Do you ever just want to cry for no real reason?
That was me on Monday.
Adulting is hard sometimes!
I was just despondent and disappointed and feeling a little bit like I had lost control for a moment.
Life has been going relatively well this 2017, so this bump in the road felt more aggressive than it probably should have.
I was unaccustomed to the setback.
Ha! The irony!
(If you know anything about me, you’ll realise I have experienced quite a few major setbacks in my life and athletics career, which is why the realisation was so ironic.)
Anyway, I’m okay now…kind of.
It stings but, like I said, I think it hurt more because I wasn’t expecting it (I was delusionally hopeful) and I lost control for a moment.
If you ever have days like that, regain your delusional hopefulness and take control again.
Here’s how I do it…
Take 100% ownership for it all – your successes and your setbacks!
Monday was a setback. I will take 100% ownership for my setback, just as you should too. This step is important because it is hard to be able to improve upon something that you believe you have no ownership over because ownership implies a level of control; thus without ownership there is little control.
If you feel like you have lost control, the best way to regain control is to say, ‘Hey! That’s mine! Give it back!’. What I mean by that is you’re in the driving seat. If somebody is driving your car and taking you to places you don’t want to go to in your car, rather than getting annoyed and frustrated, swap seats. Take back control. You own it. You control it. In this same way, it’s your life. Take ownership and take back control.
This isn’t a maths lesson, I promise. But this is a formula you will want to remember forever! It basically stands for [Event + Response = Outcome].
Here is a chart for the four formulas we have all experienced in life.
Negative Event + Negative Response = Doubly Negative Outcome
Negative Event + Positive Response = Neutral, Not-As-Bad-As-It-Could-Be Outcome
Positive Event + Negative Response = Neutral, Not-As-Great-As-It-Could-Be-Outcome
Positive Event + Positive Response = Doubly Positive Outcome
If you want to understand this a little better, get in touch, but in summary sometimes things happen to us that we have little to no control over. You know the saying, ‘you can’t control the weather’, right? Well, maybe you’ve faced a challenging situation (negative event) that you had little to no control over. Perhaps you were attacked with no explanation, you lost a loved one, or you were let go from a job.
Oftentimes, a first response may be to blame anybody and everybody. (Don’t do that. See STEP ONE). Then, you react without thinking and probably in a way that harms you (negative response), rather than alleviating the problem. And what does that get you? A doubly-negative outcome.
My negative event occurred yesterday. I had a lot of control over it, for sure. But upon reflection I did all I could with what I knew at the time to achieve my best in the moment. I genuinely thought I had prepared sufficiently and would be better than I was! A negative response would have been to indulge in the tears and pity party, and lose sleep over it. Thankfully, ERO stopped this before the flames of negativity devoured me from within. Instead, I chose a few positive responses:
Blog about it to strengthen others through my lessons and setbacks.
Be productive and get things done rather than mope about, despondent.
Make a plan of action to see improvements in the future.
When you encounter challenges, whether your fault or not, ask yourself a series of questions.
- What was the negative event? Define it clearly.
- Did I have control over this situation? (Yes/No). If not, who or what was driving the car and can I regain control?
- Take three controlled, deep breaths.
- What is the best response to this situation? A good response could be to learn and analyse so you can gain wisdom to help you avoid a negative situation like this again! Use the table below as an example for reflection and improvement.
|Negative Event||Controllable? (Y/N)||Why did you… [not do as well as you had hoped]?||Solutions for future improvement||How do you feel about this strategy?|
|I didn’t do as well as I had hoped (be more specific than this, of course. This is a general example.)||Y||Preparation could have been better; I was quite busy so didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to prepare; nerves; need more practice||Pareto (80-20) – Carving our 2-3 hours per day for prep to be ready for future; etc.||I can make this happen!|
Always always always be thankful, even if you can only express thanks for the new wisdom you’ve gained from the experience!
What tips do you have for successfully overcoming challenges?