Have you ever thought about what it takes to bounce back from life’s downturn Today, let’s talk about how to handle those inevitable setbacks that occur from time to time.
No matter how hard we may try, life isn’t perfect. Every day cannot be sunny, our relationships with others cannot always be smooth – and let’s face it, sometimes work is more of a pain than a pleasure. However, it is how we react to those less-than-perfect situations that show us how far we have grown as human beings.
Since most of us spend a significant portion of our lives at some form of workplace, let’s use work as an example. Suppose something has gone drastically wrong, and the whole place looks like everyone is awaiting execution. No one looks up for fear of being called to account for the disaster. The talk around the water cooler is negative, and unless something is done, the entire organisation begins down the slippery slope of the Downward Spiral.
What to do? First, a conscious effort must be made to ensure the organisational self-talk is positive and reaffirming. Your talents and expertise are valued by the organisation, and the work you do is important. Second, the organisation must get beyond the current “disaster” and begin focusing on the future, when the problem no longer exists. And third, forget trying to point fingers and assign blame. As the Blue Angels say, “Fess up, fix it, and move on.”
Affirmations are the most important tool in your Personal Disaster Relief Kit.
As you may know, affirmations are simply present-tense statements of fact – about the future. Affirmations are usually most effective when they are personal, but you cannot beat an organisational affirmation that has total buy-in from everyone. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” so to speak. It becomes the organisation’s “vision” for tomorrow, and leads you through to success.
For yourself personally, you must believe that your contribution to the organisation is valuable. “I am valued by leadership for my talents and expertise.” “I am comfortable expressing my thoughts in meetings, because I know what I have to say is valuable.” As a group, when faced with a challenge, you might affirm, “No matter what gets thrown at us, we hit it out of the park.”
The important thing is to have your mind firmly fixed on the future, the future without the current challenge. Remember, your subconscious mind moves you toward the most dominant picture. If all you are thinking about is the current “disaster,” then you won’t be able to move forward. Keep affirming daily the way you want the future to be, paint it vividly in your mind, and keep your personal self-talk and your group self-talk aimed at a positive future.
We have looked at the value in personal resiliency, and we used the workplace as an example. Now, let’s take what we have been looking at, and transfer it to succeeding through natural disasters.
Every year, the world sees its share of natural disasters, from earthquakes and landslides, to tornados, monsoons and floods. In each instance, the aftermath has been almost unbearable to watch. What happened was outside immediate human control. Nothing we can do – at least at this point in time – can prevent natural disasters like these. All we can do is be as prepared as possible for the unknown.
For most cities, counties, states and nations, we prepare for the practical response. Seattle, sits in the Pacific Ocean’s “Rim of Fire,” they prepare for earthquakes, severe weather and flooding. Seattle’s “3 Days, 3 Ways” programme helps residents prepare to take care of themselves – to survive – for three days.
While the practical approach takes care of the body’s need to survive, we also need to take care of how our minds approach coping with disaster. Rebounding from disaster takes a conscious effort to control our self-talk in order to remain positive. Looking beyond ourselves, by helping others, is a great assist in aiding our own positive self-talk. Making the effort to visualise what our worlds will look like, once the current situation is fixed, provides a path to follow. Reinforcing that vision with positive affirmations goes a long way towards avoiding the pitfalls of a downward spiral.
One more thing: Let others help you, as you help others. The sense of a community working together to solve a problem is a powerful thing. We are stronger together than we are alone, no matter what the obstacle.
Here’s to your success.
Helping individuals rest their mindset for success.