“For people who are used to feeling in control of their lives, it’s especially challenging to cope with a situation that’s out of control. For men and women who have built their self-esteem around succeeding, it’s deeply troubling for them to feel like they’re failing.” Tom Muha
How do you cope when you feel like you’re failing?
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Rom. 8:28; NLT)
A recent tweet (post on Twitter) led me to an amazing article by Dr. Tom Muha, a psychologist who practices in Annapolis, Maryland. The article I’m referring to was published on HometownAnnapolis.com just last Sunday and is today’s link. I encourage you to read it carefully.
Dr. Muha writes about the effect the economy is having on entrepreneurs who have experienced success until this latest crisis hit. He points out that there are two primary strategies to cope with the issue of being out of control of your life, problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping. The difference is profound.
Problem-focused coping can be summarized in one word — optimism. Clearly, optimism is a vital entrepreneurial trait, but can only go so far. When things don’t turn around on your timetable and failure seems inevitable, “negative emotions [e.g., fear] hijack your brain” making it difficult, if not impossible, to think clearly, another equally vital entrepreneurial trait.
Emotion-focused coping, on the other hand, looks for the good that is inevitably part of every situation…no matter how bad. In fact, some go so far as to teach that the greater the bad, the greater will be the good that emerges from it. Training yourself to always look for the good can be a liberating strategy that we should all seek to adopt. Far from positive thinking, this strategy is life transforming.
Dr. Muha concludes by pointing out that “surviving severe stress can transform your life in several significant ways”:
- It can strengthen your belief in your ability to persevere and prevail.
- It can improve your relationships by revealing who you can really count on to be there for you during the tough times.
- It can profoundly enhance your capacity for intimacy because your ability to empathize with others who are struggling often increases substantially.
- It can help you to develop a deeper understanding of what creates genuine satisfaction and authentic happiness.
It’s an incredibly important article. Don’t miss it!!!
Father, we thank You for the promise of Romans 8:28. The fact that we sometimes misunderstand and misuse the verse doesn’t make it one whit less true.
Link of the Day
Achieving Happiness: Surviving severe stress
Blessings on you as you choose to look for the silver lining in every cloud that comes into your life.