We’re hard-wired to feel fear or even panic when confronted with difficult or threatening situations. These are the remnants of evolution, and it’s only in the last couple of hundred of years that these reactions have become frequently irrelevant and sometimes even dangerous.
If your computer crashes or your car won’t start, getting mad does not help the situation. If you’re asked to speak in public, sweaty armpits, and a racing heart don’t help you; But, both of these reactions are perfectly normal and somewhat expected in these situations because we’re animals.
We also have the ability to choose how we handle these situations. An easy way is to simply avoid uncomfortable situations. You can decline offers to speak in public or refuse to take on projects that deal with topics or technologies that you’re not 100% comfortable with.
But, avoidance merely keeps you in your “comfort zone” for a short time. There’s no getting around change, and you have control over how you approach it. If a person is frustrating you, you can choose to avoid them, you can secretly be mad at them and plot revenge, you can fight them and try to get them to change. Or, you can embrace them as they are and see their personality as a challenge that will make you stronger.
If your job is terrible and boring, you can quit on bad terms, you can do a bad job, or you can do your best and use it as a stepping stone to something better.
It isn’t easy to turn around negative situations and make them positive, but the alternative is to keep experiencing more negative situations — and none of us wants this. If you can see each obstacle as an opportunity, that’s where learning and growth happen and where you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.