Skills, standards & perspectives to handle difficult times
We all have things to do.
Tasks to complete.
Potential to reveal.
What’s really important is to not get stuck in what we are doing. Not get stuck in our role, what others think we should do, or what we think that others think (we don’t know what others think).
First of all we are human beings.
We have a mind, a heart and a soul. A physical body that carries us.
Before we do we want to feel. Being connected to our emotions and being in the world exactly as we are.
Being a person before being a job title.
To start there will make it much easier to enjoy life and to keep moving forward as connected and authentic as possible, even in harder times.
From here is a much better place to do things. To improve our role. To create.
To contribute to the betterment of the world in a more harmoniously way.
We need to leave our role(s) and come back to ourselves. And feel.
Connect with ourselves and others.
Be curious in the present instead of worried about the future or critical about the past.
We want to learn from experiences and have a direction of how we want to walk into the future, but the majority of our energy should be used in this moment.
We all have different ways to express who we are, how we cope with stress and the uncertainty we face right now. But also the noise and the overwhelming amount of information that surrounds us every day.
Here are some skills, perspectives and standards that may help you in both good and challenging times:
If you can build a strong awareness and a helpful inner dialogue (by constantly adjusting it towards growth, curiosity, and to find the parts/fragments that are positive) it is much easier to not react when something goes wrong or when someone challenges you.
It’s also a great foundation to build/work from in uncertain times, because acceptance will help you stay (more) grounded and connected to yourself. From that place we have the chance to take better decisions, adjust properly and to stay calm.
To have the skill to not react, or not having the need to defend anything about yourself, and being able to stay calm and aligned with your standards even when everything around you is uncertain – a big part of this comes from acceptance – it’s a powerful skill which gives a powerful state of being.
Clarity of your standards:
When you really know WHO YOU ARE, what’s important to YOU, and then work relentlessly to adjust your thoughts and actions so they are aligned with your standards – that knowledge of yourself will help you to easier accept things, situations and people.
Even in challenging and uncertain times where a big part of your normal standards and routines doesn’t exists, if you can create some new standards for just this or another period, it will help you tremendously to have a solid foundation to lean on.
“This is when I wake up, no matter what.”
“These are the people I need to have contact with for love and support on a daily basis.”
“This is the food I’m eating.”
“This situations and these people often challenge me to lower my standards, and this is my strategy for not letting it happen.”
“This is the perspective I want to see this situation/uncertain time with, and when other thoughts show up in my head, I will notice them and with a kind tone lead myself back to how I want to see this situation/uncertain time/life.”
“This is how I want to treat other people, no matter if I’m more stressed than usual.”
If you don’t know what your standards are, or if you doesn’t have the courage to live and express them, you risk to be overwhelmed and to lose yourself in the stress, uncertainty and the incoming stimuli from everywhere.
Or in the opinions and energy of others.
Reduce the intensity from social norms, social media, and from all the information that circle around you, and get really connected with WHO YOU ARE.
This will make it much easier to stay connected to your path even in harder times.
Remind yourself that our human experience isn’t about a smooth ride.
We’re all here to figure things out. There are so many questions that not have an answer, questions that not have one answer.
We can choose to forget about the harder parts of our human experience, but this is a disservice to ourselves and to the betterment of the world, though there are so much to learn from the heavier parts of life, from the darker parts of ourselves.
We all have struggles and challenges that come from different directions.
We all have desires and an ego that we need to learn how to handle.
Learning how to balance and direct our driving-force(s), our ego, the positives and negatives from our upbringing, and work for connection with and empathy for everyone on this planet, will make it easier for all of us to be better and to handle difficult times more effectively.
Right now we all have a collective threat and uncertainty that are facing us too.
Creating some space inside of us to lower the intensity of stressful thoughts that narrows our attention and capacity to think, and using that space and ability to think more clearly, to contemplate on the situation with clear eyes and a fresh mind:
Obviously this is how the world is right now. To see that, accept that, and from there be curious about if we can think in a different way. A way that helps us grow instead of getting stuck in a black rabbit whole in our minds.
It’s not a small task to decelerate a worrying mind/brain, and with great discipline instead turn our minds towards growth.
Towards learning. Towards strength. Towards courage, flexibility and discipline to stay optimistic, to stay kind and supportive to others, and to stay curious of yourself in a situation like this.
If we can choose, even before something or someone challenges us, or before a hard period comes, that we want to learn from those people and times, then even the darker times will be filled with meaning, growth and connection.
We can all be sure about life’s ups and downs.
You can always rest in kindness, in the love and support from like-minded, high-minded and wise people.
People who doesn´t just see outcomes, but also the living process of walking through life.
People who value rich conversations, who can remind you of the beauty of being a human, and the richness that comes from struggling times.
As helpful and important as it is with deep relationships, with support and wisdom from others and to vibe with high-minded, it is as important to learn to just be with ourselves, to trust our wisdom and support.
To just sit and rest in pure awareness.
To just sit without any judgments, preconceptions or thoughts about what has been or what will come.
To just sit with whatever thoughts and feelings that arises.
To just sit. Be. And be fine with it.
Then you can rest.
And in that place you can also get to know yourself a little better.
If you feel really grateful for something or someone, it’s hard to be worried at the same time.
If you feel really grateful, it’s much easier to be the best version of yourself, which includes optimism, curiosity, a supportive tone and an empathic touch with others.
What you can do to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude is to actively look for things, situations and/or people that you are grateful for.
Then express it! To yourself, to the person, or both!
Get it out. And feel it.
You can also get a nice journal, which you dedicate to the gratitude of life.
The practice can be to every evening write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for, that occurred that day. Or a trait, perspective or thought-pattern inside of you that you value highly. That helps you live a rich life full of rich thoughts and emotions, but also with the skills of acceptance, flexibility and curiosity to handle the darker parts of life, of you, as well as uncertain times.
Gratitude contributes to life in a really profound way, by itself and as an accelerant for other powerful tools, skills and perspectives.
Start a Journaling-routine.
Training is a powerful tool in many aspects. If you can engage in a form of training that you like, and create a routine around it, you will over time build a stronger and more resilient body, and mind.
More than that; you will every week have several opportunities to train self-discipline, self-talk, and increase the respect and trust of yourself that happens when you walk the talk.
By doing what you say you will do.
This has a massive impact of your sense of self.
Doing what you say you should do, what’s important, create a momentum that you can continue to build upon.
You will benefit from that momentum in other parts of life as well.
To really live your standards accelerate your progress in the short-term (by doing the important things that help you elevate), and long-term by building a solid foundation of trust, discipline and self-regulation that make sure that you keep doing the important things.
That help you ignore what’s not important.
A strong body, mind and soul will help you go for it. They will help you handle people, situations and uncertain times.
They will help you to live your standards, staying true and connected to your purpose, and to be an influence in the world.
Marcus Falk Olander