Growth is a big part of our company's culture. One thing that I have discovered when promoting growth is that you have to walk a fine line between challenging yourself and causing yourself stress. While challenging yourself can be extremely productive and is required in order to grow and mature, stress can be detrimental to your health and performance. Stress is your body’s way of responding to a potential threat when adrenaline and cortisol are released. When these hormones are released, your body instantly goes into survival mode. Adrenaline and cortisol make emotions rise and logical thought fall, which makes people act in certain ways while under stress that they normally would not. Here are a few ways you can walk the line between challenging and stressing yourself:
1) Embracing challenges as a requirement to grow and learn is a huge step towards reducing stress. When you don't see a challenge as a “problem,” there is nothing to stress over.
2) Since stress is a response to a potential threat, an awareness of when you are crossing the line is a great time to take a deep breath, step back, and assess the situation. In most cases, the threat is fabricated in our heads and not as scary as we might have thought.
3) When you do cross the line and do something that you would not normally do, acknowledge it and apologize so you can learn from it. Acknowledging instead of defending is a great way to mature and grow as a person.
Next time you are walking the line between a challenge and stress, ask yourself, "What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?" Most of time you will realize that the only thing to fear is fear itself.