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In the Eye of the Storm: How Challenges Can Propel Us

By Liz Bentley

lightening storm

In my work I am constantly helping clients work through “the storm” in their lives both personally and professionally.  What I call the storm is “the hard” in our lives – the people, projects, issues and environment that make us struggle. 

It’s common to look at the storm in other people’s lives and think they just need to be more resilient, have grit and make a change but that is much easier said than done.  When the storm descends on us, we get enveloped by the darkness and we get scared, feel pain and want it to go away as quickly as possible.  But from my perspective as a coach, the storm is a gift and has come to tell us something very important. It is not to be ignored, but embraced because it is our moment to rise.  

In coaching I have found that people have two very distinct responses to the storm: they either turn in to fight it or run and take cover.  When they fight, they look at the problem from their own perspective and address it head-on, usually trying to move as fast as possible.  When they run from the storm, they reduce its importance and try to calm the problem or flat out hide from it by pretending it’s not happening.  In most cases, neither response will work!

From my perspective as a coach, however, the storm is a gift and has come to tell us something very important. It’s not to be ignored but embraced because it can be our moment to rise. 

Avoid a “fight or flight” response.

People usually have two very distinct responses to the storm: they either turn in to fight it or run and take cover. When they fight, they look at the problem from their own perspective and address it head-on, usually trying to move as fast as possible. When they run, they reduce its importance and try to calm the problem or flat out hide from it by pretending it isn’t happening. And in most cases, neither response will work.

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