Picture it. You’ve been prepping for a third interview for quite sometime, and you are really excited to shed your knowledge and discuss future possibilities with an exciting company that really interests you.
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In fact, the rest of your week revolves around the outcome of this meeting – you’ve placed a myriad of tasks on-hold, and you’ve even waited to schedule some personal appointments before gaining a better understanding for what’s next with this potential employer. Then, last minute, your interview is unexpectedly canceled. There you are left with a new void on your calendar and a preoccupied mind that was planning on a much different outcome for the day.
So, now what? It makes perfect sense that many of us might feel a little disappointed and even impatient with this type of situation. This could cause things to go one of two ways: either the rest of the day will unravel from a state of powerlessness, or we will empower ourselves to seize the day, no matter what.
Either way, here’s a simple fact that we often ignore during moments like these when the unexpected happens. It happens at work, in our relationships, and even while driving in traffic. While most of us would prefer to feel perfectly in-control of ourselves and our lives, at all times, there are enough moments in our lives that are simply going to derail our expectations.
So what do we do when our plans are derailed? Do we curse the unexpected and allow it to ruin our day? Do we blame others for making us feel out of control? Or, do we allow ourselves to accept and readjust quickly, so that we can continue on purposely? Now, wouldn’t it be nice if that was as easy as it sounds?
If you sometimes feel put upon by the unexpected, here are three tips to stay at cause with your mood and reclaim your day:
1. Connect To Your Own Inner Purpose
The unexpected can rattle our moods when we rely on the outside world to make us feel happy and successful. Yet, when we are connected to a purpose that transcends the results of other people, places and things, it becomes easier to flow with whatever happens – expected or unexpected.
Take a moment to think about your purpose – is it attached to a particular event, action, outcome or circumstance that resides outside of you? If so, then you may be placing your success and happiness out of your own hands. This only makes you more susceptible to your own moodiness, if and when things don’t occur exactly as planned.
Think about ways you can realign your purpose to focus on the things you can control – in other words, where can you direct your attention, regardless of whatever happens? For instance, is your purpose to have a great meeting today, or to have a purposeful and productive day, no matter what?
2. Take Responsibility For How You Feel
While it’s perfectly normal to let people or circumstances dictate our moods, we have to remember that nothing outside of ourselves really carries this sort of power. Only we can dictate our own feelings and actions. While things outside of us can push our buttons, we have to remember that the buttons actually belong to us. So, when we allow ourselves to deflate or combust, just because something pushed one of our buttons, we are giving away our own personal power.
To keep ourselves empowered, we not only need to own our feelings, we also need to decide for ourselves how we want to feel. Sometimes this requires a simple reminder that we are feeling in the first place! For example, if a button gets pushed, it might help to first acknowledge the emotional reaction we are having to something outside of our control, and then ask ourselves, “what’s going on with me to cause a reaction like this?”
Here’s how this might play-out in the earlier example. When the meeting gets canceled last minute, we can first take note of our feelings of disappointment and impatience. Then,
we can take an introspective look inside ourselves to understand more about what’s really causing us to react this way. Could it be that we are feeling small or insignificant inside? Or, perhaps we’ve had a slow month of business, and are just looking for one lucky break?
Once we form heightened awareness for the part of ourselves that is causing us to feel and react in a certain way, we will become more alert of our own personal power. This will equip us to choose a more empowering state of mind to fuel ourselves. Which brings us full circle to the importance of connecting with our own inner purpose.
3. Take A Few Small And Purposeful Steps
So here we are, full circle to the importance of connecting with our own inner purpose. If we are in tune with a purpose that can and will exist regardless of whatever happens in the physical world, then we can easily re-align with empowering thoughts that keep us at cause, versus at the effect of our lives. Keeping ourselves at cause requires that we take actions – however big or small – that align with our purpose.
Sometimes taking action, of any sort, can seem a bit daunting when the unexpected has just stopped us dead in our tracks. Remember, there is always a starting place for everything, and our initial actions will create inertia for bigger outcomes.
Think about how you can begin to start a chain reaction of purposeful actions – perhaps you make a list, reach-out to three new contacts, clean-up your email inbox, or simply knock-out one or two items that you’ve been putting off for ages. Whatever the starting point may be, never underestimate where a few small and purposeful actions will lead.
So, if we know that unexpected occurrences are simply an expected part of life, then it’s worth preparing ourselves to deal with them. Rather than allow the unexpected to stifle us, and drive us further away from our goals, it’s up to us to remind ourselves what our purpose really is.
This will help us to redirect our attention towards new possibilities and reclaim our days. Once we form heightened awareness of the part of ourselves that is causing us to feel and react in a certain way, we will become more alert of our own personal power. This equips us to choose a more empowering state of mind to fuel ourselves forward in actions that will keep us purposeful, regardless of whatever happens.