Stress in the workplace is now the new norm. You look around the office and those who are not stressed stick out a mile. They are the ‘odd’ ones. What is stress exactly? How or why do we get it? What are we doing to ourselves?
Fear of what might happen, is the underlying driver for our stress. When we are up against a deadline, we are stressed. Why? Because of the consequences. Now, let’s just think about that. The consequences….What might happen? What might happen if you miss the deadline? What might happen if you share your opinions because you know the path being taken is wrong? What indeed might happen???
So, you could get told off. “Don’t do it again!”. You could be reprimanded more severely, resulting in a note on your unblemished record. What else might happen? You could lose your job. You might have to start again.
My wife was recently taken into hospital in an emergency. Guess what was on my mind….yes! I was planning to catch up on loads of my work and now we were in hospital in A&E, with my wife in severe pain…..but what of all the work??? Life has a way of correcting the balance. It might take a little time for us to acknowledge but we all do eventually. By the end of the weekend, the last thing on my mind was my work. Was my wife well? Everything I do is for her and my family, my parents and my children. The reason I work is for them, not in spite of them! When you are in hospital, you become more aware of the flippant remark that is heard across many offices, but rarely thought through enough. ‘No one died’. If you are in an office environment, could people die? As dedicated as we all might be….no one will die, even if we miss a deadline!
Fear at work needs to be placed into context. Whatever we might be fearing, no one will die. Early this year, I found myself in a place where a complete stranger asked me to help, as a man had collapsed and he had stopped breathing. I gave him mouth to mouth and CPR whilst the paramedics arrived. I did not want him to die. I tried so hard, no appraisal awaiting me, no one assessing my performance, just me and this stranger that had to live. 25 minutes and with everything I had in my body, I didn’t give up. The man died.
When you are at work, do your best, enjoy the journey. The ups and downs are what give life it’s flavour. But remember, in work, no one will die. Once you realise that, you will liberate yourself to truly do your best. When you live life without fear of anything, other than the realisation of death, you will realise life is so much more than we make it. One day, we will all die and the thought of that may fill you with dread. That is reality. Knowing that one truth, what are you going to do to make the most of your life today? How good could you make work? What if you shared your ideas and thoughts? What if no one dies and you produce the best work ever and go home to live your life the way you always wanted to…what if???