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Focus on what you can control to overcome challenges

It's safe to say that we are living in some challenging times. The global outbreak of COVID-19 is more than shaking people's daily structures, it is consuming our thoughts and effecting our decisions and lives.

In previous blogs, I have written about how challenges are part of life and are 100% inevitable no matter what you think. These challenges come in all shapes and sizes and impact everyone differently. However, one thing I have been consistent on is you are better to respond to a challenge versus reacting to it (understandably this is easier said than done!).

Regardless of whether you react (let the challenge control you), or respond (you take control of the challenge) the key to overcoming a challenge is to control how you feel and this often means giving yourself the opportunity to review the situation.

Giving yourself the opportunity to review or assess a challenge gives you time to plan, prepare and take control. When you do the opposite of this, you tend to execute on emotion and lack of information which leads to actions you wouldn't typically do, I guess this is the loose terminology of what a "knee jerk reaction" is.

I am by no means an expert in COVID-19 however something I am seeing way too often is people reacting versus responding, and if you break down what all of the qualified professionals in the health industry and relevant sectors are saying to do, it is to basically respond by planning, preparing and taking controlled actions.

What I am learning during this unusual time in our history is we have the opportunity to take control. The reality is, we have always had this opportunity and choice to take control and as I mentioned earlier this is easier said than done, but nonetheless it can be done!

So here are a few tips on how to take control of a challenging situation;

1. Review the situation in a calm manner, this means trying to gather the right information and act informatively.

2. Remove emotion from the equation, try not to act on pure emotion because your thoughts tend to be clouded if you do this and trying to make an informative decision on emotions will likely worsen the situation.

3. Plan your way through, once you have the right information give yourself a road map in which to work off, you are in better control if you have a plan.

4. Prepare to adjust and adapt, one thing I've personally learnt is no matter how much you plan, there will always be a hiccup or another challenge ahead. The best thing you can do is to be willing to adjust and adapt.

So control is key and controlling how you feel is even more important than ever before.

Till next time and stay safe,

Michael Basagre

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