The Waiting Pain

December 13th, 2008

In almost every conversation, coaching session, professional meeting and holiday gathering lately the word “wait” predominates.  We are all wondering what is next. And we fear what that news or incident will be.
This week’s Science section of the New York Times article called, In Hard Times, Fear Can Impair Decision-Making makes the point clearly:  anxiety that results from intermittent pain, over which you have no control, impedes the ability to think and act.
In contrast, studies of resilience emphasize that there are three basic factors that enable people to sustain themselves during turbulence and overwhelming obstacles:

Control:  the ability to make something happen or manage one’s-self

Commitment:  a purpose, belief or promise that has meaning and importance

Competence: the skills and experience to make something work or happen

Absent of these three survival elements, people either fear, flee or shut down.

If you are waiting…for things to go back to normal, for the market to change, for someone to call, to get a new job, to wake up from this nightmare…realize that your waiting may be increasing your pain.  It becomes a vicious cycle.
William James wisely said:  “Motivation follows Action”

Here are some Action Items to consider that will move you from waiting to winning:

Smile:  Emotions are contagious and you will get smiles back

Act:  Exercise, volunteer, call a friend, do an act of kindness

Learn:  A craft, a language, a new song, a musical instrument

Teach: Someone else something you know

Talk: Live to a real person

Help: Someone who really needs it

And Make it a Great Day for yourself and someone else!

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