Let us think about the following scenarios; a sudden lay off, divorce, infidelity, or sudden loss of any kind. What goes into your head? What do you tell yourself? How do you feel and behave? What fears haunt you? How would this chaos affect you and your loved ones?
The challenge here is mainly that change is a foreign element. First, it is external, outside of your expectations and assumptions. Then, it throws you into the unsafety of chaos. Suddenly life seems unpredictable, unfair and overwhelming. Your usual behaviour does not work. You feel sad, anxious, angry and hurt. Your mind races and tries to make sense of what happened. You blame or placate or even disengage and retreat. You might focus on one small part of the problem, ignoring the chaos happening around you. Some of your actions work and some do not. Your feelings fluctuate from moment to moment and your distress and confusion increase.
Eventually you come up with a transforming idea, an action or change of attitude. You try your new findings and integrate them in your life. Gradually you start to notice progress and develop an understanding of what works and what does not, you build your skills and become more confident. You sense that you are moving toward the light. You bounce back to growth and transformation.
How could you do so?
Your own resources have helped you out. You embrace them and learn to utilize them consciously in the future to solve problems and evolve. The question here is how to hone and strengthen your resources?
First, know yourself
It all begins befriending yourself showing curiosity and self-compassion. Seek answers with nonjudgmental acceptance. Become aware of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviour. Explore your expectations from yourself and from others. Face your fears and open up to your yearnings. Remember: you are the author of your own life.
Despite all the discomfort created by change try to look through this new window with fresh eyes. Widen your horizons and think out of the box. Remember: rumination about the past and worrying about the future will take you nowhere. Be present, here and now and open your heart to this moment.
Set goals and take action
Start with setting SMART goals that are in harmony with the change. Create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Take action one-step at a time and prioritize. Remember: be proactive.
Recharge your physical, emotional, mental wellbeing
Eat healthy, exercise, meditate, and practice self-compassion and gratitude. Set a daily reminder for self-care and healing. Take responsibility in your holistic wellbeing. Remember: you can never pour from an empty cup.
Give and receive social support
Do not hesitate to reach out and connect with others. You will be surprised with the amount of support and understanding. Remember: when in doubt seek professional support.
To conclude, change is challenging and chaotic. However, chaos is where we grow and transform. It is where we learn to master one level of the game of life and qualify to the next.
As Abraham Maslow once said “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Stay safe and well!
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.