Stressed Out? Learn to ADORE Yourself

Take a breath, it's going to be OK!
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Stressed Out? Learn to ADORE Yourself

Take a breath, it’s going to be OK!

-Renee Weisman,

Stressed out woman

I recently joined a number of young women at a business conference and was somewhat surprised at the conversation.

I was used to listening to women discuss the many competing pressures of home and work but in this particular case, it seemed each woman was trying to outdo the next with all the things she had taken on.

The conversation went something like this:

Speaker A: “I have so much to do I don’t know why I am taking the time to attend this conference. I am swamped at work and my family hasn’t seen me more than an hour a day in weeks.”
Speaker B: “You think you have it bad. I am working on a project with such an unreasonable deadline that I have been working 20 hour days to get thru it. I don’t know why I came to this conference and it’s stressing me out even more.”
Speaker C: “Neither of you have it as bad as I do. I work all the time and I have no social life at all. I have no idea why I came to this.”
Speaker D: “I haven’t had an hour to myself in months. I really couldn’t spare the time to come here but my boss insisted it would be good for me.”

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And so it went… Everyone seemed to want to be the one who had it the worst. It was almost as though being stressed was a “badge of honor”. I know women like to exceed at drive for perfection but when did carrying excess stress become desirable?

Finally, I had to interrupt. I asked them if they liked being stressed. Each looked at me like I was crazy. So I started questioning them about why they were so overwhelmed. The conversation continued:

Me: “Why is this project requiring you to work 20 hour days?”
Them: “We have a tight deadline and we keep revising the charts and the message”
Me: “So does each revision have to be “perfect”? Are you spending time proofreading and rewriting sections that may get completely eliminated?”
Them: “Well, sometimes.. we have even eliminated sections and then brought them back.”
Me: “So if you didn’t redo every page but showed the edits, perhaps that would be good enough for the interim reviews? And then when everyone had agreed, you could do the proofreading, perfecting and finalizing?”
Them: “Well, yeah, but we’d probably stress over doing that too!”

Perhaps this is the new career female but it seems to me that these women will burn themselves out long before they have a chance to truly grow and develop their careers. A little stress is good but driving yourself to be perfect or to do more than anyone or to fill every waking hour with work is both counterproductive and unhealthy. It is NOT cool to be stressed out. So when I sit in discussions like this I ask a final question:

Q. “Have you ever taken the time to ADORE yourself?”

ADORE was my secret to getting my life back in control. But before you can adore yourself you need to recognize that you are in a stressed out cycle and decide you want to change it. Then it’s time to adore yourself. Really.

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