Hey SJs, are stress and unproductive worry hijacking your sense of security? Is it annoying when people remind you that you can’t control everything? We’re in unstable times. Prolonged uncertainty and constant change can overtake even the most steady, focused planners. So if you’re finding it difficult to worry less and focus more, this post is for you. Learn the “SJ Ways” to manage stress like a pro.
Last week, we talked about the cautious, responsible world of the SJ. And we promised help with the most common sources of trouble a stressed-out SJ can run into. To determine whether this help applies to you, you’ll first need the knowledge provided in the quick assessment below. Fill it out and come right back.
Manage Stress, Worry Less
First things first. Write down your 4-letter result from the InnerKinetics® assessment. If you have an “S” and a “J” among your letters, read the description of the SJ provided in the followup email. If you’ve confirmed that this description generally describes you, then learn more below about the SJ core design. All four of your letters focus even tighter on how you uniquely express yourself as an “SJ.” And all four SJ types (ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTJ and ISFJ) use their strengths of being responsible, planned and prepared — as well as cautious — to manage stress and deal with potential trouble.
As natural-born leaders and managers, SJ’s find order, create structure and plan their way out of potential chaos. Furthermore, they use control as a vehicle for accomplishing these things. But the healthy SJ has also mastered the art of staying in control without overdoing it.
Do you know how to manage stress and worry without over-controlling others or the circumstances around you? Follow these concrete, custom-made steps to lift the serious SJ out of a worried mindset.
THE “STRESS LESS” PROTOCOL FOR THE RESPONSIBLE SJ
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR SJ STRENGTHS.
Knowing how it feels and what it looks like when you’re using your strengths is essential. You’ll need to know them well. Otherwise, you won’t be able to recognize when you are NOT using them. Get this handy table of SJ strengths and learn all you can about using them responsibly.
STEP 2: GAIN CONTROL OVER WHAT’S WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.
A cautious and prepared SJ is most susceptible to stressing about the details. This is typically because those “details” (people, circumstances) aren’t always known or within their control. But when an SJ learns to recognize the difference between needless worrying and productive planning, less stress and a sense of security is the result.
Do you feel:
- Out of control, careless
If you’re an SJ, these feelings are not normal. It’s time to make a better plan!
STEP3: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. MANAGE IT!
SJ’s need to take charge where it makes sense to do so. Further, they need to do it in a manner consistent with their inner strengths. Because you took the InnerKinetics® assessment, you now know your specific SJ type. Here’s more on the practical actions each of the SJ types can take to manage their stress and get on with what needs to be done.
- ESTJ Type – If things are going wrong, an ESTJ is tempted to apply more pressure to force things to go the way they are intended to go. Lack of progress, inefficient use of time or waste of any kind can stress an ESTJ to their breaking point. However, they can reduce stress by accepting human error and writing it in as part of the plan. In fact, time markers can be changed and kept flexible so that achievement is within parameters rather than measured by inflexible conditions. Although they can do so, an ESTJ should not take on the entire responsibility. Sharing it with others is an essential people skill that reduces stress.
- ESFJ Type – Overload is a common source of stress for the ESFJ. They want to help everyone all the time. This is often an unrealistic goal. So, managing stress includes managing the damaging emotions that come from the break down of orderly functioning of the community or the harmony among its individuals. As with all SJs, they must learn to use their strengths and focus on the positives, instead of the hurtful negatives. ESFJs must guard against overloading themselves while helping others. Instead, they should see the importance of letting people help themselves for the sake of their own development and benefit.
- ISTJ Type – Stress can be a constant for ISTJs. They persistently police the world because they feel the demand to do their part in protecting against chaos. Many load each day with more than they can achieve and often go to bed with a vague sense of failure. Since rules are designed to provide structure and avoid chaos, an ISTJ can tackle stress by sticking to the rules whenever possible. They must discover what’s expected of them and then go for it. Most importantly, ISTJs need to schedule play and self care so they can continue to do their duty with renewed energy and a positive attitude.
- ISFJ Type – When an ISFJ feels they can’t protect those they care about, they can succumb to a negative focus: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” But this negative focus generates unbearable stress, anxiety and hurt. To manage stress and conquer worry, an ISFJ must take a positive approach. They should resist any temptation to focus on life’s unfairness. What’s more, they should learn to know where their limits are for influence, time and abilities and live intentionally within those limits. Their plans must include the opportunity to enjoy all things. Therefore, ISFJs must break from their duties and enjoy time with others — even when they believe they don’t have time to do so.
For a far more complete understanding of the causes of SJ stress and what to do about it, grab your copy of “InnerKinetics of Type,” by Dr. Ray Lincoln.
Know and Be the Real You
Knowing who we are is important if we want to be the best we can be. We need details and understanding if we are to see our target accurately. You must verify your results before it can be said that you’re an SJ, an SP, an NT or an NF. Your copy of “Innerkinetics – Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness“ will offer you a full description of your core InnerKinetics design, as well as your 4-letter type. It will also take you through the practical steps of developing the unique inner strengths you’re naturally hard-wired to master.
Join us next week as we paint a bullseye on a totally different target. It’s time to explore the creative and complex world of the “NT.”