“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitudes in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frankl
When you take a step back and look at your life, what do you notice? How many challenges are you facing? And what type of challenges are you facing?
Probably you will find that you are facing several challenges and most of them feel out of your control. And sometimes managing these challenges makes us feel depleted, upset and as if we want to give up – they just feel like an insurmountable task.
We may lack control over many aspects of a situation, but we can still choose the perspective we take and influence our experiences more positively. This is important because the way we choose to view a situation will dictate how we feel about it and which will influence what we do about it. That means when facing challenges at work, we are often far more powerful than we think when it comes to influencing our own success, happiness, and effectiveness.
Imagine you get a bad review at work. Automatically you might tell yourself “I am awful at my job and can’t do anything right. I’m so stupid.”. You feel as if your world is coming to a screeching halt, anxious, hopeless, insecure and ashamed. As a consequence, you start avoiding your boss, stressed that he will still see you as incompetent. You ask fewer questions because you could be judged which cuts you off of from receiving important information to make skillful decisions at work.
You get the same bad review at work and choose an alternate interpretation of the event. You are understandably disappointed but recognize that there are some areas for development and there is an opportunity to work on them so that you can improve. While you feel disappointed at the same time you feel motivated and hopeful. As a follow up to the review you seek out specifics on how you can improve. You now approach your next assignment as a challenge instead of as a hopeless situation and your work improves.
Can you recognize how powerful our thoughts are?
Here are some tips and tricks on how to redirect your thoughts and further your mental agility to create more happiness, success, and effectiveness:
- Grab a journal (or piece of paper)
- Think of a challenge that you are currently facing
- Think about your beliefs about the event
- How do these beliefs make you feel?
- What are some other ways to interpret the event?
- If you take the alternate perspective for a moment, how does that impact you?
Curious to learn this and other techniques to create an agile mindset? Having an agile mindset allows you to thrive in challenging situations, reduce stress, and ultimately create more happiness and success.
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