Is your business overwhelming you? Not sleeping? Does working on certain parts of your business worry you? In this 2-part series we look at the process of stress and the 5 common business causes. Let’s start with the understanding the four elements of stress:

  1. Awareness of a Problem: Stress can’t start until there is an awareness of a problem, particularly when we react to an problem required immediate attention rather than proactively looking forwards at potential risks to give us more time and headspace to work through it
  2. Assessment of the problem: In other words, it is a real or imaged threat. Simply being aware of a problem won’t result in stress. For stress to occur, one needs to believe that the problem will cause harm, danger or difficulties- whether the problem really is harmful does not matter, it’s about perception and whether you think it matters.
  3. Inability to prevent or cope with the harm: If there is a perception that the problem cannot be overcome, then stress will result. This perception is based on our past experience, knowledge, and skills
  4. Dealing with the consequences: If the consequences of the problem are serious and if they are inadequately prevented or coped with, further stress can endure. More so, repeated unresolved problems can lead to a rise in stress levels, which if inadequately controlled, may lead to an overall failure to cope, even with the smallest of problems.


Takeaway activity:

  • For your personal stress, try the 4 A’s from the Mayo Clinic or seek professional help.
  • Complete this quick self-assessment to pinpoint your business strengths and the areas you may want to focus on- these gaps could be driving your stress so by understanding them, a plan and strategy to address them can be formulated
  • To better manage your time, stress and priorities, take a look at time management framework


Further reading