Despite what I’ve said in many a past job interview I deal badly with stress. It’s one of the things that I handle with no finesse.
Yet, last week I agreed to unreasonable amounts of work, which climaxed into a sleepless, frantic weekend. Then yesterday as the pressure released, I had a minor anxiety attack. I’m not sure if that’s the correct medical term for what I experienced, but basically my heart started beating so fast that I panicked and had to lie down on my couch and do some deep breathing exercises.
I’m not sharing this so that you will feel pity, or even compassion for me. I feel lucky to make a living doing work that I enjoy, no that I love. My break-down does not even really have to do with my workload, rather it was a manifestation of feeling groundless. That is why I’m sharing this. Because I think that feeling groundless is what comes before feeling weak.
We don’t always know what makes us feel groundless.
It was only a recent discovery that stress literally ‘stresses me out’. It makes me experience a sensation of ‘loosing it’, of not knowing where to focus my energy, a sort of disorientation from who I am. With this knowledge, I now know that the remedy is to ‘find ground’ metaphorically speaking. My missing a deadline won’t result in the Armageddon.
Loneliness, to use another example, isn’t such a big deal for me. I have a high solitude threshold, and even though I enjoy being around people, my favourite moments are when I can be in my own thoughts. Processing life is in a sense more enjoyable to me than ‘living’ life. But for someone else loneliness, or solitude (and they may differ) can make them feel groundless, whilst on the other hand they (perhaps logically) might get a kick from having way too much on their plate.
Anyway point is, it’s worth identifying what makes us feel groundless so that we can cope better when those moments of weakness hit us.
For the rest of this week, I am prioritising my social life because good company heals many things, such as stress, or loneliness.
The reason I titled this post the way I did is to suggest that rather than the ‘turn your weakness into a strength’ philosophy we often (try to) adopt, I find more comfort in just accepting that – okay, this is something I don’t deal with very well but I’ll try to work around it. I find this more effective than say, pretending that stress has made me a good multi-tasker. I’m a crap multi-tasker, but I have many passions so I try to find a balance.
What do you think – is it better to turn a weakness into a strength or accept and deal with it as a weakness?
Shout-outs to The first ladies xmas fayre, I blogged about this on tumblr, I will be speaking about successfully managing an online brand. That’s if the organisers don’t decide to cancel after reading this post, which might have invalidated my credibility ;).
Innovate Her – if you are a female entrepreneur based in East London then you really should know about this (free)business advice service, they are a helpful team.
Xmas is (sigh) round the corner. Why not support an Afropolitan brand and get your cards with a Ghanaian twist from Kente Cards this year.