I have said it before and will probably say it again,
Life will always throw “slings and arrows” at us yet we can deal with them rather than let life dictate to us.
In my own life, this week, the place I work is now scheduled to close, so I will have to find a new employment soon (unfortunately blog writing does not pay the bills!). It is something completely out of my control and something that I, and those I work with, will have to deal with over the coming months.
It is not just employment that can cause sudden change, our health could suddenly change forcing unwelcome change in the way we live, change can be forced on us by others close to us for any number of reasons and just the world in general can impose on our lives in ways that force us to do things differently.
There are, however, a few ways we can come out on top rather than let the world drag us down.
1) OWN IT
Us humans are fickle creatures, we do not like change. More precisely we do not like change that is forced on us.
If though, the change is our choice, we are always much more enthusiastic about it.
So, if circumstances in your life change beyond your immediate control, embrace the opportunity and take ownership of the change you can control. Why waste your time, energy and sanity worrying about things you have no control over? It is far better to focus on the things you can control.
As I am writing this the London Marathon is happening and you can see many of the wheelchair athletes and individual runners who have had to face life changing challenges yet still have found ways to succeed in completing the 26-mile course. We should all be inspired by the way they have grasped their futures despite what life has thrown at them.
2) WALLOW IN SUCCESS
It is very easy, when sh*t happens, to wallow in negativity, “why do these things happen to me” “there is nothing I can do” “things can’t possibly get better” etc.
Yet throughout our lives there are ups and downs.
Take some time to think about those “ups” in the past, the times when you did somethings you felt really proud of, the times when you achieved something that you had worked hard for, the times when you felt fantastic.
Write all those goods things down so if you feel the weight of what is happening pressing down you can fight back with those positive things you know you are capable off.
3) FORGE YOUR PATH
Having reflected on the successes and achievements you have an excellent base to start planning where you go next. Your future is always in your own hands so it pays to plan the way forward, especially when you have been forced to change from the path you thought you were on!
Start by having a bit of a brainstorming session. Write down everything you want, it does not matter how outlandish or impossible they may seem, it is about stretching your mind to explore possibilities and, what may seem outlandish or impossible right now, may, in years to come, become achievable eventually.
How many of those “ups” you wrote down would you like to do again or pursue further?
Once you have done that, sort the list in the order of which are the easier things to do to the hardest.
Begin to build ideas about where you want to go in your life and develop goals that are about you.
4) TAKE ACTION
What was the easiest thing to do on your list?
Maybe it is writing/updating your C.V.. searching out courses to further your education, or seeking out ways to improve your health and fitness. Whatever it is, make the effort.
That aside, it is about taking control when faced with dealing circumstances beyond your control. I am sure we can all think of times when we allowed circumstances to take control of our lives, as we were thrown around by waves of change feeling completely at the mercy of others and the world around us. We soon become lost, which in turn, affects our mental well-being.
By taking action we stop that, we start to focus on the direction we want to go. Our energies are used positively, and for ourselves rather than battling against the sea of change.
5) IT’S GOOD TO TALK
While these tips have focussed on how we react and what we do with our own lives, we do not live in isolation. Others may be in the same situation and we, hopefully, have others around us who will provide support, if we let them know we need it.
Sharing our hopes and plans for the future will help our focus and also provide a chance for us to hear what others think. Their views can give our own ideas more shape.
Talk to those who you know will be supportive and, if the same circumstances, who you know you can support. Just be a little wary because we humans can easily descend into negativity when chatting, so always keep it positive.
Sh*t happens all the time, much of the time it is beyond our control.
But rather than let it drag us down and drift aimlessly hoping that something good will happen we can take control, be positive and make the good things happen.
It may not always be an easy or straight forward path but when we take charge of our lives it gives us a sense of power and enhances our ability to ultimately succeed.