Can you handle it?

There are many who are stating that the current economic conditions are enough to drive anyone to drink.

We all see the reported economic numbers and directly experience the challenges of creating and maintaining a successful enterprise. Much of the teaching about how to run a business focuses on financial planning, sales and marketing training, staff motivation and prudent purchasing but misses one of the most common problems, how to deal with the stress of being ultimately responsible.

It is often assumed that because you are able to face the challenge of running a business or profit centre, you will be able to deal with the stress. You are no doubt talented, articulate, and capable. You may have learned through experience, but were you ever taught how to deal with stress? If statistics are anything to go by then the answer is probably not.

In the UK two of the most common forms of attempting to manage stress are prescribed medication and alcohol. Both may well make a difference to how the symptoms feel but they do little to address the root causes, and the causes will usually vary from person to person.

Alcohol is regularly used by business people as an attempt to escape the reality of what actually ‘is’. It may be that there are factors that are perceived as beyond the control of the person that may lead to anger, frustration, a sense of helplessness, even desperation. Drinking alcohol changes the perception of the situation but it will actually reduce one’s ability to actually do anything about it.

I discovered that the real causes of stress are often fear, uncertainty, resentment, unresolved issues, denial and a total lack of understanding as to why alcohol is being used in the first place. In fact the use of alcohol creates an illusion that things are somehow different, even ‘better’ maybe and that you’ll be able to deal with it all tomorrow.

But tomorrow will come and as a result of drinking alcohol you will be less capable, because your body will have to process the alcohol and that will impact on your mind. Not only that but your problems will appear to be bigger and your ability to deal with them smaller.

So if you find yourself ‘stressed’ what will you do? Resolve the underlying causes or just attempt to drink them away?

Trust me; the latter doesn’t work!

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