Facing an urgent and unavoidable need for change can either be good for yourself, or the people you love. Can it be frightening, stressful, sad, depressing, or all of the above? Absolutely, but that’s why humans came up with denial to shelter us from emotional pain.
These moments in life are few, but they can prove to be a time of great growth, excitement, and opportunity to enrich your life. Many times we gain increased self-confidence, love for others in our lives, and trust in the goodness that surrounds us. It was once said to me, “that these moments are those in which we feel most alive.”
Changes in health, job status, friendships,and marriages are a part of life. We tend to be cavalier about it, until it happens to us. Then it is a catastrophe! So, I respect the intensity of these experiences at a very personal level.
When I owned a Career Guidance company for over 20 years, I worked with thousands of people in making successful job and career changes. I often met with people within a few minutes of receiving the news that they got laid off! At first they were in shock, then through the next hour they jumped from panic, to anger, depression, relief, excitement, and back to shock and denial. We called it an “E Ticket Ride,” which referred to the most thrilling rides in Disneyland. (Those rides have the Big Dips and Sharp Turns).
However, I found that being with them during the early moments of facing this urgent and unavoidable need for change, was a pivotal time and many times determined the success of their efforts of managing this important job change. If people went home and took the weekend to think about it, within a few days their fear would be running the show.
It’s Time to Change Lanes
We all want to be in control in our lives. Although we don’t really have control over much of our life, we do have control over how we respond to whatever shows up in our life.Learning how to face those urgent and unavoidable need for change moments requires letting go of paralyzing fear. Holding on to fear, ruminating in it, justifying it, is a luxury as it delays coming to grips with reality. This only drains you of the energy you need to take steps to move forward in a positive direction.
Three important truths to focus on during this time, that are empowering:
1. There are always options.
2. You always have a choice.
3. Stay in action.
A common situation we come in contact with when dealing with seniors, is when your doctor tells you that you are no longer safe living alone in your home. Life just lowered the boom! Bang, seniors go through their “E Ticket Ride.” Thirty years ago Seniors had 2 options at this point: move in with their children, or go to the nursing home. Today, Seniors have a whole host of options, some fit better for those than others. It’s important to get educated on what’s available. Often seniors tell their families, AFTER they move into a retirement community, “why didn’t you make me do this earlier?”
You do have a choice, but know that the longer you wait and dig your heels in, often the fewer and fewer options people have. So, if your home is filled with stairs, your vision is declining, or you are experiencing an increased number of falls, every day you are at greater risk of injury and greater risk of debilitating injury. Many people go home from the doctor’s office to think about things, which is a good thing! However, sooner than later that THINKING turns into WORRYING. Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, try replacing your worrying with planning. In doing so, you can take on the dragon and start to feel safer, stronger, and even excited!!
For more information please contact Jane Meyers-Bowen at 425-438-9080.