Stop Equating Stress With Success

Humor me for a minute here and visualize the below. Be honest with yourself. As soon as you were designated a leader or with more responsibility, whether it is in the workplace, with friends or at home, you likely made some changes, maybe without even noticing. You probably started working harder, becoming more efficient with your time, attempting to control all situations around you, and carrying yourself with an increased sense of confidence, and a lower tolerance for failure. More importantly, you have likely also seen a huge spike in success and positive results from embracing this role. At this point, you have mastered the art of “pushing through it”, whatever “it” is. As a current or aspiring successful leader or an alpha so to speak, you do not have the time to be vulnerable, slow down, or fall sick. If you do not feel great, you have the mental fortitude to push through it to achieve your results, and if something is bothering you physically, there are medications for that. Due to a lack of control in your life and your day to day duties, exhaustion sets in routinely and life starts feeling like a battle. But as long as you bring results, in the workplace or in your relationships, you feel like you are winning life’s battles because of your unique strength and willpower. But you may not actually feel like you are winning on a daily basis, despite the results. Like most “successful” people, you get used to pushing through heightened stress, fatigue, negative moods, or illness. Your dream reality is unfolding the way you planned it, the picture of your life is how you painted it, and people respect you and follow you, so what’s the problem? Those headaches, mood swings, tired spells, and cases of flu will come and go, but your success is here to stay. That’s all that matters right? If you said yes, let’s see how long that lasts. With the infinite amount of information and communication mediums at our fingertips, there is always more money to make, more people to please, more grind to ground. Because of technology and the results-oriented nature of the business, the most logical course of action is to absorb the stress to “make it happen”. With limitless possibilities to achieve more with harder work, and as a result, your bosses elevating goals and expectations of its workers, workers often feel a complete lack of control of their workday, which is getting longer and increasing impacting the rest of their lives. Most workers feel like they have to keep plugging away and continue to ignore their personal needs and plans, and they also begin to lose their ability to work strategically due to mental overload. Not only is stress the number one cause of disease, but it is also (unofficially) the primary cause of living an unhappy, dissatisfied, and chaotic life. In October of 2016, the University of Indiana published the results of an academic study, finding that people who work jobs that are high stress and provide employees with a low level of control over goals, schedules, and decision making, have 15.4% increase in likelihood to die early. This should not be the only way to operate.  It should not be accepted as a society that individual success comes at the cost of health and happiness. When you train your mind to be consistently calm, focused, critical, and in control through successes and failures, you will find that you can achieve your highest of goals and be respected by the people you lead, all while maintaining a good feeling and good health. Your enhanced energy and vibe will not only benefit you, but also the very people impacted by your actions: family, friends, and colleagues are more likely to follow your lead. If you feel like you are the victim of any circumstance, it is time to do away with stress by taking control of your mind, taking control of your emotions, taking control of your body, and taking control of your life.