Change is inevitable – after all, nothing really stays the same.  But in today’s challenging times, it seems like we’re on “uncertainty” overload, never knowing what will happen from one moment to the next. Here today, gone tomorrow – or, at the least, very different tomorrow.

Uncertainty brings stress and confusion, and while most of us would be quick to say that we want less stress and more certainty in our lives, what we really want is less of a stress reaction to what life is throwing our way.

We can’t choose what happens to us – but we can choose our responses to the situations we encounter.  Let’s take a look at five different responses that people have to stressful situations. As you read through these five responses, you may want to think of a recent stressful event or news that you have received, and see what your reaction to that event can teach you about how you habitually respond.  You may have one type of response at work, and another at home, or you may react differently depending on who else is involved.

The first, and unfortunately all too common response to stressful events is to suffer and be a victim to it. People who respond this way don’t take action. Things happen TO them – and though they may complain and be generally miserable about it, they don’t take any steps to do anything. They allow life to control them, instead of the other way around. This way of responding is certainly not recommended, and eventually, it will take its toll on one’s physical and mental health.

The second type of response is to accept it the situation, and to get some perspective on it.  Someone with this response may say “so what,” or perhaps get some perspective on the situation by asking if it will it matter in a year – or a week – or even in a day.

The third way to respond is to actually take steps to change the situation – taking action to bring it to resolution (or at least move toward resolution). This is a very powerful response, and one that many effective leaders employ.

The fourth way to respond is to avoid the situation. People responding this way make a decision not to get involved in a situation that they don’t see as concerning them, or upon which they can’t make an impact. For example, someone may choose not to get involved in a dispute going on within their office if it doesn’t directly involve them.

The fifth and final way that people generally respond to stress is to alter the experience of the situation. When we look at a situation differently, the experience itself changes. Changing perceptions is probably the most challenging of the responses, because we tend to be stuck in our own interpretations and assumptions about what’s happening, but it is also perhaps the most powerful of all.

It’s your life, and you can create it and lead it as you wish. Remember, what one person sees as stressful, another person barely notices, or sees as exciting and full of opportunity.

So, when life throws you lemons, how will you choose? 

Please comment below and keep the conversation going!






I love it when Spongebob gives me blogging content! It just so happens that this episode about the Magic Conch (or consciousness) is a fun way to teach kids (or anyone!) about awareness, tuning into positivity, and having unshakable belief!

Just yesterday my son and I were watching a program on TV about Einstein and how he seemed to be able to access other realms of possibility…a universal pool of ideas and opportunities available to all of us if we become open to receiving that knowledge (a.k.a., being more conscious!).  Certainly, the study of Einstein’s brain showed that he had significantly above average mathematical, visuospatial, imagery and synthesis abilities. But, for those of us with a more average brain, how do we help ourselves out? Can the “Magic Conch” help? 


Many of you may have seen an image like the one below which depicts the tip of the iceberg we would see if we were cruising on very cold waters. What we normally wouldn’t see is the enormous iceberg which continues for miles below the tip, outside of our view or awareness. That’s a great representation as well of our consciousness (or Spongebob’s Magic Conch). We can only tap into its vast knowledge if we are aware of it.


This Spongebob episode in particular provides a funny metaphor for problem solving and how the Magic Conch can help guide the way.

Spongebob’s Magic Conch takeaways…

  1. Get on the right frequency. Squidward represents the frequency of negativity or low consciousness (challenges).
  2. Tap into the universal source–the 90% we don’t normally see (like the iceberg). The Magic Conch represents that “answer”; the frequency of high consciousness (solutions).
  3. Have unwavering trust and know you will receive what you need (info or resources).
    The Magic Conch said to Spongebob and Patrick “Do nothing; wait.” They did just that, happily, and the resources they needed just fell out from the sky! That’s how the universe works too.

I bet you can think of  a time when this has happened to you. Would you share it with me? 

I find that one of the best ways for me to access this pool of knowledge and inspiration is by going on a walk. Walking puts me on that high conscious frequency every time. I always get my best ideas that way. For others, their Magic Conch can represent meditating, praying, chanting, singing, running, or day dreaming.

What’s your Magic Conch?