When your world turns upside down

Feb 06, 2024

Many, clients find me after they have experienced a capital D disruption.

And often they are filled with yucky feelings (SAT word...) abandonment, betrayal, resentment, worry, loneliness, shock, frustration, anger, fear, insecurity and/or confusion because of thoughts they are thinking about these types of circumstances

  • their key employee just quit
  • they are divorcing
  • the market has shifted and impacted their income
  • they received a diagnosis which is having them look at their career differently
  • their (first, last, or only) child is leaving home
  • they are locking heads with someone at work
  • a friendship has ended
  • someone has spread rumors about them
  • they have lost a job (laid off, fired, contract not renewed)
  • they didn't get the promotion they've been working toward
  • a colleague got the job to which they also applied
  • they have to move (to be by aging parents, for their or a partner's job)
  • their company is restructuring and they no longer enjoy their role/boss
  • there has been a death 

And, if this is you, I have a few ideas for you. Way before you look for the dreaded silver linings...

1) Feel all the feelings, esp the ones that feel shitty in your body. Just sit with the fear, the worry, the anger. If you repress them they will appear later. The feeling won't kill you, but ignoring it may.  Get used to saying... "Oh hi fear. I see you. Thanks for trying to protect me, but I am choosing a different feeling so I don't live in a constant state of nervousness." or some variation of this kind of sentence. "Oh, hey anxiety... hop in the passenger seat. i am taking control of the wheel today."

2) Get very clear on your role in this disruption. And, do so without judgment. This is mining for data. Looking for the facts, not self flagellation time. Were you truly taken off guard? Had you been holding up your end of the bargain? Have you been prepping for down times? Are you a strong, transparent leader? Do you avoid conflict or handle it head on with just the facts? Have you been managing your career in case just such a disruption occurred?  Are you blaming this "surprise" for things that were actually within your control? Did you ignore red flags? Had you been promoting yourself, engaging in key relationships, upleveling your skills?

3) Identify all the thoughts you are thinking about this circumstance.

  • This is not fair.
  • I never get what I want.
  • I may have to move into a van down by the river.
  • There are unfair preferences given at this company.
  • There are no good jobs in my area.
  • That was the best job I will be able to find.
  • He threw me under the bus. 
  • I am not capable.
  • I am untethered.
  • That was my identity. Now what?

4) Now challenge all the thoughts and begin to consider new ones. 

  • How could the opposite of the above be true?
  • Is this thought kind?
  • Is this thought useful? 
  • What evidence can I find to disprove the thought?
  • How could this be exactly what I needed to get unstuck? 
  • How could I deck out a sprinter van and live on the road? 
  • Where are there opportunities in this situation?
  • Where am I actually quite capable? 
  • What identity could I choose to have now that this opening has occured?
  • What am I making the thought mean? 

5) Rinse and repeat. This is not a one and done exercise. Your brain will offer you new thoughts each day and your body will feel new feelings each day.  

Ask me how I know. I have lived through a few significant (my thought) disruptions, one very recent one and this is exactly what I did to calm myself and manage my mind instead of letting the circumstance dictate my day, my future, or my emotional health. (also, my dear husband, family and friends, wine, coaching, journaling, prayers, and .... looking at Sprinter Vans to live in down by a river...)

I do not believe it is possible to jump right to:
"Look at all the possibilities this disruption is providing." Bull shit. 

And if I hear a friend or client say this, I stop them, sometimes abruptly, but always out of love. You can not skip over the other steps and just land on "Wow, how lucky am I to have just X, Y or Z."  Nope, that sounds like the words of a naive or perfect person. I don't think you are either, (she said with complete love and respect...) 

I promise you, if you master this approach you free up so much mental space, create far more self trust, and eventually do see opportunity and possibility. If you want to build this skill through coaching, I'd love to help you.

And, by the end of our time together, you will probs tell the story very differently - not what happened TO you, but what happened FOR you, and truly believe it.  That's where the magic of mindset begins to reshape your life. 

Ask me how I know...

P.S. All of the disruption examples above are actual examples from clients I have coached