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  • Writer's pictureAndi


“As-isness”; “It is what it is”; “The way of it”; “Acceptance”

When we have painstakingly made a plan for the future, we have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”, our lists have lists and then something completely out of our control messes up our plan (aarrrghhhh)! Rain or snowstorm on a special occasion, or a 2 hour traffic jam. I used to get so angry, “why me?”, “why on this day?” and the whole day would be ruined. Now, instead of getting anxious, angry, frustrated or bitter, I pause and think, “Ok what can I do to maximize this exact moment in the now?” Let’s say it’s a traffic jam and I might be late for a wedding, of course I don’t want to miss the bride walking down the aisle but if I am stuck in traffic there is nothing I can do! The reality is that I might miss the bride whether I am frustrated or calm, so I choose to be calm. I breathe and reassure myself that I will get there as soon as I can… “it is what it is” and it will be fine.

As I have mentioned, I used to be a perfectionist. Everything had to work out exactly as planned. Today I build in added assurances to minimize setbacks, but I accept what comes my way. I realize that the aggravation just adds a layer of anxiety to the “as-isness” of the situation and does not alleviate the issue at hand so I am not going to put energy there.

As in the picture above, I imagine a river taking my anxiety downstream and leaving me with a calm, clear mind so I can formulate my plan B which is often to do nothing but sit in the traffic jam and listen to music or put on an audio book.

There are so many scenarios I can think of that could be huge stressors. Think of 3 things that would get you really frustrated and then take a moment to accept the “as-isness” of the situation and see if you can picture a river running and taking your anxiety with it. Then with a calmer mind try to formulate a plan B. I am a firm believer that most people do well with plan A when everything works out as planned. Our true character is how we manage plan B when plan A goes off the rails. This is how you can measure your own resilience.

For parents: As your children are learning to problem solve and as they grow into young adults, encourage them to come to you with a proposed solution rather than just complaining about the problem. Let them know that disappointments happen but new paths will emerge often guiding them to the next phase of their lives. For younger children, get creative and teach by example. If an outing is rained out, acknowledge the disappointment but get creative with plan B. Find a really fun indoor activity such as scouring the pantry to make some crazy recipe with whatever ingredients you have. Or take turns making up a story together where you each say 2-3 sentences and take the story on funny twists and turns. Maybe you even write it down and let your child draw pictures. You have just co-authored a book with your child. You can have it bound at a local print shop. I am confident that in the future, the outing will be long forgotten, but the book might be shown to your grandchild one day.

Look at each setback as an opportunity to let your anxieties flow downstream and get in touch with your inner-self or create a meaningful connection with your child. If you are struggling to manage setbacks or need a Do Over to manage anxiety, I can help you.


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1 commentaire

sherry stein
sherry stein
04 avr. 2022

I love looking at the world through your eyes. It's so true what you say. You can face difficult situations so much better if you can put things in perspective and keep your calm. I look fwd to reading your blogs. They start out my week on a positive note. Thank you.

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