Poor Stress Mindset: The Real Culprit Behind Quiet Quitting

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Who’s to blame?

I have a likely unpopular opinion on quiet quitting.


Quiet quitting isn’t the employer or manager’s fault.

To be clear, the employee isn’t to blame either.


I believe the finger is to be pointed squarely at the cultural norms we have created around stress.


The mindset most Americans hold is that stress as a disease to be avoided at all costs. Quiet quitting is just the latest way of helping us avoid the pitfalls of ever-increasing stress.


I’ll admit I’ve been part of the problem here. As a stress physiologist, I’m all too familiar with the dangers of chronic high levels of cortisol. It wasn’t until recently that I became reacquainted with some research that struck me differently.


We are probably all too familiar with the idea of stress management. When we feel stressed, we’re told it’s bad.


Stress is to be managed.


Stopped in its tracks.


Stress causes disease, employee absenteeism, and yes…quiet quitting.


But what if stress hired a better PR agent?

What you might be hearing about is all the upsides of stress. The research demonstrates that stress should be sought out for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

How stress leads us to our highest levels of performance and achievement.

How high levels of stress don’t automatically result in bad outcomes – that those outcomes are almost entirely dependent on how we THINK about the stress we’re experiencing.


So what’s the big conclusion? Is stress enhancing or debilitating?


Yes. Turns out, whatever you believe might very well be the truth you find.



Tags: Leadership

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