We are told everyday not to worry. Whether it pertains to a personal issue with friends and family or a work misstep, others easily advise us not to sweat it. But it’s time to stop and think: can unexpected stress be good for us? As the saying goes, “Too much of anything is never a good thing,” but here are three times when it is okay to let yourself stress.
When you need motivation: There are many instances in our careers where no matter how hard we try, we feel varying degrees of stress. Are you applying for a new position, pursuing a completely new career path, or struggling to prove yourself in your current role? Many aspects of our work life can be stressful but when the worrying starts, embrace it and use it to your advantage. Let it serve as a motivator and as a force driving you toward your end goal. It’s important not to let it completely take over but do your very best to turn the stress into success and you will reap the rewards.
When faced with a negative outcome: Sometimes even when we do our best in our personal lives or in the workplace, we just know that things aren’t going to turn out how we hoped. When we feel a less than ideal result looming around the corner, this can be very stressful. But, use your worry as an emotional buffer. If you can anticipate the negative outcome it will come as less of a surprise, and hopefully it will sting just a little bit less.
When others depend on you: When others are looking to you as a safety net or for support, it can sometimes feel incredibly stressful. As a leader (whether a parent, caregiver, boss, etc.) it’s important to remember that the stress you feel over others’ wellbeing is a sign of your competence. When you stress about those you are responsible for, you are putting thought and care into your decisions, instead of throwing caution to the wind. When others see that you are paying attention to detail and have your priorities in line, they will trust your judgment.