What would Margaret Thatcher say?

What would Margaret Thatcher say?
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At a recent conference I attended hosted by Optima Life, I was reminded of an advert I had previously seen, believed to have been published in the London Times newspaper in 1912.

“Men wanted for hazardous journeys. Small wages. Bitter cold.
Long months of complete darkness.
Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

- Ernest Shackleton

It suddenly struck me, this is what it must feel like working in certain professions in the world today! Driving through London, shortly after Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, I reflected on the work I do with building stress resilience and thought to myself – what would Lady Thatcher have to say about stress? Well you can probably guess her response!

If you assume you don’t experience stress because – for example you’re a high achiever – that is quite frankly naïve! There is a basic human response and instinct that is part of our biological makeup which is triggered each time we, for example, take a risk, perceived or otherwise.

Is it possible to excel in every area of life?

Reading the Evening Standard later that day several things reported on Baroness Thatcher’s legacy stood out. One fact in particular – the public enormously respected her for her abilities to get things done. However the reality for 2013, compared to the 1980’s when Lady Thatcher was in power, is the pace of life has increased dramatically, and with that comes increased pressures that can reduce our ability to excel in every area of our life. We are constantly physically responding to our environment which has become more complex and fast paced against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. Should it therefore be a surprise that stress costs businesses £3.7 billion a year?(1) Do we genuinely believe that we are functioning to the best of our ability to get things done given the increased stress and pressure in today’s economic climate?

Ask yourself this – can you continue to live in the way you currently do in 5 years time?

How do you manage stress?

Referring back to my initial question – “how do you manage your stress?” - what would I assume Lady Thatcher’s response might be if I were to ask her?  Is this response a belief or an assumption? – “I don’t get affected by stress”

Coaching, in particular when the focus is on stress resilience, helps you reach your goals at a faster pace whilst utilising tools and techniques that will reduce the impact of stress and pressure along the way.

Why would you admit to feeling stress if it is perceived as being weak? The response to this quite simply is – why would you not? The argument that humans are not affected by stress doesn’t stand up to science.

We cannot do today’s business using yesterdays methods

If you really want to be a person that can get things done – raise the bar of performance, ability and improve your chances of good health and wellbeing – acknowledge that stress affects us all to a greater and lesser extent, and at different times in our lives. Finding the best possible formula including pro-active management of it is how you can become someone who gets things done – reducing the wear and tear stress can have on the body along the way.

(1) http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/12807/stress-costs-uk-economy-3-7bn/