I have always called myself the Pollyanna of my workplace.
With a positive, optimistic outlook on life, I have always managed to take a negative situation and spin it into a somewhat positive situation. It’s something I take pride in – the ability to see the bigger picture over the here and now.
However, in recent weeks after deciding to take a voluntary redundancy from my job – which currently will leave me unemployed within a month – trying to remain positive and optimistic has been hard.
Change can be a wonderful thing if you are able to look at it as a good thing. Most endings bring new beginnings, and while I couldn’t see it for a while, I know my job ending leaves me open to a new chapter. Not just a new professional chapter, but a new chapter in life if that is what I want.
It can be so easy to fall into a negative slump. Trust me when I say that I have been there many times and it is hard to hold my head high and look further down the road to where things may get better.
Important things I try to ask myself during times of important life changes are:
- “How do you feel now the decision has been made?”
I was once told that the feeling of relief after making a very difficult decision is a sign that it was the right one. My recent decision to take redundancy was a hard one, but once things were finalized and the weight was lifted off my shoulders, I felt a huge wave of relief. Trust those feelings.
- “Think of life this time 6 months ago – how much has changed in such a short amount of time? How can life change again in another 6 months or even a year?”
Looking into the future is something I try not to do too often as it can cause stress and worrying about things that probably will never happen. However, in times of change I like to think of how much positive change can occur in such a short space of time. It happens every day and sometimes we do not take enough time to appreciate just how far we have come and what barriers we have broken in order to get to the place we are right now. Keep your thoughts positive and perspective optimistic.
- “Am I open to the world and whatever positive changes are about to come my way or am I shutting myself off, blocking any possible change that may be trying to make its way through to me?”
I am a big believer in being in-tune with the world around us. If we shut ourselves away and let negativity take over our minds and bodies, how do we expect those around us to help us? Not just friends and family, but everybody. We are all connected by energy and we all are drawn to certain people because of the energy they radiate. If we want good things to happen, we need to be open to it. Sometimes things we think are too far out of our reach just need to know you truly want them before they make themselves known.
- “Who in my life can help me through times of negativity?”
Staying positive through times of change can get hard. Some days are harder than others. It is important to have people surrounding us who we can count on for support and confiding. Whether that is a parent, friend, work college or counselor, it is important to offload and receive validation that our thoughts and feelings are understood. There are even telephone hotlines you may wish to call who offer free counselling support 24/7 if things get to be too much.
- “How can I help guide myself through times of negativity affected by change?”
Because we have to live with ourselves all day, every day. And if we can recognise that things aren’t so great at the moment, it is important for us to also recognise ways that we may be able to make things better. Whether it is treating yourself to a pedicure, or watching your favourite movie, or going for a walk in the sunshine while your favourite song plays on your ipod…there are endless things you can do to make yourself feel better.
Take a moment to focus on your breathing techniques. There are some amazing apps which assist in regulating breathing during times of stress. Sometimes 5 minutes a day of focused breathing can make a world of difference.
Change can be incredibly scary but you never have to go through it alone. Try to see the bigger picture and remain as positive as possible. If things get too much, it is also OK to let things out and if you need to cry or get angry or eat a pint of ice cream to feel somewhat better – I recommend it!
Lastly, if you are experiencing some kind of uncertain change at the moment, I hope things go well for you soon. Life is interesting in the way good things happen to people and sometimes you need to experience low moments before you can soar back into those incredible heights.