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Dealing with Difficulty

#highperformance #personaldevelopment Feb 27, 2024

No matter how successful we are, we all face times of difficulty and challenge. What do you do when you have a difficult week? What I know for sure is that facing difficulty is a human inevitability.

How can you summon the best of who you are in a difficult moment?

It is human nature to turn our immediate attention to assigning blame. We want to look outside ourselves for what or who caused the problem.  We spend valuable energy becoming antagonistic toward those people or circumstances. And that, in turn, depletes the energy and resources we need to muster.

We also fall prey to distortion.  We engage in catastrophizing: “this is the worst possible thing, I’m ruined, I’ll never recover.” We give in and give up because the situation is less than perfect, so why bother? We disengage.  And then, we tell ourselves all the reasons why we are not good enough: “this proves it.  I’m incapable.  This is a sign.” We delude ourselves into thinking we are not up to the challenge.

This is wasted energy in the moment and pressure of the difficulty.  The time to deal with what went wrong is after the challenge as passed, the problem has been solved, and you’ve worked your way through to the other side.  Then, it’s time for a postmortem:  Why did this happen? What could I have done differently?  And what did I learn for next time?

Instead of looking for who or what is to blame, move into full blown solution mode.  Remind yourself that you’ve faced difficulties before, and you came through it.  You are still here.  Remind yourself that you can handle this too.  Rise to the occasion with the confidence that you were made for this moment. You are a force for good, a force for change, a force for solutions.

To avoid curling up into a ball and waiting for things to change, take some physical action, even if it is just a walk around the block to clear your head. Doing something physical prevents you from freezing up or getting small and engaging in stacking one negative thought on top of another.

Look at the bigger picture and rather than focusing on the problem, turn your attention to a bigger objective. Remember that either the situation will take control, or you will take control of it.  Decide. When you take control of the controllables, that narrows your focus to two things:  your attitude and your activity.

I love this affirmation from one of my teachers:  All you can do is all you can do and all you can do is enough.  Words to live by.

Don’t be afraid to share with a friend, someone who will just sit and listen. Often, you can work out the problem by talking it through.  A wise man once told me that every person you know is an expert in struggle.  We’ve all been there. 

After all, when you look back, isn’t it really the difficulties you’ve faced that have made you the person you are today? Capable, successful, flawed – like all humans, hard-working and well-intentioned. Face those difficulties with confidence and determination.  You were made for this moment.

If you would like to be part of a community of like-minded business leaders who are working regularly to consistently improve performance and achieve at high levels, now might be the time to join my High Performance Group Coaching Program.  You can learn more about it here.  


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