by Karen Bresler, BA, LLB
Do you get stressed when your clients are late? Do you want your work colleagues to be more like you and less like themselves? Do your colleagues, friends or family do “stupid” things and you want to yell “I told you so!” Ultimately, are you feeling angry, stressed, overwhelmed and overscheduled?
If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from a normal human tendency which is to attempt to control situations according to your version of how things should be. You may not even be aware that you are attempting to control things; you simply get frustrated and irritated when you can’t have things your way. The problem is everyone has their own version of how things should be and there are as many versions as there are people. It is a huge illusion that we can control people and situations. The only thing you can control is yourself.
The solution is twofold.
- Get clear on your values;
- Slow down to being in the moment.
Getting clear on your values means that you will take decisions and make choices from a powerful space – a space that honours what is hugely important to you. Sadly, a lot of people never take the time to get clear on their values and then make decisions or choices not knowing whether the decision or choice honours their values – or not. Their life reflects the results of those decisions or choices. When you make decisions and choices from the powerful place of your values, you do have control. You have control over your own thoughts, your own reaction, your words and actions.
Slowing down and being in the moment takes practice. Take this very moment to appreciate it fully. Breathe it in. Feel it in your body. This very moment is your life. You will never have this moment again so make it count. Treat it with deep appreciation and reverence.
Our future hinges on our choices. Your words, thoughts, reactions and actions are all choices over which you have control. Try this four step approach now:
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath, from the belly up; repeat a few times to calm and centre yourself and to take in the quiet;
- Say silently or aloud: “I have control over my thoughts, my reactions, words and actions”;
- Ask yourself: “What can I let go of here?”
- Choose your words, thoughts, reaction and actions in response.
If you think you need a moment, ask the other person to give you one. Take that moment. Let the other person know you are taking some time to properly consider their request or situation. Telling them this is what you are doing creates a framework in which you can both be heard and decisions and choices can be made from a powerful space as opposed to a controlling space. Does this mean that you are compromising or giving up? Actually, it means that you are focusing very closely, using your own unique powerful thoughts and words to create empowering reactions and actions.
Karen Bresler, BA, LLB, Life Coach, Ignite Coaching Inc. Web: www.ignite-coaching.com
This article was published in the February 2009 issue of BarTalk. © 2009 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.