by Cornelius D. Jones
When we think about being healthy, crying is normally not mentioned in the equation. However, when we cry, there are natural chemicals messengers that help to relieve emotional and physical pain. Every time we cry, our body releases endorphins and oxytocin. These are the chemicals that helps us feel good, ease our pain, and promote a sense of well-being. Let me assure you that crying is good for your health. Our tears work like a purgative, draining and purifying us. There is a saying that "A life without rain is like the sun without shade." Crying can be associated with grief, joy, frustration, and sadness. Which are parts of the normal and natural ranges of emotions that all human beings experience.
The misconception of crying has led many to believe that it’s a sign of weakness. That antiquated line of thinking has prevented people from being able to honor their feelings. Crying doesn’t indicate weakness; it demonstrates your strength to be strong enough to let go when your body signals. As a society it is apparent, we aren’t comfortable with seeing others cry. When someone is crying, we are quick to encourage them to stop. We think we are comforting them, but what we are doing is disrespecting their emotional process. There is a metamessage that we send to others when we offer them the tissue while they are crying. That message is “I’m not okay with seeing you cry and wish you would stop.” This is also the reason that I never offer tissue or a napkin to someone when they are crying.
I write this article as both a man and a Black man that understands the cultural conditioning around men crying. I was raised not to cry but wasn't provided with heathy alternatives to deal with my emotions. I frowned throughout my father's funeral when I was 16 years old because I didn't know it was okay to cry. Now that I'm the father of four sons, I want them to know it's okay to cry. Men of all colors feel the same emotions that women feel, regardless of how we try to mask our feelings. It is far healthier in the long run to take off the mask and cry than to cry in silence underneath it. We live in a world where young boys are raised not to cry and are often threaten with punishment for crying. Many of us have either said to or heard a child being told "if you keep crying, I'm gonna give you something to cry for." Think about the awful message that sends to them at an early age. They are being told that it's not okay to cry which robs them of the opportunity to process and release their emotions in a healthy way. It is time to change that narrative and let them and others know it's okay and healthy to cry. Perhaps if more of us adults understood why it's okay to cry, we may stop discouraging children and others from doing it.
To assist with understanding why it's okay to cry, I have listed six benefits to crying that most people don't consider.
Benefits of crying
The next time you need to cry, let go without being apologetic. There is no need to apologize for honoring yourself or feeling. That’s a lot better than pretending you are okay while hurting. However, if you find yourself crying frequently, uncontrollably, and without cause it’s not normal and could be depression.
by Cornelius D. Jones
Understanding emotional intelligence provides us with an advantage of knowing how and when to demonstrate it. Although it is now spoken about more than in previous years, our society could truly benefit from understanding it. In short, it’s the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, and the emotions of others. How can we help to manage the emotions of others, when many of us struggle to do the same with our own feelings? Regardless of the setting, whether we’re in the comfort of our homes, in public, or a professional environment…as civilized people we should be able exercise emotional intelligence. There is a real need in all levels of government, corporate America, the military, law enforcement, and other sectors for training on emotional intelligence. For many people this isn't a rare talent. It requires having a set of unique skills to identify our emotions and utilize them while thinking, problem solving, and managing feelings in uncomfortable situations. Below I will discuss the components and skills in greater detail.
Individuals with high emotional intelligence are adept to using empathy and constructive communication. They naturally relate well to others and are able to accomplish more through encouragement and persuasion. They typically excel at inspiring, guiding, and leading others to achieve their best work. They tend to be flexible, adaptive, self-motivated, and confident. These are the things that separate people with high EQ (emotional intelligence) from others. As I often say, "being strategic helps to keep us to remain focused, while being emotional causes us to become distracted." Now that I have provided you with an overview, it's time for me to breakdown what the emotional intelligence components and skills are.
The 4 Components of Emotional Intelligence
There are four levels of emotional intelligence which are: emotional perception, the ability to reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotions, and the ability to manage emotions.
5 Key Emotional Intelligence Skills
2. Self – Regulation - requires you to be able to regulate and manage your emotions. While demonstrating the skills to wait for the right time and place to express your feeling. Self-regulation is all about expressing your emotions appropriately. Becoming disrespectful, shouting, and cursing at others when we are upset is the opposite of self- regulation.
3. Social Skills – affords us to build meaningful relationships with others and develop a stronger understanding of ourselves and others. Our social skills help us in daily interactions and communications.
4. Empathy - is the ability to understand how others are feeling and being present with them. This skill is critical as well because it involves being able to sense that someone is feeling sad, hopeless or frustrated. This skill allows us to be emotionally supportive as we empathize with them.
5. Intrinsic Motivation – is a significant part of being emotionally intelligent. This is when we have passions that fulfill our inner needs and goals. The things that go beyond external rewards like fame, money, recognition, and acclaim.
by Cornelius D. Jones
If you ever meet a person that doesn’t acknowledge that they have made mistakes, you should acknowledge that you are in the presence of a liar. Mistakes are often invaluable life lessons that prepare us to handle future or similar experiences better. If you don’t make mistakes, how can you expect to GROW and to EVOLVE? Every mistake is truly a chance to learn something different. It may not always seem like it but one of the simple perks of growing older is the ability to look back and see where and how you messed up. I believe that my abundance of mistakes will one day prove to make me a very wise old man. I have messed up a lot throughout life and made plenty of mistakes. The good thing about a mess is that you can clean it up. Over the years we all eventually become a cleaned-up mess after we learn from the mistakes we made.
If we look back with an open heart, we can often self-correct along the way. Without mistakes there would be no need for correction, then again mistakes would be a permanent problem without the ability to correct them. Once we learn from our mistakes, we become wiser and stronger in other areas of our lives. By now you know from your own life experiences that mistakes can be painful but very useful ways of learning.
Sometimes, "blowing it" can make you realize what your priorities and values are and that's valuable insight you probably couldn’t have attained any other way. This knowledge not only makes you more comfortable with yourself, it also helps you move forwards in a more confident way. Remember this…Winners can tell their story finish-to-start, confident that they know the formula that led to their success. Some of my greatest successes were born out of the lessons that some would consider as failures.
Three Ways to Own and Learn from Mistakes
1) Be open to making mistakes
Accept that you are human and that each of us will do things we regret. Each of us will take a wrong turn, hurt someone's feelings, or make bad choices. Be open to making mistakes and embrace them as an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons. They hurt sometimes - a lot of the time. However, if you are open to learning from your mistakes, you will be able to move on rather than wallowing in regret or disappointment. If you don't learn the lesson, it will repeat itself again and again in different situations until you get it. Experience is a hard teacher.
2) Be aware
In other words, look for areas of improvement. Be on the lookout for "mistakes" or ways to strengthen your character. Be aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you feel, and how you make others feel. This way of thinking is about being proactive and seeking betterment to avoid unnecessary blunders. If you are aware of how your behaviors impact others, then you can determine whether that is enhancing or hurting your relationships.
Words are powerful and can’t be recaptured once they are released. Sometimes, words just don't land the way they were intended. Most people have difficulty expressing what they really mean and maybe you are the same. Being fully aware of how you impact others, you maintain an open state of learning which allows you to constantly practice being a better person - a better version of yourself.
3) Accept full responsibility for life choices
Accepting responsibility can be liberating. For many of us it may be hard to admit when we are wrong. Through accepting responsibility, it demonstrates maturity, courage, and a commitment to personal growth. It's both appropriate and respectful to others as well to ourselves. Excuses don’t excuse, and explanations certainly don’t explain. When you accept full responsibility for yourself, you also accept responsibility for making things right. It prevents the opportunity to justify the behavior. If you recognize that something was misunderstood, then focus on providing clarity. This can help build greater understanding and bridge the any gaps in communication. The act of accepting responsibility allows you to learn to make better choices to avoid problems, mistakes, and misunderstandings in the future.
When we remain open to learning life's lessons we gain invaluable insight from every event, situation that we encounter. It is important to maintaining an awareness of how you respond in relationships with others about the mistakes you’ve made. My recommendation is to accept complete responsibility for yourself. The gift that you receive is to empower yourself to create richer, more meaningful relationships with others. You also will develop more self-respect and learn to stop beating yourself up over your mistakes. Try taking responsibility, make things right where necessary, and commit yourself to developing greater integrity and a more mature character through owning the mistakes that you make.
by Cornelius D. Jones
At some point in life each person has been or will become the victim of unpleasant circumstances. The cause of victimization often varies but the underlining factor often remains the same and is something unwarranted. Anytime that we are physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally violated we become the victim. True victims should never be blamed for the awful things that has happened to them. This doesn’t exclude being cheated on nor lied to. The victim has little to no choice in the action by the perpetrator against them. Victims should never be blamed for the awful and painful things that happen to them.
However, once we elect to remain trapped in none threating situations, we officially transition from the victim to the volunteer. For millions of people, it is easier to play the victim than it is to acknowledge they are voluntarily participating in the chaos that surrounds them. It may be difficult for an individual that was originally the victim to clearly see themselves as a volunteer in their situation once they allow it to continue to happen. I know that bad things happen to good people...but it's rare that we are undeserving of all the negative things that we experience. Just like you, I can find a plethora of things that I don't believe was all my fault. However, that doesn't mean I was innocent or a victim of circumstance 100% of the times.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of hours counseling people that have worn hats as both the victim and the volunteer. Most were unaware that they were playing the leading role as both characters. For others it was done through the choice of convenience. It may be inconvenient to accept accountability for the roles we play and the poor choices we make in life. Victimization comes with the benefit of attention and sympathy, while our choices come with ownership and accountability. I agree that adulting is overrated at times but refusing to accept responsibility places us in an immature state of mind. The victim state of mind can and will appear natural to an individual that does not desire to accept any responsibility for the role that they knowingly play. It is more comfortable to see ourselves as the target than it is to see ourselves as the person holding the weapon that is being used against us. We can’t actively participate in our own victimization without becoming the volunteer.
Volunteering to leave the victim behind
In most cases you can choose to prevent further victimization. It starts with volunteering to leave the victim behind. The victim does nothing to benefit us in life and is a constant reminder of the hurt, shame, guilt, and pain that we’ve experienced. Unfortunately, many people volunteer to take their victim every place they go. It travels from relationship to relationship, from job to job and sometimes from one city to the next. with the person that has volunteered to carry it. The good news is when healthy boundaries are created, they serve as protection from remaining the victim. The boundary becomes a source of empowerment. For a person that struggles with addiction or the family member of an addict, establishing solid boundaries is a key component to recovery. If your partner is emotionally abusive, you can allow them to continue to your detriment by volunteering for more abuse, or you can express your needs and expectation moving forward. Once you establish these boundaries, it is strictly up to you to ensure that they are maintained. If the boundary that you set is violated, you have a right to become upset, but it is more important to set a new boundary to protect yourself. Although we may expect others to respect our boundaries, it is just as important that we respect the boundaries that we set. This is the best way to leave the victim behind.
by Cornelius D. Jones
The world is full of doubters, and there are plenty of people willing to doubt what you are capable of. There is no need of you joining the secret doubter's society just to doubt yourself. Doubt which is the “What Ifs” in our lives does nothing to improve our self-esteem or minimize our risk of negative self-talk. It is of great importance in life to believe in yourself. Learn to let go of the "what ifs" and exchange them for "even if." The what ifs are designed to stop you; however, the even ifs will allow you to continue to move forward without questioning your own ability. What if is worry, uncertainty, and fear, while even if is comfort in knowing that things will still be alright if they don’t go exactly as planned. The two of these are tied directly to our self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem can be defined as someone who has a decent opinion of self without grandiosity. Just because we have healthy self-esteem, that does not mean that self-doubt will never creep in. However, the even if gives us a boost of self-confidence.
The what if push-pull dynamic underlying such ambivalence invariably leads to hesitation and procrastination. It causes you to apply the brakes with one foot even as the other is pressing on the accelerator. Meanwhile nothing positive happens because you remain in the same place. The result is stagnation involving a tremendous amount of tension and distress. What if keeps you at war with yourself, clearly your own worst enemy. Your anxiety shut down your creativity, disenabling you from giving your all to anything you might wish to achieve.
Unquestionably, when old, worrisome thoughts about your capabilities remain tightly lodged in your brain, your fondest hopes, dreams, desires, and aspirations will be compromised at times, fatally undermined. It’s extremely difficult to maintain enough motivation to apply yourself to goals, when you are rooted in the non-fertilizable soil of what if.
Consider that continuing, despite various obstacles, to persist at something requires personal will and determination. Even if allows you to face obstacles by being optimistic. This invaluable asset can be mobilized only when you believe that putting in enough effort may not guarantee a positive outcome, but you give it an earnest attempt. Absent this conviction that simply committing to, and persevering with, an undertaking will likely lead to success.
3 Ways to Overcome the What Ifs
1. Learn Self-Compassion
When we use even if, it us demonstrating compassion for ourselves in advance. Instead of beating ourselves down with the brutal what if whip. Show yourself the grace that you will show others. While it's easy to extend compassion to others, very few people can temper their self-criticism with self-compassion. Self-compassion is simply being kind to oneself.
It is true that self-compassion develops emotional resilience. There are a few things that you can do to help in this area of your life. Be aware of your own suffering, especially when it's caused by your self-judgment or self-criticism; don't be cruel toward yourself and remember that imperfection is a part of our shared human experience. None of us signed contracts when we were born that said that we would be perfect. With that, remember that the word perfection is the most imaginary word in our vocabulary because it doesn’t exist.
2. Stop Asking for Validation
Trust yourself enough to know that the positive decisions you make, are the right decision. If you are in the habit of continuously asking others what they think before making decisions on important matters, you might be weakening your even if faith in yourself. The input from others often reaffirms the what if that you are already struggling with. The truth is, you might end up losing your voice and the vison that you had because it becomes diluted with the more what ifs that are raised. There is nothing wrong with taking some advice, but at some point, decide on what feels right to you. The same people that can make you feel validated, can also make you feel invalidated.
3. Stop Sharing Your Plans
There are studies in psychology that have proven that when we tell someone our goal, and they acknowledge it, we are less likely to do the work that is necessary to accomplish the goal. This is because our brain mistakes the talking for the doing. The world is now filled with people that are doing everything but hasn’t done anything. The gratification that we receive from the social acknowledgment tricks our brain into feeling that the goal has already been accomplished. The satisfaction we experience in the telling removes the motivation to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
Remove the what if thinking and thinkers from your life and develop an even if attitude. Even if everything you attempt doesn't work, at least you had the confidence to go for it!
"Even if gives us power, while what if takes it from us." - CorneliusDJones
by Cornelius D. Jones
Throughout my journey in life, I have come to discover, the most powerful tool in the world is not money, positions, nor fame…it’s the power of knowledge. With money we can buy whatever we desire, but with knowledge we have the power to dictate how much we can earn. Power is the capacity to direct or influence behavior of others and the course of events. It’s the ability to possess control and authority over someone or something. When knowledge is combined with will, we can transform ourselves into someone powerful. Knowledge is often wisdom passed down through years of trials, tribulation, and education. Knowledge is what gives us the intellectual, physical, and spiritual strength to conquer all obstacles before us. People loosely say that knowledge is power. The truth is knowledge is power only when it changes your life or the lives of others. To truly understand what you learn, you must know how and when to apply it. That’s the fundamental difference between theory and practice. There is no point of being a genius if you don’t use your intelligence and knowledge as a benefit.
Knowledge is merely a word, until it’s shared with others. Attempting to keep it to ourselves, would offer us nothing additionally and is selfish. The knowledge that I possess hasn’t just transformed my life, but I use It to help others in nearly every space that I enter. My goal has never been to be the smartest person in the room, but to be knowledgeable enough in multiple things to keep a conversation moving and empower others. The beautiful thing about knowledge is that it helps us to achieve the success that we desire, which gives us the power to control our own destiny. Being successful will require you to be knowledgeable in something. When I’m asked to come and speak, they are paying me for my perspectives that derives from knowledge. That places me in a position of power as I negotiate contracts.
Someone can steal your money or identity, but that doesn’t mean they can steal your knowledge. You will gain new knowledge with every class you take in college, every new skill you learn, and with every new experience you have. That knowledge will serve you your whole life. Knowledge insists us to know the difference between what is right and wrong. It helps to us to overcome our faults, weaknesses, and dangerous situations in life. True knowledge will help you to bloom into your full self.
Knowledge gives people the freedom to innovate and think freely, while contributing to the progress of a shared world. There is both value and power that comes along with all knowledge. However, there it’s also a responsibility in how we utilize the two. Dr. Kings said, “The function of educations is to teach one to think, intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character…that is the goal of true education.”
An education helps us to lay the groundwork to feel confident in our abilities and help us to find our passion in life. The knowledge you gain through education will teach you to stay committed and give you the ability to problem-solve. Gaining knowledge doesn’t happen only in the classroom, it extends far beyond our graduation dates. You will need to demonstrate knowledge on your job, in social circles, and while pursuing personal interest. Each of you can glean new knowledge that gives our life purpose which makes us powerful.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I find value in his words but want to leave you with this…when you integrate education and knowledge it provides you with the tools to enrich the minds of everyone you meet."
by Cornelius D. Jones
As a member of a Black Fraternity, I often find myself wondering have we lost sight of the visions that our founding members once had. It seems to me, as if we have forgotten the primary reasons of why Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) were founded. The founders wanted Black students to use the educations we received while away at college to improve conditions for Black Americans once we graduated. The idea was to create strong economic power in communities that were and are still underserved. Although each organization has different founding principles, historically they’ve all operated as a unified body to create social change.
In the early 20th century, the inclusion of African Americans was a hope at best. It was also a difficult time for Black students on the campuses of Predominantly White colleges and universities. They were banned from joining social organizations at the colleges and universities they attended due to the color of their skin. This led to Black students seeking ways to cope with the racial discrimination and prejudice they faced on and off campus. The first effort at creating a BGLO was with Alpha Kappa Nu in 1903 at Indiana University. It was disbanded in 1905 as the result of not being able to keep members. One year later, Alpha Phi Alpha became the first Black fraternity to sustain and grow its membership. What is so rarely said is that it started as a study group that offered support for Black male students attending Cornell University. After Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded in 1906, there has been eight additional intercollegiate fraternities and sororities founded. Nearly each of the organizations were founded on similar principles of service, community, scholarship, and humanity.
A lot has changed from when our Founders put their heads together to create these powerful and meaningful organizations. Many of our members are now opinion makers in the community, and it is important that we remain aware of the power of which is potential to influence change. However, there has been little to no action taken collectively by the very organizations that often boast about what we’ve done in the past. The present circumstances we face in 2023, mirrors what we faced in 1963. There are widespread attacks on African American AP studies, books are being banned, the Florida Senate panel has voted to block funding for colleges diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. In Mississippi the state Senate passed a bill to create a segregated court system in Jackson, and the list goes on.
Meanwhile it appears that members of BGLOs and the organizational leaders are sitting idly by. Perhaps we've grown more comfortable with wearing the letters than we are with doing the work that goes into fighting for social change. Outside of flooding social media with group photos of members wearing paraphernalia while hanging out, the groups rarely publicly speak out on current social issues or take the lead to address concerns. It could be the result of some of the leaders personal internal and external political ambitions have taken priority over being the voice for marginalized people. Can it be due to current members not sharing the same vision as our founders?
Many of us are no longer returning to the same communities that we came from with our degrees. The presence of Black owned CPA, medical, dentist, law offices and other industries in heavily Black communities are long gone. The evidence of this can easily be seen throughout America in urban communities as gentrification has taken over entire city blocks. It is true that our organizations still host quarterly, annual cleanups and do community service projects but it doesn’t have the same impact of us living there. As members we must remember that masses of Americans are still being denied and deprived educational and economic opportunities. Those individuals are almost totally dependent on organizations like ours as their means to relating to the societal issues at large. My message to all members of D9 organizations is simple.... We no longer have the liberty to sit in silence as history is repeating itself before our eyes. Perhaps it's time get all the way involved or admit that our eyes have lost sight of what our founders envisioned.
by Cornelius D. Jones
Some would suggest that happiness is a pleasant emotion, I beg the differ and identify it as a state of mind. For years, I have taught clients that it's more of a thought than a feeling which is driven by emotions. There are people, who believe that the fulfillment of a certain wish would create happiness in their life, by taking away their troubles. Although, happiness is not an eraser for our troubles it can certainly be the key that unlocks all of life’s self-gratifications. Happiness is a combination of how satisfied you are with your life and how good you feel on a day-to-day basis. The good news is, with consistent effort all unhappiness can be offset. In other words, you can control how you feel with consistent practice. Happiness doesn’t exist in things; it exists in the people that have chosen to activate the power of happiness.
We live in a world where people suffer from uncontrollable stresses and shortcomings. However, the reaction to those conditions helps us refine how we respond to emotions and builds character. A happy life is commonly referred to as the ability to extract satisfaction from the most common little things and in difficult conditions.
What Does Happiness Do?
To be happy, stop focusing on the lack of things that you don’t have. It is better to be grateful and thank the Universe for what you have and focus optimistically on what you want to achieve. Don't compare yourself or life to others. To become happy, you also need to calm both your mind and thinking by silencing the noise of life.
Secrets to create happiness and peace within
1) Redefine what Happiness is to you
Material possessions, money and notoriety might bring the illusion of happiness and inner peace, but true happiness and inner peace can only come from within. Neither are dependent on your possessions, status or current circumstances. Being happy with ourselves allows us to be happy even when we don’t an abundance of things.
2) Have a positive life attitude
A positive attitude allows you to have a sense of peace and internal happiness. Use an “even if” mindset on solutions and not a “what if” attitude about problems. Being problem focused limits your ability to focus on real solutions You can choose the see the problems, or you can choose to see the solutions to problems.
3) Limit the opportunity for fears
Fear and worry naturally causes stress and unhappiness. Even if your fears and worries are real, you will gain nothing of value by dwelling on them. What you will get is a lack of peace, happiness or satisfaction. The negative thoughts of what you fear may not happen but will eventually rule your mind if you don’t let them go.
4) Be a doer
Don’t just accept your circumstances. Don’t be passive, instead be an active doer. Don’t be afraid of action and challenges. Change is just a word when no action is applied. The world is filled with people that are all doing things although most haven’t done anything. Avoid becoming a member of the dreadful doing club by being a real doer.
What have you been meaning to do, but haven't had the money or time for?
Learn to do what you love, when you do so...happiness and peace will start filling your life.
5) Set a Goal, make a plan, and make it happen
Consciously, decide to change the things that you don’t like or aren’t benefiting you. You might not be able to change everything, yet, there are many things you can change in your life.
Look at changes like these as a chance to improve your life. Take one project, think about it, make plans, and start working on it. If you take this simple approach, you will notice the power you possess over your own happiness.
by Cornelius D. Jones
Conflicts can range from small sibling rivalry, disagreements in relationships, to sharing a workspace with a colleague who consistently leaves the space disorganized and messy. Which may be frustrating and seem unprofessional to you. Although conflict may be beneficial in certain situations, in others it can result in negative consequences. The benefit that I propose is conflict can include improved understanding of roles, team development and quality of group decision making.
Although conflict cannot be avoided but it can certainly be managed. Since conflict will always be present on an individual and organizational level, it is important to develop the skills to appropriately manage a difficult conversation or interaction. Developing the skills necessary to overcome conflict can be defined and learned to reduce the likelihood of escalation or additional harm.
Six Pearls of Wisdom of Overcoming Conflict
1. Make sure that good relationships are a priority. Treat the other person with respect. Do your best to be courteous, and to discuss matters constructively.
2. Separate people from problems. Recognize that, in many cases, the other person is not "being difficult" – real and valid differences can lie behind conflicting positions. By separating the problem from the person, you can discuss issues without damaging relationships.
3. Listen carefully to different interests. You'll get a better grasp of why people have adopted their position if you try to seek understanding instead of being understood.
4. Listen first, talk second. You should listen to what the other person is saying before defending your own position. They might say something that changes your mind.
5. Set out the "facts." Decide on the observable facts that might impact your decision, together.
6. Explore options together. Be open to the idea that a third position may exist, and that you might reach it jointly.
Healthy Resolutions to Conflict
To begin this process, it is important to cultivate self-awareness regarding one's physical and emotional reaction to situations involving conflict. The most common responses on approaching conflict include avoiding, accommodating, competing, compromising, and collaborating. Avoidance (or silence) refers to an individual recognizing conflict in a situation and actively deciding to not engage or deal with the problem. Avoidance may be prudent when the issue is minor in nature, as a temporary response or when emotions are high or when others can resolve an issue more efficiently. This approach would be the opposite of someone whose response is to compete. Which is categorized as being forcing, uncooperative, and assertive in the situation. Competition might be appropriate in emergent situations or actions known to be unpopular need to be taken on an important issue. People whose response is to accommodate others generally do not have their own needs met. Accommodations may be necessary when one is wrong, if the issue is more critical to others or if the value of harmony in the situation outweighs the benefit of a conflict. When accommodation is used, the conflict is resolved but if the pattern repeats itself frequently residual resentment may affect the relationship.
Compromise and collaboration are both a balance of assertiveness and cooperativeness. The difference between the two is that compromise is often a negotiation between two parties with equivalent power, whereas collaboration is focused on finding a solution where all parties involved have their needs met. Compromise is focused on fixing a problem with healthy options and interventions that allows for a broader view on problem solving. A combination of compromise and collaboration has also been defined as a problem-solving response. Although there is not a correct response, these responses characterized by open-mindedness to the ideas and perspectives of others promote positive outcomes.
When a conflict exists, the first step is to decide whether to address it. Your decision should involve balancing the reward against price of addressing the issue; that balance is unique to each circumstance. Some general rules are that if the issue is troublesome enough that it is affecting your behavior or weighing on your conscience, it should be addressed. It is important not to confuse the perceived difficulty of the conversation with determination of whether it will be beneficial and appropriate to proceed. Perceived differences in power often impact a decision to address a conflict.
We must also thoroughly understand our own position. It is critical to gather all the background information and any data necessary to discuss the conflict, prior to doing so. It is important to achieve clarity about what is desired from the confrontation as well as what you are prepared to give up or compromise. Another key element is awareness and identifying which outcomes we consider undesirable. Part of the preparation is consideration of our own motivations and goals as well as the motivations and goals of the other party. This step seems obvious but is frequently not done or only superficially evaluated. Just to be clear, it is understanding from as many vantage points as possible how the problem situation might have developed.
by Cornelius D. Jones
Those that experience victories in life developed endurance to overcome adversity. Having the stamina to stand through any storm that life brings your way, along with the tenacity to triumph even in moments of great turbulence is what defines you. The truth is you must be unshakeable even in moments of uncertainty. Adversity may slow us down, but it certainly shouldn’t be allowed to stop us. Learn to treat it like a yield sign, instead of a stop sign. Trials will occur in life, but endurance requires you to never stop trying. What the resilient do is refrain from blaming themselves for being slowed down. They game plan, hit the reset button, and figure out a way to bounce back. In the language of psychology, they externalize blame as they internalize success; they take responsibility for what goes right in their lives.
At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself, yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as temporary.
5 Ways to Move Past Adversity
1. Change your mindset
In case you are unaware it starts with your thoughts; they frame the triumphs or tragedies of your life. Getting past adversity requires a change in your belief about challenges and setbacks. It is not what happens to you, but how you respond to it that is important here. My mindset is that setbacks are my setup for my major comeback. Think positive, expect positive things to happen for you, instead of expecting negative things to happen to you. Whatever we tell our mind will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You must realize that difficulty is not designed to derail you, but to develop you. True change starts in the mind so maintain a positive mindset.
2. Eliminate excuses
Excuses are the greatest a waste of oxygen because they keep us from telling the truth to others and ourselves. If you don’t achieve your dreams, it will be because you made the decision to be detained by excuses. Adversity is often a great excuse for people to stand by as life moves by them. Excuses will always box you in and become the barrier that prevents you from getting to where you are meant to be. We can’t overcome adversity when we focus on the excuse instead of the action plan. You conquer excuses by having the courage to step out and do what seems impossible. Over the years, I have learned to find strength in the word impossible considering that I discovered that it spells "I’m possible."
3. Rely on your faith
Fear is the opposite of faith and prevents us from trusting that things will work in our favor. You can either live in faith or live in fear; however, faith and fear cannot coexist. The funny thing is that it takes more energy to live a life full of fear than it does to live it full of faith. Look at it like this…fear will always attempt to immobilize you, while faith is designed to energize you. If you must rely on anything it may as well be your faith. When your desire to overcome becomes greater than your fear, you’ll overcome adversity more naturally.
4. Invest in you
One of the greatest investments that I’ve ever made was in myself. Just like everyone else, I have had my fair share of trials and tribulations. I used those tribulations as an opportunity to grow and change. Growth and change are the evidence of life, anything that isn’t growing is dying. Find ways to grow daily by working towards self-improvement. This means to invest in yourself, so you can change for the better. Use your adversity as momentum to move forward instead of allowing it to hold you back. Invest in your own personal development because in the end, you will always get a greater return on yourself. We all face adversity in some way, life requires that we do. It serves as a part of the test that adds to our powerful testimony. When we focus on developing into a stronger wiser person, both we and those around us benefit more.
5. Use each success as energy
With every success, we are strengthened and empowered for greater victories. Each of us must remember that we cannot allow ourselves to become enslaved by disappointments. We must realize that every adversity is being engineered for our destiny. Small successes are a source of energy that feeds the wind of faith so that we can push forward. What causes one individual to succeed and another not, is how the two responds to adversity. Some people allow adversity to be our fuel while others allow it to become their kryptonite. We can either become a success at overcoming or succeed at failing, both are always determined by where we place our energy.