Change can happen
Change can be exhilarating. Change can be bad.
However, unless the things that are changing involve an illness (and there too you have a lot of influence on the outcome) or death, you can take charge of what is happening to you.
Position your mind so that it is constructive, rather than destructive; speak positively to yourself, the inner dialog is sometimes the hardest to bear.
Finding fault is only good for diagnosing a problem, it is not there for you to beat up on yourself or to get revenge. So, to make the absolute best of the unexpected changes in your life:
Stay focused, don’t let misfortune make you act like a chicken with its head cut off.
Look how you can reorient yourself – make a plan to adapt to the changes and make it full of positive actions. There is the old adage that if one door closes, another one opens.
But it is up to you to locate that new door and actually open it.
Stay calm. Many people run around and shout that the sky is falling, this makes you look like a loose cannon and who wants to be around that?
Analyze, what is happening, is the change really disastrous or can you turn it around to make it a good thing? Often we are stuck in a comfortable life or business place and are forced to move. Of course, the unknown is scary and it takes courage to make the leap, especially if you haven’t initiated it.
Identify what you really want. This is the time, here is the chance to get that poster board out and glue on all the images of things that seem unattainable and unrealistic previously. Research has shown that those of us who document our dreams and goals
(albeit ones that have potential for success) have a much greater chance of reaching them than those who don’t.
Look at yourself and your talents realistically. Make a list of them; lists are calming and reassuring, they give you a path to follow and let you realize that you do have something under your control. This is not the moment to dwell on your weaknesses and to tell everyone around you how incapable you are of taking care of yourself.
That being said, if you think you have significant weaknesses, this could also be the time to work on them. Fill in those gaps, educate yourself. Take classes at your local community colleges, they are inexpensive and often very good at raising your levels of expertise. Another good source is your local adult high school which also offers good, basic courses.
Know where to go for help! If you’ve lost your job, for example, consult an expert who can guide you in your search. There are also many professional organizers who can put your office and paperwork in order (there is an organization of professional organizers in your area) so that you can see clearer, this might also help put your inner self on track. Don’t forget to get your finances straight as well, ask for financial advice and listen until you yourself understand where you are now and where you want to be financially in the next 5 or 10 years.
Tell friends how to help you and if they have good ideas, follow through with their suggestions. There is nothing more frustrating than giving advice to someone who asks for it and then he or she doesn’t do anything, only to call a while later to ask for help with the same issue. It is a better idea, in this case, for you to go to a psychologist who can give
the support that friends can’t give in the amount and depth that you might need.
Realize that you get to correct your mistakes. Change often means meeting and working with new people in new situations and this gives you the opportunity to do things in a different way. You are given the chance to evaluate your past actions – the “what were you thinking” scenarios – and you can use your lessons learned to avoid doing the same things that hurt you in the past.
Let go of the past. Fred Luskin, a professor at Stanford University, has been working on the “Art of Forgiveness” for many years. He brokered forgiveness between the IRA and the British – and, if they can find it in themselves to forgive, so can you. Some women who have gone through a difficult divorce, often remain bitter and can’t move on. They reflect on what should have been, i.e. what was “their due”, instead of seeing what avenues have opened to them; now they have the chance to learn something new and go explore in different directions. And, they often come to find that life is livable and enjoyable – even
without a man around.
Give yourself a break, do something nice for yourself that boosts your ego; for example, get yourself in shape –mentally and physically. And, stay away from nasty, overcritical people. Realize that change can make you stronger, more competent and, bottom line, it is the good side of getting older.
If you just can’t get out of the revolving circle of your problems, do something for others. 20% of the US economy comes from the not-for-profit sector, go out and be a part of it. You will find that if you volunteer and do good, it is not only good for you, but things will come back to you that you never anticipated. You will have the satisfaction of having contributed to the well being of your community and your adopted philosophy
may become “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” (Ghandi)