Being an entrepreneur is one of the most stressful choices one could ever make in life. It is oh so easy to go with the flow, work a normal job, live within clear boundaries and expectations. Being an entrepreneur: chasing innovation, demanding yourself to constantly do, see and be more, is taxing.
Entrepreneurship is really about throwing caution to the wind and accepting that you can and will overcome everything that life can throw at you. It is certainly not for everyone but then neither is a life of riches, privilege and opportunity. Some are better suited to follow and others choose to lead.
The choice is yours.
Are you creating diamonds?
For some people stress is something which slowly eats away at them leading to unhealthy behaviors and poor overall health. For others it is a motivating factor and source of great resilience and transformation.
How you deal with and even create pressure for yourself could have a really significant impact on how successful you are in both your personal and professional life:
Are you creating diamonds or setting yourself up for an early death?
Do you use stress in a way that is useful or is it something that gets in the way of everything you want to achieve?
Are you letting your doubts and fears to impact you in a physical way?
For better or worse, if you choose to be an entrepreneur, you will be given a once in a lifetime opportunity to confront all your biggest fears, most profound pressures and most lingering sources of doubt. How you transmute these things might just define whether or not you meet the success that you hold so dear.
Believe it or not, there are many ways to turn the tables on stress making it something that you utilize to serve you rather than succumbing to it’s tragic and medically validated dangers. Stress doesn’t have to kill you and it just might make you stronger.
The choice is yours.
Read on to get better insight into what stress is, how it affects you and how you can utilize it to generate success.
What exactly is stress?
The definition of stress involves both cause and effect. Stress is “the action on a body … whereby strain or deformation results.” From a physiological perspective it is “a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.”
Stress comes as much from internal sources as it does from external ones. Balancing work and your personal obligations, trying to create your own business while still working for someone else, your student loans, sense of purpose… all these external sources can create stress in a direct relationship to what your internal responses to them might be.
Stress comes from many places and sometimes, one source of stress can bleed into another. Did you ever find yourself arguing with your significant other after getting home from a rough day on your job?
You know they are not to blame and yet somehow, the stress reaches a boiling point and while all you want is someone to listen to you, you find yourself lashing out against the person who perhaps cares about you the most. It’s a pretty unfortunate cycle that could be happening all over your life depending on what your relationship is to stress and what you are doing about it.
Too many aspiring and even successful entrepreneurs bring stress with them everywhere they go. They let it seep into their personal relationships and many build immense walls so as to try to mitigate the damage stress is creating in their lives. If this is you, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. Insecurities in and of themselves do not kill but the stress that results most certainly can.
Trying to succeed in business offers many potential stress points. From your partners to board members, competitors to suppliers, investors to customers and regulators to the weather, there are and will always be a million and one reasons to be stressed about your business even in the best and most successful of times. None of these things will go away and in fact as you scale and take on greater responsibility so will the problems and issues you face.
If stress is causing you issue in your personal or professional life, you better have a plan for dealing with it!
Turning the Tables
The most successful entrepreneurs (which should include you) don’t suffer from stress because they use it as a tool and a central driver of their success. They laugh about pressure and are able to detach themselves from unfavorable outcomes.
As funny as it may sound, it really is true. When you are able to see the problems you face as opportunities and you are able to rise to whatever life throws at you with the joyful enthusiasm you brought to solving puzzles or playing games as a child, you are in the best possible position to succeed.
When problem solving is fun, it is something that does not eat away at you but something that brings interest and mystery into your life. If you can see your challenges as pathways to your success, you won’t be bogged down by them but rather will be inspired to conquer them.
The most successful entrepreneurs turn the tables on stress by cultivating the following qualities:
- Optimism: Be positive above all else. Don’t dwell on things that don’t go your way. Capture a natural tenacity for rolling with the punches and being able to see the opportunity in EVERYTHING.
- Courage: Fear is your enemy. If you are running through the jungle and a Tiger is chasing you, fear has a place. If you are worrying about potential future outcomes, you are spinning your wheels and letting stress win.
- Vigilance: Being observant and knowing everything that is involved in a decision is not the same as being paranoid or frozen by the necessity to act. When you take responsibility, you know that blame has no place in your life. Learn from your mistakes and create new ideas and systems for countering them.
- Determination: Never back down, never throw in the towel. Never accept anything but your best effort. Always work as hard as you can and give every task your complete dedication.
Challenges as Opportunities
To make your challenges into opportunities, broadcast them to the world.
Say you want to lose 30 pounds, don’t keep that goal to yourself, instead post about it on social media.
Believe it or not, you will be harnessing the positive side of stress to help fortify your efforts to succeed.
When you create pressure for yourself, according to your own rule book, you take your power back.
See challenges as opportunities and you might not feel as stressed out about them. Remember life is a game and it something to enjoy. Don’t just savor the fun and easy parts, also relish the struggle, heart ache and pain.
Believe it or not, all of the things that cause you stress are simply leading you towards transformation and growth.
A diamond does not form because it is coaxed along and told that it is a beautiful little one. No!
Diamonds from because of specific and unique pressures transforming them from something common and simple into something extraordinary.
Be extraordinary. Conquer stress. Rise to the occasion!