Constructive Discontent: Getting Positive About Negatives.

Yes you can perseverance photo

Whether we’re challenged by people or particular situations, we might all be wise to heed the good advice of Canada-based Leadership and Communication Coach, Irene Becker, who suggests there is actually “something constructive about discontent.” And, she refers to it as just that —”Constructive Discontent.” As far as I’m concerned, it sounds like a wonderfully positive and productive alternative to being miserable, paralyzed or otherwise stymied by the myriad of circumstances that confront us on a daily basis.

We’re delighted to share Irene’s thoughts with you and hope that they will help you move forward no matter what challenges you face, daunting or otherwise, in your personal life or in business. Let us know what you think.

 

 


 

Is There Something Constructive About Discontent? You Betcha.

courtesy of  Irene Becker

Attitude is altitude. But what do you do when your attitude is negatively impacted by the actions of others?

No matter how optimistic or positive you are, we all come face to face with negative experiences. We can adopt a Hobbesian view of life and see our journey as “short, nasty and brutish,” or we can be uncomfortable while not being held hostage by our discomfort. I call the latter, “Constructive Discontent.” It is the ability to become the neutral observer in your life so that you can find the learning point — the benefit — in whatever has transpired.

Can constructive discontent be learned? Yes. I am living proof, as my clients and the benefits are multifold. How much better would you do? How much better would you feel? How much more effectively would you communicate, lead and live if you mastered the art of constructive discontent?

Think about it. How many minutes a day, week, or month are usurped by frustration, stress and/or irritation? The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that stress will be the leading cause of physical disability by 2020. Will you become a stress statistic or a success statistic? Success means changing your relationship with discontent.

How often do you either react and regret it, or go into the cave and disable your ability to respond effectively? Whatever the number up until now, here are ten simple steps to developing “constructive discontent.”

Ten Tips for Building Constructive Discontent.

1. Expect to encounter people and situations that will challenge you. Decide that you will not react or retreat/hide unless your personal safety is threatened. Learn strategies to help you get past the usual 90-second window of a “fight or flight” response.

2.  Don’t take responsibility for the actions of others. Understand that the only person you can control is yourself. By reacting less or not retreating from confrontational or unpleasant situations and by learning to respond in the most effective way, you can deal more effectively with most situations.

3.  Learn to set small goals, achieve them, celebrate them in your mind’s eye and start the process all over again. The smallest goal, performed consistently, rewrites the neural pathway. Small changes lead to BIG steps forward.

4.  If you cannot be happy where you are right now, be neutral. Apply an attitude of gratitude — look at what is working before you focus on the challenge or pain point at hand.

5.  Stay in neutral by learning to move through a painful feeling or reaction. Do a silent scream. Go to a private place and just scream with NO sound. That’s right! Do a silent scream and watch negative tension dissipate.

6.  Take a walk.  Do something physical for 20 minutes to distract your self from focusing on the pain point.

7.  Enjoy what YOU have achieved. Often we are so busy trying to do more or have more, that we do not pay tribute to our own accomplishments.

8. Unlearn focusing on what is wrong. Most of us are socialized to focus on what is wrong. Start being solution focused. Take small steps to just observe whatever you are experiencing that is uncomfortable by not focusing on the problem, but searching for the solution.

9.  Balance discontent with gratitude. Focus first on what you are grateful for. Balance the negative with an outstanding positive.

10.  Expect to be disappointed, but know that there is a positive learning experience waiting for you in the most challenging of conversations or situations. If you cannot find the silver lining, find a mentor or someone who can help you see the challenge at hand with fresh eyes. Success is rarely achieved alone. In effect, it takes  a village to raise a child and many people will play differing roles in the personal success of an adult human being.

via: Irene Becker / Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ / QBlog 
Helping smart people and organizations communicate & LEAD forward smarter, faster, happier.

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