Sometimes the right question in the right moment is all you need. Once, when I was teaching a large group of people, a participant made a joking comment about me that got a laugh from the others. This joke sent me swirling down into a story about what kind of a person the participant was, what the people who overheard that comment must think of me and how that comment would surely undermine my credibility as a teacher. It was distracting and took energy away from my ability to be the teacher I wanted to be.
Thankfully my boss, who has an uncanny ability to know what to say asked me a question that immediately turned the whole situation on its head. “Could you think of any positive reasons the person may have said that?”
It took me a second to step out of my negative downward spiral, but I soon realized that the person and I have a congenial relationship and perhaps he made that comment because he knew I had a good sense of humor and was strong enough to handle the ribbing. Immediately I shifted from assuming everyone thought I was a rube to thinking everyone might see me as confident, funny and comfortable in my own skin. The sinking feeling in my stomach dissipated, and I could move on.
This story has been staying with me as I have been coping with the unknowns, fear, daily challenges and sweeping changes that come like waves day after day during this COVID-19 pandemic. During this time many opportunities to practice shifting my perspective have surfaced, and I have zeroed in on a few questions that have enabled me to pivot and see things in a different way.Continue reading “Move from Fear to Balance by Asking Yourself the Right Questions”