The truth is, stress isn’t just a necessary evil but rather something that we actually use as a positive stimulus. We go to the gym so we can put our bodies under stress to make them stronger and fitter. We fill our calendars with activities to keep ourselves busy, social, and intellectually challenged. And, if anyone out thinks that having kids will bring peace, calm, and quiet into their lives is either (a) lying, or (b) brutally kidding themselves.
When we hear the word stress, we immediately think of it as something bad for us, something we feel like we should avoid and limit in our lives, and something that is often out of our control.
Chaos, even in it’s most controlled form, is stress. But, that’s where the potential for growth lives. Naturally, we don’t want chaos and stress to consume our entire day, but it isn’t the evil monster of destruction that we often label it as. Things that bring stress into our lives are unavoidable and a necessary part of being a human being.
While we don’t have control over the amount, the kind, or the timing of stress in our lives, we do have 100% control over this: our reaction to it and the perspective we take in it’s presence.
Many of us have been there with training. We’ve gone through periods when we’ve allowed ourselves to become so anxious and nervous about doing “Fran” or an attempt at a 1RM snatch that we either become short with our friends and family all morning…or, worst case, we can’t even bring ourselves to the gym out of fear of “failing”. In contrast, we’ve also had other times when we changed our perspective on the stress of the “test” and walked into it with the attitude of wanting to simply do our best that day with what we had to work with and treating the whole thing as a learning experience, regardless of what the actual number result was.
The test is the same in both scenarios, but the reaction is completely different. One is positive and finds you almost excited to take on stress, while the other is negative and leaves you fearful and unhappy.
The one thing that both of those reactions do have in common is this: you have total control over them. Every stressful situation offers you the opportunity to choose one over the other. That’s no one’s decision but your own.
The driver that is tailgating you doesn’t own that decision.
The coach that programs for your gym doesn’t own that decision.
Your children that leave their things all over the house for you to clean up don’t own that decision.
The friend that leaked a secret you told them to others doesn’t own that decision.
YOU are the only one with the power to decide on how you react to the inevitable stresses that you come across every day.