May 2018 Newsletter: Controlling Your Stress in Business
At Westside Church in Omaha, Nebraska, recently, Pastor Curt Dodd talked about stress. I thought this was a great topic for a sermon because all of us humans need to deal with stress throughout our lives. The business world in particular is filled with stressful situations. If you intend to succeed in your career, you will need to develop good strategies for dealing with stress.
“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.”
– Robert Eliot
I learned some important lessons about stress years ago from author Brian Tracy while attending an authors’ conference in Anaheim, California. In his book titled Eat That Frog, Tracy recommends tackling stressful challenges in a timely manner and getting them out of the way as soon as possible. Instead of trying to sweep a problem under the rug, Tracy advises dealing with it head-on so you can find a solution and move forward.
I can’t tell you how many times in my career I have seen people totally stress out about a situation that could have been remedied with a phone call. Instead of dealing with the problem, they tried to avoid it and ended up making matters worse. We all have the ability to work through negative and stressful challenges, and if you don’t feel you have the answers then you need to talk with people who do. Be resourceful and reach out to those who have the experience to help you.
”Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”
– David Allen
When I was a broker for 350-plus Realtors, some of them used to ask me for advice about how to deal with challenges. We would talk about the situation and figure out solutions. Other Realtors ran into trouble but didn’t ask for help, and unfortunately I would hear about it later when it might have turned into an irreversible problem.
All of us will face unforeseen stressful situations and challenges throughout our lives. One approach that has usually worked for me is to wait at least 24 hours before addressing the issue. Instead of reacting immediately, take time to think about it and I guarantee that you will have a clearer head and be able to make a better decision about how to respond.
I was not always as calm as I am today in dealing with stress. It was not easy for me to implement the 24-hour rule. Many times I would respond to a stressful situation immediately and then regret it later… truthfully, it would be more accurate to say “many, many times.” When I learned to digest a situation, process it and think about it for 24 hours, my response was completely different from what it would have been if I had reacted immediately.
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca
I have also noticed that we bring a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves. My mother used to say, “You are your own worst enemy,” and she was absolutely right. Anything that didn’t go favorably in my life was usually my fault. In other words, I caused the stress. The key is learning from each mistake so that you don’t let it happen again. You can avoid a lot of stress by not doing the wrong things in the first place.
Along these lines, here are a few ways to avoid unnecessary stress:
- Don’t be late: When you are late for a meeting or work you will feel stressed because you know that other people will be disappointed when you don’t show up on time. You and I both know that being late without a good reason is very disrespectful.
- Go easy on the party scene: Some of the most talented business people I know will find it more difficult to reach their full potential because they choose to be out late partying too often. After a night of partying, have you ever got up the next morning and said to yourself, “Boy, am I glad I got drunk last night so I can start the day feeling like crap”? Partying in excess causes stress in your life. Nobody hands out awards for being a great partier because anybody can do it. Live it up, but not so much that it interferes with your career.
- Make feeling good part of your daily schedule: Create an exercise program that works for you. For example, you might decide to start by working out for 20 minutes five days a week. Eat right, because that phrase “you are what you eat” is so true. If you eat healthy you will feel good, and if you don’t then you will feel bad. Yes, it’s that simple. Exercise will calm you down in stressful situations. Treat your mind and body like a temple if you want to live the life of a king or a queen.
- Practice self-discipline: Achieving your career goals will take discipline and hard work, but with drive, desire, and determination you can make it happen. Anything worthwhile takes time. When you know you are making progress, any stress you encounter will be easier to deal with. Create a discipline and it will become a habit that will eventually become natural to you. Practice, practice, practice.
- Concentrate on the positives: One of the best ways to deal with stress is to be grateful for what is going right with your career. Write down all the things you are grateful for and your list will hopefully remind you that life is not that bad and you will get through this. Stress is sometimes unavoidable, but thinking about the positives in your life will help you remember that you have a lot to be grateful for.
- Breathe deeply: Take a deep breath, and then as you exhale imagine all your stress and tension leaving your body. Take three deep breaths several times during the day and you will be surprised by how much better you’ll feel. You have the ability to control your mind. Breathing deeply helps release stress so you can focus on finding solutions. Try this — it works!
- Help other people: One of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of stress you feel is to take the focus away from yourself. When you start devoting time to helping others, you will spend less time thinking about your own problems. Your happiness will increase and your stress will diminish.
If your daily life is giving you high levels of stress, you are putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium as well as your physical health. It reduces your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. Effective stress management, on the other hand, helps you break the hold stress has on your life so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive.
The ultimate goal is to lead a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun — and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head-on. But stress management is not a “one-size-fits-all” process, so it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you.
You have the ability to get a handle on your stress if you make it a priority. Instead of talking about how stressed you are, focus on how grateful you are and keep trying to develop better ways to deal with stress.
If not now, then when… and if not you, then who?
Van Deeb is an inspirational speaker, author, and coach who is recognized as an authority on helping people reach their goals, create a written plan, build confidence, and live a more productive and fulfilled life. His proven methods helped Van build one of the largest real estate companies in the country, growing his business from just himself to an agency with 350 associates. Invite Van to present a workshop, keynote, or event at your company. Contact Van at his direct line: 402-680-8448, through email: email@example.com, or on the Web at www.vandeeb.com
What People in the Audience are Saying…
With Van's passion, humor and experience you can be assured of one thing- your audience is going to get fired-up, built-up, and fully charged –up. As an entrepreneur at the top of his game Van is in the unique position of being able to "talk the talk" because he has "walked the walk". Over the years he has been a great inspiration to me and my staff. Van is a speaker with charisma, humility and impact and he's a difference maker in the lives of the people he touches…"
I wanted to thank you for coming and speaking with our company today. I thought your presentation was awesome! I was really motivated and inspired by your thoughts and ideas. I will use this motivation to grow my business and my personal life.”
We are delighted you will be accepting the award for Omaha’s Top 25 fastest growing companies. Congratulations on your outstanding growth and we wish you continued success.”
Thank you for running such a class act company. It is an honor and a pleasure to be associated with someone such as yourself. I know you are probably one of the most respected businessmen in the region.”
Congratulations on writing “Selling from the heart” and thank you for sharing a copy with me. Your class has been one of the most enjoyable classes I’ve ever taken. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work are awesome. But the most refreshing part of the class was your delightful sense of humor. Thank you again for being a fantastic teacher.”
Kudos to you, Van, for reaching a major goal. But more than that...For successfully building one of Omaha’s best companies from scratch and making it thrive even in less than ideal market conditions. You have realized the American Dream...And brought it home to many, many others. My best to you!”
Having you here again was such a blessing to so many! As I looked at the pictures, I could see just how interested each and every person was in what you had to say!
This has been such a gift to our agents when they need it the most. The fact that you come, you are so genuine and caring, you are so honest, you are not trying to sell anything and your passion to help each and every person believe in themselves and become the best they can be is HUGE! The timing is perfect for us all helping and caring about each other, so, thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving of yourself to help all of us!”
I enjoyed your seminar and its focus. I was on the fence whether or not to attend and decided why not? I could have sat through an all day session if there was one, usually I end up at the seminars that start with a focus and quickly go astray. I found with yours time flew by too fast and it was already time to go but I wasn’t ready to go.”