Sometimes we invite change into our lives and sometimes we have it hand-delivered, via express mail, by a big hairy postal worker who stands outside our door pen and letter in hand demanding a signature to ensure that we understand that THIS IS SERIOUS.
Suddenly, we are tossed out of your comfort zone into something very much resembling a Discomfort Zone and our only thought – How did this happen? We may valiantly fight the inevitable and we often do for weeks, months, years. In the end, resistance is futile and nothing more than an illusion designed to intimidate us into not accepting reality.
How else can we respond when we are unceremoniously and without the tiniest bit of warning kicked out of our comfort zone (even if it wasn’t really that comfortable at all)? We can cry, complain and reminisce about how great it all was (usually it was not, but we have that magic for self-delusion that speaks so loud and persuasively). Or, we can ask ourselves expanding questions and embrace the change. Though, truth be told, we may embrace it very reluctantly at first with about as much enthusiasm as reaching bare-handed for a steaming mound of dog poop.
When it comes to embracing change – especially unsolicited change that has been forced upon us, the first steps are the hardest. While standing at ground zero trying to figure out what is happening, ask yourself a few good questions which might include something like these:
- How is this change forcing me to reinvent myself and my life?
- How is this the kick in the pants just what I may have needed to make my life (even) better?
- What is possible for me if I step up and grow?
Of course, there are other temporary solutions at our disposal. We can drink or take drugs to sedate and control ourselves. And, of course, we can poll the universe of our exasperated friends to get millions of conflicting opinions about why we got treated so badly by life. This might give us time to get others to buy into our story and attend our pity party which probably feels very much like a wake to attendees. But, before long, people will run when they see us – our pity party turning out to be very little fun after all.
Being kicked out of our comfort zone is another word for CHANGE. That dreaded word we all hate even though it one of the only constants in life. When change comes calling – especially unbidden or at bad times (generally they are all bad unless we are broke and suddenly win Power Ball – Yipee!) we must first grieve the loss of what was. Grief is no laughing matter. In fact, it is said that for every tear you cry you add hours to your life. Therefore, cry away, do not be ashamed – tears are healing.
- Give yourself time to grieve. There are multiple stages to grief (Google it if you don’t believe me) and, depending on your situation, it may take a few hours or several years to grieve. Be patient, feel it all, life is messy and hard at times. That which we resist – persists.
- Be good to yourself. Avoid beating yourself up and wait a while before analyzing what you could have done better to avoid this – if that is at all possible. If you can’t do this alone get a coach or a therapist, it’s perfectly okay and may be necessary.
(Not sure how to create self-comfort? Email me for information regarding my 30-day program Pocket Comfort program designed to teach you how to support yourself through difficult times.
- Ask “What is Possible from here? What is good about this?” – Once you have calmed down your overwhelmed mind and can look forward even just a tiny bit, ask yourself what is possible from this new place?
- Take action! It might take some work to get from here to there – in fact, it will. What can you do to take charge of your life and shape the new direction to one aligned with your highest and best wishes?
As humans, we will put up with a lot for certainty and predictability in our lives, so when we start to move into uncertain areas it is very important to stay open and adopt a curious attitude. Certainty and predictability are comforting, but they are boring too.
Letting go of what was is hard. Not everyone can do this alone. If you need help, email me and check into availability in one of our state of the art coaching programs designed to help you surf the waves of change and arrive on the beach of your dreams.
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