As a coach, I deal with client stress issues all the time. It comes with the job. I help my clients by focusing in on three simple philosophies from a book called Self-Powerment — written by Dr. Faye Mandell, an incredible woman and friend (go out and buy her book TODAY!).
Let’s get down to the facts: There are three stressors which tend to hit us when we least expect it — Fear, Anger and Guilt. What Faye tries to do is to get you back into your original human emotional needs we all experience — Security, Being In Control, and Feeling Adequate.
Here’s how your body and mind work (this will sound repetitive, it is, but stay with me):
We all need to feel some sense of security at home, on the street and at work. If your security is threatened, your natural feeling moves from security to anxiety. This is your body telling you something is wrong with your natural state of security. But it’s okay — your job is to understand you are anxious and you have to move back to some sort of security, by thinking of options or taking action.
Unfortunately, we let our brain take over and let our feelings ‘corrupt’ our anxiety and turn it into FEAR. Our mind has taken our present need and projected it in the FUTURE. We are no longer living in the present, but fearing for the future.
Example: Fear of speaking in public. You have a speech to give and you begin to develop stories about how you will fail and the audience's reaction.
Being In Control
We all need to be in control at some level in our lives.If we get out of control, our emotions move from Conrol to Frustration. Again, this is your body telling you something is wrong - you’re not in control of something you usually control. You need to realize something (or someone) is frustrating you and you have get back and take control of the situation.
Once again, we let our brain take over and let our feelings ‘corrupt’ our frustration and turn it into ANGER. Our mind has taken our present need and has allowed OTHER PEOPLE & THINGS to take control. We are no longer in control of our own life, we are letting other people and things take over.
Example: Your kids. They mess up the kitchen, you get frustrated, and your mind moves to anger. It happens to me ALL the time (they're boys).
Feeling adequate is a strong emotional need in our lives. If we suddenly feel inadequate, we quickly start feeling disappointed or sad. Again, it's fine — your sadness is telling you to move back and regain your adequacy in one way or another.
And once again, we let our brain take over and let our feelings ‘corrupt’ our adequacy and turn it into GUILT. Our mind has taken our present need and has projected it in the PAST. We are no longer living in the present, but worrying about the past.
Example: Someone says something you don’t quickly grasp. You begin to feel sad you never received a graduate degree, and you feel guilty.
Got it? Dr. Mandell’s position is to move quickly from the past, future, & people/things and get into the “I AM” or present state.
The way I interpret it: You can’t change the past, it’s difficult to change people/things, and stop worrying about the future — live in the present and take action.
What do you do when you are insecure, not in control, or feeling inadequate at work?
Image provided by Jonas Nilsson Lee at Unsplash.