How To Avoid Getting Flustered

December 16, 2022 by Gregory Offner

It was a Tuesday evening, about 8pm, and I was staring at my computer screen. My pulse was racing; my skin was tingling, and I started to feel a tightness in my chest.

I could feel the judgmental stares — totally imagined, but no less real — of every boss I’ve ever had watching me floundering, flustered and far from productive.

I had been staring at that screen for over an hour and done absolutely nothing of value.

Have you ever had this happen? Of course — we’ve all had at least one “what the @%&# is wrong with me — why am I just staring at this computer screen” moment.

Nobody wants to feel that way; you’d rather be feeling confident and certain of what to do next! You don’t have time to be worrying about imaginary people judging you; and yet…

Did you find that the harder you tried to get control the more the feeling intensified; that with each passing moment that feeling grew — as if it would never go away?

If you did, then this next statement may seem contradictory: “It’s fantastic to feel flustered”

It’s Fantastic to be Flustered

When you’re flustered, the cocktail of emotions and chemicals that flood your body are validating the emotional investment you have in what you’re doing (or are supposed to be doing) — so why does it feel so…bad?

Anxiety and Fear are two very powerful emotions…but what is the purpose of an emotion?

I Saw the Sign

An emotion is a sign your body is sending you to inspire you to do something. In many cases, that “thing” is an action: to cry, laugh, run away, run toward, embrace, fight, duck…you get the idea.

But that “call to action” isn’t limited to physical action. Sometimes, they are a cue to more closely examine our thoughts — to ask a more productive question.

A more productive question

I used to find myself flustered and ask the question “What should I be doing right now?” — have you done that too? If so, then you probably became more flustered, more anxious, and found yourself googling the symptoms for a panic attack…not like I speak from experience or anything!

Despite having the best intentions, sometimes we need help getting out of our own way. So, here’s a simple, and effective trick you can use the next time you’re feeling flustered. Ask yourself this question:

“What action could I take, or choice could I make, in this moment, to create the greatest net value?”

In fact, write that out on an index card and keep it with you — because you can use this to become more productive, profitable and fulfilled in just about every circumstance of life.

What Happens Next?

When you start using this question, you’ll notice that there are a lot of “extraneous” thoughts bouncing around in your head when you’re flustered; and very rarely are any of those thoughts actually helpful.

When you start using this question, you’ll discover a whole new way of looking at being “stuck” — you’ll start to get excited when you’re “flustered” because you know that it’s an opportunity to use this question; and once you do here’s what you’ll find.

You’ll find that “what comes next” is exactly what you need to do. You’ll find that you become clearer on what it is you actually want to accomplish, and then take the first step to get there.

But as cool as that all is, you might find something else — something quite unexpected:

If you use that question before you feel flustered and stuck, you just might avoid feeling flustered and stuck in the first place!


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