03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Don't Waste A Good Crisis

How do you react when dealing with a crisis?  When I’m faced with a
crisis myself, I often go into “survival mode” – doing anything and
everything I can to get through it.  In other cases, I may simply deny
that the crisis exists, hoping that it will just go away on its own. 
While both of these approaches can and have “worked” in my life, in
terms of making it through the various crises I’ve faced, they don’t
allow for the depth of growth, healing, and transformation that is
ultimately available in these situations.

Instead of just gutting it out or going into some form of creative
denial, what if we embraced the crises in our lives and actually
utilized them for the incredible growth opportunities that they are? 
We often waste so much time and energy fighting against, resisting,
denying or complaining about these “bad” things in our lives instead
of remembering that a crisis is simply life’s way of letting us know
that something needs to change or some old pattern no longer works.

Many people I know and work with are facing intense crises right now –
related to their health, money, career, family, spirituality and
more.  Our country and our world are dealing with some major challenges
and most of us are impacted, at least to some degree, by what’s going
on around us. 

As scary, humbling, and disturbing as these crises can be – one of the
most beautiful aspects of going through a crisis in life is how it can
literally bring us to our knees and remind us of what truly matters in
life (which, as we realize, has very little to the mundane stuff we
worry about and get upset about on a daily basis).

Here are a few things you can practice when dealing with a crisis (and
in general), which will allow you to maximize your growth, healing and

1)  Be real. 
Like with everything else in life, if we deny or lie about what’s
happening or how we really feel, we make it difficult, if not
impossible, to grow.  The more willing we are to acknowledge what’s
happening and how we feel about it in an honest, vulnerable and
passionate way – the more likely we are to move through it consciously
and gain the life-altering lessons the situation has to offer.

2)  Lean on others.  For
many of us, reaching out and asking for support (and then ultimately
receiving it) can be quite challenging.  We worry about being perceived
as weak, being vulnerable with others, getting rejected and more. 
However, when we’re dealing with a crisis it’s essential and incredibly
liberating to lean on the people in our lives.  We don’t have to go
through it all alone, and in many cases we can’t.  We each have way
more love and support around us then we usually realize.  Asking for
and receiving the support of other people not only helps us get through
the “tough” time, it also allows us to connect with the people in our
life in a meaningful and intimate way – something most of us truly want.

3)  Let go.  Being
able to let go and let things be as they are is not easy for many of
us, especially for me.  Those of us who like to control things, have it
all together and take charge in life often find it difficult to simply
let go.  Crises, however, force us to let go – whether we want to or
not.  They also allow us to remember that everything in our physical
world is temporary and transitory.  When we can embrace the idea of
letting go, it frees us up in a powerful way and allows us to move
through things much easier.

As with many of the things I talk about and write about, it’s really
important for us to have lots of compassion for ourselves and others as
we face the challenges and crises of our lives.  It takes a certain
amount of conscious naiveté to find the authentic silver linings to
some of the dark clouds that show up in life.  But, when we remember
that in the midst of our pain and difficulty we can find a deep sense
of joy, peace, and growth – we’re able to utilize the crises in our
lives as catalysts for remarkable transformation.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info -