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When you are no longer able to change a situation

22 Jan, 2016
When you are no longer able to change a situation

"When you are no longer able to change a situation you are challenged to change yourself" - Viktor Frankl

Bad things happen, there's no getting round the issue. It doesn't matter how good a person you are or how great you are at your job, bad things do happen.
When bad things happen we tend to ask ourselves 2 questions

  • Why did this happen?
  • What does it mean to me now and in the future?

Our response to these questions will determine our level of successful resilience. The simple reality is that many of us want to control the situation we are facing or involved in when practically we know this is futile. Getting upset about being caught in traffic often results in erratic driving once the traffic has cleared possibly leading to dangerous driving risking yourself and others. Moaning about the financial climate doesnít make the situation any easier or more fruitful and in turn infects the environment in which you are moaning.

The fact of the matter is that all too often our behaviour is incongruent with what we want. Take the simple situation of wanting to lose weight, but we still eat unhealthily, or wanting a promotion at work, but do nothing to further improve your performance and business acumen.
This reality was very apparent to me personally a couple of years ago.

After a routine boiler inspection at home our boiler was condemned as unsafe and thousands of pounds later we need a new heating system.

Then the immersion wasn't working and yet more expense and a chilly family.

Then the shower started pouring water from the unit behind the fully tiled wall.

Next the cat has a decaying tooth and needed an operation and the TV fell off the wall.

To complete the saga my gym locker was broken into and some individual stole my wallet, cash, credit cards, keys, phone, glasses and a few other things.

Finally to conclude this cacophony of disasters the washing machine packed up.

All in all an eventful few weeks riddled with bad luck.

There were many time during these unfolding episodes where I wanted to shout, scream, hit something (or somebody), give up as well as a number of other less helpful and healthy actions. I was reminded of the infamous quote by Viktor Frankl, survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camps during the Second World War ; 

"When you are no longer able to change a situation, you are challenged to change yourself."

I am not relaying my personal story in an attempt to brag or to ask for pity, but to offer an alternative approach to situations where we have limited or no control. 
So the printer keeps jamming, itís raining again, clients only ever seem to complain, business is tough.

So what are you going to do about it ?

Five to Thrive tips 
1.    Think before you act
2.    Ask yourself what you can control in this situation 
3.    What is the best use of your time, energy and talents in this situation ?
4.    Make rational decisions based on solutions that are aligned to the outcome you desire and keeping checking this alignment
5.    Remember this is merely an episode in your day, week, month, year and does not represent your entire life.
You may not have a choice as to whether you get knocked down, but you have a choice as to whether you stay down or you get back up again.

For more insight as well as practical tools and techniques to further improve yours and others performance get with the programme  

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