Most people feel stress in their lives, especially at work, whether it’s due to a change at work, being overwhelmed, or receiving criticism. So how do you deal with work stress in a healthy and positive way? The best way is to learn how to transform your stress into a motivator for personal growth. You’ll learn how to take the necessary steps to come out ahead.
Change is a stressor in itself, as it can bring along uncertainty. For example, when positions or roles at work shift, we worry about losing our jobs. If you’re in a reorganizational situation, stay focused on the company purpose, mission and goals, then talk to your coworkers and superiors about how you can contribute more to those aims. Let everyone know that you would like to engage and enroll others in making the most of any job.
Remember, you want other people thinking about where you might better fit in within the company. Be open and honest about your concerns about any role or responsibility shift you’re going through. Most importantly, demonstrate ways you can serve the company better. Encourage your boss to see how you can contribute to the company’s overall purpose.
Don’t give up too soon and start looking elsewhere—there’s hidden potential to explore right where you are. Ask yourself, “Have I properly distinguished myself at work, showed up, and shown management my skill set? What role do they want me to perform, what am I currently doing, and how do those skills overlap?” Practicing accountability while encouraging management to see your strengths will result in bigger and better opportunities.
The best way to deal with your fear and hurt when you receive criticism is to stay engaged. If you find yourself collapsing, keep yourself in the game by asking intelligent questions to release some of your anxiety and get back on your own side. No need to throw your internal third grader under the bus—explain your feelings if you need to. Ask for help by saying something like, “I’m thrown off by that comment” and you’ll have time to clear your head.
Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Go back to the moment before the anger or hurt and stay in that. Again, acknowledge your feelings, then ask for clarification. Ask: “Would you please clarify that for me?” Be honest. Say, “I’m feeling hurt and defensive” or “What is you want that you’re not getting from me?” and truly listen to the answer. Don’t forget to find the truth in criticism. While you may not always agree, honesty on both sides with encourage progress.
A common concern I hear often: How do you stay present during a job interview when you’re feeling fear and anxiety? The job of getting a job can be stressful enough, especially if you’re not seeing results. Just remember that applying for jobs in the want ads isn’t the only way to get a job. You’ve probably noticed that most people get jobs by knowing someone related to the job. Networking is an excellent way to be proactive. Set up at least one meeting a week with old friends, classmates or colleagues to see what they’ve been up to and to learn how you might help.
By networking and getting that face-to-face interaction, you’ll improve your confidence for job interviews—especially when you’re walking into an unfamiliar situation with a stranger.
Whether it’s anxiety, fear or change at work that’s stressing you out, remember to use those emotions for good. Anything taking you out of the present moment can hinder your personal growth. Remind yourself that every situation is an opportunity to learn and grow, especially when you’re aligned with the company’s mission and purpose. Enroll yourself completely and fully engage with your environment. You’ll feel less stressed and more empowered to do a great job.
|Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.|
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Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user alancleaver.
Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.