Stress Management Series – Section 10 – Create a Support System
As “The Barbra” would say, “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” The truth is, we all need people. We need at least one “safe spot” where we can let it all hang out and not worry about being judged, criticized, or taken advantage of. Just by their very existence, supportive friends like these help us deal with the stress in our lives.
If you’re not lucky enough to have that kind of relationship right now, don’t worry. There are places that offer support for you from people who know your struggles and want to relish in your successes. Here are a few suggestions of where you might go to find what you need to prop you up when you need it:
Find an online discussion forum or message board for work-at-home entrepreneurs. There are literally hundreds to choose from! While these groups often refer business to each other, their biggest benefit, in my opinion, is the support they provide. Working from home can be a lonely business, and networking with others who are in similar situations makes it less lonely. It’s impossible to feel left on your own when there are so many people on these forums to cheer you on.
A coach or mentor.
Finding a coach or mentor who is several steps ahead of you on the journey to business success can be one of the best moves you ever make. Though their main goal is to provide business guidance, the good ones are also a great source of support and motivation. They know the ups and downs of the work-at-home entrepreneur, and can tell you if what you’re experiencing is just normal growing pains, or something else. Best of all, they can help you devise a plan to deal with the stress you’re feeling.
Don’t overlook your family as a source of support. They may have no idea what you do all day – particularly if it involves internet marketing – but they love you and want the best for you. If you tell your spouse or loved one you just need a non-judgmental ear to hear you work through some issues out loud, you’ll likely find that he or she is more than willing to listen. Give your family a chance to learn as you learn. You didn’t know what to expect when you started down this venture, and neither did they. Include them in your learning curve. Then you’ll have a family that feels a part of your process and will be more than willing to support you.
Real face-to-face friends.
When you work from home, you can get locked to your desk and find that most of your closest friends live inside your computer! That’s just fine, as these relationships are fulfilling, supportive, and “real” all on their own. But there’s also something to be said for meeting a friend for a cup of coffee and some real live conversation. We need interpersonal interaction of the face-to-face kind, with the give-and-take conversation patterns that we humans are familiar with. The start-and-stop, ebb-and-flow, of our thoughts and opinions in a real live conversation. Don’t limit your contact with the world to Facebook, Twitter, and email. Connect with your “real-world” friends regularly.
A therapist or counselor.
Trained mental health professionals are wonderful resources for objective, sound advice in dealing with stress. While they probably won’t be able to help you figure out the product launch strategy for your latest interactive course, they can help you find ways to deal with relationships, stress, and other negative mental emotions. Often, when voiced out loud to a trained professional as an outside party, a thought that’s been stressing you will all of a sudden make sense. Get a good recommendation from a friend, colleague, or your doctor and schedule an appointment if you feel that a professional therapist would help you straighten out those kinks that keep you from feeling healthy and fulfilled.
Stress Management Series
Download Entire Report [PDF]
I am also available for phone consultations with athletes around the U.S. and in-person visits with athletes in Southern California.
Jack N. Singer, Ph.D.
Certified and Licensed Sport and Clinical Psychologist
Diplomate, National Institute of Sports Professionals, Division of Psychologists
Diplomate, American Academy of Behavioral Medicine
Certified Hypnotherapist, American Academy of Clinical Hypnosis
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