In the Weeds | Week 22 | Confidence Revolution
When I was eighteen and in college, I put on matronly grey suit and two-inch black pumps and went to go interview for a hostess position at a high energy, see-and-be-seen kind of restaurant in downtown Austin. The General Manager hired me on the spot: “Welcome to the top of the mountain,” he said as he shook my hand.
Because we were an overachieving team, we would book more reservations than we had seats available and then we would “dance.” Some tables would clear before their estimated two-hour dinner, and so we’d be able to fit in other guests. Sometimes the Texas Governor would arrive unannounced, and we’d have to finagle his favorite table from unassuming customers, and sometimes Reese Witherspoon would walk in the door and we’d all melt. And most times we would be so busy I would not only hostess but I would bus tables or run food or clean the bathroom. All hands on deck, all the time.
It was there in that new, adrenaline-pumping environment that I learned what it was to be “in the weeds.” In the weeds is a general term we service industry folks use to mean: REALLY busy, I’m doing all I can to stay afloat.
There are times when we are in life’s weeds and we get tense, unpleasant to be around, grouchy, and sometimes we even yell. (oops.) Only, this never does any good and makes things infinitely more unmanageable.
If we are in a constant state of alarm, our brains keep our bodies at high alert, hearts racing, blood pressure soaring, and sympathetic nervous system (fight-flight-freeze) firing -- no good for anyone.
When you’re in the weeds, and overwhelmed, slow down and find your calm. It’s in the slowing down that we then gain a sense of clarity.
Keeping calm is powerful. When you are calm, you keep your frontal lobe—the part of your brain responsible for higher-level thinking and decision-making—engaged.
When you’re challenged and have an overwhelming amount of work, or to-do lists or projects, take a moment to stop and breathe, blow off some steam with some fun and laughter, grab a glass of wine and get yourself to a place of calm.
If you can remain calm on the outside and calm on the inside, you’re more likely to make better decisions and get the outcome you are looking for.
Questions to Ponder:
When was the last time you felt like you were in the weeds?
Can you see how remaining calm while in the weeds would make a difference for the better?