An extract from the book ‘Stress proof your business and your life’ written for the clients of Keen Dicey Grover by Steve Pipe and Elisabeth Wilson

“Be like a Tigger – learn to bounce

Everyone gets stressed. Everyone gets disappointed. But how come some people are better at dealing with than others? The answer is that they’re natural bouncers, but you don’t have to be born that way.

Disappointment does one of two things: it makes you bouncy (resilient) or it makes you bitter – and which way you end up is a more telling predictor of future happiness than rich or poor, nice or nasty.

Bounceability is easy in your twenties. Underneath the veneer of sophistication most twenty-somethings are teenagers at heart and are convinced that their life is going to be fabulous. But during our thirties, the decisions we make pretty well determine what sort of person we are going to be, and how we decide to deal with setbacks is one of the greatest determinants.

Each of us is born, apparently, with a happiness set-point which is genetically influenced, but crucially, not fixed. We can come from a long line of grumpy people but at the end of the day our genes only seem to account for about half of our propensity for happiness – or unhappiness, depending on how you look at it.

However, what we learn from grumpy parents is likely to be a lot more influential than what we inherit. We learn that life is fixed, that we can’t change, that we’re not in control. But that’s wrong. The thing to remember is this: your brain chemistry is not fixed. You can change it.

How? When bad stuff happens, ask yourself what are known as “coping” questions which challenge inflexible thinking. What would be useful for me to do right now? What is the reality, and what is merely fantasy about this situation? Can I salvage anything from this?

Then ask yourself some ‘serendipity’ questions. Why is it good that this is happening? What am I learning from this? What could I do to turn this situation around?

Ultimately, what it comes down to is remembering that everything changes and change itself is the source of stress. Bad stuff happens to good people. But there are plenty of people who have had every disappointment in the book and still lived useful, happy lives. And before you mutter ‘bully for them’, science will tell you that there’s no reason why you can’t be one of the bouncers too.”

Here at Keen Dicey Grover we work hard to alleviate unnecessary stress by spending time with our clients, and understanding their businesses from the very beginning. We therefore make it our business to provide the visibility of their business’ financial performance that they need, ultimately providing reassurance, comfort and control.

Keen Dicey Grover

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