Hello my dear readers,
A brief note: As a friend reminded me this morning, it has indeed been a while since I posted on this website. One of the main reasons for my apparent absence is that I wanted to gain more experience in my life. More time with my clients, with my friendships, and with myself. I want to give you the best that I can, and sometimes I need life to happen so I can do that for you.
Today’s article is all about how to deal with changes that come suddenly and leave you feeling like a fish out of water.
After having about a month to gain some new experiences, I have found that life will throw the most unexpected things at you for no apparent reason. Changes at work, relationships, and health will come suddenly and you might not have enough time to properly respond to them.
Now, in the past month, I have experienced changes that are both wonderful and dreadful. On the one hand, amazing people have come into my life who have given me love and welcomed me into their lives. On the other hand, I have learned that there are dire consequences when you don’t treat people fairly or you disrespect them. Also, I have learned that when you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, everything affects you.
From my experiences, I have learned 4 important lessons that I think will be helpful to you:
1. The situation itself is not the real problem.
2. The meaning we ascribe to the situation is the real problem.
3. We must change the way we perceive the problem to come up with solutions.
4. Complaining and blaming others gets us nowhere.
The thing about change is that gets us all sorts of confused mentally and emotionally. We get comfortable in a routine because it’s stable and predictable – two things we have learned to love evolutionarily. As such, when that routine gets shaken up, we don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately, we usually resort to worst case scenarios. What makes it worse is that we project some sense of control onto the situation when it really isn’t in our control. It’s like when we watch our favorite basketball player shooting a free-throw and we say he made the shot because we snapped our fingers right when he released the ball. Ridiculous? Absolutely. But it doesn’t stop us from doing it.
The cold, hard truth is this: change is the only constant in life. Everything changes. Your job, your relationships, your family, your location, your mind, your body, your self, the world, the people in your life, your cells, your taste buds, your favorite band. Everything. Remember, stability is an illusion. We’re on a spinning ball revolving around a bigger ball of molten hot energy that can swallow us whole. Earth is just a speck, not even 1/1 trillionth, of the known universe. And you and I are not even 1/1 trillionth of the milky way galaxy. At best, you and I are 2 out of 7 billion people like us. We can’t be the center of everything so we have no right to demand that the universe fits our wants and needs.
Well…that was bleak. But take heart. Here are some things you can do to make the best out any situation.
THE ACTION STEPS
1. We got to delineate what we can and can’t control. This is the most important step because there is nothing worse than thinking you control something yet you have no idea how it’s going to work out. At that point, everything seems to be going the way you don’t want it to. If you feel this way, it’s time to re-evaluate your perception of control.
2. Give up control when the situation demands. For example, you can’t tell your boss how to handle you because his/her end game is different than yours. If your always at odds with your boss, it’s time to either let things unfold according to his or her will, or leave. It’s that simple.
3. If you do give up control, know how to roll with the changes. It’s just like riding the waves on a surfboard. Just lay on it and experience the ups and downs. Don’t get too attached to the ups, and don’t get too emotionally distraught in the downs. Realize that you need the downs so the ups can be uplifting.
4. Learn when to walk away. I learned this from a mentor early on in my career. When changes at work interfere with your overall goals – almost making them unachievable – then fold the cards and move on. Find better people to work with who are more supportive of your goals. America is full of open jobs. Be persistent and don’t let rejection get the better of you. (Note: in-person appearances always make a better first impression. Walk in with your resume to the place you want to work and ask if they are hiring. Everyone applies online, so be different).
5. Next to realizing what you can and can’t control, this is the second most important step. Be grateful for what you DO have in your life. If you have friends, THANK THEM. If you have supportive parents, LOVE THEM. Even if it’s just a cat or a pup. Love ‘em because they will NOT be here forever. Don’t ever take anyone for granted, because they might just be your saving grace in tough times. You are not alone. You are loved. So love back.
I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know in the comments section below what areas of your life have changed recently and how you’ve been dealing with the changes.
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