Death by 1000 cuts. That’s what stress darts can do to you. If you are a successful professional, or someone striving to be a successful professional, you may be familiar with the results of stress overload induced by the fallout of stress darts. We call it ‘burnout’, ‘stressed out’ and, at it’s extreme, 'freak out', otherwise known as panic. You may get this overriding sense of doom, as if life is going downhill, and no matter how fast you are running you aren’t moving forward. It isn’t any one-thing, it is the accumulation of one small hit right after another.
Below are 15 major stressors that highly successful people experience regularly in life that can add up to this dreaded depleted state of being.
If you aren’t armed with the right tools, if you haven’t built up adequate resilience, then no matter what profession you choose, whether it is to be a sale person, artist, engineer, teacher, executive assistant or chief executive officer, you could fall prey to these energy suckers that land you in the pits
1. Guilt. The all too familiar “should have” and “shouldn’t have” that can keep you tossing and turning at night. We can’t go back and redo the past, so it is best to leave it in the past and get it out of your mind. Try to be present and live life in a way that has no regrets. When you make an all-too-human mistake, fess up and clean it up, as quickly as possible. Then you can move on with ease. If you have trouble leaving it behind, a regular meditation practice can help.
2. Rejection. Rejection happens. Sometimes you get rejected ,and sometimes you reject others. It doesn’t make sense for everyone to embrace everything all of the time. Sometimes it just isn’t a right fit, right now. But when you are on the receiving end of rejection it can hurt. Overcome rejection by understanding the abundance of opportunities and recognize each rejection helps you define and communicate the “best fit” with more ease. Or, maybe try rejection therapy.
3. Disappointment. You had so much hope, worked so hard, yet it didn’t happen the way you envisioned. No problem, that was just practice for the real deal. No doubt it gives you more clarity about what you are wanting so next time it will fall into place with more ease.
4. Fear. This can stop you in your tracks if left unchecked. Ask yourself, what do you really have to be afraid of. Unless your very survival is at stake, your fear is likely bigger than it needs to be, bigger than real life. Recurrent, unrealistic fears can be eliminated relatively quickly through Neuro Emotional Technique and hypnotherapy. Why suffer through them when you can get help?
5. Over-scheduled. Doing, doing, doing. Here in Silicon Valley, there seems to be a pervasive belief that if you aren’t busy doing something, then you must be lazy. Unfortunately, this breeds a frantic mentality of false urgency that is short sighted and unsustainable. There is little acknowledgement or respect for self-care. The truth is: you should be the most important person on your schedule because when you take care of yourself only then do you have anything left to take care of others. You might be surprised to find out that there is a point at which productivity increases as the number of hours of work decrease.
6. Multitasking. Undo the ravages of technology on your mind. OMG! Post to Facebook! This is one of the biggest drains on the human brain. Yet it is common to think that the better you are at multitasking, the better you are. Unfortunately, research in neuro-psychology bares out the opposite. Multitasking makes you worse at everything and drains your creative energy with a spray of stress darts because every time you shift focus you lose time and concentration. The solution is to block off time for a single task, turn off email, turn off Facebook, turn off notifications, turn off your phone and focus on one task at a time.
7. Procrastination. A child of fear. If you are a procrastinator, then you know the damage it does to your self-esteem and productivity. The short answer is to face your fear and do the thing you hate the most, first. Then your day will go exceptionally well and you can congratulate yourself for a job accomplished.
8. Distractions. A friend of multitasking and champion of procrastination. The problem with distractions is that you never feel accomplished. You allow distractions either because you have not planned for your task, or because your emotions of avoidance break your focus while your mind searches for a distraction. To protect you from distractions, mentally give your task value and have a positive expectation for success and completion.
9. Pressure. It could be internal or external high expectations or perfectionism. This stress dart is insidious because it may have propelled you to success and now is your success strategy. Yet over time, it leaves you sapped and struggling. The wound of pressure deepens when there is no acknowledgement of the accomplishment or a focus on mistakes or lack of accomplishment. Work hard, play hard. Rejoice in your failures because of the clarity they bring and celebrate your successes no matter how small.
10. The Uncontrollable. Delays, technological breakdowns, weather … the list goes on and on. There is only so much you can prepare for. Life happens. I am reminded of the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Let it be.
11. Difficult people. Have you ever noticed how some people can just suck your energy? Sometimes you don’t really know why, but usually it is because of negativity or clandestine attacks. The best way to avoid these stress darts coming your way is to surround yourself with positive people and be one of them. When you are positive and you don’t give energy to the negativity, it is uncomfortable for the difficult people to continue to hang around, so they will gradually disappear from your experience.
12. Financial Difficulty. Money problems come with a whole host of conflicting emotions, not least of which can be powerlessness. Finding clarity and a place of control in these situations can help you feel more empowered, so you can make a plan and take action that will resolve the problem. Having financial security can shield you from a lot of stress darts.
13. Emotional over-sensitivity. Either avoiding your emotions or giving them too much stock can be stressful. Rather, embrace your emotions for the information they provide about your experience. Learning how to read your own emotions will build your resilience and increase your comfort zone dramatically.
14. Lack of health and vitality. Most people take their health for granted, but as you get older, good health is not the default. You actually have to do something to achieve and maintain it. The good news is there are a lot of simple things you can do to increase your energy and vitality. Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, just to name a few. If you are struggling in any of these areas, seek help. We have answers at Mind Wave Institute.
15. Spiritual emptiness. If you lack purpose or feel that something is missing in your life, you could be experiencing spiritual emptiness. Leading a purpose driven life can fill your energy reserves so they are overflowing. Look deep inside, what gives meaning to your life? When you recognize it, you will find gratitude for it and it will fill you up.
Successful people develop a comfort zone that accommodates extremes. You build resilience over time. How do you do this? Have self-worth that allows you to take yourself and life lightly. Realize that this moment in life is the only one that is real. The past is gone and no longer exists and the future has yet to become. Learn how to control their thoughts and interpretation of your experience so that your emotions can guide you instead of get in the way. Don't be afraid of the discomfort of your emotional experience; be willing to continually push outside of your comfort zone, expanding it over time. Accept, even seek out, help when you aren’t moving as quickly as you like toward their dreams.
If you feel as if you are dying of a 1000 tiny cuts from lingering stress darts, hypnotherapy, Neuro Emotional Technique and the other tools at Mind Wave institute can help heal and disarm them.