At times circumstances come along in our lives that completely warrant stress – sad news of a loved one, accidents, perhaps job loss and alike. Other times, we need a whack across the face to snap ourselves out of it – you know, the little things, running late, a broken phone (yes, perspective) or a four year old temper tantrum.
We all do it. We all get ‘stressed.’
But in a world where stress is glorified, how is it that we can avoid its seemingly unavoidable grasp? Maybe you’ve been lead to think that you won’t be successful unless you’re under the pump. Maybe you’re watching everybody else, all looking like they are frazzled and frayed like a piece of string – at both ends, but you look at them and envy their success.
Truth bomb – Stress does not equal success.
This I guess also depends on your definition of success. Ask many top business people, a seeming successful person and so many of them at some point realised that, success isn’t defined by money or power. Health fills a big part of that, especially when you don’t have much of it. Sometimes it takes us to ‘lose’ something like health to fully appreciate it.
At a recent event, one of the attendees said to me with a smirk, ‘Seriously, nobody is going to change jobs because of stress.’ She continued on to say ‘well at least I’m not prepared to anyway.’ My initial reaction was a gasp that I had to slightly hide under my hand. It took the wind out of my sales and I certainly didn’t have an answer lined up. Then I realised, she wasn’t actually justifying it to me. She was justifying it to herself. I didn’t need convincing, she did. She admitted to me she was stressed but she liked it. That was her choice, I couldn’t change that, but my best suggestion to her was how she could help support her own body better to help her cope. Sometimes however, that isn’t enough. Sometimes we do need a good ol’ serve of reality. Sometimes we do need to change direction.
Do nothing, nothing changes.
That’s the definition of insanity I’m told. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Perhaps it’s time for a sea change.
I like to people watch. Confession. I LOVE to people watch, to analyse, to think about who they are and what they do, if they are a parent or maybe they are someone’s most beloved. Whatever the case, we can learn a lot from observing others, both who we want to be and who we certainly don’t want to be. As nasty as that may sound, I’ve watched on in horror at some people’s behaviour, reminding myself that I didn’t want to ever catch myself mirroring their behaviour. That’s not to say I haven’t. I’m far from perfect, but it at times has given me an excellent ‘who not to be’ reminder. I like that.
But more to the point, I want to let you in on another little trick I use when I’m feeling like I’ve been through the front loader on a full cycle on a not so fabulous day. It’s simple.
It was when I hit rock bottom (you can read about that here) that I clung to this notion like it was my lifeline. I had to. I would draw on perspective daily, reminding myself that there was always, somebody else out there in a far worse position than I was. It helped me tremendously. Once we started to turn our lives around from that time on, I realised the power of perspective. It’s a little icky to think that there are worse off I know, but it helped me be reminded of what I had, not what I didn’t which gave me hope. It helped me to count my blessings. It’s said that where there is life, there is hope. I began to manifest more of what I wanted, and with that, hope continued to grow. It allowed me to not only pave out my own journey, but I started to gain a special perspective that was allowing me to look to the future, to create attainable goals and best still, I continued to tick off the boxes of the goals I had set. Perspective was my jam.
Like anything you try on that works, be it a little black dress or a dose of perspective, you keep on going when you’re on a good thing. I kept on keeping on with my regular doses of perspective, applying it about the place as if it were confetti. Small things that would have previously bothered me, I began to flip. If my husband continued to leave his sweaty gym clothes on the ground, I got better at reminding him (nicely) to pick them up (rather than screaming at him because it drove me around the bend) because perspective continued to whisper in my ear “What if he weren’t here? You’d long to pick up those clothes one more time.” If the kids were testing me, the same applied. I’d remind myself, “If they were suddenly torn from me, I’d be begging to wipe another post toilet bum or tie another shoe lace.”
My experience with perspective kind of worked backwards to what I hope for others – that is I hope it doesn’t need to be a life-changing event or pivot point, to gain it. My suggestion – start with the little things, with the things that don’t matter so much and get so good at using it, it becomes second nature. Tolerating colleagues or those who test you maybe an easier place to begin rather than rallying for world peace.
I see people living in highly stressful situations each and every day, as I’m sure you do too. Use their example to your advantage. Look at others and start to carve out the life that you were born to live, not somebody else’s worries and woes, poor choices and bad habits. You have a choice. Only you can choose better. Find comfort in the fact that we all get it wrong, all the time. The gift is that you also, each and every time, hold the ticket to choose again. It’s simple. When you hear the voice of perspective knocking, close your eyes, give thanks and ask to choose again and move forward with that new pair of eyes with that new avenue.
I’d love for you to try this on and begin using perspective as your own lead towards a happier and healthy life. I’ll say it again – we can’t always live our life in bubble wrap, but we can implement special little tips and tools to certainly help make it a whole lot less stressful.
Perhaps you’ve used perspective to manage stress. Perhaps you have another technique that works for you. I’d love to hear! Please share this post to help make others lives a little sweeter, feel free to share the love around. Best still, if you’re stuck in a stress rut and need more tips and tools to cope, Debunking Stress (my best selling ecourse) currently has 50% off if you use the code ‘EOFYS40.’ If you’ve chosen thus far not to purchase, I say, choose again (hehe).