Powerful Tools for Staying Rational in Tough Times — #TheThreeMinuteChallenge

by | Apr 16, 2020 | 0 comments

Feelings are invulnerable to rational thought. ~ Stephen King

“The sky is falling.” We would love to think that irrational thinking, fear, and panic, are reserved for only the young or immature, as in the case of the timid and frightened Chicken Little. Yet, we know better. On some scale, large or small, we’ve all fallen victim to irrational thinking. The Chicken Little fable, passed on through the centuries, is intended to guide us as a reminder that bravery and courage are needed during tough times. Whether through the worries of everyday life or the horrors of war, we need stability. The ability to remain rational in the face of challenging times requires mental strength. 

Mentally strong individuals see situations for what they really are so that they can respond appropriately. Chicken Little’s fears were not real. Yes, an acorn fell from the sky, but Chicken Little’s panic prevented the chick from knowing what really occurred. In our own lives, we do experience situations that are real and very scary. COVID-19 is an example of how our lives are upended with a threat that can be deadly. The challenge for leaders is in moving forward, with poise and calmness, during this pandemic and beyond so that our “new normal” is productive rather than just disruptive. 

The key to being rational when everything seems irrational is in having specific methods to use, naming your pain-point, and reminding yourself about your actual circle of control. Take the following 3-minute challenge to realize how that works for you. 

We all need tools that allow us to take the necessary steps to remain in control. It’s critical that leaders respond to situations effectively, regardless of the circumstance. There are three important steps that all of us can take to remain strong and thrive in the most difficult scenarios, now and in the future.

  1. Identify 2 specific methods that work for you to help regain your center and experience a sense of calmness and balance. Personally, we are fans of Box Breathing
  2. Provide (for yourself) a description of exactly what is bothering or frightening you in any given moment of time or in general as you read this post. Put a name on that specific emotion or fear. Naming the emotion allows you to bring it forward. 
  3. Remind yourself about true control. The only thing that we can ever really control in life is our own efforts, attitudes, and behaviors. The reminder can serve as the center of your breathing or other technique from #1. 

Tools I Use to Regain Peace of MindCommon Issue(s) that Frighten or Cause AlarmWhat I Am In Control of Each Day
Box BreathingBecoming Ill and Unable to Serve My Family  Creating a Healthy and Nutritious Diet for Strength of Body and Mind 



Pro Tip: Take it slow and be patient. If you are new to deep breathing techniques, don’t rush the process. Reactions may range from feeling dizzy to forgetting what number you’re on in the box. Don’t worry about that. Accept the truth that everything of value takes time and lean into the process of learning to master your method. 

Reach out and share your story with us. We love to hear from our audience. 

Stay tuned for more challenges, reflection questions, leadership models, podcasts, and more by following theschoolhouse302.com. It’s our job to curate, synthesize, and communicate so that you can lead better and grow faster. In a world plagued by nothing but noise, we help you by getting to simple.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J.

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