1. Become more realistic in your expectations. “Stuff happens”, and the sooner we acknowledge that, the more accurately we can plan the tasks in our lives. Optimism is good, but unrealistic optimism about uninterrupted smooth sailing can sabotage the completion of important tasks. Expect and plan for delays, complications, and setbacks. You’ll be better prepared if they happen, and delighted if they don’t!
2. View setbacks as temporary. Research shows that the most resilient people are able to view problems as temporary. They often use the adage, “This, too, shall pass.”
3. Keep the mentality of the problem-solver, not the victim. The theme song of people with the victim mentality is, “Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me.” They see themselves as unfortunate pawns of negative forces and other people who control their destinies. Problem-solvers, on the other hand, look at negative situations to discover what they can do. They are able to distinguish the things over which they have control vs. the things that they can’t change. Within the conditions they face, they stay involved and active in doing the little things that make a difference. They work especially diligently in keeping their own internal reactions positive and constructive.
4. Reject bitterness. Bitterness is the result of anger that is not resolved. It’s a killer…psychologically, relationally, and physically! Bitter people are anything but patient. They have short fuses, overreacting when even unrelated situations remind them of the person or event they resent. Resolve conflicts promptly, and/or choose to forgive and move on!
5. Remember your successes in other difficult situations. When you find yourself in a mess that seems unending, and you wonder if you’ll ever make it…take heart! Remember that you’ve been in tough situations before, and you’re still here. Recall times that looked impossible, but you found a way. Have faith that this time will be no exception.
Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist who has worked with organizations across the globe for over 20 years. Her high-energy, high-content, high-involvement Magnetic Workplaces (r) programs provide dozens of practical strategies and skills that can be put to work immediately to:
- build strong leaders who influence and develop others through serving;
- energize, motivate, and retain team members;
- successfully accomplish important organizational transitions; and
- impress customers and build their loyalty.