Friday, October 9, 2015

Using Adversity to Fuel Your Goals

I spend a lot of time diffusing situations with kids; teaching them how to deal with people they don't like, telling them there will be people they don't get along with in jobs along the path of life. It's true- there are those people in life we don't see eye to eye and must work with despite the challenge. It's not easy. Often times it really sucks. You can't just make someone behave the way you wish. We tend to expect more from adults than children but those habits are formed when we are children. 

Then after a particularly crappy day, you get a phone call from a friend who gives you a completely different perspective on the situation.  And she makes you laugh. A lot. Then your kid comes in and says something that completely makes you swell with pride and love for his entire being. Then you realize you had something to do with his awesomeness. Yeah. Darn them. 

All of this had me thinking. I've worked really hard to surround myself with positive, uplifting people, yet, given the chance, there are those in my life I'd very willingly remove. I don't have the power to change the people, however, I do have the ability to change my responses to those people. I have the ability to change my routines to better deal with the stress of dealing with the negative situations and feelings. In fact, lately I've poured my energy outside of work into my diet and exercise (and maybe the Nutella jar...) and I'm finally see some progress in my fat loss. Channeling that energy into something bigger than myself- in this case working out my physical reaction to negative situations- led to big gains in my goals. I know if I don't workout and get the negative feelings out of my system my entire day will be negatively affected. What a powerful motivator! A co-worker and I have been using Beachbody On Demand workouts matching our moods- this week has been a lot of sculpting, weight bearing, and tougher cardio work with Body Beast, Hammer & Chisel, and P90X3 MMX and CVX workouts. I've followed up with several 4-5 mile runs- It's been a helluva week! Those days I go home absolutely exhausted and wake up ready to take on the next day. What an empowering feeling! 

Bottom line is this: We can't always control all of the negative influences in our lives, but we can change our responses to them. We choose how to let it affect us. Finding an outlet or some other positive (Read: not Nutella) coping mechanism can make all the difference in how we react to the negativity. We can choose the friends we spend time with outside of work. Ask them for help and words of encouragement. Enlist them in your workout group or positive support system. It's amazing what those positive forces can do to help cope with the not so pleasant. After all, the only behavior we can truly change is our own. 

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