Curbing Stress To Make Way for Creativity with Eugene Choi – Ep 28

How is your stress response getting in the way of your creativity?

Here’s a “fun” fact: research suggests that adults are in a state of stress around 70% of the time. We all know that excessive stress isn’t good for us. Realizing that more than half our lives are spent in that hyper-aware, survival mode, fight-or-flight headspace is a really good kick in the butt to get our brains—and, by association, our bodies—back on the right track.

In the latest episode of the Rich Life Revolution podcast, I chat with my incredibly wise leadership coach, Eugene Choi. We get into the pitfalls of comparison, the state of stress, and how to seize back your creativity. You won’t want to miss this one!

Cultivating a worthy skillset

Before Eugene was a coach—but after he became a pharmacist, what a journey!—he had an unexpected job that has some surprising parallels with the work he does today: he and a few other high achievers left their traditionally “acceptable” jobs to make videos on YouTube.

Though the gig never made them rich, Eugene did get the opportunity to be part of a viral video engine, and these viewership wins showed him that there’s a process or method to creating content that catches the eye and encourages the mass number of shares that make that counter keep ticking up.

If it’s a process, that means it’s a skill people can learn. At its root, that skill is the psychology of persuasion, the ability to explain things clearly in ways that help people take action. You can see how that’s a pretty handy part of leadership coaching!

Differentiating between skill and worth

Speaking of skills, Eugene and I have a very interesting digression into comparison. These days, a lot of us spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others, thanks to social media and the huge array of lives on almost constant public display for anyone who wants to view them. On some level, we know comparison is the thief of joy, just like Roosevelt said. But Eugene suggests that not all comparisons are bad. The trick is to stick to comparisons that highlight skills or competencies—like noting someone is a faster runner or a better public speaker. This type can be inspiring and encourage us to better ourselves.

If, on the other hand, we’re comparing things that can’t be learned (like body type, say), we’re really just driving home our existing negative limiting beliefs and bringing ourselves down. And guess what happens when we bring ourselves down: our creativity plummets, too.

Stress is the enemy of creativity

Being in a state of high stress, a survival state, interferes with so many of our executive faculties and leaves us unable to achieve clarity. Over time, we burn out. As we hover in this fight, flight, or freeze stage, we focus on outside changes when it’s the internal junk drawer that needs sorting. Worse still, we focus on just one outside factor, often falling prey to tunnel vision and uninformed decisions that don’t consider the whole picture or the long-term greater good.

The first step is to see the problem

Eugene (my go-to neuroscience pro) and I dig deep into all the different issues at play when we’re stuck in that survival state. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, burnt out, or consistently stressed—and come on, we’ve all been there—listen in and start envisioning what you could do if you activated all that potential you’re carrying around inside of you!

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