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Chapter 11. Stress Mastery on the Job > Ten Faulty Assumptions and Effective An...

Ten Faulty Assumptions and Effective Antidotes

1. Expecting Someone Else to Lower Your Stress Level

It is tempting to blame others for your stress—your boss or your supervisor, perhaps—and if they are to blame, then you might expect them to change or rescue you from your predicament. Keep in mind that changes or decisions created by top management are typically reactions to external events. It is likely that managers are trying to respond effectively to outside forces such as economic downturns, stiffer competition, marketplace shifts, or new technological advances. The changes they have wrought make sense from their point of view, and it is unlikely that they will backpedal just to make life easier for you. If they stagnate, it may ultimately be worse for you and your organization in the long run.

Blaming others for your situation further damages your sense of control, for you view yourself as a helpless victim without alternatives or choices. Blaming also triggers anger and the release of stress hormones that can damage your health and deplete your energy. It is unrealistic to expect someone other than yourself to rescue you from a stressful job situation or protect you on the job. Your bosses are too busy taking care of themselves and they, no doubt, feel as much or more stress than you. You need to take charge of managing the pressure, for ultimately you can only count on yourself to lighten your psychological load.


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