There are times in life when we are thrown a curveball and we find ourselves going round in circles, feeling helpless to make a change. At times like these, if we can first establish certain things, it makes finding our way out of a difficult situation much more manageable. Ask yourself:
How do I feel about this?
When you focus on the issue, how do you feel? Try to identify the specific emotion e.g. anger, happiness, sadness, resentment, hopefulness, embarrassment, etc. Often when we deny our emotions, we remain stuck in them, so allow yourself to focus on the emotion and feel it deeply for a while.
What do I think this is about?
Now you can get your head involved and try to identify why you might be feeling this way. For example: Is this situation similar to something that has happened before? Is someone trying to get you to do something you don’t want to? Is your space being invaded? Are you feeling alone and unsupported? Doing this can help us to see whether what we’re feeling is justified or if we are perhaps not clear on what is actually going on and just assuming something.
What would a positive outcome look like for me?
What would need to happen in order for you to feel good about this situation? Do you need to change the way you’re doing something, or express your feelings to or negotiate with someone else who is involved? Is outside help necessary to resolve this, maybe an objective friend or a professional counsellor? Understanding what your aim is will help you to get a clear sense of the direction you need to head in.
Now take the first step in the direction of your solution, asking for help if you need it. Once you get going, you’ll find the momentum builds and it’s easier to take the next step, and then the next, until finally you find yourself back on track, having moved successfully past your rough patch and knowing that you can indeed handle whatever life throws at you.