When people become irresistible, stress can be extremely challenging, no matter how much they love what they do. As an entrepreneur, the pressures and demands of owning and running a business can be far more brutal than drawing people to them. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid going into a high-stress, high-empathy profession, which is often essential to the lives of many. I find great joy in being an occasion for others and I know others have and will have.
As the CEO of a loss recovery and recovery services company, my colleagues and I regularly meet people during the most difficult days of their lives. This comes with a lot of very real stress. Our business is built on connecting with children, adults, families and business professionals who face unimaginable challenges. Our sympathetic team members (whom we affectionately call the Belfort family) help them see that tomorrow will be better – and we will walk by their side at every step to ensure this.
But we are not superhumans! Yes, we are very passionate about service, and we are all part of the same empowered team. But in the midst of the many pressures presented by disaster, we must remember to be clear-headed and positive. We have to take care of ourselves, so that we can take care of others.
However, everyone will face challenges and stress at some point in their careers. Here’s how to take on the challenge of stress with determination, determination and heart:
1. Don’t be calm – get excited!
You are afraid. We all do! It is very important to be realistic about them. Acknowledge your concerns, and know that they are legitimate. At the same time, realize that the worst happens very rarely and one of the strongest ways to handle stress is to get excited instead of trying to force yourself to calm down.
Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves. But behavioral scientists have found that this is not the most effective strategy. They think that stress often stems from anxiety that bad things will happen – even if it is unlikely. Forcible calming does not eliminate bad thoughts; It just buries them, lets them create stress.
Go ahead with confidence, know that you have made a lot of great decisions and you are able to do more! Among the reasons, expecting positive results instead of bad results creates more real peace and can encourage resilience and strength.
2. You want to support friends, family or coworkers when they need you the most.
When you need a lifeline or lean on someone, ask for it. Support is not a weakness – it is a strength. Be willing to be honest and grow from experience when things are very difficult and very stressful. By acknowledging when you don’t know something you let others be the humble heroes of this moment.
But know that you also have the ability to be your own hero. Talking to yourself about stress may sound like a strange suggestion, but it is emotionally and mentally healthy and calm. Neuroscientists have found that talking quietly and with a third person fights negative emotions and gives you more control over difficult situations.
So when you see that stress is holding you back, use positive self-talk and support from others. Just as you will support someone in his or her worst day in any way he or she needs, be willing to do the same for yourself.
3. See stress as a challenge, not an obstacle.
When you still feel overwhelmed by the stress of life despite your best efforts, it may be helpful to imagine the causes of your stress and the obstacles you can overcome. The University of Arkansas found that employees who rebuilt stress as a challenge rather than a hindrance experienced greater personal growth and higher stability than those who did not.
That said, don’t run away from stress. Run towards it with a resilient, strong mindset. Researchers say that ignoring stress is a bad idea. Do they believe? The more stress you try to overcome, the bigger and more challenging it can become. On the other hand, embracing it and being still excited about what lies ahead can alleviate your anxiety and help you cope with stress.
Stress doesn’t have to be your enemy! Without challenges and hardships, it is not easy to appreciate the incredible resilience we all have. Know that stress is normal and something that unites us all and you will be ready to rise above anything that comes your way.
Contributed by Sheldon Yellen, CEO of Birmingham, Michigan-based Belfort, Global Leader in Property Recovery and Disaster Recovery. Belfort has more than 11,200 employees in 450 offices spread across 55 countries.
For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out more articles from Inc.’s EO and EO blogs.