Articulating Adversity

personal development Mar 23, 2020
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When things go topsy turvy, upside down, or sideways, the usual reaction is to dig in. We insist that things go back to the way they were, or simply sit in stunned silence, and wait for someone to do something about it.

These reactions are dangerous. They prevent us from seeing the many opportunities within any unfortunate or even dire situation.

A response that helps us start to take more meaningful and helpful action is to articulate what's really going on. Take a pause, put the moment in context, and decatastrophize the experience. Express the situation plainly and objectively.

Describe what's going on by stating only the facts without any value judgments . No strong emotive language allowed. This helps move us from the anxiety of "what if?" thinking to the agency inherent in "what's next?" thinking.

Less catastrophic and more constructive language helps everyone cope and opens the door for collaboration and a creative approach to solving whatever predicament we're in.

Solving difficult problems is what human beings have always done best. It leverages our social nature and our capacity to reason. It helps us make things better by endeavoring together.

This helps us organize, structure, and process the experience to provide an opportunity for finding meaning and understanding in the challenges we face while we organize and work through them.

Let's acknowledge and accept what's actually happening so we can affiliate, set our aim, and take action that helps enhance the prospects and prosperity for everyone.

Things were okay before, but thanks to an unexpected turn of events, we now have an opportunity to exit this situation better-off than we entered it.


Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.

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