Learning comes from many sources. Recently I was preparing for a presentation and getting increasingly stressed and anxious about the event. The effect on my body felt like an inward and downward spiral, compounding the effects. Then I remembered a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal who speaks about viewing stress differently, and how the stress response is actually preparing your body to perform better, to reach out for help and support, so that you can be the best you can be. Instantly I felt the sensation of overwhelm fall away. There was still stress, the pressure of performing. Now it was without the overwhelming feeling of this inward and downward spiral. I felt freer to prepare and perform.
Sometimes seeing a situation from a different perspective can be really freeing. The facts have not changed, your view of them has. I am often reminded that there is learning everywhere, if only I am receptive to it. Very often, there will be a situation in my life and I will see it as a problem. I may even focus on the symptoms and think they are the problem. With each step, I am getting further away from the core of the learning that is available. The word “situation” is neutral, less emotional and easier to handle. “Problem” begins to apportion blame. Focusing on “symptom” simply creates a smoke screen of denial and confusion.
There are reasons I have arrived at this situation, qualities that I bring that have led to this outcome. I may love the situation I am in and the outcomes- that is great. I have mastered the creation of that particular situation- there is no learning here, just the experience of the connections I have created. Immersing myself in this is important, for it powers this moment and builds the energy of my life.
If I do not like the situation or think it could be better, what can I do to improve it? How can I view it differently to see more of the benefits? What can I learn about myself, others and what it takes to build events in my life? Blame and smoke screens, “problem” and “symptom”, separate me from myself and the moment, leaving me to feel diminished and disempowered.
Practice seeing a different view
May I suggest an alternative? Pick a situation. It doesn’t matter what it is. Play around at viewing it from different stand- points. How might other people there see it? What would people who were not there say about it? What new skills could you learn that might make for a better outcome? There is no blame here, simply learning. By looking at it this way you are connecting with yourself and the learning available in that moment, being honest and establishing your next possible area of growth and development. This way of thinking means you are taking responsibility for your life and the outcomes of your actions- it is a self empowering process that keeps you real and watchful. People feel this honouring of responsibility. They may not agree, but they will recognise your authenticity. This will show in a myriad of subtle ways, building bridges of connection between you and your family, friends and colleagues.
Taking your place in the world starts from within.
I’d love to hear from you. Please share your stories of life’s situations and how you turned them into opportunities for growth and learning in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Many thanks for reading the blog and contributing to making this an empowering, supportive and learning environment.
And why not………..
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