Bad marriage? Bad habits? Bad hair? Or your life is just Badd. Whatever you are facing, you can learn to be badder.
You have more choices at your disposal than you imagine. Too many choices can be overwhelming. But not enough choice can make you feel trapped.
In any circumstance, bad habit, bad relationship or just bad day, you have at least four choices that you can make (I credit Russ Harris, PhD for the idea behind the four choices, which he calls the Resilience Formula):
1.You can leave.
This may feel like running away or avoidance. But sometimes a valid choice is to get away from it all. You can move, you can quit a job that is a big trigger, you can just drop friendships that drag you down. You may feel like this is a hard choice but sometimes you have two hard choices and you pick the best one for you. Most times, though, leaving only takes the problems with you.
2.You can stay and work at it, and try to live more (and more) in line with your values.
You can stay and work to improve a little bit, every day. Take it one day at a time. Admit your mistakes. Identify your values. Set small goals. Be honest about your pain. Get some therapy and other forms of support. Make a contribution to your relationships and to your workplace. Begin to have hope again. Learn to tolerate anxiety and frustration without giving in to your triggers. Pray and meditate and deepen your soul.
3.You can stay and practice acceptance.
Acceptance is not apathy. Apathy can devastate your health and your mental health, but acceptance can be the beginning of change. You can learn to accept and become at peace with what you cannot change. Maturity comes when we accept our limitations.
4.You can stay and give up.
You have the choice to stay and continue to live an unhealthy, and destructive life. Stay, give up and give in. Coast, stay stuck and do nothing to change yourself or your circumstances. If you don’t work at it, you are guaranteed that your life will never improve.
You may not like the choices that you have in your marriage. Your habits may be trying to kick you in the ass. Your moods may kick you in the teeth. Your goals may be in the tank because circumstances are not going your way. In any situation, you have at least four choices: leave, stay and improve and live more and more by your values, stay and accept, stay and just give up.
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Keep it Real
Photo by Abe Novy