By Marcus Buckingham
November 02, 2009
You will experience setbacks. If you've suffered one recently, you may still be reeling, feeling helpless and hopeless. But a crisis can also bring you face-to-face with what really matters. Crisis can clarify, illuminate and force you to take notice of what you might have otherwise missed. It can show you brilliant qualities of yourself that you may not have discovered otherwise. It is often an opportunity to feel discomfort and work it through into a place of greater comfort or understanding, to help you find your true strength.
1. Know that everything you are feeling is absolutely valid.
2. Give yourself the time to feel your feelings deeply. It helps to have someone sit with you and listen to your experience objectively. Ask her not to tell you that "It's going to be okay." Just ask her to sit with you and be curious about what you're feeling. Sharing your feelings will help to dissipate them.
3. When you are ready to feel something new, focus on the moments in your life that still create positive emotions in you. Talk about these moments. Feel these moments. Write these moments down. Hold on to them tightly. They are the platform from which you can move forward.
4. Make an effort to do one activity each week that will provide an opportunity to create and celebrate strong-moments.
5. Surround yourself with loving, compassionate companions who will support your decisions. Appreciate them.
6. Never let a crisis go to waste. Lock in valuable lessons and insights into your strengths. They will continue to serve you in life. Recall that growth follows your line of questioning, so ask yourself questions like:
"What can I learn from this?
"What is working about this?"
"Where am I feeling strong amid all of this?"
"Where can I use my strengths to help me to overcome this?"
Your questions are generative, meaning you get what you're asking about. So ask questions that create positive emotional outcomes for you.
Winston Churchill said: "When you're going through hell, just keep going." You're taking the right steps. Decide to look at a setback from a place of possibility rather than bleakness. You ARE on your way up—that's the attitude to hang on to. Focus on what's working and the steps that you're taking to reinforce the positive actions that you've already taken. Remember, attention amplifies, so focusing on self-perceived failures or mistakes will result in a spiraling effect. Focus on the emotional outcomes you want and let your attention amplify them.