You never realize how important it is to be at choice – until you aren’t. Imagine you are embarking on a vacation that you’ve really been looking forward to. It’s 5 AM you’re at the gate, all checked in, coffee in hand, feeling super ready to start some much needed R & R. From the moment you purchased the ticket months ago, to which shoes you packed last night, you’ve made conscious choices and feel in control and pleased that all the choices you’ve made have lined up so nicely. You take a seat at the gate and start to read your new book. Over the loud speaker an announcement is made about your flight at the same time that your phone pings with a notification about flight delays. You can literally feel the stress creep up, as your heart rate increases and adrenaline and cortisol start to pump into your system. All your best made plans – thrown out the window. You are no longer in control. Or are you? Like the sunglasses you packed for your trip, the world looks differently depending on what lens we are looking through. The lens we look through determines how we approach situations and our perspective of the world around us. The good news is you can choose how to look at things and respond (rather than react) accordingly. Here’s some options for you for your current situation.

Level 1: The Victim. 

“Oh great, that just figures. Why do I even look forward to anything? This always happens to me. I don’t deserve a vacation anyways what was I thinking?

Level 2: The Fighter.

“This is ridiculous. I’m not gonna just sit around and wait for two hours. It’s the airline’s fault. There sure better be compensation for this.”

Level 3: The Cooperator

“Ok so this isn’t great but as long as they can rebook me and I can get there today it’s better than not going today at all. Besides better safe than sorry!”

Level 4: The Empath

It can’t be easy being the agent right now. The passengers are understandably upset but it’s gotta be hard when they take it out on her. I’m gonna be sure to let her know how much I appreciate her trying to rebook my flight and hope that it’ll all work out!

Level 5: The Opportunist

“This extra time might actually be a great chance to dig into the writing (insert pleasure) I’ve been wanting to do. It looks like the new itinerary takes me through Mexico City, I wonder what’s interesting there?”

Level 6:  

“We’re all in this together. I love to see strangers talking. Human connection are more important that connecting flights.” How lucky we are to be able to travel at all! 

Level 7:  

“Isn’t it amazing to think we can fly through the air? What a truly amazing world we live in!”

So next time you find yourself in a situation where your energy is not serving you well, keep in mind that you can shift your energy by adjusting the lens you are looking through and learn how to respond, by choice rather than react by default.

  •  The 7 levels of energy are based on concepts I learned in my coach training program with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

Photo credit: Lisa Hopkins