Breaking Free – July 2013 – Stop Managing Your Stress – Part 1


Breaking Free

Welcome to Break Free Consulting


Vol 7, Issue 9

Stop Trying to Manage Stress – Part 1

July 2013

So many of the folks that I speak to these days complain about all of the stress they are feeling… from work commitments to family commitments to financial pressures to relationship issues. Do any of these things add stress in your life? Would you like to know the keys to lowering this stress? It really is completely up to YOU!

You see in his book, Making a Good Brain Great, Dr. Daniel Amen gives us the formula:

A + B = C

where A = an Actual event, B = your Brain’s perception and interpretation of the event, and C = your Conclusion and how you will react.

He goes on to say, “Most people think that (A) the things that happen determine your (C) behavior. Actually, it is the B part (your brain’s perception and interpretation of the event) that largely determines how you respond.”

Now, I know, you may hear thoughts in your head or words actually come out of your mouth that say, “Traci, you don’t understand. We’re being asked to do more with less. There is a lot of pressure on me at work to get things done. I have more work than I can ever accomplish.” Really? How do you think that happened?

One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Eleanor Roosevelt. She said:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

I believe, in the absence of physical harm, no one can make you feel anything without your permission. Ok, you may disagree, but read on anyway. Look at how many people are offended when someone says something that isn’t “politically correct.” They will tell you that the other person “offended” them. The truth is they ALLOWED the other person to offend them. An actual event (A) can not offend you. It is what it is. The event or what another person said is reality. You can’t change that. It (A) has already happened. What you can change is your response (C) because you are in control of your perception (B) of the event.

For instance, here are a few statements that I had directed at me while umpiring Little League baseball games this past week…

“You blew it AGAIN!! Not only did you get the call wrong in our game on Saturday but you just cost us 6 runs again today.”

“You’ve really got to learn the rules of this game. How do they allow you to umpire with bullsh*t calls like that?!?”

“You’ve GOT to be kidding me!! What were you looking at? You suck!”

And these are the “nice” comments that I could print in this newsletter. Mind you, these are 10-12 year-olds who are on the field and their parents and grandparents that are typically in the stands. I could’ve easily been offended or stressed out by these actual events (A). However, I know that I have no control over another person’s perceptions and subsequent actions. I only have control over my (B) perceptions and interpretations of events. By choosing to take a broad perspective rather than a narrow one, I was able to consciously select a behavior and response that was aligned with who I am and who I aspire to become.

You have the same choice every moment of every day.

Why are there too many tasks on your plate? Because you allow them to be there. STOP IT! Set YOUR boundaries. It will truly create the greatest value in the world when you do. Lowering your stress will allow you to be present and be the person that you want to become by acting in alignment with who you are.

Why does a certain relationship stress you out? Because you may be allowing someone else’s opinion of you to become you’re reality. Maybe you are giving someone else control over how you feel about you. STOP IT! Decide to take the necessary steps to put an end to the stressful situation. Set YOUR boundaries – internally and externally. Your stress produces a ripple effect throughout the rest of your relationships.

How do you STOP IT!? Great question. I’m glad that you asked.

Answer: Learn a little bit about Value Dynamics – the natural law of adding and creating value. When you can perceive value accurately and know what choices you have to choose from, you will be able to choose which one adds or creates the greatest net value and find peace in your decisions.

You see, you don’t and frankly can’t “manage” the stress (A). You can only manage your perception (B) and, hence, reaction (C) to the value decision or choice placed in your immediate path.

Here’s are a few keys that you can start using right away. Before you react:

  1. Take a deep breath and relax your body.
  2. Remind yourself that you have a choice and you don’t simply have to react to your brain’s programs from the past.
  3. Ask yourself this Central Question:
    What choice can I make and action can I take,
    in this moment,
    to create the greatest net value?
  4. Focus on
    1. The Intrinsic Value you can create, i.e. making a difference in the life or lives of human beings, then
    2. The Extrinsic Value you can create, i.e. being productive or efficient, and then
    3. The Systemic Value you can create, i.e. the rules, systems, and processes and “being right”.

When you make value judgments in this order, People > Things > Ideas, Expectations & Rules, you will have a far greater chance of creating the greatest net value because your choices will be aligned with the natural, mathematical hierarchy of value.

Attempting to manage the outside stress can be the cause of even more stress. Many people spend their time, money and energy trying to control (A) the actual event when these resources would be put to greater use if they were focused on improving (B) the brain’s perception and reaction to the event.

Let us help you start the process by taking the First Step. Use the link below to receive your free VQ Profile First Steps Report. We will show you how to use your best and strongest thinking and valuing habits to make better choices AND lower your stress.

Think Better and Use Your Strengths to Improve Your Weaknesses: Axiology with Traci Duez

Recently, I recorded a podcast hosted by my friend, Cesar Abeid, for his new Podcast program. The podcasts are free of charge and packed full of information. I highly recommend that you not only listen to my podcast, but join the PM4TM mailing list to access the resources that Cesar has graciously made available to you.

Are you a PMP that could use 9 PDUs (Category B) while learning about
Individuals & Interactions: How to Put People Before Process for Outstanding Results?

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  • Discover ways to reduce your stress and workload (for real)

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 I would love to hear what you think about this edition of Breaking Free.  Please leave your comments below.