Change happens. It’s part of life. Sometimes we see it coming and try to avoid it with all of our available resources, and other times, it hits us smack in the face leaving us in shock. Either way, when reality does not meet our expectations, we face disappointment at its best, and devastation at its worst. In such times, we need to have a game plan – a way to get through the change in the best way possible.
Follow three re-assuring steps to be more adept at dealing with change in the future. Each one of these can take minutes or weeks depending on how big of a change you are dealing with so give yourself the appropriate amount of time.
Process emotional acceptance (vs. denial)
Naturally, there are times when fighting your way to a different outcome works, but when even that route closes, it’s time to move towards acceptance emotionally.
Such acceptance is the moment when you can examine a situation and acknowledge that it played out the way it really did. This did really happen to you. It’s the moment when you finally look at the ticket in your hand and realize you are not the $1B lottery winner, someone else is.
Breathe through it. Sit with it. Cry if you must. But when the emotional well has gone dry, and you know that even kicking and screaming (or complaining) is futile, you’ve begun the journey towards acceptance. Now what?
Recognize power in the present
Especially when things are outside of our control and driven by others’ decisions or fate, we must recognize that our power resides in the present ~ not in what we thought would happen. That is the past.
For the promotion you were on track to get before the unplanned re-organizational announcement (or the lack of the $1B winning ticket), don’t focus on what you lost. Let it go and instead change the narrative playing in your mind. Focus on what you need to do NOW, not what should have happened THEN. The faster you can move to the present, the more quickly you can adapt to the (change) now.
Being in the present is easier if you can jettison your auto-pilot routines and instead wake yourself up. It’s all about re-inviting yourself into your physical presence vs. sitting in the confines of your mind. Plan a night out with a group of friends that know nothing of your “situation,” or do a hard workout. Find a physical outlet that requires your full mental attention ~ be here. Translation: do something active.
Shift and move on.
Once you can get yourself to the present, there is an innate ability to look beyond today. Now, you are no longer fighting against what happened. You’ve let go of the battle and found a satisfying thought around the subject in question to help you get through it.
Open fresh eyes to how you feel now. This may mean changing your attitude towards the situation. Start by re-reviewing the situation from other angles and perspectives. Get someone’s else opinion who can help you look for unintended positive outcomes.
One of my favorite quotes is “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change,” by Wayne Dyer.
It may not feel that way initially, but everything serves a greater purpose that we don’t always have the wisdom to recognize it when it happens.
Keep in mind that improvement in any situation requires change. As most of us have something in our life that we want improved, change is part of our everyday living whether we like it or not. Then, also remember that you have accepted and dealt with change before, and always survived…!