How We Respond To Crises.
In life, the most common responses to crises are Denial, Resistance, and Acceptance.
Every one of us faces crises in life and they take different forms and different shapes. For an adult, crises could be facing a marriage breakup, collapse of a business, loss of a friend, or a death in the family. To a teenager, a crisis might be to have a pimple on a first date or failing an exam.
Just take a minute now to think about how you respond to a crisis. What feelings do you get, what actions do you take? Is there a pattern that you follow? Could that pattern be a learned pattern from a parent?
The Three Common Responses
There are three common responses to crises. The first is denial. We tend to bury our heads in the sand and hope the problem will somehow mysteriously and painlessly disappear in a short period of time.
The second common response is resistance. This is when we fight what’s happening or fight ourselves in a futile effort to somehow regain something that is lost.
The third response is acceptance. We may not necessarily like our situation, but we acknowledge it is real and we are willing to deal with the truth of what is going on around us no matter how severe or how difficult that problem might be.
Amazingly, denial and resistance generally prolong the pain and delay the resolution of a crisis. In contrast, acceptance of these crises opens the door for us for the future. Harrison E Salisbury said, ‘There is no shortcut to life. To the end of our days, life is a lesson imperfectly learned.’ How true are his words – we have to move out of denial and resistance and learn to accept and move on.
The Process of Change
For me, life is a continual process of change. I’ve learned to be brutally honest, to accept not just my failures and shortcomings, but also my strengths.
I have been wiped out financially, emotionally, and even spiritually. I’ve had to sue several organizations to right a bevy of wrongs. I’ve had my heartbroken, been betrayed, been lied to, lied about, and ripped off.
But each time I have looked back on what made me successful, regathered those principles that made me successful and put them into operation again. I have had to hang on to what I believe.
During one of my worst crises, I spent a lot of time in the unwilling and unresolved attitude of resistance. At times I blamed others for my situation, but mostly I blamed myself. Yet blame is ineffectual; it’s a form of resistance because it doesn’t really change anything.
At times I lingered in denial refusing to believe what was happening. I hoped it was a bad dream that would go away. It wasn’t until acceptance hit me that I could begin to rebuild, realign and reassess.
It has been said that the pace at which we learn is in direct proportion to our determination to rise above doubt and transcend the limitations. Part of learning is to become responsible for our own lives and actions.
Who Is Responsible?
Whether you like it or not, you are ultimately responsible for your actions and decisions, regardless of circumstances. The great poet John Keats said, ‘Failure… is, in a sense, the highway to success, in as much as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.
When you live in denial and resistance you delay finding out what is actually true.
Don’t live in denial, don’t keep resisting: learn to accept and move on. Make sure you are the kind of person who moves on to acceptance and therefore onto change.
To your magnificent life.