Your Happiness Factor

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Monday, 5 September 2011

The ability to bounce – coping with life’s problems



Bouncing Boy
Image via Wikipedia

Coping with life’s problems successfully needs you to have realistic expectations. Psychologists call these expectations, and the judgements you make based on them, ‘appraisals’.  Things that happen to us aren’t a problem unless we judge them to be.
Life is never perfect and problems, are a part of normal, everyday life. If our judgements (appraisals) are realistic, we’re much better able to deal with them and not let them throw us off-balance.
The appraisals we make come from our belief system. If we hold unrealistic beliefs, then our judgements may not be the best for the situation.
Sometimes we have unrealistic beliefs about what we must or should do.  We want to be “perfect”.  “Everyone must like me “or “I’ve got to be good at everything” for example. If you think about these for a minute, they are irrational beliefs. Who do you know who could really achieve them?
Another approach!
When you are aware of this, it is possible to substitute an irrational judgement with something more positive?
If someone treats you rudely, you could think what a rotten person they are.  Or you could think “See, everyone does dislike me!”  But another view could be.  “I wonder what happened to that person today to make them behave like that?”
But it is important to follow up these ‘primary appraisals’!  We need to ask ourselves afterwards if there’s anything we can do about a particular event that has caused distress – a “secondary appraisal”.
If we feel helpless to change things, or incompetent when facing challenges, then we’re less likely to come up with a suitable way to handle things.
Self-efficacy
People who have a confident belief that the responses they make to life’s challenges have a meaningful effect (self efficacy), are able to face problems with energy!  This means they bounce back easily.
But how do you develop this belief?
Self-efficacy comes from life experiences and being with others who already have the belief. It’s built up over the years by responding to challenges with action, flexibility and persistence.
But how can we increase our self-efficacy?  Well here are some suggestions:
  1. Set some goals for your life. If we don’t have goals, how can we succeed? Set some goals for your life, and give yourself credit when you achieve them.
  2. Make your goals challenging but realistic enough so you’ll be able to reach them. Set some simple goals to start with, that are fairly easy to achieve and then build on them.
  3. Find some good role models. They don’t have to be someone you know, but find someone you admire and you could learn from.
  4. Talk yourself positive. Take time to observe how you think about yourself.  Start praising your success in your own mind and make a decision to stop putting yourself down.  Admit that, like all of us, you have faults and stop belittling yourself for them.  Instead build yourself up for the smallest successes.
  5. Remember it takes energy and effort to succeed.  Be like an athlete, train yourself to win
Support
People with a good support system are more successful at overcoming life’s problems.
Are there people you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk? Can you speak to them frankly, without worrying about what you say? And are there people in your life you can count on to support you in major decisions?
Why not arrange to see old friends and family members.  You will find most people will take an interest in you if you show a real interest in them first.
Don’t wait for things to get better, take the first step – taking action gives us an increased feeling of competence and self-esteem. Taking action raises our self-efficacy!

I am Wendy Mason. I work as a Personal Development Coach, Consultant and Writer.I have worked with many different kinds of people going through all kinds personal and career change, particularly those
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted,
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • moving into retirement.
I am very good at helping you sort out what you want, overcome obstacles and handle change and I would like to work with you! I offer face to face, telephone and on-line coaching by email or Skype Email me at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 to find out more or go to wendy-mason.com