The 3 Biggest Stressors For Streamers
(And How To Handle Them)
Becoming a successful streamer requires hard work, dealing with uncertainty, and managing a lot of moving parts in front of live audiences, to name a few things. While tons of fun, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, especially for those who are trying to make a living from it.
I've spoken to thousands of streamers and here are the three things that streamers find most stressful (and how to handle them).
🏆 1. Worrying That You Won't Live Up To Expectations
Once you've decided to go all-in on streaming and have opened up to your friends and family about it, it can start to feel like you've promised them success. Getting friends and family onboard can be challenging on its own, so adding pressure to succeed on top of that can easily trigger anxiety. Communicating your fears to your loved ones is important as it may help adjust the expectations that you think they have of you.
🌊 2. Trying New Growth Tactics
Growth requires testing a lot of different things: trying new games, starting to collaborate with people (or collaborating with someone new), switching platforms, trying to produce offline content, etc. Not only are you constantly being pushed to learn new skills to successfully execute these tactics quickly, you're also going into it blind with no knowledge of how any of them will affect your stream. Sometimes the thought of it alone is enough to put your stress levels over the top (analysis paralysis, anyone?)
Realistically, the likelihood of any of the tactics mentioned above negatively impacting your channel is very low. The fear here is constantly having to venture into unknown territory - trying new tactics can be scary. They key is to experiment thoughtfully and avoid rash decision making. Plan the success/fail parameters of your experiments ahead of time and know when to roll back, continue, or switch gears.
🌩 3. Negative Self-Talk Over The Numbers
"I won't hit the same views as before, I will have zero viewers, I won't see growth, etc." These thought patterns are all too common among streamers, and this stressor might be the biggest one of all.
When you start noticing that negative self-talk, remind yourself why you started in the first place (this is supposed to be fun, right?). Take a step back and identify what's in your control vs. what's out of your control, and put that energy towards problem-solving whatever is holding you back from getting to that next level. The reality is, there's always something new to try.
🌅 More Ways To Deal With Stress And Anxiety
The best way to start dealing with stress and anxiety is learning to identify how they're triggered and how they negatively affect you specifically. Sometimes they're triggered unpredictably, but other times we know what kinds of situations will eventually lead us there (like burnout, for example).
Listen to your body. It can be hard to know exactly when it's telling you that you've reached your limit, but that balance is important to figure out. If squeezing out a little bit more work feels like a herculean effort, you probably need to take a step back. Also, make a point to distinguish between needing a 15 minute break vs. needing a day or two (or weeks) to really unwind.
Having a plan ready for small breaks is a great way to stay ahead. It can be hard to think clearly if you’re already anxious, so try identifying particularly calming activities ahead of time and lock these activities in as your go-tos. Some examples: closing your eyes for a few minutes, playing a mobile game, sitting outside in the sun, or having a cup of chamomile tea.
Meditation is another great tactic, and one that's been proven to work even in the most stressful of situations. If you're curious about meditation and mindfulness but don't know where to start, Calm does daily ten-minute meditation streams.
Another tip that I really love is taking a second to put things into perspective. Ask yourself, “is this really worth me stressing over?” Most of the time, it’s not. If it’s not something you’ll be thinking about 10 years down the road, cut yourself some slack.
It’s great to be passionate and work hard at something, but sometimes taking things too seriously can negatively impact your performance over the long haul. So for those of you who are way too hard on yourselves, try to look at it that way. In fact, learning to manage your stress and anxiety can help you develop a more efficient work routine.
Nobody can control how stress manifests itself, but everybody can control how it's managed. Simply acknowledging that is a great place to start.
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