Stress and an occasional sense of overwhelm is a normal by-product of a successful business. Yes, we are lucky to have all the opportunities that the business world presents to us. And yes, at times, it is impossible to make wise use of our time and resources. So, the result is inevitably: Stress!
We differentiate between primary, situational, short-lived stress and long-term, accumulated levels of stress. The purpose of this article is then to help you instantly with the first type of stress. To give you tools you already possess but we all don’t utilize enough. In addition, my High-Impact Business Coaching Formula allows you to grow thriving businesses while creating rich, balanced lives and with that eliminate the second type of long-standing, highly damaging stress.
Yet, this is not an overnight process as any transformation takes time, effort and commitment. So then, this article is about allowing you to find instant relief. To find ways to bust your sense of “too-much-to-do” immediately, within seconds.
I am going to start you off with a somewhat strange statement: “Believe it and you’ll see it”. This seemingly bizarre concept is now part of a highly success stress-reduction program at the Stanford University School of Medicine. For further education I recommend “Stress Free For Good” – 10 scientifically proven life skills for health and happiness” by Dr. Fred Luskin and Dr. Kenneth Pelletier. One interesting fact about the mind is that the brain has absolutely no actual connection to reality. It relies on chemical signals from other organs to decide what’s happening out in the real world. The fact that the brain is ignorant of reality is precisely what makes it so susceptible to suggestion. Harvard’s Professor Jonathan B. Cohen showed that imagining performing an activity, and even just seeing someone perform it, fires the same neurotransmitters and the same pathways as actually performing the activity!
In sports, visualization has been considered an essential tool for decades. In a 1984 survey of the 235 Canadian Olympic athletes preparing for the Games, 99 percent of them were using imagery. “There’s no one who doesn’t use imagery,” says Rebecca Smith, a clinical research assistant in sports psychology at the U.S. Olympic Training center in Colorado. No professional athlete has ever won first place by visualizing coming in last and yet we do this so often in our business world.
Since the principle is called: “Seeing the good in others”, what comes to mind for you? The saying is old but listen to it again: “Seeing the good in others”, is about seeing it in your mind’s eye, isn’t it? How often do we prefer to blame others for our stress? How often do we love talking behind somebody’s back more than finding the good in others? So, then how does that affect our leadership abilities? Since this concept of “Seeing the good in others” coincides with chapter five in my book: The Art of Succeeding by Design” which deals with leadership, it should come as no surprise that our ability to see the good in others is a highly effective trait as the leader of your small business.
Why? Well, think about it. If we could regularly let go of our judgmental tendencies and make a 100% commitment to taking responsibility for our lives (which means NO blaming, ever), combined with an ability to see the best qualities in our team members, what would that allow us to do? Yes, you would see different results. Why, because as our attitude changes, our thoughts change, our body language changes. Those working for you will feel safe and when feeling safe, there is no limit to creativity and productivity. Do you notice the disabling effects of stress on YOUR performance? It is not any different for your staff. They also get stressed and even more stressed when feeling criticized and judged. It impedes their ability to work in their highest performance zone, for you.
I guess, you are figuring out what I am proposing here. Yes, a win-win situation! Seeing the good in others allows your stress level to go down since you consistently trust that things will get done and that everybody does their best, your positive actions based on this great attitude influences your brain, and as a crucial consequence your employees or support staff can keep working in a stress-free environment giving their best in turn.
Secret number 1:
Practice your compassion. Put yourself in their shoes just for a second. Do you really know what’s going on their lives? Do you know if they are deadly scared of losing their job? Do you know if they feel empowered and equipped to do their job right? What do you know about their battle scares of life?
This does not mean being permissive and lowering your standard of performance. No, quite the opposite. By you setting the stage for an environment where fear and stress is not the driving force, you invest your time very wisely. Having a staff that lives with stress and fear is a waste of your money. Nothing gets accomplished, no new ideas come up, no responsibility is taken when fear and stress is present. If you want to create a team that is loyal, productive, innovative and equipped to take your business to success in a climate where an A+ team will be harder and harder to find, your efforts to practice compassion is essential for sustainable business success.
Ok, with that out of the way, I want to give you another 10-second secret:
It’s smiling. Yes, you heard me right, smiling. So smile right now, hold it for 10 seconds. Really smile, laugh! Do you feel better? I do. If it makes you feel better, how do you think the recipient of this smile feels? How do you feel when you encounter someone who just for the fun, throws you a smile? Yes, I thought so… pretty good.
Ok, practicing compassion and smiling more often, more randomly, more just for the fun of it, is then good for business, good for employee retention and good for your stress-management. The funny part is that you already knew all this, right? We do and still, at times, we forget. Why? Because we are stressed. Yes, that’s why.
One of my clients reported that she has attracted a much “nicer” clientele since her attitude changed and another client reported that “seeing the good in people” has significantly lowered his anxiety.
Remember, as far back as Napoleon Hill, the famous author of “Think and Grow Rich” said: “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.”
Like they say: War is not the way to peace, peace is. Don’t let your thoughts take you to a war zone driven by fear and doubt. Let your attitude guide you to thoughts that make you feel connected and you will reduce your stress level and make others feel safe and cared for. There is no possible negative outcome and lots of potent positive outcomes.
Do we need scientific proof for that? No, just give it a try tonight in the check-out line at the store or smile to someone at a red light, especially when you feel tired, burned out, foggy in your head. I can promise you that even a quick smile back will help your attitude at home with your family or your friends. Don’t waste a minute, practice all of the above or maybe just one but do it and do it often. Stress-busting is guaranteed.