2014 was (to put it mildly) a very difficult year for me. Then, in January 2015, I got a call sharing some bad news. It struck me how relieved I was to hear this bad news. When I thought about why I felt so relieved, I realized that compared to the news I actually expected and was assured from numerous sources I would likely get, this news was much, much better – even though it was pretty bad news.
We have all heard the cliche “it’s all relative.” And I suppose in some ways it really is, but to me that reduces the reality of bad news or difficult situations. In my circumstances it was about perspective. Not minimizing or rationalizing, but rather getting a clear perspective on the issues I was dealing with.
There are two lessons to be learned on how to overcome the worst thing that has ever happened to you:
First, it’s important to have clarity when faced with challenging or bad news. Look at the entire picture; not just part of it.
Second, make sure you are giving equal attention to all the possibilities. Frankly, despite the fact that I am generally balanced in my view, I had resigned myself to the worst possible outcome. As it turned out, it was about the middle worst (how’s that for bad grammar?)
All of us face difficulty. Making lemonade out of lemons is not usually possible despite what the happy-talk crowd wants you to believe. When life hands you lemons they are still sour. I don’t care what you make of them!
But, here are some steps to maintain perspective:
- Write down or think about all possibilities. The best case, the worst case and the most likely case.
- Remember it’s not over until it’s over. A day at a time may be OK but, in my case, it was often just an hour at a time. Stay fully in the present and deal with what’s in front of you right now.
- Eliminate negative distractions, people, events and entertainment – anything that creates negative energy.
- Remind yourself it’s temporary most of the time.
- It’s supposed to be uncomfortable.
I invite you to share you thoughts on other techniques you use to maintain perspective during tough times. You must maintain a positive perspective and take control of your outcomes. That includes taking my on demand course at XTRAcredits and start to make lemonade out of lemons today.
Be a leader and act with courage,
Speaker Faculty at XTRAcredits
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About Mike Staver
An internationally respected coach and professional speaker who has been labelled the “rebel with a cause.” With a master’s degree in counselling psychology and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Mike has found a way to make complex ideas simple, memorable and immediately applicable. The Staver Group and StaverOnDemand works with leaders at all levels within businesses or corporations to challenge them in driving performance, confronting problems and making a difference in the culture of those they influence. Mike is a member at the faculty here at XTRAcredits.