For those who live in warmer climates, winter weather is rarely a concern. As a north-easterner, we can get some pretty severe winter storms. I can deal with the cold and even a foot of snow. But, the worst is freezing rain that becomes black ice on the roads, walkways, and stairs. If you've experienced it, you know how treacherous it can be. If you haven't, trust me, you don't want to.
Now, the ice isn't really black, it's transparent. Yeah, a nice, unseen, stealthy hazard that will send you crashing to the ground or skidding out of control. Usually, when a car skids, the best course of action is to, most importantly, stay calm. Take your foot off the gas, don't slam on the brakes, and try to steer where you want the car to go. As you gain traction, gently apply the brakes or step on the gas, depending on the skid.
Have strategies in place when you hit rough patches in life.
This same advice applies to life, as well. We've all had times when traveling down life's roads can get a little out of control. Maybe things didn't go as planned or our goals seem out of reach. It's going to happen. The key is knowing what to do when it does. We can apply the same tactics used in driving a car to when we encounter slippery conditions in our lives.
When something goes wrong or life seems like it's going off course, stay calm. Nothing makes a situation worse than spinning into a panic. Identifying the problem is the first step. Get your mind out of panic mode and take a moment to assess what is really going on.
Just like slamming on the brakes or jerking the wheel can make an actual skid worse, your reaction can make a challenging life situation more difficult - that is, only if you let it. Instead, take a step back and try to apply an objective eye to the problem. Regroup. Formulate a plan. Your plan may be simple and quickly achievable or it may take several steps and some time to accomplish. Either way, it's a positive step in righting the ship.
OK, you had a bit of a setback. Unforeseen challenges will occasionally occur. Once you have gained control of the situation, it's time to get back on course. Use what has happened as a learning experience. Focus on your goal. And, steer in the direction you want to go.
Hopefully, these tips will keep you safe in both “skidding” situations.
When you hit bumps in the road, how do you stay focused on your goals?
Live on Fire!
Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)