Life is full of surprises and unexpected events. Happenings that we did not see coming and expectations turning into illusions. Even if we have planned out everything perfectly our ideas and goals can be turned upside down. This can make us feel overwhelmed and lost. How are we supposed to deal with disappointment and adjustments? Sometimes life will force or guide us into different directions to a new purpose or a new goal.
When things take a different turn
Let's take COVID-19 as an example here. Nobody had seen this coming, we as individuals were not prepared for this, neither were our governments, nor were the countries themselves nor was the world as a whole. This affects many businesses, big and small, both long time established companies and start-ups. And you, as a person. Your freedom taken away, your sports, and social life everything was suddenly set on hold.
Prepare or adjust?
But how do we deal with unexpected changes? Do we always need to be ready with a plan B? Do we need to be afraid or more careful of what might happens in the future? Honestly, we can't always be prepared for the unknown. Not for a virus, not for a personal matter that affects our well being or mental state.
So here we are currently in a new way of interacting with each other, a new way of greeting each other and a new way of moving through life. With every adjustment in life, we first need to learn how to live with this. With grieve, with a disability or with an external change that also includes us. However the more we can give our feelings and emotions a new place the more we will get used to a situation as it is.
Reach out and accept support
Some of us might be a quiet processor, what I mean by that is that you actually crave to be alone to process a certain happening or a loss in life. We can isolate ourselves, to feel pity for ourselves, and to lock ourselves in. This might work for a few days, until we get lonely and bitter. In a process of coping or adjusting we need others, to support us and to provide us with mental guidance. With people around you it might even feel heavier on you for a while, but eventually this will help you to grow to a more positive state of mind. In my article You are not alone, I explain how we can overcome the feeling of loneliness and negative thoughts.
How change shapes us
Getting through these experiences of change makes us learn and grow. It teaches us how to deal with our feelings and emotions, it shows us different perspectives and makes us look at what we have in a different way. Now with the lockdown and restrictions of the coronacrisis, we learned to appreciate our freedom and the ability to travel even more. It makes us desire to be close to family members and spent more time with the people we love. Also many of us realized that city life is great but that we crave fresh air and that we want to be around nature. Digital meetings are a fact and our employers had to trust us, our discipline and our capabilities more than ever before. Will we face life with a different approach when this is all behind us?
Restart for growth
Is it that we sometimes need a restart? That when something that happens affects us so strongly we change as a person? Most likely to a certain extent it does. Call it growth, a process we need to go through to become stronger, more resistant, and to become more aware of what we stand for in life. Whether that is dealing with a loss, survival, recovery of an injury, or rehabilitation from addiction.
Finding your new 'world'
When overcoming a difficult period we might see ourselves change, we open up to different ways and visions. We might even come up with new ideas, solutions or creative projects which we would not have thought of otherwise. People who have been severely ill and survived, often focus on what is most important to them after the healing process. People who lost a loved one often search for justice or a higher goal in life. No matter how we deal with life-changing events, it makes us think, it makes us analyze life and adjust our way of living or perspective.
We all go through experiences that shape us, that make us who we are. When we come to this conclusion and we realize this for ourselves, we can accept and learn how to live with ourselves and our 'new world'.
See change as growth, and embrace you inner strenght