Now Isn’t Forever
It is so easy to be consumed by the stress of the moment and lose sight of the long view. Left unattended, you will eventually become exhausted, burned out, and depressed.
Your career isn’t defined by current, fleeting moments, but by your hopes and aspirations over the long haul. In addition to your career aspirations, be sure to include character aspirations. For instance, who do you want to be under stress? How do you want to be known by others? How do you want others to experience you in stressful situations?
Your ability to deal with stress is like strengthening a muscle. You work it out, enduring the pain that goes along with getting stronger and soon you will be better for it.
I’ve noticed a difference in handling stress between young professionals and those who have worked through many stressful seasons. The best ones seem to take it all in stride as just part of the job, while the less-experienced become frantic and fall apart.
How do they do it? Here are some examples to strengthen endurance muscle that your colleagues have used.
- Balance. They are focused on the work in front of them while not losing sight of what lies ahead.
- Pace. They forge ahead, adjusting their intensity to take breathers along the way.
- Assurance. They have confidence that they will get through it all, even when it seems overwhelming.
- Fun. They remember to have a sense of humor, enjoy their colleagues and look for opportunities to laugh.
As you build your stress muscle, you will be less swayed when you aren’t feeling it in the moment. Which of these will you take on this week to strengthen your endurance muscle? You can’t develop your stamina strength overnight, so do something now, and when you aren’t feeling it, you will be prepared to get through it.
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