Uncertain times are always followed by change, which can throw us into a stew of emotions. Grief is common as we’re forced to release familiar footholds. That can trigger memories of long buried losses and magnify our emotions. Hope can energize us to tackle new things, but fears can paralyze us. If we allow emotions to guide us through this journey, we’ll have a risky ride. So how can we thrive in this seismically shifting sea? Let’s go back to basics. Have you noticed that that the cycles of nature are still absolutely consistent? The flowers of spring burst forth, whether or not we’re ready for them. In Florida, summer still brings sea turtles to nest and tropical storms. And, just as in nature, change cycles occur in our lives too, whether we’re ready for them or not. The good news is that there is a predictable cycle to change and it looks like this:
The Cycle of Change
STAGE 1: SHOCK (We hesitate or are immobilized by fear, shock, or denial.)
Strategies: Seek understanding. Be open, suspend judgment, and be unconditionally kind.
STAGE 2: SEARCH (We question…. everything! as emotions surface.)
Strategies: Become an observer of yourself; allow yourself to feel emotions without analyzing them. Schedule 15 minute ‘tantrums’! (sounds weird but giving yourself full permission to wallow 15 min/day can help you move on!) Access trusted supports who will simply listen and help you find your strengths.
STAGE 3: ADAPT (We grow and create something new, as we decide how we will live life now that things have changed.)
Strategies: Celebrate your growth and build on the faith you have developed in yourself. Deliberately choose what you will leave behind and what you will carry forward with this new perspective.
Change is the one thing we all have in common, and it will be with us as long as we’re alive, so we might as well get used to it! Using strategies to navigate through the change cycles in your life will help you avoid getting stuck as so many do. It also helps to understand that every decision you make is driven by either a desire to avoid pain or feel pleasure. And research has shown that it is the desire to avoid pain that always takes priority. Universally, we fear pain. But what if we could view that fear differently? We can. Just remember that every fear has the potential to make you stronger. That’s because every problem gives you an opportunity to grow. And when you embrace the unknown, you allow yourself to grow beyond your comfort zone. We’re even biologically well-equipped for that growth! When we train ourselves to act differently, new branches of neuropathways actually grow in our brains to support us. Our brains actually get rewired! All successful people have done that, and you can too. This is the time to step out of your comfort zone and surf the sea of uncertainty that surrounds us. Try something new and trust that you have everything you need to achieve it. Now, go hang 10!
QUOTE TO REMEMBER
You don’t learn to walk by following rules, you learn by doing and falling over. – Sir Richard Branson
NOTE FROM LINDA
Welcome to August 2020 in this strange year! Amid a global pandemic, economic hardships, cultural crises, and schools reopening, we’re now facing an active hurricane season in Florida. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of living my life as a “crisis du jour”!
No wonder so many are feeling overwhelmed or just want to numb out. It’s hard to see options. There is another way. What if we each made a plan to surf this sea of uncertainty?