and stressors. What stresses you out is likely very different from what stresses your associate, friend, partner, sibling or child. This is exactly why a one-size-fits all approach to stress management is not effective.
The Starting Point: What is Your 4-Letter Personality Type?
The starting point is to discover your unique 4-Letter Personality Type – how you are hard-wired for:
There is no good or bad, right or wrong way to go about how and where you get your energy, or gather information, or arrive at decisions or approach new projects or travel plans. We each do it differently.
Further, whatever our 4-Letter Personality Type is – we learn and grow and stretch. I firmly believe we can be anything we want to be. This is a tool – a powerful tool – to help you learn your unique strengths and your stress triggers.
If you do not know your 4-Letter Personality Type – or have forgotten it from previous training seminars – please see my offer for a FREE 15-minute introductory consultation and access to a FREE Quick Self-Assessment¹. In your Best Mode you are at your most effective and best self. In your Stress Mode you are less effective and actually the opposite of who you are when you are at your best.
In my experience, most people find great value in talking through the process, re-confirming results of the Quick Self-Assessment and discussing their Best Mode. However, I want to accommodate all styles of learning and have decided to provide the direct link to the Quick Self-Assessment: Quick Self-Assessment
The From Stressed to Best™ framework uses MBTI® as a foundational element with a focus on an action plan to create awareness of how you behave when you are stressed – and most importantly, your best node – where you want go to be your most effective and your best self. Now you have a stress management tool tailored for you, which you can use every day.
If you already know your 4-Letter Type, I encourage you to pull out your Stress Reduction Guide and take a minute to refresh your learning. If you do not know your 4-Letter Type, please take the first step and click on the button above.
Your Four-Step From Stressed to Best™ Personal Action Plan
Your Four-Step From Stressed to Best™ Personal Action Plan has 4 steps. You always start with being increasingly aware of your behavior when you are stressed, Most stress management programs ask you to be aware. We are asking you to be aware of your behavior in your Stress Mode – that is, an awareness of your behavior, your stress patterns.
We always conclude with where you go to – it is very specific to your behavior patterns where you are most comfortable, most effective – your behaviors when you are at your best, your Best Mode.
The action plan is specific to you.
The bookends are: start with being aware of your behaviors when you are stressed and then go to your sweet spot where you are at your best, your Best Mode. These are the “behavioral” bookends of the Four-Step From Stressed to Best™ Personal Action Plan which are unique to each of us. In between the bookends, it is all about awareness and breathing.
Stress Management for ESTJs/ ENTJs
Under stress, ESTJs, “The Supervisor of Practical Projects” and ENTJs “The Spontaneous Leader for Any Occasion” tend to withdraw and rehash the past – what they could or “should” have done differently. They may become uncharacteristically indecisive. While they often hide their vulnerable emotional side, under stress they may have a tendency to emotional outbursts. They tend to lose perspective on the logic, the pros and cons, and focus instead on the past and the details. Their Stress Mode is Introverted Feeling.
This is the opposite of their Best Most – when they are most effective, connected and the very best of who they can be – which is Extroverted Thinking.
So, if you are an ESTJ or an ENTJ, when you are stressed it is important for you to: 1) STOP; 2) Be aware you are stressed and can choose how you want to respond, rather than react; 3) Breathe and activate the Relaxation Response; and 4) Shift – Go To – your Best Mode, Extraverted Thinking. This means you may want to talk out loud and bring your focus back to the logic of the situation and how you can get the relationship back on track.
Do you recognize yourself or someone you know?
Your From Stressed to Best™ Stress Reduction Guide
for Your 4-Letter Personality Type
In summary, my consultations with clients usually run 2 hours. We start with a review of the four preferences – energy, data-gathering, decision-making and prioritizing -- and take an in-depth look to re-confirm that the initial Self-Assessment is a good “fit” – i.e., it feels right to you. We then move on to review: 1) the Best Mode and Stress Mode for your Type; Your Strengths; Your Stress Reduction Recommendations. The conclusion – Your Four-Step Action Plan – ties it all together. You take home a 10-page From Stressed to Best™ Stress Reduction Guide.
I hope this overview of the process of how my clients take back control of their life, learn how to escape the Fight/Flight response, discover their strengths and their Best Mode and walk out with a specific action plan – and feeling a new freedom and joy. Self-discovery is a very beautiful and fun experience.
I came over from the dark side … and I know you can too. Discover your 4-Letter Personality Type, learn how to respond, rather than to react to people and external events around you – and take control.
Till next time,
May you be happy now and always, Alison
References and Resources:
¹Footnote: The Quick Self-Assessment was developed by Ruth Schneider and David Prudhomme for using the From Stressed to Best™ program to manage your stress. This is copyrighted material, as noted on the Form.
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P.P. S.: Here is a link from my website to preview and purchase our book, “Be Happy NOW!” https://www.alisonlanzafalls.com/p/be-happy-now.
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