May 16, 2011

What do you think of when you hear the words: Japan? Earthquake? Tsunami?

This disaster that has affected so many of us around the world and has brought our attention back to the fact that some events are out of our control. So what do you do when faced with an unexpected event? A disaster in your own personal or professional life?

  • Do you react unconsciously, out of fear or habit? Or…
  • Do you take conscious action?

Reacting is an habitual response with its roots connected to our fears (the fight or flight response which is automatic), our habits and our desire to regain control. This is a respoonse we have as humans that is so critical to our survival (e.g., fighting back when physically threatened or running away from a dangerous situation).

However, we often revert to this when a situation is not life-threatening (e.g., a client fires you unexpectedly, your team loses a critical member in the middle of a project) Reacting this way in non life-threatening situation will hold you in the same patterns you have developed over your lifetime and you will revert back to a status quo (i.e, comfort level) But, is that what is really best in this particular situation? Is that what is really needing to happen?

How do you choose to act otherwise? How do you use this chaos an an opportunity for change?

  • Become AWARE (What do I sense is needed? What do I have to offer at this time? What is really happening? What do I know now that is new and different?
  • Become CLEAR (Clarify your options and explore opportunities you might have overlooked previously. Clarify why you want to take certain steps and what the intentions are for each of them)
  • Take CONSCIOUS ACTION (Once you are aware and clear, make a conscious decsion to move forward. This may mean following another’s lead, it may mean waiting and observing for a bit longer and it may mean stepping in and taking charge)

Just as natural disasters will happen, chaos or crises will arise in you own life. You can choose to use these events as opportunities to make changes in your life. You can choose to act consciously and powerfully!