20 Days of Chill - Stress

Day 12 of A 'lil HooHaa's 20 Days of Chill!

Today's prompt is 


While I feel I could write a book about the subject, many others have done so and provided solutions which I can't.

I am very grateful that in my current life I don't have many stress causing factors. 

This hasn't always been the case.

My worst stressors are probably an above average work ethic, the fact that people depend on my output, paired with my perfectionism / ambition. Plus I care too much. Now imagine this combination in a fast-paced start-up environment that is growing at an annual 30% without adding the necessary resources. 

I tried to be in three or more places at the same time, I tried to make lists, I tried to say no to more assignments, I tried to get more headcount for my team to cope - oh and even though nothing actually worked out, I smiled and went on. I was surrounded by people who were in the same situation, and we kept encouraging each other.

For a while this saying felt true. Positive reinforcement, actual appreciation and thank yous helped.

After a change (for the worse) in the CEO position, passion definitely turned into stress. 

I began to feel that giving my best wasn't enough, and I questioned my skills and my abilities when - looking back - I should have lowered everybody's (including my own) expectations.

"Don't work harder - work smarter" they told me.

Photo Credit

I was afraid to communicate that this was all I had to offer. I was a squashed lemon. Better yet, I was a car that was supposed to drive 1,000 miles with only one tank full of gas and no money to buy more - and no time for a break at the gas station anyway. 

I ended up pushing my own car to make it to my destination. 

Whatever happened to "the journey is the reward"? You don't get to stop and smell the roses when you're exhausted. 

And exhausted I was. I would spend weekends at home, trying to sleep and recharge my empty batteries, but let's be honest, I was worrying all the time. Meetings, labor costs, turnover reporting, hiring goals, training workshops, deadlines here, trouble there. My mind was racing day and night. 

Of course I tried to get work done at home which caused more stress - with my poor husband who never saw the old me again. The cheerful, positive one. Instead I was irritable, constantly tired to the bone and suffering from headaches.

I am not sure what prevented me from breaking down and burning out. 

Under these conditions it was little short of a miracle that I managed to finally get pregnant.

So I guess it's safe to say this sweet little guy saved my life. 

How about you?

What are things that tend to stress you out? How do you cope?

Head over to my fellow bloggers and find out what they have to say.

Also be sure to come back here tomorrow for more Chill!