Over-Reacting In Business – A Tennis Ball In The Butt
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Over-Reacting In Business – A Tennis Ball In The Butt
At 3am this Saturday morning I was slouched over my kitchen counter in a full stream ‘blubber and snot’ cry, wondering if I might be able to find a YouTube tutorial on “How to self-amputate your own leg with a butter knife”.
I’d like to say that this is some kind of witty metaphor for something, but I was in so much pain that I was genuinely ready to perform a drug-free, solo limb removal procedure with my Ikea kitchen utensils.
I was at complete breaking point.
Despite complete and utter exhaustion, the pain had kept me awake for 3 nights in a row.
I was now delirious, emotional, irritable, irrational and willing to do anything to have some reprieve.
The pain had taken over my logical thinking so much, that I hadn’t eaten anything for over 48 hours and was making me faint too – a pretty dangerous state to have got into considering my condition.
You see, I’m about 35 days away from having my second baby, and along with my entire wardrobe and my sense of humour, I also lost the ability to walk, stand, sit or even lay down without being in excruciating hip, back and sciatic pain from about the 11th week of pregnancy onwards.
Something to do with over-released muscles and a bunch of crushed nerves.
So there I was, with a butter knife in my hand and snot dripping down my face, wondering if I should put some towels down before I started the surgery, or just purposefully make a big mess for my husband to clean up as revenge for him sleeping so peacefully.
(**insert crazy pregnant lady psycho sound effects**)
I had a moment of divine intervention and instead of searching for said YouTube tutorial, decided to first text my midwife to get a clinical opinion on the matter:
“Hey Tegan. Not doing great. Ready to cut my leg off. Can the Doc do anything, like amputate?”
She happened to be on night shift and replied immediately.
Judging by her response, she had spent enough time around insane pregnant women to know that I was probably being serious.
Not only did she save my husband a massive cleaning up job, but by this morning I was in the hospital (with all of my legs still on) getting bent, stretched and strapped up by doctors without butter knives.
** ”yep multiple trapped nerves, something something; flow restriction something something; major muscle inflammation something something; something something” **
And then they gave me their ‘prescription’……
I waited for Doc to take off her glasses, interlock her fingers on the desk and soften her voice as she hesitantly delivered me the news about my long-awaited leg amputation.
I held my breath, hoping she’d tell me that I could have it today.
I stared desperately into her in the eyes, trying to send her subliminal instructions to sign the surgery form, or at least prescribe me enough drugs to tranquillize an elephant.
And then, after what felt like an eternity, she finally spoke:
“A tennis ball”.
The room fell silent.
“A what?” I asked for clarification.
“A tennis ball”, she reiterated as if I was stupid as well as insane.
“You just get a tennis ball, and stick it under your butt, press really hard onto it, and it will release the pressure. You have to find exactly the right spot, and pinpoint the pressure on that precise location. You know when you’ve got the right spot, because it will make you cry. If it doesn’t make you cry, you haven’t found it and you need to keep pressing down hard until you do. When you do find it, take a deep breath, grit your teeth and push through the pain – it’s the only way to relieve the pressure and release the pain. Remember, if it doesn’t make you cry, you havn’t found the spot”.
“I’m pregnant Doc, everything makes me cry”, I factually replied, still completely dumbfounded by the fact that I’d hobbled into to hospital looking for an extreme solution to my all-consuming problem and had instead been prescribed a tennis ball.
I dragged my sorry, fat self back home with a massive sack of balls (yes, I dug deep into the void of my long-lost sense of humour to pull that one-liner out on my husband upon my return); and began rolling around on the floor with balls under my butt.
My 3-year-old daughter and dogs all thought that was the most fun game ever, and whilst still quietly chuckling at my own ball-sack joke, soon enough we were all in complete hysterical laughter in the Cordiner house.
The Moment of Rational Thought…
In that moment this afternoon, I found myself again, and it got me thinking about how often we can face similar situations like this in business.
We experience some kind of problem or pain, and if we don’t pinpoint the precise source of it, and apply laser-targeted (and sometimes painful) pressure to it; then it simply will not be relieved.
Any pain point or problem that is not relieved in our business, will eventually manifest into an all-consuming parasitic beast that makes us lose our ability to think logically, fail to take care of ourselves properly, hamper rational decision-making and even have us taking stupidly extreme actions like cutting off the limbs of our business that serve us, when all we needed to do was put a tennis ball on its butt.
Some of my most painful business experiences have come from focussing too much on the symptoms of the pain, rather pinpointing the source of it, taking a deep breath and just dealing with it.
As we move into the festive period, we have the choice right now to:
a) use the season as an excuse to hide away from and ignore the problems and pain points in our business (the old ‘I’m out of the office so don’t have to deal with this’ trick);
b) We can use it as a time to do some rational thinking, some house-keeping, some pain-sourcing and to relieve the pressures that we really don’t need to suffer from into the new year.
- If there are tasks you’re avoiding – face them, get them done and put away now
- If there is a project hanging over your head – just grit your teeth and finish it so that it’s gone
- If a customer is driving you insane – end their contract, refund them whatever they haven’t used and be done with them
- If your finances are making you want to acquire a script for elephant tranquillisers – go through them with a fine-tooth comb and work out where the holes are in your bucket, what you need to do to repair the situation and how you will repackage your products and services next year to increase your number of sales and transaction price per customer…… etc etc
Don’t go pursuing major surgery to fix something that a tennis ball in the butt could resolve.
Pinpoint the exact pain points in your business and think logically – often the solution to our biggest problems require no extreme measures to fix at all.
All we need is just a little focus and a little courage to apply some pressure to it.
Your problems will be solved AND we all get to keep our legs.
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