Excerpt from “5 Secrets to Preventing Stress in Higher Education Administration”.
How to Reclaim Your Personal Power
The key to reclaiming your personal power is deciding to take responsibility for everything in your life. If you blame someone or something, you may feel off the hookbut taking the role of a victim takes away your ability to change what is happening.
On the other hand, once you choose to take responsibility for everything that happens, you regain control. Taking responsibility is only uncomfortable if you judge yourself and blame yourself, but not if you focus on one key question “What can I do about this?”
While you can’t control what happens outside of you, you can control what meaning you create in your mind and how you are going to respond to the situation.
Here is what NOT to do when something unwanted happens.
- Don’t make it bigger in your head than it really is.
- Don’t commiserate with others or look to receive empathy from people who feel victimized by the same event.
- Don’t let your mind revisit all the times in your past something similar happened.
- Don’t think of the ways this event will create problems and limitations for you.
Here is what to do instead when something unwanted happens.
- Remember that helplessness is an illusion. There is always something you can do to feel better.
- Choose the meaning you create in your mind. See the situation for what it is and look for blessings in disguise.
- Ask yourself what you can do about the situation and how you want to respond.
- Avoid negative people who could drag you down. Instead, associate with other self-empowered individuals who will make it easier to deal with challenges.
- Realize you’ve overcome greater challenges over the years, and while what’s happening now may be inconvenient, it’s not that big of a deal.
- If you can’t change the situation, your only option is to accept it. Focusing on how things should be instead of how they are, will cause you pain. Accept what is.
- Never dwell. Choose where to put your attention. Your thoughts create emotions so by choosing where to put your focus, you will choose what direction your thoughts take and what emotions come up.
Higher ed. administration can be exceptionally challenging because of the bureaucratic processes and structures. Focusing on the many things managers can’t control will only create more stress and frustration. Looking back, I can recall many times that I indulged in venting with peers about new decisions made in Sacramento, new reporting requirements, new hires that weren’t good choices, unmotivated employees, and other facts we didn’t have the power to change.
While speaking with others about problems we can’t fix seems validating at times, it doesn’t solve anything. Choosing a self-empowered approach to problems is what kept me balanced and I hope you will choose to do the same. Remember, you can choose how to respond to any situation and by no longer fighting what you cannot control, you can find inner peace. Don’t wait until you retire or change jobs to be happier and more relaxed.
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About the author: Since 2010 Dr. Audrey Reille has empowered thousands of professionals through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking engagements, online courses, and interviews on international telesummits. Audrey is the go-to Success Coach for leaders in higher education administration. She empowers them to thrive by reducing stress, optimizing strategies, improving professional relationships, and developing a strong and empowered mindset.