It’s tough to face reality. We don’t always like it, so we often distort it. We delude ourselves by finding ways to see ourselves as heroes.
When you’re mired in a difficult situation, ask yourself whether you want to be “right” or open to finding a breakthrough solution. Instead of being defensive and asserting your point of view, ask questions and seek win-win possibilities.
Achieving a breakthrough means leaving the past behind. Old actions and attitudes may have worked in the past, but it’s time to consider new ones. Replace your victim state of mind with a willingness to explore a new reality, possibilities and imagine your part in it. Recognize what you can and cannot change, and create a plan of action.
Stay in the Game
When Survivor competitors are voted off the island, TV audiences tend to favor blustery rhetoric and weak excuses over true accountability.
The same happens in real life. We come up with excuses and blame others when problems and conflicts arise, giving ourselves subconscious permission to excuse ourselves and blame others. It’s much harder to be courageous accepting harsh realities and take personal responsibility.
In The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability, Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman identify four critical steps to recovering from a setback:
- See It. Recognize and acknowledge the full reality of a situation.
- Own It. Accept full responsibility for your current experiences and realities.
- Solve It. Change these realities by identifying solutions (many of which you’ve never previously considered).
- Do It. Summon the commitment and courage to follow through with these solutions, even when they force you to take risks.
“Ultimately, we alone determine the course of our lives and the measure of happiness we achieve,” they write. It’s impossible to change reality and create new possibilities if you refuse to accept responsibility for your experiences. Accountability contributes to lasting success.
Next time you’re facing a rough situation, see it, own, it, solve it and then do it. Working with a professional coach like me helps you to get unstuck and take forward consistent action. Above all, don’t allow yourself to just survive – Thrive.