I’m talking curveballs today and I’m sure you’ve had a few thrown at you… I certainly have!
There are many things that are outside of our control and these things all pose a threat to throw us off course at some point.
You can do all the planning in the world, but there will be unwelcomed events, or circumstances, that will happen despite your best efforts to avoid them.
If your mind hasn’t been conditioned to deal with unforeseen circumstances then they have the potential to send you, and everything you’re working hard at, into chaos.
When life throws your a curveball, you’ve really only got 2 options.
You can fall into a victim state.
You can blame everyone and everything around you. Believing that all your carefully laid out plans have gone to pot, and then spinning out by projecting fear and uncertainty into every option of dealing with it… so much so that it will either paralyse you to do nothing or instead have you rushing into an unhelpful response with your actions.
You can accept what is, and rise to the challenge.
You can view the situation that has occurred as outside of your control, but recognise that you have control over the way in which you respond to it and handle it from now. And so you can see it as an opportunity – to learn, to grow, and to find something better that you may not have had the opportunity of finding had the curveball not be thrown at you.
It all starts within the mind.
Your response and actions to any given situation will be dictated by your frame of mind, your confidence within yourself and your abilities, and your perceptions of the event or circumstance.
So the key here is to work on your perception.
You want to:
This is called reframing and it’s something you’ll want to master.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong, because by then it is too late. Your survival instincts will kick in and override your ability to think clearly and rationally – and you’ll default to the negative, such is our negativity bias as human beings!
Instead, what you want to do is be building your ability to think creatively, and programming yourself to find solutions whenever you see a problem which is called reframing.
So how do you do this?
By challenging your perception of things on the regular – daily in fact.
Personally, I like to make a game out of this, and I have been making a game out of it for a number of years.
For every relationship that didn’t work out, for every business plan that fell flat on it’s face (there have been a few!) for every time things just didn’t go the way I wanted them to.
And I do it with other people too. I love it when people come to me with their problems because I can get my creative thinking cap on and practice positive thinking by looking at their situation from different angles to find either the silver lining, the opportunity, or the takeaway lesson.
If this all seems alien to you and difficult to do for yourself – which it very much can be at the start – then begin training your brain to do this with other people’s shortcomings and perceived problems or failures. You will likely find it easier to do it for them as you are less emotionally invested in theirs as you are your own.
Once you start building the reframing muscle with others then you can start applying it to yourself.
It is repetition and consistency that will lead to sustainable change. So if you thought you were going to get a hack or a shortcut from me today, then I’m sorry to disappoint you – Although if you want to learn how to deal with disappointment then check out my previous post on that topic.
Remember that reframing takes time and practice, so have the patience with it, build it as a habit, and add it to your mental toolkit to call upon whenever you need it.
I’d love to know what curveball you’ve been thrown recently! Drop it in the comments below along with your silver lining, opportunity or takeaway lesson that has come from it… your comments can be a great way to help others creatively think how to overcome their curveballs too. So please do share.