Staying Positive Even When Things Don’t Go As Planned — Make Change Predictable
We often refer to life as a journey, a roller coaster, a long road, etc.
But we don’t stop and take the time to think about what this really means or what these metaphors for life all have in common.
These things all change quickly and often unexpectedly.
A roller coaster starts slowly creeping up the ramp then picks up speed as it plummets back down.
It twists and turns.
It goes upside down then right side up.
Sometimes they are smooth rides and sometimes they rattle and shake you all the way to the end.
A journey can mean so many different things to so many different people.
A journey can be full of cross roads, highways with long open roads, bridges to cross, tunnels to go through, dead ends, forks in the road, mountains to climb, the lowest of valleys, vicious snow storms, clear sunny days, miserably hot deserts, and beautiful oases.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know what lies ahead on our path?
If we knew we could avoid the bad and only move forward toward the good.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like this.
We have to take the bad with the good.
But we have to keep in mind that the good wouldn’t be as great if we never experienced the bad.
The story of our journey wouldn’t be as exciting without a few bumps in the road.
A roller coaster wouldn’t be as fun if it only went 20 miles an hour in a straight line.
Change is simply a transition.
And knowing and accepting that change is inevitable may help to at least make the unpredictable more predictable.
When we start to think of change more in terms of this transition or shift, it becomes easier to bear.
People often feel like change is something that happens to them.
Well a transition is an action that you take on personally; it is a shift in your actions and/or your way of thinking.
When you notice change starting to happen it is a sign that you need to make this shift.
It is a sign that you need move forward or let go of someone or something.
Now I don’t want to make light of this transition concept.
It can be difficult and nerve racking and the emotions you may feel going through this can vary.
You may feel uncertain, lost, and uncomfortable, but remember you are in control of the transition rather than being controlled by a shocking change.
And these emotions need to be felt and released essentially in order to make way for new energy; for who you will become after the transition.
Change is very quick and physical but transition is slower and more about mentality.
Essentially, you have to allow your mind to catch up to your body when things start to change.
Let yourself catch up with the outside world.
Control what you can (yourself) and do your best to move with the ups and downs of what you can’t control (the ebbs and flows of the outside world).
So the big question though is so what steps do I take to make a successful transition?
Well, the first step is going through a period of uncertainty.
Embrace the unknown
You might know you need to make a transition but you don’t quite know yet the direction you are going.
You realize your plan has changed but you don’t yet know what it has changed to. This is the key turning point in your journey.
This is when you need to let your mind catch up with your body.
Let your mentality catch up with reality.
This is the place of potential and opportunity.
The place that allows you to figure out what is at the core of who you are and what your desires are, without all the extra “fluff.”
Shift Your Focus
Now that you have embraced the unknown, you must shift your focus (start the transition).
Stop thinking about changes as a loss and start focusing on the opportunity you can create from the unknown.
Maybe you just got fired from what you thought was your dream job as a TV host.
You feel like a failure, like that is it, life won’t get better from here.
That is the shock of change and the unknown talking to you but this is where you need to start focusing on the opportunity that this presents you with.
You likely have more options than you think.
Start to weigh these options.
Once you step back and look at the situation as a transition that you can control you might start to see that being a TV host was not your dream.
Your dream was to do something bigger with your life.
You want own your own TV channel, have your own business.
Or maybe you really don’t like the TV host thing as much as you thought.
Maybe your true passion is more behind the scenes, something like writing scripts for TV shows.
When you stop focusing on the problem and start focusing on the solution you begin to get yourself out of the unknown.
You begin to formulate an idea of where you plan to head next.
So, the next step in the process if figuring out how to make this happen.
This is when you need to create an action plan.
Write out everything you need to do to make your new dream or your transition happen.
Don’t leave any task out, no matter how small.
If getting up at 6am to brainstorm is essential for your success, put it on the list.
If you need to go for a run each evening to clear your head and start fresh, put it on the list.
Keep in mind too that you may not have all the answers right now.
Your plan and your ideas will begin to build on itself once you get the ball rolling (this is the snowball effect).
The key here is to simply start, even if you don’t have all the answers at the moment, they will come.
Now you know exactly what you need to do.
That terrible change that seemed like it was the end of the world is now just a thing of the past.
Just a minor bump in the road on your way to somewhere better in this seemingly never ending journey of life.
Embrace the journey
So, what is the answer to the question of “how do I think of changes in my life as a transition that I can control?”
- Embrace the Unknown
- Shift Your Focus
- Weigh Your Options
- Determine Where You Will Go Next
- Create an Action Plan
- And last but not least, Embrace the Journey
And remember — there is no true failure in change, change simply changes our direction on the road we are on and makes room for something better.