Welcome to the Inpiration Rising podcast! My name is J. David Trotter, and I’m here to help you get unstuck, clarify your goals, and launch yourself today.
I used to love stress! I would create scenarios where I would feel stressed to experience that hit of adrenaline that would make me feel alive and motivate me to get all sorts of stuff done. I was stressed out from 1998 to 2008. I was a workaholic, and I thrived on stress. The major downside was…stress didn’t help my relationships or my soul. It made me short, impatient, and critical (more than usual I should say), and it caused a constant buzz in my mind and heart.
11 years ago after a major meltdown, peace became a major value for me, so I actively seek to cultivate, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
Here are four questions to ask yourself if you want to handle stress like a boss babe…
1. What’s causing me stress?
Have you ever had moments in life when you’re frazzled, and you’re not even sure why? I definitely have, and I will literally stop and ask myself, “What am I stressed about?” Why do I have this buzz inside me?
I will close my eyes and follow the sound of the buzz until it gets louder and louder. Sometimes, it shows up right away. I’ll think to myself, “Oh yeah, I just got that bill in the mail, and I’m stressed about the money disappearing from my account. Or, I just saw my kid’s grades, and I’ve gotta have that conversation after school.”
Or, in some situations, it doesn’t show up right away, and I have to follow the buzz a bit longer. I start going through the list of major things in my life until I find out where the stress is coming from. Money, my kids, my wife, clients, health?
2. What am I afraid of?
For me, stress is a signal that I’m afraid of something negative happening. My fear is that I won’t have enough money to pay the bills. My fear is that having a conversation, because I don’t want the person to be disappointed. I’m afraid of not having enough time to get all my work done. I’m worried that driving the kids around to all these activities is going to consume me, and I’ll never get off this treadmill.
Oftentimes, I’m just really stressed, because I’m thinking of a worst-case scenario around whatever situation I’m faced with. By being honest about it, it moves the stress and associated fear out of the nebulous darkness and brings it into the light.
I am afraid of…
My fear is…
I’m worried about…
Just by stating what the fear or worse-case scenario is out loud…some of the power gets taken away. We’ve asked…what’s causing me stress? What am I afraid of?
3. What can I do about it?
I tell my kids all the time, “There’s always a solution.” It’s figureoutable as Marie Forleo says. A solution-based mindset focuses on possibilities, and possibilities reduce pain. When I feel stuck and overwhelmed, it can be easy for me to be blind to creative solutions. “This is how life will be forever, and I might as well crawl under the covers and die.”
Finding a solution doesn’t mean the challenging situation is going to go away, but it means that there are steps you can take to bring about a positive change. When we’re stuck, it can be hard to see creative options, and it may take reaching out to a friend to ask for a different perspective.“I’m not sure how to deal with this financial situation, health challenge, relationship issue…what creative next step am I not seeing?”
It’s easy to say, “I’ve tried everything, and nothing will make this situation better.”
Don’t give in to that way of thinking. You can do something, and you just need to be creative in the way that you’re approaching it.
- Financial – decrease spending, ask for a raise, buy stuff at a yard sale, and re-sell it.
- Health – another doctor’s opinion, alternative medicine, new ways of eating or exercising.
- Relationship – new ways of communicating, empathy, forgiveness, counseling.
I don’t know exactly what’s causing you stress, but I do know that you can do something. Ask a friend for their perspective, and get creative.
4. What do I need to release?
I’m sure you’ve heard the Serenity Prayer somewhere. It’s often said in 12 step groups, and it’s extremely powerful. If you know it, say it with me now.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
There are some things that you can’t change.You can’t change someone else’s opinions or behavior. But, you can change yours.
You can’t control your child’s reaction. But, you can control your own.
You can’t add more time to your day. But, you can figure out how to manage yours.
To release something means that I accept that I can’t change it, and I’m asking God to give me serenity or peace as I do that.
As we’ve been chatting it up here, my guess is that you’ve already been thinking about a stressful situation in your own life. I want you to know that I believe you are courageous enough to admit what you’re afraid of, and I know that you’re strong enough to figure out what you can do about it. Once you’ve determined what’s possible for you to do, write it down on your to-do list so you can start making it happen.
Now, I want us to end our time together with a moment of release. There are some things that you and I can’t change and releasing that unrealistic expectation will help tremendously. If you’re not driving, feel free to close your eyes and join me in this moment…
I recognize that I cannot change other people or control their reactions.
I can only choose my own thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
I am releasing control and accepting the things I cannot change.
God, I trust you with the outcomes. Please give me peace.
I hope you’re feeling a bit better, and I want to encourage you to ask these four questions whenever you’re feeling the stress.