If you can’t change the situation, change the attitude towards it

Having lived in the UK for four years I’ve learned that you can’t predict or rely on at least two things – weather and transport.

Previously I was amused by my colleagues’ moans about trains being late or overcrowded. I support the idea –

if you can’t change the situation, change the attitude towards it.

Declaring this kind of statement was quite easy because London Underground is not so bad in comparison to the Overground system.

Recently I had to put my money where my mouth was.

I had to travel to Midlands in the morning. From my local station I had to go to Central London and take the train from there. Tickets were booked online and awaited to be collected at the central station.

A usual precaution – to leave the house earlier – was difficult to implement as it was almost at dawn. I could have collected my pre-booked tickets at least one day before though (unfortunately I didn’t).

In the beginning I felt quite confident because according to the time-table I would have spare 20 minutes to collect my tickets before the departure.

My inexperience with overground trains played evil tricks with me. When I got to my local station the announcement board greeted me with dirty words “train is delayed”.

The alternative train would arrive 3 minutes before my train to Midlands, which meant that I couldn’t have time to collect tickets.

At that moment it was so tempting to succumb to ranting about unreliable train service or scolding myself for not having collected tickets earlier.

Instead, I quiet my mind and listen to my intuition. I dismissed my impulsive decision to take the first departing train, as I realised that the delayed train would arrive earlier than any others anyway.

15 minutes later I was boarding my delayed train praising myself for keeping calm and still maintaining a good mood.

My euphoria faded away when the train started slowing down and switch to speed of the snail and my chance to collect tickets was melting away in front of my eyes.

I don’t do well negative emotions, especially being stressed. I was fighting my urge to go and nag the train driver to hurry up.

Then I decided to surrender to the circumstance and accept the possibility that I have to take another train and unfortunately to buy another ticket.

What I usually suggest to my clients is

to find what it is good about the given situation even when it seems that nothing good can be found.

What can be good about the option to spend a ridiculous amount of money for another train ticket? I realised that for once in my life I could afford it. Only a year ago I couldn’t fork out an extra amount of money for unseen circumstances.

This gave me opportunity to stop and appreciate what I have and how far I’ve gone.

I relaxed and started imagining how I’m going to feel when I make it to be on time for my train. I could feel the sense of relief in advance.

This is another tip that works for my clients

to live through the situation in the future now. To feel the wanted circumstances in advance.

Miraculously the train picked up speed and I managed to board my train to Midlands two minutes before the departure. I experienced exactly the same emotions I had imagined 10 minutes before.

I’m not saying that my thoughts made the train to go faster. My point is that despite the circumstances I was determined to have a pleasant travel experience and tune into the day with a cheerful mood and ready to communicate with people.

Life may throw at you different challenges and it’s up to you how to react – you can treat it as a constant struggle or you can feel being trusted to handle any situation and enjoying it.

 

Please share in the comments below how you deal with stressful situations.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “If you can’t change the situation, change the attitude towards it

  1. Amy Zellmer

    LOVE this!! Such a true statement of advice! I know at times it’s really hard to see the positive in a situation, but there ALWAYS is one!! You just have to dig deeper for it at times :)

    Reply
    1. Inga Deksne - Motivational Life Coach Post author

      thanks Amy, some situations requires a very deep digging,but something good is always there. Sometimes we get into small troubles in order to avoid the bigger ones.

      Reply
  2. Hilary Parry

    The sentiment is really needed… I love all of the “learning moments” within your story… and your visualization of calming that turned into reality when you were able to make your connection with 2 minutes to spare!

    Reply
    1. Inga Deksne - Motivational Life Coach Post author

      thanks Hilary, I was amazed myself, it felt like magic that I managed though I had to run across the station, I was out of breath and extremely happy

      Reply
  3. Melanie

    This is a great story of turning emotional lemons into lemonade! It reminds me of a passage in a great book I read recently called “The Big Leap,” where the author talks about switching to “Einstein Time.” That’s awesome that you were able to turn the stress over fear of being late into an appreciation of the blessings in your life. Bravo!

    Reply
  4. Jessica

    This is so timely for me right now! I’m being faced with a lot of circumstances I can’t control and needed this reminder to stay calm, tune in, and feel the positive.

    Reply

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