When it came to increasing the size of everyday molehills into large mountains, I’d indeed secured the coveted titles of champion and grand prize- winner. This was not an easy victory with lackadaisical requirements. Practice demands were challenging but I took advantage of every opportunity. They were literally all around me:

• Home
• Work
• On the road
• Grocery store
• Airport
• Restaurants
• School car line

Everyday, several times a day, we’re faced with a plethora of situations. Most are truly insignificant and unimportant. Very much like the loose mounds of dirt raised up by burrowing insects for shelter. My molehills however, did not stay small for long. I continually nourished them into strong healthy mountains. These mountains did not add good things to my life. They did just the opposite by elevating my stress level, depleting my energy, increasing anxiety and suffocating my sense of humor. Would a normal rational person continue down this path? Yes, I did for awhile. Not so much because I wanted to, but because I was accustomed to this pattern of behavior for a very long time. A situation would present itself and I’d automatically slip into the “over reaction mode”

Determined to break this repressive cycle, I made a conscious decision to starve my molehills. No longer would I provide the nourishment needed for their growth. To become mountains, they needed:

• Anger
• Impatience
• Fear
• Pettiness
• Pride
• Selfishness

I use the following steps in my ongoing battle to limit this powerful liability in my life. They can be effective for you as well:

1) Make a quick assessment- so often I would take a molehill make into a mountain and realize what I had done after the process was complete. Now, I take a closer look, and a moment to think. This provides a degree of clarity that is not revealed when we let our emotions take the lead.

2) Respond accordingly- I evaluate the situation in relation to my life and what I have identified to be important, valuable and irreplaceable.

Consider the following example:
A nasty driver cuts right in front of you on the expressway. The first response may be anger and a burning desire to catch up and get even. But after thinking about it for a minute, several things should become evident. First, this person has issues. Why would you let their issues bring out the worst in you? Furthermore, why let their irrational behavior effect the quality of your day? Even for one minute. Move past this molehill quickly. Investing any effort in a situation like this one is________ . You fill in the blank.

3) Entertain another perspective – immersed in molehill growing glory, I failed to recognize other plain and simple variables:

People make mistakes. This should not be a difficult concept to grasp since I’ve made a couple in my lifetime.

Perceived strikes are not always intentional. The minute I was rubbed the wrong way, my reaction was defensive. Intent was never factored in the equation; however it is an important component that should be considered before developing a plan of attack.

4) Conserve energy – I learned this quickly: turning the molehills in my life to mountains soaked up energy, a valuable commodity from my vantage point and perhaps yours as well. I need energy to manage so many other significant aspects of my existence. The choice became crystal clear.

5) Focus on limiting- it is very difficult to totally eradicate this behavior but it is within my reach and yours to make gradual and consistent improvements everyday. I’m not perfect and I’m okay with that. It would not be realistic to expect flawless behavior in all my encounters and relationships, a worthy endeavor but out of my reach.

On a daily basis, I strive to go beyond my immediate need to over dramatize and instead see these situations for what they really are…molehills in a landscape filled with existing mountains to tackle. You can choose do the same.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Paul Jackson is a writer and successful corporate manager that has developed an innovative personal development system for maximizing the quality of your life. LifeQuality Management's website: www.LQM-online.com offers result-oriented Web and TeleClasses.