Dealing with Stress

Mark Pollock was an inspiration to listen to on the radio the other day. He became blind about 10 years ago, when he was in his early 20s, but has since then achieved amazing feats including being the first blind person to race 14 hours a day for over five weeks to reach the South Pole.

He then broke his back and is paralysed since he fell out of a window a year ago. But he is so accepting of, but positive and pro-active about, his condition. He will continue to defy the odds.

Mark has chosen to respond to the massive challenges he faced in an extraordinary and very courageous way. He is not extraordinary; he is an ordinary young man who simply does extraordinary things. Not once in the interview did he mention stress. Stress is the response to challenges by normal ordinary people when they just approach those challenges or setbacks from the normal, ordinary, fear-filled way.

I don’t need to list all or any of the challenges and very difficult situations that normal, ordinary people like us face in business, in work and in life at the present time. We get bombarded by such information if we choose to listen to the news or listen to our own or other people’s experience. Our normal response will be one of stress, unless and until we choose to approach it differently.

Like Mark, we can firstly accept the reality of the situation and how we feel about it; then we can begin to focus on the steps that we can take to change any part of that situation that we can, even when initially there may seem to be little point in doing that. We do this in the knowledge that we cannot always control situations but we always control our response to those situations or challenges. We always can approach business and life situations at our best.

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