We all have a process that we follow when we face challenges at work or in our personal lives.
Whether it is dealing with feedback from your boss that caught you off guard or dealing with a colleague who isn’t a team player – you have a process to deal with it.
I’ve tried a few processes in the past that simply didn’t work. These mostly involved ruminating, emotional eating and ignoring the problem, hoping that it will go away.
In moments where I had the courage to confront the situation head-on, it didn’t end well because I wasn’t clear about my intentions.
When I started my own coaching journey many years ago, I created a self-coaching process that involved journaling with specific prompts to help me navigate challenging experiences.
It helped me to process what I was feeling and to understand why I responded or felt so triggered by a specific experience.
I love journaling. It helps me to get everything out of my head and onto paper so that I can understand why I feel a certain way or why I reacted in a particular manner.
Below you will find the five-step process I go through when I face any life or career challenges. The process works best when I write my response in my journal or any book really. I find that typing doesn’t give me the same results.
I have also added journal prompts to guide you through the process.
1. Describe the situation
Get it all out. Write down everything that is going on for you related to the situation you find yourself in. A few prompts to get you started may be to ask yourself what happened? Who was involved? What happened just before or after the event? Write for as long as needed to get everything on the page.
2. How did it make me feel
Notice your feelings. How did this experience make me feel? Name your feelings, – anger, frustration, sadness, etc. then think about how it showed up in your body. Where did these feelings manifest in my body? Was it my chest, heart space, shoulders, etc.)?
3. How did I respond
Think about your response in the moment. What did I do when the event happened? Think about your immediate reaction to the situation – did you shout, walk away or remain calm?
4. Practice Mindfulness
Be aware of what you need right now. What can I do right now to ground myself? What will make me feel okay right now? What can I do for myself now to shift my energy from anger, frustration or fear, etc. to a more empowering feeling? This may include a breathing exercise, taking a walk or getting a workout.
5. Next steps
Think about how you would like to move on from here. What is the best next step for me right now that will help me move forward or let go? It might be, taking time out or writing a letter to your boss (you don’t have to send it) to tell him or her how you feel.
About the Author
Selina is an ICF-accredited coach based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is the founder of SelinaNewman Coaching. A coaching practice designed to help professionals turn what often feels like impossible life and career transitions into powerful opportunities for growth.