Perhaps coping strategies can change your lifestyle?

Family and friends who support each other will always cope better.


Finding the right coping strategies for all the different situations

Finding the right coping strategies for all the different situations you will face during the various stage of your life can be difficult, but will be worth the effort.

As an entrepreneur, I found it easy to move from one project or problem to another. But, when I had to manage the detail I always had difficulty coping.  There are many business people not coping with the fast paced changes involved with the modern business in a globalised world, never mind all the detail that goes with it. This is leading to unnecessary business failures and major health consequences.

At some point, most people in business and families find it difficult to cope. It is at this point, or well before that when we need to reach out to each other.


Ups and downs are part of life

Stress has been the main contributor to the problems and frustrations I have had in my life. I have experienced most of the main stressors involved in starting businesses, running businesses, employees and other relationship problems.

Along with droughts, market failures, dumping, business failures, competition, coping with new technology as well as some major health problems. Fortunately, I have always had strong family support.

One of the things I was taught early in life was never to be afraid to ask for help. I also learned that the more successful a person was the more they were inclined to help you.  My father used to say, ‘speak to the butcher, not the maggots on the meat’,  this will mean that you will be dealing with someone with more experience.


“For me, one way not to overwork yourself is to have a task management system and to schedule each task with a ‘margin’ to cover my inaccurate decision making”. Peter Sergeant


It is the ups and downs, the highs and lows and learning to cope that has given me the success and lifestyle I enjoy today. It’s inevitable, no matter how well run the business is, unexpected problems emerge, setbacks occur, and crises arise unexpectedly. The difference between success and failure during these crucial moments is coping while knowing you will ultimately achieve your aspirations.

I have found that what most people worry about never happens, they just lose a lot of valuable sleep. Every good thing that happens in your business or life will be a direct result of you changing something.  Often I had to take control of my emotions before they took control of me, turning a potentially good situation into a bad one.


There are few guarantees in life

A good family, nice home, successful business and plenty of money in the bank doesn’t guarantee you won’t be faced with worry and stressful situations. In fact, I know a lot of wealthy people who are decidedly unhappy, despite their money.

However, you can change your emotion immediately by thinking of something you like or revisiting a successful experience. Refocusing on your vision, making it clearer, as a result, it can also have a very beneficial impact.

During my upbringing, I was always exposed to people with positive attitudes. Fortunately, it has given me a lifetime of good attitudes and has always had a positive and optimistic outlook.

By having a good attitude, you don’t dwell on the bad aspects of your business, your relationships or your lifestyle. You allow yourself to enjoy the good in what life has to offer. With a bad attitude, you waste yours as well as everyone else’s time worrying about the past or stressing about the future.

Positive coping strategies are any actions you take to manage and reduce the stress in your life. People who use positive strategies are not only better at coping and tackling challenges, consequently, they bounce back from tough times, and have a much happier lifestyle.


Not coping can lead to ill health

Many of you will, at some time, have a serious physical illness. Both the illness and the treatment can affect the way you think and feel. Just as it did with me, both during recovery and long into the future. A serious physical illness can affect every area of your life:

  • Your business.
  • Your family and friends.
  • Ability and capacity to work.
  • Spiritual beliefs.
  • Can make you feel sad, frightened, worried or angry, or all four.

It may be because you feel out of control of your mind and body and your situation generally. You may feel that there is nothing that you can do. You can feel lonely and isolated from family and friends.

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk about the illness with those close to you as you don’t want to worry or upset them. Often they will be more upset if you don’t talk to them as they too are concerned and need to know the truth.


Be aware of the emotional impact

For some of you, the emotional impact of a serious physical or mental illness can be overwhelming. Cancer, heart disease or depression, for example, can make you very anxious and depressed. It can stop you from doing the things you need to do in your daily life.

Mental illness is no different to physical illness with feelings of unhappiness that don’t go away and are with you all the time. You can lose interest in life, unable to enjoy anything, finding it hard to make simple decisions while feeling tired all the time. There is a tendency to avoid other people because you can lose your self-confidence, start to feel useless, inadequate and hopeless.

Whatever the illness it is much better to talk about it than to hide it. With a positive attitude, bad times will pass just as they did for me. I’ve seen many people with quite minor illnesses but in a serious state due to their negative attitude.


Reasons why you may not be coping

Often people are too scared to make a decision. Their problems are either overwhelming them or they have to keep asking permission as they feel they are being micro-managed. This could be a boss, a bank manager, a franchisor, in fact, anyone who might have some power over you. If you want to improve your coping mechanism, stop procrastinating and get on with your life. It’s your life, you need to stop asking for permission.

  • I have seen value conflicts destroy people, businesses and great opportunities, it’s not a pretty sight.
  • Money matters often get in the way, but there is more to enjoying a good business and a good lifestyle than money, although it helps.
  • You might be treating everything as urgent, you have to priorities.
  • When you don’t have a clear direction you allow circumstances along with other people to control your life.
  • Procrastination is the ‘killer disease” and the more you procrastinate the harder you will find it will be coping with your situation.
  • Without action you are not in control and your status quo will remain. Become action orientated starting now.
  • Your body responds positively to some food as your mind responds positively to some thoughts.
  • Your mind traffic is out of control, trying to solve too many problems at once.
  • Too much clutter in your business and your life causing distractions.
  • Unable to understand the new technologies even though they are cheaper and easier to use.
  • You’re surrounded by negativity and negative people.
  • You’re leaning too heavily on your own understanding of your situation, instead of asking for help.
  • Trying to keep up with your neighbours, friends, competitors and others, at least to the point you are not worrying about


Note: If you feel you are depressed or not able to cope by yourself, seek professional help immediately. Mental health can be a big issue if left untreated and this will definitely impact your lifestyle.


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Personal Experience

I know that overworking is bad for our health, but I kept it up until I had a heart attack. Don’t do what I did unless you are desperate for the experience. You need to know where your limitation are and ask yourself is it worth it?

I feel that if you are working more than 50 hours per week, coping strategies will not be able to save you from eventual health problems.

Worrying is like having a car with a flat tyre. It’ll give you something to do but it won’t get you very far until you fix it.  Take the pressure off, why not go for a four-day week.




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