Northwind Pharmaceuticals

Going the Distance

going-the-distance-492x302In my post, Feeling Pressure? 8 Steps to Cope, I present an approach to managing the internal challenges associated with life’s obstacles. Whether it is financial, relationship, work, or health, much of the battle occurs between our ears and can be overwhelming. Here are the steps I proposed:

  1. Stop telling yourself how tough it is.
  2. Stop telling others how tough it is.
  3. Retreat to gratitude.
  4. Seek to understand the source.
  5. List your options.
  6. Create a plan of action.
  7. Recruit others to your cause.
  8. Have faith.

I close the post by reminding the reader that it will not be easy. Many of the challenges we face are not one-time events. Life is a contact sport and will apply continuous pressure in multiple aspects of our daily existence. Leaning-in to the challenge or challenges requires sustained effort and a process for renewal. We have to learn to go the distance.

There are times when going the distance means simply surviving. Doing the necessary things to show-up and push through each day. That form of survival is “the grind” and can take a heavy toll if it remains your primary form of coping. The goal is to find a way to thrive in the midst of adversity and sustain it in a healthy way until you’ve pushed past the worst of it. Here are some ideas for going the distance:

  1. Acknowledge that you are in a sustained race. Recognizing that you will not be able to be resolve the situation quickly helps set your frame of mind and resolve. CAUTION: don’t keep reminding yourself how tough it is!
  2. Remind yourself that you will survive. You have faced other challenges and you survived. You can do this.
  3. Revisit the 8 steps above – frequently. Going the distance is a perpetual process of challenge, exertion and renewal. You must actively engage with all of your tools and repeat as frequently as necessary. You have to work at it – daily.
  4. Revise your plan. Things change and that will require you to adjust your approach. This is an active step and serves to give you focus while providing the renewing energy of pro activity.
  5. Change things up. You’ve got to give yourself some breaks in the action. Breaking routine opens you up to creativity which can present new options. The challenge will consume your energy and will if you are not able to shift your focus occasionally.
  6. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself along the way. It is easy to let our world define us. The paths we travel can turn to ruts and so often, we just keep walking in the them. One of the beauties of our lives is that we can reinvent ourselves – remember this.
  7. Celebrate successes. Even small successes serve to renew your hope and your energy. Find a way to pat yourself on the back and say “that was a win!”
  8. Avoid collateral damage. One of my 8 steps above was to recruit others to your cause. The corollary to that message is to avoid poisoning your key relationships with your challenges. When we are stressed, we tend to bring it to other interactions. Be aware of this and exert the effort to control it. Not everyone needs to be privy to your situation.
  9. Embrace external inspiration. I’m glad you are reading this post! Find other sources. Whether it is a book, a blog, a video, a podcast, an audio cd, or a motivational speaker, find good sources of inspiration and continue to revisit them.
  10. Repeat the steps above. Repeat the steps above. Repeat the steps above.

Finding ways to thrive as we go the distance is key to enjoying our lives. The challenges will not go away. There is only one arrival that ends all adversity and everything else to that point is simply living. Fortunately, not all challenges we face “feel” completely overwhelming. However, a consequence of being human means we are quite capable of putting ourselves in overwhelming situations – real or imagined.

You CAN go the distance and approaching the journey on your terms will give you a sense of control and progress even in the most overwhelming conditions.

Do you have other thoughts on “going the distance?” Please share them

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