I love it when my clients share break-through moments!  I’m talking about realizations and actions that create a shift, releasing them from some of the stress they have been hanging onto unnecessarily. This week one of my most seriously talented clients shared a great one with me!

For several months this client had been suffering from stress, frustration, and growing resentment tied to the performance – or lack thereof – of a peer.  She had participated in gripe sessions and spent hours deciding the appropriate course of action, and timeline, for dealing with his deficiencies.

Have you ever been there?  I’m talking about being wrapped up in the self-imposed stress of something that is “above your pay grade” and outside your scope of control.

I know I have let myself waste countless hours, and kept myself wound-up and stressed-out, over someone else’s actions that 1) Weren’t directly impacting me, and 2) Were way outside of my circle of control.  Through the years, thank goodness, I have learned to reduce my stress level substantially by realizing when I am in angst over something that, to put it in my client’s words, is “really just none of my business.”

My client’s epiphany, and significant stress reducer, was just that simple.  She realized her peer’s actions were not her problem, and addressing them was above her pay grade.  She also decided the only time she needs to be concerned is if his actions negatively impacted her or her team.  Otherwise, as she said, “he’s just not my problem.”

I sat there grinning from ear to ear, as I listened to the lightness in her voice.  For a leadership coach, these are the moments that feel like the clouds have parted and the angels are singing! I asked her how this realization felt, as she released herself from the responsibility of worrying about him?  She smiled her infectious smile and said “You know what, Karen, it feels very freeing! And you know what else? I’ve found I am able to work much better with him.” Viola!

Free yourself from day-to-day unnecessary, self-imposed, stress by learning to recognize when you are suffering over things that fall into any of these categories:

  • The issue is not impacting you, your loved ones, or your direct reports, directly
  • The issue is outside of your circle of control
  • The issue is really none of your business

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for offering solutions and lending a helping hand in any of the above situations – when the people who are directly involved and/or have some authority or control over the situation welcome it.  Just don’t let yourself get caught in a loop of frustration, stress, and growing resentment, when you can just as easily realize “it’s not my problem” and turn your attention to the things that are.

I had a boss years ago who used to say “Sweep your own back yard before you come over here trying to sweep mine!”  Wise counsel.

Call or email us today for more information on how to reduce your daily stress levels in the workplace.


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