When life does not go according to plan

It was a big weekend in sports! The Wimbledon finals and Eurocup. I imagine Team Italy, Novak Djokovic, and Ashleigh Barty are celebrating their wins this week while Team England, Berretini, or Pliskova are experiencing the opposite after their high profile and narrow loses. All of them are reviewing their actions to see how they can all do better. The US Open and Olympics are around the corner.
 
In this month’s edition of Curiosity Conversations, I explore the use of curiosity conversations for handling when life does not go according to plan – at work, at home, and in life with personal and romantic relationships. Just like the sport losses experiences over the weekend, the medium is different, but the need for curiosity with our thoughts, words, and actions when the outcome is not what we hoped, trained, or prepared remains the same.
 
If you enjoy this month’s newsletter, consider joining Curiosity Conversations Cohort 3 on Wednesday evenings from October 6th to 27th.  RSVP Here!
 
The first matter at hand is addressing our emotions or mental state. Regardless of the “let down” everyone has their own wiring in which our emotions take over with a reaction to the grief. For me, I feel a slight punch in the gut and a wave of adrenaline rushes to my headed in need of immediate release. When I am curious, I understand that I am physical reaction and am emotionally triggered into a state of panic or duress. By exercising a curious mindset, I learned that I need to take a breath, walk around the block, drink a glass of water, and most definitely think twice about what I may say in response to restore my mental state. Have you ever noticed how you feel? Be curious about past experiences and through journaling examine your past. 
 
If you listened to the commentators are Wimbledon they spoke openly and admiringly about Berretini’s use of a coach to learn to manage his stress emotions; they also addressed how Djokovic with his years of experience had learned to manage his mental state at the highest levels of professional stress. 
 
The second matter is our words. The words that we use in response have power.  A natural response to our emotional state is a need for an immediate release which may result in a lashing   of words that could cause further damage. The challenge in these moments is not to weaponize the pain, frustration, anger, or sadness further. The challenge is always how to live in a state of curiosity and find a gracious way to respond even when the outcome is exactly what you wanted. 
 
At the trophy ceremony at Wimbledon, when Djokovic took the stand, he attributed his achievement of winning 20 Grand Slams to the admiration for his competitors Federer and Nadal. His words were heartwarming and connected with the entire tennis community. His words were gracious and minimized the impact of loss to his competitor.
 
Lastly, let’s be curious about our actions to take as a response!  For the English National Team, England, Berretini, or Pliskova, this week they are not wallowing in self-pity or sulking about not winning the final game. These professionals are back in the locker-room, hunkered down with their coaches, re-examining every play, and adjusting their training to become better, faster, stronger for their next game.  
 
In your career, your scheduled employee review is your post Wimbledon or Eurocup download session. These conversations can occasionally be difficult and often require a curiosity for both parties to navigate and perhaps change course to achieve better outcomes. In life, however, there is no formally scheduled event for feedback; as you continue to nurture your curiosity, you will naturally develop a discipline of engaging uncomfortable and necessary conversations that help you move forward without pressure, guilt, or shame!
 
If you enjoy this newsletter, consider joining me for the next Curiosity Conversation Course this fall from October 6th– 27th with weekly evening classes hosted over zoom. There is a pricing discount of $150 per student with registrations before September! 
 
In the meantime, here are this month’s articles that can support curious conversations:
 
Dear Abbey: Genuine Curiosity is the best icebreaker
 
Building Emotional Intelligence
 
Curiosity is the key to major success
 
It’s time to invest in curiosity
 
Curiosity is an important as intelligence
 

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