How to De-Stress Your Life. Part 4

Step 2: What am I thinking to make myself upset? Maybe the new owner will replace me before giving me a chance. Maybe our personalities will clash. Maybe I’ll be out of a job.

Step 3: How can I challenge and dispute my irrational thinking? Although you’ve heard management horror stories, you have no indication that your fears will become a reality.

Step 4: What realistic preferences can I substitute for all of my “awfulizing,” “shoulding” and rationalizing? (This is the most important step.) I prefer that the new owner sees that I am an asset to the company, staff and facility. If they do, that’s great. If we don’t get along, it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person or manager. I do not need to have this job; if I’ve given it a good try and things don’t work out, I can prosper elsewhere.

This four-step process can best be summed up in an old story about a friend who was treated very harshly by a vendor with whom she had been most cordial. The friend expressed surprise at how graciously and pleasantly she responded after being treated with such rudeness by the vendor. The friend replied, “Why should I let the actions and words of another determine my behavior?”

This woman will undoubtedly live a long and relatively stress-free life because she learned inner behavior control, instead of behaving as if people and external events caused her to think, feel and act in certain ways.

You can also apply these four steps to diffuse “shoulding” and rationalizing situations. As with any other method of skill, the more you practice, the more effective you become.

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