Difficult situation number one:
I turned on my Garmin, secured my sunglasses, and opened my car door near the trailhead. A big gust of wind pushed against me. Gross!
I'm not a fan of running in the wind! I had intended to get in a few fun and fast miles, but this headwind was not going to help with this being fast or fun! Of course, I wasn’t stoked...duh...this was not what I wanted.
Since I have yet to perfect my skill on changing the weather, I had a couple choices:
Be in a shitty mood
I took the wind as an opportunity to practice what I preach – to not be a fair-weather runner, and practice gratitude for being able to run at all. Wind remained, but my mindset shifted.
Difficult situation number two:
A notification popped up on my phone. A text from my dad. "We need to set up a time to talk" it said. Gross!
There was a less than ideal conversation between us the other day and it seemed like it was not resolved. It was uncomfortable the first go-round and I was anticipating more conflict. Of course, I wasn’t stoked...duh...this was not what I wanted...who likes conflict!?!?
Since I have yet to perfect my skills on living a conflict-free life, I had a couple choices:
Ignore the text
Be defensive, feel a sense of control, and pick a fight
I took the opportunity it to practice what I preach – to not only be kind when its comfy, and practice being willing and brave and patient and engage in a conversation. It didn’t make the conflict go away but it shifted my mindset.
These two examples are 100% real and very similar to each other. When I encounter a challenge I take it head on, even though I don’t like to be challenge, especially when it is by something I didn’t ask for or can’t control.
I like to notice my distress and say "duh" to it first to validate and make sense of it. If I can accept how I feel, I can move to the next part: changing my outlook.
I don’t like trying to find meaning in the issue I am facing, mostly because I have a very old story that likes to pop up that says "I'm being punished". Instead, I like to use a challenge as an opportunity to practice being a person I'm proud of and a focusing on values.
This is not easy for me, but I've had a long time to practice. I have learned a lot by having others help me and by trial and error. I am passionate about helping others learn and practice these skills as well. If you're struggling with dealing with discomfort and conflict, please reach out!!