There are three very common beliefs which can often lead to stress. They are:
- I don’t deserve this
- I must be perfect
- I cannot fail
Each of these three beliefs set up “no-win” scenarios. When something starts to go wrong (as it inevitably does) these beliefs tip you into stress.
The next time you find yourself in a situation of high stress, stop and see if one of these beliefs (or something similar) was active just before the stress happened. If you find one of these beliefs at the core of your stress, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the belief true?
- What have I done to contribute to the situation?
- What is the consequence of the belief being true?
- What is the consequence of things not being absolutely right?
- Do I need to stress about this?
- What do I need to change to make things better and/or less stressful?
- What can I find to laugh about in my situation?
When you find a belief that contains an absolute (like “Must”, “Cannot”, “Have To” or “Should”) try substituting the word “PREFER” for the absolute. The use of the word prefer allows some wiggle room for errors to happen, whilst stating your belief in all things good and right.
I MUST be perfect becomes ==> I PREFER to be perfect
I CANNOT fail becomes ==> I PREFER not to fail
Change your beliefs and you change your stress.