Issue No. 8 | September 10, 2014

When It Isn't Going Your Way

There are going to be some days that just do not work out.

Despite our best efforts to prepare for stressful situations ahead of time and to do our best to recover, we may find that a challenge or stressor or series of stressors are just more than we can easily handle. It may be too much to do at work with not enough time. It could be that the projects we are facing are beyond our skill set. It might even be a personal health or family crisis puts us in a compromised state.

When confronted by overwhelming odds, our best play may be to recognize that while our options are limited, we may have to make do with our second or third choices.

Some ways to make the best out what seems like an impossible situation:

  1. Don't push the river: Sometimes that natural course of events dictates how things will be. If you are company gets acquired, things will be different. Accepting that reality will help ease the transition.
  2. Do what you can: Being resilient entails gaining control for yourself and your circumstances. Carefully evaluate what you can control and act on those options.
  3. Get support: Make sure that your perceptions are accurate by getting ideas from others, including colleagues, family and friends, about how to address the situation.
  4. No self-blame: Many of us blame ourselves when things don't work out. We all have our limits and there are some circumstances that are beyond your control.
  5. Consider all your options: Identify and evaluate options B, C, and D. And remember that there may also be options E and F. Choose the one that give the highest potential for success while managing your downside risk.

© Richard Citrin, 2014

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