Performance Stress

Every day that we pretend to be someone we are not, to gain the approval of others, we slowly but surely erode away another chunk of our true identity.

Hi there, this is Grant Herbert, and I want to continue our conversation around stress this week by exposing one of the biggest causes of stress out there; always seeking the approval of others.

Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying; “What other people think of you is none of your business”. She went on to say; “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. These are life defining statements that you all need to embrace if you are to reduce and manage your stress.

If you are serious about getting your stress under control then it’s time to escape “The Performance Trap” and stop letting what others think or say about you push the wrong buttons and cause you to feel stressed.

Even when you put on the best performance you can, with the hope that you gain acceptance and significance in the eyes of another, there is no guarantee, that you will receive their approval. When you get it you feel great, but when you don’t you can be left feeling deflated and frustrated.

That leads to unhealthy self-talk which creates even more doubt and uncertainty of your worth. You might have an internal dialogue that says things like,

“Why am I never good enough?” or “What do I need to do to please these people?”

The result is that your identity takes a beating and you feel even worse about yourself.

You must remember though that a performance is something you DO but your identity is who you believe you ARE.

Let me give you an example.

If I get upset and raise my voice toward my teenager, in a desperate hope to get respect and compliance, I immediately feel uneasy in the pit of my stomach. Instantaneous remorse makes me start to question my actions because I love my child and it’s not my intention to take out my frustration on them. I know what I did was not good behaviour and want to do better next time. That’s OK, it’s healthy to recognise when something you DO needs to change. The problem is when you nurse and rehearse the feelings of guilt for not doing a good job in the situation, you can go from “I yelled at my child” (something I did) to “I am a bad parent” (someone I believe I am).

The way to escape this performance trap and becoming authentic again is through SELF approval.

You see, ‘performing’ is not the problem; it’s the motive for doing it that is.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing others around your gifts and talents. It’s even OK to like getting a word of affirmation or a pat on the back in the process. The trap is set however when the underlying reason we are performing is to get the approval, be liked and accepted.

So instead of running this old strategy that creates a lot of stress, let me teach you a more resourceful one that has changed my life and the lives of many people I was impacting. It was the main mindset and behaviour change that helped me get my stress under control again.

Here it is in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Take sole responsibility for defining your worth,

Step 2: Engage in positive self talk-that builds your identity, and

Step 3: Perform from a position of SELF APPROVAL, rather than seeking it from others.

When you decide to do this, and then actually take the steps, you will find that the removal of the internal conflict created by The Performance trap will help you dramatically reduce your stress.

That’s it from me this week. Remember to reach out if you need some help with this.

Let’s keep the conversation going next week where we will discuss your emotional stress. See you then.

P.S.: If you still haven’t got your copy of my ‘Stress Reduction Maximiser’, CLICK HERE and grab one now.

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