“Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Just like death and taxes, change is inevitable. Yet despite its frequency, we manage to fall apart when change is not on our terms. When our world is flipped upside down it becomes difficult to manage. Perhaps our inner child is screaming for not getting their way – let it sink in, it’s likely. Or the unfamiliar territory we enter as creatures of habit is utterly terrifying. In any case, when change is forced we seem to digress emotionally, logically and rationally. As such, here are some tips to navigate through life changes this year.
Mourn the past – and yes, I said mourn!
Maybe the concept is new in this context but believe me, it works. So what are you mourning? Any and all losses incurred from your changed circumstances. To be clear, this is not complaining. You are mourning – there’s a difference.
First you need a timeframe to mourn. Whether an hour, day or week, set one. Usually, the greater the change the longer the limit. After you’ve defined your timeframe schedule it on the calendar. Why? Because you must be in control, not your emotions.
Next, describe in detail what changed and what you’ll miss. Get it out purposefully so you don’t fall into the trap of looping aimlessly. This is your time to have a pity party so live it up. Finally, when your timeframe is up, it’s up! It’s time to move on without looking back.
List the newfound benefits change brings along
The difficulty may rival finding a way to love your enemy. Perhaps you reject anything brought along with such change. However, you must be constructive so find something. Not only are you igniting creativity to help with problem solving, you’re priming yourself for gratitude. When done properly you slowly release emotional baggage and clarity will be around the corner – I promise!
After you uncover the benefits, surround yourself with them. Place them on your bathroom mirror, the windshield of your car, or even enter as daily calendar alerts. Just as the air you breathe, keep these benefits swirling around you at all times.
Remember the phrase, “There you grow again”
Perhaps you’ve heard this one, “For every level there’s a new devil.” As you progress in life you will face adversity. And your triumph over such adversity propels you forward in life. When you experience unnerving change understand you are experiencing growth in life.
Do you remember that time you asked for more in life? Well, here it is! It comes with the territory. So in the moments where your world is flipped upside down just remember, “There you grow again.” Make it your mantra. Say it to yourself morning, afternoon and night. This exercise will allow you to attach long-term potential to your current situation.
Wrap your arms around it and squeeze!
Don’t avoid, take shortcuts, or attempt to wish it away. Trust me when I say you want to face it head on. We already said you want to grow right? So how bad do you want it? Try a visualization trick if you get stuck. Simply think of your situation as your favorite toy growing up. I’ve used a similar trick when public speaking. I envisioned the audience as a group of toddlers. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Your objective is to embrace change to give yourself mental freedom. In your acceptance comes clarity of mind. And in your clarity comes logical and rational thinking to help you navigate flawlessly.
You may not have asked for the rug to be pulled, but it happened. Believe me, you can handle and grow from the situation. When you mourn, do it purposefully and timely. And don’t forget to place it on the calendar. As you create your newfound benefits, do so with detail. It may be hard at first but even the smallest of benefits will suffice. If the phrase, “There you grow again,” doesn’t work, well create something similar. The point is to have a mantra to keep you believing. Lastly, embrace the change to improve logical and rational decision making. And remember what Victor Frankl says in relation to making decisions, “In our response lies our growth and freedom.”