I was recently invited to speak about stress to a group of about 55 people. I’m always happy to accept such invitations because stress management is a favourite topic of mine and I enjoy speaking to groups who are interested in discovering how they might become more resilient to the stress in their own lives.
In such talks I like to dispel some of the myths about stress. Probably one of the most common of these myths is that all people are stressed by the same things. I believe it is important to dispel this particular myth because it can lead us to think that some people are inherently brave (because they can do the things that we’re nervous about) and others are just wimps (because they’re nervous about things that we find easy).
The reality is, that whether something causes us stress or not us depends on our past experience of it, and what we tell ourselves about it. As a result of this, people can have quite different stressors from one another - what stresses one person will not necessarily stress another.
For example, I know someone who enjoys singing on stage – she finds it enjoyable and exciting. It doesn’t cause her any anxiety. However, it would cause me a lot of anxiety because I think differently to her about singing solo in front of people. Does this mean that she’s brave and I’m not?
However, I enjoy speaking to audiences – I was happy to accept the invitation to talk about stress. I find speaking to groups enjoyable and feel no nerves about doing it - I have spoken to much larger audiences quite happily. On the other hand, my singing friend dreads public speaking. Even the shortest speech to the smallest group causes her acute anxiety. So, does that mean that I am the brave one?
The answer to both questions is “of course not”. We each have our own stressors – one is no better or worse than another. Fortunately, we can also all learn to handle our stressors more confidently if we need to – so they don’t need to get in the way of something we want to do. I could even become a confident singer if necessary – though that might be stressful for the audience instead!
I offer coaching to clients face-to-face and via Skype, so wherever you are, why not find out more about how I could help you to achieve the success that you deserve? I am also available to talk to groups who want to learn more about stress management and confidence building. Contact me today for more information.