Has the assignment of a task with an extremely strict deadline caused your stomach to knot with anxiety or alarm? Did you request it be assigned to another or accept it anyhow?
We recognize the reason you answered “yes” because whether it’s at home or work, it’s a habit of most people to extend their comfort zone beyond standard limits.
Is there something that determines the unique way each of us responds to stress?
Experience and training have an impact on how people react to stress and find the ability to flex under pressure without breaking. Your natural response to stress, however, is primarily affected by your distinctive personal style. Liken it to the flexibility of a rubber band. Some have a lot of give while others refuse to yield.
Why is it important to identify how you respond to stress? Stress is a hard taskmaster that demands an increasing amount of dedication, shutting out other important commitments in your life. It is not content with taking over every part of your daily job. Instead, it spills over to your home life, much like an infection that refuses to let go.
Yielding the upper hand to stress has adverse effects on your job or business. Instead of using your mental strength to repel negative behavior, stress ekes its way into everyday activities and tears down what you’ve worked for. Losing the respect of your team, revenue, and project stability causes more stress while the cycle repeats itself again.
Is there a reason stress causes some people to thrive and others to suffer? It’s the stretch in your rubber band that makes the difference. Plan your response to pending activities by understanding the way you flex to handle tasks, situations, and others.
Circumstances may cause you to adjust your approach. Look at the four following specific ways people respond to stress and chose the one that identifies how you respond.
How this relates to mental strength: Are you a perfectionist who gets caught up in detail and gets lost in a project? Be careful in this situation because stress may overwhelm you and result in your shutting down.
To be cautious of: Not getting things done as fast as needed or at all because you’re bogged down in details. Remember completion is sometimes more important than perfection.
Use your strengths: Take advantage of your eye for detail by assigning tasks to others. They produce while you perform quality control. Remember you can always ask for help!
2. Adjusting your lifestyle around it
How this relates to mental strength: Are you more comfortable helping than seeking the limelight? Is working with a team easier if everyone gets along? Approach stress by quietly adapting to the project.
To be cautious of: Be cautious of being taken advantage of because others know how adaptable you are. Beware hurt feelings when others fail to recognize your efforts.
Use your strengths: Take care of your own needs first, including needed breaks. You’ll be in a better position to support others. Look for consistent tasks within your role that you can do independently.
3. Doubling your efforts
How this relates to mental strength: Are you the type of person who jumps into a project headfirst and is driven to complete it quickly? Your response to stress is likely a feverish work schedule where you work hours on end to finish the task.
To be cautious of: Wearing yourself out by overworking. Remember rest helps you do your best! Avoid pushing your frantic drive on others and overwhelming them, losing their support.
Use your strengths: Use your ability to get results fast wisely. Inspire the team with your energy while providing support and additional framework so they keep pace with you.
4. Escaping from it
How this relates to mental strength: Do you love people and the freedom to talk for hours on end? You may give in to the draw to run away from stress and immerse yourself in social interaction.
To be cautious of: Creating unrealistic deadlines and letting time get away from you. It results in additional stress and perhaps disappointment when the project ends. Keep on track by creating and following an action plan. Review it often to verify you’re on schedule.
Use your strengths: Hold a team meeting and talk about ways to meet goals. Encourage the pace by sharing your ability to dispel stress.
Our approach relies on our mental state and the situation. The “hardwired” instinctive approach to any situation is affected by the influence most common to our reaction to stress.
Each of us can learn to adapt. Once you understand yourself, it’s easier to plan for individual weakness and make the most of your strengths.
It’s not as hard to gain that understanding as you might think. The Mental Strength Assessment provides the opportunity for us to objectively see the various ways different people naturally respond to stress. Once that information is determined, we concentrate on how it affects you.
What’s significant about this? It points out areas at work where you could be increasing output. Perhaps pressure causes you to work harder. At some point it will take its toll and the resulting strain will prevent you from keeping up with your tasks.
There are many ways to reduce stress. The results of decreasing stressful levels includes increased communication, additional sales, improved relationships, and the gratification of reaching success more quickly. Our effectiveness is built when we develop the ability to know exactly how to flex in certain stressful situations.
An important step is setting social interaction aside at times, particularly if you get immersed in it and forget the tasks at hand. Avoid engrossing conversations so you can take the proper action to complete what needs to be done. Which is more comfortable for you to work with, people or tasks?
Perhaps you’re discouraged about the way they respond to you. You can improve the way people react to you by changing your response to them. Display compassion and tolerance. The result is an increase in respect, trust, and credibility. Remember, your ability to be open to a wide variety of skills, different approaches, and experience levels builds teamwork. Effective teamwork leads to improved results.
If you have questions or need guidance during your journey, contact me. I’m here for you.
Gregg Swanson is a peak performance consultant and human potential coach and has authored several books and numerous articles on peak performance. Gregg specializes in developing mental strength in individuals that desire to reach their full potential. He has developed a unique online training program “Develop the Mental Strength of a Warrior.” You can also pick up your free eBook,” Why Change is So Hard” by going HERE.