Posts Tagged ‘consequences’

How well do you know your ABCs?

February 25, 2011

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 25

Consider this scenario …

James is sitting in traffic on his way to deliver a seminar at a regional conference. He’s thinking “If this traffic doesn’t move soon, I’m going to be late. There are lots of people expecting me. Why didn’t I leave half an hour earlier or take the train?” He feels completely helpless; the more he realises he can’t do anything, the more angry he gets. His anger turns to dread, which turns into panic. He starts to see the business he’ll lose as a result.

Craig is about 4 cars behind in the same queue. He’s also going to the same conference, and is giving the keynote speech. He realises there’s nothing he can do about the traffic, that there’s no point worrying, and realises a better use of his time would be to practise his speech.

Anne is 4 cars ahead of James. She’s one of the main conference organisers. She has spent the last 10 minutes on the phone (hands free, of course!) to the traffic helpline trying to find out how big the jam is. She’s left a message at the conference centre telling the staff about the situation, and suggests other conference attendees may be in the same queue. She’s asked if the morning can be rearranged to move the informal networking session to first thing, allowing people more time to get there.

3 people in the same situation, each with different ways of dealing with it.

James isn’t dealing with it at all. Craig has a different reaction, deciding to relax rather than stress about it. Whilst Anne has decided upon a problem-focused strategy. She’s looked at what she can do practically, and started to implement a plan.

So what are the ABCs?

We are often faced with pressures; how we perceive them is down to us. We can choose to see them positively or negatively, and the choice we make is down to what we believe about ourselves. Dr Albert Ellis, an American psychologist developed the ABC Model which explores this behaviour pattern. He suggests we don’t go through hard times because of the actual events that happen in our lives, but because of the negative ways we react to them.

A = Activating event (e.g. the queue of traffic)

B = Belief about this event (e.g. lots of people will feel let down; loss of business)

C = Consequence (emotional) of having this belief (e.g. feeling stressed, panicked, anger)

In tomorrow’s blog I’ll be suggesting a few tactics you can use for dealing with pressurised situations. In the meantime – consider the different responses you could have about an event that puts you under pressure.

(Photo credit: EA)

Feeling the urge to ‘Spring Clean’ this month?

September 5, 2010

Photo: Suat Eman

Not quite the right time of year – I hear you say?

Nevertheless, September is one of the 4 main times over a year where we have urges to make a fresh start, de-clutter, spring clean, etc. The others are:

  • New Year
  • April
  • Our birthday

Some believe this is perhaps to do with seasonal changes or conditioning as children around birthdays / school holidays. If, like me, your birthday also falls at one of the other times, you may feel an even bigger pull towards making a new start at that time of year.

Linked to ‘clearing out’ is the need to free up time / space, or replace the old with the new. This can be new systems, not just new possessions. While we’re feeling like a change, this is a good time to set new goals or targets for ourselves.

So what goals are you setting yourself right now?

  • How are you de-cluttering? What criteria are you using?
  • What changes are you making? What impact will they have on others around you?

If you’re setting goals, to help you on your way, here are my 5 top tips to ensure a positive start.

1. Make sure your goal is about what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

For example: I want a clutter-free desk / office (rather than ‘I don’t want to work in this tip!’) You get what you focus on, so focus on something positive!

2. Make sure you understand exactly what your goal means to you.

What will ‘clutter-free’ look and feel like? What will be classed as clutter? What essentials do you still need?

3. What’s your time scale?

Rather than leave it open-ended, which – let’s face it – can result in the “I’ll do it tomorrow” state of mind ….. give yourself a deadline.

E.g. I’ll be working from a clutter-free desk in 4 weeks’ time.

Then break this down into smaller chunks….. What needs to be achieved in 2 weeks, to be on target? What do you need to do in 1 week? etc. What are you going to do to ensure the changes are consistent?

4. List the benefits

To take my example further, what will having a clutter-free desk give you? More space to work? A clearer head to think? More focus and direction? I’ll be able to find things more easily. I’ll be less annoying to be around! …..

5. Staying motivated

You may be motivated by the goal itself (a tidier desk), or by moving away from your current situation (a cluttered desk), or even a bit of both.

If the goal excites you – keep reminding yourself of the benefits of what you’re aiming for, and visualize the end result.

If your motivated more by getting rid of the mess, in this example, think about the consequences of doing nothing. What will it be like in 2 weeks if you’ve not changed anything?

If you’re motivated in both ways, you’ll probably need to use both of the above strategies.

Enjoy your “spring cleaning”, and feel free to share your goals / successes (photos also useful of before and after, if relevant!!)