When we were children, we learned how the world worked by watching and listening to the people around us. They gave us a set of values that they believed would help us to get on in our lives. For example “It’s a good thing to help other people, and people will like you if you are helpful”. I doubt if anyone would argue with that. The trouble is that our most strongly held beliefs and values can get out of perspective when we are under some kind of pressure – and drive us to behave in ways which are unhelpful to us, and give us even more stress – our stressors from within.
Try this simple questionnaire to find out your unique blend of the five major drivers of ‘stressors from within’ that you favour.
Most people experience all the stressors from within at different times, but generally have two or three that crop up regularly. Go here to see a general description of the groups and their characteristics.
Consider challenging and changing the power your values have over what you choose to do. As the saying goes “If you do what you always do, you will get what you have always got.” It is not unusual for the idea of changing the power of your drivers to feel a bit uncomfortable. Please do take the trouble to overcome that initial discomfort and challenge those values. It could be well worth it for you and those around you.
Remember that it’s not the values themselves that cause our stress problems – it’s when we let those values get out of perspective that they become stressors within ourselves. For example, if you’re just about to leave work and notice that there are too many spaces in the heading on your report, and you have to run for the train because you couldn’t leave it until you’d edited it, your ‘be perfect’ driver is having a negative effect on your stress.