Thursday, 24 July 2014

Strees “a friend or the enemy” #7


Mistake #7: Being Too Self Focused

When I was developing my business and working hard to reach my goals, I put all my focus on reaching my targets. It was like I could only talk about my business, and that achieving my goals became the most important thing in my life. As a result I neglected my husbant's and child needs and, hence, began losing the connection I had with them. I stopped asking my husband how his day was, what he did or how he was feeling. I only focused on myself. I became less interested in my kids development and put videos on for them to watch so I could do a bit more work.

I became the centre of my universe.

Sure, I was achieving my goals - but at a cost!

One day my husbant sat me down to have one of those 'talks'. He said 'Katerina, I'm not feeling 'wooed' or 'special' anymore - I feel like I just fit into your life and that you are taking me, and our kid, for granted'.

Let me tell you, my husbant  has a way of putting things that make you sit up and listen. I was lucky that he pointed out that I was getting too wrapped up in my own needs and neglected my family before we drifted any further. He has helped me stay on track by reminding me that other people need my attention too.

Don't wait for a wake-up call before you realize the importance of making time to connect with your family and friends.

No matter how busy life gets, how important you think work is, or how urgently work has to get done, unless you are connecting with the people who are special in your life then you will be missing the very things you are working so hard to have in your life. It has been said that we should work to live - not live to work. I know that you don't always have the luxury of switching off at night and leaving work at work. You may have to work harder and longer to ensure that all the deadlines are met. There is a lot of pride in doing a good job.

However, if that is taking your all your focus and time away from your family and friends, then you have to question -

 what's it all for? Is it really worth it?

Each night, spend time connecting with your family and friends. As important as work is, it won't always be there for you - but your family probably will, so make sure you put them as high on your priority 'to do' list as your work commitments.



You can get insurance to protect your car, house and boat. You can get insurance to protect your health and income.

You can even get insurance in case of death, disability and trauma.

Yet, how do you insure your ability to work and/or drive your business? How do you protect yourself from burnout?

Your capacity to work and perform is what keeps you employed or in business. If your performance is compromised, so is your working capacity, stamina and quality...not to mention your wellbeing and quality of life.

You are not a machine. Your body will break down and you will experience stress if you consistently push yourself beyond your working capacity.

There are lots of pressures that people in business face each day: long hours, pressing deadlines, too many days on the road, difficult or demanding clients, family issues...and I could keep going on and on.

So, how can you become resilient to these pressures? Do you learn stress management?

NO! Stress Management doesn't work!

I should know. After working with over 1000 people in my coaching practice I can tell you that trying to reduce stress is doomed for failure.


Because stress is just a 'symptom' of a person who is not resilient.

There's no point fixing a symptom if you don't deal with the cause. That's like taking a painkiller for a headache without addressing the possible causes like neck tension, dehydration, hormone imbalance, tiredness or spinal misalignment (subluxation). The headache is bound to return because the cause hasn't been dealt with. Instead of trying to reduce stress, learn how to become resilient to pressure so you can quickly bounce back from the setbacks, obstacles or challenges in business, work and life. This way, regardless of what is thrown your way, you are able to sustain, and even expand, your personal capacity and productivity when working under pressure.

The bottom line is you need to take responsibility for your 'bounce back' and resilience to pressure, and not rely on the company, other people, or a system to 'fix' your problems.

You need to know how to…

· Work at your best without burning yourself out. · Prevent clients or customers from draining you.

· Spring back from setbacks, obstacles and problems.

· Focus for hours at a time without getting neck, back or eyestrain. · Handle negative feedback without getting upset.

Learning how to become resilient to pressure is the closest thing there is to having 'performance insurance'.


Final Thoughts

Please, don’t just read this blog – take some action! Information without action is useless!

Don’t wait for the warning signs, the burnout, the overload, or tension before being proactive.

Over the next 24 hours, act on just one idea in this blog, then repeat the process for another idea over the following 24 hours.

Here are only seven of the mistakes that people make which create stress in their lives. However, if you take action on just one idea each day, I know that you will become more resilient to the pressures and challenges that life throws at you.

This is, however, only the beginning – there is so much more you can do to become resilient to pressure and stress in your life.

On the following two pages I have listed some of the ways you can continue to learn the resilience techniques…


Self education

a. Read Articles:

There is a large archive of articles on building personal resilience, developing stress-hardiness, work-life balance and increasing working stamina. They are all free to view and download on the internet.

b. Turn Stress into Energy & Enthusiasm

go to the gym, take dancing lessons, go for a walk, do something that gives you energy and enthusiasm

c. Conference speaker and In-house training Programs

As a professional speaker and trainer, I am available to speak to your team, division, company, group or organization on how to become resilient to pressure in their work and life. You can send me and e-mail and tell me your ideas.

In my high energy, interactive and light-hearted presentations, I demystify how to bounce back from any setback or challenge by becoming resilient to pressure and avoid creating stress.

d. One-to-one Coaching

Katerina’s  Resilience Coaching program helps you to create the mindset and lifestyle that motivates you to rise above your business, work and life pressures so you can achieve what you want from life.

The program is specifically designed for people who have a lot at stake with their business/work and need to stay at ‘on the ball’, in control, and focused at all times, so they can handle whatever challenge or setback is thrown their way without becoming drained, tense or burning themselves out.

I would like to hear your feedback on how you have applied the strategies discussed in this blog

. Please email your comments to:

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I wish you every success in your life.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Stress “a friend or the enemy?” #6


Mistake #6: Missing The Lesson

If you find yourself experiencing the same repeated stresses and problems over and over in your life then maybe you are missing the lesson behind them.

With every challenge we face, every crisis we deal with, and every tragedy we endure is a life lesson waiting for us to learn.

Our lessons are like gifts of learning that are wrapped in boxes called 'problems'...and sometimes it has several layers of wrapping.

When I had the difficult task of packing up my things to move to another house,  I discovered a poem  amongst some notes. I don't know who authored it (if you recognize the poem, perhaps you could let me know the author's name), but it epitomized how life presents us with stresses and problems so we can grow in strength, wisdom and character.

** The Poem **

I asked for strength - and God gave me difficulties to make me strong I asked for wisdom - and God gave me problems to solve

I asked for prosperity - and God gave me a brain and brawn to work I asked for courage - and God gave me dangers to overcome I asked for love - and God gave me troubled people to help I asked for favours - and God gave me opportunities

I received nothing I wanted

I received everything I needed      My prayer has been answered

Don't make the mistake of missing the lesson that life is trying to teach you. Realize that every challenge presents you with an opportunity to grow and stretch beyond your comfort zone.

Becoming resilient to pressure is not solely about being able to endure hardship longer than anyone else. Developing resilience is also how quickly and eloquently you can 'bounce back' from pressures that may stop others in their tracks.

By using your setbacks and obstacles as opportunities to learn something about yourself, instead of an endurance test, you gain the insight necessary to bounce back and keeping working towards your goals and ambitions.

You may find yourself working with people who you don't like perhaps so that you can learn about patience, assertiveness or acceptance. Look beyond the people and situations that make you feel stressed and see what life is trying to teach you.

In every challenging or stressful situation lies a pearl of wisdom waiting to be discovered.

You may not be able to see the learning when you are right in the middle of the crises or setback - but it's there. It may only become evident to you days or weeks after the event.

Today, get a blank notebook and write ‘Life’s Lessons’ on the front. Write down each lesson your have learnt from your setbacks and obstacles. You’ll understand why in 12 months time when you re-read your notes and see how much you have learnt about yourself.

Understand that your mistakes are really just stepping stones helping you find where the right step is by eliminating the wrong steps.

Understand that criticism is a gift that helps you improve and become stronger in areas of your work and life where you may not have known about or have been willing to look at. Rather than getting upset or worked up at situations that don't go your way, focus on what could be learnt, instead of on what was lost.

In every challenging situation, ask yourself:

a. What is this situation helping me to learn about myself?

b. What positive lesson can I get from all of this?

c. How will this situation help to make me stronger?



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

STRESS “A friend of the enemy?” #5



Mistake #5:   Having No Sense Of Purpose Beyond Work

In the 1940's, Victor Frankl, a trained psychiatrist, was one of the many prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Like the millions of other prisoners, he was forced to endure heavy physical labour, exhaustion, starvation, beatings and the strategic stripping of his human dignity.

Following his release in 1945, he compiled a book called Man's search for Meaning. Apart from a recollection of the atrocities he had endured, this book is an insight as to how he was able to cope and stay alive under such horrendous living conditions, and what the human spirit requires in order to survive.

In his book he writes,

"He who has a WHY can bear almost any HOW.  2

To survive anything requires a sense of meaning. If we can identify what brings us meaning then we can identify a motivation that can lead or take us through anything."

Have you ever found yourself giving up hope or feeling stuck in a rut? Do you ever feel that your life is just about getting up - going to work - coming home - watching television - going to bed?

This is NOT what life should be all about! Don't lose sight of your dreams by falling into the pattern of monotony. Get clear on your dreams - your reasons 'WHY' you are living - so that you are not just existing through each day, but really living.

But how?   Try this...


You need to acknowledge your personal needs and make sure that you do things that you enjoy doing. You need to acknowledge your relationship needs and regularly connect with people. You need to acknowledge your spiritual needs and learn more about who you are and what you want from life.

You need to keep setting goals, having aspirations and dreaming dreams that give your life meaning. Highlight the reasons 'why' you are living. Make every day filled with excitement and desire so that you are propelled into your day, instead of going through it dragging your feet.

As a priority step before you go to bed this evening, spend at least 20 minutes writing down how you would like your life to turn out.


· What legacy do you want to leave when you eventually die? · How would you like people to remember you?

· What difference do you want to make to yourself? Your family? Friends? Society?

· What would you need to experience, achieve or own to be able to say ‘I lived without regrets?’

Create a sense of meaning in your life beyond ‘going to work and paying the bills’.

Before you get out of bed tomorrow (and each day for that matter), reaffirm what you want to achieve in the day and in your life.

Keep your dreams and desires alive by regularly engaging in activities, conversations and literature that inspires you and makes life interesting.