Don’t Avoid Stress. Learn to Be Resilient Against Stress. Here’s How

You’ve heard it countless times – try to live a stress-free life. I laugh (albeit respectively) whenever I hear someone say that. Stress-free life? Is that even possible? More importantly, is it actually desirable?

In many ways, yes, a life without stress is possible. However, for most adults (be it an athlete, coach, business person, parent, spouse, or just about anyone else), stress comes in many shapes and forms and is unavoidable. Telling someone to avoid stress is like telling them not to breathe. Sure, they can hold their breath for a while, but in the end, we all need air to breathe.

And we all need stress to thrive.

Stress is the instrument of change

There’s a saying out there: a smooth seas never made for a skilled sailor. That’s because when the sea is never changing, a sailor is never tested. The sailor becomes complacent, and sits back on his laurels. For most adults, sitting back and resting is not the way they want to live their lives. There’s almost always something in our lives worth changing or improving upon. Perhaps you want a job promotion, or a change in dynamics with an important relationship. Perhaps it’s getting to the next level at your sport of choice. Regardless of the change you desire, chances are stress will be a part of that change.

In other words, if you avoid stress, you avoid your chances of making significant changes in your personal or professional life. Sounds a bit boring doesn’t it? So, rather than avoiding stress, it’s important to embrace it, and meet it head on. It’s important to learn and master resilience, so that the stress you encounter on your journey will only serve to make you stronger.

Mastering resilience isn’t something that comes naturally

Saying “it’s important to become resilient” isn’t that helpful unless some guidance follows suit. That’s because mastering resilience isn’t as natural a physiological response as, say, unhealthy stress is. It takes work and commitment to learn how to become resilient, even during the most stressful moments in your life, including:

  • Big board meetings
  • Unhealthy work environments
  • The “big game”
  • When having to perform in front of a large group of people
  • When trying to instill a long-term change in a personal or professional relationship (including with co-workers, employers, employees, children, spouses, and more)

Resiliency Enhancement

So, what does it take to be resilient? My work as a motivational speaker and coach for both individuals and organizations throughout Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada has helped me to create a successful formula that can be adapted to every possible scenario and audience I come across. This formula includes three significant parts:

  1. The Peak-Performance Mind – Often related to athletes, yet we can all benefit from a peak-performance mind. This isn’t achieved by luck or chance; rather it’s something anyone can learn.
  2. Interpersonal and Intra-organizational Communication Skills – Communication skills are key toward your ability to work through stressful moments in your life.
  3. Stress Management Skills and Training – This includes mental, physical, and emotional training, which make up the building blocks to help you thrive.

Each of these components deserves extensive and specific attention in order to fully address the best way for you to learn the skills of resiliency. As such, over the next three articles, I’ll be teasing out each of these components of my Resilience Enhancement Program, in order to help you learn the skills required to look stress in the face, embrace it, and use it to empower you to make the changes you want and deserve.


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