How to Cope with Uncomfortable Situations for Personal Growth
by Erika Slater
Who said life was going to be all glamour, a walk in the park…a cake walk?
What happens when adversity strikes? How do you deal with adversity or those situations that make you feel uncomfortable?
Do you believe you have the tools for dealing with these types of situations properly? If you think you’d like to learn how to deal with adverse situations more effectively and positively, then this article is for you.
Let’s face it, everyone is going to have experiences and deal with situations that make them feel less than comfortable.
These discomforting experiences can come in one of three forms; people, places or things.
There are some famous anecdotal statements when it comes to adversity and trying times. Perhaps you are familiar with the, “If it does not kill you, it makes you stronger!” Does this inspire you?
Well, for some that know this saying all too well, they may say it’s a little passé, and totally out of fashion! In fact, for some, this is probably the last thing they want to hear when they’re going through a trying time!
Others view it differently, and recognize only 10% is what happens to you (the incident), while 90% is the real determinant in how you choose to deal with it (your perception of the experience).
Are you a 10%-percenter, or a 90%-percenter? Are you just going to be part of the problem or are you ready to be part of the solution? That’s the ultimate question.
You can’t always control situations, circumstances, the environment or the people in your life and their thoughts and actions. The only thing that you can control is how you choose to respond. You get to choose to let something continually bother you, or use it as a learning experience and move on. This is called your “Sphere of Control.”
You have Total Control over the following:
- Your self-talk.
- How you respect, care for, and love your body.
- What you eat.
- How you sleep.
- What you do to de-stress.
- How much you exercise.
- What you do to support your efforts to achieve your goals, such as bringing in a coach.
There may be other things you can think of to control and help whatever ails you but you get the point.
As a matter of fact, some of the most successful people are the ones who develop ‘temporary amnesia.’ They choose to immediately forget what happened so they can move on to the next positive experience.
So, let’s elaborate on the three things mentioned earlier: People, Places and Things.
They’ll be people close to you, family, friends, co-workers as well as complete strangers who can affect your life profoundly by what they say, or do, or don’t do. Often times, we take these situation with these folks extremely personal or as a reflection of them devaluing our own perceived self-worth.
Rejection can be most painful, but it’s imperative you don’t take rejection personally.
Other people are making their own decisions. Yes, it’ll hurtful to be rejected, however they’ve the right to make choices, just as you’ve the right to live your life, move on and not let their decision rob you of time spent in disappointment, anger or mourning.
Life is too short to remain fixated. Years, let alone months or weeks from now, their rejection will no longer matter to you!
People will frequently disappoint you. They’ll not react to situations the way you do. They’ll not perform to your expectations. They have a different life story to you and so this dictates the way they act and react to situations based on their past experiences. You just have to accept this and recognize this is their reaction just based on their values and past.
It might be bad weather, having to drive an eternity to get to work every day, or it might be you live in a place/neighborhood you greatly dislike and wish you could move. It’s the experiences revolving around those places and circumstances which create a feeling of being “stuck.“ This leads one to feel helpless or a prisoner in a situation.
Remember though, an experience is mostly based on your perception of it.
Some people could live in an oasis and still be miserable – recall all the movie stars and celebrities who’ve killed themselves through drugs and alcoholism because they were always miserable no matter what place they were in.
Then there are those who live pretty much as paupers in many parts of the world, even in your own city, who are always positive and happy as larks. It’s all about perception!
Often times, these things are the trivial matters of everyday living which have a way of trying your patience. Think about the last time your car broke down and you were stranded, or your TV, washer/dryer or lawnmower went on the fritz. These inconveniences perhaps made you wonder if everything was against you and the universe was conspiring to test your level of sanity and what you could handle.
Always remember ‘things’ are just things. When something breaks down or causes you an inconvenience or grief, it definitely sucks! For the sake of argument, let’s reframe things for a moment…
If something in your world breaks down, it means you have luxuries and/or possessions.
Translated: You possess wealth! So many people complain about their cars, their dishwashers, lawnmowers, even their houses, etc. Guess what? Do you know how many people in other parts of the world, not to mention friends, neighbors and co-workers would kill to have what you own, or trade places with you?
The more things you own and accumulate with your wealth, the more ‘inconveniences’ you’ll have because ‘things’ are just things that are fallible, and need to eventually be replaced. The alternative to prevent these frustrations is to stop purchasing things and own less.
See how you’ll like that!
Can uncomfortable situations serve any purpose other than irritating, annoying, stressing and flustering you?
These types of situations can lead to helping you develop resiliency and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, the experiences they provide you with help you to help others who eventually experience the same types of situations. You see, what you take from each experience depends on your perception of the event. Sound familiar? In that regard things behave as people – unexpectedly!
The famous preacher and bestselling author Charles R. Swindoll put it best, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”
You cannot change the past, you cannot change circumstances once they happen, and you cannot change how people will react and respond to you. The only thing you can change is how you’ll react and respond.
You can either look at unfortunate situations that happen as making you feel like a “victim,” or you can respond by looking at each situation as an opportunity to learn thus bettering yourself, and becoming a problem solver.
Coping with Uncomfortable Situations is one of the topics I cover in my online and in-office Confidence and Self-Esteem Hypnosis Program.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS:
Erika Slater CH
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