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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 March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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