Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dealing With Adversity

It’s Friday the 13th!

I’m always amazed at why some people are so terrified of this day.  I have never had anything bad happen to me if a black cat were to cross the street in front of me, or if I were to walk under a ladder on this day – and believe me, I have done just that.  I’ve never gotten 7 years of bad luck for breaking a mirror and this morning in particular at 2 am, while the bedside clock numbers started spinning (poltergeist style) my first instinct was not to dread the day or feel that something bad was about to happen to me.  Why is this?

It’s always important to try to remember our first fearful experience; what happened?  When did it take place? And most importantly, how did I react?  You see our first experiences in handling fearful situations are what dictate how we react in our adult years.  What were we taught and how did we learn from the experience – if at all.

I used to have a friend when I was growing up whose mother was petrified of storms and in particular, lightening.  Whenever she sensed a storm coming along she would gather her children and force them to hide under the bed until all signs of the storm were over.  For my friend and her siblings this was a natural occurrence, but for me it was really strange.  The reason the mother had always done this was because her father had been struck by lightening when she was a child.  Her mother subsequently taught her that the safest place to be when a storm came along was under the bed.

It’s not that easy to find a bed in the workplace when a storm lurks with intent, so I wonder how my friend and her siblings dealt with that as they matured and became adults.

Have you thought of how you deal with adversity and difficult situations?  Do you face them head on and learn from the experience, or do you break down, cry, have a temper tantrum and sulk for as long as you can manage the doom and gloom routine?

It’s far easier to sulk than to face up to what is bugging us, but it takes emotional maturity to respond and react differently.  Careful thought about how we react is a good start.  How do we want others to perceive us?  If we breakdown and cry we will be perceived as being weak, however if we stand up to the challenge, take a deep breath and face the world with our heads held high, we will gain more respect from others and we’ll feel so much better in ourselves.

So, how will you react when you next break a mirror into a million pieces?  For me this is an exciting time:  I get to sweep up the old broken bits AND have an opportunity to go shopping for the best darn mirror to replace the old one!

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