Did you ever have a tough week?
I had one last week. As good as I am working in the moment to alleviate stress, a number of situations converged that through me off course – not the least of which is a sinus infection!
I was stressed, upset and in general pretty cranky by the end of the week. The best thing I can say about last week is that it is over. I spent time over the weekend decompressing. I visited with some friends, walked on the beach, got some overdue writing done, and yes, even did some work. But the most important work I did was on my attitude.
Isn’t it amazing how, when in a tough situation, it’s so easy to feel like a victim? And, when we allow ourselves to feel victimized we begin to fall into the “poor me” mode and everything happening around us seems to fuel the “poor me” emotions?
Amazing. Even when one is skilled in dealing with it – it can still happen.
As I listened to the words I was saying to myself and to others, I began to realize that I had allowed myself to get caught up in the drama of the situation and had completely lost my objectivity. As the week progressed, my own self-talk got more negative and I observed my energy diminishing. The situation was getting the better of me. Shame on me! I know better than that.
A few days away from the situation coupled with the awareness that I was making it harder, and not easier on myself, made it much better.
This morning I am feeling stronger, wiser and definitely more positive. So, based on my experience I would like to offer two suggestions to you because you are dealing with your people and your customers all day long and I would guess there are sometimes when you let a situation get the best of you too.
(And if you don’t, please let me know what it is you do to stay so centered, and pass this message along to someone who needs it.)
First, find the filter. Just as you can put a filter on a camera lens, you can put different filters on your outlook. The next time you are dealing with a “difficult” person ask yourself these questions:
- Am I seeing this customer – this person – through the filter of a bad mood, getting stuck in traffic, or a disagreement I had ten minutes ago with someone else? Am I seeing this customer through the filter of my own frustrations?
- What is the positive intention of this person?
- Am I allowing past negative experiences with this person to color my relationship now?
If you can find the filters you have on the situation, you can help keep yourself from being defensive, (which in turn begets offensive behaviors) and can reduce your level of frustration.
Next, listen for negative self-talk. Listen to yourself as carefully as you listen to co-workers or customers. Are you focusing on the negative aspects of the situation? Are you focusing on the negative in you? Do you ever hear yourself say, “I can’t do it,” or “I’m so stupid?” Do you beat yourself up mentally for how you have behaved in the situation? If so ask yourself these questions:
- What about the situation makes me feel this way?
- What do I need to do differently to change the way I feel?
- How do I need to talk to myself to change the way I feel?
- What are the positive aspects of the situation? What am I learning, or have the potential to learn here?
Remember, your body hears everything you say, and if you allow a situation to make you feel poorly on the emotional level, I guarantee you will start feeling poorly on the physical level – your neck will ache, your back will hurt, your stomach will churn.
Learn to observe and to alter the negative patterns you respond with. Your relationships with your employees, customers and co-workers will benefit – but most importantly – you relationship with you will change for the positive! Have a fabulous week!
Enjoy this little video “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” and while you are on my You Tube Channel www.JoAnnaBrandi.TV take a look around for some inspirational resources on the many ways you can flourish!