“Why Is This Happening To Me?”
Stress is a choice. Do you buy that? Some people have a hard time with the idea. They think it’s the people and events in our lives that stress us out—management, colleagues, customers, the boss, traffic, weather, market conditions—but it isn’t true.
Yes, bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don’t follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail, good people leave. Life is full of these. But still, stress is a choice, because whatever the “trigger event,” we always choose our own response. We choose to react angrily. We choose to stuff our emotions and keep quiet. We choose to worry. (One client had a sign on his desk that said “I’ve had many problems, some of which came true!”) Different people have different reactions to the same situation. Stress is a choice.
Stress is also the result of our choices. When we choose to ask a question like “Why is this happening to me?” we feel as if we have no control. This leads us to a victim mindset, which is extremely stressful. Even in cases where we actually are victims and our feelings seem justified, “Why me?” thinking only adds to our stress.
~ John G. Miller, “The Question Behind The Question”