There is the common misconception that leaders are predisposed to deal with stress more effectively than everyone else. But leaders are made, not born. Sure, some natural born qualities help, but leaders become strong and influential by learning and adapting. One of those things they learn to do is make stress work for them. Instead of letting overwhelming stress impact them negatively, they use it to push themselves forward.
Stress isn’t always bad; a small amount of stress is actually a good thing because it motivates you to work hard and reach for your goals. Stress that keeps you up at night and makes you overthink isn’t a good thing. That’s why you need to transform stress into productivity. The key is to learn how you deal with stress. How do you reduce, neutralize, and control stress? Do you respond in an optimistic manner, or do you go into a shame spiral? When it comes to stress, you have the power to respond to it how you choose. It can either knock you down, or it can push you to work harder.
You should view stress as a temporary setback, not a permanent obstacle. Oftentimes, we perform our best when we are motivated by stress. Focusing on your end goal, rather than the dumpster fire in front of you, will keep you calm and clear-headed. Confront the problems you can, and let go of the ones you can’t control.
Controlling and transforming your stress is something you will need to practice. It is not always easy to decide to confront your problems head on, rather than running to your desk and venting your frustrations to the nearest coworker. It requires a lot of courage and the desire to continuously challenge yourself. It can be tiring as well. That’s why practice and reflection is necessary. Reflect often on how you’re handling stressful situations. Determine what did and didn’t work, and try to work on one specific thing next time you’re stressed.
Stress is inevitable, but the key is to harness it into something positive and productive.