“How’s your day going?” “I’m so stressed. I’ve been working a lot and the more I work, the more stressed I become.” “How’s your business going?” “I’m so busy, so stressed. I have more work than I thought I would have at this time.” “How’s it going?” “Stressed out. The kids demand so much of my time, running them to various practices, trying to be a dad, but just not finding the time to be a good one.”
What you see here are responses I’ve heard after posing the simplest of questions; essentially, “How’s it going?” I believe our present culture has become a stress petri dish. Stress grows in a wide variety of conditions and situations. We entrepreneurs face circumstances that we believe create stress; “I‘m so stressed. I’m afraid my business isn’t going to make it.” I also hear stress attributed over attaining the goals we have pursued and met! “We’re so busy. I feel stressed out!”
And it’s not just entrepreneurs, I’ve heard stress attached to planning a night out, a vacation, or even a day of relaxation! Duh! And weddings? OMG; they may serve as the Super Bowl of Stress! “Who will we invite? Who won’t we invite? What food shall we serve? How do we not offend those who are very religious? How do we not offend those who aren’t religious at all?”
Although, as I reflect on it, perhaps weddings take a back-seat to the weather. Here in the Midwest, all we need is a forecast of a severe snowstorm, six days from now, and conversations erupt about everywhere you look as to how bad it’s going to be, how bad the “last one” was, and how someone “hates” winter weather. Stress, six days prior to a storm that may never materialize, ruling people’s lives.
Sometimes I think stress is used like one of those trophies you hold up and wave to the world after winning the championship. “Hey, look here everybody! I’m a winner, I’m stressed out over this enormous problem I’ve created.“
And being one who believes in and teaches the Law of Attraction; that what we believe becomes our truth; that what we focus on and give our attention to expands in our lives; that we become what we think; and that our perspective is our reality, I just shake my head in amazement at how many of us work so hard at making ourselves stressed out and miserable.
I’ll state first off, that in my opinion, the word “stress” is a euphemism for the word “fear.” I believe that we’re fearful that our business is going to fail, or we’re fearful that it’s becoming too successful. I believe that we’re fearful of offending others, or not meeting others needs, or of not meeting our own. I believe that when the storm hits, we’re fearful that ourselves or loved ones may become stranded, or isolated, or involved in an accident.
So my first suggestion to those of us who throw the word “stress” around like a puck at a hockey game, is to replace it with the word “fear.”
Now when asked, “How’s it going?” You can respond honestly. “I’m fearful. I’m afraid.” Try that on for size and see if it doesn’t stimulate something in you where you ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Then realizing the basis of your fear, you’ve increased your chances of actually doing something about it! Then the question becomes, “What is mine to do to lessen this fear? What steps can I take to address the imagined consequences that paralyze me?” And then take action.
And, on the chance that there may be nothing you can do in response to what you’re fearful of, or that you have absolutely no control over a feared outcome, you may decide to redirect your thoughts and actions to areas where you actually have influence or control, and move forward to make your life better.
So, my overly simple two-step formula is: choose “Fear” over “Stress” and address your fears. And, if you have no control over that which you fear,