Four Ways To Handle Adversity, Anxiety, and Fear

Take a look around.  What do you see and hear?  Relentless change, increasing expectations, escalating global confusion, and economic uncertainties create an ample amount of stress and anxiety in our lives.

Just think about what keeps you awake at night.  “What if__________”, and you fill in the blank(s).  Stress and anxiety are common place in our personal worlds.  We attempt to cope and keep up with all the fast-paced and unpredictable change.

The ability to bounce back is needed more than ever.  Whether it’s overcoming past mistakes or misfortunes or steering through today’s demands, The Bounce Back principle is an attribute that allows us to manage change and face adversity.

That raises a question.  What enables someone to bounce back?   It is definitely not trying to put your energy into trying to become “bigger than life.” It’s about dealing with the life you are now living.

It’s all about trusting yourself and your capabilities.  You might not even realize you have them. Here are four qualities you already possess. Use them. We’ll call them the 4 C’s….

Commitment, Control, Challenge, and Courage.

  1. Commit to being adaptable. You have the attitude that what you are going through is not going to get the best of you.  I will change where necessary to meet legitimate demands.  I am more adaptable than I think.
  2. Control whatever you can. Have an internal locus of control that says, “I can only control what IS under my control “. So that area of control becomes your focus.  You are not a victim. You become proactive.  An external locus of control focuses on all the things you can’t control.  You sense you have no control, so you become reactive.  It might be just a little circle of influence you have.  That’s what you focus on controlling.  It might only be what goes on in your head and how you choose to behave. This will impact the way you look at the world.  You will begin to see the positives.  There is an optimistic mindset that begins to shape your behavior.
  3. Reframe the Challenge. This is where anxiety can get the best of you. By reframing the challenge, you reduce its control over you and/or your team.  You don’t create an atmosphere of doom and gloom, where everyone starts to go down that catastrophic rabbit hole.  You are a non-anxious  presence, which reduces both your and the team’s anxiety.  Some reframe by finding the humor in a situation.  As you reframe the issue, you become a more objective observer. You have now turned your non-thinking reaction cycle into something more helpful.  You are able to look at it and say, “What do I believe at this very moment that makes me anxious about this project, this problem, or this person?” If you are like me, you will discover that most of the beliefs about these challenges now reframed, are not that accurate.
  4. Focus on Courage. The bounce-backers understand that courage and fear are two sides of the same coin.  Courage doesn’t exist without fear.  Courage  shows you that fear is the worst of it.  It’s your real enemy.  Courage is the emancipator to your fear.  It frees you from allowing fear to hold you back.  Courage says get out in that stormy weather and kick fear as hard as you can.  Stare it down and walk into the storm.  As you take that first step, the rain begins to kiss your skin.  I’ve discovered that once I’m wet, I don’t fear the rain anymore.  When we acknowledge our fears is when we see our courage.  Others see it too.  Identifying them helps us to see an actual threat as opposed to living in a perpetual state of fear.  Courage allows us to get in the ring with fear so that it can be reframed.  We have now turned fear into a problem, and problems can be solved.  The problem named is the problem solved.

Do some things that startle you.  Feel things you’ve never felt before.  Develop the thoughts that will help you grow.  Live the life you’re proud of.  Trust the capabilities you have.

And remember…

  • You are more adaptable than you thought
  • You have more control than you think
  • You experience more stress than necessary
  • You have more courage in the face of fear than you realize

Do you need proof of this?  Review these four bounce-back principles.

It’s a simple—not easy—but a simple process.

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