Part 4: The Stress of Success
In Part 1: Interests
We identified that what you are passionate about is the key component of being happy and living a balanced life. These passions are your DNA fingerprint. They are who you are and what makes you tick, but are often neglected or ignored because they appear to be indulgences in your busy, crowded life of commitments and obligations.
In Part 2: Strengths
We looked at how you operate best on a good hair day. You have specific skill sets, behaviors, habits and practices — ways that you go about navigating life. These skill sets are your operating manual for how you put your best foot forward, do your best work, and win at the game of life
Part 3: Needs
This conversation started to open up the Pandora’s Box of what you need from others, or from your environment, to put your best foot forward and let your Strengths sing! This is where individuals take a deep dive. We are not very competent at asking for what we want and need for ourselves. We do everything for everyone else, but when it comes to taking care of ourselves, we are not such shining examples.
Which brings me to the topic of this blog …
“The Stress of Success.”
Stress Behaviors are a normal part of being human. It is just how we are wired. As we mature, we learn, we grow and we compensate. We learn to get what we need for ourselves, even if it means trouble.
Think of a 3 year old that wants something. Children learn early how to get what they want. Even in the crib, a baby has learned that if he/she kicks up a fuss, someone will come running! Children are very cunning and have developed multiple levels of expertise in how to escalate the situation to get what they want. They will start first with sweetness or charm, but the more they are faced with “No” the more they will demand, with increasing intensity, until a full battle is waged! The caretaker, weary from the attack, finally gives in, and a core meltdown has occurred! Battle won!
As an adult, you can chuckle at this scenario and relate to the frustration shared by all parents as they take on the passive/aggressive manipulation of an adamant child. But how are we, as adults, in that same scenario?
Well, we are all different in the moves we make and the tactics we take to express our stress behaviors. Know that as adults, our actions are totally without thought. They are not premeditated. They are REACTIONS that we have deployed over and over again throughout life, and perfected. While they are negative social behaviors with tremendous impact, nevertheless, we have practiced them for decades and perfected them like a fine art. We use them with varying intensity, as the situation demands, until the stress builds and finally, at times, bubbles over the top like a volcanic eruption.
Some will lash out, get blunt, or use anger and belligerence, just as a child would. Others, however, will withdraw, shut down, and hide out. Still others will dive into fixing, changing, organizing, reorganizing … Tackling the challenge at hand by rolling up their sleeves and personally forcing an outcome. Still others will turn to their social circle, talk it over, get consensus about their viewpoint, and create strength in numbers; the old wolf pack or lynch mob of public opinion.
What is your best tool in getting what you want? Do you attack, or withdraw? Do you dive into action, or turn to your social network for validation that you are right? You may have some, none or a combination of these. How you handle your stress?
Do you go out with friends to indulge in group stress eating? Or are you a closet binger? Do you go workout and dive into a hard, exhaustive workout? Probably not, given that we are a community of people that all have a common goal: to learn new behaviors around eating and enjoying the physical side of life. Yes, our community has all indulged ourselves in emotional and social gratification, not in strategic and tactical action.
What can you do about this behavioral phenomenon? So what?
First of all, look at your stress moves as a compensation for what you are not getting. Diving for salty, crunchy, high fat indulgences is a habit. What created that behavioral strategy? What do you REALLY want, that the food indulgence is a cover for?
What do you emotionally want, and deserve, that you are not free to ask for?
What appreciation and/or acknowledgement — what “thanks” are you not getting, that you deserve?
These are deep topics, I know. This is not a blog post to wave the flag and feed you inspiration. This is a subject that is deep, and, like an onion, has many layers to peel.
I can offer one tip, and one invitation.
The tip is simple. Try something new! Go experiment! Do a “Never done before!”
When you want to “treat”, “reward” or to indulge yourself, try yoga, zumba, jazzercise, tai chi, a special body treatment or massage or a new hairstyle. Mix it up! Try on something new about yourself!
How about taking some dancing lessons? I was given a gift certificate to ballroom dancing lessons after I had my weight-loss surgery 5 years ago. It was miraculous; I discovered a whole new side of myself that I did not know existed!
For you racy types, why not go rent a red, convertible Mercedes for the day? Try on a hot, sexy car and see how THAT feels compared to a hot fudge sundae!
My second action is actually an invitation. Say something new. Rather than talk about how much you “want” or “wish”, why don’t you explore what you could be creating, rather than repeating?
Call me. Email me. Reach out to me in the OCC Forum. Share yourself. Schedule yourself for a free consultation with me.
As the OCC Life Coach, I am here for you.
Be the Star That You Are! It’s your life, after all. How do YOU SAY that it is going to go?