CHALLENGES: EXPONENTIAL WEATHERING WHEN IGNORED

We all know that familiar feeling in the pit of our stomach when there is a problem or something unpleasant to be dealt with. The best tool you can muster is procrastination, you leave the unopened email sitting in our inbox, or you didn’t return “that” phone call choosing to do it tomorrow instead.

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Putting something off appears to solve your problem in the immediate term but in reality it simply prolongs the inevitable. The reality is, the email and the requirement to return the phone call are back to haunt you the following day or the day after, each delay likely escalating the original problem.

I was recently at a dinner where the discussion revolved around difficult challenges and how we each had a different take on how to best face these issues as they came into our lives. The interesting phenomena which became rather obvious to me is that the anticipation of facing a challenge or problem will usually be more stressful than creating the solution. We’ve likely all had the experience when we face a problem head on and find ourselves thinking ‘why on earth didn’t I just deal with that sooner and save myself all that angst?

I offer an interesting analogy that we should keep ourselves reminded of when next confronted with a challenge.

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When you see the storm coming towards you, you have a decision to make. To be the buffalo or the cow.

“Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it – and gets through it quicker. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo”
Wilma Mankiller – The first female chief of the Cherokee nation

Why do so many people irrationally fight against facing challenges head on? It’s tough to answer that question but what we do know is that successful people often do the most difficult things first, indeed it appears that this character trait is a significant contributor to their success.

Is it possible to change behaviour that is so ingrained into out personalities? Here are some tools to help you try.

• Consider what you can control, and work on that.
What you focus on grows. Be mindful not to ponder on issues out of your control.

• Identify your Challenges/issues. Write a list from the easiest to the hardest and then flip it.
Countless times I read that the successful people have top heavy days. By doing all of the tricky things in the morning, your day will progressively get easier.

• Unsure of what to do? Ask for help.
No one is great at everything. Stick to what your good at and ask for help from people who are good at the areas that you may be lacking.

• Look back, assess, and decide on what’s working for you.
Set yourself a time frame to look back and reflect. We’ll never get everything right immediately; again, the input from a third party can be a good source of truth.

Is procrastination your middle name? Do you shy away from doing the difficult things first? Let me know your experiences.

Perhaps you have found some success on this issue? It would be great to hear your insight on what’s working for you.