“Coping During Coronavirus” Series, Part 10 of 10.
What do you do when you feel stuck in a situation that is unfair, or seems completely wrong? “Things should be different!” is a common “go-to” story when someone feels he’s been dealt a bad hand. Here are some fine examples of the way this story goes:
“My boss shouldn’t talk to me like this.”
“There should be more choices on this menu!”
“I should exercise more!”
“I should have gotten that promotion!”
“I should get more recognition for the work that I do!”
“My daughter should be grateful for everything that I do for her!”
“This politician should care more about people he serves!”
Now, what do all these statements have in common? They are set in a dream world, and don’t reflect reality.
Dwelling in the “should” world can make us feel powerless. So, unless it is in our power to make something exactly as we think it should be, we need to find a solution within the context of what Is.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1. Catch yourself any time you say the word “should”.
Step 2. Rephrase your sentence in terms of how things currently are.
Step 3. Think how you intend to respond in the context of the way things are (there are often multiple options).
“Should” world: “My boss should talk to me differently.” Reality: “My boss talks to me like this.” Intention: what do you want to do about it? You can have a discussion with your boss, consider switching teams or looking for another job, etc..
“Should” world: “There should be more choices on the menu.” Reality: “There is a set number of choices on the menu.” Intention: change your habits and try something new, leave the restaurant, ask for a custom order, etc.
“Should” world: “I should exercise a lot.” Reality: “I exercise very little.” Intention: accept yourself as you are, find a palatable exercise routine you can realistically implement, etc.
“Should” world: “I should have gotten the promotion.” Reality: “I didn’t get the promotion.” Intention: explore what steps you need to take to get the promotion next time, update your skills, move to another department, etc.
“Should” world: “I should get recognition at work.” Reality: “I don’t get recognition for the work that I do.” Intention: find and address the root cause, improve performance, make your results more visible, apply your talent elsewhere, etc.
“Should” world: “My daughter should be grateful for everything I do for her.” Reality: “My daughter is not grateful for what I do for her.” Intention: accept her as she is, ask for what you need, have an exploratory conversation to see if she needs what you are offering, etc.
“Should” world: “This politician should care about people he serves.” Reality: “The politician’s actions seem to demonstrate a lack of care.” Intention: gain a deeper understanding of the issues, reach out to the politician you’ve elected, vote differently next time, start a social movement, etc.
Any time you say “should”, you are in a dreamland. You are simply expressing your disappointment about the fact that the real world does not conform to your dream world.
Shifting from what should be to what is offers an opportunity to resolve problems rather than despair about the fact that the world doesn’t match our expectations.
I’d love to hear your stories of getting through this seemingly impossible challenge of working, learning, parenting and creating under quarantine. How are you making things work? Please, share your story with me, Alina@AlinaBas.com . Also, please, sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to see new posts like this in your inbox.
FIGURING IT OUT TOGETHER:
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Much of my executive coaching work is done remotely via video conferencing/phone, as my clients are all over the map. While it may not be wise now to stick your hand into the Boca della Verita in Rome, we can still search for your deep truth through coaching, via Skype, Hangouts, or Zoom, http://AlinaBas.com/get-started . We can talk about your priorities, managing virtual teams, co-working with your spouse from a home office, and strategies for moving through uncertainty.
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I did a workshop called “Emergency Coaching Response” for leaders during the People’s Recovery Summit in NYC after hurricane Sandy. I offer a similar program now (remotely) for corporate leaders, lay leaders, and managers. Please email me at Alina@AlinaBas.com if your company or group may be interested. Learn to: Help a person in distress regain focus and calm on the spot, Ask questions without intimidating or frustrating a person in crisis, Shift the person in crisis away from spinning stories and focus on the present, and Guide a person in crisis to allow for new possibilities in a post-crisis life.
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One of my favorite workshops to teach is “Intuition: Myths, Science, and Practice”. I’ve taught it to software engineers, financial analysts, entrepreneurs, lawyers – analytical thinkers interested in developing their sensory capacities to understand and use their intuition more effectively. One-on-one skill development, private groups, corporate workshops. Understand what scientists and practitioners know about intuition, and learn to use the body as a sensor for information that is not accessible through step-by-step reasoning. Please pm me or email at Alina@AlinaBas.com for more info.
Coping During Coronavirus Series:
- Working while parenting on quarantine
- Plan B for high achievers
- A way through uncertainty
- You are a BBC Dad now
- When we can’t bulletproof our lives
- What’s not broken
- Recalculating the route
- When to take the easy path
- Restless While Waiting? Do this.
- “Things should be different.”