As previously mentioned, one major common denominator of most resilient people is that they feel like they have more control or can influence their lives to a greater extent than non-resilient people feel.
Building on that thought, we have created much of our lives. If we had taken route A instead of B, we would’ve missed the traffic jam. Even though we didn’t know the outcome at the time of the decision, our route choice determined whether or not we were caught in a traffic jam.
What I am NOT saying here is that we created the traffic jam (the cancer, the economy to fall and for me to lose my job). What I am saying, sometimes assuming we have control reduces our stress and increases the possibility of thinking more clearly and creatively.
It might also bring awareness. If we did something to put us in an awkward situation, perhaps we do need to look at the circumstances and how we contributed to them. For example, if I’m always late for work, I cannot blame the traffic. It is not the traffic but that I don’t allow time to get through the traffic.
When we shift our perception, our experience changes.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
When in a circumstance that leaves us confused, or uncomfortable, or facing a situation we would rather avoid, try saying this:
“I have chosen this circumstance/event/condition.
I am delighted/curious about/thoughtful of this happening because ____________ and ____________ and____________”, and create a list of responses.
Let’s say you have a bad cold and cannot go to work, then you might say yourself:
I have chosen to get a cold because I need downtime and I’ve been wanting to lose 5 lb and I wanted to catch that Netflix series andwork is crazy busy because not everyone is pulling their weight and I don’t like driving in the winter rush hour and I’m ticked off because I am tired of winter and by having a cold, the book club can’t meet here so I don’t have to clean the house.
I have chosen to always be late for work because the adrenaline rush I experience wakes me up in the morning and I want to leave the house looking good but don’t want do it the evening before and I don’t want to spend time chatting with my colleagues before work and I like making an entrance.
Even if the event was 100% out of your control, looking at it this way, opens up your mind to other possibilities and the chance to discover more about yourself.
To clarify, in the second example, what if I didn’t realize I didn’t like chatting with my colleagues. Would it be all of my colleagues? One person in particular? Perhaps I have not tried to be friendly. Those are valuable insights regardless of whether I continue to be late for work.
Many, many years ago, there was a time where it seemed like lots was coming at me. I was feeling overwhelmed. I didn’t know about the question above but had a thought that changed my perspective completely.
I wondered, “What if all of my life until now, and what if all of these things that are happening right now, are just to teach me a lesson? If that were true, what would be the ‘big lesson’? “
The multitude of events I was experiencing and the ‘big lesson’ are lost to time. But I remember feeling a sense of calm and knowing immediately what action I should take. This happened while walking and I felt so light and energized, I could have (but didn’t) hopped, skipped or ran back home.
Nothing in my environment changed but how I was handling it changed completely.
Pressure can be a very good thing. Many people find our pressure vests calming and increases their ability to focus. We have ready-to-purchase vests in children sizes and can custom-make other sizes.
If possible, choose to have a just-the-right-amount-of-pressure week.
P.S. Sometimes when answering the question about "Why have I chosen this?", the more 'ands' you answer, the better. After the answers become ludicrous, some deeper thoughts arise.