I have been thinking a lot lately about challenges and change. As we know there is so much going in the world in general, in the lives of our friends and family members, and within our own personal journeys.
When these difficult changes come upon us it can be difficult to manage. In my experience, I go through several steps and stages in my journey from my first reaction to a resilient response when dealing with difficult changes (a diagnosis, aging of a loved one, major health challenges, a pandemic, etc):
"I can deal with this challenge and the changes that come with it."
Discovery: I have the nagging feeling that something is starting to emerge, or a daunting feeling that I can’t quite describe.
Emergence: The difficult change begins to reveal itself.
Observation: I keenly observe new changes, and ask questions and seek support from informed sources to begin putting the puzzle pieces together.
Coping: Once I can begin to see the full picture, this is when I go into a period of truly feeling my emotions. I feel ALL the NOs by bringing all my fears to the forefront. I ask all the fearful questions, and I let myself be sad, anxious, angry, scared, and worried for a few days. I let out my emotions and when needed I get help from friends, family and professionals to cope and deal with my emotions and feelings.
Problem Solving: I look at all the possible ways to navigate this difficult challenge. I start to create a plan. I start to feel calmer as I begin to put pieces of the plan in place.
Hope: I begin to feel hopeful that I can deal with this challenge and all the changes that come with it.
Inspired Action: I start to take action steps. I take one small action step after another and with each step I am moving toward dealing with the challenge, moving through it, and rising up to it! The warrior within starts to emerge, and I begin to look for all the silver linings, all the possible ways I can say YES! to facing this challenging situation. I start to find my YES!
This is not a linear process. Yes, I may falter through this process and hit unexpected bumps in the road. Each time I experience a NO along the journey, I feel it, get support when needed, and continue to look for my YES!
It doesn’t matter how many NOs you encounter it is how you respond to each one! It is how you find a YES! and respond with resiliency and rise up to each challenge.