Sweating the Small Stuff? Overcoming is Simpler than You Think
By Garret Kramer,
Author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life

We all overcome. In fact, our innate ability to get over things is so fluent and natural that most of the time we don’t even notice it. The other morning, for example, I arrived at my desk and realized that it was extremely hot in my office. I became upset that the air conditioning wasn’t working. But then the phone rang, and I had emails to write and people to see. Before I knew it, it was 6:00 p.m., and I became aware that I was perspiring slightly — oh, right, the air conditioning was broken, wasn’t it?

You see, it may be difficult to grasp in the midst of uneasiness, but only when a person interferes with the mind’s capacity to regulate to clarity will he or she struggle. In my case, I became distracted by the busyness of my day, and, thus, my irritated and bound-up thinking quickly flowed away. If, from my low level of consciousness, I had hunted down the building superintendent or tried to fix the AC myself (my wife is laughing as she reads this), I would have exacerbated my confusion and my day would have most likely turned out unproductive.

Coping mechanisms are not required. We all get stuck and it hurts, but getting over things is natural.

But what was it that truly allowed me to overcome my upset thinking about my hot office (after all, distractions only last so long)? Why do some people always seem to handle adversity and get on with life, while others seem to wallow?

The answer has to do with how the human mind functions. The mind is designed to take out old, stale, and churned-over thought — and bring in new, fresh, and uncontaminated thought. The degree to which a person understands this determines his or her level of resilience. Those who move gracefully through misfortune recognize that when their minds are racing or bound-up, their perceptions are distorted, so if they try to fix things (i.e., small stuff such as the broken air conditioning, a more acute life event such as a tragedy, or even their own thinking), they’ll prevent new thought — and solutions — from arriving.

In short, people who seem to not sweat the small stuff actually do sweat the small stuff. However, this tendency is usually short-lived because they also understand that fighting a wayward experience will always make matters worse.

Don’t panic. Everyone “sweats the small stuff” at times.

The bottom line is that the human mind is an energetic and powerful source of consciousness. It doesn’t care if your thoughts are negative, despondent, insecure, judgmental, or obsessive. If you simply stay out of the way when this type of psychological perspective shows up, untarnished and free-flowing thought will eventually emerge. And so will your built-in ability to get over anything that life has in store.

Actually, it gets better than that: When you allow the self-regulating function of the mind to do its job, you uncover enduring and impactful answers — and, at the same time, demonstrate to others the might of looking within.

© 2012 Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life

Garret Kramer, author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life, is the founder and managing partner of Inner Sports, LLC. His revolutionary approach to performance has transformed the careers of professionals athletes and coaches, Olympians, and collegiate players across a multitude of sports. Kramer’s work has been featured on WFAN, ESPN, Fox, and CTV, as well as in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other national publications.

For more information please visit http://www.garretkramer.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter