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Turn your stress into success - by TimC

Stress is not a new concept.  It has been around for thousands if not millions of years.


But modern man faces numerous stressors that our caveman relatives never had to worry about.  I could list all of the issues, problems, challenges and causes of stress today but it would be an extremely long list.  Besides, you know what they are, you don’t need me to remind you of them.


One of the discoveries I have made during my career is that everyone has stress – from the homeless person living on the streets of New York foraging for a meager existence to the executives and millionaires who occupy lavish penthouses on the top of high-rises in the same city.


Sure, there are degrees of stress, but one of the significant facts about this killer, and it does kill people, is that regardless of the type of stress everyone faces the consequences on a person’s life, health, career, relationships and life outlook are the same.


Stress is an outside-in condition.  Stress doesn’t play favorites and stress is ambivalent to your gender, age, income, religion, background, education, nationality, career or lifestyle.  Stressors are out there waiting in the wings ready at a moments notice to pounce on it’s next victim.


The difference between people who ultimately become victims of stress and those who ward it off with an apparent magic wand is that the people who suffer the consequences of it believe that there is nothing they can do about the things that cause them stress.  The people who use their stressors to grow, understand and develop know a simple truth and that is the premise of this entire book,  stress is your inside-out reaction to outside-in people, conditions, circumstances, problems, failures and situations.


Stress, although a major problem in the world today, is not all that complicated.  Now, I am sure that there are a number of medical doctors, psychologists and prison wardens who might differ from me on this point,  but suffice it to say that even though stress can have numerous dramatic negative emotional and physical consequences there is one thing in common in all of the stressors that you confront during your life.  They can be categorized into three simple sets of circumstances;


-Your expectations.

-Your perceptions.

-Your life outlook.


This might at first appear to be a too simplistic solution to this problem, i.e. better managing your expectations, clarifying your perceptions and changing your life outlook.  But, I will tell you as one who has experienced my share of stressful people, situations and circumstances during my life that we do have a choice as to how we choose to react to life’s perceived threats and negative experiences.


So how can you turn your stress into success? I am working on a new book with that addresses this timely subject but it won’t be available for several months but I thought I would give you a little sneak preview.


Here are five things you can do to turn your stress into success.


1.Learn to accept what is.  This is not a resignation that there is nothing you can do but a simple choice.  Either do something about the situation or accept it as it is.


2.See life as a teacher. Every person and circumstance is in our life to teach us something about ourselves.  Learn to stop pointing your finger at everything and everyone else for your problems and start looking for the lessons your life teachers are asking your to learn.


3.Manage your expectations. Sooner or later everyone will let you down.  Your parents, spouse, boss, best friend and uncle Willy.  I am not suggesting that you not have expectations but that you blend into them a little more reality and accuracy.


4.Let go of emotional baggage. Old emotional baggage is one of the biggest stressors of all.  It is carrying around old hurts, slights, disappointments, failures or regrets.  It’s history.  Learn to forgive yourself or others and move on.


5.Clean out your perceptual filter. Everything you experience in life must go through your unique personal perceptual filter.  Whether it is some prejudice, judgment, memory, attitude or belief.  Some of these are necessarily a permanent part of your filter and need to stay but I’ll bet there are others that have out-live their value or usefulness. (that’s assuming they were every really useful in the first place)  

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