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a blog by Chris Barrow

Waking up in a funk – and what to do about it

When my kids were little (a.k.a. the 90’s) we would frequently take the last 2 weeks of August as a family holiday, so that the first Monday in September would be the “back to work” day.

I well remember how often that Sunday night’s sleep would be broken by a mind active with anticipation and trepidation at what might be waiting back at my desk.

It became an annual ritual that Dad’s last night of the holidays would be his worst night’s sleep of the year.

The children have fled the nest and yet Sunday night just gone was, yet again, one in which I woke in the middle of the night and just lay in bed, largely fantasising about how my year-end marketing campaign for coaching clients could end in tatters, me selling The Big Issue outside dental conferences with an appropriately sad looking dog.






Have you ever done that thing where you manage to fall asleep again and, 15 minutes later, your alarm goes off?

Yes – that was me yesterday morning and I staggered downstairs at 05:00 and sat at this desk looking at my task list for the day and wondering how I was going to get through.

Here’s where good fortune stepped in.

Monday 10:00am – a coaching call with Rachel Turner (my coach).

Agenda for call summarily scrapped by me and replaced with “can you get me out of my funk please?”

Rachel immediately responded with “in my experience there are three things going on here” – and she explained as follows:

  1. Muscle memory – you did that “first Monday back” routine so many times that your subconscious has adopted it as learned behaviour;

  2. Sergeant Major – this is your way of telling yourself to step up – there’s a lot to do in the next 4 months and you have to stay very focused;

  3. The Chimp Paradox – in his book of the same name, Prof. Steve Peters describes how we can allow either the Human (facts) or the Chimp (emotion) to rule our thoughts – a system of thinking that has helped 12 Olympic sports teams and leading business executives to excel.

Rachel explained that the muscle memory and the Sergeant Major were to be expected – but that The Chimp had to be dealt with – and the way that you do that is to present the emotional Chimp with the FACTS that the Human can call on.

So here are my Top 12 reasons that I don’t have to be in a funk (we created them there and then):

  1. 2019 has been my best ever year as a dental business coach;

  2. I currently work with the best support team I’ve ever had;

  3. The Extreme Business brand and CB’s reputation are at all all-time high;

  4. We have more and better marketing and coaching collateral to share with clients than at any former time;

  5. The Academy has launched successfully and is innovating and evolving every day;

  6. We are blessed with superb Strategic Alliance partners around the world;

  7. Our marketing systems are in place and ready to deploy;

  8. We have a larger community of happy former clients than at any time;

  9. I have 22 years of dental experience under my belt and know as much about the business of dentistry as anyone else in the world;

  10. This week I complete 49 years of full-time employment and have the wisdom (and the scars) of experience;

  11. I have never failed as a freelancer – it’s what I do best;

  12. I actually teach people (successfully) to grow their businesses using exactly the same methods that I will be using over the next 4 months to grow my own.

So – in the process of understanding the effects of muscle memory, listening to the Sergeant Major bark his orders “STAY FOCUSED BARROW” and creating my Top 12 list……

Funk evaporated and I spent the rest of the (long) day with my head back in the game.

Lights out 21;30 last night – a smashing night’s sleep and back on it today.

Next time you get in a funk – remember this blog post, deal with The Chimp, make your Top 12 list, if you need help email me and I’ll pay it forward.

Thank you Rachel.

(p.s. why not just make your Top 12 list anyway – it’s a really good exercise)

Have a great Tuesday.

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