Feel these two different kinds of stress. See if they have distinctive flavors for you.
The first I call captive stress. This is the stress that comes from:
procrastination. paralyses by analysis, to do list growing instead of getting done, waiting to be “ready” or for circumstances to be better before taking action
This flavor of stress comes with a lot of beating yourself up and a big dose of shame. “What’s wrong with me?” The reaction to this stress is either to take action or to escape into our preferred form of distraction.
The second form of stress I call adventure stress. This is the stress that comes from:
big presentations, knowing we are stepping out of our comfort zone, taking a risk and “going for it”, putting ourself out there
This flavor of stress comes with self doubt. “Can I really do this?” The reaction to this stress is either to pull the plug and go hide, or to increase focus and dive into the adventure even more.
Both conditions involve, at the core, our fear. The captive stress comes into play when we flee from the fear. While the adventure stress is activated when we are able to hangout with our fear long enough to get used to it , then take some type of action.
If you visualize the stances of these two examples, the first has a leaning back quality and the second a leaning forward quality. In both cases there is tension and stress, but only in the leaning forward or leaning into the tension is there growth. Much like muscle soreness after a good workout is a sign of muscle growth, the tension that surfaces when we are moving into bigger projects, audiences, and situations lets us know that we are evolving and growing as a person.
I have heard people describe “befriending” the adventure kind of stress. This leads to expansion and healthy movement. Captive stress… not so much. So we don’t really have a choice in the long run. The way out of the stress seems to be straight through it.