How to Navigate the Gap Between Responsibility and Ability

The gap between responsibility and ability is where stress lives. Your boss assigns a task that stretches your skillset or overstuffs your schedule – stress!

Two factors influence your response to stressful situations – who you are and learned strategies.

Good people respond poorly to stress because they haven’t learned any better.

One lit egg surrounded by dark eggs.

The rejection of inability prolongs incompetence.

Stress is:

  1. Negative rumination combined with catastrophizing.
  2. Determining you are unable to meet expectations.
  3. Encountering an inescapable hardship or difficulty.

Stress revealed:

#1. Unrealistic expectations.

You’re stressed because you beat yourself up with ridiculous expectations. You SHOULD be able to meet a challenge but can’t. You beat yourself down because you don’t do everything perfectly. You stop playing if you can’t win.

The rejection of inability prolongs incompetence.

Lower stress levels by adopting a learner’s perspective. “I don’t know how to do this, but I’m ready to learn.”

#2. Need for approval.

You’re stressed because you believe the boss’s opinion matters. And it does! Pleasing the boss means you’ll earn a promotion, bigger salary, more perks, and better assignments.

The need for approval inside you creates disapproval from others. We like people who like themselves. But neediness is unattractive. Just don’t use self-love as an excuse for complacency.

Lower stress levels by adopting an earner’s perspective. Ask your boss how you might EARN a promotion.

  1. Explore specifics.
  2. Don’t push your boss into a corner.
  3. Focus on performance.
  4. Measure progress.
  5. Seek feedback.
  6. Don’t bring up promotions all the time.

#3. Unhealthy comparison-making:

The achievements of others cause stress.

Sometimes I want to quit writing when I read the great work of others. But it’s stressful, disappointing, and unfulfilling to use others as the measuring stick for your life.

Better to live up to your potential than give up because others exceed you.

The difference between admiration and envy is motivation and discouragement.

How do you define stress?

How are you dealing with the gap between responsibility and ability?