In a tough situation you can adapt yourself to the situation, adjust the situation, or avoid the situation entirely. This 'change' frame is a great way to think about how to handle difficult situations when they occur.
Here is an example to make it more real:
Imagine a work situation in which your manager gives you incomplete or vague direction. When you follow this direction you often end up getting criticism that you completed the task incorrectly. As a result you end up repeating work in what feels like a wasteful cycle. You may feel that your manager is mistreating you and that you cannot succeed in the situation.
Here is how you could apply the 'change' frame:
I think most people have a tendency to fall into one of these strategies by default. Some people tend to avoid too often, depriving themselves of opportunity. Others tend to adapt too easily, bending themselves when the situation should be changed instead. Others tend toward rigidity and will work hard to adjust a situation when a small adaptation on their part would have accomplished more.
I tend to adapt more often than I probably should. What do you do?
Special thanks to JD for teaching me the 'change' frame and blogging about it first.