Many times we find ourselves in very difficult situations that kick up our “fight or flight” mechanisms. This experience is shared by most animals and is meant to serve as a safety mechanism. But, unlike the rest of earth’s creatures, humans (when dealing with other humans, especially) often have a third choice: RESOLVE the differences between the two people.
As one of my mentors Mack Newton says, “Quitting when things get tough should never be your first choice, although it is often the easiest choice to make, because then you don’t have to deal with the problem anymore.” I know that I have been tempted to throw my hands up and walk away so I can go focus on other things, but I choose to remember another credo I live by:
Always keep in mind the person you want to be and be moving towards that goal. So, if you face a challenging situation and you stop, you are actually moving backwards from your goal and giving up on yourself. In reality, you can run, but you cannot hide. And, as we all know, what we resist persists. So ultimately, you will have to face the problem that you are running from and the longer you wait, the bigger the problem is likely to become. Take your medicine early by dealing with the challenge when you first happen upon it so you can keep moving ahead.
If this is the plan, and “flight” is no longer an option and you don’t want to “fight”, how do you move on to “resolve”?
The bottom line is to start by looking for common ground and establishing a shared reality. Try to persuade the other person to step out of the situation with you and discuss what results the outcome has to have to be acceptable to both parties. Treat it like you are on the same team trying to solve a problem where two distinct needs must be met and together you are working on a solution. This has often worked well for me when the other person is willing to engage in the exercise. Sometimes, this approach does not work and I am not sure what to do. That’s when I seek help from my mentors.
Personally, finding great mentors has really worked well for me. Once you experience how quickly mentors can help you discover solutions you could not see on your own, or weigh your options, you understand the completely life changing results they can help bring about. My mentors have ended up being blessings in my life: Teaching me, helping correct my course, helping me grow and ultimately succeed. Remember, we can’t succeed on our own. It takes a team. Don’t forget to include mentors on your team to help you resolve the challenges that will otherwise prevent you from being the person you want to be.