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6 Steps To Transform Stress into Success

6 Steps To Transform Stress into Success

Ever set yourself a passionate goal that was so big it stressed you out, created anxiety, and had you wondering ‘why the hell am I doing this?’

What if you could convert that anxiety into focus, which then led to highly productive results? Once I learned the elements to do this, it was a major component in my success equation.

You must covet success at the deepest level

You must have a passionate desire to obtain your goal. If the fire isn’t in your belly, this isn’t going to work for you. You must be working towards something you really want.

The stress that arises when you’re working towards a passion is the type of energy you can harness to propel you towards your end goal, instead of letting it cripple you.

So ensure you’re on-purpose, fuelled by passion, and committed to the journey.

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Determine your role

Do you see your role in life as absolutely having to obtain your desired goal? For me, this was becoming an entrepreneur. Being a high school drop out, no accounting experience and no lump sum of cash behind me, I had no idea how to make my dream come to fruition, but I had the desire.

I truly felt that it was my purpose so I maneuvered my life to give myself the space to really give it a red-hot go. So much anxiety around that! It involved taking responsibility and investing the family assets into a business opportunity with absolutely no safety net.

You can see now why #1 is so important. You must have the burning desire to achieve your goal because #2 is to give yourself permission to put yourself in the role that is going to make that happen.

Is the thought of that stressing you out already? Believe me, I’ve been there. But you can convert that anxiety by getting on-purpose. It was my role as an entrepreneur to back myself with the family assets. I converted that anxiety into focus by having what I would call a leadership conversation with my family. I did the math. I realized we were stagnant; someone had to take control to ensure we were going somewhere. So I adopted that role.

A couple of years later, I was a self-made millionaire.

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Identify good stress vs. bad stress

When you’re attempting to create your vision you are going to experience stress, but it’s important to learn how to identify the good vs the bad.

The body grows in response to stress. Stress promotes character growth, emotional growth, spiritual growth, and muscle growth. When you’re chasing your dream you’re guaranteed ups and downs, but allow that growth to make you stronger.

The bad kind of stress is when you don’t take control of your life. You are removed from your passion, in your safe zone, and yet things are still going wrong. This stress is debilitating, and makes you weaker and contributes to a ‘poor me’ mindset. No dreams were built feeling sorry for yourself.

If you believe anxiety debilitates, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Confront and change those beliefs and it will go a long way to convert those things into focus.

Surround yourself with success stories

Put yourself into a situation where you can see people already achieving what you’re striving for. Let their energy rub off on you!

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You’re more likely to bungee jump off that bridge if everyone else is successfully doing it and loving it. Start seeing yourself as one of those people; convert that anxiety into enough focus to jump!

I put myself in front of people who were already earning the level of income I envisaged and struck up conversations with them around their success. Pick their brains! See how they’re showing up in life, and emulate that.

Back yourself to win

You’ll come across some people who are going to try and talk you down from your goal. They may be coming from a good place and think they’re helping you, but these discussions can create doubt and stress around the pursuit of your vision.

Don’t let them derail you. Hold your authority as the leader of your life, and respectfully let them know you’ve got this!

Take back your ownership and control and that anxious energy will support you instead of disable you.

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Don’t be paralyzed by illogical fears

I was obeying so many illogical fears it had me in the balance of being afraid most of the time. To some degree, I was inhibited in everything I did, so I started confronting them.

I was scared of heights, so I jumped out of a plane. I was afraid of water, so I went swimming in the ocean every day, until I turned that illogical fear and accompanying anxiety into exhilarated energy and started to enjoy it!

Where there’s stress, there’s growth. As long as you push through and don’t retreat you can convert that energy into focus, which will propel you to where you want to be.

It’s empowering!

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Shane Krider

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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