Self-Pity or Self-Confidence are Choices

When a crisis hits, we have two options; get depressed or get motivated.

This recent article about Andy Murray taking up art while recuperating from his injury is inspiring because it’s the right approach to take when something bad happens to us. Andy said the injury “made me realise there are other things to do out there, not just the sport or the job you’re doing”.

If fate hands you a lemon…

Murray is a motivator after my own heart; he has a dogged attitude that accepts some bad deals in life can also provide an opportunity to do something new and different for the first time.

Troubling transitions

Let’s consider five situations that may hurricane us into a downward spiral if we allow them to control our emotions.

1.     The end of a relationship or friendship

2.     Job changes including unemployment or redundancy

3.     Sudden transition from financial security to financial instability

4.     Illness or injury to yourself or a family member

5.     Moving away from home (familiar to unfamiliar)

Overturn uncertainty

Sudden changes in life create insecurity and bring on anxiety if we let the situation control us. Change usually takes something away that is important to us such as power and control, privileges or benefits, status, identity, and other possible things, including money. Resistance to change is therefore common and psychologists recognise there are seven classic reactions to it affecting our self-esteem in a “roller coaster” curve:

1.     Denial

2.     Anger

3.     Confusion

4.     Depression

5.     Crisis

6.     Acceptance

7.     New Confidence

The plummet begins when the reality of the situation hits us. That is when we get angry, confused and depressed until we reach a trough of crisis when we are compelled to take back control and make steps toward acceptance, building new confidence as we move forward positively.

Using Andy Murray’s example, he took control of his situation by accepting his injury and viewing it as an opportunity for transformation and self-improvement; taking up art as his new direction, a new venture outside of competitive tennis. Reassuringly he is bouncing back in tennis too which proves you can’t keep a winner down for long.

Andy’s story is just one example that shows if you have the right outlook, every failure is only a temporary setback on a bigger, more significant course. Remember the film “Seabiscuit”? The undersized racehorse went on to stun the racing world with his successes during The Great Depression. On the same horsey theme, there’s Bob Champion, the jockey who won the 1981 Grand National, fighting back from a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Facing up to it

What situation have you experienced or might have to face in the future that you can take control of rather than letting it control you?

Managing change effectively is one of the foundational areas the corporate division of Carol Barwick Learning and Development majors in, with Career Transition and Redundancy Support being two components of a multi-faceted range of business support services helping people manage job and organisational change; redundancy and retirement.

I have previously worked with public sector staff facing redundancy; coaching them through a Business Gym™ experience; helping them build resilience by taking challenging situations and morphing them into positive outcomes. It was inspiring to see them transformed through the course, directing them to harness all their experience, skills and successes and focus them into dynamic new ventures; igniting their passions for what they do best and motivating them to seek new job opportunities or even start their own business; honing hobbies and interests into commercial endeavours.

Champions not chumps

Andy Murrays are made not born; nets and hurdles help toughen your game. Threats are new adventures to be faced. What skills, perhaps ones lying dormant, can you tap into to create a new, more resilient version of you?

The end of a relationship or job, or the end of a chapter of good health may not be quite the foe you anticipated. Some things like illness can change the relationship you even have with yourself: The film “Starfish” explores such a scenario, where the devastating consequences of Sepsis takes a man on an epic journey through the pain barrier and despair, leading to the acceptance of a new way of life and relationship with himself and his family.

“Trouble” therefore can be the making or the demise of a person depending on how they handle it and yes, you can control what you make it. Certain relationships can cause you to lose or underuse your talents, gifts and skills; so a new relationship is an opportunity to refresh.

From self-pity to self-confidence

Carol Barwick Learning and Development delivers a range of resilience training and motivational courses that are available on an individual or company-wide basis to help you navigate change using a range of tools and techniques along with practical demonstrations to deliver wellbeing and performance at home or at work.

Contact me now for further information and testimonials.