Reflection: Loss of opportunity – imagined or real – small, medium or large – can be a stressful thing. More than once in my life I’ve been frustrated by an outcome – or lack thereof – only to discover that what ended up happening was just as good or better. Maybe that’s happened to you, too.
I recently ‘lost’ a potential speaking engagement that I was eager to undertake and thought was a sure thing. As it turned out, on the scheduled day of the event, the weather delivered freezing rain and ice-glazed roads.
Had the contract come through, I would have been facing a treacherous drive or a tough decision about whether to go or not. In the end, I was content to be spending the day in my office, safe and dry.
We recently made a special trip for breakfast to a top chef’s restaurant. Featured attraction: eggs benny on a salmon cake. Mmmmm. My mouth watered in anticipation and then soured in disappointment. A glance at the menu and a word from the server confirmed that this was a weekend brunch special. We’d missed it by a day.
After a brief pout, I reset my expectations and ordered another breakfast specialty: carbonara flatbread. It turned out to be a delicious treat I would otherwise have missed.
I could go on – as could you – with examples of disappointments far more serious and far more trivial. But, I’m sure you get the drift.
Action: The ability to make peace with disappointment and embrace what arrives in its place is a keystone of resilience and an antidote to stress. Too strong an attachment to preconceived notions about how things were supposed to go (or should have been) will keep you stuck every time.
The way through these bumps on the road of life is to acknowledge what’s been lost and honor the emotions that surface. Sit with your feelings and experience them instead of pushing them away. And then – sooner rather than later – open yourself up to what comes next and fresh ways to look at your situation.
You might be surprised to find (as was I) that once you embrace your dismay and put things in perspective, your frustration dissipates much more quickly than you would have imagined.
Quotes Of The Week:
Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. – Garrison Keillor
If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire—then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. Learn to separate the inconveniences from the real problems. – Sigmund Wollman
Resources Of The Week: Article by Elizabeth Scott: Cope With Stress & Become More Resilient.
A 12-Question Resilience Self Test. I like the way the results are presented on this quiz. It not only gives you a score. It notes where you are already resilient, and gives suggestions in areas where you have an opportunity for growth. Nicely done.
Are You In? Are you one of the 118 Pause readers who have already entered your name in the draw to celebrate my 30 years in biz? If not, now’s your chance. You’ll find the scoop on the three prizes and entry details at Celebrating The Leap.