All this talk of businesses in liquidation, redundancies and the new f word, furlough it can start to feel like there is no hope. The World has changed they say, things will be never be the same again they say, when can we go back to normal they say.
Well, truth is none of us know what the future holds, and maybe none of us ever did. We do know what we are personally feeling and how we are personally responding. We know that we have choices. And we know that we can think about change in an optimistic way. That doesn’t mean lots of doing, it just means having a feeling, creating an attitude of possibility.
Hope is exactly what there is.
When a door closes, when change comes into our lives, we start off on the roller coaster of the curve ball curve. We are lost, confused, scared, angry, hopeful – all in one week, one day, one hour.
Uncertainty consumes us. But there is one thing for certain, we all move through uncertainty, through change, and we all have to make choices to go through our next door. None of us stay in the space in-between for very long. So while we are there could that space be one of opportunity?
Could it be, could it possibly be, a time that hope might turn into thoughts, reflections, ideas – and that might turn into solutions and action, and from that moment of despair comes something good.
We know the power of pause, when you stop and just let things be for a while. We know the importance of listening. But when was the last time you stopped and listened to yourself?
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl
A change in your work is an opportunity for a change in your life. ‘But I was all good thanks’ you might say. But were you? Being given the time to think and reflect is a gift. It might not feel like it at first, and you might have to go through the grief curve and embrace your loss for a while, but when you are ready to look forward you will see opportunity.
You have to move forward so why not move forward with intent. The moment you know you have options and there are many possibilities is the moment you take back control. And being in control means a more optimistic, intentional view of the future.
In Simon Sinek’s recent film he urges us all not to react to that of the ‘over positivity gang’ but come from a place of optimism. An optimist can see things from a different perspective whilst completely taking in reality. An optimist carries a hopeful sense that helps them navigate through whatever life throws at them.
If you have just been made redundant or been furloughed, if you are in the space in-between as a door is closing in your life, Have hope. This is the start of something new.
Here are 5 things you can do to feel hope, generate ideas and be encouraged to take action.
1. Swap worry for stillness – of course your inner voices will be in panic zone, playing out worst possible scenarios, telling you this is a nightmare, reminding you that it’s not fair. These are your voices. You control them. Imagine if you swapped those voices for more calmness, telling you it’s going to be ok. Telling you to look after yourself, telling you to be kind to others, telling you to smile. How much better would you feel?
2. Do the work on knowing facts – what is a fact, and what are you assuming, guessing, surmising, over analysing. Start with knowing your actual numbers, how much money do you need, do you have, when are bills due, what can you stop. Use energy on the things you know and the things you can control.
3. Be ok to wallow a bit – you do not have to push yourself to be positive, or to constantly take action, or constantly be busy. You can just feel a bit low for a while. Do things you love in this time, without guilt, without overthinking. Watch your favourite films, read your favourite books, go for walks – just do stuff you like. Enjoy your wallow time.
4. Get a notebook and scribble stuff down – anything that comes into your head. How you feel, ideas, thoughts, what people have said, what’s annoying you, what made you smile. Write it all down. Journaling and writing has known therapeutic qualities, as well as helping the process of understanding what you actually want, and what is going on for you. And if you enjoy drawing, draw, create, free think.
5. Know what your best case scenario is – Spend time thinking about what the best case scenario would be if your ideal situation came along tomorrow – what would it be, what’s going on, why is it the ideal scenario, how would you feel, what did you do for it to happen. Things can keep changing but you can always have a notion about what an ideal tomorrow would look like. And you can challenge yourself to take small steps to make that ideal become real.
“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate, and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” –Paulo Coelho
You have to work, slowly but surely, on your mind chatter. Each day moving yourself into a space of control and optimism, curiosity and open mindedness. Let go of things that aren’t helping you move on, and create room for good stuff to come in. The space in-between can be a challenge of emotions but you can make in a space of discovery.
Losing your job or being asked not to work, can be a shock – but once you’ve embraced the shock, nurtured the shock, you can see it as gifted space to think and breathe. Time to de-clutter your life mentally, and physically. Make room to be inspired and for new stuff to come along.
Keep an open mind, remain hopeful, be optimistic. A door maybe closing for you, but if you give yourself space to think, allow ideas to roam, could it be, could it possibly be, a good thing could come out of this for you.