Is Stress Blocking Your Success?

Is Stress Blocking Your Success?

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series The GenX Marketer

As a GenX Marketer, you may be dealing with stress that’s impeding your success. Stress is prevalent in this career, especially from feeling overwhelmed with trying to figure out so many different things.

It can also mean that you don’t feel mentally or emotionally prepared to deal with whatever the stressor is. Certain types of stress are normal – such as when you feel stressed about your first day on the job or a tragedy that happened.

But most stress isn’t normal and isn’t healthy. When you’re coming into this career later in life, you have to prepare yourself for the roadblocks that try to derail you from your goals.

Are You Using Stress to Fuel Your Motivation?

Some GenX Entrepreneurs try to dismiss the stress they feel as something helpful in motivating them to get things done. For example, they might use stress to motivate themselves to do more tasks, or things they may not be ready for yet.

They believe that this kind of stress is helpful in allowing them to perform the way they should – especially when compared to other marketers. This self-imposed stress is something that people who work inside and outside the home both experience.

So while you might think stress is okay the way you use it, in reality, using stress to fuel your motivation is just as bad for you as when it’s present for other reasons. Mainly because it creates a sense of internal pressure.

You may have used this in a previous career, like when you felt like you had to get things done or there would be consequences. That might mean getting in trouble with the boss or holding up an entire project because your part wasn’t completed.

So you end up having to work harder in order to avoid facing those consequences and that takes a toll on you. You might not think it does, because you may feel like stress that causes you to feel pressured to work hard is a good thing  – especially if you rely on stress to get your job done.

You believe that stress works to sharpen your thinking and ability. Maybe you’re someone who believes that you excel when faced with looming deadlines or tough situations.

You end up waiting until the last possible minute before you start whatever has to get done. You may see it as a way to challenge yourself to race against the clock in order to complete a project or task.

Putting things off to the last minute, then letting stress be the motivator can actually end up backfiring on you. Stress, even the kind that you think you’re using as a way to help you, can affect your mood.

When your deadline approaches and you’re in a time crunch, the stress you feel can lead to mood swings, such as irritability or anger. This type of pressure from stress can also make it harder for you to focus and you’ll have a difficult time concentrating.

You may also feel additional pressure if you’re working against the clock and an unexpected situation arises that has to be handled that gets in the way of your deadline.

If you have a little bit of pressure and it helps you get through a dangerous situation or a short term need, that may not be bad for you.

But when it becomes your driving force, it is bad. When it’s your sole motivating factor, then you become too reliant on it and find that without the stress, you no longer feel like you can get much accomplished.

Recognize the Dangers of Accumulated Stress

Using stress in an ongoing way in your life is dangerous for you. You can experience a negative downside that can hurt you both physically and mentally. This happens when the stress that you rely on becomes chronic stress.

You’ve relied on it for so long that it’s now a part of your life and you can’t escape it. Instead of allowing yourself the freedom to enjoy this second career and all it has to offer, you’re using tactics from your previous work life to try to find success online.

There are many physical impairments that happen when you let stress build. You can develop tension headaches and these headaches can become chronic. Besides painful headaches, you can experience body aches.

Many people who live with chronic stress develop neck pain or shoulder pain. These types of pain are directly related to the tension your body comes under when you’ve allowed stress to build in your life.

Chest pain is common in people who live with chronic stress. The pain can become so severe that the continual aching or burning is often confused with heartburn or a more serious health issue.

Stress that becomes chronic can lead to stomach problems. You can develop constant cramping. You can also experience a condition known as a stress ulcer. The continued stress can make the ulcer worse, too.

You may also have long term nausea as well. Fatigue is a problem associated with continual stress for GenX Marketers. That’s because, not only does stress weigh heavily on the body, but it can also cause insomnia.

Without getting the proper amount of sleep that you need, your body wears down quickly. There are many ways that chronic stress affects your mental health. You may start to feel indifferent to things around you.

This can be toward your job, your personal relationships and sometimes, even your appearance. It just feels like it takes too much effort to handle everything and you stop caring.

Another way that you can be affected mentally has to do with your thought process. You’ll find that you worry more than you did in the past. You feel on edge or like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Some people who’ve experienced it describe the feeling as a deep seated uneasiness.

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that can arise with ongoing or chronic stress.

Feeling frustrated can be directly related to stress. When you feel this type of frustration, you may also feel restless. You feel like no matter what you do or what you try, you just can’t seem to relax.

You might discover that you’ve relied on the stress for so long that you believe you actually need it in order to function. Chronic stress can also cause you to feel overwhelmed, angry, sad or even depressed.

Pinpoint Your Stressors

There are many reasons why stress becomes a part of your life. For many people, the pursuit of a new career is what causes stress. This type of stress can be caused because of a lack of knowledge or the tools needed in order to the do the job correctly.

It could be that the job is requiring more time than you expected to contribute, or that the amount of work that you have to do has increased from what you thought it would be.

Certain people can become a stressor. This can happen professionally while networking with other marketers or personally. When you’re around a person where there’s always drama or conflict, this can cause you to feel anxiety.

Sometimes, a stressor can be health related, and as we age, this becomes more prevalent. You might have stress because you know you need to take care of your health and you don’t have the time or the energy to do so.

Because of this, it’s always at the back of your mind. Or it could be that you have a health issue that’s causing you problems and that can lead to frustration and stress, especially if the problem limits you in some way.

It’s hard enough to handle things when you’re in good health much less when you’re not at a hundred percent of your physical or mental capability. Going through financial problems can fuel stress as well.

You might be anxious because there’s not enough money to cover the bills. Or, it could be that you fight with a loved one due to financial pressure. Everyone has stressors, but the problem is that most don’t do anything about them.

They prefer to sweep them under the rug and just ignore them. That’s because having to deal with a stressor makes them feel even more stressed. No one wants to have to face things that are uncomfortable or that can cause hurt to themselves or other people.

But nothing ever gets better when it’s ignored. Turning a blind eye to a stressor only gives it more strength. It can become this huge, big mountain in your mind that you see no way around.

In reality, every stressor does have a solution. But you’ll never be able to find that solution by ignoring it. In order to find success as a GexX Marketer and freedom from stress, you must be able to identify what’s causing the roadblocks for you.

Once you know what the cause is, you can win against it. By dealing with the stress, you can be free of it. You’ll find that you’re a lot more relaxed physically and mentally. If the stressor has been causing physical symptoms, those often go away once the stress has been dealt with.

Remove Stress That Has No Place in Your Life

The thing about stress is that if you ignore it, you’re the one that pays the price. You’ll have more physical problems or you’ll suffer more mentally or emotionally. By taking steps to address it and cut the stress out of your life, you can be free from whatever is weighing you down.

There are many ways to do this. If you’re under financial strain, then you need to look for things you can cut back on to remove that stressor. Having a lack of money means that you need to cut out things that trigger stress.

For example, you might be someone who eats out every day. Spending money eating out is a lot more costly than eating at home and using meals as leftovers. By cutting out this expense, you’ll save money.

You can also give up habits that are draining you financially. Look at your insurance needs. Most people pay far more for car insurance than they need to because they’re paying for extras.

If you have an older car, drop full coverage. Shop around for lower rates than what you currently have. Have a higher deductible on your policy. This lowers your rate. Drop things like car rental or roadside assistance and you can save $40 a month or more with some carriers.

If your stressor is caused by a toxic person in your life, cut that person out of your life. Some people think that if a toxic person is family, then they have to put up with them, regardless of how that person speaks or behaves.

The truth is – you don’t. There’s no rule that says you must let family ruin your health or impact you mentally. You can refuse to see this person. You can refuse to talk to this person.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself first – even if it upsets everyone else. If you have friends who are a drain on you and cause you stress, cut them out of your life, too – or minimize the time you give to these people.

Don’t accept bad behavior from anyone. Most people don’t speak up or make changes in their social circle because they don’t want to cause hurt feelings. It’s better to hurt someone’s feelings than put up with the negative impact that stress has on your life.

Maybe you feel like the business model you started pursuing online is a nightmare. Just thinking about having to work on it puts knots in your stomach or makes you toss and turn at night.

There’s nothing that says you have to stick with a business model or niche you dislike. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked on it. You can walk away. You can leave at any time.

That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. You get to decide how you’re going to spend your life and it’s too short to spend it on things that stress you out. Find another business model or niche. Do whatever it takes to be free of the stressor.

Develop a Strategy to Circumvent Stress You Can’t Escape

No matter how hard you try, there is some stress that you can’t eliminate from your life. These are the things that for your own mental health you have to learn to deal with. That means coming up with a strategy that allows you to cope so that the stress doesn’t take a toll on you.

You might be dealing with a health issue that isn’t going away. Sometimes GenXers have conditions that don’t have cures or solutions. Maybe you have chronic back pain that can’t be fixed by therapy or surgery, so you live with it – but it stresses you out.

What you can do is adjust your lifestyle so that you have the best possible way of handling it. This might mean changing your posture. It might mean learning some exercises that can strengthen muscles in the area that will help you deal with the pain.

Maybe you have a health condition that, no matter how hard you try, you can’t be as fit physically as you want to be. You feel stressed because of this. Learn to make the best choices possible for the condition and let the rest go.

Don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t change because that will only cause more energy to be focused on that than on what you hope to achieve. If you’re a parent, you may feel that parenting (even if your kids are grown) is stressful.

You don’t want to cut your kids out of your life, but if they’re relying on you too much or causing other stress, you can set boundaries in place to keep that from affecting you. 

You can ask for support from your children, too.

If you have grown kids living at home, make sure they’re contributing to the household, helping with chores and so on. If you find you’re still washing their dishes, doing their laundry and footing all the bills, speak up and help them learn to be more self-sufficient and alleviate some of your stress in the process.

Plan your day or week in advance. You’ll probably face multiple decisions every day such as what to eat for dinner, what activity to do for maintaining good health, etc. Then there are times when there are unexpected decisions.

Maybe someone gets sick in your house and you spend all day at the doctor’s office and running errands for prescriptions. Have a dinner calendar you can rely on so that you’re not stressed about putting food on the table.

Make sure there are low effort meals for the days when you feel drained. You can do the same for a budget-friendly meals whenever you have several bills come up at once and money is tight.

By planning the steps you’ll take ahead of time, this can relieve stress and allow the day to unfold more smoothly. Once you know how to work around whatever is stressing you, then you’ll feel better.

By clearing the path and getting as much stress as possible out of your life, this will allow you to focus on ways to thrive and successfully accomplish all of your goals as a GenX Entrepreneur.

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