Outside of working hours, I turn off the work profile on my phone for one reason: I try to have more peace when I am out of the office.
But what to do when you are at work?
By the end of this article, you will learn the STAR technique that can set you free from your stress in less than 1 minute.
The story behind this simple but powerful STAR technique
Years ago, I started my first job. I knew stories of workaholics who lost their personal life slaving for their job, as how Jay Shetty put it.
So I decided earlier on that I didn’t want to be like that, and I would go home from work on time every day to prove that work-life balance is a choice.
Well, it didn’t take me long to become like most people at work - always stressed with work. Does any of these sound familiar to you?
Getting an ad-hoc job request that demands you to drop everything else you've planned for the day to fulfill.
Being called to revise that same presentation pack for the 17th time.
Attending unending meetings that take up your time to do your real work.
Begging for critical data from data controllers who label everything as confidential.
Always canceling your evening plans because there’s work to continue after 6pm.
Or simply having to face that boss every day.
Suddenly, I became super easily affected and stressed by my job and the people in the office. It was like a constant emotional and mental battle that I was never going to win at work.
Things quickly got worse when I started bringing these bad vibes from work into my personal life and my relationships.
That was when I finally stopped and asked myself:
"What’s going on in my life?"
I was so much happier when I was studying. There were many assignments and exams to stress me up too, what did I have in my uni life that was missing in my working life now?
If you have been stressed with work as I had, today I want to show you one powerful technique which has set me free from work stress for good.
And I know if you follow what I do, your life at work will begin to change from now on.
The STAR technique
Let me break this down so you know exactly what to do the next time you become stressed with work.
Phase 1: Stress triggered
This is whenever you start feeling stressed in any situation at work - annoyed, uncomfortable, disappointed, upset, angry, etc.
Phase 2: Almost losing
You know that feeling when you start doubting yourself - thinking that you are not good enough, you have no one to help you, you are stuck in the worst company, you will never make it in time, etc. - like the last confidence you have is breaking soon? You understand this feeling very well.
So yes, Phase 2 is when you feel like you are almost losing your last control or confidence.
Action: Release control
Yeap, let it go. Feeling like you’re losing your last control? Then just release it.
Imagine you are pulling a rope really hard in a tug-of-war game, and you feel like you are almost losing the rope to the strong pull at the other side.
That last bit of struggle holding on to the rope is so dreadful!
And to be pulled over to the other side while you’re clinging onto the rope is the worst feeling of defeat.
But now imagine you go for the other choice instead: When you are almost losing the grip, you just release it. How does that feel to you? Satisfaction! Free at last!
So, Stress triggered > Almost losing > Release control - that’s all you have to do to set yourself free from your stress.
When the STAR itself isn’t enough
Now you have released your last control, like literally breaking your last confidence.
Then what? Who’s gonna take control of this stressful situation? Releasing control isn’t solving the whole problem that gives you stress, right?
The questions that I was asking: What’s going on in my life? What did I have in uni life that was missing in my working life now?
I found my answer, it’s my relationship with God. I no longer remembered Him every day.
God is supposed to be the One taking full control of things in our life. He promised to take care of us, protect us, and bless us with excellence.
But He can only start taking charge when we release EVERY control from our own hands.
The point is not about doing nothing after releasing every control to God.
It's about taking out the stress from the situation, so we can have a clear mind and optimum emotion to focus better on doing what we already know for that particular situation, while God handles all our fear and worries.
How do you see the star? You look up.
Understanding this one truth made me realize that I needed to bring God into my life again.
The fundamental shift that made the STAR complete
I started talking to God every day, knowing more about Him by reading His Word in the Bible, and slowly but steadily, I started loving Him more by living according to what I learned about Him.
Over the next few years, I developed a practical lifestyle that honors God while excelling at work.
As I continually tested and refined this new lifestyle, I have been blessed to receive a promotion every 2 years along the way, and my salary has been raised by 75% over 5 working years.
Of course, I do my part and I diligently fulfill my rightful duty, but without God’s favor I could be squeezing off the last drop of my blood, and still be progressing little after years of working.
Remember, there is a limit to how hard we can try to improve our career and our life, but there is no limit to how much amazing favor God can send our way as we remain in a close personal relationship with Him.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
I am sharing all these with you so that you know that God has so much more in store for you, not just in your spiritual growth once a week, but even in your career growth every day. You need to claim what God has promised to you.
When you are ready: The advanced STAR 2.0
When you become advanced in using the STAR technique, you will be wiser to jump from Phase 1 straight to Action without waiting for Phase 2, and you will apply this even in your personal life and relationship.
The STAR 2.0: Stress awareness > Release control to God.
Now that’s truly being set free from your stress in less than 1 minute.
What would your life look like in 6 months?
Some of you will do nothing. You are done scrolling through this article, you learned about this STAR technique, and you are back to work.
What would happen? Nothing. Just 6 months down the road you would still have the same stressful life as you have today.
Some of you will be above the average, you won't just scroll and read and never take action; you will start using the STAR technique the next time your stress is triggered at work, and less stress with work and life over the next 6 months.
Finally, there will be a tiny percentage of you who are serious about overcoming your stressful working life. And for you, I made something special that I know you’ll love. Something that can bring a massive impact on your working life from now on.
Your next step after the advanced STAR 2.0
Top-performing executives don’t settle for only the STAR technique; they go for the advanced STAR 2.0, and beyond.
If you are ready to go beyond the advanced STAR 2.0, I have more resources to help you depending on what you need the most right now:
You are struggling to resume your quiet time and spend personal moments with God daily because of your super busy life.
You are struggling to know what your boss really wants from your assignment, and you have been scolded because the work you've done is not what she wanted.
For #1: Relationship with God
The key to your next step is in your quiet time.
I know we are all busy and tired and we think we don’t have time for many things.
That’s why I've prepared everything you need to start spending a quality moment with God again today, and it only takes 7 minutes.
For #2: Work Performance & Career Growth
If you feel struggling to do your work at all in the last 6 months, I strongly recommend that you make things right once, starting with assessing yourself against the top 3 career-killing mistakes and symptoms and then taking actions to leverage your 7 key promotion levers.
It's a FREE resource for my readers, so go get started today.
The Complete STAR technique in 1 sentence:
Whenever you’re stressed out, look up to the stars and release your control to God.
I would love to hear from you about 1 stress that you have managed to overcome this week using the STAR technique.
Try it and come back to let me know how it works for you in the comment below.