Thursday May 23, 2013

Stress just a Symptom of Control?

stressed out guy

Was talking with a buddy earlier today. He was depressed and angry. I poked around a bit, trying to help process, asked a few questions.

He said he thinks it’s just the extra stress he’s under from some personal stuff that’s cropped up unexpectedly.

It made me think- is stress something that causes us to be depressed and angry, or is their something deeper going on?

In my experience, stress is a byproduct of trying to control. I feel stress when I’ve made personal commitments, and usually it’s tied to past pain. “I’m never going to be humiliated like that again,” or “I’m not losing this time”, or “I’m never sharing that again with anyone.”

It comes down to my identity. If “this” happens, what does it say about me? “If I fail at this, what is true about me?”

The stress boils up from an all-out commitment to not be seen. To avoid vulnerability and rejection.

If “this” happens, the gig is up… they’ll know the truth about me. I am what people think I am.

What a heavy burden.

I know some people that are fueled by the fear, motivated by the shame and harness it to all kinds of ambitious ends. But for the rest of us, is there a better way?

What would it look like practically to offer ourselves fully- to offer our fear along with everything else we are?

Really, what would that look like? How would our interactions and relationships change?

If we didn’t hide the fear, would we have less stress?


Chris Nordyke is an integrated marketer and strategy consultant. He works with owners and senior business leaders to transform and grow service companies via a unique holistic approach that drives referral business and client retention. Click here to schedule a complimentary consult with Chris.


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