In 2013, the BBC issued a report, “Fame May Lead To A Shorter Life.” For the sake of this discussion, let’s put aside the unfortunate untimely deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse. What held my attention as I read this article was the toll everyday stress, expectations and pressure has on those who thrust into the public spotlight.
Its no secret that high achievers encounter stress as they meet the demands and responsibilities of their position. Add the unrelenting 24/7 media attention celebrities receive in an age where everyone is a paparazzi wielding a cellphone camera and the pressure cooker within can explode. Instead of being able to enjoy the fruits on one’s success, life becomes a hot mess in the global distribution of secrets, blunders, vulnerabilities and flat out lies about who you are and what you’ve done.
The more stress you have the more you spiral downward shifting from mindful choices and actions to knee-jerk reactive coping behavior. Coping isn’t living. Coping is about flailing about just trying to breathe and survive under unwanted circumstances.
Think about it. When you’re trying to function under great stress do you always make sound decisions? When you rationally act instead of irrationally react, what have been your outcomes? Chances are the results weren’t very good, or at least not what you wanted.
Additionally, one way to cope with the pressure and stress is to try to offload it onto someone else. Hurt people hurt people. Its a misguided coping mechanism to release a bit of pressure, make your life (and how you feel about yourself) a little bit better.
This is why people generally (and sometimes obsessively) focus on the problems of other people. Other people’s struggles provides a convenient and readily available distraction from dealing with one’s own issues. The more diminish others the more superior we tend to feel – at least for the moment.
Finally, stress has a negative effect upon your health. Heart disease, obesity, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging and premature death were all cited by Jay Winner MD, director of the Stress Management Program for Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, CA as stress-related illnesses.
It is unlikely that the pressure and stress that comes with fame and fortune will suddenly ease up. What IS in your control is how you deal with the stress, how you navigate the events and circumstances of your life. Learning how to stay grounded and reach for new and better perspectives will help you stay healthy and whole even in a fast-paced high-profile lifestyle.
Before you react to what weighs heavily upon your soul, hit the pause button. Breathe. Give yourself a cleansing rinse of human kindness by keeping it real. Much of what we stress about are the meanings we attach – not the reality of – what gets our knickers in a twist. Only speak and act when you’ve had a chance to consider the likely outcome of what you’re about to say or do. Move in the direction that will serve your highest and best interests over the long-term.
Instead of adding to your own stress through knee-jerk reactions that create even more problems you’ll navigate your circumstances with greater ease and peace of mind.
Your health and well-being will thank you.
Most startups struggle and fail. Valery Satterwhite specializes in the success of fast growing startup businesses. She helps startup entrepreneurs get, keep and grow customers and excite investors. Startup entrepreneurs and founders. avoid the big and costly mistakes that derail a lot of startups, even those with great ideas. For more information please visit http://www.NailMyStartup.com.