Machen MacDonald: Hang in THERE |

Machen MacDonald: Hang in THERE

Tough times are inevitable and you can absolutely handle whatever tough times you may be experiencing.

The fact remains that events and situations will continue to affect our experience both good and not so good. If we are agreeable to the circumstances occurring in our life, we believe life is good.

If we believe what has happened or is happening should be different than what it is, then our current life experience may not be that for which we were hoping.

Regardless of where you find yourself on this continuum of, “My life rocks” vs. “My life sucks,” it will change as you can change.

Here is a tool that helps me when I find myself on the side of believing it, whatever it is, should be different and life is feeling hard — Hang in T.H.E.R.E.

I’m not talking about being passive and enduring the pain, waiting for things to change or for time to take care of it. This is a proactive strategy that will help redirect you closer to the “My Life Rocks” side of the spectrum.

T: Trust that it will work out and that you can handle whatever may come about. The opposite of this is awful, i.e., thinking and focusing on how bad it is or could be and rerunning that story in your head. Stop awfulizing and trust.

We simply must remember perspective and focus here. It could always be worse than it is. The past does not have to duplicate itself in our future. We created our habits and patterns that got us where we are and we can change those we need to in order to get us where we want to be.

We can continue to learn, grow and become more than we currently are whether it is knowledge, skill, compassion, or capacity. Trust yourself.

H: Honor yourself. Speak to yourself in an objective way rather than a critical way. Acknowledge how far you have come rather than how far you may not have gotten.

Take inventory of your accomplishments and progress rather than tallying your mistakes. Remember what you are capable of doing when you are at your best and strive to do your best.

Keep in mind, doing our best doesn’t necessarily mean no mistakes along the way to total perfection. It means doing our best and progressing along the way given our resources at the time. And, for your sake, stop comparing yourself to others. Nobody ever wins that one.

E: Explore other options and meanings. Often when things happen in our life we make up a story around what it all means about us. When something happens notice the story you make up about you. It may feel very real to you and you may have a lot of certainty around it. However, it can have other meanings associated to it, too.

The meaning you choose to believe will affect how you deal with what is going on. Here’s an example. If one were to find themselves with a bit more month left at the end of their money, their story may be — I’m a failure; I’m not good with money, I’ll never get ahead, I’ll be stuck here forever.

Notice those are just thoughts about a situation. Those kind of thoughts, however, will keep a person stuck in their box. Explore different thoughts of what the same situation could mean — Now is a good time to learn how to budget better, now is a good time to ask for a raise or make more sales calls, Now is a good time to learn how to sell things online to supplement my income.

You see, if you don’t like your circumstances it’s simply an indicator for you to do things differently than before; including your thinking.

R: Recalibrate. Based on your exploration of what things can mean to you and about you, rewrite your game plan from the more empowered perspectives you discovered. Write down what you are willing to do differently today, this week, this month or this year to get the results you want in your life. Trust that you can do it. It may feel awkward and scary. And, you can do it.

E: Execute! Just do it. Do the next best action from your recalibrated plan and do it before your bed hits the pillow tonight. Get up tomorrow and do more of the same.

Remember, when the going gets tough to Hang in THERE! Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He can be reached by calling 530-273-8000. Visit

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