“How do you handle stress?” I was asked during my interview. I responded by saying “I choose not to participate. Stress is a choice“. My now boss, looked at me a little strange. A few years ago I would have looked at myself strangely.
You do not have control over many of the things that happen around you. There will always be crazy things going on around you. But you can choose inner PEACE over subscribing to the drama going on around you.
You can choose to remain in perfect PEACE.
Not long ago, some of my co-workers were very stressed about a situation at work. They were frustrated and swearing more than normal. I started to feel myself rising to join in the stress. But then I took a step back. I asked myself:
1. Is this my battle to fight?
Due to the nature of the situation, I decided it was not. I know I work with an amazingly talented team. I had confidence that they would figure it out, they always do. So I could take a step back.
2. What are the options for resolving this problem?
When troubling situations arise, I like to think through the options. I have found that when we brainstorm as a team, we come up with a better solution that anyone of us would have on our own.
3. Make a decision.
Be decisive! Then once a decision is made, shut your mouth. (Which is hard for an extremely opinionated person to do!) I knew that we had to act quick, we needed to have each other’s back. Which means I just needed to get 100% behind whatever decision the team made – no questions asked. Debate is over!
4. What practical things can I do to make the situation better?
In this case I could do nothing to help solve the problem. But I could take a few things off a co-worker’s plate so that he could work on resolving the problem.
This should be the first and last thing you do!
Just because they were stressed and swearing up a storm, did not mean that I needed to join in. So, I let them choose to be stressed. I however declined to participate. I choose to remain in PEACE in the midst of the storm.
Stress is a choice.
I choose not to participate.
I choose PEACE.
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“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b