Crisis as Opportunity

Crises and setbacks are not only inevitable parts of life but also are usually precipitated by our very success. In crises and setbacks, our past experiences and current capacity to cope are exceeded by the challenges we face. Our goal is to use each crisis as an opportunity to improve our adjustment beyond a previous best. To do so, we need to reach out to others and make positive changes in our spheres of self, intimacy and achievement.

But this is not easy. Our successful adjustment to life is based on patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions that we have acquired through considerable effort and sacrifice. These patterns have been repeatedly rewarded and reinforced throughout our life. They have become part of our personality.

Frequently, when faced with a new challenge or environment, our previously successful patterns of thoughts, feelings and actions can become not only ineffective but also the source of our failure. Since we all have confidence in what has worked well for us in the past, we harbor a strong internal resistance to any change, even a change for the better.

Fortunately, in crisis and distress, we have a rare opportunity to deviate from our "beaten path" with less resistance. In distress, our confidence and faith in our past ways are shattered, and we are more likely to reach out to others and seek a new and better way of coping.

For this reason, we must welcome crises and setbacks rather than fear them. They are formidable and rare opportunities for renewing ourselves. Learn to use crises to acquire effective ways of thinking, feeling and acting. With practice and dedicated effort, you can emerge from each crisis transformed and ready to face even greater challenges in the future.

For a better understanding of how to turn crisis into opportunity, see the chapter titled "Crisis as Opportunity" in my eManual, Breakthrough Intimacy - Sad to Happy through Closeness. New publications will be presented at What's New and Available from Lifetrack section of this site.

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