Being good in a crisis is a great life skill.  Thinking clearly, doing what needs to get done, being flexible in the moment and getting things back on course can mean the difference between life and death or survival vs. utter destruction.  Some people have these skills naturally, some work to make themselves experts in various kinds of crisis response, and still others have to struggle to develop any kind of crisis response as it goes against their essential nature.  The crisis management we think of most often is the fight side of “fight or flight” and we don’t value the flight side of things as often even though in many cases it’s the most practical thing of all.  Well, we value it when watching a horror movie where the teenagers are walking right into the serial killer, but that’s half the fun because you knoooooooowwww this isn’t going to end well since there’s still an hour left of the movie…ahem…I digress.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  So crisis management good.  Living by crisis management not so much.  Crisis should be a very rare thing or at least sporadic depending on if you’re living in a war zone or not. For the majority of us crises should arise rarely, be momentous events that have to be dealt with over a relatively short period of time, and then we move on.  The aftermath might take much longer to deal with, but that is after the crisis has concluded.  Life shouldn’t be one crisis after the other and yet a great number of people choose to live that way.

Their lives just happen to be one crisis after another, a list of crises to be dealt with on a daily basis, and regulated by the level of crises experienced and what amount of resolve each one is experiencing at any given moment.  From the outside most people recognize that the issues being labeled crises are in fact not so and that the person is choosing to live perpetually in crisis mode.  But to the person doing so, life is just one crisis after another and the cycle never ends and they never get any rest nor any break and they can’t see any way to make things different.

One of the keys to stopping the constant crisis onslaught is to realize that at the core this is about responsibility.  In the face of a crisis responsibility for the cause of the crisis is irrelevant and we are responsible only for our actions in the moment and their outcomes which are hopefully positive.  Living by crisis doesn’t feel like a victim mentality because we are empowered to constantly overcome adversity and we win each and every time.  However, the situation is set up so we are never responsible for taking charge of our own lives, being responsible for the course it takes, or for the causes of the crises because we live by crisis management.  Life is in control, circumstances, outside influence, not us.  We’re the plucky hero surviving it all.  To stop the crisis onslaught means taking on responsibility not just of our reactions, but our choice of actions.  It means putting the situation into the correct context, moving things from crisis to normal, therefore giving us the control over what actions we take, what priorities we choose to implement, what direction our lives go.

Crisis management not only means managing effectively when a crisis arises, but also managing our lives so we’re not controlled by constant crisis.  Putting ourselves back into the drivers seat and relegating the designation “crisis” to its appropriate place gives us back the ability to not only live our life but to thrive in it.