I used to be pretty bad at dealing with stress and pressure. Things would get heavy and I’d agonize to the point of physical detriment. Over the past five or six years I’ve become really good at operating through high stress environments. I was recently talking to a stressed out friend about what I do to deal with the pressures of building a startup and I think it really comes down to two related practices:
1) When things get heavy, be sure to find yourself. I know that might sound a little strange, but pressure can come from two places. Either external forces are pushing on you or you are pushing on yourself…regardless of the source, stepping outside of those two voices and finding the mind that is with you regardless of context is where to begin any stressful day. Meditation has become an amazing tool for me to return to myself every morning…but it’s not always easy. The main idea is when you are yourself, acting naturally, and not forcing things, you are at your maximum capability to address any contextual situation…pressure and context are ephemeral…treating them such is the best way to move through them.
2) Remind yourself that you are capable. It is one thing to believe that you can solve a contextual problem or challenge. You can stare at something that isn’t working or is disappointing and say…”if I analyze this situation, there is a way out…” That works sometimes…especially if there is a visible path to somewhere different…but I think that’s more of a band-aid approach…sometimes there will not be a very visible path…it seems stupid, but sometimes I just say to myself “dude, you are good at this…don’t sweat this moment.” It’s hard to have and believe that dialog with yourself if things aren’t swinging your direction. Lot’s of people rely on friends or mentors to provide that voice and reassure from afar…but if you can get to a point where you can find yourself and your base self is confident and a believer in you…steps 1 and 2 together tend to put stress in it’s place.
So that’s pretty much it. Took me years to find these two practices…and I’m not always able to implement them…but they’ve been helpful to me and I hope they are helpful to you.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )