7 Ways to Handle The Stress as a Leader
This post is written by Pastor Michael S. Carlton
Let’s be honest there can be a ton of pressure we face as leaders and if we are not careful these pressures can be almost too much to bear. The majority of leaders face these pressures by sweeping them under the rug, biting their lip, and they believe the lie out of sight out of mind. Unfortunately, this is a common mentality from leaders and finally, those pressures build up until the pressure becomes unbearable and they either quit or lose their job.
So let’s look at 7 healthy ways to handle high-pressure moments as a leader…
1. PRAYER IS A MUST
Listen I know this one isn’t a hot take and can seem cliche, but trust me prayer moves mountains. You must understand that our God is just as practical as He is spiritual. James 1:5 says…. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
I promise you that when you seek the wisdom of God you will receive it and not only that, but God also will give you peace beyond understanding. Many times when we are struggling it is not because of a temptation problem, but a relationship problem. Many times we are on empty because our relationship with God is lacking and we are not allowing Him to fill us up.
2. ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
A person that focuses on their problems quicker than their blessings will always be consumed with the size of their problems and miss the size of their blessings. Grateful people are so consumed on how far they have come and what tremendous blessings they have that the size of their problems shrinks to their realistic size. I promise you that your problems are not nearly as big as your blessings. Grateful people are also people that declare the promises and the future that God has for them and in this declaration, they walk more confidently through this life!
3. SAFE OUTSIDE VOICES
You need people outside your organization that you can talk to and that can pour into your life. You need non-biased wisdom in your life and people who have a deeper understanding of what you are going through. Most leaders feel extremely lonely because most leaders have no peers outside their organization in their life. We need to develop relationships through networking or hiring leadership coaching. It is also important to make sure you are getting fed through conferences and other Pastors to help fill your tank from draining to empty!
4. HAVING A HEALTHY TEAM
Nothing can deplete a leader like an unhealthy team. We cannot get lost in our day to day jobs to forget that our main job is developing and encouraging our team members. If they are struggling, their department will start struggling, and ultimately that will end with you struggling.
With that said sometimes there is a team member that is not a fit maybe they’re not rising up to the expectations despite your constant efforts to develop them. Maybe they are causing division in your organization and corrupting your culture. Both instances can cause an immense amount of stress if you are not willing to address the situations and move forward.
5. BEING ORGANIZED
A scattered schedule will cause a scattered mind, and that will cause a scattered life. I can not stress this enough that you must be organized. Plan your days, schedule everything, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted. If you can develop this discipline I promise you that your productivity will drastically increase and your stress will drastically decrease. Anxiety thrives in a cluttered and distracting environment.
6. HAVE DISTRACTION FREE FAMILY TIME
Family time has to be off-limits from work time. You must disconnect from the pressures of the job and connect to your family. Most leaders never shut off and wonder why they always feel depleted. They may be with their families, but they are still answering worktexts, phone calls, emails, and on social media. Unless you are willing to remove the distractions and truly connect with your family you will suffer and most importantly your family will suffer!
7. HAVE FUN
Life is too short not to enjoy it! Why make money and be miserable and why spend your life doing something you hate. Do what you love, spend your life with people you like, take vacations and have hobbies you enjoy. Don’t waste another moment settling for a life you were never intended to live!