When we are hit with one setback after another, our response is similar to that above.
And yet, we are constantly faced with changes we do not like throughout our lifetime. We can anticipate and be prepared for many of the minor setbacks or disappointments we encounter. We know, for example, that we will need to make some major adjustments when we start a family, a new career or prepare for retirement.
The changes we initiate can be exciting and energizing. But when faced with life altering events that we hadn’t anticipated, our world is turned upside down and we struggle to re-gain control. These setbacks demand more than just adjusting – they demand we put a new reality in place.
Can we prepare for such catastrophic events?
While it is never easy, there are things we can do. They may seem insignificant, but they can mean the difference between losing hope and maintaining hope while we explore options.
Here are 7 ways that can help you prepare for major life altering changes:
- Make an assessment of your strengths and abilities. What life skills and strategies do you already possess that can be applied to any situation? Which ones do you need to strengthen? We are more resourceful than we think.
- Acknowledge what is difficult for you. Just as we need to be aware of our strengths, we also need to be aware of and accept those things where we need help.
- Learn to be a problem-solving guru.We have difficulty solving problems because we do not clearly define the problem – or we have combined too many problems into one.
- Develop flexibility. If we live rigid lives, insisting that things be done a certain way, we will have difficulty in the middle of a crisis. Becoming flexible means we can explore options and adjust our lifestyle accordingly.
- Become resourceful. Can you take what is around you and make it work for you without having to purchase something new?
- Negotiate – we think of negotiation as something we do with others. Negotiate your expectations for life. When we learn this skill, we won’t be in despair when the life we had is no longer possible. We will know there are many ways to live a meaningful life.
- Replace negative thinking patterns that keep you stuck in fear, anxiety or self-destructive behaviors with possibility thinking.
While there are many ways we can prepare mentally, psychologically and spiritually to deal with life’s difficult moments, these are a beginning. Over the next few weeks, my blogs will focus on ways we can develop these life skills.