Everything in life happens for a reason and whatever it is, it leads you
to your next lesson.
We can accept shit happens and learn to understand that these events
happen to teach us something, help us grow and encourage us to
view things differently and change, embrace challenges and use it as a
driver to make changes for the better.
We can accept what’s happening around us or stick our heads in the ground and try to ignore what’s going on.
When something happens, it’s normally because something isn’t right. Whether that be you getting sick because you’re not taking care of yourself (self-care), gain weight because you’re not eating healthy, you’re in debt because you overspend on trivial things and regret it later, you’re unhappy at home, work, school because you’re trying to control things outside of your control, and sometimes, things just happen.
When things happen do you view it with a lens of “it happened to me” or “it happened for me”?
Changing your view by just a little and look at events as life lessons that are happening to teach you something about yourself (or others) is a good way to look for opportunities and lessons in challenging situations.
Think about a ‘bad’ situation you’ve had in your past – what happened, what did you learn, how do you do things differently now because of that experience?
We can’t control external factors, but we can control how we respond
There are things that we just can’t control and we need to accept that.
We can’t decide when a new baby
is going to be born, accidents,
Covid-19, redundancies at work,
When things happen instead
of complaining and focussing on
the negative of the situation, or falling apart and being a victim, you can focus on what you CAN control in that situation.
We can always control our response to anything and by acknowledging and doing so, we take back power for ourselves and our actions. This activates parts of our brain that will help us see opportunities instead of problems.
By becoming a victim, you are surrendering to the event and can fall into a phase where you can be easily influenced by focussing on the negative.
This can lead to unhealthy habits forming, eating unhealthy food and justifying it as “comfort food”, drinking too much, doing drugs or other things to try and remove yourself from the perceived problem.
However, when you realise that there are things you can control, your focus changes.
You can control you!
Use this as a platform to look for opportunities. Where there is good, there is bad, where there is light, there is dark, it’s what you focus on that matters.
You can’t have a rainbow without the rain.
So next time you’re caught in a metaphorical rain storm, look for shelter, grab your umbrella (those tings that you know make you happy), learn new ways of doing and ask for help if you need it. Then when the rain has past, you can enjoy the colours of the rainbow.
We see things through our own life experience
Do you only see the first thing in situations, or do you look further, to see differences, to embrace a different view?
When you see this image – what do you see FIRST?
Did you look at this picture and take the first image you saw and move on? Or did you look further to look for other things?
And now, when you keep looking at it, search for different things to see – and what else do you notice?
How much more intricate is this image than you first thought?
Life is like that. If you limit your view to the first reaction to a situation, you could
be missing out on the beauty that is hidden within, the opportunities and
lessons that await you.
You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. ~Brian Tracy~
Change is not easy, and you don’t have to do it alone. If there are times when
you are struggling, reach out and ask for help. Family, friends and community
groups are there to help.
You are stronger than you think
There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience – and
that is not learning from experience. ~Archibald MacLeish~
When we experience challenges we have an initial reaction, which is our
normal state of response. However, when we are aware that we have a
normal response, we can catch, cancel and correct our response.
Once we learn something new, we can not unlearn it. So, learning how to
catch, cancel and correct to put ourselves in a more positive state is a great tool
We become stronger because of our challenges and we build new skills to
cope with future events. The strengths you have know have been built over time. The things you can deal with now and cope easily, you wouldn’t have been able
to do say, 5 years ago. We learn each and every day, and sometimes we don’t
realise we are even learning.
You are stronger and more resilient today than you were last year and you have different ways of responding to events. The strength you have built over the years is one of your most valuable assets. And as we learn, we get better and then that skill, competency, way of being becomes our ‘new normal’ and we step into new experiences differently, learn new things and continue to grow.
You are stronger and more resilient than you know and it’s only in
challenging times that we realise just how strong we are.
Your self-talk is omnipotent
Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded
We are our own toughest critic and most of the time, unfairly so. Is your
first reaction to tell yourself off, beat yourself up for something you did or
didn’t do? How’s that working out for you?
Catch, cancel and correct that voice inside your head.
Catch that negative response to yourself, cancel it out and be correct it with a
more kind thought.
When your inner critic starts to rise up, have a chat with yourself and ask yourself
if you would talk to a friend the way you are talking to yourself?
Would you say those comments to someone else going through what you’re
going through? If the answer is “no”, then change your thinking and
And cut yourself some slack. Remember, it’s ok to muck up every now and
then, that’s part of life. Acknowledge that you may or may not have behaved in
the best way possible and vow to do differently next time. Accept that this
has passed and that you have learnt from it. To be able to heal, you need to
accept what’s happened, forgive yourself and your mistakes, take the lesson
you’ve learnt and re-set your thinking.
Have a conversation with yourself as if you are your own best friend. See how
your inner dialogue changes when you only speak to yourself the way you speak
to your best friend, partner, parent or children.
What’s really important?
Learning to enjoy the simple things in life is important, particularly in tough times. Appreciating and focussing on what you “do” have instead of what you don’t is key.
What you focus on grows.
Focussing on positives instead of negatives will enhance your mood and
improve your overall wellbeing. Being grateful for your health, home, family,
clothes, food, books, TV, shower etc can boost your mindset.
Who is important in your life right now?
If you’re in lockdown, who are you missing the most? Who is keeping in
contact and who isn’t?
Know and nurture those relationships that are important to you and don’t
worry about the rest. Invest in those that lift you up and help you fill up your
cup and avoid those that drain your energy.
If you’re in lockdown think about what you can do differently? We can keep
in touch with social media, but how special is it when we actually get something
in the mail? Make an effort and send a note or a card to a loved one and see
how special it makes you both feel.
Share some tips below about how you stay positive in challenging times.
And if you want to chat about coaching, reach out and make contact for a quick 15 min chat about how we can work together.
Image by: Oleg Shupliak (bored panda)
Helen brings a wealth of experience gained over 20 years in Human Resources in Australia and overseas.
Images by JKO
Copyright © 2017 Helen Luxford & Corporate Leadership Coaching - All Rights Reserved