Self-Imposed Stress

Recently, I was stuck in the day-to-day stress of trying to achieve a certain goal by a certain time. I am the one who came up with the goals of where I wanted to be within a year’s time. I then hired someone to help me get there. It was and still is a fabulous investment in myself, and I am learning lots of lessons along the way. A biggie that just came about was that I was feeling significant stress about missing deadlines and not doing what I had on the “to do” list. The creative juices just weren’t flowing. My coach had taught me about “planned imbalance”. Brilliant idea! It works – for a while. I applied the principal of planned imbalance to my use of time in order to achieve this goal I had set to make life better down the road.

The problem with my planned imbalance phase is that it went on for too long. I thought I could maintain the pace the whole year, but it turns out I cannot. After stressing about not meeting some deadlines and discussing the situation with my life partner, I decided to postpone the implementation of part of my business plan. I felt such a sense of relief. I knew it was the right thing to do for oh so many reasons.

The next stressor was my concern about how to share my change of heart with my coach. I thought for sure she would be disappointed in me. That’s when it dawned on me that I was the creator of my own stress!! The deadlines were my own. I’m the one that decided what I wanted and when. She was just helping me get there. I reminded myself of the marathon I was running and that it didn’t have to be a sprint. It is okay to change dates and put things off in order to achieve less imbalance.

To prepare my coach for the change of pace, I sent a note off to her in advance of our next meeting. The funny thing is that she’s perfectly okay with the changes. They made sense to her as well. All that worry – for what? Feeling another sense of relief, I again remind myself that I often create my own stress and need to look at assumptions I make and consider reassessing my goals on occasion. I choose to enjoy the journey and feeling stress of missed due dates is often a sign of a need to slow down. That is, when it is not a sign of resistance to the task at hand caused by some fear. That is another topic altogether. Where in your life are you creating stress for yourself?