Have you ever wondered why some people are able to deal so well with terrible life circumstances and grow from them, whilst others are heavily weighed down by their problems to the point where they can’t even get out of bed in the morning?
Life can be tough and certainly isn’t perfect for many of us. Whether you have a sick relative, are struggling with your work or feel lonely, each of us is dealing with our own unique challenges.
Unless you’ve lived a completely sheltered life, it’s highly likely that you’ve had moments when you received some challenging news that knocked you about a bit.
No matter how positive and upbeat you usually are, bad news can send you into a state of paralysis where all you want to do is lay in bed.
Unfortunately, worrying in bed all day doesn’t result in much getting done. In fact, usually it only makes matters worse.
So how does one remain powerful in the face of crappy circumstances?
I believe asking yourself the following question can make a huge difference-
“What’s the smallest action step I can take to move my situation forward?”
For example, if you’re laying in bed you may decide that you need to have a shower, but that may still seem like a mammoth task. Too hard. Too overwhelming. No thanks.
If this is the case, break the task down into even smaller action steps. For example, say to yourself –
“Just lift your head off the pillow”.
Then you want to be like a broken record. Just keep asking yourself the question all day long – “What is the next little action step I can take?”
This strategy works a treat. When I recently received some crappy news, I asked myself this question over and over.
What was the result?
Phone calls were made. Emails were sent. My desk got tidied.
Sure, my crappy circumstances didn’t miraculously disappear, but at least I was in action and as a result, I felt much better about things.
As Eric Jenson states –
“One cannot always choose every aspect of their circumstances, job, relationships or family. What we can choose, every single waking moment of our lives, is our RESPONSE to those things. And it is our response that determines the quality of life, not our circumstances.”
So next time your life dishes you up something not so flash, you have a choice – you can stay in bed and worry all day or you can take the next little action step. It’s up to you. But whatever you decide will influence how your day and life plays out.