Mental Health

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How To Handle Unwanted or Unexpected Change

Published: 2022-06-25
How To Handle Unwanted or Unexpected Change
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I was speaking with a friend recently. Like many others, her life is in turmoil. It doesn’t help that she’s having trouble identifying what she wants. Change is in the wind; she doesn’t particularly want it, but she accepts that it is necessary.

It gives her some measure of peace to know change is coming because she wants out of this nightmare as soon as possible.

But without knowing what's on the other side of it, she's reluctant to take steps to get there (wherever “there” is), even though "here" is not a very happy place to be.

As I've told her, the only constant in life is change. Wherever "there" might be, that's where we’ll end up at some point. In the meantime, we are always “here,” in the present moment. The only one about which we can do anything.

I asked my friend if she knows what she wants. She said she didn't know how to verbalize it. All she could tell me was what she doesn't want. But of course, focusing on what she doesn't want makes it even more likely that that's exactly what she'll get.

She couldn’t be specific about how she wants things to turn out. The only thing she knows for sure is how she wants to feel. So I told her to focus on that. Tune in and connect with that feeling as many times a day as she wants, and in time the other bits will fall into place.

She doesn't have a lot of control over the external parts of her life right now, but she has loads of control over her inner world – such as the thoughts she chooses to think, and how she’s feeling.

If that’s happening for you right now and your life, your happiness, and your performance are suffering for it, there are some simple steps you can take to get back on track – even when you have no control over what’s happening around you.

The first and most important one is to stop worrying about all the “what ifs” and “what abouts” of your future and focus only on these: 1) the present moment, and only the present moment; and 2) how you want to feel because right now, that’s one of the few things that are within your control.

The future is a huge unknown for all of us. If you think about it, despite whatever plans you have even for today, you can never be sure what will happen in the next five minutes. We just don’t think about it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Somehow, when we have a plan, we forget the fact that the Universe could wipe it out with one swift blow, leaving us just as vulnerable and bewildered as my friend has felt of late. And of course, your performance is one of the first places it will show.

The knowledge that you’re okay, no matter what, can keep you from being knocked off balance through any difficulties. In the right frame of mind, you’re likely to be more motivated and focused in terms of your overall performance.

When you have a firm belief in yourself and you trust that you’re making the best decisions possible for yourself, it helps to keep you on an even keel when things go awry. You can always find more strength and a deeper sense of control than you know you’ve got when you’re pushed to acknowledge it. That’s bound to have a positive impact on training, performance, and your ability to achieve your goals.

And when you follow that inner wisdom and guidance, it's your spirit that’s driving you forward, encouraging you to find happiness and joy, to do what is right and best for you, even if you don’t particularly want to make certain changes. That little spirit will tell you very quickly if you're doing a good thing or not. And if you are, well done!

If you're not, ask yourself why. Ask yourself if it's better to live with unhappiness and discontent than to do what you know to be right and give yourself the opportunity to have a better life.

You’ve always got choices to make. You couldn't choose what happened to you when you were young or before you were aware that you had that right. But you know it now.

Embrace changes that you know to be in your best interests. You don't have to like them. But if you know they are right, then you must welcome them into your life, whatever else you might feel about them.

And in the meantime, please know that you're not alone.