“Of course life is unfair. If life was fair, I would look like George Clooney”.
This above statement was made by one of the teachers at my daughter’s school. I absolutely love it.
We are often faced with situations that aren’t fair.
You miss out on a promotion at work.
You spend hours on a proposal and don’t hear back.
You have a boss that mistreats you.
The way we think is a choice.
I am not saying it is easy to think differently, yet there are so many ways we can try and intercept our thinking when we go down the “not fair” path.
The question we often have to ask ourselves is “What do I have control over?”
The answer is our thoughts.
Recently I was speaking with someone whose boss was making his life at work untenable. In this case, there were no simple words or actions to suggest a quick fix solution as the man’s boss is in a position of power and able to wield his verbal and written sword with the powers that be.
So what did I do? I sought external advice to assist me in helping my client.
The advice I received was enormously helpful.
The person suggested this man is experiencing a “contrasting experience”. His boss is not valuing his quality of work, integrity and authenticity. My advisor suggested no matter what is happening externally, there is a “safe place inside that his boss can’t touch”.
He referenced the author Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”, the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust. Viktor was able to survive the camps by tapping into the power of his mind and thoughts.
Viktor writes, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”.
Here are five Small Acts you can implement to activate your self-care strategies –
- Remind yourself that you do have a choice about how you think.
- Remember – “you have the power to choose your response”.
- Take yourself out of the situation and go for a walk at lunch time.
- Read or listen to positive stories.
- Access external support from a coach, mentor or colleague.
The man in this story is doing all five. While his boss is still behaving the same way, he is acting on these empowerment strategies and constantly reminding himself of the “safe place inside where he can’t be affected”.
We would love to read what Small Acts you put in place that have had a Major Impact on helping you through “unfair times”.