Think back to the last time something came up in your life that was a challenge or an issue. Think about a big challenge, like something that just caught you off guard and caused a major change in your life.
And, also think of a smaller issue, like someone pushing your buttons or saying something to you that was inappropriate.
How did you handle those situations? What was the first thing you did when you recognized the challenge or issue? How did you respond?
Often times, as soon as something goes wrong or a challenge appears in our life, all of our attention is placed primarily on whatever the issue or challenge is.
We may have some sort of emotional reaction and be bothered or upset by what has happened. Our focus may entirely be on how we can get rid of the issue or resolve the challenge that has come our way.
There is by no means anything wrong with working through issues and resolving them. However, we must make certain we are managing through them with the best mindset and perspective.
When we are able to have a clear mind and not react from a place of fear or be consumed with negative emotions, we are able to have the most clarity about what is going on and make the best decisions about our next steps. We are able to calmly and clearly decide our best course of action and be guaranteed to get the best results.
In order to really be able to approach issues and challenges with the best mindset, our attention can’t be exclusively focused on the situation and our emotions about whatever has happened can’t be running wild.
We need to also be focused on the bigger picture and finding our peace of mind.
We have to elevate our mindset and make certain we are looking at things from the right perspective. And, the best way to do that is to immediately turn some of our attention to what we can takeaway from the situation and any lessons that we could possibly learn, even if someone else created the issue and is at fault.
What are the possible reasons that this situation has arisen in our life? What am I supposed to be learning? How can this situation help me grow as a person? What about me could be strengthened?
Obviously, some of our attention is going to be focused on coming up with solutions and dealing with the external situation, but if we can just reserve some of our attention and focus it on the bigger picture, we will be amazed at how much better we will manage through anything that comes our way.
If we can immediately recognize every challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow or strengthen something about ourselves, that understanding will overshadow the negative emotions and reactions we may have about the situation. This allows us to avoid being so caught up in the issue and what is happening that we completely lose perspective and our ability to rationally and effectively deal with whatever is going on.
We can control and improve the way we perceive and react to anything that comes our way. We can develop a habit of always looking at things from the right perspective and remaining calm and collected regardless of whatever is happening. Instead of getting completely caught up in the issue, we find our way to immediately looking for the lesson or the positive thing we can take away from the situation.
It is not that we naively overlook challenges and issues we have to deal with, but rather we set ourselves up to deal with them in the most productive and constructive manner and with the best mindset. We never allow any situation to get the best of us.
How to use this possibility:
1. Catch Yourself. As soon as a situation arises, and you notice yourself getting bothered or worked up, tell yourself you are going to choose to remain calm and allow the waves of negative emotions to just pass through your system. It may indeed be the case that you do have a negative emotional response to something that happens, but you can choose to control how you respond and what you choose to focus on.
2. How Could This Possibly Benefit Me? Think about any of the potential ways this situation could provide some benefits for you. Is there something that you could potentially learn about yourself or about managing other people and their drama? Can this situation strengthen your tolerance, patience or some other trait that will serve you well in the future? Think about any potential benefits, even if you have to search for them.
3. What is Your Highest and Best Response? After you have cleared away any negative emotions and responses to the situation, think about what your highest and best response should be. What is the best way you should respond?
4. Give Yourself Credit. It can be challenging to always react calmly to situations, especially those that upset you. Give yourself a little pat on the back and credit for not allowing your negative emotions to take over and responding to this situation in the best way. There are a lot of people who are unable to respond calmly and constructively and you should feel good that you haven’t fallen into the trap that so many other people fall into.
There is a different way to live … That is the alternaview.