Nigel and the big red button

This week I have really noticed how fear and excitement can have a fine line between them.

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Building a business is both incredibly exciting but also incredibly scary. I can switch from fear to excitement and back again in seconds.

I start to think about and idea that I could develop, get excited about all of the possibilities and Nigel (my inner talk, stress and worry) is straight in there with his reminders of everything that could go wrong.

Nigel is super active at the moment, hovering over the big red button.

The big red button is my stress response. The reaction to this button being pressed is the same for me whether the stressor is:

Physical – Finding a spider somewhere on my body (the thought makes my toes curl!)


Psychological – the build-up of worry about something that may happen,

Nigel thinks he is in charge of pressing the big red button to enable the stress response.

Nigel also dramatises a lot of my worries. He whittles on about:

What if you can’t make this business work? What if someone laughs at you in the gym? What if you fall over when I walk in the restaurant first? What if no one ever sees how funny and amazing you are and you are? Blah blah blah

The problem is he got in to a habit of pressing the big red button for all of these ‘crisis’ as he sees them instead of the real emergencies when we need to fight or run like billy-o away from an eight legged terror.

He has needed a lot of training and an ongoing training plan about what is and what isn’t a real danger. Along with this we have a method for override in the ‘moment’:

Step one – Notice the pattern of feelings, has the big red button been pressed?

Step two – Quickly assess why the button has been pressed – if in real danger aka spider is somewhere on the body do not override. – If a false/manageable danger use override as follows:

Step three – Reassure Nigel this is not a real threat just a perceived one.

Step four – Take control of breathing to engage the parasympathetic nervous system.

Step five – Now the response has been regulated review the reason for the button press. Set a plan to deal with issue.

Not as easy as it sounds, and this is not a ‘5 step process for you to rid stress forever’. But with practice and constancy Nige and I are improving.

Who is Nigel?

#Nigel #Talkaboutstress #Stresscoach #Innertalk

Originally published at

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