How well do you think you handle stress at work? I used to think I was pretty good at it, until a few years ago, when I realized I wasn’t.
I was working for a healthcare technology company that was young and rapidly growing. Every day, my task and responsibility list seemed to grow exponentially. At first it was exciting, but after a while I was buried under a slew of incomplete tasks, and the excitement turned into anxiety, severe stomach pains, and such a focus on efficiency that there was little time left for strategic or creative thinking. Remember the Rock’em Sock’em Robots toys from the 1960s? When one of them punched the other one just right, its head popped off. Well, that was me. I was at a stress precipice. One wrong “punch,” or word or decision, and I thought my head would pop clean off.