Coach Shari: Weathering the Storm

Coach Shari: Weathering the Storm

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On a day where nothing seemed to go right, our life coach columnist asked this one question to get things back on track.


I just returned home from attending a wonderful wedding weekend in Arizona with good friends. On my mind was the fact that I hadn’t really accomplished much for work and I would be playing “catch up” when I got back. Thankfully, I hadn’t scheduled too much for myself on my first day back so I could get serious at my desk. I got up early, worked out, and felt ready to tackle my day. There was only one problem— my Internet wasn’t working.

I tried a couple remedies that have worked in the past, but still no Internet. Frustrated, I called my son for suggestions. He patiently walked me through some steps to solve the problem, but no such luck— nothing worked. After going to a coffee shop to work for a while, I returned home to see if the situation had changed. That’s when my husband sent me the email informing me that my Internet provider was doing maintenance. According to the note, it was a temporary situation that would be remedied within 45 minutes. Eight hours later, I realized that my situation was anything but temporary.

To make a long, long story short, I spent at least two hours on the phone with various support people who walked me through possible solutions. Of course, nothing worked. Not even using my iPhone as a hotspot was working.

In the morning, I talked to three various supervisors about the issue and shared how waiting another 24 hours for a technician was unacceptable. Stressed with the situation, I ran out the door so I wouldn’t be late for my full day seminar. As I drove into the lot, I found it strange that there weren’t any cars around. I looked again in my calendar to make sure I had the right day.

I was off by a week. And if all this wasn’t bad enough, two “sure thing” proposals fell through later that day.

Suffice to say, I was having a really, really bad couple of days. I had a plan and things weren’t happening according to my plan. Have you been there? Have you lived a day where you feel like everything in the world is going wrong? A day when you wonder why you even try?

Well, when you do, be sure to ask yourself the following question:

What can I do to control my current situation?

In dire situations, you feel a loss of control. This feeling of having no sense of control makes you uncomfortable, to say the least. Although it may be hard to imagine in the moment, there are always aspects of the situation that you do have control over. Think about ways you can take control, no matter how small the change or impact. This action of focusing on what you can impact, instead of swirling out of control, will make you feel productive and in charge.

Full Disclosure:

I did swirl for a bit before I took control of the situation. That’s pretty normal. However, I didn’t stay there. I searched for ways to keep moving forward.

So, I’m asking you to become more resilient and work on having less “swirling time” and “more productive action time” when bad things happen. Because the truth is that we all have days like I just described.

Columnist - After graduating from Ohio State University with a B.A. in Organizational Communications, Shari spent 10 years working in Business Operations with progressive responsibility. She was an integral part of the company’s growth from 2 to 50 store operations. After leaving this position, she worked in the fields of Education and Social Services, where she became the “go-to” person for change. Her problem-solving, leadership, and people skills enabled her to take an idea and develop it into a full-fledged program. Shari then decided to fulfill a life-long dream and received her Mental Health/Counseling Degree. In 2010, Shari created Shari Goldsmith Coaching, to support and empower professional women to define their goals, go after their dreams, and ultimately change their lives. A few years later, Shari created Workplace Resilience to give individuals and executive teams the tools to not only survive, but thrive in this fast changing marketplace. Shari is the current President of the local Ellevate Chapter, part of a global network of 34,000 professional women. Contact her at