Powerless Stress


Summary of Main Ideas

Have you ever had one of those days?

You know the kind i’m talking about. Every text, every email, & every phone call just piles on the stress,

There’s no one thing that’s causing the stress. There never is. It’s a combination of all of the things happening.

I had one of those days recently.

I’m a blessed man. I do what I love for a living, but for some reason this particular day was just one stress point after another.

At one moment that day, I just shouted. I wasn’t angry, I just didn’t know how else to process what I was dealing with.

But a funny thing happened. I shouted, but when I was done, the stress was still there, and so was the next meeting, speech, email & phone call. I had to power through the stress.

So you know what I did?
I gave my stress boundaries.

I laid out the terms of engagement. I told my stress, “This is where you can go, and this is where you can’t.”

I told it, “I will engage with you in the car. But the moment I step out of my car onto that high school campus, your authority is done. You have nothing to say to me, and you will not affect me.”

I couldn’t get rid of the problem. I couldn’t kick the can down the road, because the problem with kicking the can down the road, is that when you get to the end of the road, the can is still there.

But I gave my stress boundaries.

Stress will show up. There will be a moment when it rears its ugly head at you, and that moment can feel overwhelming.

But you take control of your stress by giving it boundaries.


“You can't always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” Wayne Dyer

“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find they haven't half the strength you think they have.” Norman Vincent Peale

Reflection Questions

  1. Where are you letting stress call the shots?

  2. What are your stress triggers? How can you organize your life in such a way as to minimize those?

  3. Where is the place where you will choose to engage stress, and where is the place where you will tell stress that it has no authority?

  4. Think of the last time you were really stressed. How would a set of stress boundaries have helped you?