I left yoga class yesterday morning feeling fresh and energetic, until upon approaching my car I discovered a large dent over the front tire.
What kind of person hits Betty (my darling 1999 Chevy SL pick-up truck), and just drives away with no remorse? Sigh.
I was bummed for sure, but what was more noticeable than the actual dent is the way I handled it. Hint: not well.
Not only did I allow it to impact my morning, but my entire day, mood, and also the way I received and acted toward others. I didn’t even try to shake it!
Yes, I was justified in being upset, but shame on me for letting a dark cloud overtake me. I:
- Was snarky with my husband who is on the road for business (which is already tough)
- Had little patience for some logistical problems on an account
- Fell down on some work commitments I intended to complete by the end of the day
- Acted cranky with everyone around me
- Let my wellness routine get off track
We don’t have control over some hit-and-run jerk's actions, but we do have control over our own, and I let mine run amok.
WE choose how we respond, and yesterday instead of addressing the issue in a productive way, I wallowed in a negative space and dug in my heels.
I became obsessed with finding out “Who done it?” when really, who cares? It’s done. The real question to focus on is, “What’s next?”
I saw this quote by Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
When faced with a difficult situation, do you wallow in the muck or swallow and adjust?
How do you respond when met with an unexpected or difficult situation? Do you go straight to the negative and let it overcome you?
If so, experiment with turning the switch that sets you off to “low” and observe, adjust and get yourself back on track:
- Observe how you feel and whether your response is warranted
- Determine how you could have adjusted your approach in a more productive way
- Track what happens the next time, and note the result
Issues will arise all the time. I suggest you make a choice to channel your energy toward correction and action, rather than flounder in a “why me?” state.
Admittedly, it’s not so easy in the heat of the moment, but productivity studies show positive response results in positive output.
As for me, Betty is just fine. Thankfully I wasn’t in the car when she was struck, and no one was hurt. She will need a little love and attention, as does my attitude. Small changes, right?
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™