Stress at it’s Best

Emily - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

As I sat after school in the library with my tutor, listening to her advice about how I should find a job where stress would be beneficial, I began to wonder what impact such a job could have on my life. She believes that acquiring a job with a reasonable amount of stress would be advantageous. However, I would not function well in a career that consists of high stress levels. She thinks that attempting to eliminate my anxiety would be negative, because in reality, it can be used in a positive way. I believe with absolute certainty that perceived negative attributes, when channeled correctly, can help one achieve profound success.

I have always known that I am an anxious person. It doesn’t take much for me to become uneasy: having a lot of homework, driving in the winter, going to the dentist. It’s an interminable list. Taking a new class or changing your school schedule are easy tasks for most people, but I find them very challenging. For example, last year I cried before the third trimester of school because I was so anxious and apprehensive to begin new classes. I doubt my peers struggled in this area. For me, everyday activities like a haircut become an unnecessary crisis.

However, throughout my life, it has been stress that has always kept me focused and dedicated to everything I attempt. When I ran track it was my anxiety that gave me the desire to excel and fear of my opponent’s victory that pressed me onward. It was stress that made me continue my sketch book for art class each week, staying up late until it was completed perfectly to my liking. It’s worry that continues my dedication to find the right college and keeps me searching for my correct path. Concern and worry have assisted me in becoming successful. My stress has benefited me not because I handle the anxiety well, but because I have embraced it.

The older I get, the more I outgrow my unease, but I have reached a point where I cannot change. It is a characteristic of my personality, one that I now embrace. This I believe: that our personal flaws can help us become successful, like stepping stones, they will lead us to achieve more than we ever imagined possible.