Welcome friends to Episode #137 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. There are three givens in life. Death, taxes and change. As much as we want things to stay in status quo, or not – the one thing we know is that change occurs. There are changes that we plan for and changes that are unexpected. How do we handle the unexpected, whether it’s the passing of a loved one or the loss of a job? How do we work through all the emotions that are part of change without succumbing to despair or deep anxiety? Today’s podcast on Handling the Unexpected will help you experience unplanned-for change with less stress.
Everyday, we face new challenges, change and stress in our lives. The weather, the kids getting sick and new issues popping up in our work or bodies are all some of the variety we experience in change and stress. There is also the stress that we purposely create in our lives that is healthy. A new challenge or goal to help us grow. The additional activity or relationship in our life we want to pay attention to and spend time with. The tough workout that pushes our body just enough that we leave feeling changed for the better.
It isn’t that we don’t like stress, it’s that we don’t want the additional stress that comes with undesired events. When we don’t have control over our lives, we feel a sense of helplessness. We are wired to desire safety so that sense of helplessness and lack of control over our life conditions can feel very alarming. We fight back and try to regain control of our circumstances, but sometimes – no matter how much we try – the world just keeps on spinning and the unexpected just keeps happening again and again.
You will feel this across the whole of your life at various points. If you think back to the last time you felt great stress, it was often from an unexpected event. I remember one of the product launches I had was going amazingly well, gaining acceptance across the board with a true point of differentiation. Then, something completely out of my control occurred and we couldn’t deliver the product. It was completely unexpected by everyone and as I fought the good fight to keep making things work and customers happy, I realized that I completely burnt myself out. I got sick and was sick for months. One week of crisis turned into one month. One month turned into two months. There was no relief and I was so angry at people for not doing more and better. I was fighting against change because this was not expected. This shouldn’t happen. This resistance of what actually occurred and how long the effects were going to be was what drove the stress. Prolonged and chronic stress leads to burnout. Fatigue, disengagement and a feeling of failure.
Our bodies do not handle prolonged stress well. It can tolerate a lot, however, and even thrive off of stress when we challenge ourselves to see that we have a choice. Even perhaps the unexpected could be seen as expected. This shift is the choice we must make to effectively reduce the amount of stress we hold and the disease it creates in our bodies and our minds. Yet, it’s not easy to go directly to a silver lining when you’re still feeling like you’re left in a bad place, without options and afraid of what this will cost you or what you’ve lost.
This is where coaching comes in. My clients come to me when they want to prepare for the unexpected and the expected. They know they want to make changes in their work lives but they don’t know exactly what that looks like yet. They want to lead their teams and grow their capacity to handle elevated roles but they don’t know what new opportunities or challenges are going to be the reason they need those additional skills. They want to plan for the relationships they want to cultivate and create the life and personal lives without knowing exactly what personal events will require them to make more time in their lives.
When you know that you’re preparing for the unexpected, your stress decreases. When you learn how to elevate your consciousness to see the growth and why this is the perfect problem, you decrease your stress. Reframing your perspective to see that the unexpected is a gift requires you to be a creator of your reality and a designer of your life, not just handling the circumstances. Preparing for the unexpected but not overdoing it so you can enjoy your life now is also a skill to learn now, not later.
The unexpected will come. Do not be surprised. Try giving yourself the experience of asking yourself what likely unexpected events will occur, and you will likely have an answer to start planning against and working through. In the moment of the experience, check in to see why this is exactly where you need to be right now and how rushing through this won’t serve you, and you’ll find so much more resilience and less stress in the process.
These are the skills and strategies that will serve you for the rest of your life. Do not delay. You know change is happening. Make it work for you.
If you’re ready to create your reality by preparing for both the expected and the unexpected, reach out for a coaching consultation today at www.mayempson.com/contact. In our consultation we will answer your questions about coaching and how it can help you so that you can decide if it’s right for you.
Our next coaching live in-person retreat is in February 2023. This retreat, including food/accommodations is included in the Spiritual Achiever coaching program launching 2023. You just need to book your flights. Be part of the next cohort starting on February 1st, 2023 with early access today and receive 1:1 coaching calls to help you get ready for the coming year. Sign up by 12/9/2022 for a bonus 1:1 call to dive deep into your unique strengths and how to develop them so that you are best in class at what you do. The time to figure out what’s next is today. Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact for more information.