How are you in a crisis? Do you fall apart? Or do you rise above the challenge and come out the other side smelling of roses? Perhaps somewhere in the middle? Then perhaps it might be of interest to you that the Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of the characters danger and opportunity. When you are in crisis, do you see it more as danger or opportunity?
I have often thought in difficult times, particularly in my professional life, that when something goes wrong, or the unexpected or thing you feared would happen, happens that this is an opportunity for me to shine. And when I have thought and acted in this way, not only has the obstacle been avoided or overcome but I have felt relief (for averting the "crisis") but more importantly a great sense pride. That I can, not only not sink when thrown a curve ball, but that I can swim.
But how about you? When that deadline is pushed forward. When that vital power point for your presentation isn’t working. And when you just don’t have time to do everything you need to do in a day. How do you deal with these problems?
My first question would be, is it really a “problem”? Or if we can step back and look at the situation objectively as the “crisis” that the Chinese character symobolises, a challenge and a learning opportunity? Again, stepping back and looking at things objectively; your broken heart, getting looked over for the promotion, being late for an important appointment. If you had never had these “challenges”, would you still be as capable or experienced as you are now?
So my challenge (word play intended) for you is simple. Try it for 5 days. When a problem arises, breathe and think challenge not problem. Think crisis = danger + opportunity. And when you do overcome this challenge take a moment to say well done and reflect on what you have learnt.
As a Teacher and a Coach I regularly self-evaluate my performance. Things always “go wrong” in life but yet somehow I am able to work with what I have, or don’t have and make the best of it. Each time learning and recognising how to not only avoid getting myself in that situation again, but how I was able to deal with the situation successfully. This has been one of the most useful tools of my own professional development. As I have been able to use the danger as an opportunity to push myself and grow and become a more confident, effective and experienced Teacher and Coach. Now it is your turn.
My challenge to you…a very simple one.
Take that step back. Breath and remember that:
Problem = challenge. Crisis = danger + opportunity.
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