When Do You Need Professional Help?
Business, counseling, and leadership professionals are available to help when you become stuck. SMaRT coping strategies include reaching out for help, without hesitating because of what other people might think or worrying about appearing weak.
It is important to find the right person to work with you. You need someone who understands confidentiality; is fair, honest, open-minded, and emotionally intelligent; and has trustworthy credentials and references.
But what are the signs that you should seek professional help?
- Stress grows as you face what seem to be insurmountable problems and choices. Stress may be psychological, physiological, or situational. Each form of stress exacerbates the others. A conviction that you are not good enough, for example, causes headaches and neck pain which distract you and cause you to make mistakes, thereby reinforcing your conviction.
- Chronic anger requires intervention because it is harmful to you and to those around you. While anger is often justified and can be expressed appropriately, chronic anger lashes out unpredictably and with a force not equal to the cause. Like stress, it causes rather than cures both physical and emotional problems for yourself and everyone you target.
- Unfulfilled goals may cause you blame others for obstacles in your way, discriminate against those who are not like you, and reject ideas that contradict your own. You either overestimate or underestimate your accomplishments and skills. You may lack sufficient self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses to create realistic goals.
- Successive broken relationships may stem from stress, anger, lack of self-awareness, or a myriad of other problems, but they are a sign that you are functioning in a way that makes it difficult for other people to relate positively to you. High turnover in your team is a form of broken relationship that points to poor leadership skills, but can be turned around with help.
- Excessive risk-taking may be related to your inability to share decision-making and to consider the feelings of others. Everyone differs in their ability to tolerate risk. However, if you regularly take risks that jeopardize your own, your family’s, or the company’s well-being, you may be depressed, unable to accept feedback, or blind to consequences.
- Passivity and withdrawal also signal emotional distress. If you withdraw from even the slightest stressful situation or isolate yourself from relationships, you may be suffering from low resilience. Oddly enough, if your resilience is low, even good experiences can send you spiraling.
- Lack of focus and concentration result whenever you are worried or stressed. If you are unfamiliar with SMaRT techniques of mindfulness and self-awareness, you may not recognize how profoundly worry and stress are affecting you. But you may lose valuable items, miss important appointments, confuse names, and mangle reports when you lose focus and concentration.
- Resistance to change is likely when you are already fighting to maintain your control. You reject any change in your circumstances—even those that would help, like finding a less stressful job, taking a vacation, visiting a counselor, or consulting the family physician about chronic pain. If you refuse to consider any change in your routine, then you might need professional help to evaluate what is going on.
- Failure should be a learning experience. The inability to learn from or accept any failure is troubling, especially when so many failures may be rectified merely by acquiring and practicing new skills and insights. Whether it’s motivating your team, understanding how to create a budget, building trust in others, or satisfying your internal and external customers, professional guidance can quickly put you on the right track.
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Note: If you have thoughts of hurting yourself and/or others, please call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 immediately.
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