Saturday, August 22, 2009

When All You Have is Attitude

Sooner or later we all end up in situations not of our choosing. There are jobs to be done that just won't go away and difficulties to be dealt with that we don't want to face. It's all very overwhelming.

But if your only choice is sink or swim, here are 4 things I re-learned this past week that might help you keep your head above the water.

1. If you've done it before and it was a struggle even then, don't focus on the struggle, focus on the fact that you've done it before. And survived. Because here you are telling your story.

2. However you've imagined the scene will play out, it's probably worse in your mind than in reality. Don't handicap yourself with premature negative thoughts.

3. Zoom in. When you've decided to take it day by day and you're still overwhelmed, focus on the individual moments that make up the day. Deal with whatever is immediately in front of you. One step at a time, and eventually you'll get it all done. (Not unlike running a race.)

4. If all you've got left is attitude, use it! Sometimes the only control you have over a situation is how you're going to handle it. Choose to handle it graciously, and look for something you can take away from the experience. You might learn that you're stronger than you thought. You might discover hidden abilities that will serve you well in the future. Or you might learn that you never, ever, want to end up in this kind of situation again, and that is valuable too.

So here's to you, graciously making your way through the difficult days.

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