• Shirley Furman

A Crisis or Gift?

Updated: Mar 21

Use a crisis, challenge or mistake for the opportunity it presents to learn and grow. With every crisis or challenge we get an opportunity, a lesson, or a gift. If we see the crisis or challenge through the eyes of a victim, and run from it or avoid it, then we increase the likelihood of repeating the crisis and remaining stuck without the freedom to change, learn and grow. If we use the opportunity to pause, and reflect with mindfulness, while considering how we could have handled it better or differently, this frees us and gives us strength to create a new path and avoid repeating the mistake or crisis.

When we start a new difficult challenge like meditation or yoga, going to the gym, or facing a fear, like heights, we can tell ourselves, “this Is too hard” or “I am not good at this”, and quit before we get the chance to learn how to do it well. But if instead, we see the challenge as an opportunity to learn a new healthy tool and learn to tolerate the discomfort and do work of change, we get better and develop courage from the experience

The first step is to have compassion and patience for yourself. Do not use harsh words as you

look back on the experience. Don’t say things like “I’m awful at this” or “I’ll never be able to do this”. Do not use an excuse or blame others. Do not say “the instructor was not a good

instructor”. If the instructor wasn’t good, perhaps they were simply having a bad day. Give

yourself and others grace. Try again. If the instructor is indeed a bad instructor; find another.

Remind yourself; it takes time, patience, persistence and work to learn something new or to

conquer a fear. Remind yourself that you are capable of change and picture yourself in the

future doing it well, without fear or discomfort.

Next, pause, and be flexible. Think about what you could do differently and keep trying. It’s

almost impossible to do something well the first time you try it. Give yourself grace. Again,

picture yourself doing much better next time.

Finally, acknowledge that change will be uncomfortable. Learning to tolerate the discomfort

that comes with change is one of life’s most useful lessons. Avoiding, numbing, or running from discomfort only makes us weaker and often the discomfort just gets worse. Learn from each mistake. Face your fears. You cannot develop courage without first facing fear. Do not run from the fear. That simply prolongs the fear and gives it more power over you. The only way to manage fear is to go through it with courage, patience and repetition.

After you have done these steps and are on the path to change, growth, and courage, then find a way to acknowledge and be grateful for the opportunity, or challenge even if it was painful. It gave you the chance to grow stronger and develop courage and strength. In fact, without pain or discomfort, we rarely have enough motivation to change! So find a way to tell yourself that you are grateful for the opportunity of the crisis, or challenge, despite the pain it caused, because it gave you the chance to develop courage and it will continue to grow stronger for you with other challenges in the future.

So go ahead and commit to take on a new challenge. Or with growing awareness and courage, step into a fear or crisis , instead of avoiding those situations that cause discomfort. Finally, instead of avoiding your fears and letting them continue to have power over you, enjoy your growing courage that you developing, as you learn to work through your fears, challenges, or crises, making it easier and easier to take on the next challenge or crisis!

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