glasbergen rebella cartoon stress

dr rebel: all this opposition makes me feel stressed. what can i do to prevent myself from burning out?

seeing things differently, asking many questions, and bursting with crazy ideas are not always welcomed with open arms. and thus, many rebels experience a high level of stress because they face so much opposition. interestingly, there is a crucial factor in why some people get burned out while others don’t. and that is seeing stress differently.

stress is perceived as something negative and made into a public health enemy. however, from psychologist kelly mcgonigal, we learn that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. furthermore, andrew huberman, a neuroscientist at stanford university, discovered that adult learning only happens when you are challenged and agitated or distressed.

rethinking stress

when you experience high levels of stress but see it as something positive, you’ll get fired up, while when you believe stress is negative, it’ll burn you out. also, when you think you need some stress and excitement to get things going and learn new things, but it isn’t happening, you’ll get bored out of your mind.

my three tips for rebels to take care of yourself and prevent burning out are:

  • tip 1: pause, reflect, and stay positive. positivity attracts, and negativity repels. people don’t like negative people, and they’ll avoid them. so, don’t become grumpy because you’ll end up in a negative spiral of getting grumpier, more and more people will avoid you, you become isolated, get even grumpier, and so on. pause and reflect on the situation and your behaviour.
  • tip 2: rethink stress. when you experience stress, see it as something that will prepare you for the job to be done. it’ll help you to focus and find ways to overcome resistance. also, stress means you are open to learning new things. don’t walk away from it, but embrace it. 
  • tip 3: never take it personally, never make it personal. in the workplace, you have systems, processes and procedures that provide a structure for how things are done. it gives clarity and certainty; people know what to expect. but whenever you come up with a new idea and stir things up, people will feel they’ll lose control and resist your suggestion. once you understand the resistance comes from the feeling of losing that safety net and it’s nothing personal against you, you’ll start to relax.
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