HOW TO SURVIVE THE BIG CHANGE?
Some people say that they always welcome and enjoy changes in their life. When one door closes many others stay opened to explore, they say. However, in case of major life changes, the journey from shock at the beginning to acceptance and moving on at the end is sometimes much more difficult than we originally expected.
In my private practice I often work with people that found themselves at the edge of a big change. They are not exactly sure what is going to happen next. Divorcing or having a first child is overwhelming, not to talk about a big loss or starting a treatment for a major disease.
My job is to be there for my clients and help them navigate through the tough times, since the good times will come eventually and we have to be prepared to accept and enjoy them.
You may ask why I have decided to work with people in such difficult situations. There is a very simple answer: even though each of us has a different life story, there are many patterns that we all have in common and I know for sure, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many years ago (in 1969) Elizabeth Kübler-Ross described our change journey as five stages of grief. How we walk through these stages depends mainly on us. One thing is certain – we just have to be patient and full of hope.
The man I am going to tell you about is 47 years old. Let’s call him Jim. When we first met he was extremely skinny. Few weeks earlier, Jim realized that his young wife decided to start her new life with someone else. And Jim stopped eating. At the time of our meeting, he was somewhere between the stages of a shock and a denial. “It was her who wanted to marry!” “It was her who wanted to have a kid and now she is leaving without a word?!” “It’s not fair! She has no right to do that!” The point is that she did. How is it possible that she did what she did?
Time passed and Jim started to look out for problems within himself. What if it was his fault? He was ready to forgive everything to his former wife just to have her back. Family life was always one of his core values. He cannot give up just like that! He has to behave like a man (bargaining of frustration stage). It took him several months to understand and to accept that there is no way back.
And then Jim met Anna. Just for a drink, he said (experiment), then another drink and some movies. The last time I met Jim, he told me that he is going to move in to Anna`s (decision), that after so many years with his first wife, he is not sure about anything, but he is going to give it a chance (moving on). And I knew Jim meant it, because at that moment he was a totally different person. Relaxed, happy, shining and with some kilos back on.
This is a Jim’s story, but I have heard it many times with some minor modifications. In case of some clients they went through a phase of a depression when they gave up on life for a while and they closed within themselves. Some others never hoped to avoid the problem or a grief (the bargaining time) but they knew that this stage is needed to start a new life.
I always work together with my clients to use the time of grief and experimentation to rebuild their sense of identity. This is so they can discover where they want to move onto when the right time comes. Because there is an opportunity behind almost every challenge, we just have to be prepared and accept it when it arrives.
If you’re on the edge of a big change and are unsure of how your life will look moving forwards, get in touch to arrange a free 30 minute chemistry session to explore whether coaching will help you.