I find any position that puts me in constant contact with other people brings a unique challenge.
Because dealing with certain people is a struggle. Especially people smarter in their own head than they are in real life; the part of them the rest of us must interact with.
You’ve met this person. Logic and reason escapes them, yet they speak with the confidence of scholars. I envy and despise their passion at the same time.
I don’t condemn them for their background, their education level, or their determination. I only need a little more patience to empathize and assist them in redirection.
As a manager, it’s part of the job. Anyone in any leadership position confronts this challenge. For me, I find it tests my integrity and my sanity at the same time.
Then I heap on the noise of everyday living, the pressures I let others put upon me and the internal strife I carry as baggage from the past. The weight is significant; and it slowly erodes my soul.
I can’t let that happen.
What is your go-to solution for wading through stress that can mire down meaningful progress?
I believe that knowing the power of a still, quiet place ties directly to the success of keeping a level mood.
I took this picture on a small lake in North Carolina. I wandered out on this dock as the sun set over flat water. No wind. No sound. My phone was off. No distractions but my own thoughts. I was alone and void of pressure from outside.
I was uncomfortable at first. The concept of stillness and quiet was foreign, unsettling. But each peaceful moment let more calm creep in.
Mountains of research support the benefit of quiet meditation, but I am not one to sit still in silence. I know there are others who hear the knowledge of calmness, but like me fail to find a proper way to exercise the wisdom in a way the studies recommend.
It doesn’t come naturally to us.
Instead, I mentally find my “dock” like the one above. I take a few minutes, realizing the only person I have to answer to is me. I step back from the struggle, breathe deeply and let out the frustration that comes in dealing with other beings. I try to identify my emotions, the tipping points, and decide if the battles I fight are the hills I want to die on.
Is the level of stress acceptable for the return I gain from process?
I know I am not alone and can’t survive by focusing only on my struggles. But I must take ownership in keeping chaos alive when I take part in group-sponsored anxiety.
I need to flush the poison of emotional sabotage from my system and learn to breathe back in the realization I need not let others pick away at my soul. They can do that to themselves, but not to me. I will never help them self destruct, but always help them move to a better place when I can.
I want to always lay down at night with my integrity and my character intact, hoping to get up in the morning ready to face the challenges the same way.