Welcome back readers. This week, I had planned to continue writing about the 3 sides to Self and go into more detail on our physical Self. However, with the current world health crisis and the economic fall out resulting from it, I have decided to change my plan. I think this is the perfect time to discuss an important life skill, Dealing with Change.
I think it is fair to say that there aren’t many people at the moment who’s lives haven’t changed in the past few weeks. Our normal routines have been interrupted and in some cases totally up ended. The security we have felt in our jobs and our day to day life has been shaken. This is change on a massive scale. We have heard all the quotes before, “Change is a sign of life”
“Without change there is no growth”
“The pain of change is worth the struggle”
And while I do whole heartedly agree with these views, the uncertainty of our current situation and the extent of it’s reach will put even the most positive people to the test. So today I want to share with you my view on living and growing through change.
I had originally thought I would title this post “Coping with Change” however I decided that the word “Coping” implies we are powerless in this situation and the best we can do for is to ride it out and hope for the best. When we look at it as “Living and growing with change” we are able to take back our personal power and be in control of our own future, even in these uncertain times.
Now that’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but exactly how can we go from being reactive to proactive when so much of what is happening is out of our control?
I think it is fair to say that with any change, planned change is easier to deal with than unexpected change. And this situation we are in now, well to be honest, unexpected doesn’t even come close to describing it. It is the unexpected changes in our life that really rock our foundations.
So what do we do? I think it is important to first of all take time to step back. When faced with life changing situations that feel completely out of our control, we need this time to calm ourselves. Some people call this grounding or centering and can be achieved through meditation, breathing exercises, prayer or simply finding a quiet spot and slowing down and releasing our thoughts and fears. This is an important first step as what I suggest next works best when we begin with a clear mind free (as much as possible) from fear and doubt.
Now that we are in a calm mindset we can begin to take charge as much as possible in this time of uncertainty and change. I want to make it clear that even when our lives feel like they are going to shit, there are things that are in our control. I will be focussing on three of those things. They are: perception, resilience and action.
I want to start with perception because I truly believe that our perceptions create our reality. As many of us (myself included) are now facing unemployment due to large scale shut down of industry, our perception will massively impact what we believe to be possible. For my own situation, I can choose to perceive the huge question mark on my life as a negative, “When will I get paid again? How will I pay the bills? Will I lose my house?” or I can choose to perceive that same question mark as being full of possibilities, “How can I use this time to do something I am passionate about? What can I learn now that will help me when things calm down and stability returns?” This does not mean I ignore the things that need to be done, but with my perception focussed on possibilities I am in a better mental state to find solutions to those problems.
With our minds grounded and our perception focussed on possibilities rather than fear of the unknown I am simultaneously and with out even trying, increasing my resilience. Word Nerd fact: Resilience comes from the Latin word “Salire” which means to jump and has the added bonus of the prefix “Re” with means to do again. So with resilience, we are able to literally, bounce back again and again. Maintaining this resilience is not easy sometimes. Believe me, I do understand that. It is important however to know that it is always possible. If you are having a hard time believing me, take a moment to think of the hardest times you have had in your life that, at the time, you thought would be the end of you. Now if you’re reading this then it mustn’t have actually been the end. You made it through. Yeah sure, your life might not be the same as it was before but you survived . You are still here. You have resilience. You can now bounce back with the knowledge that if you could do it before, you can do it again.
The last point I want to discuss is action. Even when our normal lives have been upended, there is always actions we can take. They may be physical actions such as learning new skills, taking a risk on fulfilling the dreams we have been putting off (seriously, what have you got to lose?) or simply keeping fit to help maintain our physical health. Or they may be mental actions such as practicing gratitude for the things we still have in our lives or setting goals and planning our next move.
Throughout all of this it is important to remember that when it seems like our lives will never be the same, you may be right, they might actually turn out much better than before. When all we know has been taken from us, we can start fresh and create the future we want.
I truly believe that. I hope you do too.
If you are finding it hard to deal with these uncertain times, I urge you to reach out and talk to someone. Whether it is a counselling service, national help line or a supportive friend or family member, I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk. Get those fears out of your head so you can focus on what is possible. Feel free to contact me on the email below or through my Facebook (@Prioritise-You) or Instagram page (@_prioritise.you) if you would like to simply talk with me or make use of my Life Coaching services. Together we can begin setting those goals for your future.
Thank you for reading.
Stay safe and more importantly, stay positive.